Sunday, December 21, 2008

Australia v South Africa Review.

Congratulations to the Proteas for an exceptional run chase today. Whilst it was painful as an Australian cricket fan to watch at times, it was one of the better test matches in recent times on Australian soil and sets up what should be a fun series. 

Whilst no Australian batsman managed to post three-figures, this side of the Australian game seems to be no concern. Certainly there are questions over the future of Matt Hayden, however no panic should exist in this regard - if Hayden continues to falter, Klinger's superb season should be rewarded and potential superstar Phil Hughes is only a year or two away. Did Australia score enough runs on a placid pitch? Probably not. Is Australia's batting a weakness? Definitely not.

Bowling, on the other hand IS a problem that should leave Australian selectors with some concerns. The loss to the Proteas in Perth has thrown light on just how much of a struggle the post Warne/McGrath era could become. Whilst Mitchell Johnson has established himself in this game as Australia's frontline bowler, his supporting cast were pretty meek. 

The defeat in Perth encompasses many things. Not scoring enough runs, meek bowling and the main point: The fact that Australia were outplayed by a Proteas team which demonstrated resilience, class superior tactical nous and grace under pressure. Ricky Ponting, rather than putting his finger on any of these points instead blamed Cameron Sutherland. Yet again, Ponting demonstrates the class in defeat that has been one of the sad hallmarks of his tenure at the peak of Australian cricket. Instead of lauding the South African achievement, he blames the curator and then calls out the "passengers" in his team. Whilst many, including we of this blog have exhausted much space on the interweb deriding the tactical nous of ponting, his graceless press conferences must be considered equally damning. 

Ricky Ponting considers how he scored 0 & 32 on a dull and lifeless pitch. 

Again, whilst all credit must go to the victors, the punchless Australian bowling attack must come under scrutiny. Lets start with Brett Lee. Never the most cerebral of bowlers, Lee has always relied on bludgeoning batsmen out rather than thinking them out. In the last four years or so, he has bowled to a good pattern and at pace. Now as he has begun to lose his pace, he looks to be unable to adjust. Of course Lee deserves a chance to right the ship, but without the express pace, Lee could be turning his attention to a full time career in Bollywood sooner rather than later. Peter Siddle looked punchless although he looked to be the better of the bowlers on day five. Unfairly for the big quick, he will be the test matches casualty. Likely, he is the passenger to whom Ponting refers. Unless he is of course referring to Shane Watson, who was 12th man and offered a poor drinks service. Often, Ponting would wait one over, maybe two for his warm milk. Krezja, between flashes of brilliance is yet to be able to put together a long probing spell of bowling. That takes time, his potential to be quite decent should earn him some patience.  

So what to do? In a perfect world, this young team would be led by Simon Katich. 

This is not a perfect world.

At best we can hope for a minor tweak. I would advocate a squad for Boxing day of Hayden, Katich, Ponting, Hussey, Clarke, Symonds, Haddin, Johnson, Lee, Hifenhaus, Krezja and Bollinger. If the deck doesn't look conducive to spin - I would happily go in with that four man pace attack. Bollinger and Hilfenhaus both deserve to make their test debuts and both offer more than Siddle did in Perth.

For what it's worth, it was a pretty dull Perth deck in this match. However, it produced a result. Australia managed to lose 20 wickets on it. Ponting, a guy with Australia's best job should have the generosity to not put the spotlight on a guy who earns maybe 5% of what he earns. For all of the intensity of the Border, Taylor and Waugh years, there was still a graciousness in defeat that is lacking under Ponting. 

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Art Of Being A Tennis Dad

Being an aspiring "tennis dad", I have been keenly following the antics of John Tomic, father of Aussie young gun Bernard. Earlier this year, Bernard was the youngest ever winner of the Australian Open juniors, taking out the title a few months after his 15th birthday. This would suggest that he is our most promising junior since a pimply, teenage Lleyton Hewitt. However, like many a young hopeful on the tennis circuit, his farjer (father) is a paranoid loony tune. At a recent tournament in WA, he remonstrated with officials about alleged foot faults from an opponent of his son, before ordering his son to walk off the court. WHAB was unable to contact John to pick his tennis dad mind, so we were forced to look elsewhere for some pointers.

A phone call to Jim Pierce, farjer of former women's star Mary, culminated in him threatening to kill us, so we hit a dead-end there.

However, a canny series of phone calls led us to the master. One Damir Dokic.

Officer, can you show me where the exit is?

Remembering some of his past comments, such as; "I have thought about dropping a nuclear bomb on Sydney since Jelena lost in the first round this week, for which Australia is to blame", and "I have even thought about killing an Australian in revenge...", I polished up my Dutch accent by watching Goldmember many times on the long flight to Serbia. Here's what Damir had to say about all things tennis dad.

WHAB (in Dutch accent): So Damir, what do you think of your daughter's latest comeback attempt?

Damir: It's bad. She was once very good player but Australia with the help of Croatia and the Vatican brainwashed my daughter. More than 40% of women in world tennis are lesbians. I wouldn't be able to stand it if it turned out that Jelena was one of them. If she was a lesbian I'd kill myself.

WHAB: Right...I take it you still hate Australia?

Damir: Yes. I would like to kill one. They wreck Jelena. I always say you can't make good people out of crime and bitch prostitute.

WHAB: And what about the U.S. Open?

Damir: It is crime organisation. What do you do, when you pay for two pieces of fish but you only get one? You would be angry, too. The USA country doesn't have a heart, they have cold concrete. I'm never going back to that place, it's too dirty and too communist.

WHAB: And the English?

Damir: The Queen is on the side of democracy and the rest of the country is fascist.

WHAB: Hmm, on to your second bottle of that I see...Have you given any advice to John Tomic?

Damir: Yes. I say you are right and Australia is wrong. They're the kind of people that give you sausages in 40 degree weather and then refuse to give you water. Come play for Serbia.

WHAB: Any more plans to kidnap your daughter back?

Damir: Yes. I don't want her in Australian Open. I will kidnap her in Australia. They are the crazy ones who give you hot sausages before the match when it's 40 degrees Celsius outside. I always say you can't make good people out of crime and bitch prostitute.

WHAB: So what does a semi-retired tennis farjer do these days?

Damir: I love women, wine, food and kids. And by women I mean women. Not wife. Sometimes I drink, but so do other people. So what. I am nothing when President Clinton liked his sex and Boris Yeltsin was drunk every day. I am not dangerous.

WHAB: Still waiting for the call from NSWRU?

Damir: I stood for NSW Super 12 coaching position. NSW great. Queensland bad. I cannot believe that NSWRU didn't want to interview me. I am great coach.

WHAB: So how can I be the best tennis dad I can be?

Damir: Don't be Australian or American or fascist. Eat fish, not sausages when it's hot and make sure you get two pieces. Drinking is ok. If you have daughter, try to make sure she is not lesbian. More than 40% of women in world tennis are lesbians.

WHAB: Well that wraps it up Damir. I'll take this story back to Austra...I mean Holland and publish it so people know that you're not crazy.

Damir: I don't make problems. Others make problems. If you make something bad to me, I react.

WHAB: I know Damir, I know. Thanks for your time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Australia vs South Africa

Well it's seems an eternity since we dusted off a second-string Kiwi outfit. You would have thought that Cricket Australia would have thrown in a couple of one dayers or some T20 with the sheep-shaggers after the Tests instead of having a ridiculously long layoff in the middle of the cricket season, but what would I know?

This shapes as an intriguing series that could go either way, though South Africa seem to forget how to play when they tour here. However, opening batsmen Neil McKenzie believes that they can get the job done this time. "It will be a tight series, no question. But if we can keep all the toilet seats down in the dressing room and tape bats to the ceiling, as well as actually playing well, I think we can beat Australia. We think they are vulnerable at the moment, and as long as we stay off the white lines and cracks out in the middle, then we have the ability to win this series," said a tired looking McKenzie, who had the look of a man who had been up all night trying to get into bed without creasing the sheets.

Aussie captain Ricky Ponting, who has shrugged off the loss of Stuart Clark, says the South Africans shouldn't be getting too cocky. "They are a bunch of chokers. That's why they'll never be as good as us. That, and the fact that I'm a far superior captain and all round cranky pants to Graeme Smith, who is a choker and a lame sledger, " he said. "On Stuart Clark, I've said it before, he is only our fourth best pace bowler so we won't miss him at all".

There's been a lot of talk about the strength of South Africa's bowling attack, but now it's d-day. They need to perform from the get-go or else they'll initiate self-destruct mode in a batting lineup put under pressure.

Great to see Krejza in for another Test, on a track which probably won't be kind to him. It's the matches like these where we're going to find out if he's the real deal. He showed enormous potential in India, proving this dud scribe wrong again. I think Siddle will be hard to handle at the WACA, but long term, there are concerns that he doesn't move the ball in the air enough. When all's said and done, a Test match without Stuart Clark's magnificent line and length bowling and wildly entertaining batting at 11 just isn't quite the same for us cricketing purists.

