How Sky Blues lost their silver lining

1. Game plan
Nanjing Night Net

Sydney’s game plan needs to be drastically overhauled before next season. Coach Frank Farina and his assistants must use the off-season to create a strategy that will enable them to compete with the league’s best teams. It’s no coincidence that the three top sides this season have the three best tacticians – and Perth Glory have raced into the finals after Alistair Edwards implemented a modern, dynamic plan. After coming from a low base, the A-League is evolving tactically at warp speed and those coaches who can’t adapt will find themselves falling behind the pack. The way forward clearly combines the three Ps: passing, positioning and possession. They’ve hardly excelled in all three, but being a team of such stature, Sydney should aim to lead the pack in all facets, and tactics shouldn’t be an exception.2. Defence

First things first: defence isn’t about the back four. It’s the whole 11. It starts from the front and each line should feverishly endeavour to pressure and then win back possession. Too often, opponents have been able to glide through Sydney’s front six and then put pressure on the defence. No team defends better as a unit than Western Sydney, who are tight, compact and composed and almost impossible to break down with any frequency. It’s a two-sided challenge – one part is for Farina to recognise this, the other is for the team to execute it on game day. Teams need to fear the defensive pressure coming from the Sky Blues. Right now, they don’t, and it shows. The back four next season should at least be bolstered by the return of Pascal Bosschaart, who brings a winner’s mentality each week.3. Slow start

Sydney have missed the finals in two of the past three seasons and the sloppy starts in both campaigns left them chasing their tails and ultimately falling well short of expectation. Although they won two of their first four matches, they lost their next four, and then won just one of their subsequent four games. Though they also failed to take points late – winning one of their final six – there was always a feeling that the troubles of October and November would ultimately cost them. Next season, the Sky Blues have to commit to getting away to a quick start and then trying to hold their place near the top of the table. As a club that leans so heavily on momentum, particularly in terms of crowd support, they need to chalk up results and confidence, not just among the players but in the stands.4. Fitness and injuries

The Sky Blues need to look long and hard at how they manage the condition of their players. Though all teams go through peaks and troughs, Sydney rarely seemed able to get their best side on the park. Early in the season they didn’t seem fit enough. By the end, they seemed plagued by injuries, and both conspired to cost the team at key stages. There needs to be a cohesive, year-long plan put in place to ensure players are fit and healthy from the first game to the last. Special consideration has to be placed on managing those over 30, of which the Sky Blues have plenty. If the club can co-ordinate a plan to get them to full strength over the pre-season, they’ll be a much better chance of competing for silverware.5. Player discipline

Sydney FC’s players might be well behaved off the field but on it, they need to tone down their hostility. Staggeringly, of the 10 worst offenders for cautions and send-offs in the league this season, Sydney has five players. Between Ali Abbas, Terry McFlynn, Brett Emerton, Sebastian Ryall and Fabio, they picked up 41 cards. It’s fine to be aggressive – and quite a good thing when used correctly – but for players of that ilk and experience, they shouldn’t be attracting the referees’ attention so frequently. Sydney ended far too many games with just 10 men or less on the park and several possible comebacks were invariably thwarted when red cards were shown.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Bridge safety crisis

High risk: A school bus at Grieves Crossing. Photo: Peter Rae bridge
Nanjing Night Net

Hundreds of ageing bridges and culverts across NSW are at risk of collapse, as councils fight a losing battle against a $6.9 billion bill to bring regional infrastructure up to an adequate standard.

In the Kyogle area alone, bridges have collapsed three times since 2004, including just last year when the Mills Road bridge failed under a loaded gravel truck. Council officials have expressed alarm about the dangers posed to school buses from a similar collapse.

Across two-thirds of the state, councils are in urgent need of more than $340 million just to bring their timber and concrete bridges up to a ”satisfactory” condition. The problem is intensifying each year as many of the 9289 bridges across NSW reach the end of their structural life.

A joint Herald/UTS investigation has found that although local governments are spending $16 million a year in an attempt to maintain their bridges, they need to be spending double that amount just to prevent the spans from deteriorating further.

Although major bridges and spans in metropolitan areas are the responsibility of the state roads authority, the majority must be managed by local councils.

Mick Savage, from the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia, said a new source of funding for the state’s bridges had to be urgently found.

”There are 650 bridges that are soon going to be unserviceable and some of those are likely to be currently unsafe,” he said.

