Archive for May, 2019

Razor Sharp: The Monstar trainer Brett Cavanough looks for change in weather

SCONE trainer Brett Cavanough is always confident veteran sprinter The Monstar will run a good race.
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MUD RUNNER: The Monstar winning the 2016 Razor Sharp with Tommy Berry aboard. Picture: bradleyphotos苏州夜总会招聘.au

And, like in lastyear’s listed Razor Sharp (1200 metres), thatconfidence will rise with any rain at Randwick on Saturday.

The seven-year-old gelding won the race last year on a soft 7 and has since broken through only once in 10 starts despite ultra-consistent performances at group and listed level.

The Monstar claimed the listed June Stakes this year on a heavy 10 and has run top four seven times in his other nine starts.

Only light rain is forecast for Friday and Saturday but Cavanough was hopeful of more.

“He’s pretty effective on all going but he’s exceptional when it’s knee deep in mud,” Cavanough said.“A couple of his biggest wins have come inthe wet.Hewon the Razor Sharplast year in the wet when Tommy [Berry] was on him. He was going to sit three, four deep on him but pressed ahead and led.

“In the wet you can get away with that and he did that day. Ideally, we’d love an eastern suburb storm to turn up on Saturday.”

Rain or not, The Monstar has remained competitive on all surfaces and isback after a six-week break following his third on a good 3 at group 2 level at Flemington on Derby Day.

Cavanough said The Monstar was in similar shape to this time last year and he expected another strong effort.

“He’s had his runs spaced and obviously we’d love a wet track for him,” he said.

“But we haven’t jammed him every two or three weeks. He’s run top four his last eight runs so he’s in a bit of form.”

He believed the draw in gate two on Wednesday would help in a race that also features Zestful (barrier eight) and Petrossian (15) for Newcastle trainers Kris Lees and Paul Perry respectively.

“He’s a jump-and-run horse so the two gate parks him in the first three or four, whereas normally he’s got to come across and do a bit of work,” Cavanough said.

Also in acceptances for Randwick was the Perry-trained Ragged Rascal in the $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m). The Denman colt, which drew barrier 10,is the only race winner in the event.

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letters to the editor for Monday, January 8, 2017

ROOM FOR RVs: Reader Jon Caine says part of the former train line should be used for a parking spot for caravans and RVs.DEARNewcastle council – following a recent letter from a disappointed out of town visitor who found the information office shut (Short Takes, 1/1), plus having driven behind a few caravans looking for a place to park, here is a suggestion for the former railway station.
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Move the poky information counter from the Maritime Museum to a roomy new space at the station.

Like many such places in much smaller towns, there could be displays of local products, a wider range of pamphlets on offer, maybe even a booking centre for activities like the Famous Tram or harbour cruises to name a few.

Everyone wins: the museum has more space, visitors can access information everyday (and not just the days and restricted hours of museum opening times) and there is a greater opportunity to showcase local products and services.

And the aforementioned caravans? Surely somewhere in the filled-in expanse that used to be train lines could be found space to put some parking places for visitors in vans or RVs. There’s certainly nowhere for them to park in our beautiful city now.

Jan Caine, MarylandSWISS STYLETO John Maxwell Hollingsworth (Short Takes, 4/1) – could also emulate the peaceful republic of Switzerland with one of the highest standards of living in the world.

No 1975 there, where our unelected head of state who represents a foreign unelected head of state, not ns, dismissed a democratically elected government to prevent it from solving a political impasse by calling a democratic half senate election.

Were I a monarchists I wouldn’t be bragging about those events either. Until then, a republican to an n was an American politician, if they had even heard of the word.

Colin Fordham, LambtonDON’T FORGET TONYDARRYLTuckwell (Letters, 4/1) reckons the buck stops with Malcolm Turnbull.

That’s true, but blame also needs to be apportioned to Tony Abbott, who instructed his Minister for Communications (Turnbull) to destroy the NBN.

You probably can’t call what Turnbull’s done absolute destruction, but the result certainly isn’t good from a national perspective.

It’s on par with the idea, fortunately kyboshed at that time, that our original telephone roll-out should have been done using iron wire (not even steel) on cost grounds; only this time the misers have had their way.