My Birthday perfectly coincides with the opening day of this match. A day off work, a couple of coldies, and a comfortable place on the couch in front of the telly will do me just fine.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

WHAB's Top 10 Douchebags For 2008

Another year in sport is almost done and dusted so it's time to reflect on those sportspeople who amazed us with their stupidity, entertained us with their antics, or just downright pissed us off.

Sonny Bill Williams: It's no surprise that we've barely heard any SBW news since he fled Australia, and, I'd venture to say that most people here have forgotten all about the tattooed one who's time in Oz was spent eternally wrapped up in cotton wool. The only thing that Williams excelled at (in the five matches he eked out of each season), the shoulder charge, is illegal in Union. From the vague and infrequent reports from Toulon, the word is that they wasted their money. The man had enormous potential but never reached it because of people like Phil Gould climaxing every time SBW dropped the shoulder. There's much more to the game than dropping the shoulder Gus...segue to next douche on the list.

Phil Gould: It's impossible to have a Top 10 Douchebag list without this clown of a man in it. He's not in here for any single reason; it's more a collection of his yearly dose of obnoxious comments, finger pointing, media whoring, overuse of the phrase "Yeah baby", and his penchant for pumping up the lamest match of the round as a blockbuster. I wonder if there'll ever be 10 more douchier douches that can manage to knock this baffoon off this list.

Greg Bird: We all know you did it. You got hammered and smashed up your pretty girlfriend's face with a glass didn't you? Can't remember eh? You massive, monstrous douche. Enough said.

Todd Carney: So talented, yet just so stupid. One drunken night out after another, incident after incident. You just want to go out with the boys, I get that, but when you start pissing on people, that's going too far son!

Ricky Ponting: Becomes easier to dislike with each passing match and exclusive interview. I'm not going to go on about him too much; our opinion of Ponting is well known here. After all, we named this site in his honour, so all that's left to say is Ricky are a douche!

Andrew Symonds: I was once one of those fans who hoped that Symmo would come good and cement his place in the Aussie cricket team. Now, I couldn't care less. The Symonds soap opera rolls on...and on...and on and I just don't have the time or patience anymore. You either want to play cricket for Australia (the dream of the majority of untalented Aussie blokes) or you don't. It's that simple.

Harbhajan Singh: Was better behaved when Australia toured India (Zaheer is upping the ante on him in the douche stakes), but for his antics on the Australian summer tour and for his bitch-slapping of Sreesanth, I couldn't leave him off this list.

Zaheer Khan: Hates all Australian cricketers (possibly all Australians) because he got sledged when he sucked in the 2003 World Cup final. There are not many members of that team still going around, but he hates us just the same, and carries on like a complete tool when he picks up an Aussie scalp. Needs a good kick in the nuts.

Alan Didak: Honestly, how many times can you be in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Plaxico Burress: Being a man who can only wish that he played in the NFL, with athletic prowess, earning millions, being lauded by fans and winning Superbowl rings, nothing agitates me more than a wayward star...except a really stupid wayward star. Everyone got problems man. The answer is not in taking a loaded gun to a packed niteclub in New York City and shooting yourself in the leg. In fact, you should never shoot yourself in the leg, ever. Your teammates, the fans, and the punters who took the Giants at $17 to go back-to-back deserve better. You are a douchey man.

Let me know if I missed anyone!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Racing News

An excerpt from an article by Max Presnell after Takeover Target's win in the Winterbottom Stks:

"Take a bow, Joe Janiak. He showed, in this era of big-number training operations there is still a place for the hand-tailored top-liner. Around five years ago the comment was made: "Imagine what Takeover Target would do with a real trainer." Takeover Target wouldn't even be here now." I hear ya Max.

There'd have been no royal trips overseas if he was churned out of the Hayes horse factory.

The Target lines up this week in the 1400m A.J Scahill Stks on Saturday. There are only four other horses brave enough to take him on!

In Honkers, Douro Valley is having a crack at the Hong Kong Vase (2400m). Don't like his chances here as I think he tops out at that distance. The fields on this raceday are world class as well, but hopefully he can run a cheeky race. Another interesting runner is Purple Moon, the 2007 Melbourne Cup runner-up.

The baldy-face of Apache Cat will hopefully be storming down the Shatin straight to victory in the Hong Kong Sprint. At his very best, I would back him to win this. Not sure he is at his very best presently but could be peaking at the right time. Go the Cat!

The Cat, eyeing off a Honkers Group 1

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Daly Rages at Royal Sydney

John Daly has defended his actions in the wake of his latest rampage at today's Australian Open first round. The two-time-very-long-ago major winner smashed a fan's camera into a tree, kicked an elderly man's walking frame out from under him and threw a small girl into a water hazard. He left the course without confronting the press, and reportedly left the cab escorting him to his hotel without paying the fare before smashing up his hotel room with a 5 wood. WHAB caught up with the big fella later this evening after he'd calmed downed/drank four bottles of whisky. "The guy with the camera, he was right in my face, just-a snap-snap-snappin' away man. I'm outraged. Who does that? So I smashed his camera into a tree. And then the old guy says somethin' like "why'd you do that for?". So I told him the old bastard why. Then this fat little girl tries to tell me that I'm her dad! That I met her mother at the Casino last time I was in Oz. That was it, I just god-damn lost it after that. I thought enough was enough but then the cabbie missed the entrance to the drive-thru and I couldn't get some booze to clear my head, so there was no way I was paying that asshole. And the hotel room, well, it just started closin' in on me. Lucky I had my trusty 5 wood handy. What a fucked day man!" Daly, who shot a six over par 78, confirmed he'd be back bigger and badder for his second round. "I'm fine now that I'm away from all the bad people. Hopefully the tournament organisers can weed out these trouble-makers and I can get back to doing what I once did best. Who knows what tomorrow might bring?".

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

2008 Rugby League World Cup Champions...New Zealand?!

It doesn't really roll off the tongue does it?! Unbelievable result. The worst thing about the game was that other than Billy Slater's monumental faux pas and Joel Monaghan's moment of madness, I didn't think we played badly. I couldn't find any Australian player who had an average match. Maybe the lack of competitive matches for the Aussies can be blamed but the credit must go to the Kiwis who just kept hanging on. To the victors go the spoils:

New Zealand Rugby League team WAGS

I have three gripes from last night. The first was the sloppy Channel Nine commentary. For example, after a hundred replays, Sterlo, Gus and Rabs still hadn't figured out that Vatuvei's knee was clearly in touch and that the put-down was irrelevant. The second is the penalty try. I couldn't have given it as Slater was almost as close to the ball as Hohaia and could have dived for it as well. It wasn't a certain try for mine and I think it should have been a penalty and ten in the bin for Monaghan. My biggest issue with last night was the disgraceful decision to award the Man of the Match award to an Australian. Maybe they had already pre-picked hometown hero Lockyer, assuming a comfortable Kangaroos victory; whatever the reason, those responsible for giving it to a player on a team who lost by 14 points should be made to watch every Souths match with Russell Crowe for the rest of their lives wearing a Roosters jersey. "You wanna foight?!?!".

Well that concludes WHAB's Rugby League posts for the year. Manly crowned Premiers and the Kiwis taking out the World Cup...What a super year it's been!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


On the eve of Australia's Test Match against the ram-rooters, WHAB caught up with the world's greatest Captain!

WHAB: Ricky, thanks for giving WHAB this exclusive opportunity today. We are great fans and this website is named in honour of your astute captaincy.

Ponting: Well it's a pleasure really. I pride myself on my decision-making on the field.

WHAB: Yeah, second Ashes Test in England, nice call, but anyway...

Ponting: What was that?

WHAB: No, nothing. Relax guy. It must be good to be back from India after such a rough tour.

Ponting: Yeah it was tough. They won a couple of tosses on good tracks and batted first...

WHAB: Batted first you say?

Ponting: Yeah, is there a fucking echo in here?

WHAB: Ricky, take a break. Relax. How about that Sachin Tendulkar?

Ponting: The guy is unbelievable. All you can do is put guys on the boundaries and hope to stop the flood of runs when he gets going.

WHAB: Yeah, putting a slip or two in would be far too attacking, but looking now...

Ponting: Hey, wait a minute. Are you calling me conservative?

WHAB: No, of course not. Take a load off fella. I think it was Peter Roebuck who said you are a rubbish Captain.

Ponting: Don't get me started on that fucker.

WHAB: And what do you have to say about former captains Allan Border and Ian Chappell accusing you of putting yourself ahead of the team by bowling your crap bowlers to avoid a possible suspension?

Ponting: You said it. Former captains. Has-beens. Everything I do, whether it be genius, foolish or selfish, I do for the team.

WHAB: Okay, moving on. You seem to have a great rapport with the umpires...all those half hour discussions out in the middle...

Ponting: No, I hate the umpires. I repeatedly have to point out their mistakes and harass them until I'm sure they've got the message.

