Silver city showdown

After two men attacked a picnic train in Broken Hill on New Year’s Day 1915 one of their bodies is moved to the morgue. Photo: Broken Hill City Library Lorraine Cole, Barry “Fred” Cowie and Peggy Corney visit the site of the Broken Hill picnic train attack where their aunt, Alma Cowie was shot dead in 1915. Photo: Sam Scotting
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The Manchester Unity picnic train attacked by ‘Turks’ at Broken Hill on New Year’s Day 1915. Photo: Broken Hill City Library

Police and local militia in a shoot out on Cable Hill with two men who fatally attacked a picnic train in Broken Hill on New Year’s Day 1915. Photo: Broken Hill City Library

Gool Mahomed sold ice-cream around Broken Hill, so few took notice when the picnic train approached the two turbaned men beside his ice-cream cart flying a strange little red flag with a crescent and star.

The Ottoman flag hung limp in the mid-morning sun as the pair suddenly threw themselves prone in the red dirt and peered down the sights of ancient rifles. They fired, peppering the train with 48 shots as it slowly chugged past carrying men, women and children in open carriages.

One of the bullets smashed into Alma Cowie’s head and the 17-year-old slumped over her boyfriend Clarrie O’Brien. Depending on your point of view, she was the first Australian killed by the enemy on home soil in World War I, or the first Australian to fall to an act of terrorism.

It was January 1, 1915, the Gallipoli landing lay ahead but the attack riveted the nation and soldiers overseas. The attorney-general, Billy Hughes, agitated for the internment of enemy nationals. It became background noise to conscription campaigns. A young Victorian Anzac was to write to the people of Broken Hill: “I can tell you we will be letting the Turks know there will be more to shoot at than a picnic train.”

But that New Year’s Day, the war was a world away from Broken Hill.

Some 1200 residents had climbed into freshly swept ore trucks fitted with benches and set off on the Manchester Unity Order of Oddfellows Club annual picnic train ride to Silverton near the South Australian border.

Gool Mohamed and his older accomplice Mulla Abdulla waited to begin their two-man war on the dusty outskirts. There was little cover. Four decades of mining had cleared the saltbush and trees for firewood. The passengers were sitting ducks. They hit 10 people. Three died. Adults threw themselves over children, some leapt off the slow-moving carriages and bolted.

The train drifted out of sight and the two assailants fled armed with an elderly Martini-Henry breech-loading rifle, a Snider-Enfield carbine, a revolver and home-made bandoliers. They headed for a quartz outcrop now known as White Rocks Reserve about two kilometres away.

The White Australia Policy was in full bloom, a curious anomaly in a mining town founded on the camel’s back. Dromedaries were cheaper to run than bullocks but the cameleers from the North-West Frontier, although British subjects, were hugely resented, denied union membership, confined with their smelly beasts to camel camps outside town and allowed only Aboriginal women. The Barrier Truth newspaper fulminated against “the Afghan Menace”; the opposition Barrier Miner newspaper ran a series demanding the cameleers be thrown out of town.

The lead, zinc and silver from Broken Hill’s line of lode was worth $100 billion. Profit vied with bitter strikes and lockouts and turned the town into a citadel of union power. Broken Hill gave the nation BHP, actor Chips Rafferty, soprano June Bronhill, comedian the Sandman and painter Pro Hart and its hard-drinking masculine culture provided the setting for the seminal 1971 film Wake in Fright. But in 1915, remorseless isolation made Broken Hill an inward-looking society whose 33,000 residents disliked outsiders and pigeon-holed the rest of the world with the question: “You come from Away?”

Gool Mohamed, born in what is now Afghanistan in 1874, came to Australia as a cameleer. Shortly after Federation he travelled to Turkey to fight for the Ottoman empire army, returning to work in the mines. But the war knocked mineral prices, pit work evaporated and he hawked ice-cream.

Mulla Abdulla was born near the Kyber Pass around 1855 and was the imam and halal butcher for the Broken Hill camel camp. Children threw stones at him. “Beyond complaining to police, he was never known to retaliate,” The Sydney Morning Herald reported on January 4, 1915.

Days before the picnic train attack, Mulla Abdulla had been fined for killing sheep off licensed premises on the evidence of the council sanitary officer. Perhaps it was no accident one of their train victims was a sanitary department foreman, William Shaw.

After the attack, pandemonium broke out. Authorities took the best part of an hour to get their act together. Police were mustered and armed, a small force from the local army base was alerted and local militia rushed the Barrier Boy’s Brigade for rifles.

“There was,” the Barrier Miner reported, “a desperate determination to leave no work for the hangman, or to run the risk of the murderers of peaceful citizens being allowed to escape.”

Author Patsy Adam-Smith described it less heroically in 1969, saying it was “as close a parallel to the Keystone Cops of silent comedy days as this country is ever likely to see”. One of the police cars broke down and when constable Robert Mills approached the pair – not realising they were his quarry – he was shot in the groin and leg.

The fleeing cameleers had already killed another man on their way to the quartz outcrop. Enraged, locals descended on the area. Shooters surrounded the tor and poured hot fire on the pair. Mulla Abdulla fell but Gool Mahomed fought on, keeping several hundred men at bay. His attempt to surrender was ignored.

Just before 1pm police and military rushed the redoubt to find the old man dead and his younger accomplice alive but riddled with 16 bullets. He died on the way to hospital.

What became known as “the Battle of Broken Hill” (thanks largely to a little-seen 1981 film of the same name) was over after three hours.

Six died and at least seven were wounded, including two children. The so-called Turks’ bodies were disposed off swiftly and secretly. Camel camp residents wanted nothing to do with their purification. They may have been buried under an explosives store or in the jail murderer’s plot.

Broken Hill celebrated its victory. Souvenir hunters tore the ice-cream cart apart, scavenged bullet-riddle carriages and hunted for spent cartridges. By nightfall a mob full of beer and wind wheeled into Delamore Street to torch the German Club. Fire carts arrived but hoses were chopped up to ensure the building burnt to the ground. The mob then headed to the camel camp amid cries of “Remember our women who were shot”.

