Australian Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett.AUSTRALIAN Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett admits he knows little about greyhounds.
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He’s just glad Thirlmere trainer Mark Gatt knows plenty.

Kihael Kaluna is Hunter thoroughbred syndicator Australian Bloodstock’s first venture into greyhound racing and was bought for $120,000 after the company’s Melbourne Cup win with Protectionist last year.

The black dog had won his first two starts but then finished eighth, seventh and eighth for his new owners.

A reserve for the group1 Vic Peters Memorial Classic (520 metres) heats two weeks ago, Kihael Kaluna was gifted a start by a scratching.

Now the 2-year-old is favourite for the $75,000-to-the-winner final on Saturday night at Wentworth Park.

Kihael Kaluna won his heat in 29.83 seconds and semi-final in 29.69 to be the fastest qualifier for the decider.

After a draw in box three, he was the $2.50 favourite with NSW TAB.

Lovett said the group of loyal Australian Bloodstock clients were thankful to Gatt for getting the best out of their dog.

‘‘It kept getting tonsilitis and knocking up, so the trainer took his tonsils out, which I didn’t know you could do,’’ Lovett said. ‘‘But certainly whatever he’s done, it’s worked.

‘‘He’s running the times, he’s favourite for the final and he’s drawn good, so you’d have to think we are some hope Saturday night.’’

Jockey Brenton Avdulla, who will ride Magic Artist at Flemington for Australian Bloodstock on Saturday, is among the owners.

‘‘He’s racing a group 1 dog with us Saturday night and he’s riding a group 1 horse for us in the Mackinnon during the day,’’ Lovett said. ‘‘Let’s hope he’s in a bit of form.

‘‘There were a few of the blokes who wanted to get into the dogs, and by virtue of them racing horses with us, we got into it. I don’t really know the reasoning behind it, but they are glad they did now that he’s back winning.

Gatt was confident of Kihael Kaluna’s chances in the final.

“He’s definitely capable of winning here, but he’s got to come out well,” Gatt told thedogs南京夜网. “He’s a mad railer, and last Saturday night he had box one. Everything was in his favour.

“I’m hoping he gets on the fence quickly and shows his good turn of speed.’’

Gatt was also grateful for the chance to get it right with the expensive buy.

“I haven’t felt pressure to get results,” Gatt said.

“I’m confident that what I’m doing will work.

‘‘The owners have been great so far and I really thank them for their patience.”

Heddon Greta trainers John and Daniel Flanagan have surprise packet Explosive Madame in box one. It was $41 with NSW TAB on Friday.


He has been flying solo for more than three months but fellow professional Matthew Ebden believes Nick Kyrgios should not be in an urgent rush to find a new coach.
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Kyrgios is yet to appoint a replacement after parting ways with coach Todd Larkham in June, less than a week before Wimbledon.

Recently Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt has helped mentor Kyrgios, and the 20-year-old world no.30 has experienced up and down results since Larkham’s departure.

Ebden, who will play in next week’s Canberra International said contingencies would have been put in place by the Kyrgios camp and there was no need to rush into a decision.

“I spoke to Nick’s agent at Wimbledon about it and, at the end of the day, the coach has to be someone you respect and have fun with,” Ebden said.

“You spend a lot of time with them during the year, and you have to enjoy it.

“As long as he finds someone he likes being around working on his game and loving life, there’s not much more you can ask.

“There’s been coaches out there who have been a brother or ex players, even people who have never played have been coaches.

“There’s no exact formula for it, it’s about finding someone you work with.

“There’s a pretty good set up at TA to help in that regard, he’d definitely have people with him guiding and assisting him.

“Maybe he doesn’t want a coach, maybe he just wants a fitness trainer for a while but I’m sure he’ll work it out sooner rather than later.”

Ebden agreed the fact Kyrgios uses his home town of Canberra as his training base gives the capital scope to be a future training hub for the country’s leading players before the Australian Open.

Tennis ACT is also bidding to host Australia’s next Davis Cup tie in early March.

“As a player for a training base you need your coaches and fitness trainers around, good facilities and training partners,” he said.

“You can take those variables anywhere in the world and make a hub or training base.

“There’s no reason why Canberra can’t grow in that regard, with Nick there the more activity there the better for him to train as well.”

The world no.128 will use the Canberra International Challenger tournament as another chance to boost his rating and secure an automatic Australian Open berth.