WHAB: I'm sensing a lot of angst here. Looking forward to the Kiwis now, what do you make of Daniel Vettori's shit-stirring in the press?

Ponting: He won't be stirring so much shit when our bowlers smash his glasses all over his nerdy face. The chin music's a comin'. Honestly, when did New Zealand last win a Test out here? Bloody sheep-shaggers, this series will be a piece of piss and Captain Harry Potter can go and get fucked!

WHAB: Them's fightin' words! You're crankier than Captain Cranky AB ever was!

Ponting: What?

WHAB: Yeah, craftier than he ever was! Now, will we see much of Stuart Clark back in Australia?

Ponting: Look, Sarfraz is only our fourth best pace bowler behind Lee, Johnson and Watson. So he'll be used sparingly once again. Lee and Johnson will have the new ball. Then Watson will replace Lee and we'll just go with that for 40 overs or so until we feel Sarfraz can be eased into the match.

WHAB: Sounds like a cunning plan but you're not concerned that Johnson will burn out from his high workload or that Watson will break down again?

Ponting: Look son. I'm the Captain and I'll do what I fucking please with my bowlers.

WHAB: Of course you will. Now, sections of the media have criticised the team's 'go slow' tactic when batting and trying to go for the win. What is your response that you don't manage the time well during matches?

Ponting: My response is; who's the Captain of the Australian Cricket team? Some guy from the media? Peter fucking Roebuck? Robert fucking Craddock? No, no and no. I'm the Captain. And if you're referring to the match against India last summer, I've got a news flash for you buddy: I bowled Pup and we won. Some may call that pure genius.

WHAB: Yeah, I can't believe someone said that was incredibly lucky. Must have been Roebuck. Lastly, what do you say to suggestions that the current Australian line up is boring as batshit?

Ponting: Boring? You must be fucking joking. Pup is getting married to Lara Bingle. Brett Lee is a Bollywood superstar. And I'm a great Captain. Plus we are all putting auto-biographies out for Christm...

WHAB: Zzzzzz.....zzzzzz......

Ponting: Ah fuck you buddy. I'm outta here.

WHAB: zzzzz....ah yes, thanks for your time today Punter. And if you win the toss tomorrow?

Ponting: We'll have a bowl.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"RL World Cup the greatest show on earth" - Gould.

Phil "Gus" Gould has declared that the Rugby League World Cup is the greatest sporting competition in the world in a candid interview with WHAB.

"What people don't take into account when comparing the RL World Cup to say the FIFA World Cup is that there are so many Europeans and South Americans and Asians that play the round ball. If the world's population consisted more of Lebanese, good Poly' boys and Papua New Guineans then we'd shit all over the round ball game," said Gould. His comments come on the back of the excitement and joy that was apparent in his call of the Australia vs PNG match.

"That was just great for the game. You couldn't watch that and say that any other code has a better product internationally. Sure other World Cups are more competitive but to see all the teams outside of Australia, New Zealand and England trying so hard is just so refreshing. The enthusiasm and dogged defense the Kumuls showed, and they even got across for a try! International Rugby League is alive and well people! Yeah baby!" declared Gould. He went on to say that he loved the spirit and culture of the Papua New Guinean people, even though he'd never been to their country and probably never would. "I think that with the right people at the helm, the Kumuls could conceivably win the World Cup in the next 8 or 12 years. Look out Australia! Yeah baby!". He also refused to rule out marrying a Papua New Guinean person one day.

Gould went on to stress that he never trys to pump up or over-hype potentially lop-sided games in a desperate quest for viewers. "Everyone loves an underdog and in Gouldian Theory, every team has a 50-50 chance when they take the field. Besides, it's not whether you win or lose but how you play the game. The scoreboard sometimes doesn't reflect the tightness of the contest. There's no I in team either. Strap yourself in for this one! Yeah baby!".

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Melbourne Cup Preview: Finding A Sep-ti-mus For The Rest Of Us!

Well, we have been posting video's and off the cuff tips here at WHAB for the past month and now is the time to get "fair dinkum about getting fair dinkum." So, down to business.

1) Septimus 58.5 (10) $4.50

Professor: Well he has smashed them in Ireland in the last year. I'll leave it to the Captain, JB and our friends at the Melbourne Cup Guide to talk you through this one. $4.50, I am at an absolute loss for words.

Captain: A favourite on suspicion, if you will. Stable star, big-time trainer, 13 length thrashings, the world's number 1 stayer...But how many genuine Group 1 staying races are there in Australia? In NZ? Just a couple. And did we see the Diva winning her Melbourne Cups by 13 lengths? No. Why? Because our Cups and "Group 1's" aren't rubbish. It's okay to say Septimus is the world's number 1 stayer when that's all he races in. Good old 2800m+ English whack-a-thons. Over 4km a lot of them. Time enough to polish off a beer, find the DOSA, suck back a lung-buster, head back to the bar, and have time to get to the rail! $ can have that if you want it. There's no way my hard earned is going on something I've never seen race at those odds.

JB: Themelbournecupguide slopped him up, and not to trust everything you read on the internet, but the time he took in this years ledger doesn't stack up. Nothing more punters love then a short price favourite that they don't think they will win, stacks up the odds for everything else.

2) Master O'Reilly 55 (6) $21

Professor: Probably not for me... flashed down the outside in the Caulfield Cup. Could make a case for it, but I'm too tired/not drunk enough/4 wide.. forgive...

Captain: I expected a better run from him in this year's Caulfield Cup after winning last year's weaker affair. His 2008 run pales into insignificance compared to the runs of Nom Du Jeu and Mad Rush, and they are two horses who look certain to get the trip. I'm still not convinced he's a two-miler and don't think he can turn it around on the two horses I've mentioned.

JB:Was taken very much wide with Sirmione and Princess Coup in the Cox and all three of them made up no ground. Don't like Master O on Tuesday.

3) Honolulu (24) 54.5 $26

Professor: Well if this was a 4000 metre race with a few jumps and maybe a water hazard and a bunker or two, the $26 would be a sensible price.

Captain: Don't know too much about him but doesn't look like he'll adapt very well to our racing. $26 can't even remotely get me interested. Will start from the car park. Looking elsewhere.

JB:Make a case for this guy in your own time.

4) Cest La Guerre 54 (5) $18

Professor: Maybe the most quietly good Cup prep of any of these, hitting the line in good races without catching the eye in spectacular fashion yet. One that I am yet to make my mind up on but could be quite the smoky. Edit @ Midnight Monday I just smashed this yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!

Captain: Doing nothing spectacular in his prep, but is that a drop of rain I just felt?! Rain brings this fella right into the mix, enough class to capitalise on a torrential downpour. I'm happy enough that he'll get the trip. Watch that weather forecast.

JB: The trainer is already complaining to the VRC for more water, unless it opens up, don't expect I will be touching the CLG.

5) Nom De Jeu (1) 54 $9

Professor: Bright flashing lights, a feeling of calmness, maybe a little bit crazy. It must be love. My tip after what was a scintillating run in the Caulfield Cup. I have come to the conclusion that between this guy, Boundless and Prize Lady that the Cup is going overseas - just not very far. You have my permission to go crazy folks.

Captain: Big run in the Caulfield Cup, second only (and only slightly) to that of Mad Rush. Looks like he'll get the trip, can handle all conditions and is one I've had a piece of at better odds.

JB: Well if we are at the stage of giving away our tips for the Melbourne Cup, then this is the horse I like. My biggest fear is that NDJ has spent all his lollies this campaign.

6) Yellowstone (12) 54 $81

Professor: Poor UK form and a connection with Andrew Peacock. Can't have, won't have. Fuck Andrew Peacock.

Captain: I'm not one for getting riled up by politics but bad internationals taking possible Melbourne Cup places of our local talent...STEAM!!!

JB:Buy yourself another drink if you're thinking seriously about this guy.

7) Zipping (16) 54 $18

Professor: Knock is obvious - in the past two Melbourne Cups he has been a touch suspect in the final furlong. The form this carnival is phenomenal. Lloyd Williams a genius - if anyone can get a horse ready for this trip it is him. Have to have. The slightest improvement and he is right amongst this.

Captain: Ran 4th when trapped wide (a Bossy special) in 2006. Ran 4th last year when had every possible chance. Can conceivably win this though I'm going to do anything but blow smoke up Lloyd Williams' ass. I won't get burned by this nag again. But a must in any first fours!

JB: Liked the run in what was a weak Cox field, enough there to suggest running better then last year, will challenge and at $18 worth the gamble.

8) Mad Rush (4) 53.5 $5

Professor: I am with the Captain here, hard to fault this one. $5.50 seems like nice value. I prefer the Jeu but absolutely going to be on this come Cup day.

Captain: After seeing his weaving run from last in the Caulfield Cup to rocket home for 4th, what's not to like? The stable brought a horse out here that they described as very similar to Purple Moon, who was a close 2nd in this race last year. In not winning at Caulfield, Mad Rush avoided a penalty. The best run in that race, and hit the line like he wanted to run another lap. Luca Cumani seems to know his shit. He's my tip.

