Friday, December 31, 2010

Ponting: The Final Frontier

Mission accomplished. An Ashes series loss at home. What a legacy you'll leave Punter. Thanks for all the memories champ. From losing to Bangladesh in an ODI, to over-seeing South Africa's world record ODI run-chase, to helping us become the Poms' bitches. And then leaving us in the hands of Clarke. A guy who once said that he'd learnt everything about being a captain from you... A man who showed, in a recent ODI against Sri Lanka, that he has neither the balls, nor the brains for the job. Yep, I'm calling it 3-1 England. Congrats you Pommy bastards. Now, fuck the Ashes, its KFC Big Bash time!

I'm using the KFC Big Bash brought to you by KFC as a kind of therapy. And opening night didn't disappoint, with some heavy hitting from the Tassie batsmen, the umpire getting collected by a vicious, lofted straight drive, and the return of Rana. Two years ago, the man was almost completely bald. One year ago, the man had just enough hair for a comb-over. Now he has the mullet of an '80's glam rocker:

Yeah, yeah!

They say the simple things in life give you the most pleasure. Watching this man's free-flowing mullet catching the breeze, with a Super-Charged Tower Burger in my hand, well, it sure cheered me up a bit!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Third Test Wrap

Well there you go. After a week and a half of our bowlers being blasted for their hopelessness, they've made the Poms look absolutely stupid. Partly because of the English press, the Barmy Army and Peter Roebuck declaring Ashes victory after Adelaide, and partly because they literally made them look stupid. As I suggested after the Adelaide debacle, our batsmen were more to blame than the bowlers there; our bowlers sent down overs and overs on a batsmen's paradise, while our batsmen failed miserably (twice) on a batsmen's paradise. But the cricketing media would have none of that shit. Anyhow, with favourable bowling conditions, our pace attack fired up and skittled the hapless Poms. Great to see a WACA green top with some old-school bounce! And the Pommies didn't like it one bit!

At this juncture, I am not yet going to apologise to Mitchell Johnson. The series isn't over yet, and even though everyone thinks you're wonderful again champ, consistency is the key. What I will say is that his first innings bowling was superb and if he could produce that most of the time, he wouldn't be reading about himself on WHAB so much. Good to see him fire up a bit too, especially at that belligerent tosser Anderson...

Onto the other bowlers, and go the Rhino! We've always had a huge opinion of the guy here and it was nice to see him get some serious rewards for his honest toil at Adelaide Oval. The wickets weren't there for Hilfy but here's a shoutout to the man who should never have been dropped for the Second Test. He bowled brilliantly with some nice swing, and was just unlucky that the English batsmen weren't good enough to get the edges. He was ultra economical, tied down an end, and it was largely due to the constant pressure he applied that England fell apart. Siddle didn't end up getting much of a go due to the capitulation (s), but from what I saw, looked like he might have taken a few if the Poms hadn't been humbled so piss-weakly.

Onto our batting...and there are still real problems here. If you take out the contributions of Hussey, Watson and Haddin, then we're likely down 2-1 in this series. Hughes didn't fire in Perth but I'm happy enough to give the guy another go, whether the cut-throat selectors are is another story. Ponting and Clarke are just in rubbish form. Considering they are captain and vice-captain, the method of their dismissals is quite alarming. There's a lot of unconvincing poking around going on. Punter now also has a fractured finger to worry about and given he looks reminiscent of one Bruce Reid with the bat at present, this sure isn't going to help him find some form. The Huss has been nothing short of brilliant. Gritty when he needs to be, showman when he doesn't. His hooking and pulling at the WACA (except for his dismissal!) was the highlight of the series thus far for me. Surely though, we can't go another Test with Smith at 6. Some may say that he made a tidy 35 in the second innings. Others, myself included, say that I thought he was going to get out on every single ball he faced. We desperately need a specialist batsmen at 6, especially when we're carrying a couple of guys further up the order. We're obviously not going to bowl four quicks anywhere else in Australia either, so dropping Smith to 8 looks a great way to juice up the batting. McDonald (if available) at 6, all of a sudden makes this team look awesome given you get a genuine medium pace option to go with his career best batting form. Otherwise, I think Khawaja is about ready for the next level. Hopefully the selectors don't get so wrapped up in our huge win that they overlook the thin-ness of our batting order...

The thing that struck me most during the Third Test is that James Anderson is one of the biggest wankers in Test cricket. The guy just gobs off at everyone, and probably even gives his grandmother the odd spray for good measure. Hussey is averaging about a thousand in the series, and is not one for a chat, but Anderson still just let fly at him. Gobbing off at the main reason Australia is still in with a fighting chance to reclaim the Ashes? The worst thing is, it's not tactical sledging, it's just a guy running his mouth because he can't help being a complete fucking tosser. Setting a great example for his newborn child. Fuck right off Anderson.

And fuck right off Roebuck. Yeah sure, England are the greatest team ever, Australia are the worst, South Africa and India, well they don't play in the Ashes so they can't be the best in the world, and can someone just give me a 10,000 word column so I can write a great big turd of an article...?

How does get fucked sound?

It's the reason us purists love Test cricket; the unpredictability of it all. And it can sometimes creep up on us, or sometimes it happens in a flash. The stage is set for another classic finish to the Ashes...here's hoping that this time we come out on top and Anderson and Roebuck go home looking like a couple of twats!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Between-Test Rant

Upon hearing the Australian squad selection today, as I feared, the selectors have missed the point yet again. After listening to the caning our bowlers have copped all week, might I throw this one out there: we got rolled twice for piss-weak scores on a batsmen's paradise. No-one in the media seems to have cottoned onto that glaringly obvious fact. The Adelaide Test should have been another boring draw for all money, but we got rolled. So why would you weaken a batting line-up already possibly weakened by the absence of the Kat? You have Hughes replacing the Kat, so that's a bit of a risk there...and then you replace a guy who's primarily a 'batsmen' in North for an all-rounder in Smith...neither of which enhances our batting prowess. I really hope these guys play well, I've got nothing against them, but after thinking about it for a couple of days, it was a perfect opportunity to play in Khawaja at 6. They absolutely had to pick a specialist batsmen at 6; my first choice McDonald (whose batting is surpassing his bowling these days) is out injured, so then I give Us-man a baggy green. Then you can bat your spinner Smith (who they obviously had decided was playing this Test since the second the Adelaide Test finished) at 8. Then you have some depth in your batting line-up. Then you don't have Mitchell Johnson back in the team, seemingly more for his batting than his bowling...say what you will people, but I just love me a 19 ball, 32 min duck! It just fucks me off that the selectors obviously had no intention of dropping Johnson for more than one Test. Fucking softcocks. And then they try a win us all over with Beer. Sure, that's worked before, manys time on me actually, but considering you've just tried a late-bloomer journeyman-type spinner and it failed, then Beer's not enough, even for this resident piss-head! Sure he won't play, as we're going into Perth with one of the most unconvincing 4-pronged pace attacks in this country's history, but why is he even in the squad? At the expense of a young pace bowler? It makes no sense. Nothing these selectors do makes sense anymore, and I wonder why,when everyone in the team is getting gunned mid-series for their suck-ery, why these fuckers can't get shown the fucking door mid-series. I used to think David Boon was awesome. Not just for his batting, but drinking all those cans on that flight to England, or from England, or whatever. But being a bit older now, I wonder how setting a beer-drinking record becomes a valuable asset on your CV for an Aussie cricket selector...I'd suggest that Boonie has had a million cans too many for that post...

Since when did Kim Hughes become a media go-to guy for the Ashes?!? All I've heard for the last week or so is one K. Hughes gobbing off deluxe about all things 2010/2011 Ashes. Punter is rubbish, Smith is rubbish, Khawaja is rubbish, Hughes is rubbish, the whole team is rubbish...may I suggest, it's you Sir who is rubbish:



This is how people remember you Kim Hughes...

You need reminding that that's what people think of when they hear your name...You ain't Shane Warne and you ain't Steve Waugh, so quit gobbing off Mr. I Averaged 37 in Tests and cried like a bitch...

To finish up, the Professor wants to punch Peter Roebuck in the face. I've wanted to punch him somewhere much more painful for as long as I can remember. If you read this, you'll want to punch that faggot too...

http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/490969.html

There's some great articles on Cricinfo...and then they give this cocksucker 10,000 words to go nuts...the age old question remains, it's not okay to hit a girl, but is it okay to punch a faggot? Just a short, sharp one in the mouth maybe?!? Or surely it's okay if he all but asks to be cock-punched?!? It's just so enticing...