On the north coast, a clutch of councils including Kyogle, Clarence Valley and Kempsey Shire are facing a potentially catastrophic failure of one of their 806 bridges.

For several years, these councils have been forced to continually lower the load limits on their bridges to keep them open.

”They are a massive, massive problem for us,” said Graham Kennett, the head of infrastructure at Kyogle Council. ”It is the only ‘extreme risk’ we have got.”

Mr Kennett said that in 2008, a council water tanker fell through the Simes Road Bridge, ”which we preferred than a school bus”.

But a 12-tonne school bus still plies its way each day over the Grieves Crossing, one of 13 bridges along Gradys Creek road in the Kyogle council area. Grieves Crossing is rated 4.04 on the government’s 1-5 condition scale; a level 5 would be deemed ”critical, beyond repair”. There are an unknown number of similar school bus crossings across the state.

According to the first ever statutory self-assessment required of councils, at least 65 councils in 2011 reported significant or ”critical” deterioration of their bridges and culverts. Despite this, just months after winning government, the O’Farrell administration terminated a program to replace timber bridges that had been running since 2006, and which had led to the construction of 172 new spans in 57 council areas.

A $145 million ”Bridges for the Bush” program announced in October last year instead caters to bridges on roads used by major haulage companies, and will not provide a single dollar to councils trying to prevent the closure, or worse, the collapse of their bridges.

Meanwhile both bus and transport companies are lobbying the state government to raise load limits on local roads, the Herald has learnt.

In the Clarence Valley area, there are 17 bridges that have the second-worst asset condition rating, described in official government reports as ”requires major reconstruction”. If these bridges are not swiftly repaired, they will move to ”critical, beyond repair”.

The council also has 163 other bridges rated as ”deterioration evident”, some of which are in ”marginal” condition.

The Herald’s analysis was based on a new mandatory reporting regime forced on councils in 2011, whereby each council had to produce a detailed asset condition report known as a Special Schedule 7.

These documents show that some of the poorest councils in the state also face the largest infrastructure bills.

Cobar Shire Council (population 5120) needed to spend $46 million to bring its bridges and culverts up to a satisfactory standard, and Lachlan Shire Council (population 6967) faced a $23 million bill. In Cobar, the backlog equates to a bill per household of $18,714.

A 2011 report by the Mid-North Coast Group of Councils reported that the average condition of bridges on the north coast was ”evident deterioration”, and that each council was spending about $928,000 less per year on maintenance than was required. But the problems could be worse.

The Herald analysis shows that in 2011, dozens of councils failed to meet the new statutory reporting requirements in full, with many unable to identify the condition of their bridges.

Mr Savage said councils are going to be forced to close an increasing number of bridges because they cannot afford to maintain them. ”The only hope that local government has got is that there is a new source of revenue negotiated with the federal government.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Online apps take bite of illegal betting

Concerned: Senator Richard Di Natale wants the federal government to “clamp down” on overseas gambling operators. Photo: Pat Scala Senator Nick Xenophon wants legal loopholes to be closed.
Nanjing Night Net

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie wants the rules on online gambling sites to be tightened. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Apple Australia may be breaching federal online gambling laws by offering apps such as PokerStars which allow Australians to bet on casino-style games with real money.

”We don’t allow online poker in Australia for Australian people under the Interactive Gambling Act … they [Apple] have got an obligation to take down apps that are against Australian law and they should do it,” said Greens senator Richard Di Natale, a member of the gambling reform committee.

While online sports betting is flourishing, the act prohibits the provision of all online casino-style gambling to Australians.

Fairfax Media was able to download the PokerStars app from the Australian iTunes app store, deposit real money and join cash tables. Apple declined to comment.

The final report of the review of the act, released in March, found that there may be about 2200 online gambling providers illegally offering services to Australians, who lose an estimated $1 billion a year on online gambling outlets that are not licensed in Australia.

The review found that existing regulations were not adequate and recommended the legislation be amended to enable and encourage prohibited online gaming sites to become licensed. However, the government has rejected the recommendation.

Many services are hosted overseas and so operate without Australian consumer protections and regulations and do not pay any tax here. Some, like PokerStars, have an Australian office and bank accounts.

Senator Di Natale said the federal government should ”clamp down” on these operators where possible. He also expressed his concern about social gambling apps on services like Facebook, which he believes may ”normalise” gambling, particularly for children.

