As we’re coming into the business end of many seasons, the weekend has some cracking match ups across the codes – a bit of something for everyone.
The Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes over 1200m is run tomorrow at Caulfield and signals the last of the group races for the season (or the first, depending on which way you want to look at it). With many aiming for the JJ Liston and Memsie Stakes later on in the year, it’s not a bad indication for the sprint in the spring and this year shouldn’t be much different. Current favourite Pago Rock looks like the one to beat but given the week Australian sport has had, I’d be getting on Second Effort – with Brad Rawiller on board, it might be the only chance any of us get to celebrate anything.
That said, if you’re after an omen bet and English, it would be difficult to go past Elite Elite, although I’d be tempted to tip you towards Captain FancyPantz.
The Super Rugby semi finals kick off in Hamilton and Pretoria and to be honest, it’s hard to see the home teams losing, despite any mind games that may take place. Although the Crusaders have (again) hit form at the right time of year (the shifty bastards), the week off for the Chiefs should be enough to get them over the line in a tight one. The Bulls, on the other hand, should have no trouble in disposing of a Brumbies unit that has, in the past two weeks, failed to beat the Western Force and fell over the line against an impressive Cheetahs team at home. Tell me anyway, would you be more concerned having a raging bull running at you, or a nice, pretty, apparently lack lustre horsey? I rest my case.
Next year’s Super Rugby competition may well be affected by the result of tonight’s relegation/promotion match in Port Elizabeth between the Southern Kings and Lions, who are fighting to regain their place in Super 15 after a year in the wilderness. After destroying their competition in the MTN Lions Challenge throughout the year, the Lions should go in favourites (and let’s face it, form dictates that if the Kings haven’t been praying for about a month, they genuinely have no chance) but don’t discount the value of a full year in Super Rugby for the Kings.
Ha. I made a joke. If the Lions don’t win tonight, I’m almost prepared to do a nude run in Durban. Almost.
That’s not to say that the Kings haven’t had a brilliant debut year in the competition, but with the Lions players coming home, I really can’t see it going any other way.
The AFL’s match of the round looked to be the Bombers and the Hawks tonight, but after yet another week of drugs, drugs and more drugs talk at Essendon, the comedown surely will be immense. It’s been talked up since February this year and to be honest, most of us are gatvol with it all, but the crashing from a high can’t be that far away.
The Hungarian GP has rolled around again and with talks surrounding drivers for Red Bull next year, Sebastian Vettel should again be at the front of the grid. Although he has many detractors, the guy appears to have more driving talent in his pinky finger than almost every taxi driver in the world – combined – and does a hell of a job carving through the field when he needs to; and let’s face it, when he can’t, he just disobeys team orders to do whatever the hell he likes anyway.
The Australian cricket team, led by Ed Cowan (yes, the man who last week was dropped from the test side this week is captaining said team) play Sussex in what we would hope should be a victory for Australia, although let’s face it, if we’re celebrating victory against a county team, we’re in all sorts of strife. Perhaps the best cricket from an Australian point of view this weekend takes place in South Africa, where renegade batsman David Warner narrowly missed a double century in Pretoria. Bless – it’s just a shame that the only batsman we have at the moment who is making a century happens to be on the wrong freaking continent.
Today’s freak-out stays short and sweet as I’m off to try and track down John Cena – yep, the WWE are in town and I’m quite keen on interviewing* the champ. (*stalking)
Have a cracker.