He is also hopeful of working his way back into Australia’s Davis Cup team, where he boasts an undefeated record in five matches.

“Hopefully I have a few more years of that, for sure,” the 27-year-old said. “The best thing is we have plenty of options, we have seven or eight players who could be picked.”

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Riverside Primary School students and Riverside Education Support Centre students with Riverside Primary School principal Deborah Bloor and Riverside Education Support Centre principal Jim Douglas. Photo: Richard Polden. Riverside Primary School students, teachers and parents celebrated 20 years of education with a picnic lunch and assembly on Friday afternoon.
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The independent public school caters for students from kindergarten to year 7 and opened in 1995with theEducation Support Centreas part of the combined Riverside primary schools.

Principal Deborah Bloor has been at the school since the start and said it was wonderful to be celebrating the milestone with so many parents and students.

Ms Bloor said in the first years of opening the school was overcrowded with no grass or play equipment.

“Thanks to a fantastic Parents and Citizens Association, who worked very hard over the years, we’ve been able to provide up to date play equipment,” she said.

“At one stage we had 820 students enrolled and we’ve now gone down to 500, which has given us more space.”

In June 2010 the school received an Excellence in Public Education Award.

The award was issued after the Department of Education Expert Review Group assessed the school and said their capacity to support and nurture students was quite remarkable.

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Wentworth resident Keith Moore shows his invitation to address Wentworth Shire Council in front of the Wentworth Sporting Complex house. Picture: Louise DongesWENTWORTH resident Keith Moore claims the Wentworth Shire Council is stifling public opinion after he refused general manager Peter Kozlowski’s invitation to address council before the October meeting.
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“The reason I don’t like it is because it keeps the public from knowing their response – they keep the matters inside the house and out of the public forum,” Mr Moore said.

He wants to see the council answer questions during a council meeting in response to questions submitted to them beforehand to ensure transparency and accountability.

In a letter to the general manager dated September 19, Mr Moore said he walked out of the August meeting when another member of the public was allowed to speak in open council.

“For the first time in attending meetings for 20 years I walked out in disgust,” Mr Moore’s letter stated.

“After a long period of time when I have not been allowed to speak at council meetings … in August one part of a property dispute was allowed time to talk at length on a subject that should never have gone to a meeting and should never have been allowed to continue.”

Mr Kozlowski refuted Mr Moore’s claim that he has not been allowed to speak at council meetings and said it was council practice to consider questions from the public before a meeting when all councillors were in attendance.

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IT IS Hell-oween in Irymple this weekend as residents are invited by the Devil to board the Hell Express.
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Syd Gibson plays the devil in his Irymple Halloween front yard. Picture: Louise Donges

Ten months in the making, the ghost train exhibit is the work of Syd Gibson, 67, and features a headless dummy fallen victim to a guillotine, skeletons, hundreds of spiders and ghosts.

“Every year it changes. I start in January after pulling down the Christmas decorations,” Mr Gibson said.

“One year I just thought I’ll do Halloween and that was three years ago. I was going into retirement and it gave me something to do.”

Mr Gibson said the smiles on children’s faces, including his own grandchildren, is what made all the effort worthwhile.

Hundreds of people are expected through the exhibit with an open invitation to the public to stop by and take a tour.

Mr Gibson spends months sketching and designing exhibits and features, before crafting most of the items himself.

The front yard to Mr Gibson’s Calder Highway home is littered with mock gravesites. Nearby, a witch stands stirring her cauldron and the dead lay peacefully in a coffin or half buried in dirt.

Completed with lights, fog and moving parts and dummies a scary surprise lays around every corner.

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LONDON: Just over a year ago Michael Cheika took control of a Wallabies team that had slumped to a low ebb amid scandal and the sudden resignation of their coach.
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Fast-forward 12 months and Cheika and his men find themselves on the cusp of history when they face the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham on Saturday (Sunday 3am AEDT).

The transformation Cheika has overseen is nothing short of remarkable since he inherited a dysfunctional squad beset by disciplinary problems and reeling from a split between players and management which opened during the 2014 Rugby Championship.

Having emerged from the toughest pool in World Cup history by toppling England and Wales – and ousting the hosts in record-breaking fashion – the Wallabies stand one win away from replacing the All Blacks as world champions.