Police unsuccessfully attempted to halt the march. But the lynch mob ran out of steam when confronted by a detachment of civilian and military forces with fixed bayonets lined up across the road outside the camel camp.

The ambush inflamed Australia.

The Herald’s six-deck headline shouted “The fight with the Turks”. The Melbourne Argus was equally as shrill: “Turks Attack Train”. In Adelaide, a mob tore down a Muslim flag from the minaret on the Little Gilbert Street mosque. Hughes used the attack to intern all “enemy aliens” for the duration of the war.

Three days after the attack, 11 aliens were arrested in Broken Hill and sent to Adelaide for incarceration in the Torrens Island Concentration Camp. Only one company, Central Mine, stood down aliens. Union leaders said nothing, mindful perhaps that aliens helped hold the line against BHP in the 1909 lockout.

Australia also began a sort of town-planning ethnic cleansing: place names like Germanton were changed to Holbrook (NSW) and Grovedale (Victoria) as authorities swept away teutonic vestiges.

Peter Black, former Labor MP for the seat of Murray-Darling who served 19 years as mayor of Broken Hill, said the attack resonated in modern-day Australia.

“It was used for quite terrible purposes. The conservative governments of the day embraced it in the same way we embrace terrorism in Australia today, as a motivational force. While we’re talking about terrorism were not talking about a federal budget are we?”

Days after the attack, a miner found three Urdu statements under a rock at the last stand. One was Gool Mahomed’s application to join the Turkish army. “I kill your people because your people are fighting my country,” he wrote. Mulla Abdulla mentioned the court case and said both had prayed “to Allah that life was no more use to them . . . I have never worn a turban since the day some larrikans threw stones at me . . . I wear the turban today.” Some dispute the suicide notes’ veracity.

On January 7, coroner C.F. Butler, SM, found four Broken Hill residents had died of gunshot wounds “feloniously and maliciously inflicted on them” by the “Afghans”.

Broken Hill Historical Society secretary Jenny Camilleri said the attack was buried in the past: “It was never mentioned in school. We didn’t even know the meaning of the word Muslim until recently.”

But memories did not die. Technical-school students made a replica of the ice-cream cart and it now does duty as a tourist attraction at White Rocks Reserve; a rotting old wooden ore carriage denotes the attack site and the Police and Justice Museum in Sydney has the rifles, the Turkish flag, a bandolier and a Koran.

When Alma Cowie died in Clarrie O’Brien’s arms on the picnic train she was wearing his friendship. His son found it when Clarrie died and gave it to a local museum.

For Peggy Corney, Alma’s niece, the ring completed the circle. “It was just so lovely to know after so many years that he treasured her all his life,” Peggy said.

Alma Cowie is buried in a family grave in the dusty Broken Hill Cemetery about 500 metres from where she was shot. A glass dome filled with delicate porcelain flowers and small birds sits on the white-tiled slab. Peggy Corney cleans it occasionally. “The red dirt gets into everything out here,” she says.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Wanderers facing football in the kingdom

If South America is where football is a matter of life and death, then Saudi Arabia is where it is everything in between.
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There is not much crime, poverty or conflict, but life still isn’t easy in Riyadh. The heat is oppressive, the sun blinding and the whole city is painted in the colour of sand. If it wasn’t for the sunburst reflection off glass towers, it would be hard to tell where the city ends and the desert starts.

Order is a requirement as authority bombards daily life. Socialising is restricted, with segregation a routine. Cut-price petrol fuels rush-hour traffic for almost a day, clogging the arteries of a city that has swelled to 10 times its size in 40 years.

There is little respite from the daily demands of Riyadh. That is, apart from football.

“Here in Saudi Arabia, there is nothing to do. No cinema, nothing. Only football,” a leading Saudi football journalist said.

There are few vices in this dry country other than the world game where matches are the only form of public entertainment. It is an autocratic state delicately balancing a puritanical lifestyle with capitalist ideologies, and somewhere between the two lies their football system.

All clubs are owned by the government, whose governance is sold for specified terms to oligarchs who become presidents after paying handsome fees, some multi-year deals done for in excess of $100 million.

Teams are owned by members of the royal family or those with close ties to them, providing little to no variation in each club’s background and identity.

In Riyadh, all three big clubs – Al-Hilal, Al-Shabab and Al Nassr – predominantly play out of the King Fahd International Stadium in a uniform approach fitting with much of the greater society.

In a largely monocultural society, there is almost no social, ethnical or geographic divide between any of the major Riyadh clubs, but the bitterness between the three is deeply entrenched. Simply, thier distain boils down to football matters.

There is a different kind of passion for Saudi football where relevance is more important than ability. Local jerseys occupy shopfront real estate over those of European powerhouses, while billboards portray Yasser Al-Qahtani, not Lionel Messi.

As you read this, fans of Al-Hilal are already setting up visual displays inside the stadium, while rivals continue to follow Western Sydney Wanderers around town for days to support the enemy of their enemy.

Al Nassr fans stopped the Wanderers for photos at their hotel, lurked outside a training session, and awaited their arrival at the airport to spur them on against the “Blue Crescent”.

The Middle Eastern country was late to introduce television, but free-to-air coverage now has half a dozen football channels, twice that number for foreign and pay TV stations.

It isn’t just the English Premier League on display, but games from all over Europe, Asia, the Middle East and at least two channels dedicated solely to Saudi Arabian football of all tiers and age levels.

“It’s definitely a country that’s underestimated,” Wanderers striker Tomi Juric said. “They play some good football and they’re certainly investing in it as well, which is great to see. You turn the TV on and there’s nearly 15 football channels on TV.”

Modern football is a young person’s game and that is no different for Saudi Arabia. The oil-rich state isn’t just spending money on high-profile foreign players, coaches and fans, but also on their youth development tiers.

In a country where more than half the population is under 25, they’re not ignoring their emerging market. National competitions for under-20s and under-17s were established to restore Saudi football to an Asian benchmark.