I suppose some industry people will be happy – when we get around to fixing NBN, it’ll cost twice what we’ll spend this time, and they’ll make millions.

I do hope Ms Henderson has more luck with her NBN connection than we had. It took from February 22, 2017 toJuly 8, 2017 to restore service at our place, after multiple, interminable phone calls and technician visits.

A frustrating, Kafka-esque experience.

Barnard (Barney) Ward, EdgeworthHUTS AN OPTIONTHE Newcastle council’s lack of change rooms at Nobby’s Beach could be solved by the introduction of bathing huts to the beach.

These brightly coloured huts are a drawcard for tourists to English beaches and could be sponsored by private enterprise.

They are used in Brighton Beach in Victoria, so why not try something new for Newcastle that has worked elsewhere.

Paula Fisher, New LambtonSPEED SOLUTIONSISN’Tit time to look at the total picture?Speeding is so often toblame for the high number of road accidents.

Is it any wonder, as there are more cars on the road than ever?So isn’t it time to look at other countries road rules?

For example, on two lane roads, make cars stick to the inside lane unless overtaking regardless of speed limit.

It’s been proven that overtaking on the inside lane is dangerous.That’s why it’s illegal in most other countries.

How often do you see most cars in right lane, travelling below speed limit?

How often do you see police statistics for drivers on expressways booked for driving in fast lane and not overtaking?

Most of us like to drive fast, especially young drivers. Some people are all for spending $2 billion on a sport stadium but providing a safe circuit for drivers to speed to their hearts content is not even looked at.

I am talking about a facility like Wakefield Park past Goulburn.

There drivers can learn to drive fast safely and not have to cope with two-way traffic, nor police speed cameras.

Newcastle, I suggest, has a huge need and would be very successful with a similar facility.

So many hoons on our roads that could take their frustrations out on the track in a safe environment and not risk killing or maiming others.

Herman Oosterman, TorontoNO LOYALTYIN-FORM Newcastlejockey Aaron Bullock, who was replacedby Hugh Bowman for the Magic Millions ride on Jonker, showed his capabilities on Thursday with three rides for three wins at Taree.

Bullock, who rode two rides for two wins on Jonker to place him into the Magic Millions as favourite, deserved to keep the ride.

It only goes to show there is no loyalty when it comes to big money races.

Peter Lofty Lockwood, SingletonWaiting for answersIT’Snecessary for some members of the public to watch councils.

Because the public hasa basic statutory right to know what theelected representatives are saying and the decisions they are making when they are assembled as a council.

The last Newcastle council let the people down when it resolved in a closed meeting of council to build a motor racing circuit through Newcastle’s Foreshore public parkland and the residential streets of Newcastle East.

Even at this date, 18 months after the resolution, council has still not released full details of the July 16, 2016 Major Event Report Resolution. The public hasa right to know what their elected councillors are doing on their behalf.

Doug Lithgow, Adamstown Heights

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Dastyari to draw taxpayer salary for weeks

Labor leader Bill Shorten has confirmed that former senator Sam Dastyari could keep receiving his taxpayer-funded salary into 2018, despite announcing he would resign earlier this week.
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Senator Dastyari’s replacement in the Senate will not be selected by NSW Labor until the start of February. That person – widely tipped to be Kristina Keneally, if she does not win the seat of Bennelong in a byelection this Saturday – will then have to be confirmed by the NSW Parliament.

Senator Dastyari quit over revelations in Fairfax Media over his links to Chinese Communist Party-linked political donor Huang Xiangmo; his exit has infuriated allies of Senator Dastyari in the influential NSW Right faction of the ALP, which has loyally backed Mr Shorten as party leader since 2013.

When announcing his resignation on Tuesday, Senator Dastyari did not immediately stand down, but said he would “not return to the Senate in 2018”. Parliament is not due to return until February 5.

If Senator Dastyari did not formally resign until February, he would continue to draw his senator’s salary, which would amount to about $20,000.

However a well-placed Labor source said Senator Dastyari would be gone within a matter of weeks.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Senator Dastyari should “get out of the Senate right now and it is a mark of the weakness of Bill Shorten’s leadership that it took all of this time for Dastyari to foreshadow his resignation”.

“He hasn’t resigned yet. He’s still taking money from the taxpayers of the country that he put second. He did not put first.”