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Second Test, Day 5 Recap

Unbelievable. Just fucking mind-boggling. To be dusted off like that, going down without a whimper...I'm fumbling for words. I didn't ever think it would ever be possible for an Australian team to ever lose an Adelaide Test ever, but I was horribly wrong. And so, here come the changes for Perth. I personally wouldn't be going nuts with the changes. After musing over all things Ashes via e-mail with the Professor, who is calling for wholesale changes, here's what I finally decided I would do, somewhat more conservatively:

"Starting at the top, well, the Kat is out of the series so we need a new opener. I keep Watson there for some stability at the top, our openers haven't really been the main problem anyway. I don't entirely trust Hughes but he deserves another go, and there's no-one else really knocking on the door. Maybe Marsh, but I don't trust him more than I don't trust Hughes. I leave Ponting at 3 but strip him of the captaincy immediately, and see if that gets him back to being focused on his batting. Clarke slides down the order, he's too irresponsible at 4, I just cannot trust him there. But you can't really have him anywhere other than at 5 with North/preferably someone else at 6. So it will be Hussey at 4, and captain by default. You know who's form with the bat is as good as anyone in the country this season? Ronald McDonald. Averaging 93 with the bat through 4 matches, including 3 centuries. And he's far more useful with the ball than North. It's a different change-up too with Haddin up to the stumps. That would also keep Watson from bowling too many overs and he can focus on the batting as well. So I fuck North off for Ronnie. That gives you Hughes, Watson, Ponting, Hussey (C), Clarke, McDonald, Haddin. You know what? It's humble pie time; bring back Hauritz. We don't clearly don't have anyone who's better/anyone else who's ready for Test match cricket against a strong English batting line-up, plus he bolsters our own piss-weak batting line-up. Hilf and Harris, in form, are your top two paceman in the country without a doubt. I'm still stunned they dropped the Hilf, but that's the loyalty of the selectors..."we know you've easily been our best bowler for two years, but you just didn't get it right in that Gabba Test"...Fuckers. Siddle concerns me in that he can bowl superbly for a couple of spells and then fades away alarmingly. His first innings at the Gabba was brilliant, and he's just given nothing since. And it's not just in this series that I've noticed it; it's like he can only fire up sporadically. The time is definitely right for some new blood in the bowling stocks. I bring two of the handful of promising youngsters from the domestic scene into the 13 man squad and give Siddle one more chance to fire up, and stay fired up, knowing that the youngsters are right there if he doesn't."

I'd be happy with those changes, they're all realistic except I'm pretty sure Punter will never stand down as captain, and the selectors won't change the captaincy mid-series. Besides, that wouldn't give him the chance to complete his Final Frontier...

Second Test, Day 4 Recap

More boredom watching the English batsmen doing what any batsman worth his salt should; plunder runs at Adelaide Oval. This followed by our captain tying himself in a knot at the crease, and our future captain being dismissed on the last ball of the day by Pietersen of all people. I think about how a guy like Steve Waugh would have blocked that ball for all he was worth rather than trying to flick a single down the legside. On the last ball of the day. The thought wouldn't have even crossed his mind to play anything other than a forward defensive super-grundle, accompanied by a loud, long, drawn-out "No" call. "Nnnnnoooooooooooooooooo"....... Anyway, we've got a shaky Marcus North to open proceedings tomorrow. Oh boy. We need the Huss more than ever now. And the rain...

Second Test, Day 3 Recap

This blog post has been cancelled due to the author's lack of interest in proceedings.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Second Test, Day 2 Recap

Well that was about as fucked as it gets. Another whole day of watching England bat on an absolute road.


Somehow, it's the same road that we could only squeeze 245 out of...I hate this Adelaide pitch. I would like it a lot more if I was given the opportunity to bat on it...Every year, if you weather the storm early on day 1, which we obviously were unable to do, days 2-5 give you tennis-ball-on-bitumen conditions.



Even with England well on top here, I'd be shocked if we can't bat it out for a draw.



Even with the same batting line-up as the first innings. It's shit viewing, and the curator can go royally fuck himself for dishing up this bullshit year in, year out. Why do Test fans want to watch guys batting in easy conditions? We don't, so go fuck yourself Damien Hough.


The only reason that there's been 8 results in the last 10 years at Adelaide has been because we've had superstar bowlers like Warne and McGrath against rubbish Test opposition, so don't try running that 8 results in 10 years line past me you fucker.


We all know it's a road, and when you have two evenly matched teams, it's a fucking waste of everyone's time. Lucky there's always greasy chicken this time of year...

Friday, December 3, 2010

Second Test, Day 1 Recap

A collapso-kinda start to the day for the Aussies...3/2, you don't see that score often, especially in a Test Match! What we can conclude from that early spell is that Anderson is a serious bowler, who has a penchant for gobbing off, particularly to Mike Hussey, who totally has his measure. So boot right off Anderson. But he's a serious bowler no question...much more serious than the axed Johnson, whose Gatorade ads are still running...everything adds up to one...well, your Gabba Test contribution added up to one...0 wickets + 0 runs + 1 dropped catch = 1! I was initially pretty upset about Hilfenhaus (who has been our best bowler for the last two years) being replaced here, on the back of one bad Test, and, well, I'm still pissed off about it. It's horses for courses apparently. I'm a massive Rhino fan, but don't entirely trust Bollinger, and haven't been given much of a reason to doubt Hilfy...not sure where this is all going, but I'll be on record as saying that I don't like it thanks. Anyway, the story of the day is; Anderson bowled super, those people who wanted the Huss dropped are eating their own words, and Marcus North scored a totally unconvincing 26...on a beautiful batting track...and somehow, Australia got bowled out in a day at Adelaide on said beautiful batting track...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

First Test, Day 5 Recap

England batted on and on at their own pace, declaring unsportingly, with no team any chance to win. The Poms looked more intent on padding their stats rather than getting stuck into the collapse-prone Aussie batting order. Yes our bowling was shite, and everything Mitchell Johnson did was terrible beyond adequate description, but seriously, what is with these fucking road pitches on days 4 and 5 of a Test match? I want to see a killer minefield out there, with confused and terrified batsmen, not guys knocking around double centuries. I want old school Test matches where chasing 150 in the final innings was treacherous. Where balls would fly off the pitch at some hapless batsmen's throat. Where you'd see guys bowled out by mully-grubbers! Fuck these curators. Now we go to the biggest road of them all in Adelaide, which will be 5 days of my life wasted watching another draw. Being pretty handy as a kid against a tennis ball in our street, I'd fancy myself to bludgeon a century at Adelaide Oval.

Johnson finished with match figures of 0/170, took 32 mins and 19 balls to score 0, and dropped a catch to kill off the game as a contest. It was the single-most useless all-round performance in a Test I've ever seen and if the selectors think he's worth a shot in Adelaide, then they're kidding themselves, insulting the fans, and depriving Johnson of some practice time back with WA. I can just see them, after bringing Bollinger and Harris into the squad, and making it seem like they're serious, not having the balls to make the change. That's how they roll. Show some gumption you pussies. And by the way, if you play two spin bowlers, Marcus North is not a fucking spin bowler just because Strauss got heat exhaustion and his brain snapped. Although he'd be pretty handy if he could bowl to himself...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Test, Day 4 Recap

With England at 0/119, Johnson, in pursuit of a performance of unrivalled uselessness, dropped a simple catch after Strauss mistimed a drive off the X Factor. And that was the match. When Strauss was finally out, England were only 20 runs behind. I don't care what anyone says, if Strauss is out when the Poms are 89 behind, it's a whole different ball game. The dropped catch, coupled with Ponting's lack of urgency to end day 3, leaves you wondering what might have been. I guess we should have known this was going to happen with our hopes resting on 'tards like Ponting and Johnson.

The numbers don't lie; Johnson has match figures of 0/131 (so far), scored 0 off 19 deliveries, and has 0 catches, with a dropped catch...if he's in your Ashes Fantasy team, well, you're fucked!

First Test, Day 3 Recap

For two-thirds of the day, this was the Hussey/Haddin show. It made for great viewing, especially when Haddin started to open up. When we were eventually bowled out, after being subjected to Johnson's 0 run, 19 ball innings, it should have seen some nervous times for the Pommy openers. Instead, they were let off the hook by Punter, who just refuses to act sanely for the duration of a Test match. When the blowtorch needs to be applied, you don't throw the ball to Marcus fucking North as first change bowler. To mystify Aussie cricket fans even more, he bowled North in tandem with the toothless Johnson. Way to release the pressure valve dipshit. It was just inexplicable. North at one end, Johnson at the other, Strauss and Cook thanking their lucky fucking stars. After bowling Hilfy and the Sid out, surely the next best option was Watson. The ball was swinging and the conditions just seemed perfect for a medium pacer. But no, I'll bowl our bullshit part-time spinner, instead of our real spinner, and our only pace bowler who doesn't move the ball at all. Brilliant (i.e. retarded)...

