Famous Seamus flying under the radar on mission to cause boilover in Manikato Stakes

Sectionals “terrific”: Mayfield-Smith and Famous Seamus. Photo: Paul HarrisA bemused Noel Mayfield-Smith has joined the chorus questioning the discrepancy between favourite Terravista and the rest of the Manikato Stakes field, claiming there’s “not much more” his own charge Famous Seamus can do.

A day after Buffering’s trainer Robert Heathcote pondered why his four-time group 1 winner was being shopped at such value, Mayfield-Smith could not fathom the $17 being offered about his major winner with Ladbrokes.

Tim Clark took Famous Seamus for a spin around Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning as the Hawkesbury-trained star looks to avenge a first-up defeat to Terravista in The Shorts at Randwick.

Quizzed whether he was surprised at Famous Seamus’ Manikato Stakes standing with bookies, Mayfield-Smith said: “I am, but it is just how it is.

“I don’t know whether I’m biased or not, but, for mine, in The Shorts, if you dissected and watched the race carefully … from his gate, he had to go back and was probably three or four lengths worse off.

“When you’re giving horses of that calibre – Terravista and co – that sort of start over 1100-metres you’re really facing an uphill battle trying to run them down.

“His sectionals were terrific and then he came out and won the Premiere Stakes in a race I thought he would be really vulnerable in.

“I don’t know what more he can do. Maybe it’s the fact he doesn’t go well on wet or shifting ground which has knocked his strike rate around a bit, but he’s still won more than $900,000 in prizemoney.”

Terravista was $3.40 favourite with Ladbrokes on Tuesday night, with Mick Price’s Lankan Rupee ($3.90) expected to challenge for favouritism later in the week. Buffering was third pick at $6 for the $1 million group 1 on Friday night.

Hawkes Racing’s Chautauqua was saved from the race for the Flemington carnival.

Famous Seamus had his first look around Moonee Valley in an early-morning hit-out at the Breakfast With The Best on Tuesday. The six-year-old was able to fly under the radar amid the drama enveloping the Cox Plate field, but his trainer remains buoyed about the prospects of a Manikato Stakes boilover given Melbourne’s fine forecast.

“They’re all blowing up down here about the firm tracks, but it suits him down to the ground,” Mayfield-Smith said.

“He worked very nicely and handled Moonee Valley pretty well. He worked to the line strongly and I probably would have liked him to work a little bit stronger early, but his work was very good. In fact, it was very good.”

Despite ambushing his rivals to win his first group 1 in the BTC Cup in May, a Manikato Stakes success would be the jewel in the crown for Mayfield-Smith and long-time client Jim Simpson.

Simpson had a trainer’s licence and raced frequently on the picnic circuit, but is enjoying the deeds of Famous Seamus.

The feedback from Moonee Valley was not so glowing from Tommy Berry, who partnered Gary Moore’s Not Listenin’tome in a moderate gallop. Berry told connections the addition of blinkers would be needed to sharpen the gelding after he drew barrier one in the 1200-metre scamper.

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Mitchell Johnson not in Wasim Akram’s class yet, says Waqar Younis

Mitchell Johnson may have become Australia’s human wrecking ball, but Pakistan coach Waqar Younis says the left-arm pace ace is not in the league of former fast bowling great Wasim Akram.

For Waqar, who formed half of one of world cricket’s most deadly pace duos in the 1990s, Akram remains the benchmark for all left-arm quicks.

“I wouldn’t compare anyone to Wasim Akram, that’s for sure, because he’s a legend and has done wonders for Pakistan over the last decade or so,” Waqar said of his former teammate, who is ninth on the all-time wickets list with 414.

“He’s got a long way to go if he wants to compete with Wasim Akram, but he’s definitley a threat and a very fine bowler.”

Waqar’s comments come after a stellar run for Johnson during which he has re-established himself as one of the most lethal fast bowlers in international cricket.

Johnson, on 264, needs 28 wickets to pass Craig McDermott and move into Australia’s top five wicket-takers’ list, and could do so as early as this summer if he continues his red-hot run.

Johnson, with 59, sits second for most Test wickets during the past 12 months, bettered only by Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath who has played two more games.

And none of the world’s leading bowlers during that period has come close to matching Johnson’s average of 16 and strike rate of a wicket every 32 balls.

Johnson will find the pitches in the United Arab Emirates less helpful than the tracks back home and in South Africa but Pakistan still rate him highly.

“The last few seasons he has definitely changed his mode. He’s become a lot better bowler, he’s attacking,” Waqar said.

“We know they’ll use him in short spells and look for wickets from him. He’s a fine bowler. He is a threat, he’s world class.”