JB: Everyone is talking about me, can't hear a word they're saying ... sorry, what, yes get on and get on strong. Rewatch the Caufield Cup ride, you know that its out of NDJ and Mad Rush for the Melbourne Cup, take a piece of Zipping on the side as a hedge and you can be sitting pretty come the first Tuesday in November.

9) Ice Chariot (22) 53 $81

Professor: I have been on him for months, starting to feel like the rug is being pulled out from under me after the flop at Mooney Valley.

Captain: I like this one but for something easier. Has won at the trip but that was a race so far from this in class that it's not funny. The Perth Cup is in January I think...

JB: Honest enough horse, will let my special lady friend place a few dollars on this one based its name.

10) Viewed (9) 53 $31

Professor: Cups King and the fact that all roads have led to this a plus. The minus - current form, which looks like being not his best. Nibble each way if you say 50's on Tuesday, otherwise let some other idiot have this.

Captain: The Cups King aura has worn off a in recent years, probably because you can't just rock up to Flemington on Cup day with a horse who doesn't have the class and expect to bag another trophy. Not too many Brisbane Cup winners do the double in this day and age. Pass.

JB: Plenty of class about this horse, but not enough to win a Melbourne Cup.

11) Littorio (17) 52.5 $31

Professor: The gloss is off the Littorio cup campaign. Hard to forgive the run when you had a chunk of cash on it at Caulfield on the 18/10. Don't forget 18-10 changed everything. You can't forget, 18-10 changed everything. Was the Caulfield Cup flop symptomatic of a lack of staying prowess, or simply a flat spot in his prep which all 4 y.o.'s are bound to have. $40's on Cup day would excite.

Captain: It would appear that he'll struggle to get the trip on his Caulfield Cup run. A "flop", as the Professor describes it, is perhaps a bit harsh; 5th in a Caulfield Cup is pretty good form, favourite or no. 2000m is ultimately his best distance I feel, and there'll be a few more Group 1's for him down the track, but probably not the first Tuesday in November.

JB: Expected more out of him in the Caulfield, some clever ploy to blindside the competition - unlikely, nice solid horse but more interested in next years campaign.

12) Bauer (13) 52 $21:

Professor: The UK form is less than encouraging, the run at Geelong was strong - but maybe not the strongest of form races this year.

Captain: Light Vision had a tougher run in the Geelong Cup with more weight than Bauer and was not too far away. And I certainly wouldn't be backing Light Vision to win a Melbourne Cup. A product of the international mania; the thing is, they're not all that good. Or $16 shots on the back of beating Light Vision and a bunch of B and C graders in a sub-standard Geelong Cup. Any bookies out there want to at least double his price for me? Then I'll have a look.

JB: Simon O'Donnell has a peice of this horse, but for my money this horse isn't going to see much, if any, of the $5million kitty on the table.

13) Boundless (20) 52 $101

Professor: Another of the strong NZ tilt that could have a say in matters here. Before the Caulfield Cup, many across the dutch thought that this was the most likely of the NZ campaigners. What went wrong in that 11th in the Caulfield Cup? Well it only got knocked around from barrier to box and then upon finally getting some room it ran into the back of Maldivian. Don't go to sleep on this one at a foolish price. You'd prefer some of Yellowstone at the price? Well you can derelicte my balls. Remember, Martin Crowe has said it a thousand times, the run in the Caulfield Cup - NOT FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEER.

Captain: Not really interested, but at that price you could throw a bit at the place and not feel like the cash would be better spent wiping your ass with it. I'm not convinced that she has the class. But not the worst. And yes, I'll hit this one before Yellowstone anyday.

JB:Melbourne Cup time always brings out plenty of $1 trifecta bets, I don't think this horse will take out a placing but go ahead if you're that kinda gambler.

14) Gallopin (21) 52 $41

Professor: Handled le valle better than the rest of them in the MV Cup. I prefer others at more value (see Prize Lady, Boundless, Barbaricus).

Captain: Won a pretty average race in the Cathay Pacific. A who's who of Australia's borderline Cup contenders. There's better value in the field. Pass.

JB: Not sure that the ride from last weekend will translate into much come Tuesday, it was better than that field, but question if this style of horse has what it takes to win the big one. At $26, you could argue for it in your multiples.

15) Guyno (8) 52 $151

Captain: If this wins, I will run naked down the Flemington straight on Tuesday. Pretty sure that the WATC Derby form won't hold up here. Maybe we should let every European plodder who has won an alleged Group One into the Cup field if this is what we have to offer.

JB: I will be laughing at the Captain and question the worth of the M. Cup if this thing comes home.

Professor: Watching this win would be like a trip to the Guyno myself.

16) Zarita (7) 52 $71

Professor: Good campaign this time in - one forgivable run and a lot of on pace runs of substance. Another possible improver over the 3200.

Captain: Think her best distance is 2000m, as her Cox Plate run supports. Her best run over a trip was her win in the SA Derby, probably the weakest qualifying race (along with the WATC Derby) for the Melbourne Cup. I can't entertain the idea of her winning but if I've drunk enough alcohol before they jump, I'll throw a few bob on her the place.

JB: Can't see this horse troubling the field. At same odds as Newport, I think you're better of hitting the port.

17) Newport (15) 51.5 $71

Professor: Good roughie, prefer the Kiwi raiders in Boundless and Prize lady at better odds.

Captain: A pretty good roughie. Won the Metropolitan, then a good 5th under the big weight in the Cathay Pacific. Again, a few bob each way won't break the bank.

JB: One of the better roughies, a light enough weight on the back for this campaign, worth the place bet.

18) Profound Beauty 51.5 (2) $9

Professor: $9????????????? WTF??? OMG???? No I'm not a 14 year old lebanese girl for all you gross net-predators.

Captain: This is one I am leaving out because a) you can't back them all, b) Bossy, c) international, don't know too much about it/at that price...

JB: Done didley at this point in time except that it has been coming down in price every day. Others must know more than me at this stage about this horse, will consider only as a hedge.

19) Red Lord (14) 51.5 $151

Professor: Satan himself wouldn't back his namesake here. That's 2 thumbs and my junk down.

Captain: Scraped into the field. If this one wins, I will do the nudie run down the Flemington straight.

JB: Nudie runs for everyone at Flemington if this guy wins, especially the bookies.

20) Varevees (23) 51.5 $101

Professor: One thinks that there are more deserving horses on race day that will be in the paddock or running around in the Lavazza Long Black than olde Varevees. For every Media Puzzle there are two or three Sandmason/Tungsten Strike's.

Captain: I follow the big international races and I can honestly say that I've never heard of him/her. If we are going to have international runners, there needs to be a cap so that only the best make the trip. How is Australia going to improve it's staying ranks if we let hacks like this take the place of a local? If you are thinking about backing this, then you have a case of the Frenchy fag-nasties.

JB: At the end of the day it's racing, it's not going to do much more than finish, so good for him.

21) Prize Lady (18) 51 $151

Professor: Yes , Yes, a million times yes. You had me at $151 to 1. The working mans horse. Great chance to stay the trip in a field where most won't.

Captain: The Professor has fallen in love with this one at odds. Not the worst, am happy to let the Professor tell the story and will throw my spare change at this on the place.

JB: Will scrape together what shrapnel I have at the time if it shuts the Professor up, but not one I am thinking about too much.

22) Alessandro Volta (11) 50.5 $51

Professor: Not sight unseen as a few of the internationals are, but what we have seen has been shite.

Captain: This one has popped up in a totally unsuitable race taking the place of another horse with far better prospects. And now he takes a Cup spot too. I'm angry.

JB: If you draw it in your pool at work you would be shitty, if you draw it in the $50 calcutta you would question the integrity of the system, so why would you choose to put your own money on it.

23) Barbaricus (3) 50.5 $21

Captain: I was wrong when I slagged off about this one in the Caulfield Cup preview. I can admit it. And he's won me over on the strength of that run. Drew the outside gate, thus was forced to lead, a position he's not familiar with. Has since proved in the Mackinnon that he can lead. Stuck on bravely for 3rd in the Caulfield Cup, 2nd in the Mackinnon and drops to the featherweight 50.5kg for this. After further investigations, I believe he was underdone in the Cranbourne Cup, which is why he snuck under everyone's guard. In my opinion, he's the best roughie in a Melbourne Cup for many years and you should absolutely throw something on him for Tuesday. He's shortened significantly since we started this piece...there's a good reason for that.

JB: Was gutted to see Theseo pip this guy at the line, because my money was on the Barb. Will not see this guy at $20 come time to jump.

Professor: The Captain has finished his love letter to Bar-boo-ra. I am glad. I am on it as well but there isn't much left to say but that the Captain isn't allowed within 100 metres of this one - lest he spend the night in Melbourne Gaol. (That's jail if you aren't classically educated. If you aren't classically educated, you can derelicte my balls, Cap-it-an.)

