Parkes caught napping as Raiders create havoc

The back of Ash Widders the Parkes defence got used to seeing yesterday. The flying Macquarie Raiders winger scored three tries in a 36-18 defeat of the Spacemen.Raiders captain-coach Matt Stott and his two outstanding backs Quinton Dickerson and Ash Widders exposed some massive defensive weaknesses in the Parkes defence on the way to a commanding 36-18 win at Apex Oval yesterday.
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Widders helped himself to three tries and Dickerson one as their expansive game caught Parkes napping.

The man who laid the platform for several of the seven tries scored by Macquarie was their captain-coach, half-back Matt Stott.

His vision and short passes were a constant worry for Parkes. Firstly he sent fullback Chris Daley in for the first of his two tries and before halftime he laid it on for Dickerson and Widders to creative havoc down the left side of the field.

While Parkes scored first, through hooker Benjamin John, the Raiders had all the running before oranges and were in front 22-12, the second try for Parkes coming from bullocking lock Epi Sadrodro.

But it wasn’t until Dickerson and Widders had crossed again in the space of 10 minutes for a 30-12 lead that the Raiders looked to be heading towards a win.

Stott later heaped praise on his forward who finished on top of their Parkes opposites.

“The forwards today were great,” he said. “They went for the full 80 minutes and despite the size of Parkes never stopped going.

“Considering we were without two of our best forwards Ben McQuillan and Kinni today, it was a great effort.

“If there was a criticism it was that we are still making some basic mistakes. Last week we came up two vital turnovers, today another two and each time they proved costly.”

Tall forwards Zac Rennick and Ash Coon both had great games up front while Stott, Dickerson, Widders and Daley were magnificent in the backs.

While Parkes were competitive they were also fairly predictable although Group 11 hooker Benjamin John cut some nice holes in the defence and he was always a menace.

Some of their positional changes to cover for the absence of Moran didn’t work out.

Captain-coach Pat Rosser – who played on after dislocating a finger on his left hand early in the game – conceded the better side on the day won.

“They were more structured than us, had more competitions than us – simple as that,” he said.

“We lacked confidence in a lot of things we did and didn’t push the ball the way we have been doing.

“Today was a good kick in the pants for us and hopefully we can get it right next time.”

Lock Epi was dangerous, Zarin Barber and Heamani Lavaka were tireless up front but that was about it for the beaten side.

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Punters fancy Bushrangers to run away with Champions League

NSW are $3.75 favourites to win the Twenty20 Champions League but it is Victoria who are popular with Sportingbet Australia punters.Sportingbet boss Michael Sullivan said the Bushrangers would press for favouritism if they were successful overnight.”The Vics are outsiders against Bangalore but there’s no doubt they’ll press NSW for the favourite tag if they can win,” said Sullivan.”They’ve already been backed in from $9 to $4.50 and are easily the best-backed side in the competition but with the likes of [David] Warner, [Phillip] Hughes, [Simon] Katich and [Moises] Henriques in their ranks, we’re still keen on the Blues.” WOZ HE ON? A TAB Sportsbet punter plunged a mammoth $189,545 on Caroline Wozniacki at $1.05 to win her second-round match at the WTA tournament in Osaka against Katie O’Brien, which was to be played overnight.TAB Sportsbet’s Glenn Munsie said the bet stood to earn the punter a paltry $9477.25.Meanwhile, Munsie said NFL betting was getting more popular every week at TAB Sportsbet, with punters setting their sights on five games in week six.Baltimore are popular as $2.45 outsiders against Minnesota, while New Orleans have been backed at $1.65 to beat the New York Jets.One punter has invested $23,000 on San Diego to beat Denver at $1.60 while another had $20,000 on Chicago (+4.5) at $1.90 against Atlanta.Arizona have been backed at $2.40 to win against Seattle and also with 3.5 points start. OUTSIDE CHANCE Casey Stoner shapes as Australia’s best prospect to win Sunday’s MotoGP at Phillip Island but Sportingbet punters have been keen to have a nibble at fellow Australian Chris Vermeulen at big odds.Sullivan said Vermeulen was easily the bookies’ worst result at this stage, with punters backing him from $101 to $67.”While Stoner will be stripping fitter here it’s Vermeulen that’s taken the punters’ fancy with the prospect of a wet track,” said Sullivan.”They were keen to snap up the $101 odds for a MotoGP win and just as keen to take the $21 about him snaring a podium finish.” GOT THE BLUES On the back of an upset win over Melbourne Victory last weekend, Sydney FC are now the best-backed team to win the A-League title, and, having opened at $8 with Centrebet, they have firmed into $4 favourites, with one punter putting $1500 on at $7.”All of a sudden it’s become a three-team war at the top of betting, with Melbourne, despite their up-and-down form, still well backed at the opening price of $4, and Gold Coast United, who were fancied early and have shortened from an opening $9 into $4.35,” said Centrebet’s Neil Evans.Evans said Robbie Fowler’s North Queensland Fury were still the best-backed team to land the wooden spoon and were at $2.25. TIGERS MOVE UP NRL grand final rivals Parramatta ($5) and Melbourne ($5.50) dominate early betting on Centrebet for the 2010 premiership, but Wests Tigers are attracting support.”The Tigers have been a significant off-season mover, firming from $26 into $17 to repeat their heroics of 2005,” Evans said. THE BEST BET Valentino Rossi to win the Australian MotoGP at $2.60 with Sportsbetting南京夜网.au.
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Captain gives opposition credit for tough game