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Greg Inglis wants to keep the No.1 Kangaroos jumper

Number one: Greg Inglis is keen to take advantage of Billy Slater’s absence from the Kangaroos side. Number one: Greg Inglis is keen to take advantage of Billy Slater’s absence from the Kangaroos side.

Number one: Greg Inglis is keen to take advantage of Billy Slater’s absence from the Kangaroos side.

Number one: Greg Inglis is keen to take advantage of Billy Slater’s absence from the Kangaroos side.

After waiting nine years to become Australia’s first choice fullback, Greg Inglis has every intention of making the No.1 jersey his own.

Inglis has craved for so long to replicate his club position by playing at the back at representative level, however Billy Slater’s constant presence has left Inglis confined to a centre spot.

Now, with Slater injured, Inglis plans on ensuring the move to fullback is permanent.

“It’s something that I’ve been striving for but it’s a bit hard when you’ve got someone like Billy Slater in the No.1 jersey,” Inglis said. “I’ll try and take my opportunity and really embrace it and hopefully hold on to it. At the end of the day I’m just happy to be in the side no matter what number the jersey is.”

Inglis has played just two of his 29 Test matches at fullback, both at last year’s World Cup, in Slater’s absence. At 31, Slater may have played his last Test match should Inglis thrive as the Melbourne fullback watches following a shoulder operation.

“The best thing about me is that I’ve got age on my side,” Inglis said. “Billy is in his 30s and I’m only 27. He has a few more years left. At the end of the day, you’ve got to go back to club [level] and perform to get your spot.

“It’ll sort itself out in the long run. At this point of time Billy would be the No.1 if he didn’t pull out through injury.”

Despite being years away from being grouped in the veteran category, an influx of youth in the Kangaroo line-up has Inglis feeling his age. The young Australian squad – led by Inglis’ South Sydney teammates Dylan Walker and Alex Johnston, plus Newcastle’s Sione Mata’utia – have added some spark to the Kangaroos team according to Inglis.

“I was in there doing medicals and the debutants walked in,” Inglis said. “I had to get out of there, I felt a little bit old. I had to go find the older group.

“They bring a lot of enthusiasm and excitement to the side, which is a plus. People are writing us off. At the end of the day we have a job to do in the tournament. It’s always exciting times to be in the Australian side. There’s been a lot of negativity about boys pulling out, but they pulled out for the right reasons. We have a job here to do throughout the tournament.”

Meanwhile, Inglis has not ruled out a cross-code switch when his South Sydney contract expires at the end of 2017.

But do not expect him to follow Jarryd Hayne into a potential National Football League career.

“I don’t know about NFL,” Inglis said. “Jarryd has gone over for the challenge. I don’t even watch it. I do take a bit of interest but not full-on.

“I always keep the doors open. Later in the career you look at different opportunities. I’m open to it. At this point of time I’m contracted to Souths.”

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Tim Sheens names five debutants in Kangaroos team for Four Nations opener

Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens has named five debutants, including South Sydney premiership winner Dylan Walker, for Australia’s opening Four Nations clash against New Zealand on Saturday.

Walker, Daniel Tupou and Josh Mansour headline an inexperienced Kangaroos back line, while forwards Aaron Woods and Aidan Guerra will also make their Test debuts.

Sheens has opted for the NSW back row of Greg Bird, Ryan Hoffman and Beau Scott.

New Zealand’s squad is also filled with youth: Jason Taumalolo and teenage winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak will make their Test debuts.

Australia: Greg Inglis, Josh Mansour, Dylan Walker, Michael Jennings, Daniel Tupou, Daly Cherry-Evans, Cooper Cronk, Aaron Woods, Cameron Smith, Sam Thaiday, Beau Scott, Ryan Hoffman, Greg Bird. Interchange: Robbie Farah, Aidan Guerra, Josh Papalii, Corey Parker.

New Zealand: Peta Hiku, Jason Nightingale, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Dean Whare, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, Kieran Foran, Shaun Johnson, Jesse Bromwich, Thomas Leuluai, Adam Blair, Simon Mannering, Kevin Proctor, Jason Taumalolo. Interchange: Lewis Brown, Greg Eastwood, Martin Taupau, Tohu Harris.

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Brisbane filmmakers crowdfunding The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco

Brisbane filmmakers are planning a big screen adaptation of John Birmingham’s The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco.A trio of Brisbane filmmakers have turned to crowd funding to help promote their yet-to-be made comedy – and give locals a chance to be a part of it.

Producer Bec Dakin, director Zenon Kohler and writer Karl Mather work in the advertising industry by day, but formed Wickham Park Productions to bring their first feature film to life.

The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco, John Birmingham’s 1997 sharehouse comedy (a sequel-of-sorts to 1994’s He Died With a Felafel in His Hand), will start filming in Brisbane in May 2015.