24) Moatize (19) 50 $41

Professor: I specced this at $126 a couple of weeks ago. Wish I could sell you my ticket on Betfair for a marginal profit, because that's better than a snowball's chance at $1000.

Captain: Bart-mania is in town again. Won his way into the field in the SAAB on Saturday, don't think he has the class, but should be within sights of the winner at least. No weight on his back, he's certainly an interesting runner, but I'll leave him out of multiples.

JB: Has come down in odds, Cummings will get plenty of air time and the odds will shorten further, has the potential to do something, I'm not on but one to consider if fishing for a juicy multiple.

Captain's Selections: Thanks, but no thanks Professor. Tasting smelly, salty balls does not appeal to me at all. 8 Mad Rush to beat 5 Nom Du Jeu and 23 Barbaricus. Will throw 17 Newport 7 Zipping and 5 C'est Le Guerre into my exotics.

JB likes Nom Du Jeu and Mad Rush, as will most Aussie punters, will be putting money on Zipping and Barbaricus. Depending what's left there will be change for some place bets on Newport and other outside hopefuls with a glint in their eye.

Professor Pants likes the Nom De Jeu / Mad Rush tilt. He has warmed considerably to the C'est Le Guerre tilt and thinks if you are in for some rough action, why not try Prize Lady, Barbaricus and Boundless. Zipping a top chance as well.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No more bets before cup day...

Apart from these guys:

Shopping early with the attrition rate of Cups fields is not to be advised at this late stage... More than anything, the top horses in the market are having a day off on Saturday, so we are not likely to see too much movement at the top of the market. 

The ones that could come in are going to be based on their performances in the Mackinnon and the Saab. Lets first consider the Saab.

Motley, motley bunch of runners in the Saab this year. The market will be very uninterested in the winner of this (as will I) unless it is Moatize. Moatize - always had potential and will be smashed in betting due to that and the Cummings factor if it wins the Saab handily - which looks possible. $3 each way for now at $100+ sounds like a plan.

The Mackinnon is more interesting for early betting at this point. Three horses could re-enter the collective consciousness with good runs in this race: Red Ruler, Barbaricus and Littorio. If you are interested in these ones, get in before the weekend.

Otherwise, you are probably going to do yourself a lot of favours by keeping it in the pants until Tuesday morning. Apart from the four I have mentioned, I can't see anything that will start tighter than what they are paying now.

Martin Crowe has eyes only for Boundless.

Martin Crowe's commentary of the Caulfield Cup

1:45 Boundless trying to get out but he is pocketed behind a wall of horses, He's out but has copped a knock! Oh the humanity.

2:10: He's commencing a run. Oh he's been smashed by a flailing Maldivian. Oh, it's just NOT FEEEEEEEER!

2:20: Oh he's been pulled up after running into the Back of Maldivian... hold all tuckets. This race is an absolute TRAVESTY! THIS IS JUST NOT FEEEEEEEEEEEER!

2:28: Oh I have consulted my manual I'm sure TREVOR BLOODY CHAPPEL IS A PART OWNER OF MAL-DEEEEVIAN. THIS IS JUST NOT FEEEEEEEEEEEEEER! I Repeat hold all tuckets.

3:00 All the Good winner past the post, but I am sure we will hear more in the stewards room about thus. Again, nothing here has been FEEER. It's happening again, we've been underarmed out of the Caulfield Cup. It's a massive CONSPURICY against Boundless!

WHAB's Melbourne Cup edition

Our annual Melbourne Cup preview will be up on Monday morning. Get all the latest on "the race that stops a nation" from three punters who will actually be there! There's nowhere WHAB won't matter how tough!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halfway (sort of) Superbowl predictions...

At this point in the season, it seems a good time to nominate our top picks for the NFL Superbowl. Of course, we will as always be trying to find you a value bet or two!


AFC: I have been burned before, always looking for teams with skill players in abundance. This year, think Chargers. Right now, I am looking for teams that have the strongest Offensive line and defence.

The AFC team that embodies this best is the Titans. Allowing a lean 11 points a game through 6 games, and with an offensive line that has made a lot more of the RB platoon of White and Johnson than most expected, this team is strong. QB is an occasional concern, though with the run game that these Titans own, game management from that spot is all they need. A solid investment at $8. 3rd stingiest defence in the league with 268 yards per contest and the great news is that most of their offence is coming on the ground - 154 yards per game.

To complement the Titans, the Steelers can be forgiven for the fail today against the Giants. Not the greatest day for the Roth, giving up four turnovers, but not too many teams have an offensive line that could allow a third string running back to put up the numbers Mewelde Moore has over the past fortnight. A return of Willie Parker and a bit of calmness under centre and these Steelers can rebound quickly. League's stingiest defence.

NFC: Pretty hard to look past the Giants, 6-1, the games 4th stingiest defence at 275 yards per game and 2nd best offence at 395 yards per game. Oh yeah, and a league leading 165 of those yards are coming on the ground. Built to repeat this year.

Right now, given that they sit on the bottom of their division at 4-3, you can shop pretty well on the Eagles. 4 point losses at Chicago and Dallas don't read badly, and a 6 point loss at home to the Redskins (minus Westbrook) reads okay as well. I have them here because I think that they are yet to click completely and despite this have been ultra competitive.

So you are shopping better on the Steelers and Eagles then on the Giants and Titans. To me, it would shock if your Superbowl wasn't played out by two of these four teams.


AFC: If you shop around at the moment, you can get close to $20 on the Chargers winning the Superbowl. This is great value. Sure, they are 3-5 at the moment, but die-hards fans of the game know that they start the season 3-5 every year! You'll be sitting pretty with those inflated odds when they go on their annual eight game winning streak shortly. As the Professor touched on, the Titans miserly defence cannot be overlooked in Superbowl calculations. Can they win a Superbowl with Kerry Collins who must be around 50 by now at QB? Well, remember that Tampa Bay won with the unfashionable (and old) Brad Johnson, who is presently leading Dallas around the park with the aid of a walking frame.

"Brad, Romo's down, we need you!"

The Steelers...I still don't know how they won a Superbowl with Ben Roethlisberger. Fantastic one week and diabolical the next. I've never seen a QB put so many passes right on the chests of the opposition. Right in the bread basket. The guy has to be colour-blind. I would never draft him in a fantasy league. Ever. Anyway, they did win a Superbowl with Big Ben (and that was the worst ever Superbowl-winning QB rating), so they must be doing something right, but I'm prepared to leave them out of my betting portfolio. The only other team in the AFC that I would not totally dismiss is Jacksonville. Similar to the Chargers, look for them to be playing their best football in the back half of the year, provided their injury situation improves.

NFC: The NFC appears to be there for the taking for the Giants. They get a tick in every box but for the occasional Eli Manning meltdown. Teams that could trouble them for a Superbowl spot include Carolina, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Philadelphia, Chicago and Dallas (if they get it together consistently). So after pencilling in the Giants, it's very open as to who they might play in the NFC Championship game between the aforementioned teams. It's hard to fathom how you could still get $17 on the Giants to win the Superbowl after Week 3; needless to say, I had me some of that. I've also had nibbles on my beloved Buccaneers, and, if they can find some red-zone offense, they are still very good value. Particularly, as if they make their way to the Superbowl, it just happens to be played at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa. Yaaarrrgghh!!!

My halfway Championship games selections:

AFC: San Diego @ Tennessee
NFC: Tampa Bay @ New York Giants

Superbowl: Tennessee @ Tampa Bay! More likely Tennessee vs NYG, but yer never know me hearties!

Looks like we both agree that the Giants and Titans are looking good at this stage, but a long way to go.

2008 Newburgh Handicap, All The Good

All the Good indeed gapped this mob.
Read that Bauer was an unlucky loser here and wanted to check that out.
He got flattened so 7 lengths is not the right number, but ATG was going to pants him along with the rest.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Meet a foreign Cup chance: Prize lady

First in our video series of "Melbourne Cup horses you know nothing about"

I present to you a dual Auckland Cup winner.
Won the race on a dead track, and on a slow track. This years run was grittier than last years...
If you cast your gaze to the sidebar on this blog and look at the "Kelt Capital" video, you will see a quality stayers run (it's grinding along the fence - from the tail to 6th, forget about the fact that there are a few speedier types - she wants 3200!)
Will definitely stay, will provide nuisance value, could be a value one to slip a couple of dollars on for the place. Oh yeah, whatever that clown O'Donnell will tell you now, the Kelt form is teh awesome.

2008 AAMI Vase, Whobegotyou

Your Derby winner: more than likely Whobegotyou...
JB keen on the tough on-pace run of Orca, and it is hard to fault. They went out hard and set the race up for the favourite. Orca was the only thing to stick on.
All in all I will probably have the weekend off of punting as a sharpen-up for next Tuesday, but Orca looks the quniella pick.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cox Plate 2008

This race would hardly cause connections to panic as yet but Master O Reilly and Sirmione did absolutely naught.
Zarita stuck on okay, C'est Le Geurre got held up a touch...
Zipping a good horse at this point of his career. If he is to feature next Tuesday he will need to have developed a bit over the past 12 months but the stable knows what it is doing...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Captain's Star Stable...on life support!