Friday, November 26, 2010

First Test, Day 2 Recap

After grabbing the ascendency on Day 1, the Aussie batsmen, somewhat predictably, gave it right back to the Poms, despite a solid start by our openers. Hussey, with the assistance of a patient Haddin (?!?), and generous English bowling, has put us back on track for a tidy first innings lead. England would have been sitting down to dinner tonight convinced that the Huss can indeed cut, and can definitely pull as well. It was a cutting and pulling exhibition from the Huss in response to England's awful tactics bowling to him. And we needed it with Punter unforgivably getting caught down legside, Clarke clearly not fit to be playing, and North reverting to his tried and tested way of scoring in single digits. Channel Nine were showing stats today, confirming our middle order woes; our batting averages from 3-6 in the line-up are all well down in the period 2008-2010 in comparison to 2005-2007. And it's very noticeable. The other thing I noticed today was that not only was I bombarded with KFC ads, but the sight-screen was emblazoned with an ad for Chicken McBites...there is no escaping greasy chicken this summer people. Nor is there any escaping a fat, sausage-gobbling, hair-stapled-to-his-head Steven Seagal. Here's some of Seagal's better work, complete with Nordic sub-titles:



"Take a receipt...'cause you just bought some!"

Day 3 recap to follow!

First Test, Day 1 Recap

Thanks to the power of Foxtel IQ, I've just finished replaying the whole of the first day's play in a mere 2 hours. Great stuff! Peter Siddle with a red ball is the business. Hopefully the selectors never give him a white ball ever again, because you can't take 7 or 8 overs to get in rhythm in an ODI. A couple of fiery Siddle spells has England reeling in the First Test, and that's the way we Aussies like it. Hilfenhaus had an uncharacteristicly wayward sort of day, and Johnson was just extra baggage as usual, but Siddle simply swung Johnson over his shoulder, and carried him on his way to a hat-trick and a 6 wicket haul. If not for some rubbish glovemanship from Haddin, it would have been 7. It's worth re-living the hat-trick moment again, complete with English confusion/referral tomfoolery:



For most guys, a "Birthday hat-trick" means something completely different...or maybe the Sid completed an unprecedented double Birthday hat-trick! Wow, the man's got it all! Respect.

As mentioned before, Hilfy had an off day. But he still contributed something, getting the big early wicket of Strauss. Watson bowled solidly and produced a corker to knock over Trott. The X Factor bowled superbly on a first day pitch, tying down one end with some quality spin bowling. It was good to see him bag a couple of wickets in the end because he was crucial to the overall success of the day's play. Even Punter had a decent day, some good bowling changes and some decent fields for once. I won't get too carried away there because there's a high probability of him doing something stupid to try and get the Poms back in it. That leaves Johnson, who had no impact whatsoever. No consistency, no movement, and no wickets. He was just extra baggage. I hereby officially call for him to sacked. Go back to WA and work on it son. Because there will likely be times in this series when we won't be able to afford having dead weight in the side. I think of how good a Test pace trio of Hilfy, the Sid and the Rhino (aka Ryan Harris) would be and how angry it makes me that I can't have it because of Johnson sending daily photos of himself posing with his Sir Garfield Sobers trophy to the selectors. We can go with a guy who's form for Australia over the last year has been diabolical, or a guy in great form at present...who is called the Rhino...that's a no-fucking-brainer.

Check back in tonight for the Day 2 Recap!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Things That Have Angered Me Since My Last Blog Post

- Mitchell Johnson.

- After giving Clarke the benefit of the doubt for not bowling Steve Smith in the 1st ODI, who I've got no doubt would've had Malinga skying a catch within two overs, I see Smith named for the 2nd ODI. So clearly, Smith wasn't injured at all as some reports had suggested. And even more clearly, Clarke has no testicles and is every bit as shithouse at captaincy as Punter.

- Mitchell Johnson's tatts. He's got his whole arm inked up but as the guy on Cricinfo said, the only tatts he needs are one on his left arm inked with "line" and one on his right with "length".

- The inexplicable decision to not play Xavier Doherty in the 2nd ODI after his brilliant debut performance in the 1st ODI. I was gobsmacked when I saw Hauritz was replacing him. There is no sane reason for a decision like this and the selectors can go royally fuck themselves for it.

- Johnson, when interviewed during the coverage of the 3rd ODI, saying that he was focusing on bowling really fast and wasn't paying any attention to media reports about his fucking horrendous bowling. How about bowling better instead of fast and actually taking it on board when people are saying you're fucking terrible, because generally criticism comes your way for a reason you fucking douchebag.

- After seeing the batting line-up for the ill-fated 2nd ODI, I did some calculations in my head; I subbed out Cameron White, dropped Brad Haddin down the order to 7, and subbed in Simon Katich and Marcus North...well fuck me, that's our Test batting line-up! That's what you want in an ODI!

- Johnson being comprehensively out-bowled by the relatively inexperienced Clint McKay and debutante Mitchell Starc in the 3rd ODI. McKay picked up a 5-for and Starc bagged 4. In case you're wondering, Watson got the other wicket. In his first match, Starc showed exactly where a left-hander should be consistently bowling. Maybe that's why he had 4 times more wickets in one game than Johnson had in 3 games. And we're backing this guy for the fucking Ashes. Fuck me sideways.

- Finally, bumfuck sports journalist Robert Craddock basically blaming our misfortunes on Dave Warner, Cameron White, Shaun Marsh and James Sutherland's 14 man Cricket Australia team being over-loaded. Boy has this fucktard missed the point. Dave Warner...a T20 specialist. Cameron White...after being highly critical of White over the years, all I remember in recent times is him smashing us out of trouble in the late overs on numerous occasions; in fact, I think the team plan in the short form of the game of late is to pretty much leave it all up to White to smash us to a decent score/victory...Shaun Marsh, has definitely been disappointing, but does he make Johnson bowl bad? Does he make inane selections at the selection table? Does he make the testicle-less calls not to bowl a potential match-winner? Does he neglect to mention how fucking shithouse Johnson is bowling at present?...Sutherland, well, anyone who knows anything about cricket knows that the guy is a complete fucking boob and has no idea how he got his job. But seriously Robert Craddock, if that's your conclusion then you are an even bigger fucktard then I already knew you were. You could've slagged off Ponting, Johnson, the selectors, Hilditch, the regime in general, but you came up with the most fucking off the mark article in the history of cricket. You're shit, and you know you are and you can seriously go fuck yourself...and then do it again...

Friday, November 5, 2010

But Mostly, Fuck Mitchell Johnson

After the loss in the first ODI, and being subjected to some of the most stupid bowling imaginable...where to begin...okay we'll start here: Fuck you Johnson you piece of shit. And fuck you Michael Clarke for throwing that fucking joker the ball when the game was on the line. Honestly, Clarke/Ponting, what the fuck's the difference? Clarke makes all the same fucked up calls as Ponting does. He just hasn't mastered bringing himself on at the death yet. Seriously, that worked once, and it was all ass rather than class. Johnson and Siddle, as senior bowlers bowling to Malinga and Matthews was just downright unwatchable. I went and tidied the kitchen instead, hoping that when I came back they'd be not bowling anymore. Short, wide, short and wide, legside, every form of a pie-delivery you could think of, they bowled it. It was pretty much business as usual for Johnson. England must have been licking their fucking chops watching that. Siddle seemed to be working on a cunning plan of getting a catch on the boundary off a mistimed hook shot. How about this plan...bowl at or near the fucking stumps and on a length! Hastings wasn't much better but I can forgive him on the grounds he's only played a couple of games. Tim Nielsen describes what he saw: "We kept bowling bouncers that were chest high rather than head high, we bowled a few wides, we bowled a few slower balls that we didn't land properly, and we didn't really do anything out of the ordinary". Yep. Thanks Tim. Now how about you do something about it you giant douchebag. The worst part of it all was that Clarke clearly had no idea what to do. It looked like he was going to break down and cry. Harden the fuck up princess!

But you've got to always look on the bright side. No matter how fucked everything else was, Xavier Doherty was superb. He should be waited on hand and foot by his teammates who fucked him over from the man-of-the-match award in his debut performance...maybe Johnson could give him his Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, because there's no way he fucking deserves it...

Monday, November 1, 2010

MELBOURNE CUP FORM GUIDE

Since it became apparent how competitive it is, the theme of this year's Cup has been value. I've backed Linton, Campanologist, Harris Tweed and Holberg at big odds but none of them are my top pick. It's nice being able to outlay a smallish amount for a possible phat payday. We're likely looking at a wet track of some description, dead at best, so that is what we've based this form on. It's the most difficult Cup to pick since I've been interested in racing...so here goes!!!