Some online gambling services exploit a further legal loophole by allowing Australians to pay real money for virtual currency which is then gambled but cannot be cashed out. Independent senator Nick Xenophon said this ”habituates gambling”.

”If the government is serious about … [avoiding] the kids of today becoming the gambling addicts of tomorrow they need to close this loophole,” Senator Xenophon said.

One Perth-based social gambling app operating in the grey area is Chumba Casino, which founder Laurence Escalante said crossed social gaming with online gambling by adding experience points, avatars, quests and social bonuses.

”We ‘gamify’ gambling to make it even more fun, accessible and safe,” said Mr Escalante, who recently raised $2.5 million venture capital and is seeking a gambling licence.

”[Prohibition] simply doesn’t work, and enforcing it in practical terms is difficult, if not impossible.”

Gambling reform committee chairman and independent MP Andrew Wilkie has said rather than allowing online gambling sites to be licensed in Australia, the government should ”tighten” the rules further ”and put in place strategies to deter Australians from accessing the dangerous offshore sites”.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Lost revenue demanded after asylum seekers housed at club

Unhappy: John Clunies-Ross and Maxine McCartney. Photo: Wolter Peeters On a midweek afternoon the Cocos Club is a hive of activity.
Nanjing Night Net

The club, in the bustling community hub of West Island, home to about 120 people in the Cocos Islands cluster, is run by a small co-operative of islanders. But this tiny place, just 14 kilometres long, has found itself unwittingly thrust into the national asylum debate.

The Cocos Islands, an Australian territory just over halfway between Sri Lanka and Australia, has not traditionally been part of the people smugglers’ trade route but, at one point last year, the islanders say, about four boats were arriving from Sri Lanka each week.

With scant facilities on the island, federal authorities commandeered the social club – which is owned by the Commonwealth and leased to the co-operative – about half a dozen times in 2011 and last year to temporarily house asylum seekers while preparations were made to send them to Christmas Island. The club’s management say they should be paid for their lost revenue during these times and for the use of the facility.

Increasingly angered by the attitude of the federal government, the club has sent increasingly high bills and demands for payment to the Department of Immigration. It is now asking for about $79,000.

”It’s just frustrating,” club manager Maxine McCartney said. ”We’re a forgotten little dot of fly poo in the Indian Ocean.”

The club was first, briefly, taken over in 2010 before arrangements could be made to take asylum seekers to Christmas Island. In 2011 the club was home to 86 asylum seekers, Ms McCartney said, from Easter Thursday to the following Monday night.

Ms McCartney said islanders spent their days and nights cooking meals for the men, women and children sleeping in the club and sourcing bulk supplies of T-shirts and sarongs from nearby Home Island.

”So many people gave up their time without question, without hesitation, and they won’t get any compensation,” she said. ”We didn’t even get a response.”

A Department of Immigration spokesman said: ”The department has paid all outstanding invoices for which it is liable for the use of the Cocos Club on Christmas/Keeling Island.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Abbott’s daughters back ‘inevitable’ gay marriage

Gay rights advocates have applauded declarations of support for same-sex marriage by Tony Abbott’s daughters, saying they hope the remarks will help the Opposition Leader’s views ”evolve”.
Nanjing Night Net

Mr Abbott’s daughters Frances and Bridget said in a weekend interview they strongly supported the rights of same-sex couples to get married – unlike their father.

Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said Mr Abbott’s daughters were ”typical of their generation”. Their support showed same-sex marriage was inevitable – though he stressed gay and lesbian couples should not have to wait a generation.

”Children are educating their parents and I’m hopeful that Frances and Bridget can have an influence on their dad … [and] this influence will see Tony Abbott evolve on the issue,” he said. ”If he feels he can’t go so far as to support it, at the very least, he needs to give Liberal MPs a conscience vote.”

Frances Abbott, 21, told the weekend’s Daily Telegraph she had discussed her support for gay marriage with her father.

”I believe it is inevitable,” she said. ”I believe by the time our generation gets into power, I hope and pray something is done about marriage equality and gay rights.”

Bridget, 20, added: ”I just think being gay is a lot more accepted and open for our generation.”

Melbourne lord mayor and former Victorian Liberal leader Robert Doyle has urged state and federal governments to legalise gay marriage. Prominent federal Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer also stated her public support recently.