It was a prospect that seemed unthinkable on October 18 last year when Ewen McKenzie dramatically quit following the 29-28 loss to New Zealand in Brisbane.

Cheika, who had guided the NSW Waratahs to a maiden Super Rugby title three months earlier, was hastily parachuted into the role and on a plane for the Spring Tour in Europe three days later.

Using the tour to restore harmony and enjoyment, try new combinations and stamp his style, Cheika was unfazed that the Wallabies lost three of their four matches, the worst by a touring Australian side for almost a decade.

Defeat brings change and Cheika spent much of his time in Europe putting together a blueprint that would restore pride to the gold jersey.

Midway through this year his persuasive powers came to the fore when a previously steadfast Australian Rugby Union agreed to relax eligibility rules for the most experienced overseas-based players.

It opened the door for world-class talents such as Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell to return to the international fold, both now key figures in the starting team for the final.

With the second row long a problem area for Australia, the return of Kane Douglas from Leinster one season into a three-year deal was expedited and Dean Mumm came back from Exeter.

Likewise the scrum was a perennial weakness until Cheika introduced Argentine scrum guru Mario Ledesma.

Legendary playmaker Stephen Larkham was added as attack coach, joining his former World Cup-winning teammate and defence boss Nathan Grey.

Then the coaching work began in earnest and led to a first Rugby Championship title since 2011, with the cherry on the cake a stunning win over the All Blacks in Sydney in August as the David Pocock-Michael Hooper starting combo was unleashed for the first time.

Although the return match in Auckland a week later ended in a heavy defeat for a much-changed line-up, Cheika was unconcerned and the Wallabies arrived in the UK brimming with confidence after an intensive camp in the US.

It proved to well placed as they clambered over Fiji, Uruguay, England and Wales before completing their path to the final by holding out Scotland and Argentina.

Cheika’s resurrection of the Wallabies has been lauded throughout Europe and there have even been calls in the local media for England to attempt to poach him following their humiliating first-round World Cup exit on home soil.

His success comes as no surprise to Leinster Rugby chief executive Mick Dawson, who appointed Cheika in 2006 as head coach of the Irish powerhouse, where he enjoyed five successful years, culminating in the province’s first European Cup triumph in 2009.

Cheika inherited a star-studded side that included Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy and Jonathan Sexton, but it was viewed as mentally weak following a number of big-game fadeouts.

Dawson said Cheika’s man-management skills were what marked him out as an exceptional mentor and now a successful Wallabies coach.

“He’s a very smart man who’s done well in business outside of rugby,” he said.

“But it’s his ability to get people to buy into what he is doing that makes him stand out.

“Getting Giteau and Mitchell back was a masterstroke.

“Then all of a sudden Kane [Douglas] gets homesick overnight when he’s happily playing for us, and before you know it he’s back in the Wallabies team.

“What Michael wants, Michael gets.” AAP


Phanton call: the greatest Melbourne Cup horses
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John O’Shea withdrew one-time Mackinnon Stakes favourite Magic Hurricane from Saturday’s group 1 event after the horse returned a blood result that his trainer wasn’t prepared to gamble with.

O’Shea said that the horse’s blood had been examined and the overall result saw the horse below 100 per cent, with O’Shea unprepared to take any risks with the horse.

“Look, it was just a little bit of a concern that I got the results and I thought look, he’s probably not worth risking,” O’Shea said. “He’s got an exciting autumn ahead of him, so I’m just being a little bit cautious.

“He’ll go to the paddock and be set specifically for next year’s Australian Cup, which we believe is a perfect target for the horse.”

Magic Hurricane was highly impressive in his last start, when winning the Metropolitan in Sydney and, after missing a run in the Caulfield Cup, the Mackinnon Stakes was to be his next goal.

“He’s a very nice horse, we’re not going to push him, he’ll have a nice long break now and he’ll come back better than ever in the autumn.

“He’s done a great job for us this time in and the autumn will be an excellent time for him to shine,” O’Shea said.

Fawkner had already been withdrawn from Saturday’s weight-for-age encounter after drawing the outside in barrier 15.

Fawkner has had an indifferent spring with barriers, after drawing alley 14 for last Saturday’s Cox Plate.

O’Shea still believes he has a “winning chance” in this year’s Mackinnon, with high-class weight-for-age performer, Contributer, representing the stable.

“I couldn’t be happier with him, he looks great and he should really be at his peak in the Mackinnon,” he said.