1. SHOCKING (24) 57 Rodd/Kavanagh

Captain: A good chance to go back-to-back in the big one. All his runs have been super during this campaign, including his 4th in the Caulfield Cup where he only got out late after getting snookered on the rail. He ground away in the Mackinnon like the genuine two-miler that he is. When considering the outside gate that he's drawn, it's worth mentioning that he was 3 wide the trip from gate 21 in winning the '09 Cup. He carries 6kg more this time so he's going to need some luck from out there; another 3-wide/no cover trip will surely be too much. I think he can win again but am prepared to look elsewhere. I backed last year's topweight Viewed and watched him get molested by other runners throughout, and with the big weight it's harder to regather moment. All I know is that Kavanagh will be going completely mental if he hits the front in the straight again...

Professor: Lead up form was pretty good until the last run where he kind of plugged away. I'll be nervous about leaving this out.. but I'm probably going to have to here. 6kg more than last year and a much hotter field.

2. CAMPANOLOGIST (19) 56 McEvoy/Bin Suroor

Captain: I've had to do a lot of research on this guy; he's been barely mentioned leading into the Cup but looks like he definitely deserves to be here. Well-travelled and with consistent form in Group races the world over, he can't be taken lightly. I find it interesting however, that he hasn't raced beyond 2400m...what happened to make Godolphin think that he could run two miles all of a sudden? That is the $3.6 million + trophies question. Winning the '08 Caulfield Cup with All The Good, and picking up second place in the Melbourne Cup last year with Crime Scene, who looked like a Clydesdale when he went around in the Geelong Cup, you need to be respecting Campanologist...which is easy to do when he's at such generous odds...

Professor: Dettori as the durkas number one rider was doing everything in his power to get off this and on to Holberg. That's enough for me. Pass.

3. SO YOU THINK (3) 56 Arnold/JB Cummings

Captain: No doubt the best racehorse in the land, but, despite the Bart factor, there's no way I can have him at $3 for the Cup. Untried beyond the 2040m of the Cox Plate, as much as I am a fan, his price doesn't interest me. Although I think his path to the Cup through the Cox and Mackinnon is perfect for him, as a resident WHAB punter, what am I going to do? Tell you all to plunge on him at the short odds and not win much anyway? It would be irresponsible of me as a WHAB expert punter to overlook the value in this field, and there is plenty of that. Considering that most of the horses in this field are just warming up when they get to 2000m, I just can't have him here even though he is a beast. All that said, I wouldn't be at all disappointed if he won, just really, really poor...and I'm so hoping to avoid spaghetti on toast for dinner Tuesday night...

Professor: Well, $3 at the Cup is just not going to ring any of my bells. Good enough, clearly to be winning this, but this is a deep edition of the Melbourne Cup and I'll be looking for a little value.

4. ZIPPING (16) 55.5 Hall/Hickmott

Captain: Racing in great form but has been in great form before all his many Melbourne Cup 4ths. Has just never quite got a strong two miles and I don't see this year being any different. Heavy consideration required for your First 4 betting though, because he definitely knows how to run 4th in a Cup, especially if you've loaded up on him...I've got a long memory.

Professor: I could buy into this getting up. It's flashed home for fourth when in worse form. I probably won't be on Zipping but this would be no shock.

5. ILLUSTRIOUS BLUE (9) 55 Boss/Knight

Captain: Would have been much more appealing if he had of been named Electric Blue...even more appealing if he had an Iva Davies circa 1987 curly mullet...



I like other internationals more here, and I can't seriously consider him, but if he hits the lead close to the winning post, I'm sure it will be all down to Iva Davies and that absolutely spectacular mullet...

Professor: $61! Yes please. Form around Purple Moon, a second to King of Wands. I'll be having a big chunk of this as 2010s best roughie and advise you do the same.

6. MR MEDICI (5) 55 Beadman/Ho

Captain: The Honkers track-work specialist ran okay in the Caulfield Cup but I think that was his race. I can't really entertain him as a chance over the two miles no matter how much track-work he's done. Okay, maybe if he'd had another 200 or 300 track-work gallops I could see that he might be fit enough to run 3200m. But he just might be those couple of hundred track-work gallops short for the two miles. I wonder how much prizemoney you get for track-work gallops in Honkers? Must be some big money in it. Anyway, I'd like to see this guy next year in the Caulfield Cup on a dry track with lots of track-work under his belt, that's his go, the 2010 Melbourne Cup is not.

Professor: Too many questions. Obviously not a mudlark but handled the Caulfield Cup alright. The big doubt for me is the 3200 and I'll accordingly pass...unless it gets out to something in the 100s. Though $61 is do-able.

7. SHOOT OUT (17) 55 Brown/Wallace

Captain: Shoot Out's Melbourne Cup campaign started way back in July. Why? Only John Wallace knows that. After Saturday's run in the Mackinnon, he heads into the Cup with 7 runs under his belt and I just think the drawn out campaign will prove too much. I hereby nominate Wallace for the Ross McDonald Award: "I have a nice horse so I'm going to try and win everything with him!". Although McDonald would have no doubt thrown in the Caulfield Cup and maybe a Moonee Valley Cup to boot. For sentimental reasons I think it might actually be sadder if he won the Cup; though I'm sure Stathi Katsidis will be cheering on Corey Brown and his mate Shoot Out from above...

Professor: The forgotten horse in this field. Perhaps 3200 is just what the doctor ordered as he's been no match for So You Think over the shorter trips. At $29 I could buy into his stroy if I have an early win on Cup Day. Probably a six on the beer scale.

8. AMERICAIN (12) 54.5 Mosse/de Royer Dupre

Captain: Despite his name, this guy has a case of the Frenchy fag-nasties, but he also has a Geelong Cup under his belt. A more than handy win that was too, lugging 58kg over a trip that on paper appeared to be a bit too short. And Geelong Cup form has a habit of holding up in the Melbourne Cup. I think Monsieur Americain will definitely be in the finish again here, this being a much more suitable trip. From all reports, he doesn't want a bog, but on a dead to slow track he's right in this. His trainer seriously knows his shit, and come Tuesday night it might be French champagne being drunk from the Cup. He's my second elect.

Professor: I like the form of Manighar more. They've gone head to head in a long race before, for a head win to the Frenchy fag nasty. But, there's a 3 kilo swing to the 'ghar here, and the Caulfield Cup run was a bit more impressive to me, as is the $30. I won't be on, but I won't be ruthlessly slopping up anyone who is.

9. TOKAI TRICK (4) 54.5 Fujito/Nonaka

Captain: Good to see the Japanese return for the Cup, here's a musical tribute!



Has seemingly better looking Japanese form than Delta Blues had coming out to Australia...and that finished nicely back in '06. The moral of the story is that Japanese racing is very strong. In the Caulfield Cup he was 4 wide all the way and he is another of these wet track duffers. So all things considered, his form looks a lot better than a lot of these at shorter odds. A live chance at chunky odds, provided it's not too wet on the day. I'll leave him out but a cheeky run wouldn't surprise.

Professor: So I did a few fucking dollars on Jaguar Mail, who ran first in the Tenno Sho. Then a few more on the second and third place getters Meiner Kitz and Meisho Tonkatsu. Not coming, any of them. So the 9th place-getting Tokai Trick is here, and it can go and fuck itself. Sideways.

10. BUCCELLATI (21) 54 King/Noonan

Captain: Fuck right off Noonan. There are some good horses with strong form that have missed out on a Cup start because of this horse with absolutely fucked recent form. His last win was against two other horses and one of them was fucking useless. Hopefully he runs last and it's a lesson to trainers out there that if you import a horse, it not only might turn out to be shithouse, but you'll incur the wrath of the Captain for taking the place of something that actually has some chance in the Cup...

Professor: Will the Canadian form stack up?? This has less chance than Ugly Bob with Celine Dion:

Because You're God-Damn Ugly, Bob!

11. DESCARADO (1) 54 Rawiller/Waterhouse

Captain: The Professor's man-horse love and midnight crooning of Eagles songs aside, his Caulfield Cup win was full of merit. I thought the Tweed was going to win for sure but he just wasn't desperado enough for the Descarado. After watching numerous replays, he had to do a stack of work to get in the leading bunch, and to be able to kick again when challenged like he did was remarkable. I just can't get this scenario out of my mind; from his dream gate, he takes up a nice position just off the leader, he hits the lead from some hapless roughie, let's call him Buccellati, somewhere near the 800m...boy is he going to be hard to run down...loves the wet...is man-horse love catching I wonder?!? He's my top pick.

Professor: "You better let somebody love you"! Our three fans know I won a packet on this guy a couple of weeks ago. I'll be making my most significant investment on this guy, and you know you better (why don't you) come to your senses and do the same.

12. HARRIS TWEED (13) 54 M & B Baker

Captain: If not for a minor colic attack, which just sounds bad, I'd be having a bigger piece of the Tweed after already having a bit of a nibble. Kiwi Murray Baker and his Swedish son Bjorn feel that he's overcome it, and if you're going on his Caulfield Cup run, he's a huge chance. Then, factor in his strong 5th in the Melbourne Cup last year. He should be right in the finish, provided he's fully overcome the effects of that colic attack. Respect.