The results are slowly developing, with Western Sydney Wanderers’ own Brazilian, Vitor Saba, surprised by the standard that’s followed.

“I expected a lower level. Technically and physically they’re higher than I thought. I like to see the passion of the fans here as well. It’s surprising,” he said.

A glimpse at the expenditure of Al-Hilal explains a lot. The club turned over more than $42 million in seasons past and forked out more than $8.5 million to bring Brazilian star Thiago Neves back to the club for a second stint.

They have a penchant for flair and their attack is sharper than it has been for a long time. Money has been splashed on foreign defenders to complement their strengths and shows the sincerity of the investments of president Abdulrahman bin Musa’ad, all of which have been made for one goal only.

For 14 years, have has worked towards one honour that sets the club apart from its domestic rivals: conquering Asia.

It’s a club that in many ways represents the nation more than its rivals, boasting the luxury of wealth and having the greatest support from the powerbrokers.

There is not so much an expectation to win the Asian Champions League, but a desperation. It’s showing with free tickets distributed to drum up support and greater financial rewards dangling in front of the players.

But most of all, these suggest that in Saudi Arabia, football isn’t just respite for the fans.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Last of the hairy chested British sportscars at concours

Under the bonnet of David Thomson’s 1960 Triumph beats the heart of a tractor.
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The engine that powers the baby blue dream machine is essentially the same as the unit used in his ubiquitous and much-loved 1949 grey “Fergie” tractor, albeit bored out by 300cc and in a much higher state of tune.

The Thomson TR3A, which spends much of life under lock and key in the active 71-year-old’s garage in Cook, is just one of more than 70 “side screen” Triumph TR sportscars that are to descend on Canberra for the marque’s annual “concours” from October 31 to November 4.

Considered the last, and possibly the best, of the hairy chested British sportscars, the side-screen models are not for the faint of heart.

Mr Thomson credits this particular vehicle with inducing his now 42-year-old son’s entry into the world the day after it arrived home.

“I took my wife, who was nine months pregnant, for a drive and Douglas was born the next day,” he said.

This will not come as a surprise to anybody who has experienced the rugged ride of these uncompromising speed machines.

They offered an affordable alternative to cars such as the Jaguar XK140 and 150 and the big Austin Healey sixes.

“When the TR2 [the first example] came out it could do 172km/h and cost £965,” Mr Thomson said.

His car could probably beat the figure by a substantial amount because it has been warmed up during the years with a bored-out engine, balanced camshaft and ported and polished head.

“I didn’t know it when I bought it but it turns out I had been down the back straight of the old Albert Park Lake circuit [in Melbourne] in this car when I was about 21.

“My first car was a Singer tourer [also an open sports], which I loved. One of the neighbours had the TR3A and he took me out for a spin. I fell in love with TRs on that day.

“Because I bought this car in Queanbeyan I didn’t even consider it might be the same car I had known in Melbourne. I didn’t make the connection until years later.”

Mr Thomson, who has had his car on the TR Register for more than 30 years, said it was inevitable he would end up with a Grey Fergie.

He waited for a good one, however, collecting a one-owner 1949 example that had  done only light work at a farm clearing sale near Cootamundra about 10 years ago.

All Triumph owners are familiar with the shared connection and the tractors, which were also produced at Coventry, were a British post-war export success story with more than 800,000 sold.

“When you listen to them the car and the tractor actually sound alike,” he said.

While the Albert Park blast was what hooked him on the marque, Mr Thomson told Fairfax Media  he had been infected by the Triumph virus decades before.

“My dad was born in Birmingham, quite close to Coventry, and I grew up being told it was the ‘workshop of the world’.”

Side-screen cars are those that pre-date wind-up windows and allow their owners to hang an elbow over the cutaway doors.

The last Australian-produced side-screen car was the TD2000 from the early 1990s.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Kurtley Beale-Di Patston mystery text message case closed, according to ARU

That’s the end of it: Kurtley Beale has been fined $45,000. Photo: Christopher PearceThe ARU’s version of the Beale-Patston affairComment: Time for the ARU to get its house in order
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The Australian Rugby Union has declared the investigation into a second lewd text message sent to former Wallabies business manager Di Patston will remain as a cold case to be re-opened only if fresh evidence emerges.

The ARU wants to move on regardless, despite questions remaining about that specific text message and other matters relating to the entire controversy that unfolded around it and a first message.

One such question is how the ARU have handled the controversy that was thrust into the public domain in the aftermath of an in-flight argument between Patston and Wallaby Kurtley Beale en route to Brazil on the Wallabies recent tour of South Africa and Argentina for which Beale was fined $3,000 on Friday by the ARU integrity unit.

The argument led to Patston’s allegation of two inappropriate text messages with an image being sent to her by Beale for which he faced two charges at an independent code of conduct tribunal in Sydney last Friday.

Beale was fined $45,000 for the first charge and cleared of the second charge due to a lack of evidence.

An exchange of eight text messages – four from Patston’s phone and four from Beale’s phone – were leaked and published in the Daily Telegraph. However the ARU’s summary released on Friday states Patston provided screen shots of 11 text messages – six from Patston and five from Beale – in the message conversation. The contents of those three messages have not been released.

No one condoned Beale first’s offence, which he admitted and apologised for. But how ARU still allowed the case to focus on one player’s error without addressing its misgivings that have been exposed in the controversy raised the ire of many rugby stakeholders.

On Friday ARU chief executive Bill Pulver defended the ARU’s relative silence, that many saw as poor leadership.

“There has been no cover-up,” Pulver told Fairfax Media.

“We have resisted the temptation to speak in public throughout this process in order to preserve the integrity of the process. There are people’s reputations at stake.

“There is a process that needs to be adhered to and our willingness to speak about it today is at the end of the process.”

Asked about the ARU not pursuing who sent the second text message sent on June 9, Pulver said: “We don’t have any further evidence relating to the second text message.

“If we have further evidence we will review that, but at this point we feel it is done.”