It's been one kick in the teeth after another for the Captain and his stable. Can't take a trick. I blame the horses. I've done everything I can to get these hacks in winning form and they've let me down! Anyway, after looking into drafting CLG, I discovered that Samantha Miss is less expensive...someone explain that one to me! Maybe Star Stable know something about the weather tomorrow that we don't. Anyhow, Samantha Miss is in for Efficient who is not running again until the Melbourne Cup but will be back on board for the big one. Needed the money. Theseo is in for Zagreb who didn't even run in the Caulfield Cup, even after I told him to harden the fuck up! Soft. Theseo at 100k just makes sense considering CLG was out of my price range (must be a big storm-a-comin'!). I've used this juncture to make my one and only jockey change with C. Brown dropping out. When you wave your winning Regimental Gal Magic Millions ticket at M. Rodd he gives you a crack of the whip in salute. When the Professor cries out in a drunken drawl "niiice riiide Rodddddyyyy!", after he's booted home a first-starter at 25-1 in a seven way photo, the Rodd-star gives not a single, but a double fist-pump in reply. He is the people's jockey, and as such, I've entrusted him to restore some pride to this shabby bunch!

"Niiice Riiide Roddddyyyy!!!!"

Cox Plate Preview with Professor and the Captain:

Lets talk Cox Plate:

Weak, weak looking Cox Plate field. One has to think that the field would have been more interesting had the Hussler focused on this race instead of the ill-fated 2400 metre tilt. We said it a lot on this blog, backers of the Hussler at $2 for this race and the Caulfield Cup were likely to end up with egg on their faces and after a weak run to the line last Saturday he is not even here. You won't get your money back. Alan Eskander and Rob Waterhouse and that bald guy that Andrew Voss seems to love are thinking about giving the rest of the carnival a miss and going to Hawaii. You have made some very bad people happy, stupid fans of the Hussler and you should all be very ashamed.

And if that wasn't enough, you are now backing Septimus (who would have been my horse if it was Septimus Prime) after beating nothing in Ireland and the books will smile more.

Anyway, Cox Plate. Weak field dominated by a 3 y.o. filly and a Kiwi horse that will likely get too far back at the Valley. I'm avoiding the favourites, though of the two I would take Princess Coup - while the Captain's concern (to follow) about a lack of pace is a real problem, I think that the Kelt form has been franked while the Sydney fillies form is a big ???. For my $$$$ I am looking elsewhere - Theseo and Alamosa are the ones to follow here. At big odds I will take a stayer as well each way. Was leaning towards Zarita, but prior success at the Valley leads me to Master O'Reilly.

1. SIRMIONE (59.0) 8

Professor: Intriguing runner. I thought that the Caulfield Cup may have suited him better on the lead in to the Melbourne Cup but is such a smart horse in good hands that this may be a winnable race for him. Any good kind of a run and watch the Cummings $$$ trail.

Captain: As we have seen in his Mackinnon and Australian Cup wins, has more than enough ability to beat this field. However, Moonee Valley with it's 173m straight, hosted neither of those two races. Thinking you'll be better off waiting for this one to boom home down the vast expanses of the Flemington straight in another Mackinnon, unless a miracle path opens up along the rail. More likely, he'll be 13 deep round the turn, and by the time he gets warm we'll already know who's won the 2008 Cox Plate.

2. MALDIVIAN (59.0) 6
Professor: Likely his best trip after the Caulfield Cup showing. Can only strip fitter after the Caulfield Cup and as an on pace type not without a chance.

Captain: You would think he is just not going well enough. Will be getting swamped as they start to turn and after a tough Caulfield Cup run, I just can't have him. I'd be sure that the only reason he is running is the lack of quality in the field this year. Pass.

3. ZIPPING (59.0) 5

Professor: Very short odds for a stayer who will get a long way back at the Valley. Needs a genuine tempo up front but you can say that for a lot of these (Princess Coup, Master, Sirmione, C'est).

Captain: Similar to Sirmione, will get a long way back and as such, you would think Moonee Valley won't suit. His results here have been good however, and no matter what anyone else says, this is his best trip. Provided the speed is on. Was 6.5L 8th in this race in a far better field last year. I think he'll run well without winning, just to top him off for another 4th in the Melbourne Cup. But seriously, I am not bitter about him ruining my hot Melbourne Cup streak at all.

4. THESEO (59.0) 12

Professor: Defied drawing the carpark for a superb win last start. Drawn wide again, but the combination of career best form and his on pace tendencies make this my best tip. In 2007, he won over 2,200 metres in Brisbane so the trip not beyond him. If they were giving out MacDonalds Vouchers to a most improved horse, it's him.

Captain: Oh boy. Any other year I would scoff at suggestions of Theseo winning a Cox Plate, but he's in with a good shot at this one. On pace, yes. Good form, yes. Melbourne way of going, ??? I've seen many a Sydney horse, particularly those Waterhouse-trained, get it all wrong when they reverse direction. Especially at the Valley. That's my only knock on him. In with a big show.

5. MASTER O'REILLY (59.0) 11

Professor: This is just a run for the Master one imagines. He should be rock hard on the first Tuesday in November. Look for him to be running on late and if he is, definitely start thinking about the Cup! At big odds, his fitness and past successes at this track makes him an intriguing each way proposition.

Captain: Danny O'Brien has said as much, that he took one look at the possible Cox Plate field and thought "why not"? Just a final top-off run. Should be too dour to be winning this at this stage of the campaign. If he wins this, I will have to question his dourness to win the Melbourne Cup.

6. RAHEEB (59.0) 10

Professor: Diabolical performance as a hotpot in the Epsom. Clearly didn't handle the soft track. Returned a little better in his first crack in Melbourne in the Toorak. This would take a big improvement but probably has it in him.

Captain: Wary that I trashed the prospects of Barbaricus last week and have eaten humple punter's pie for dinner every night this week, I will simply say this: not for me.

7. ALAMOSA (57.5) 7

Professor: My other big runner in this one. Last start was sooooooo impressive. Back to WFA which is a concern, but hard to leave out after the last one. Remember, he wasn't far away from the Hussler and co over what is clearly that horses best trip. Looked like he had another 400 metres in him (plus change!) in the Toorak.

Captain: I sound like a broken record but Mick Price said during the week that he hadn't even considered the Cox Plate until he looked at the possible line-up. Not sure about this fella at WFA. I am probably going to leave him out, think he is under the odds, but certainly wouldn't shock me if he got up.

8. C'EST LA GUERRE (57.5) 3

Professor: Nice run in the Yalumba where he was the only one who defied the bias to come pretty close to the first three. Inclined to risk but not without reservations.

Captain: Any moisture on the track, no matter how seemingly insignificant, and he comes into calculations. Does he have the class to win? Let's ask!
WHAB: "So CLG, can you spring a bit of an upset in the Coxy?!"
CLG (in deep Max Walker-ish voice): "That bloody great big storm cloud up there says I can...!"

9. PRINCESS COUP (57.0) 9

Professor: Passing because at those odds you want to avoid something that will get so far back at the Valley. Like many others will need some serious pace on out the front. Red Ruler and Nom De Jeu didn't half frank that Kelt formline last start.

Captain: She's a great mare and you wouldn't begrudge her this, but where will she sit? Can she mow down Samantha Miss giving her 9.5kg and a big head start? Would have kept C. Newitt in the saddle for this one, no matter how good Opium Bosson rides her across the ditch. The Valley is unique. C.Newitt knows his way around there. A massive chance nonetheless.

10. GALLANT TESS (57.0) 4

Professor: Looks to be giving up a class edge to Theseo. That combined with the fact that 2000 metres has never looked like what Tess wants means I am looking elsewhere.

Captain: Wouldn't be the silliest bet of all time, but I don't like her chances at the trip, WFA and the Valley circuit. Really looks to be best suited in handicap races, probably in Sydney. I will save her for such an occasion.

11.ZARITA (55.5) 1

Professor: Flopped in the Turnbull last start, though runs prior had a lot of merit. Could do something at hopefully very big odds. Anyway keep your eyes on the Z for later at least.

Captain: If she can park just behind the leaders, I think she can run a nice race at nice odds. You have to forgive horses who aren't named Weekend Hussler for one bad run as well. Hyland put her run down to being ridden too close to the speed. Will throw her in a few fancy trifectas and first four's, can't really see any reason not to. Would be a bit of a surprise if she won, place preferred.

12. SAMANTHA MISS (47.5) 2

Professor: Hard to knock. First go at this kind of trip, and you have to have some concerns about coming from 3 y.o. Fillies races in Sydney to the Cox though. So I guess I have a couple of big doubts. The Sydney 3.y.o.s didn't really have their form franked in the Guineas either.

