Monthly Archives: August 2018

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Happy 100th birthday Thelma Bailey

SPARK: Thelma Bailey, with daughters Pat Gow (left) and Diane Dellar (right), doesn’t feel older than she did 20 years ago. Picture: Phil HearneThelma Bailey is philosophical about reaching her 100th birthday tomorrow.

‘‘I just had to, I couldn’t do anything about it,’’ she said.

‘‘I don’t feel any older than I did 20 years ago – and people reckon I don’t look any older either.’’

The cheeky mother of two, grandmother of three and great-grandmother to six joked when she received a congratulatory card from Queen Elizabeth II she checked if there was a $100 note inside.

She has fond memories of meeting the monarch in 1966, when her husband Bill Bailey was Newcastle’s deputy lord mayor. ‘‘I nearly forgot to curtesy,’’ she said.

Mrs Bailey was born in Georgetown on February 24, 1913, the second of three children to parents Henry and Sarah Payne.

She grew up in Belford Street Broadmeadow, attended Hamilton Public School and met her husband at a dance in Newcastle.

When she worked part-time in a real estate agency young Bill would carry his fiancee to collect rents on his bike’s handlebars, because there was not yet widespread car ownership.

They witnessed the introduction of the telephone and television, the ‘‘scary’’ shelling of Fort Scratchley and used ration tickets during the Depression.

The couple had daughters Diane Dellar and Pat Gow, before moving in 1964 to Clyde Street, Hamilton North.

Mr Bailey began his 11 years as a Newcastle City councillor in 1961 and became deputy lord mayor in 1966. In turn, Mrs Bailey was deputy lady mayoress.

‘‘It was wonderful, all the outings,’’ she said.

‘‘A black car would come and wait for me to get ready and then take me where I wanted to go.

‘‘It didn’t matter how late you turned up to go to the pictures, there was always a seat reserved for me.’’

Mr Bailey died in June 2007 at the age of 92 and Mrs Bailey has lived in her home with tabby Diva until three weeks ago, when she moved to Garden Suburb Aged Care Facility.

Asked for her secrets to longevity, Mrs Bailey said she never smoked, didn’t like alcohol and ate plenty of vegetables.

‘‘I also like my sweets, I love chocolate,’’ she said with a smile.

‘‘It makes you lose weight.’’

That’s not a scandal, this is a scandal

You call that a scandal? Phil Lutton examines how swimming’s Stilnox crisis stacks up against some of Australian sport’s more notable wildfires.

Melbourne Storm salary cap

Outrage factor Completely off the charts, both from fans of the Storm, who felt hard done by, and fans around the rest of the NRL, who felt cheated. And team-mates who never had a ride in the GI speedboat before it went to the dry dock.

Clean up bill Minimal, apart from all the premiership points left lying around and the paint that melted from the walls while Craig Bellamy was exploding with searing rage, summoned from the pits of fiery hell.

‘Indignant questions from frenzied media’ potential Very high. Demanding more answers than most were the Storm’s owners, News Ltd, who weren’t particularly impressed with their books being diddled to the tune of $3.17 million over five years.

The villain Brian Waldron. Grade 9/10

Ben Cousins and the drugs that worked

Outrage factor Medium to high, if only for the dogged persistence Cousins seemed to have to end his once-brilliant career. West Coast fans were the most aggrieved, as were people with decent tattoos.

Clean up bill Fairly decent. It’s hard to imagine a party at Ben’s place ending with a 10.30pm bed time. He also pranged his car in 2009, so add that to the invoice.

‘Indignant questions from frenzied media’ potential Since Cousins had a genuine issue with drugs and booze, it was hard to get too outraged at the man himself. There were opportunities to mount the high horse when questioning the Eagles or AFL about their handling of his repeated infringements. They were duly taken.

The villain His tattoo artist.

Grading 8/10

Nate Myles and the hallway to hell

Outrage factor Less outrage, more grimace after the then Roosters forward couldn’t make it back into his hotel room on the NSW Central Coast and unfortunately made a mess of things in the hallway. He was found sleeping steps on the steps at 8am. Nude. Game on.

Clean up bill The cost in dollar terms wasn’t through the roof. A decent mopping or carpet shampoo would have done the trick. But someone had to do the job, so the cost in emotional terms was considerable.

‘Indignant questions from frenzied media’ potential Medium to high. By the time Myles locked himself out, there had been a steady diet of rugby league scandals. This was another opportunity to demand answers from David Gallop, who fronted up to so many ‘crisis’ press conferences he literally could have done Swimming Australia’s version asleep, no Stilnox required.

The villain The locksmith.