Narromine captain Dan Maroulis acknowledged the competitive nature of the Dubbo Roos after his side won by 20 points, keeping it in touch with Bathurst Bulldogs for the first grade minor premiership.
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Maroulis and his forward pack were great in a monumental forwards battle and they had every right to be delighted with the win.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game here today and I’m delighted all 15 of my guys stood up and gave it their best,” he said.

“The defence was brilliant today. It’s something that we’ve been working on for the past month and it’s starting to pay dividends.

“And it wasn’t only in the forwards that that happened, in the backs as well. In the first half our defence was probably what set us up for the win.

“It was probably the toughest game we’ve had this season and I think credit is due to Dubbo as well, they really put in out there today.”

Maroulis also acknowledged the rivalry between the two clubs, especially in first grade.

“There’s a lot of rivalry between our two teams and it was evident out there today,” he said.

“Having a game like today, with plenty of defence and challenge on you for possession, is good for us leading into the final games of the season.

“We dropped two games earlier this season and we don’t want to drop any more.”

In the next five weeks before the start of the finals, Narromine – still a point behind Bathurst Bulldogs on the points ladder – come up against Cowra and Bulldogs at home and are away to Forbes, Emus and Orange City. Last games for the Bulldogs are Parkes, Dubbo Roos and Cowra at home and travel away to Narromine and Orange City.

Dubbo Roos’ coach Geoff Koerstz said he didn’t think the 20-points scoreline was a true indication of how tight the game was.

“That last converted try blew it out a bit, probably our guys didn’t deserve to let that happen,” Koerstz said.

“Still the commitment and drive was there today, the scrums and line-outs were much better than last week and we certainly made them work hard for their four tries.

“But we were still in touch with them at that stage but then didn’t have much ball in the last 40 minutes and we were under pressure.

“We have only a young side this year and they’re still learning and injuries haven’t been kind to us. I don’t think we’ve had the same side on the park all year.”

First season top grader, second-rower James Elliott repaid faith in his coach for giving him another go and was one of their best in a great forwards pack. Mark Reynen also threw his body on the line while Paul Elliott’s defensive effort was enormous.

Across the field there were good players and the Roos will take their form up to Apex Oval next Saturday when they play Dubbo Rhinos for the Mark Melville Cup.

In the minor grades on Saturday, Dubbo won Colts 31 to 0 and thirds 52 to 0 but Narromine took out seconds 20 to 10.