Pressed on how the ARU can move on without settling the mystery, Pulver said the mobile phones of Patston and Beale “from June are unavailable.”

Pulver added: “There is no conclusive evidence available to us as to whether the text existed. Beale’s phone shows he only sent one [offensive] text message.”

Meanwhile, Pulver said analysis of his current phone was “inconclusive as whether he had sent the second text or not”.

Pulver re-iterated the ARU’s belief that Ewen McKenzie, who resigned as the Wallabies coach before their Test against the All Blacks in Brisbane on October 18, told the truth when he declared he did not know about the text until after the argument between Beale and Patston on September 28 when the Wallabies were flying from Johannesburg to Sao Paulo.

“I don’t believe Ewen McKenzie knew about that back in June,” Pulver said, despite reports new Wallabies coach Michael Cheika had submitted written testimony to the code of conduct tribunal that backed Beale’s claim McKenzie knew of the text exchange.

Asked about rumours that have been circulating and raised in The Australian this week that Patston was behind the second text, Pulver said: “There has been speculation about tampering of evidence. But basically we have zero evidence to support that.

“Personally, I question that because Di Patston had the first text message anyway which is already a breach of conduct. She didn’t need to fabricate anything.

“She didn’t have any motivation to fabricate anything.”

The ARU has distanced itself from McKenzie as to who is accountable for hiring Patston, who worked under him at the Reds as his PA when he was coach there.

Fairfax Media revealed irregularities in her employment and educational credentials after she returned from Argentina before resigning.

The ARU was criticised for not having conducted proper checks about her employment. But the ARU’s summary on the controversy said McKenzie “stated” that “he undertook rigorous reference checks, and confirmed her extensive experience working in government in Queensland for a 12-13 year period in a range of roles”.

Pulver would not elaborate on why McKenzie resigned. He said it was because McKenzie felt he could not regain the respect of his players, but McKenzie indicated that there was much more to it when announcing his resignation after the Brisbane Test.

Pulver also denied that McKenzie fell on his sword to avoid appearing before the Beale tribunal a week later.

“I don’t believe that is the case,” Pulver said.

“He came under intense personal scrutiny for a period of two weeks that I think would have been a very brutal process.

“I don’t have a sense he was concerned about the outcome of a tribunal.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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The horse Packer keeps quiet about

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Fancy a share in a soon-to-be champion racehorse possibly worth millions? Here, have James Packer’s. He’s not that fussed.

“I am obviously not an active owner of the horse,” says Australia’s third richest man of Hampton Court, the raging favourite in Saturday’s Victoria Derby. “Being a silent partner is probably overstating my involvement.”

Popular with British aristocrats and royalty in the 18th Century, racing became the sport of kings and lords.

Not here in the colony. It’s the sport of any man.

Last Saturday, the story heading into the Cox Plate was The Cleaner, the $10,000 horse trained by a battler who lives in a demountable building on the side of his stables near Launceston.

A week later, the story is a $500,000 Redoute’s Choice colt prepared by the country’s most prominent trainer, part-owned by its most influential broadcaster and one of its wealthiest men.

The trainer is the walking sound bite, Gai Waterhouse. The broadcaster is Alan Jones.

“That doesn’t help the horse!” Jones roars when told of the interesting juxtaposition. “He doesn’t know any of that!”

It’s also likely to be completely lost on Packer.

The humble casino operator, who a few weeks ago took half ownership of South Sydney rugby league team alongside good mate Russell Crowe, is overseas on business and isn’t expected to be at Flemington on Saturday.

While he’s been a regular racegoer at the Cup carnival over the years, he doesn’t share the same passion for thoroughbred racing as his late father, Kerry, one of the country’s most feared punters.

Yet he does share his father’s indifference towards ownership.

In the 1980s, the young emerging trainer Lee Freedman noticed Kerry Packer owned two of his horses. He’d been sending his bills to Australia’s then richest man, and they were being paid.

“I’m going to ring Kerry Packer,” Freedman said to one of his staffers one day.

“You can’t ring Kerry Packer,” the staffer replied.

“You watch,” said Freedman.

The trainer called and when one of Packer’s underlings heard Freedman was a horse trainer, he promptly redirected the call to Kerry’s million-dollar bungalow at Palm Beach on Sydney’s northern beaches.

“Hello?” grunted Kerry.

“My name’s Lee Freedman, I’ve got a couple of racehorses with you.”

“Really? What are they?”

Freedman told him.

“Well, how they going?”

Freedman then started to go through the form and health of the horses.

“Stop wasting my time son.”


About a decade later, Freedman is in the mounting yard at Randwick before the AJC Derby. He has a superstar in the race: Mahogany, who is owned by property tycoon Lloyd Williams, and Kerry Packer.

Freedman, in his own right, is a superstar by now, but had still never met Kerry.

“You probably don’t remember me, Kerry,” he said.

“I f–king remember,” Kerry barked. “You called me at Palm Beach and wasted my time.”

A year earlier, Mahogany had won the 1993 Victoria Derby, but don’t think for a second that means James Packer is concerned about chasing the same slice of history as his late father, according to Jones.

“No, no, no, no, no,” Jones says. “And he’d be embarrassed about seeing his name mentioned about Hampton Court because he’s peripheral in the whole thing.”

Despite all the headlines evoking the Packer name this week, it wasn’t until six weeks ago Packer even knew he had a share in the horse.

Jones had texted him “wherever he was in the world” and informed him the horse had won the Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.

“Is it a stallion or an entire?” Packer texted back, seeing dollar signs. “It might be worth something.”

“No, we’re not selling it,” Jones fired back. “Stick to your business!”

Says Jones: “That’s how we operate. One of the first horses we had together was Manifest. I had an arrangement where I said, ‘Forget about it. You’re in the book. I’ll pay all the training fees but I’ll keep all the prizemoney’.

“The only problem is the horse had 49 starts without even getting near the finishing line. I was well out of pocket.

“There’s a picture on my wall here of the first time it won a race. Where did it win the race? Narromine. We had to send it there for a win in 2002. Owners: A.B. Jones and J.D. Packer. Oh God.”