Captain: Yes the Sydney 3.y.o. fillies that she has smashed all Spring long look below average. And yes Miss Finland could only manage 6th as a 3.y.o. in this race. But Samantha Miss did knock off Sebring who is a pretty handy customer at the back end of the 2.y.o season. And she will not have to contend with Fields Of Omagh, El Segundo and Pompeii Ruler as Miss Finland did. Princess Coup, Zipping and Alamosa don't seem quite so imposing. Think she'll get a handy spot from the gate and will win. If she gets the trip and handles the track and doesn't win, it will almost certainly be a Glen Boss butchering, a la Snitzel in the 2005 Magic Millions.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sex and The City the Movie (DVD) Presents The Professors STAR STABLE UPDATE

If you've come here hoping to follow the exploits of horseface, dirty-whore, the kind of doable one and the other fine role models that I'm sure you're girlfriend thinks are just ace, bad luck.

          They hit the line and it's PARKER by a nose. A long nose.

If you are here for the sage advice of Australia's 3817th best Fantasy Horseracing tipster, then put your slippers on, boil the pot and get ready for two paragraphs of genius.

This week; Cox Plate. I have a few of my stable "stars" in action: Samantha Miss aims to fly the flag as stable superstar. That's not going to get me into the Star Stable thick of things though. Let's think rough, Theseo looks a great addition as it won't be in too many stables and I think it is a fantastic show in an historically weak Cox Plate. Another that must consider itself a good chance in a Cox Plate that gets more ordinary by the instant is Alamosa. Not far off the fallen champ over the champs best distance, wants 2000 metres and oh yeah, loves to sit on pace.

Zipping must come into the calculations as well. You want him around next Tuesday and now might be a decent time to get him in. Sirmione and Efficient are nigh on essential adds at this juncture as well. Tough Call. In the end I decided to take one horse based on "this week" and one with the Cup in mind. For the Cox only; Theseo for $100,000 seemed too good to pass up. For the Cox/Melbourne double: Zipping for $150,000 seems like one to have. It was tempting to drop Samantha Miss  - reason being, everyone has it in their stable and a win for the Miss won't get me out of trouble. But you have to stay safe. As I said, there are rock-solid cases to add Alamosa, Sirmione or Efficient this week as well. Tough  week. Not as tough as an hour of watching Sex in the City with your missus though. 

The Daily Telegraph manages not to completely lose its sense of perspective

Australia's disappointing 320 run loss to India has brought a few things to light about the Australian tilt. One: the batting looks very thin when Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey are out of form. Two: We lack a quality spinner. As much as the selection of Siddle over Bollinger and Bracken has copped some serious flack, he looked the best of the very punchless Australian attack and that is a problem. 

In a series like this, carrying injured and out of form players has been a massive issue for the Australian team, as such the Daily Telegraph has called for the addition of another. Andrew Symonds, of whom the author is a massive fan is not the answer to the Australian teams woes in India. Whilst the Telegraph has surveyed Australian cricket fans on the streets of Lakemba and found 70% in favour of shipping Symonds to India and even manufactured a Qantas boarding pass to India to make their case even more obvious, one must argue that this has been poorly thought out. Andrew Symonds in form is a match winner. His off spin may provide some use against an Indian side that seem to be weak against off spin. His bat would at its best provide a counterpunch that could put Australia on the front foot.

In saying all of this, Andrew Symonds is not in form. Andrew Symonds out of form is one of crickets most heartbreaking sights. Out of form Symonds lives in two worlds, either dancing down the track first ball and throwing away his wicket or doing his best poor mans Katich and looking lost. Either way he won't help in this state. Yet Mike Whitney, the Brett Kenny of Australian cricket (ie. the retired player who always has something incredibly stupid to say to the press) thinks it is a fantastic idea, and so does Barry from Lakemba. Australian selectors, make this happen.

From this authors perspective, the signs of Australia's demise in India this year have been glaring from a long way out. India in Australia last season probably felt unlucky to not have come away with more. With the best batting lineup in world cricket right now, and ever improving pace and spin bowling this was always going to be a fight. Australia's lack of desire to pick a team suited by Indian conditions and the general aging of its batting lineup was always going to make matters worse. 

Just as Australia made a break from tradition a decade ago and marked some of its players with a bright red T for test and O for one day, now might be the time to do the same for subcontinent specialists. One man whose game is ill-suited for the flat tracks of India is Brett Lee. Anywhere else in the world he is the first bowler to be picked and rightly so. In India, bowlers like Nathan Bracken should be given the opportunity to prove their worth. Whilst the Indians struggled with Shane Warne, this should not be confused with struggles against wrist-spin. The Indians face better leg spin than the stylings of Cameron White in the nets. Curiously, finger spin has always been more successful in India (non-Shane Warne division). 

It may be that some of the batting simply requires a freshen. Sending home a few of the struggling batsmen such as Hussey and Hayden and seeing what the backups have got for the remainder of the tour could be a forward thinking move. Hussey can certainly rebound, though he looks in dire need of some time off. Hayden could be done. A 37 year old in his kind of form rarely gets a long time to rebound. As for the bowling, a look at a pace attack of Siddle, Bollinger and Bracken would give the overused Johnson and the unsuited Lee a nice freshen before the summer series in Australia. 

These changes aren't likely to turn the teams fortunes in India around in a hurry, but it has at least as good a chance as the current group. And if nothing else, it gives the selectors a glimpse of what kind of depth is available. Certainly, it is more forward thinking than the ostrich like move of adding Symonds and assuming that everything else will be alright.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Caulfield Cup Debacle

In fairness to WHAB's resident punters, no-one else of sane mind was spruiking All The Good or Barbaricus. Sometimes racing doesn't make sense, just like the "Chewbacca Defense". You just have to say to yourself "this is just think about that for a doesn't make sense!", shake your head in disbelief many times, and dust yourself off for next week's Cox Plate...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Caulfield Cup Preview:

This years Caulfield Cup looks like a vintage field with any number of quality stayers. The Captain and I will run through them to see if we just can't turn up some value.

My thoughts executive summary style: Don't get 4 y.o. Fever. The crop of 4 year old stayers is the best I have seen, however a lot of battle hardened 5 and 6 year olds are slipping through the cracks here.

I like a few horses in the market - Red Ruler, Guillotine and Littorio

I like a few horses in write-your-own ticket land; FU, Ice Chariot and Dolphin Jo.

I don't like the Hussler here. I asked myself a tough question; If the Hussler slipped out to $10, would I want it? No. $15? No. Class is one thing, the ability to stay something entirely different.

Avoiding the imports (Mad Rush and All the Good) until at least Melbourne Cup day.

1) Weekend Hussler:

Professor - $4.80... I don't think it will get the trip. I think that 2000 could be its upper bound, but a super horse and if it is for you then I won't try and talk you out of it.
Captain: I always had doubts he could genuinely stay. Cannot fathom the rush of money for him and am more than happy to leave him out as Caulfield Cup favourite. A true champion regardless of today's performance, it's sad to me that connections didn't target the Cox Plate and the Cox Plate only.

2) Maldivian

Professor - If it gets out to some ridiculous price I might give it a look. Here's my thinking about this guy, on-pace horses tend to look absolutely awful in lead up runs to their target races. So, if you think that he is ready to go (fitter!) then this could be a massive sting at $20+

Captain: For mine, he's just not going as well as this time last year, though I'm glad he's in the race to set a nice tempo for the horses I've backed. Favourite last year, but the field was weaker and I don't think he would have had anything for Master O'Reilly anyway. Not keen.

3) Master O Reilly

Professor - Up hugely in weight from last years tilt with 56.5 kilos (last year 50.5!). Note that some of this has to do with the weights being raised in general so don't get too scared off. Will need to have improved from last year a little though.

Captain: Up in weights but looks an even better horse than last year. One of your serious contenders here, you're not thinking clearly if you're leaving him out of your multiples.

4) Fiumicino

Professor - One that I am yet to back, because I think that $61 on fixed price is under what you will get tomorrow. Regardless, he has so many miles under his belt already, is a seasoned horse, has been in great form (is a joke on the slow so disregard the last one). Suffice it to say, I like him at $61 and I will love him at $100+ tomorrow.

Captain: Was more than happy to back him in some crappy race in Sydney a few weeks ago...far less happy to back him in a Caulfield Cup. Looks like his very best won't even put him in the finish. Likes the wet (the only reason he won an AJC Derby) but failed on the wet in the Metropolitan. Poorly weighted. Do I need to go on?

5) Kibbutz - scratched.

6) Nom De Jeu

Professor - Not for me after the barrier draw - I see the three kiwis form lines as being quite similar, but Red Ruler's run in the Kelt stands out of the three.

Captain: I am leaving out the Kiwis. I think the Kelt form simply isn't on par with the Turnbull form and as such, I'm leaving this one out. Not without a chance but you can't back them all.

7) Mad Rush

Professor - Love Francesca I really do. Will hopefully find a way to introduce myself at the Melbourne Cup but at this stage lets say I would have well prefered it to have run since arriving in the country. Melbourne Cup prefered.