With the withdrawals of Fawkner and Magic Hurricane, the race has become even tougher, with those who failed in the Cox Plate now a chance of redeeming that form.

O’Shea said that he was looking forward to the four days with his stable and was also happy with his Melbourne Cup aspirant, Hartnell.

However, the trainer stressed that he believes this year’s $6 million handicap is a race brimming with quality.

“You know, if Hartnell ran 10th, it could be an excellent performance, considering the depth of talent attempting to win a Melbourne Cup,” O’Shea said.

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Adam Ashley-Cooper, Scott Fardy, Scott Sio, Israel Folau and Michael Hooper at training on Friday. Picture: Getty ImagesLONDON: It looms as the greatest feat in Australian rugby history.
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But, to complete it, the Wallabies must beat what has been described as the greatest team in rugby history in the long-awaited first trans-Tasman World Cup final.

Having fought back from their lowest depths, and survived a brutal draw and two scares in their sudden-death matches, only the defending champion All Blacks stand in the way of the Wallabies and their final frontier at Twickenham on Saturday (Sunday 3am AEDT).

Both southern hemisphere giants, the world’s top two teams in the rankings, have a shot at becoming the first nation to lift the Webb Ellis Cup three times.

But, for the Wallabies, another victory at the spiritual home of rugby would top the deeds of Australia’s champion 1991 and 1999 outfits and complete the most remarkable of coaching feats by master planner, manager and motivator Michael Cheika.

Michael Cheika

While Bob Dwyer and Rod Macqueen will forever be hailed for plotting Australia’s two previous against-the-odds World Cup triumphs, neither coach had to overcome the obstacles Cheika has cleared since taking charge of a squad in disarray barely a year ago.

Even assistant coach Stephen Larkham, a hero of Australia’s last triumph 16 years ago, marvels at what the Wallabies’ class of 2015 have accomplished in less than half the time that the past two triumphant outfits had to prepare for the global showpiece.

“We’ve had an accelerated little growth together, whereas in 1999 and 2003 we had two years of preparation,” Larkham said of Cheika’s 15-Test reign.

“But I’d say these boys are at the stage we were at in particularly 1999 and 2003.”

The final shapes as a classic, with the Wallabies facing a formidable All Blacks outfit inspired by outgoing greats Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu and Keven Mealamu.

The titleholders’ devastating dominance is illustrated in their record of just three losses in 53 Tests since their drought-breaking 2011 World Cup win.

And with just one defeat to the Wallabies in 11 encounters during that period, the All Blacks will start as deserved favourites to become the first team to win back-to-back World Cups.

But the Wallabies have good reason to take confidence, dating right back to their 27-19 Rugby Championship-deciding win over the All Blacks in Sydney in August, when the David Pocock-Michael Hooper combination was unleashed.

They are a much stronger team two months into their tough World Cup path and with the return of fit-and-firing halfback general Will Genia and workaholic lock Kane Douglas, who did not play in Sydney.

The All Blacks do not have a mortgage on experience in the final, either.

With four Test centurions and 834 caps in the starting line-up, this is the most experienced Wallabies side ever assembled.

The biggest question mark is over how much their campaign, so much harder than New Zealand’s, has sapped them, and whether they can maintain their high-octane, high-pressure game for the full distance.

As ever, Cheika has warned his charges to stay in the moment and disregard the accolades supplied by others.

“I’m not in for the big, sweeping statements. I’m a big believer that your next game is the one that proves who you are,” he said.

“The minute you start relying on cliches or tags or titles, you’ll get pinched.

“It’s happened too many times.”

Australia: Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Tevita Kuridrani, Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy, Rob Simmons, Kane Douglas, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore (captain), Scott Sio.

Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Greg Holmes, James Slipper, Dean Mumm, Ben McCalman, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Kurtley Beale.

Coach: Michael Cheika.

New Zealand: Ben Smith, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Conrad Smith, Ma’a Nonu, Julian Savea, Dan Carter, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read, Richie McCaw (captain), Jerome Kaino, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Joe Moody.

Reserves: Keven Mealamu, Ben Franks, Charlie Faumuina, Victor Vito, Sam Cane, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Beauden Barrett, Sonny Bill Williams.

Coach: Steve Hansen.

TV: World Cup final, live on Nine, Gem and Fox Sports 2, Sunday 3am kick-off.