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


Wet track specialist Roman Emperor gets a gift from the heavens

Hugh Bowman’s bid to become a Caulfield Cup winner at his first attempt was given a boost yesterday when clouds unloaded on Melbourne and its surrounds. Bowman rides the Bart Cummings-trained AJC Australian Derby winner Roman Emperor in the Caulfield Cup and his summation of his chances were simple.”If it’s rain-affected ground he’s a genuine hope, if it’s like the road he’s not,” Bowman said yesterday.Bowman rounded out his day yesterday with a hit of golf after Flemington trackwork in the morning. The jockey worked the John O’Shea-trained sprinter Fist Of Fury at three-quarter pace and he also hopped on a couple of Danny O’Brien’s charges.The John Thompson-trained, Patinack Farm-owned filly So Anyway, Bowman’s ride in the Arrowfield Plate at Caulfield tomorrow, impressed the jockey.”It was my first time on her and I really liked her, she gave me a great feel,” said Bowman.Patinack’s Norman Robinson Stakes-bound pair of group 1 winner Onemorenomore and Gathering worked together, with Glen Boss and Bowman on board respectively.”They worked very well together,” Bowman said of the pair.Boss will ride Onemorenomore in the Norman Robinson, while Chris Munce will be on Gathering. BOSS IS READY Glen Boss has good reason to be confident in his bid to join an elite group of riders who have achieved grand slam status. A day after collecting another group 1, this time the Thousand Guineas on emerging talent Irish Lights, Boss picked up yesterday’s Moe Cup.Boss won the Moe Cup aboard the Peter Gelagotis-trained Savquaw, with the race’s $4.40 favourite Pre Eminence failing to beat a runner home. To complete the jockey grand slam Boss needs to win tomorrow’s Caulfield Cup, having already won three Melbourne Cups to go with his Golden Slippers and a Cox Plate.Boss rides the Gerald Ryan-trained mare Ready To Lift in the Caulfield Cup. EYES ON ENCOSTA If the Hawkes camp is right, the Victoria Derby-bound Saint Encosta will not be without a win for too much longer.”He is still a maiden but keeps improving all the time,” said Michael Hawkes, who trains in partnership along with brother Wayne and father John. ”He’s a very nice horse,” he added.Saint Encosta runs in tomorrow’s Norman Robinson Stakes at Caulfield, with premier Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman on board.Team Hawkes has former AJC Australian Derby winner Fiumicino running in the Caulfield Cup. Last year Fiumicino failed to beat a runner home in the race, and barrier 20 is no help this year.”He needs a wet track, likes it – if we get one the draw won’t be as bad,” Michael Hawkes said. WALLER EXCITED Sydney trainer Chris Waller laid eyes on the team’s imported Melbourne Cup runner Warringah for the first time yesterday after venturing to the Sandown quarantine centre.”It’s very exciting,” Waller said. ”When we bought him, the idea was to set him for the BMW and the Sydney Cup next year but he did everything right during his quarantine in England and since he arrived here and he’s earned his chance in the Melbourne Cup.”He’s a lovely big horse, a good mover and I can’t wait for him to have a serious gallop.” JOLIE IN CLEAR The carnival of Singapore Derby winner Jolie’s Shinju has been resurrected. The mare’s Cox Plate ambition was thrown into chaos when she pulled up with a heart irregularity last start.The horse’s heart flutters have ceased and the galloper is set to run in tomorrow’s Harrolds Stakes at Caulfield, where the likes of thumping Sydney mare Hot Danish and Victorian flyer Typhoon Tracy await. Former Victorian jockey Len Treloar is now training Jolie’s Shinju. With Craig Young
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Gorillas’ defence too strong for Roos

Dubbo’s Tim Berry and Narromine fullback Scott Burgess get up close and personal during their Blowes Menswear Cup match at No.1 Oval. Both had outstanding games.Dan Maroulis and his Narromine Gorillas have their Blowes Menswear Cup defence on track judging by their determined 38 to18 victory against an equally determined Dubbo Roos.
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The biggest crowd of the season at No.1 Oval on Saturday watched the round 13 clash and while the Roos didn’t win for their fans, the players could certainly hold their heads high after making the visitors work hard for their points.