Professor: Bjorn Baker is pretty excited here:

And I could be after a few beers as well. Just missing my top four on the heavy, nothing from me on the good/dead.

13. MANIGHAR (20) 54 Oliver/Cumani

Captain: A solid Melbourne Cup trial in the Caulfield Cup and you've got to respect the Cumani's:

Yep...respect...

This is one of those runners that I won't be backing, but has me worried. If it wasn't trained by Luca Cumani, I'd not be worried as much, but this guy could be a real knockout result for me...you can't back them all though.

Professor: My newest horse crush. As you'll have read in my talk of Americain, I think this is the better horse at double the quote. Has obviously turned up in good order and as much as I hate Simon O'Donnell, I'll be taking this as my second pick.

14. MASTER O'REILLY (18) 54 Duric/O'Brien

Captain: Has a similar story to Zipping except that it's much worse. Multiple Melbourne Cup 4th place-getter but whereas Zipping is racing well, Master O is not. And he still hasn't won a race since the '07 Caulfield Cup. And after Tuesday, he still won't have won a race since the '07 Caulfield Cup...

Professor: Pass

15. MONACO CONSUL (14) 54 Williams/Moroney

Captain: After a solid 3rd in the Caulfield Cup, I'm still not that interested here. It's a highly competitive Cup in 2010 and I can't see him turning the tables on Descarado or Harris Tweed, plus I like others from other races, plus the Internationals look very good this year. Not a bad horse but not one of my favourites in the field.

Professor: I'll have my pants down if this gets up, because it is certainly a good chance, at the right price and I've completely ignored it. You can't have them all I guess.

16. PROFOUND BEAUTY (22) 54 Smullen/Whingeing Irish Bitch-Man Weld

Captain: At least with this one we haven't had to listen to Dermot Weld whingeing about the track being too hard and that it needs constant watering for 3 weeks before the race. 5th in the Cup in '08, it's runs since then, barring one on a wet track, have been wins or 2nd's. But I just find Weld so god-damn annoying so I'm leaving her out. She's a chance but nearly everything is a chance this year. There's just no way I can bet on a horse trained by a whingeing Irish bitch-man...

Professor: If it starts drying out, I'll be thinking long and hard [he he], about this one. It looks to be going well enough if dry enough.

17. ZAVITE (7) 54 Walker/AJ Cummings

Captain: His run in the Underwood was great. Then his run in the Turnbull was abhorrent. And then his run in the Caulfield Cup was great considering he hates the wet. I actually think he's going pretty well but such is the competitive nature of this year's Cup, I can't have him winning. I've always thought he's just a class below being a Cup place-getter, let alone a winner. A wet track and you'd think he's totally gone, but then I remember another front-running two-miler who hated the wet, Zazzman was his name...and the only two horses to beat him home were the Diva and Vinnie Roe...so I guess you never know...one for the dreamers and big groups of tarts at the track each putting on a dollar each way and holding up the line for half a fucking hour...

Professor: You old sailor! Good luck with this, at the start of the prep it looked like old Zavite could be in the right for another credible 7th and a phat check here. Not now.

18. BAUER (2) 53.5 Munce/Cumani

Captain: Richard Callander said on Sunday morning that if Bauer runs in the top 5, Luca Cumani should get International Trainer of the Year. I totally agree. Missed out by the width of a pubic hair on the '08 Cup but has had problems, and only two runs since. That is no preparation for a Melbourne Cup. And he's possibly the worst horse in the field on a really wet track. And he has a hoof problem apparently. No chance.

Professor: Tell it walking O'Donnell.

Cleo's 1993 4th Sexiest Man On The Planet...And All-Round Smarmy Fucker...

You know, I don't really want to talk about Bauer, just about what a smarmy fucker SOD is. And how he was probably a poor man's Tom Moody. That's right history. And while I am talking about cricket, I was considering how awesome it would be if Ian, rather than Greg Chappell was an Australian selector. And how his first move would be to retrospectively drop Steve Waugh for good in 1991. Take that history, Steve Waugh only played 11 tests and the captain of the Australian cricket team in the late nineties was actually Stuart Law.

19. HOLBERG (10) 53.5 Dettori/Bin Suroor

Captain: The word from the UK experts is that this guy is the best of their runners. And judging by the look on the face of Bin Suroor when attrition did it's job and he snuck in, they're on the money. I had a nibble at $26, and according to Michael Sullivan from Sportingbet, this fella will get backed in a lot shorter than that. Keep him very safe...

Professor: Another one that will be hard to leave out, though I will.

20. PRECEDENCE (15) 53.5 Shinn/JB Cummings

Captain: Doing everything right for a Cup horse, and trained by the ol' smarmy one himself, you'd think he's a big chance here. I, however, remember what happened when he started warm favourite in the Sydney Cup, which is a poor man's Melbourne Cup. Think he's a big risk at the trip in this company. Others appeal a lot more...

Professor: See Holberg -- though I am even more worried.

21. RED RULER (8) 53.5 Du Plessis/Sargent

Captain: With the 24 horse field of the Melbourne Cup, it's nice when you get to a runner that you can simply say.....fuck no.

Professor: I used to back this every start thinking that G Sargent knew something. Turns out G Sargent is a fuckwad.

22. LINTON (23) 52 Prebble/Hickmott

Captain: I backed this guy weeks ago at huge odds, and while initially being disappointed when he didn't win the Lexus, I'm now feeling bullish about his chances again. The disappointment was more to do with him needing to win to guarantee a Cup start rather than his actual performance, but thankfully, attrition has struck again. I've re-watched the Lexus numerous times and Linton finishes off like a two-miler after getting a slop ride by...you guessed it, the Boss-man! He also meets Maluckyday 1.5kg better. On drawing gate 23, after Zipping drew 16, Nick Williams came up with this classic brownie points winner: "Considering my wife drew the barriers, I'd say they're both perfect". That man's gonna see some serious action. A good lightweight chance, and still at generous odds...and doesn't he just remind you a bit of that other big grey bastard from the Lloyd Williams camp...?!?

Professor: I've been spruiking this for months, another that I have taken at a very nice quote, and I'll probably have more on it tomorrow, looks like it will run the trip right out, though I would prefer the track to be good.

23. ONCE WERE WILD (11) 51.5 Cassidy/Waterhouse

Captain: Improved run in the Lexus but it really is hard to see her turning the tables on the first two there. Gai's unorthodox prep for this one makes it hard to line up her form with any certainty, but I'm prepared to say that she's not good enough, and at the very least, she's way under the odds. Pass.

Professor: Has been backed like a good thing today, and I can see the logic here, I think $29 is as short as you'd want, though sometimes you want to get on board with the smart money, especially as Gai might just have something up her sleeve.

24. MALUCKYDAY (6) 51 Nolen/M, W & J Hawkes

Captain: A huge chance if he can back up from the Lexus, but I won't be diving into him at $7.50. As the Hawkes' have said, he's not the finished product, and they had to seriously think about whether they'd actually run him in the Cup. He looks like next year's hot favourite, all being well, but just not representing good value to me this year. That said, I'm scared of what this guy might do if he can cope physically with his meteoric rise. I'm calling it that he either wins or runs nowhere.

Professor: Backed this on Saturday morning at the fuck you price of $81. Very excited. Can win. Would love it to be no worse than slow, just quietly.

FINAL SELECTIONS

Captain: Boxing these...

1. Descarado
2. Americain
3. Linton
4. Holberg
5. Shocking
6. Harris Tweed

So that should be a juicy first 4 there with any luck! If any of these other than Shocking get up I'll be profiting handsomely on the day, or in the case of Linton, I'll be blowing off some serious steam!

Professor: My top four on dead/slow: Maluckyday, Linton, Manighar and Profound Beauty.

On the Slow/Heavy: Descarado, Manighar, Linton, Harris Tweed..

Two good roughies: Once were Wild and Illustrious Blue

I'm concerned about Shoot Out and I'll probably include it!

Always fun to bring this Cup guide to our legions of fans but with Race 1 at the ungodly time of 9:20am Brisbane time, I'm off to catch some z's! Happy punting!

MELBOURNE CUP FORM GUIDE

Will be up tonight!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Professor Nails Caulfield Cup, Descarado...

In honour of the Professor bagging the Caulfield Cup winner (literally), here's a musical tribute from WHAB FM:



Descarado, why don't you come to your senses
You've been out ridin' fences,
for so long - now.
Ohh you're a hard one.
I know that you've got your reasons.
These things that are pleasin'you
Can hurt you somehow.

Don't you draw the queen of diamonds boy
She'll beat you if she's able.
You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet.
Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid upon your table.
But you only want the ones
That you can't get.