Jones has a long affinity with racing, having owned the likes of Golden Slipper winner Miss Finland, Snitzel and It’s A Dundeel, who claimed the Queen Elizabeth Stakes earlier this year.

When Jones saw Hampton Court as a yearling, with his big head and perfect conformation, he had to have it.

The horse is bred by John Muir at his boutique Milburn Creek stud, which is near Jones’ home in the Southern Highlands.

“The credit all goes to John Muir. He and his wife Trish treat their horses like family,” Jones says. “Buying this horse was just a bit of fun. We put a few people in. I got the neighbour up on the hill …”

One of the owners was to be Jones’ friend, the businessman and philanthropist Paul Ramsay, but he died of a heart attack in May while in Spain. “Ram was on the other side of the world and he’s dead now,” Jones says. “Poor Ram.”

They sent the horse to Waterhouse, who might not have a Melbourne Cup runner this year after The Offer was taken out of the field, but can make up for it with Hampton Court.

Waterhouse has long held a high opinion of him. The colt’s commanding win in that race confirmed it, not least because it lowered the long-standing 2000 metre record at Randwick.

Jones has had horses with Gai before, but nothing like this one. “The horse must be OK,” he says. “We’ll find out on Saturday. I never got nervous before putting the [Wallabies] Test team on the paddock, but I will be before this race.”

Having the favourite in the Derby this year is easier than being caught in the middle of the feud between Waterhouse and fellow 2GB shareholder John Singleton that erupted last year over the More Joyous affair.

“The so-called feud between Singo and Gai Waterhouse, there’s going to be a stewards inquiry on Friday and apparently it’s going to be bigger than Gone With the Wind,” Jones told his devout listeners at the time. “For those of us who know them both and love racing it’s just sad.”

Singleton, who seems to have his tongue firmly planted in his check when it comes to his leisurely pursuit of horse racing, told Channel Seven: “If Gai and Alan Jones had a kid it would have been absolutely perfect on every subject at all times.”

It was Kerry Packer who convinced Jones to become a broadcaster, not a politician.

“What do you want to be son – the prime minister or a millionaire?” Packer senior is said to have asked him.

When Jones was celebrated at a special function in 2010 for reaching 25 years behind the microphone, Packer junior became emotional.

“Alan, no one will ever take your place. You are without peer, my friend,”  Packer said, appearing to tear up.

He mightn’t care if Hampton Court wins the Victoria Derby. He mightn’t even watch the race. But he wants it to win for Jones.

“Alan is one of my favourite people in the world,” he says. “I’m just happy to be supporting him on this venture.”

The ultimate racing guide with the latest information on fields, form, tips, market fluctuations and odds, available on mobile, tablet and desktop.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Myer Classic: David Hayes’ tradition on track with Star Fashion

Trainer David Hayes is confident he has a double chance in Saturday’s Myer Classic. Photo: Pat ScalaWizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all Racing
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David Hayes can see Saturday’s Myer Classic working out perfectly for his mare Star Fashion, so she can continue the family tradition and become a group 1 winner at Flemington.

The Street Cry is out of Elegant Fashion, a mare Hayes remembers fondly from his days in Hong Kong.

“She could have been the best mare I have had. She won some good races over here and then went to Hong Kong and won the derby over there for me,” Hayes said. “She was an incredible mare and I can see a lot of her in Star Fashion.”

It has taken until her four-year-old season for Star Fashion to find her best with a couple of wins at Caulfield, including Ladies Day Vase over 1600m. It has Hayes bullish about her heading to Flemington, where she takes the big step to group 1.

“She has got such a big sprint I think the long stretches of Flemington are made for her,” he said. “We tried to get her to stay as a three-year-old but, with her speed and finish, a big mile on a big track looks her sort of race.

“The way this race is going to be run will just really suit her and I can see her coming over the top of them.”

The Myer can be a sit-and-sprint affair but, with speedsters such as Solicit, Sweet Idea and You’re So Good, a good tempo is guaranteed.

While Star Fashion will get back and charge late, stablemate Girl Guide will take a position closer to the speed battle and Hayes believes she will hold strongly.

“She is not a bad second string to our bow in the race,” Hayes said.

“There are a couple of different form lines coming together and Star Fashion is the best from one and Girl Guide [which was second to Sweet Idea in the Tristarc Stakes] is solid enough from the other.

“It means I can go in with a little confidence.”

Meanwhile, Team Hawkes will give punters a taste of unbeaten sprinter Deep Field in the TAB整形美容医院 Stakes to close the Flemington program. Wayne Hawkes labelled Deep Field “the equine Usain Bolt” on Friday but admits he is still learning his craft.

“He looks like he is going three-quarter pace on the track and runs times you can not believe,” Hawkes said. “It is easy and natural.

“He didn’t look to be going that quick down the straight on Tuesday and we were surprised by what the clock said.”

Deep Field ran 46.45 seconds for an 800-metre workout but Team Hawkes opted for the group 2 on Derby day rather than waiting for next week’s Darley Classic.

“It is the biggest day of the year and it is a good time to get him to races and show what he can do,” Hawkes said.

“We are been very careful with him and protecting him because he is a valuable colt. It is what Dad has with all his prospective stallions.

“Although this bloke is a four-year-old he is still a baby and there are a lot of races for him in the autumn.

“This way we get to see up the straight, which will give us a guide for the Lightning Stakes and Newmarket Handicap.”

Punters have been keen to take odds about Deep Field remaining unbeaten and he is $1.60 at Ladbrokes.

The ultimate racing guide with the latest information on fields, form, tips, market fluctuations and odds, available on mobile, tablet and desktop.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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New coach Michael Cheika makes his mark on Wallabies

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London: Michael Cheika is a coach with a ferocious reputation, but the new Wallabies mentor is on a mission is to bring “normality and enjoyment” and restore pride in Australian rugby.

Cheika’s journey as Australia’s coach begins when the Wallabies play the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday morning (AEDT), and the NSW Waratahs championship winner admits he is nervous.