Ms Dakin said she had fallen in love with the book in 2004 while still at film school.

“A lecturer said ‘Don’t be silly, he’ll never option that to you, you’re just a student’,” she said.

“I arranged a meeting with John and amazingly he said yes.”

Six years passed before she found her kindred spirits in Mr Kohler and Mr Mather, and their fledgling production company succeeded in getting seed funding from Screen Queensland to develop the script.

Now they’re halfway through a Pozible crowdfunding campaign – not to raise funds to shoot the movie itself – but to help spread the word about its existence.

“When it gets time for it be distributed, we want to know that there’s a whole heap of people out there who already know about it and have told their friends,” she said.

“The film has every opportunity to succeed then … it’s a different way of finding an audience.”

So far around 100 people had pledged nearly $24,000, about one-sixth of the campaign goal.

Rewards up for grabs include on-set experiences, cast meet and greets and even the chance to spend half a day with John Birmingham playing his beloved X-Box.

However, Ms Dakin said the cheapest reward at just $5 allowed supporters to join the “Tassie Babes” community via a website log-in, where they could access and give feedback on exclusive content such as behind the scenes footage, audition tapes and pre-production notes.

“It’s also where we’re going to be putting our casting notifications for extras before we put them out through casting directors,” Ms Dakin said.

“It’s really important to me that this is a Brisbane story and it gets filmed here … using locals is crucially important.”

Several key roles had already been cast, including Brisbane comic Damien Power as Elroy, New Zealand actor Kristian Lavercombe as Leonard, and Spicks ‘n’ Specks host Josh Earl as Phil.

“It’s got such great characters – they’re over the top but they’re not that far off people you know,” she said.

Ms Dakin said they were still looking for the right person to play Birmingham himself.

“That’s our next challenge,” she said.

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Bikie associate spared conviction over police assault

A young outlaw bikie gang associate who assaulted, threatened and verbally abused two police officers in Port Melbourne, has been spared a conviction.

Jamie Peter Riseley, 21, pleaded guilty to assaulting police, using threatening words in a public place, resisting arrest and possessing a controlled weapon before a Melbourne magistrate on Tuesday.

An unmarked police car was patrolling Bertie Street, Port Melbourne, near the clubhouse of the Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, when they encountered Riseley shortly after 2am on March 22, the Melbourne Magistrates Court heard.

Moments later police intercepted Riseley’s vehicle on the corner of Plumber and Graham streets where he showered them with a barrage of abuse, including saying, “go f*** yourself” and “I’m going to kill you c****.”

Riseley had swung his arms around and challenged police to a fight and continued to resist arrest even after being capsicum sprayed, the court heard.

One officer suffered “soreness to the forearm” and another a sore shoulder following the arrest.

Riseley had described the actions of the two police as  “overzealous”, his lawyer told the court.

On Tuesday, Riseley also pleaded guilty to riding a motorcycle without a licence in February, when he was intercepted with four “other motorcycle club associates”, and again riding without a licence in relation to another road stop in April 2013.

Magistrate Franz Holzer sentenced Riseley to a corrections order involving 150 hours of labour to be served over 12 months, and remarked that police should not have to regularly face abuse from the public.

“They are not punching bags,” he said.

Riseley’s arrest in March had come two weeks after the Mongols’ Port Melbourne clubhouse and a tattoo studio linked to the club were raided by police.  Prominent Port Melbourne Mongol Mark Graham, who is linked to the Victims of Ink tattoo studio on Bay Street, was recently found guilty of attempted murder over a shooting at a crowded Queensland shopping centre, in which an innocent bystander and a bikie rival were injured.

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Cattle come out for the big spring show season

JEWEL IN THE CROWN: Pyree dairy farmer Tom Cochrane clips Kangawarra Jewel ahead of Thursday’s annual Illawarra Cattle Society Spring Fair.THE local cattle showing season gets under way this Thursday with the Illawarra Cattle Society Spring Fair at the Berry Showground.

Starting at 9am, for the first time Ayrshire cattle have been invited to attend the annual show.

The show is hosted by the Illawarra Cattle Society of Australia and between 50 and 60 cattle are expected take part in the show, from as far afield as Camden and Bega, as well as the local area.

With some of the best Illawarra and Ayrshire cattle in the region on show, the competition is expected to be fierce.

Classes range from under six months to mature cows, over six years in milk.

Grand champion heifers and mature cows will be awarded in both sections, while the grand champion Illawarra will take out the coveted Bell Ringer Trophy, a special award donated by the late Don Norman and his family.

Judge for this year’s Spring Fair is Berry Holstein breeder, Peter Cullen.

The Spring Fair gets under way at 9am and will run through until about noon, members of the public are invited to attend and breakfast and lunch will be available at the grounds.