Descarado,
Ohhhh you aint getting no younger.
Your pain and your hunger,
They're driving you home.
And freedom, ohh freedom.
Well that's just some people talking.
Your prison is walking through this world all alone.

Don't your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won't snow and the sun will shine.
It's hard to tell the night time from the day.
And you're losing all your highs and lows
aint it funny how the feeling goes
away...

Descarado,
Why don't you come to your senses?
come down from your fences, open the gate.
It may be rainin', but there's a rainbow above you.
You better let somebody love you.
(let sombody love you)
You better let somebody love you...ohhh..hooo
before it's too..oooo.. late.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Caulfield Cup Late Mail

Okay, the Professor has gone missing in action. Have heard nothing from him for well over 24 hours, which is unprecedented leading into a Caulfield Cup. Hope he's okay and is found under a table in some Irish bar, that would be a great relief. We must push on without him people. Heavy track for the Caulfield Cup...heavy tracks in Group 1's are anyone's guess....here's my guess:

1. Mr Medici
2. Shocking
3. Alcopop
4. Triple Honour
5. Harris Tweed

If any combination of the above runs in the first three or four, I'll be blowing off some steam. I've gone for value in Mr Medici who has gun Honkers form and wet form. Shocking is just a great racehorse in any conditions. The 'Pop, I'm not too sure about in heavy going, think he'll handle it but others might get through it better. The Tweed and Triple Honour add value to my exotics. More than happy to leave Bart's mares out of this given the wet track. Happy punting people, let me know if you come across the Professor...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Caulfield Cup Form Guide

Due to technical difficulties, The Professor will add his thoughts to this piece sometime this afternoon. He says that he apologises for any inconvenience but really couldn't give a shit edgeways! Final selections will be up this evening as we are sick of posting them early without proper research or knowledge of track conditions, and us looking like ass-clowns, so tune in Friday night/Saturday morning for the late mail!

1. SHOCKING (12) 57 Rodd/Kavanagh

Captain: Looking to do what the late Viewed did last year and no reason why he can't. All his runs this time in have been strong and he can win regardless of the tempo of the race. I doubt Mark Kavanagh will be looking as shocked as this if his charge gets up on Saturday:

But you know he'll be going totally nuts either way. One of your top chances, the people's jockey aboard, a must for multiples.

2. METAL BENDER (2) 56 Bowman/Waller

Captain: If there's one thing I've noticed about the Bender, it's that he pops up along the rails every time he wins a big race. Drawn ideally to do just that here and his last run was nice when racing back near the tail. My opinion is that he's poorly weighted despite the fact he's won three Group 1 races; they were the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas for 3.y.o's and the Doomben Cup, which is hardly on par with any of the Spring Group 1's. Getting only 1kg less than a Melbourne Cup winner here and there has to be some query at the trip. One gets the feeling that he may not have been a Caulfield Cup starter if not for a certain beast called So You Think looming large over the Cox Plate. A chance, but at $6, I'm looking elsewhere for the winner.

3. MR MEDICI (16) 55 Mosse/Ho

Captain: Think this one is over the odds by virtue of the fact that he hasn't run since May. Worth noting that he's had a thousand track gallops since then though and his Hong Kong form is terrific. If he can beat home Viva Pataca three times in a row then he certainly has the ability to win a Caulfield Cup. The $21 is great value, and will add some phat-ness to your first four.

4. TOKAI TRICK (21) 54.5 Fujita/Nonaka

Captain: Japanese plugger who is probably better suited at two miles. Won't be drawing a line through a Japanese visitor pretty much ever but I'm not liking this guy's story nearly as much as his predecessors Delta Blues, Pop Rock and Eye Popper. Wide gate no help, prefer to see first, and think he'll be just getting warmed up in the final furlong.

5. BUCCELLATI (17) 54 King/Noonan

Captain: Doesn't appear to be good enough/doing enough to win a Caulfield Cup. His last win was in a field of 3 and I could have beaten one of them home for 3rd. It looks like his best form was in 2008. Noonan probably spent a fortune buying and importing this horse but I for one will not shed a tear if it proves to be a total waste of money. Pass.

6. HARRIS TWEED (9) 54 B Rawiller/M & B Baker

Captain: Trained by Kiwi Murray Baker along with his Swedish son Bjorn, the Tweed is not without a chance. Pouring through his form, his last 9 runs are all good. Book-ending those was a solid 5th in the Melbourne Cup last year and a last start win in the Bart Cummings as topweight. At $31, I'm inclined to throw him in for some value.

7. MANIGHAR (3) 54 Oliver/Cumani

Captain: Another okay looking UK grundler, maybe it's just an excuse for Francesca to come back Downunder:

Fair enough then...

Cumani's horses are always brought out here with the Melbourne Cup in mind. The Caulfield Cup is not much more than a warm-up for this guy so my advice is to enjoy Francesca and leave him well alone.

8. MASTER O'REILLY (10) 54 Dunn/O'Brien

Captain: Ol' Master O, lining up for his 4th Caulfield Cup, is looking a bit long in the tooth this time in. Won this race at his first go in 2007 but he hasn't won a race since. He won't be winning this. He will probably be finishing off nicely late and it will look like a super Melbourne Cup trial but don't be fooled. Save your cash, because he will probably run 4th in the Melbourne Cup again. Not that I'm bitter at all...

9. MONACO CONSUL (15) 54 Williams/Moroney

Captain: Strangely, this fella's form seems to be getting worse as the distances of his races increases this time in. I can't see his form being anywhere near good enough to be winning this. My other knock is that I think last year's Derby was lacking in quality. The only other horse out of it that I rate is Viking Legend who I would argue is not a true stayer. No thank you.

10. TRIPLE HONOUR (11) 54 L Cassidy/Waller

Captain: Although not tested at the trip, and being a Doncaster mile winner, I actually think he stays these days. His only run beyond 2000m was a dominant win over 2200m during the Brisbane Winter Carnival. This is a big step up from that but his recent form is okay and he is far from the worst here. While I doubt that he'll win, the $26 interests me for my exotics.

11. ZAVITE (19) 54 Melham/AJ Cummings

Captain: One thing's for sure, with gate 19, he's going to have to roll to the front. He'll likely have to do a lot of work early to get there and that ends any slim chance he had of winning. Rival trainers have been talking fondly of Zavite setting a 'torrid' tempo; lately he seems to have been ridden deeper in the field. Hopefully it's the Zavite of old sorting out the contenders and pretenders and giving the swoopers every chance. As for him, he can't win from out there.

12. ALCOPOP (22) 53.5 Zahra/Stephens

Captain: Nicely weighted and ran a pretty hot final sectional last weekend behind the Beast. Definitely has the ability, I think enough ability to overcome the wide gate. Making him my top pick and hopefully I'll be popping plenty of alco-bevvies on Saturday afternoon/evening/night/Sunday morning if he gets up!

13. HERCULIAN PRINCE (6) 53.5 Schofield/Waterhouse

Captain: Under the odds after beating a couple of old-time hacks in the Metropolitan. Waterhouse horses for some ungodly reason are always massively under the odds when they run in Melbourne, and considering Gai's strike rate down there, it's just laughable. The best horse this guy has beaten is an emergency here in Mourayan and the second best is No Wine No Song. You want to talk $6.50 with me? You're going to need some better credentials than that. Oh wait, he knocked over Stormhill as well...look out!

14. ZABRASIVE (13) 53 Newitt/O'Shea

Captain: Why is the Randwick Guineas rated so highly when handicapping a Caulfield Cup? It's a 3.y.o mile race. I don't get it. Just not doing enough for mine and after not winning a share of him in the Win Zabrasive competition, I've completely lost interest in him.

15. DESCARADO (18) 52.5 Munce/Waterhouse

Captain: Descarado,
Why don't you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate. It may be rainin', but there's a rainbow above you. You better let somebody love you. (let somebody love you) You better let somebody love you...ohhh..hooo before it's too..oooo.. late. The Professor croons himself to sleep with that. Loves his Descarado, but can even he love him enough to forgive that shocking last run?!? Sure he can. I, on the other hand, cannot. A cheeky run up on the speed wouldn't surprise, and he did score a nice win over Triple Honour two starts back, but his Melbourne debut was terrible. He's all yours Professor!

16. JESSICABEEL (20) 52.5 Winks/O'Shea

Captain: Out to a more suitable trip here but I doubt she has the class to win a race of this magnitude. Two miles might be more her go. As a form guide might say, 'cannot enthuse'...

17. FAINT PERFUME (7) 52 Boss/B Cummings

Captain: Her form leaves you wondering if she is as good as everybody thought when she won the VRC Oaks. But it's just passable enough to make you wonder if ol' smarmy Bart has something up his sleeve. She can't be taken lightly, even the Professor is taking her seriously despite the Boss/Bart combination which he once described to me as being 'pure racing evil'.

The Professor's worst nightmare...