The Wallabies hope the match will end a turbulent period, dominated by the ongoing Kurtley Beale-Di Patston saga and coach Ewen McKenzie’s decision to quit.

But while the perception of Cheika paints a fiery picture, he says he won’t treat the players like they are in prison and jokes the easiest way to prevent off-field drama is to make them work so hard at training they are too tired to do anything else.

“It’s been a bit hectic … I was only sitting on my couch last week, I wasn’t planning on screaming and yelling at guys,” Cheika said.

“One thing that guys aren’t going to get in our set-up is [being] spoon fed. You need men to win things, men have to stand up and take responsibility, be accountable for their actions.

“If we can get more united in switching on and switching off, that will give us an edge. We’re representing the whole country every time we play, we want to make sure everyone is proud of the team. We can do that by getting every day at a high quality … more about self-belief to say we’re going to be in this fight, we’re going to be competitive in every match we play and believe we can come out at the right end.”

Cheika has had just 10 days to make his mark on the Wallabies after signing a three-year deal to replace McKenzie.

The five-game spring tour of Europe looms as crucial preparation for the World Cup, given the Wallabies won’t be back together until June next year.

To fast-track the game plan and team environment, Cheika has already made a few things clear to his players. He wants physicality, passion, a united front and honesty. Those aspects of the team set-up are non-negotiable, as well as a ban on using mobile phones at team dinners or walking between drills at training.

“It’s not prison. It’s about balance around a united team and having normality in your life,” he said. “We’re starting to build a few team rules along the way and finding some novel ways about how to introduce them … it’s just about everyone respecting everyone.”

Cheika led the Waratahs to their inaugural Super Rugby title this season.

For many of the Wallabies he was a rival coach just last week, but now they are putting their faith in the man who handed out golf clubs to NSW players before the Super Rugby grand final to inspire them.

“I was excited to come in, I’d been told about things and you get over the rivalry early on,” ACT Brumbies playmaker Matt Toomua said.

“You gain things from your coach instead of having hurdles or juvenile feelings towards it. This is the start of an exciting tour; we can try to do something special as a team. There are less distractions.”

Cheika’s vision for the Wallabies is simple: he wants to create an environment to make Australia’s best players even better and so enjoyable they don’t want to leave.

“The way we can keep a lot more players in Australia – let’s just forget about money for a bit – is if we make sure they come to play in the national team, that they enjoy it and like what they do,” he said. “When that happens, it makes it hard to leave because you’re going to the unknown [overseas].

“Yes, there might be other baits and trappings that come with that … let’s make this one of the best places to play rugby and, if you leave, you may miss out.”

Cheika played in Australia and overseas and cut his teeth as a coach at Leinster in Ireland and Stade Francais in France before joining the Waratahs.

Coaching the Wallabies was a pipedream until two weeks ago when McKenzie quit after losing the Bledisloe Cup to New Zealand.

The Wallabies job could be viewed as a poisoned chalice, given the ARU is onto its third coach in 16 months. The Wallabies are in desperate need of stability.

So what has Cheika brought to the Test squad?

“He’s been outstanding, one of the things he’s brought is honesty and accountability to the group,” halfback Will Genia said. “He’s a very likeable person, his honesty tells you how it is. He’s a genuine guy and you know what you’re going to get. The one thing from a footy side of things is that he’s brought in a sense of physicality. It worked at the Waratahs, he’s passionate about it and he’s got the boys stuck in to making sure we have that physical presence at Test level.”

The Wallabies found out just how physical at training during the week. There is no walking allowed and almost no holds barred on the field.

“Cheik has spoken about improving our physicality, it’s been a physical week. I’m looking forward to going upstairs and lying down, to be honest,” Toomua said after training.

Cheika’s reply? “It’s a new version of discipline; get everyone so tired that they can’t go out at night.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Hampton Court aiming to emulate Monaco Consul in Derby

Venturing to 2500 metres for the first time is a trip into the unknown for Victoria Derby runners, and helps explain the mixed set of results over the years.
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Class takes a horse a long way, but if a talented horse meets a superior stayer it will not be enough as $101 chance Rebel Raider showed in 2008 at $101 defeating subsequent weight-for-age star Whobegotyou showed in 2008.

Because so many horses are lightly raced and untapped it is often difficult to assess ability.

Two years ago Fiveandahalfstar graduated from Canterbury maiden and Rosehill mid-week wins in October to win the Derby at $41.

Favourite Hampton Court will attempt to emulate Monaco Consul who achieved the Spring Champion Stakes-Derby group 1 double in 2009 and end a seven-year drought for the favoured runner since Efficient won at $2.35 in 2006.

Hampton Court has a similar form template to last year’s Derby winner Polanski.

Polanski went into the Derby with successive stakes wins and Hampton Court has won his past two – the listed Dulcify Quality and the Spring Champion.

By contrast, the next favoured Derby runners on Saturday in Preferment and Atmosphere are maidens.

The last maiden to win the Derby was Redding in 1992.

Last Saturday’s Vase winner Moonovermanhattan comes through a proven formline with seven of the past 12 Derby winners contesting the race and two – Plastered (2004) and Efficient (2006) – completing the double.


Mackinnon Stakes

Load up this first leg of the quaddie.

The conundrum for punters each year is how to treat Cox Plate runners backing up seven days later – Happy Trails (2) , Foreteller (3) and Criterion (13) fill that criteria finishing close up in a brutally run race.

The fresh horses on the scene are Epsom winner He’s Your Man (8) and Caulfield Cup runner-up Rising Romance (15), which may give them an edge.

The wildcard is Lloyd Williams’ latest import Amralah (12) who is a last start winner at Haydock Park over Hillstar who has since won the Canadian International at Woodbine.

My numbers: 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 15

Victoria Derby

Favourite Hampton Court (1) has won his past two races at stakes level while next highest rated runners in the market, Preferment (13) and Atmosphere (11), are maidens.