Captain: Francesca Cumani is possibly the most beautiful woman in the world. The Professor won't get anywhere near her at the Melbourne Cup though...there's no way security will let that man close to her after he's polished off 3 bottles of wine and a dozen beers! I like this one for the Melbourne Cup. Think he'll run a nice race here without really looking the winner.

8) All the Good

Professor - See 7, but without the quality.

Captain: Happy to leave him out. A wait and see approach.

9) Douro Valley

Professor - The battlers horse that I have had some great wins on. Will have a nibble tomorrow for old times sake. Also a quality chance but hope to see $20+

Captain: Great win in the Yalumba. Will probably take a sit in this one and looks a good value chance at $17. Second in this race last year. Respect.

10) Ice Chariot

Professor - I will leave this for the Captain, my roughie of choice (even more so than FU!). Hates the mud so disregard last start, but has looked in career best form this prep. Old seasoned horse that has come in well at the weights. If you take one piece of advice here ever, an each way bet on the Chaz is a must.

Captain: All his runs have been pretty good this time in. Anything worse than a dead track and I would have said forget it, but on the dead, why not throw a few bucks each way on this fella?

11) Viewed

Professor - I can't see a cyclone coming in off the coast so I would leave out the mudlark extraordinaire. If it is coming down on Melbourne Cup day, this is your horse.

Captain: It irks me that an in form horse such as Newport, who has a Metropolitan as well as a Brisbane Cup under his belt can miss out on a start in favour of this dubious nag.

12) Littorio

Professor - Yet to put a foot wrong this prep. The knock is that it is in the middle of a long prep for a 4 y.o. horse and hitting a flat spot is not out of the question. On the top of my ratings for this race and I can't fault.

Captain: Here's your winner. A tick in every box.

13) Red Ruler

Professor - if a Kiwi horse is going to take this one out, it is this guy for mind. Have a look at the Kelt replay on this site and eat up some of the $16 on offer.
Captain: See Nom De Jeu. I actually like Nom De Jeu better than this guy at the trip.

14) Boundless

Professor - second pick of the Kiwis. I can't back everything though!

Captain: See Nom De Jeu/Red Ruler.

15) Dolphin Jo

Professor - This cup is extraordinary. Such a bumper crop of 4 year olds that all of the more seasoned types are slipping through the cracks, see $50+ on this and a nibble each way could be a great decision.

Captain: Great roughie. A really strong win last start, albeit in lesser company, but was held up a bit getting out and was a comfortable winner on the line. Looking a better bet for the Melbourne Cup, but you are foolish if you don't have a little bit of this today at silly odds.

16) Riva San

Professor - WANTS.IT.WET. Lacks the class of the other 4 year olds on top of the ground so no thanks.

Captain: Loves this trip and a bit of rain. Not without a chance, though a worrying sign was that she took forever to wind up last start and couldn't reel in Lorne Dancer. Lorne Dancer is not at Caulfield today.

17) Zagreb

Professor - Not as high on this horse as most people. Excuses last start, as G Boss couldn't avoid a clod of ground going into this horses mouth. Poor ride.

Captain: Had a piece of this at longer odds but can't understand the money trail here. A $10 shot makes him another Bossy money train. The Bossy money train is known to derail. Am now hearing he is in doubt for the race so will not tip him for the WHAB faithful.

18) Guillotine

Professor - In a world populated by Guillotine haters, I stand in a small group that can forgive a a 3 year old horse for a poor autumn showing. The spring performances of this horse have been nothing short of sensational. With Simon O' Donnell pulling out barrier 21 for him, it gets tougher but as they say in France, Simon O'Donnell can derelicte my Balls. Go the Tine!

Captain: One of those horses who you leave out because you like other horses better but are still worried about. A big show, but if he pulls even just a little bit starting from the car park then he is no chance.

19) Barbaricus

Professor - No. In a race where you can shop for between $50 and $100 on horses of the caliber of Ice Chariot, FU!, and Dolphin Jo, why on earth would anyone lay down their money here?

Captain: See Viewed...but with double the anger!!! On recent form, what is this doing at Caulfield today? Nevertheless, a genuine Kyneton Cup hope.

Pym 3:16

Even Jesus thought the Socceroos were a special. It's a fact.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Roughriders Star Stable changes

It just makes sense to add last year's Caulfield Cup quinella. were rubbish. The first beaten and a total flop. You are gone. Master O'Reilly in. Absolute Glam has a day off so she is subbed out for Douro Valley. This gives me a Caulfield Cup line up of Master O, D. Valley, Zagreb, Ice Chariot and Littorio. Needless to say, I'm pretty confident...

The Calgary Roughriders Caulfield Cup tilt.

Didn't bother with small change this week. My stable is geared up for one race, and one race only: The Cup.

My stable had a hand of 2 (1 EM) already with Littorio and Guillotine ready for action. The thought earlier in the week was to use some of the surplus funds that I had ($150K), drop Raheeb and Predatory Pricer and buy a $25K horse plus the Hussler. 

Not happening. You are either a believer or you aren't at this stage and I am a non-believer. 

So my $275K had a lot of options. I was looking at a package of horses that included Nom De Jeu, Red Ruler, Master O  and the Valley. 

Nom De Jeu at $200K seemed like poor value compared to the better gate and Kelt run from Red Ruler, so in goes Red Ruler. Change left over bought Master O. 

My stables other interest will come from Red Lord either sneaking into the field or running in the crappy Group 2 cup. 

Weekend non-runners: Samantha Miss, Dreamscape, Whobegotyou, Rhyno Chaser and Bianca to carry the drinks.

C. Williams on his last chance with the stable. 2 wins or he is out on his ass.

What A Night!

A massive thunderstorm en route to Suncorp Stadium, a 4-0 thrashing, and for one minute of our lives, Tim Cahill and the Socceroos thought JB and I were awesome!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WHAB's Pre Game Show: Australia vs Qatar

Welcome to WHAB's pre game show as the mighty Socceroos take on the camel-shaggers from Qatar! Here's our thoughts on this evening's match.

Captain Carnage: Brazil 'A', I mean Qatar, are definitely one of the better sides in Asia. If you take away the two hidings against Australia their results are as impressive as any of the other Asian nations.Having a washed up '70's rocker like Robert Plant wannabe Bruno Metsu at the helm definitely helps their cause as his outfit of jeans and sports jacket seems to inspire players wherever he goes.
Bruno Metsu: Gotta whole lotta "naturalised Brazilian" love!

I can't even wear jeans to work! This is one of those games you can worry about because of the ease of our last two victories against Qatar and football being a funny game and all. But I have faith in the Aussie boys and the Pimp to get the job done. I'll be happy with 1-0 to be honest. Go Socceroos!!!

JB:Well tonight promises to be a match up that could go two ways, namely, they score an early goal and play a 10-0-0 formation, or we go on to continue to maintain Qatar as our bitch of the Asian confederation. No Kewell, no matter; the Qld fans will be there to support Roar captain C. Moore back in the Socceroos lineup and there isn't a roos fan who won't sell their first born to see Timmy Cahill in action in the green and gold. Prediction, tough to call, hope for a great home ground start to the campaign, fear the Brazillian come Qatar players who easily have the potential to poach a goal. The Pimp wants to top Guus as the most succesful Australian coach, the pressure is on and will be on at every qualifier. I like the integration of A-league players but at the same time I trust Pimp to pick a team to get the job done. Pimp for PM, well that is at least until ... I dare not say it. Those there at the ground or watching at home, be sure to keep an eye out for yours truly jumping and screaming in a stadium full of Australians.

Well JB and the Captain are off to Suncorp to make lots of noise, lots of camel jokes and to drink in celebration of another glorious victory for the green and golds!

Caulfield Guineas Late Mail!

Just some quick thoughts, 
The best dry track runs behind Samantha Miss all season came two starts ago from the duo Kimillsy and Glowlamp. I for one think that those runs will be good enough to win here. 
As far as the home trackers go, Taameer and Dan Baroness have done nothing wrong and the price is definitely right!

Portillo's best runs in the spring have had some give in the track, and the $6 on it seems like a poor decision right now.

I'll take Glowlamp from Kimillsy, Taameer and Dan Baroness. All paying enough to keep you very interested.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Star Stable Week 2 in review!

Well it was a good weekend for the Calgary Roughriders with the big win of Whobegotyou and a nice third to Guillotine. 

The Captain, manager of the other Roughriders is preaching a return to fundamentals this week, with the bright spot a third to Von Costa de Hero. 

A momentum switch could come in tomorrows Guineas - the Roughriders saddle up Romneya and the Calgary Roughriders, well they saddle up nothing.

At this stage the score reads 1.5 Million to 800,000! This could be flattering, as the Calgary Roughriders stable jockey, Craig Williams has shown ineptitude of the highest order this spring. 

According to the Captain, "the Roughriders should be all the better for recent racing."