18. DARIANA (8) 51.5 Nolen/B Cummings

Captain: Can't forget how she smashed the boys in the QLD Derby, and QLD form is the business these days. There's the Bart factor as well and also the 51.5kg featherweight. Her last run was a bit below par but I think she comes into her own over this trip. Still running over that QLD Derby in my head...a big chance.

19. 1st em MOURAYAN (5) 53.5 Hall/Hickmott

Captain: Doesn't seem to have brought his UK form with him and getting smashed by Herculian Prince is hardly an ideal lead-up. I'm going to say no on principle anyway because I abhor connections of imported stayers.

20. 2nd em RED RULER (1) 53.5 Du Plessis/Sargent

Captain: He likely won't get a start and it's getting very late, so that's about all I've got for the Ruler...

21. 3rd em DRUNKEN SAILOR (4) ?/Cumani

Captain: Altogether now!

What'll we do with a drunken sailor,
What'll we do with a drunken sailor,
What'll we do with a drunken sailor,
Earl-aye in the morning?

Chorus:
Way hay and up she rises (x3)
Earl-aye in the morning

1. Put him in the long boat till he's sober,
2. Keep him there and make 'im bale 'er.
3. Shave his belly with a rusty razor.
4. Put him in bed with the captain's daughter.

Probably won't get a start.

22. 4th em VALDEMORO (14) 50 Maskiell/Vasil

Captain: All I can think about when I hear this horse's name is when my missus dragged me along to a movie with this ugly bastard in it:

Her form stacks up for a Caulfield Cup about as good as this guy looks, which is freaking awful.

Tune in for our final selections...

Monday, October 11, 2010

How Predictable

It's funny how a guy does absolutely nothing of importance for a couple of years until a grilling from WHAB fires him up. After being the subject of much ire in a recent post here on WHAB, Marcus North finally pulled his finger out. Now, this better not be a one-off, flash-in-the-pan champ. I'll still be keeping an eagle eye on you, particularly bearing in mind that the pitch was just about friendly enough for me to knock around a half century...Anyway, the power of WHAB seems to be at work again; it wasn't too long ago that we were giving Shane Watson a royal tongue-lashing here and look at him now! He's our best player!

To more serious matters now, in a message for Sreesanth; you are nowhere near good enough nor fast enough to wear a head-band while bowling. You are an ass-clown. Harbhajan should bitch-slap you again, much harder this time.

The main point of this piece is that our illustrious leader is staring into the face of another series loss. Despite a superb piece of captaincy, throwing Michael Clarke the ball, and bringing in long-on for a wicket the next ball. Great stuff, cutting India down to just 5/411. What a cricketing genius he is, having the foresight of knowing that Raina would play a crap shot and hit the ball straight to long-on, as India are left teetering at 5/435 at stumps.

There's just one more series to go...the final frontier begins November 25.....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Musings/Rantings

After suffering through a Grand Final loss featuring Tony fucking Archer and pouring rain, two things that the Roosters are allergic to, my attentions turn now to cricket I guess. I'm not sure what else to do with myself to be honest, after a massively boozy, yet ultimately disappointing extended weekend. So cricket it is, and arriving home I got to watch the tail end of Ricky Ponting captaining the Aussies to another Test loss...and with some cricketing mastermind coming up with the Two Test series, it could well be another Test Series loss for Punter. The thing that annoyed me the most was Mitchell Johnson somehow managing to take 5 wickets in the first innings. I'm sure Punter thought that was all well and good, but watching him bowl leg-side pies to try and close out the match was a bit hard to cop. I honestly have no idea how that guy won an ICC Cricketer of the Year award. Was every other cricketer in the world just absolute rubbish that year?!? Surely there was someone who at least had an alright year...maybe every batsmen facing Johnson that year got cut-shot-from-a-wide-one-and-caught-at-point happy. It's the biggest mystery of the sporting world for mine. Actually, it's the second biggest. The biggest is why you'd even bother to select Nathan Hauritz if you're just going to bowl Marcus North at the business end of the match. Maybe it was just Punter's way of trying to justify a guy being in the team who's been clogging up the No. 6 spot in the order with meaningless knocks for a couple of years. Seriously, how the fuck is Marcus North still in this team? Don't we have the best domestic competition in the world? Is there no-one else? Do we have to settle for such mediocrity these days? Apparently so. If you're going with North as your off-spinner then how about picking another batsmen to compensate for the huge hole that's at No. 6.

The other big news in cricket is the introduction of a new one-day format, seemingly devised by James Sutherland. I've generally found that when Sutherland has anything to do with anything, it gives me the shits. But anyway, the new Ryobi One Day Cup has split innings and is like a "mini-Test match". I boycotted the first match because it sounds as stupid and not properly researched as everything else that James Sutherland has ever been linked with. You can re-invigorate the game all you want, but in the end, cricket is simply ball vs bat in any form of the game. If you really want the crowds to come back to the one-day matches, here's a free tip pal; let the people have a bit of fun. And by fun, I don't mean sitting silently and motionless, drinking light beers all day and not building cup-snakes. That's not fun you clown and that's why no-one goes. Seriously, cricket in this country would be the only sport in the world to ban the Mexican Wave...

The Second Test vs India starts this weekend, let's see if Punter can bag a 2-0 loss to prepare for his final frontier...a possible home Ashes series loss.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

NRL GRAND FINAL!!!

If someone had of told me that my Roosters were going to make the Grand Final after being smashed 42-18 by the Sharks in Round 13, well, I would have just slapped them for being silly. And then slapped them again for good measure. But here we are! Looking to go from last to first in a year! It feels like destiny...after all, if the Tigers had of won a simple scrum, just like they'd done 100 times this year, then we wouldn't be running out onto ANZ Stadium this Sunday evening. And just the fact that we get one last crack at the Dragons, it seems like it was meant to be. The first meeting this year, they smashed us. The second meeting was close, and I take heart from that considering the Roosters were pretty awful that day. We've not only improved but learnt the art of patience since, and that's why I'm more than happy to be having one last crack at the boring George.

Wayne Bennett has never lost an ARL/NRL Grand Final as coach. Brian Smith has lost plenty. Funnily enough, this makes me feel even more that it's meant to be. Carney making the smooth transition from drunken fool to Dally M medallist. It just seems like it's all meant to be for some reason. And, if not, well we're looking pretty good for next year aren't we?!?

I would have loved to write a more lengthy, alcohol-inspired piece on the match but time is short for the Captain. It's probably not necessary anyway, as I'm sure it's clear where my allegiances lie! I'll be at ANZ Stadium to witness the game on Sunday after a complimentary lunch featuring free booze (!), so win or lose, I'll be having a great day and will continue proceedings long into the night at the Roosters Leagues Club!

BRING IT HOME ROOSTERS!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

2010 AFL GRAND FINAL II: ANOTHER CASE OF THE COLLI-WOBBLES?

A couple of times during the original 2010 Grand Final, Collingwood seemed like they were going to completely run away with it. The Year of the Bogan looked inevitable. And then, it happened again. They got the Colli-wobbles. Enter Travis Choke. Amazingly, the closer that guy gets to goal, the more likely he is to miss. He had the opportunity to put the Saints away, but as usual, he choked. Nevertheless, the 'Pies still had a comfortable 4 goal lead...until the rest of his team-mates cracked as well when put under pressure by a Saints team who remembered how much it hurt to lose last year's Grand Final. And now the 'Pies have to do it all again this week knowing they should have put it away last week. Which gives the Saints an even bigger shot at glory.

The best part of the whole deal was definitely this:

Eddie trying to hold back the tears...

The worst part is our old mate JB has no foresight and locked in his wedding for this Saturday! 2010 Grand Final Part I was always likely to be a draw, but he booked it in anyway! Not only am I going to miss the sequel, but I'm also going to suffer big time on my 8 a.m. flight to Sydney after a thousand beers at the reception! Surely the man knew that there was going to be a replay and the mighty Roosters were going to bundle out his Titans in the NRL?!?

Anyways, I hope when I finally watch the replay some time next week that it's more of the same; the 'Pies seemingly have it in the bag and the bogans are going wild...the Saints launch a spirited comeback...the 'Pies get the Colli-wobbles again...Travis Choke starts spraying them all over the place...Brendon Goddard soars high...and another heart-stopping finish featuring the ever-professional Eddie McGuire completely losing control and going berserk at the umpires again!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

AFL GF/ NRL Preliminary Finals!

COLLINGWOOD vs ST KILDA

The last appearance of Collingwood in a Grand Final, where they got smashed by the Lions, was at a time when there were hardly any 50m penalties, you had to have some control of the ball to be awarded a mark, and if someone put their head over the ball, you bumped the living shit out of them and didn't get rubbed out for 6 weeks. Sounds like ages ago but it's only been 7 years! I was watching the replay of that match recently and it was astounding how much more the game made sense, even just 7 short years ago. Amazing how officialdom can do so much to fuck the game up in such a relatively short space of time...but I digress...The last time the 'Pies actually won a flag was when there was no "prior opportunity" bullshit. You got tackled with the ball, stiff shit! And this guy with this rad hair was the business:

Almost a mullet to rival that of Iva Davies in the 'Electric Blue' video clip...almost...