Granted they have been running on well in their races in the style of true stayers, but it accentuates the gap in class and they don’t have the class or versatility of Hampton Court who has led in 1400-metre races.

Often the Derby is slowly run, which brings luck and interference into play.

If anything goes awry for the favourite, Firehouse Rock (4) from a good draw has the turn of foot to be in the finish.

My number: 1

Myer Classic

At weight-for-age, the best horses should dominate so no reason to look past the obvious here.

This shapes as a classic with Sydney’s bold front runner Sweet Idea  (1) and last year’s runner-up Catkins (2) taking on Ballarat-trained mare May’s Dream (4).

Expect Sweet Idea to lead and Girl Guide (10) to push forward from her extremely draw.

May’s Dream will look to slot in for a trail and will relish the rise from 1400 metres to 1600 metres.

My numbers: 1, 4

Tab整形美容医院 Stakes

With a guaranteed minimum $4 million pool, a small fortune will be riding on hot favourite Deep Field  (6) to land the quaddie.

If you are expecting a sizeable dividend, you will need some blow-out results in the first three legs, or go around the unbeaten, much-spruiked Deep Field .

If you wish to have some back-up runners to Deep Field, perhaps include Eclair Big Bang (12), A Time For Julia (7) and Bel Sprinter (1) who will all be running on.

My number: 6

For a $20 outlay you would receive 125 per cent of a $1 dividend.

FEATURE RACE MARKETSCOOLMORE STUD STAKES 3.5 Rich Enuff 6.8 Kuro 7.6 Brazen Beau 7.6 Rubick 9.2 Earthquake 16 Scissor Kick 28 Eloping 40 Bring Me The Maid 40 Nostradamus 44 Delectation 50 Time For War 55 Galaxy Pegasus 55+ Others

LEXUS STAKES 3 Signoff 8.2 Lord Van Percy 9.2 Big Memory 10 La Amistad 10 Caravan Rolls On 14.5 More Than Sacred 15 Lets Make Adeal 18.5 Like A Carousel 23 Shoreham 24 Marksmanship 60 Wish Come True 120 Thunderbird One, Unchain My Heart

MACKINNON STAKES 5.7 Criterion 5.7 Hes Your Man 6.6 Rising Romance 8.6 Happy Trails 11 Foreteller 11 Amralah 14 Brambles 18 Farraaj 21 Moriarty 23 Hawkspur 27 Spillway 50 Mourinho 65 Star Rolling 80 Costume

VICTORIA DERBY 2.92 Hampton Court 6.2 Preferment 9.8 Moonovermanhattan 10 Bondeiger 13.5 Atmosphere 24 Magicool 29 Light Up Manhattan 32 Firehouse Rock 32 Gouldian 32 San Padre 36 Nozomi 55 Royal Standing 60+ Cuban Fighter

MYER CLASSIC 5.9 Sweet Idea 5.9 Mays Dream 8.6 Catkins 9.6 Neena Rock 11 Solicit 13 Politeness 15 Star Fashion 16.5 Diamond Drille 18 Girl Guide 22 Girl In Flight 28 Bonaria 30 Mahara 32 Forever Loved 42+ Others

Odds: Betfair


Race 2 13 VIA CAVOUR




The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Darius Boyd released by Newcastle Knights

Released by mutual consent: Darius Boyd. Photo: Jonathan Carroll Released by mutual consent: Darius Boyd. Photo: Jonathan Carroll
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Released by mutual consent: Darius Boyd. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

Released by mutual consent: Darius Boyd. Photo: Jonathan Carroll

Darius Boyd’s enigmatic stint with Newcastle reached full-time on Friday night, when the club announced he had been released by mutual consent, freeing up the cash to immediately sign forwards Jack Stockwell, Chris Houston and David Fa’alogo.

Stockwell, a 22-year-old prop unwanted by St George Illawarra, has agreed to a three-year deal, while Houston has re-signed for two more years. Fa’alogo is on the books for another season.

Knights coach Rick Stone said Stockwell, who appeared in 35 top-grade games for the Dragons but only 12 this season, was “big and athletic, he has a good motor and will bolster our forward pack”.

He said Stockwell had taken time to make the transition from under-20s to the NRL, partly because of injuries, but added he “obviously has a lot of footy in front of him … with a lot of potential”.

Boyd seems certain to rejoin his long-time mentor Wayne Bennett at Brisbane after his release from Newcastle.

It was unclear how much of a pay-out Boyd received, if any, after the Knights’ statement declared: “The details of the release are a confidential matter between management and Boyd.”

There was speculation on Friday that the Broncos had signed Boyd to a two-year deal, but any announcement hinged on the 27-year-old fullback reaching a settlement with Newcastle.

Brisbane have already begun clearing the decks to accommodate Boyd and other new recruits, releasing Josh Hoffman (Gold Coast) and Martin Kennedy (Roosters), while it is understood Cronulla are eager to sign Ben Barba.

Boyd had one more year to run on his deal with Newcastle but a contractual option in his favour allowed to him to leave.

That was always the likely scenario  after the relationship between player and club soured last season when reports surfaced of a $200,000 shortfall in his salary, widely attributed to a defunct third-party sponsorship deal that Boyd felt he should have been paid.

There was a further falling out when the 17-Test veteran stood himself down to seek psychological counselling, only to head overseas on holidays weeks later without informing the powers-that-be.

When Bennett announced he was leaving Newcastle to re-join the Broncos, it was always expected Boyd would follow.

But a stand-off ensued as his management sought a termination settlement.

Boyd played in 62 games for Newcastle and was their 2013 player of the year. He played in nine Tests and nine Origins during his time at the club.

But his moody personality and reluctance to be interviewed by the media ensured he was never a crowd favourite.

Despite last night’s announcement, Houston will miss Newcastle’s first day of pre-season training on Monday because of what Stone labelled “a prior engagement”

Suspended forwards Kade Snowden and Jeremy Smith are also expected to miss the first two weeks of training. Their ASADA bans do not expire until November 21.