The Maroulis-captained Gorillas were taken on and held in the forwards by the home side in a game that players from both sides didn’t ask for or receive any favours. It was without doubt the toughest game seen in Dubbo this season.

Narromine led 14 to 11 at half-time on the back of three penalty goals by Scott Burgess and a 37th minute try by Cockatoos No.8 Lachie McCutcheon. Down the other end, Luke Mannix scored a great try for the Roos and Kieran Smith booted two penalty goals.

At this staged the game was evenly poised and the determination, especially in the tackles, was obvious after the resumption when Narromine fly-half Josh Laurie was yellow carded for a late tackle on Smith after the fullback had delivered a clearing kick.

Smith was taken from the field in pain and didn’t return.

Two minutes later Roos’ lock James Skuthorp also received a yellow card for a high tackle and if it was possible both packs became even more fired up.

Earlier Roos’ captain Paul Elliott smashed Ryan Pratten with a legitimate ball and a tackle that required the half-back to go to the blood bin and receive treatment for a cut lip.

With the penalties coming their way two to one, Narromine was table to dominate field position in the last 40 minutes and turn that pressure into three tries.

The only time Roos got down the other end was when Tim Berry toed a ball through to score late in the game.

Narromine took its six-point advantage at half-time to 17 to 11 with another Burgess penalty goal and two minutes later Doug Potter scored a great winger’s try down the left flank. Burgess added the conversion from the sideline and for the first time Narromine had some breathing space leading 24 to 11.

Narromine was denied a third try after Ryan Pratten crossed but a penalty was awarded to the Roos when a defender was held back.

Two minutes later captain Maroulis charged across and right on fulltime Narromine ranked up their bonus point when McCutcheon scored for his second of the game.

Narromine’s charge was helped with an 8 to 4 penalty count in the first half, finishing 6 to 3 up in the second period, an overall tally of 14 to 7.