Mr Croome said the next step towards gay marriage would happen on the state level, with legislation being considered or proposed in most states and territories.

Mr Croome predicted same-sex couples would be marrying in one state or another by the end of the year and ”when that happens, it will change this debate forever”.

”The question for Tony Abbott and [Prime Minister] Julia Gillard is, do they want to be remembered as having stood in the way?” he said.

Ms Gillard also opposes gay marriage.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Sharks close to sealing deal to keep Carney

Cronulla are confident of ending speculation about Todd Carney’s future by finalising a deal with the NSW No.6 by the end of the week.
Nanjing Night Net

Carney, who will on Monday get the scan results of a leg injury sustained in Saturday night’s loss to the Dragons, has told Cronulla he wants to remain at the club that took him in after he was dumped by the Sydney Roosters.

Several clubs, including St George Illawarra, are keen to lure the international playmaker to their club for next season.

Interim Sharks chief executive Bruno Cullen will this week sit down with Carney’s manager David Riolo to finalise a deal with the 26-year-old. ”We’ll move on that this week,” coach Shane Flanagan said. ”Todd doesn’t want to go anywhere, so we’ll just get it done.”

When Carney left the field against the Dragons, there were fears he might have re-injured the Achilles tendon he ruptured in last year’s semi-final loss to Canberra. He has been cleared of that but Flanagan still has some concerns. ”We’ll find out about lunch time on Monday just how bad it is,” Flanagan said.

”We had scans [on Sunday] but we have to wait until the next morning. We’re just guessing at this stage, because we have no idea. They are saying a mid-foot strain at the moment but that can be a number of things. There could be a break there, there could be anything.”

Meanwhile, Sharks skipper Paul Gallen has admitted the players are still waiting for phone calls from ASADA for interviews about the drug scandal that has rocked the club. He said each player now had legal representation, allowing them to take their minds off the investigation and focus on the task confronting the Sharks, which in the short term is a showdown with Parramatta on Saturday night.

”Basically, nothing’s changed from the players’ point of view for the past three or four weeks,” Gallen said on Triple M. ”We’ve all been told we’re going to be interviewed. There’s been rumour and innuendo since round one. But there’s been no player at our club who has been interviewed yet.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Cheika expects teams to follow the Force’s attack blueprint

Michael Cheika is predicting more tight, direct assaults from opposition teams after the Western Force expertly disrupted the Waratahs’ attacking mojo on Sunday.
Nanjing Night Net

Force coach Michael Foley, back in Sydney for the first time since quitting the Waratahs last year, had his team play straight and hard at the Waratahs’ defensive line, slowing down their ball and weakening their impact out wide by sucking in defenders.

The Waratahs ultimately survived the onslaught, notching their second win in a row with the 23-19 result, but Cheika said more teams would look to ape the Force’s strategy to tire and neutralise NSW in attack. ”That is something we’re going to start to encounter because we are putting it out there that we’re going to run and from a lot of situations teams will start to take that approach more and more,” he said.

”We couldn’t get the flow that we needed to dominate the ball, especially from kick-offs. We seemed to lose all type of dominance of the ball after we’d score or they’d score, and then we had to go for long periods without it. They’d try and frustrate us out of it.”

The Waratahs fly to Wellington on Friday for their first away game in three weeks. While the Hurricanes are not afraid to play expansively, Cheika wants the Waratahs to concede less ground in defence.

”You’ve got to get lower than the opposition and say ‘you’re not going any further, stop there’,” he said. ”A lot of times we got low and then they sort of wriggled past us and took another metre, so that brings another guy in and you’ve got to wriggle another metre and go back, and in the end you get shortened up out wide.

”They did it very well so that’s an area you’ve got to get a handle on.”

The Waratahs are building nicely into the season after three confidence-shaking early losses, but Cheika warned there are ”miles” to go on the path to becoming title contenders.

”There’s no finished product coming any time soon,” he said.

”That’s not to say we’re not happy with the way we’re playing … the guys who we want to get the ball are getting the ball and they’re making yards [but] we need to deliver a more consistent platform and be more comfortable to stay on the ball for longer periods of time.”

Foley, meanwhile, was denied a face-saving win over the side he coached, but ultimately left in a storm of controversy at the end of last season.

Refusing to be drawn on how it felt to be back in his old home state, he would only say the Waratahs were ”playing well” and Sydney ”felt like Sydney”.