The 13th annual South Coast and Tablelands Spring Heifer Classic will be staged at the Berry Showground on Sunday, November 16, before local farmers prepare animals for Australia’s International Dairy Week at Tatura, which then leads into the local showing circuit at Kiama, Berry, Nowra, Kangaroo Valley and Milton.

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Online gambling ‘like a freight train’

ODDS ON: A Wagga counsellor has suggested online gambling may have contributed to a loss in poker machine revenue recorded at the city’s clubs.THE “freight train” of online gambling may be having a significant effect on Wagga clubs’ bottom line, according to one of the city’s counsellors.

Family Support Services gambling counsellor Robyn Preston said the more than $500,000 net revenue decrease year on year from poker machine income at Wagga’s Rules Club and more than $300,000 net downturn at the city’s RSL Club may be attributed to a shift to online gambling.

“I would have to say online gambling would possibly be the result of that, mainly because it’s so accessible and in your face,” she said.

“It appeals to the younger generation with smartphones and all that sort of stuff.

“You can just sit anywhere and do it.”

Mrs Preston denied the revenue loss was due to a decrease in gambling generally.

“The gambling trend is not actually in a downturn; it’s just shifted to somewhere else,” she said.

“Online gambling has been building for a couple of years.

“I’m seeing that in the clients I’m seeing.

“Online gambling is like a freight train rolling along.”

Rules Club general manager Jack Jolley didn’t name one specific reason for the fall in takings, saying online gambling may be influencing the club’s result.

“That’s one of the factors that will contribute for sure,” he said.

“We do know that gaming machine revenue is down across the Murrumbidgee zone,” he said.

RSL general manager Andrew Bell blamed the decrease on tough economic times.

“Society is becoming a saving society as opposed to a credit society,” he said.

Mr Bell said the club continued its strong vigilance of problem gamblers, but had not “upped the campaign at all”.

Mrs Preston said she believed the clubs were addressing the issue of problem gambling adequately.

“The clubs are responsible and they are extremely supportive of gambling counselling,” she said.

“They will direct them (problem gamblers) to me.”

Mrs Preston said that five years ago one in 10 of her clients would have presented with an online gambling problem, but the figure had now risen to three in 10.

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Watchdog to probe Australia Post over banning a post box for the disabled

Councillor Andrew Murat with his prototype drive-through post box.DISABILITY Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan will take up the cause for a drive-through street-posting box in Armidale with Australia Post.

Ms Ryan will ask the service why it has ruled out installing the special box when its own accessibility action plan, launched two years ago, commits to providing accessible products and services to the disabled.

“Australia Post is not providing accessible post boxes to the disabled and I will be raising this matter with them,” Ms Ryan said yesterday.

Armidale Dumaresq Council has collected more than 500 signatures on a petition calling for the installation of the special post box, designed by councillor Andrew Murat.

Cr Murat has spent about $1000 of his own money completing the project.

The post box is aimed at letting disabled people mail letters and parcels from their cars.

But Australia Post has ruled out installing the special post box, claiming it held concerns about the practicality and safety of the installation and it may present a dangerous situation for posties trying to clear the mail.

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Wake Up, Wimmera: October 22

PIC OF THE DAY: Send your photos of the Wimmera to [email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训学校.au or tag us on Instagram @wimmeramailtimes and use the hashtag #wakeupwimmera to have your pic included! Picture: MATT COUGHLAN


We’re in for a scorcher – or a lovely warm day depending on your preference. On the way to oneof the hottest days since last summer with 35 degrees expected.


HORSHAM Rural City Council will campaign forwater to flow into Burnt and Bungalally creeks.Cr David Grimble made an impassioned plea tothe council at Monday night’s meeting to take aninterest in the fight of Burnt Creek farmers, who lastweek called for water authorities to release anenvironmental flow down the rivers.


CELEBRITY VISITOR: Star Sydney jockey Tommy Berry enjoyed a quick stopover in Donald at the start of the week. He is pictured with, from left, back, Debra French, his sister Sam Spencer and Kristy French; front, Sharni French. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

“I’ve met a lot of jockeys and some of them are a bit stuck up, but he’s just lovely.” – Donald resident Debra French who was delighted to meet multiple Group 1-winning jockey Tommy Berry.


Horsham’s Coughlin Park will undergo a $1.46-million upgrade to improve amenities for a range of sporting and community groups.

UPGRADE: Coughlin Park Management Committee chairman Brendan Ryan, Nationals candidate for Lowan Emma Kealy, Coughlin Park Bowling Club president Judy Bryan, Father Peter Hudson, Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty, Horsham Saints Football Club president Roger Sordello and Horsham Saints Cricket Club president Tim Lannen. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Wimmera secondary students will partner with Horsham Regional Art Gallery to host three exhibitions in the next three years.

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