Grading 8/10

Sonny Bill Williams and the Bulldogs

Outrage factor Turn it up to 11. Williams is a fine athlete but remains a tall, tattooed, Kiwi version of Lucifer himself to anyone remotely fond of the Canterbury Bulldogs. He broke his contract and walked out of the club and the code in 2008.

Clean up bill Minimal, thankfully, although Dogs fans might bring a few effigies along when they play the Roosters this season. A dust pan and brush should be sufficient.

‘Indignant questions from frenzied media’ potential Medium to high. Williams was painted as a money hungry traitor who deserted the game for the riches of European rugby. But now he’s back, and really great for the game, so everyone not associated with the Bulldogs has calmed down, Frans Botha being the obvious exception.

The Villain Khoder Nasser

Grading 7/10

The Weapons of Mass Destruction, Batman, Stilnox and an early night

Outrage factor What would Julian O’Neill think of all of this? The men’s relay team had a meal, watched a movie, popped a Stilnox and ran up and down knocking on doors until 10.30 – at night. It could even be as late as 11.30pm if you believe Emily Seebohm. The horror.

Clean up bill When it comes to hotel hijinks, they Weapons of Mass Destruction aren’t quite up to the standard of Myles, who we must point out is now a changed man at the Titans. But who knows what kind of mess they left at the restaurant. Did they even stack their plates? Probably not. Over to you, AOC.

‘Indignant questions from frenzied media’ potential Judging from the press conference, very high. Answers were demanded on how many pills they took, whether they were ‘bonding’ or ‘partying’ and what movie they watched. Thank God they said Batman instead of Beaches.

The Villain Zolpidem Tartrate.

Grading 2/10.

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Premium price for SBW

Sonny Bill Williams’s absence in Saturday night’s Foundation Cup is expected to reduce the crowd by a third, but Sydney Roosters officials still hope to cash in on his return before the NRL season starts.

The Roosters are advertising a ”unique sponsorship opportunity” for businesses to have their name associated with the 27-year-old superstar in matches for the club.

Roosters chief operating officer Ted Hellier said individual player sponsorships usually started at $12,500 but the club was asking a premium price for Williams and seeking expressions of interest.

”Of course, Sonny comes at a premium,” Hellier said. ”He is one of the biggest sports stars in Australasia so why wouldn’t you pay to be associated with him.”

In the promotions for the sponsorship, the Roosters describe Williams as ”one of the most talked about sportsmen in the world”.

”A heavyweight boxing champion, rugby World Cup winner and NRL premiership winner in 2004, Sonny Bill Williams is undoubtedly one of the most successful athletes in the modern era … and he’s now a Rooster too,” the advertisement on the club’s website says.

Included among the range of benefits for the company that successfully bids to become the exclusive player sponsor for Williams this season is four tickets in the Easts Club for the round-six match against Canterbury. ”That is a big selling point for Sonny – that first match against the Bulldogs,” Hellier said of the clash with the club Williams controversially walked out on in 2008.

While the NRL announced that the Roosters would be fined an undisclosed amount over the negotiation of Williams’s contract, the club isn’t the only one using him to promote the new season. An advertisement to announce that Channel Nine’s coverage of the NRL would begin on March 7 features Williams accompanied by the letters SBW: OMG.

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Waterhouse polish to come up Gold at Farm

EVEN with a lower-key meeting and a predicted storm, Warwick Farm could produce more top autumn contenders than Caulfield.

Glencadam Gold takes on tough opposition, although some are long in the tooth, in the Apollo Stakes over 1400 metres, too short on exposed form for the Gai Waterhouse import.

Down south, the group 1 Futurity features All Too Hard, the kid brother of Black Caviar, the Blue Diamond, also carrying elite status, has unbeaten fillies Miracles Of Life, Metastasio and Gregers, plus Montsegur and the promising Guelph with two wins out of three, and the Oakleigh Plate, a charge of the sprinting brigade.

All Too Hard, at about $1.70 on Friday, can’t improve his reputation against rivals that hardly rate over the 1400m. The main danger is King Mufhasa, an eight-year-old, comfortably beaten by him in the Orr Stakes at Caulfield on February 9.

Maybe an easy lead could assist King Mufhasa. I didn’t rate All Too Hard highly in the Orr. Placegetters Mawingo and Mr Moet struck trouble and were beaten less than a rapidly diminishing length.

Sure, All Too Hard is trained by a team headed by John Hawkes, so the three-year-old will improve.

Meanwhile, his main rival last spring, Pierro, back on home turf and out to continue his winning Sydney streak in coming events, is scheduled for an exhibition gallop at the Farm.

Potential, though, puts Glencadam Gold into the limelight despite his first start over such a short distance and the fact he is untested on wet ground in Australia – if it comes up mud. Yes, leading over 1400m is different from making the pace in the Melbourne Cup but it’s all in the preparation.