On field, he was left lamenting his side’s inability to make up a four-point deficit in the final 20 minutes of the game.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Ablett raises bar to outshine father

Gary Ablett’s latest heroics left some of the best players in the competition breathless and even prompted his coach to say he was better than his old man – and this week he will be Sydney’s problem.
Nanjing Night Net

The dual Brownlow Medallist turned in one of the best performances of his career in Gold Coast’s shock victory over St Kilda and threatens to rain on the Swans’ parade on Saturday as they unfurl last year’s premiership flag.

Finding a way to stop the Suns superstar will be at the top of the priority list for John Longmire’s match committee, particularly given Ablett’s dominant record against the club.

The 28-year-old has averaged 32 possessions and polled 15 of a possible 21 Brownlow votes from his past seven games against the Swans. The only time he did not catch the eye of the umpires was in 2011, when he was injured early in the game.

Ryan O’Keefe and Craig Bird are likely to be the leading contenders for the job of shadowing Ablett, whose ability to win the ball inside the packs combined with his explosive pace makes him one of the most difficult midfielders in the competition to tag.

But there could be some relief for Sydney’s midfield – Ablett could be spending more time in attack.

”There’s no doubt as I get older it’s one thing I’m going to have to do – I’m going to move down forward and play more,” Ablett said. ”We’ve got so many guys who can run through the midfield and the more time we can get into those young guys the better we will get as a team. Each game my role is going to change.”

Ablett was keen to deflect praise towards his teammates on Sunday but plenty of others were lining up to pat him on the back after his match-winning effort of 34 possessions and four goals.

Suns coach Guy McKenna believes the two-time premiership winner at Geelong is better than his father – the great Gary Ablett, whom many regard as one of the best players ever to strap on a boot.

”I had the unfortunate pleasure of playing on his father a couple of times and being on the wrong end on those occasions,” McKenna said. ”I’ve watched Gary closely and he’s humble enough to say his old man is better than he is. I would beg to differ.”

McKenna’s thoughts were echoed by three-time Geelong premiership player James Kelly.

”Surely he isn’t still a jnr #topdog,” Kelly tweeted.

Collingwood’s Dane Swan, the 2011 Brownlow winner, and Ablett’s former teammates Joel Selwood and Steve Johnson were among those in awe of the Suns captain.

”Surely everyone hasn’t just worked out now that Gaz is one of the greatest of all time! Has been for 8 years!! #superstar,” Johnson tweeted.

Swans key forward Sam Reid was impressed by the snippets of Ablett’s game against St Kilda.

”I saw half a quarter of it. I heard everyone on Twitter, Facebook and social media going crazy,” Reid said. ”I only saw 10 minutes but he was pretty good in that 10 minutes.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

SBW to face former teammates

Dangerous: Sonny Bill Williams trains at Moore Park in preparation for Monday night’s game. Photo: Jenny EvansSonny Bill Williams will play his first game against a former Bulldogs teammate in Monday night’s clash with Parramatta at Allianz Stadium.
Nanjing Night Net

There are only two players still in the NRL who played alongside Sonny Bill Williams in his last game for the Bulldogs in 2008 before defecting to rugby union.

In Williams’ final game for the Bulldogs in round 18 of the 2008 season against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium, Reni Maitua and Ben Roberts were his teammates. While Maitua, now Parramatta co-captain, remains close with the dual international, he isn’t treating the showdown any differently to another game.

Asked how the Eels planned to shut down the Roosters back-rower, Maitua said: ”The same way every other team deals with him.

”He’s got a good offload, but there’s plenty of other good players in their side that are pretty dangerous, he’s just one of them.”

The Eels have enjoyed a 10-day turnaround from their round-three loss to the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval. Maitua conceded his side didn’t play up to standard against the joint-venture club but believes the long break will hold them in good stead against the Roosters on Monday.

”We’re feeling good, we’re coming off a big turnaround,” Maitua said. ”We were very disappointing against the Tigers. We’ve had a long turnaround and we’re hopeful of putting in a good performance on Monday night.”

The Roosters forward pack have stood up in the past two rounds to lead their side to victories against the Warriors at Eden Park and the Broncos back at Allianz Stadium.

Kiwi front-rowers Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Sam Moa have been two of the Roosters’ best in the first three weeks but Maitua is unfazed by the challenge.