A long time ago that was, but the last time the Saints won, I was years from even being born. It's been a long time between drinks for both sides and I can see the Saints coming out fired up for this one after last year's narrow GF loss to the Cats. Collingwood were amazingly good against Geelong in the preliminary final and the Saints will need to bring the form that they showed against the Cats in Week 1 of the finals to have any chance. I expect that they will, which sets up a potential classic. The 'Pies have an advantage in that they have numerous guys who can kick multiple goals, whereas the Saints rely so much on Riewoldt and Koschitzke, who can both completely lose the radar sometimes. Dane Swan will no doubt have a big game and is my pick for the Norm Smith medal. If he had of played for a team where he was easily the best player, a'la Chris Judd at Carlton, than he would have won the Brownlow by 20 votes. Anyway, the Norm Smith is just as good, if not even more meaningful. The Saints are great value at $3, but I'm going to have to reluctantly tip the 'Pies...they just destroyed Geelong last week. I think this will be a lot closer but that their tackling pressure and run will ultimately prove too much for the Saints. None of us want to see it people, but prepare yourself for the Year Of The Bogan!

TITANS vs ROOSTERS

If your team gets through to a Preliminary Final and awaiting them is the Gold Coast, well you can certainly live with that. The Titans rarely blow teams away and usually give teams enough chances to beat them. I don't think that "home advantage" will be much of a factor for the Titans, considering that when I went to see my Roosters boys play them at Skilled Park during the regular season, there were more Roosters fans than Titans fans. Just how many of them will make the trip up? Hopefully they all couldn't be assed 'cause they're goin' for a surf in the mornin'. There'll likely be many Broncos fans there cheering on the Titans, but no dramas there; the Chooks are 3/3 in QLD this year and have played well in most away games this season. Those of you who are going for the Gold Coast, just think how boring a Grand Final between the Titans and the Dragons could potentially be! Oh the humanity! Tipping my Roosters obviously, I'll be there at Suncorp, sitting with all the Roosters nuts like this guy:

A crazy from the Chookpen...

Hopefully, late Friday night I'll be booking flights and accomodation for the big one!

DRAGONS vs TIGERS

Here's how I see this unfolding...Dragons dominate posession early and after numerous back to back sets, Soward takes an early two points through a penalty. About five minutes later he slots another. The Tigers get some ball but can't find a way through like they did early against the Roosters and Raiders. They take a shot at goal just to slow things down and give their forwards a breather. Dragons get more ball and another penalty and Soward points to the sticks. On 32 mins, the Dragons score through Gasnier, prompting loud cries of "Cooking with Gaz" from their ultra-creative fans...

It took this guy three years to come up with this corker...

Soward kicks the goal, or maybe he misses, it doesn't really matter. Dragons lead 10/12 -2 at the half. Second half, and if you thought the Tigers looked tired at the back end of the game against the Raiders, you should see them now. The Dragons are turning the screws, another penalty goal and the Tigers are teetering. Marshall starts trying too hard, and you're thinking that if the Dragons can slot yet another penalty, she's all over. They do. And that 5th or 6th or however many penalty goals it is now that they've kicked breaks the backs of the Tigers. Dragons then finish them off with a couple of late tries.

Just can't see the Tigers winning this. Against any other team, I'd give them a big chance but the Dragons defensive, clinical and effective, yet ultimately boring game plan is simply against them here. The St. George-Illawarra-Steeler-Dragons will grind them down early, and when they sense the weariness creeping into their opposition, they'll go for the jugular and join the Roosters in the Grand Final!

Monday, September 13, 2010

FOOTY FINALS!

After a five-star luxury enforced hiatus, the Captain is back on WHAB for the rest of the glorious month that is September! There's already been some cracking games of footy and hopefully there'll be a few more...sudden death all the way now, so let's have a look at the AFL Preliminary Finals and the NRL Elimination Finals...

'PIES vs CATS

Everyone seems to be crapping on that this is the real Grand Final but the fact is, the Saints have already pissed all over that idea. This is a tough one to pick...I tossed a coin on it but the coin seems to have vanished:


We know that Collingwood can definitely beat Geelong but with the Minor Premiership under their belts, and with the burden of Collingwood bogans the land over talking Premiership between their rolly-smoker-stained gap-teeth, the pressure is all on the 'Pies. The Cats have been there and done that so we can expect them to be settled early on. We don't quite know what we're going to get from the Collingwood players; will they come out firing or will they be thinking about how long it's been since they won a Premiership and what a wasted opportunity this would be? I am going to tip the 'Pies on the basis that they'll start well, that the Cats will hang around for much of the game, with Collingwood finishing them off in another big last quarter. Pretty much like the last time they played. I just don't like the fact that Geelong tuned up for their biggest match of the year against a timid and awe-struck Dockers. Seriously, I stopped watching that game after 5 minutes, such was it's sheer pointlessness. So Collingwood to go through to another Grand Final...

SAINTS vs BULLDOGS

The Dogs actually showed some fight last week in front of Julia Gillard (their no. 1 ticketholder) after looking like they were going to limp out of the finals yet again. Perhaps they've turned it around...but St. Kilda for much of the game against Geelong looked fantastic, as good as they looked last year. Riewoldt is starting to look very menacing and the delivery to their forward line in the first half especially of that game was superb. The Dogs will not be able to handle the Saints if they find that sort of form despite having the Prime Minister in the crowd with a Bulldogs scarf on:

We'll see plenty of Julia Gillard during the coverage, maybe even a bit of Barry Hall. I think Riewoldt is playing too...but Julia Gillard is a huge Bulldogs fan in case you didn't know...

Their only hope is that the bad Saints turn up, like they did numerous times during an inconsistent regular season. I have to go with St. Kilda, and if the Dogs are slow out of the stalls, it will be by plenty. Julia Gillard will be there, don't worry, you won't miss her, the cameras will find her...

RAIDERS vs TIGERS

The Green Machine just keeps rolling on with 9 wins out of their last 10, and now a home final against a likely demoralised Tigers. Positive momentum at this time of year is hard to stop, and negative momentum is even harder to turn around. If Benji Marshall doesn't play, the Tigers are a goner; when he went out of the game last week, there was just too much pressure on young halfback Robert Lui. Even if he plays, it may not be enough to stop the Raiders juggernaut which is clicking on all facets of the game at the moment. Shillington and Learoyd-Lahrs have been absolute monsters up the middle of late, Campese has been a composed/clever/cranky/clinical captain at five eighth, and Josh Dugan, give that man an Origin jersey next year...or I suppose you could give it to Kurt Gidley instead.....fucking 'tards...But next year's possible Origin selection balls-ups to one side, last week's game between the Roosters and Tigers was just an epic battle. The high of winning a game like that can spur a team on past any possible tiredness factor...but losing a game like that couldn't be more deflating. I expect the Tigers to put up a brave fight early but you've just got to go the Raiders here:

They're just so hot right now...

ROOSTERS vs PANTHERS

Much more than that, this is the Captain's Roosters vs the Professor's Panthers! At 15-14 to the Tigers, 20 odd seconds on the clock and a Wests Tigers scrum feed, I was a shattered man last Saturday. Sensing a Raiders upset of the Panthers, I feared the worst. Here's what I was thinking: "Fuck. Season over. Sure they'll be a good chance next year, but you never know for sure when you'll get another shot. Fuck! But wait...what's this?!? A scrum against the feed?!? WTF?!?! Surely the ref will call this back. Real scrums aren't allowed anymore. He's letting it go??? He's letting it go!!! Set up for the field goal! No time...snap it! Fucking snap it! YEEEEAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!". And so it was, after showing that we're totally incapable of setting up properly for a field goal in extra time, the Miracle At The SFS was completed with an SK-D intercept and I went off! Now instead of Mad Monday, the boys have a home final against a Panthers team who've struggled for consistent form of late. They do however welcome back Civoniceva and he will make a huge difference. Without big Petero they look somewhat lost...when he's on the field the Panthers seem calmer and more organised. The Roosters will also have to cope with the after-effects of the 100 min marathon which was the Miracle At The SFS. I just think that the euphoria of last week will spur the Roosters on to bigger things, like a Preliminary Final against the Titans. The Panthers are a chance with such a dangerous attack, but defensively they've been pretty sloppy over the last 8 weeks or so. The Roosters defense was monumental against the Tigers. The biggest factor of all at this time of year is momentum. The Roosters have it. Roosters win.

The Miracle At The SFS...