But Mr Shorten argued other MPs who had quit parliament had taken lengthy periods to go, too and that Senator Dastyari was no different.

“[Liberal] senator Brett Mason – 23 days. Christine Milne, leader of the Greens – 98 days. Joe Hockey – 34 days. Then he moved onto another paid government job. [Liberal] senator Michael Ronaldson – 73 days. [Liberal] senator Chris Back, admittedly not a household name, but 46 days. Even Nick Xenophon – 26 days,” he said.

“What I expect Senator Dastyari will do is that, sooner rather than later, he will wrap up his matters. But let’s be clear – there’s electorate work. He can’t just leave punters in the lurch. He’s resigning. He won’t be back in the Parliament.”

NSW Labor general secretary Kaila Murnain said the party would “begin the process of selecting for the Senate casual vacancy early next year. There are a number of administrative processes that have to be completed, which can’t be finalised prior to Christmas.”

Some MPs believe Senator Dastyari could have survived the scandal if he had hung on until Christmas, and that he was unfairly treated by Mr Shorten and sections of the Labor Left faction.

Finger pointing has begun, with some members of the Right suggesting a co-ordinated attack was launched on Senator Dastyari to force him out.

A report that Senator Dastyari pressured deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek not to meet a pre-democracy activist in Hong Kong, which was quickly followed by senior Left MPs Catherine King and Linda Burney suggesting he should consider his position, has been blamed as the final straw before Senator Dastyari’s demise.

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Newcastle council rejects doubts over rail corridor rezoning survey

Council dismisses doubts over rail corridor rezoning survey The rail corridor leading into Newcastle station before the lines were removed.
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A section of the disused rail corridor near Merewether Street which would be open for development under the rezoning plan.

Worth Place, the western extremity of the subject corridor land.

The site of the proposed Newcastle University development on a section of the old rail corridor and adjoining Honeysuckle land.

TweetFacebookThe two questions in the poll read:“Question 1: Newcastle is undergoing unprecedented change and renewal. The next phase of this renewal is the corridor reserved for heavy rail. The NSW Government’s proposal is to maintain a significant portion of this corridor as public open space, including restoration of Newcastle Station. The proposal will allow some development on the former heavy rail corridor, including space for the University of Newcastle to expand its city campus, and the delivery of affordable housing. Newcastle City Council has secured a commitment from the NSW government that any profits from development will be reinvested in Newcastle. Do you support or oppose this mixed use proposal?

“Question 2: It has also been proposed that allowance be made to maintain a transport corridor on this land. Thiswould mean the land could not be used for mixed uses as described above. The NSW Government hasadvised that this corridor is not required for transport purposes.Do you support or oppose this alternate proposal?”

READ MORE:Newcastle council approves rail corridor rezoning

Responses to the first questionsuggested more people (57.5 per centto 27.3 per cent) agreed or strongly agreed with rezoning the corridor for mixed uses.

However, responses to the second question suggested more people (34.7 per centto 30.3 per cent) agreed or strongly agreed with maintaining the corridor for transport.

The number of people “undecided” jumped from 13.6 per cent in the first question to 28.8 per cent in the second.Those who answered “don’t know” rose from 1.6 per cent to 6.2 per cent.

ROLLING ALONG: A section of the former rail corridor which is being transformed into the Market Street Lawn. Picture: Marina Neil

A University of Newcastle associate professor with a background in statistics said the first question was “reasonably clear”, but the second was “confusing”.

“It is not clear whether someone is being asked,‘Do you support or opposethe proposal to maintain the transport corridor ordo you agree with the government’s decision?’” she said.

“This is most telling when you look at the results of the poll, which showthat the highest percentage of respondents indicated ‘undecided’and a certain per cent answered ‘don’t know’.

“They probably weren’t clear what they were being asked about.”

A group of 38 community and transport activists, including former Greens councillor Therese Doyle,wrote an open letter tocouncillors on Tuesday claiming the questions were “framed to elicit a predetermined response” and that the council had initiated the survey only after 69 per cent of public submissions objected to the rezoning.

Read more: Newcastle City Council appoints Jeremy Bath as CEO

Cr Mackenzie criticisedthe report from council staff on the rezoning proposal, saying it was open to accusations of bias and left the council’s decision open to legal challenge.