”We’ve worked hard in the preseason and we’re not worried about their forward pack,” the veteran forward said.

The Eels welcome back winger Ken Sio, who hasn’t played since injuring an ankle in the round one victory against the Warriors.

Parramatta will also be boosted by the return of five-eighth Luke Kelly, who was also injured in the win against New Zealand in the opening round.

Kelly’s return has forced Roberts back to the bench to play the role of interchange hooker in combination with Matt Keating.

But it isn’t all good news for the Eels, who will be unable to call on experienced centre Willie Tonga for up to three months after the Queensland representative underwent back surgery on Friday. Tonga has played just 12 games for Parramatta since leaving the North Queensland Cowboys to rejoin the club he debuted for back in 2002.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson has named exciting young prop Kane Evans on an extended bench.

Evans is expected to make his NRL debut in place of Aidan Guerra, who played NSW Cup for feeder club Newtown on Saturday.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Waterhouse reaches for fifth Slipper win

“This is the goal; anything else along the way is just a bonus. The Golden Slipper is what all the work is about”: Trainer Gai Waterhouse. Photo: Anthony JohnsonGai Waterhouse doesn’t use the calendar year, her year starts and finishes with the first Saturday in April and the Golden Slipper.
Nanjing Night Net

The year may end the way she would hope it did last year when Pierro beat Snitzerland in the Slipper. As Pierro hit the line, the cycle had already started again, with the selection of yearlings.

Saturday means Waterhouse’s toil and hard work comes to fruition as she has three Golden Slipper runners, including $2.10 favourite Overreach.

”This is the end of 12 months of work with the babies,” she said. ”This is the goal; anything else along the way is just a bonus. The Golden Slipper is what all the work is about.”

Add appearances by Pierro and More Joyous, and even Waterhouse admits it will be one of the biggest days of her career at Rosehill. ”It is just exciting to have horses like More Joyous and Pierro going around in their races [the Queen Of The Turf and George Ryder Stakes],” she said.

”I have had some big Golden Slipper days – of course, when I had five runners one year [in 2001] and had four run and had the trifecta, that was exciting.

”I don’t think I have had a team like this going to a big day before.”

While Pierro and More Joyous will start odds-on favourites, Driefontein will be at each-way odds in the Vinery Stud Stakes.

”Driefontein is a very underrated filly, and she will run a very good race,” Waterhouse said.

But Slipper day is about the two-year-olds, and Waterhouse will search for her fifth winner from either Overreach, Whittington or Sweet Idea.

”The Slipper is the reason why we sent Overreach to Melbourne in the spring. Sweet Idea went to the Magic Millions [where she was runner-up] but was always going to the Slipper,” Waterhouse said. ”They both worked very well on Saturday. Overreach had a bit of a look-around, being by herself, but she is still the one to beat.

”Whittington, well, he had a setback in December and missed the Magic Millions, and has a couple of runs to boost his confidence. I’ll put a tongue tie on him for the Slipper. Nash [Rawiller] just said he was playing with his tongue the other day, and in the Slipper you can’t afford to be playing with anything.”

New Zealander Ruud Awakening’s connections will pay the $150,000 late-entry fee, while a decision on whether Queenslander Whiskey Allround will pay the late fee will be made after he gallops on Monday. Anthony Cummings and the owners of Scandiva are leaning towards not paying the late entry, even though she is guaranteed a Slipper run after her win in the Magic Night Stakes.

Peter Snowden confirmed Guelph and Kuroshio would run, and is monitoring how Pago Pago winner Sidestep pulls up.

”We will have the two runners for sure, and make up our mind on Sidestep after he works on Tuesday,” Snowden said.

Kerrin McEvoy has indicated he will probably ride Sidestep in if he were to run, which would mean a jockey would be needed for Guelph, as Darley have booked Christian Reith for Kuroshio.

Gerald Ryan is looking for a rider for Dothraki.

Slipper field (In order of entry)Criterion  $12Overreach  $2.10Sweet Idea  $15Sidestep  $10I’m All The Talk $17Scandiva  $35Romantic Moon  $26Fast ’N’ Rocking  $17Villa Verde  $12Kuroshio  $51Guelph  $26Whiskey Allround  $26Whittington  $15Ruud Awakening (NZ)  $17Dothraki  $51Charlie Boy $17Va Pensiero  $101

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.