Racenet’s Randwick clocker Craig Tompson figures he is ready for a first-up killing.

”Glencadam Gold is absolutely flying,” he reported. ”I reckon he might be a star of the carnival.” Laser Hawk, the Rosehill Guineas winner, also conditioned by Waterhouse, resumes following a bone-chip operation on his near-side knee, but Tompson favours Glencadam Gold.

The Waterhouse prospects in the Apollo appear more transparent than leading trainer Chris Waller with six acceptors. Shoot Out, a proven group 1 weight-for-age horse, is returning after a spell after a soft barrier trial, whereas last campaign he had three, including a win, albeit before a 1600m success.

Kelinni, a Waller import, second to Glencadam Gold in The Metrop at Randwick, showed surprising dash for a stayer in a recent barrier trial, while three-year-old Tougher Than Ever, another of his team, has had the benefit of a recent race and oozes potential.

However, with a distinct lack of tempo in the race, Glencadam Gold, with Waterhouse tuning him to lead, could confirm his credentials as a weight-for-age horse.

Apart from the posse of Waller’s Europeans, other autumn hopes starting campaigns include Appearance, Nocturnelle (Triscay), and Streama (Southern Cross). Nocturnelle, winner of six out of 12, has a notable gear change – earmuffs, usually used by Waller on his highly strung newcomers from abroad.

Verdict: Glencadam Gold ($4).ORR POINTER

Mawingo, a budding top-liner, will be suited in the Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield. After winning the Doomben Cup last May, he looked good for the Melbourne spring majors but failed in two races. Still, his second behind All Too Hard in the Orr prompted Michael Felgate (Centrebet) to say: ”Unlucky not to beat All Too Hard last start when held up at a vital stage. Extra distance suits and can sit closer from barrier one.” A German import with Anthony Freedman, Mawingo, with Craig Williams up, could get a tactical edge over the West Australian Mr Moet, which could get too far back in the field and find it hard to make up sufficient ground at Caulfield.

Verdict: Mawingo ($3).MACCA ATTACK

Miracles Of Life is favoured by Betfair form analyst Dom Beirne in the Blue Diamond. He says the filly has the highest speed rating, weight rating and a ”rider who gels with her” – Lauren Stojakovic. The rails gate is seen as a hurdle but Beirne reckons she will get a sit behind the pacemakers. ”Two-year-olds running at full speed usually drift about, providing gaps for strong finishers. Let’s hope that eventuates.” Obviously the 13 gate is a problem for Kerrin McEvoy on Guelph, ”a touch underdone” winning at Caulfield last start, stable manager Paul Snowden said. McEvoy only has to get cover and go to the outside in the straight to show she is the best. Easy? Let’s hope so.

Verdict: Guelph ($3.20).GO THE BOLTER

In the Oakleigh Plate, luck in running is the vital factor and I give Unanimously, an outsider with bush jockey Mathew Cahill up, a chance. The five-year-old is suited by the distance and will be better for a first-up run on January 25.

Verdict: Unanimously ($35).

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Rodd to put King Mufhasa in box seat for double

MICHAEL Rodd knows there is only one way to ride the frontrunning King Mufhasa but it is about getting the balance right if he is to defend his crown in the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday. The 10-time group 1 winner had to do too much work early when fifth to All Too Hard in the Orr Stakes two weeks ago. “I got taken on in front in the Orr and from barrier one I had to kick up to hold my position, which didn’t suit him,” Rodd said. “He races best when he can be comfortable in front. I don’t have to lead. I can be outside the leader as long as he switches off.” King Mufhasa looks the only speed in the Futurity and from barrier seven, Rodd is confident he will give favourite All Too Hard something to catch. “I should be helped to ease across without too much trouble and take my time,” he said. “I don’t need to go that slow. He races best when he rolls and gives a good kick from a good tempo. I’m sure he will do.”FRESH IS BEST

John O’Shea believes there is improvement in first-up specialist Colorado Claire after the Triscay Stakes at Warwick Farm on Saturday. The Hussonet mare has won twice first-up but found More Joyous a bit much to handle at the beginning of last preparation. “She has trialled and fitness-wise is up to the mark but there is still a little left there to work with,” O’Shea said. “She is up against the top-class mares now. She has to be at her best and I think she is going very well.”MILESTONE LOOMS

Champion stallion Redoute’s Choice could get his 100th stakes-winner with runners in four states on Saturday. The David Hayes-trained Global Balance became the two-time Australian premier stallion’s 99th black-type winner, which include 21 group 1 victors, in the Tasmanian Oaks under lights in Launceston on Wednesday. Redoute’s Choice has stakes runners in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

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