The report stated that the council had received 394 public submissions against the rezoning, plus 137 form letters, and 226 in favour of the proposal, plus 46 form letters.

Cr Mackenzie said staff had “miscategorised” 137 negative submissions as form letters,and he took exception to a section of the report which said those in favour “expressed excitement” about the university precinct.

But after the meeting, at which he was the lone voice against the rezoning, Cr Mackenzie said it was time to move on and the issue had divided the city for too long.

Jeremy BathNewcastle Herald thatopponents of the corridor rezoning “can’t have it both ways”.

“On the one hand they claim push pollingwhile at the same time suggesting the poll result isn’t conclusive,” he said.

“The elected council has made a final decision, and not accepting it won’t make it change.

“Council understands that there is a section of the community that are opposed to the rezoning, primarily on the basis that they don’t accept the decision to remove the heavy rail.

“A look down Hunter Street shows that argument has been fought and lost.

“It’s time to accept the decision as Cr Mackenzie has done in publicly calling for a truce and for everyone to move forward collaboratively so that the rezoning delivers genuine revitalisation outcomes.”

He said the ReachTEL poll of 955 residents had cost the council$2200 plus GST.

Both Mr Bath and Mr Chrystal said the survey was a response to a successful motion by Cr Doyle and fellow former Greens councillorMichael Osborne on August 22 that community consultation includetheir support for buildings being constructed on the corridor in a way that enabled light rail to pass underneath.

“It was impossible for the survey to be included in the approved engagement plan because Cr Doyle did not inform council of her motion until the night of the August council meeting when the plan was approved,” Mr Bath said.

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China set for downsized aths team for home Games

face the prospect of fielding a smaller athletics team than England’s at next year’s home Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
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The team is currently scheduled to be almost three-quarters the size of that sent to Glasgow four years ago.

Athletics has been told by the Commonwealth Games Federation that it can field a team of 73 for the Games in April. England has been told it can send 75. Four years ago in Glasgow, took a team of 92. None of these figures included Paralympic athletes among them.

AA last week sent an email to coaches and athletes to confirm the team size of 73. With marathons and walks being popular public events, they will take 12 spots.

also aim to fill all relay places – another 20 athletes – so excluding the 100m, 200m and 400m events where runners will come from the relay teams, that leaves 41 places for 32 events.

Two of those events are the men’s and women’s 10,000m for which the Zatopek 10 at Albert Park on Thursday night doubles as the Commonwealth trial. The first two in those races will be selected, meaning there are then 37 athletes for 30 events.

thus face fielding a team of barely more than one athlete in the majority of events despite likely having more than one athlete qualified in those events for a home Games.

The CGF has set a cap of 90 for athletics teams from any country. Only England and get close. But the CGF, randomly, imposed 73 for this year. AA and the Commonwealth Games remain hopeful of pushing the number closer to the maximum of 90 but as yet there are no guarantees.

Normally athletes who have an A standard and come first or second are automatic qualifiers for a team.

Other athletes with A standards are normally picked regardless of how they went at the trial to make sure the best athletes are not left behind because they missed the trial. That occurred with Jane Flemaming in 1990 when she was injured for the trial but eventually picked for the team and went on to win two gold medals.

In the men’s 10,000, have four men – Pat Tiernan, Brett Robinson, Dave McNeill and Stewart McSweyn – all regarded as legitimate chances to achieve the A standard at the Zatopek.

But only the first two across the line will be picked.

With the Games in less than four months, it makes qualifying confusing for athletes, who don’t know how many will be able to take.

Winning the trial is the surest way to guarantee selection, but as with Flemming, there are examples of the country’s best athletes being unfit at the trial but fit by the Games.

“I think it would be unlikely we would have an A qualifier not selected,” coach Craig Hilliard said.

Senior running coach Nic Bideau was not as confident of that if the number remained at 73.

“If it stays at that number there will be events where there are three A qualifiers at the trial and they won’t take three,” Bideau said.

“It’s hard to believe they could accept having a smaller team than England’s at our home Games. Our final number might be higher but so would England’s.”

The Zatopek is at Albert Park on Thursday December 14. The women’s 10,000m is at 8pm and the men’s at 9pm.

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