Stone said the first day of his second stint as head coach would begin with a beep test and strength session to establish what shape players were in after their off-season break.

“Generally it’s an assessment couple of weeks, getting the boys back into the swing of things, and gradually we increase the volume and intensity,” he said.

“We’ve got probably seven weeks before Christmas.

“We’ve got an intro block of a month and then we’ll get three weeks of real hard work into them, have a break, and come back early in the new year.

“Then the Nines and things like that seem to roll around pretty quickly once the new year comes around.”

Stone said most of the players are wise enough to “keep themselves in pretty good shape” over the off-season and some, such as winger James McManus, had been training hard for two months after missing the tail-end of last season with a foot injury.

Knights skipper Kurt Gidley is traditionally the man to beat in the beep test and Stone said it would be interesting to see if there were any youngsters who could match the tireless 32-year-old.

“There might be a few blokes who challenge him there a bit,” Stone said.

“I guess we’ll see who jumps out of the blocks on Monday.

“I’m not sure, but I know Kurt is fit and fresh and looking forward to coming back to training.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

If racehorses were on social media, what would they say?

All-knowing expression: Makybe Diva. Photo: Sebastian CostanzoWhen Michael Slater urged his old captain to get with the program and start tweeting, a wary Mark Taylor said: “I don’t know. How much does it cost to send one?” That got a laugh. Had Slater been asking Paul Gallen in late 2014, he might have got a different answer.
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The going rate for a sportsperson’s tweet, text or email is hyperinflating. Last week, for Kurtley Beale, a text cost $45,000. This week, for Gallen, the price of a tweet has gone up to $50,000. For Nova Peris, an email may cost a Senate career. Soon, sportspeople fronting disciplinary hearings will have to come, like Weimar Republic housewives, with their cash in wheelbarrows.

Which is why, as a counter case, so many of us love the spring horse racing season: simply for the fact that the main players are silent. Sure, some trainers tell a great story and jockeys are superb athletes, but mostly they speak as commentators on behalf of the real stars, who are so taciturn, so unapproachable for a quote, that by comparison even Jack “Nope” Denham was as talkative as T.J. Smith. Horses let their races do the talking, and what a relief that is.

It’s left to the dreamers among us to project personalities and intelligence onto thoroughbreds, as we do with babies. Super Impose was said to know exactly where the post was, and left his winning runs late to put on a show for the crowd. So You Think loved Moonee Valley so much he would tell the float driver to hang a right onto Dean Street. Kingston Town, in the 1982 Cox Plate, heard Bill Collins say he couldn’t win.

As when babies grow into toddlers, however, it’s more likely that horses would be like any other athletes: just normal. The percipient eye of Black Caviar is masking a mind that is thinking “me hungry”. The all-knowing expression of Makybe Diva as she accepts her third Melbourne Cup, if given a thought bubble, would be saying, “I know I’m a lady but I’m going to take a dump right here, right now”.

If racehorses were on social media, what would they say?

Admire Rakti, after the Caulfield Cup, posts on the equine site Nicker: “The handicapper cares about us. Couldn’t say the same about that whip-crazy c— on my back.”

Hampton Court, the Victoria Derby favourite, complains to a fellow horse that his trainer is struggling with the pressure. “I wish she’d stop talking me up – it’s so Gai.”

Given that horse racing is the sport where males and females compete together, how would sexism travel on Nicker? Would an administrator get away with calling Black Caviar and Belle Couture “the brothers”?

Would Fawkner be texting a photo of a massively pregnant Clydesdale to his fellow males and captioning it, “Lucia Valentina”, or “Lucia. Would you ride this?” (And as he presses send, he thinks, “Oh damn, do they know I’m a gelding?”)

Mares and stallions are known to perform waywardly in season. Would Lucia herself be emailing Protectionist, “cmon my foreign raider i can organise ur entry fee & hotel 4 u babe”; and would the German entire reply, “achtung babe u can sit on my lap anyday I will raid you & i wont be bringing my protectionist”?

If they could express themselves, would horses resent the names their human owners give them? Life ain’t easy for a boy named Adelaide. The poor Cox Plate winner, saddled with a girl’s name but nonetheless, like Johnny Cash’s A Boy Named Sue, a kid who “grew up quick and grew up mean”, might one day confront his runaway father, the villain who gave him that name. “My name is Sue. How do you do? Now you’re gonna die!”

It’s quite likely that, given smartphones to log onto their Nicker or Instabran accounts, racehorses would end up being as normal, as mercenary, as boring or as cavalier as their fellow athletes.

And so, their silence and mystery is why we love them all the more. They say nothing, and appoint PR geniuses like Bart Cummings to give them their lines. Racehorses give us a break from the banalities of quotes-led journalism, and so can never be taken out of context or have their privacy violated. They are spared the absurdities of a life where actions mean everything yet somehow words mean more. (My all-time favourite episode of quotes-led journalism, by the way, was our front page following the draw for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, when Australia was grouped with Brazil. “Exclusive!” we shouted. “Pele: Australia can beat Brazil!” Television news footage subsequently showed the “interview”. After the draw function, Pele was crowd-surfing a media pack out of the building. An intrepid hand bobbed up with a recorder and an Aussie voice piped, “Pele, can Australia beat Brazil in the group?” Pele, without stopping or looking or even possibly hearing, said, “Sure, why not?” Or he may have said, “A-choo! Bless you!” Or something. It didn’t matter. That was the interview. Gotcha. We had our exclusive!)

The end result is that decades of quotes-led old media have created the vacuum for the gift-that-never-stops-giving of social media, that platform for indiscretion where, we like to believe, a sportsperson’s real personality creeps out or shines through.

Meanwhile, in a contrast that shines as brightly as their race day coats, those magnificent thoroughbreds maintain their dignity. Ah, silence. Better to let people think what they think of you than to open your mouth and confirm their suspicions. There would be nothing sadder than a tapped-out champion stud stallion going on Nicker with a photo of himself naked in his stall, asking the world, “Who do you think I should date then followers?” Oh no, there would be one thing …

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.