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


The Italian on the job: hitman Cumani all set to strike at Caulfield

It’s easy to understand why trainer Luca Cumani has a bit of a soft spot for his latest spring carnival tourist, Cima De Triomphe, a relatively new addition to his Newmarket stables but a horse with a familiar background.Although a little more grey in the coat than his trainer, Cima De Triomphe shares a common past with Cumani, who learnt the ropes alongside his father, champion trainer Sergio, and his mother Elena, a champion amateur jockey, as a young man in Italy before to pursuing a career in England.Like Cumani, Cima De Triomphe was bred to succeed on the racetrack being by champion European sire Galileo, a two-time derby winner, and Danehill mare Sopran Londa. Like Cumani, Cima De Triomphe learnt his craft in Italy on the hippodromes of Rome and Milan before shifting to Britain and to Cumani’s care.And although to most Australians Italy doesn’t exactly spring to mind as a reliable source of thoroughbred talent, Cumani has had considerable success sourcing class gallopers where others prefer to search for the perfect pizza or fine art. ”Plenty of good horses have come out of Italy, don’t worry about that. Falbrav was pretty good,” said Cumani’s travelling foreman, Charlie Henson.Falbrav won five group 1s for Cumani in 2003, all in the space of six months, including an explosive victory in the Hong Kong Cup when he defeated another Italian galloper, Rakti. Like Cima De Triomphe, Falbrav spent his early years in Italy before making it big in Europe.And from just four runs for his stable, Cima De Triomphe has shown Cumani that he, too, has the ability to reach great heights.At his first run for Cumani, Cima De Triomphe tackled the group 1 Prix Ganay and raced below his best when finishing sixth in a field of nine, but he improved at his next start when claiming the scalp of star British stayer Conduit in the group 3 Brigadier Gerard at Sandown.”It was only a narrow win but he did it well and Conduit is a very good horse at home,” Henson said.But it was at his third run, in the group 1 Eclipse Stakes at the same track, that had Cumani pondering the uncharted depths of Cima De Triomphe’s ability. Tackling a top-class line-up that included eventual winner and subsequent superstar galloper Sea The Stars, Cima De Triomphe ran a respectable fourth, albeit some 10 lengths adrift .The margin might seem excessive at first glance, but under the weight-for-age conditions Sea The Stars was in receipt of five kilograms from Cima De Triomphe.”Sea The Stars is an amazing horse and he’s proven that this season. To run so well behind him in the Eclipse gave us great hope for the future. It’s the best form anywhere in the world at the moment.” Henson said.Cumani’s wife, Sara, an accomplished rider and a regular trackwork partner of Cima De Triomphe, has few doubts over the horse’s ability but is wary of the expectation that the Eclipse formline brings.”He’s got all the big names around him which tells you how good he is, I just hope his form doesn’t flatter him,” she said.Following the Eclipse, an unlucky fourth in the Arlington Million (2012 metres) in America in August rounded off his northern hemisphere preparation and hinted that the horse may be looking for the 2400m of the Caulfield Cup.”He’s an Italian Derby winner over 2200 metres and he has stayed on nicely at his last two runs in England. I doubt that the 2400 metres will worry him,” Henson said.Henson has kept a watchful eye on Cima De Triomphe and stablemate, Melbourne Cup aspirant Basaltico, since they arrived on AFL grand final day and has been pleased with the way both horses have taken to their new surroundings, especially Cima De Triomphe.”They settled in perfectly and their work has been very good. They’ve done everything that has been asked of them,” Henson said.But the last word lies with the jockey and Damien Oliver has again been booked to partner Cumani’s headline act, having ridden Purple Moon and Mad Rush in previous cups campaigns.After two solid hit-outs on the horse in the past week, Oliver is confident that Cumani has found the right horse to take tomorrow’s race and deliver Cumani’s maiden Australian victory.”He [Cima De Triomphe] is a little bit stronger than the other horses I’ve ridden previously [for Cumani] in Mad Rush and Purple Moon. He has got a lot more physical presence about him. Luca knows what sort of horse is needed here and I think he has found the right one. He’s very fit, he’s in good shape and now we’ll see if he’s good enough,” Oliver said.
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Coach calls truce as Bulldogs reach triple figure score

Eventually sanity prevailed at Ashwood Park in Bathurst on Saturday in the first grade clash between competition-leaders Bulldogs and the hapless Dubbo Rhinos.
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After 57 minutes, with the home side scoring at 1.75 points a minute, time was called on the slaughter with the Bulldogs sitting on an even 100 points and staring at the genuine possibility that they could have topped 150 should the full 80 minutes have been played out.

After hooker Alex Weal crossed for his third try of the match to bring up triple figures, Bulldogs coach Murray Hooper extended a welcome olive branch to his counterpart Paul Hausia and offered to pull stumps.

Even for home fans, it was probably the best thing that could have happened.

The winless Rhinos copped a similar belting in second grade but the majority of that side backed up to play firsts, and a further handful had even played third grade. As a result, the expected flogging was a foregone conclusion.

Hooper was gracious afterwards and praised the Rhinos for their commitment to the competition.

“Firstly I would just like to thank the Dubbo boys for making the effort to come over here and field all grades, some of them played three games just to make sure that they filled their commitment to keeping four teams on the paddock and I have to commend them for that,” he said.

“Many other occasions I have seen clubs – I won’t name them – just decide they aren’t going to field a third grade side or whatever but these guys made the effort to do it.

“We’re happy with the way it finished, I’m happy we stayed with our structures and didn’t try and turn it into a sevens game, and I’m happy that when the Rhinos started to get into the niggle a bit – which I don’t blame them for at all given the circumstances – we stayed out of it.”

The Bulldogs completed victories across the board against the Rhinos winning second grade 104-0; 24-10 in thirds and 45-7 in Colts.

The Colts’ defeat of the Rhinos was something of a surprise but with CSU having the bye, they are still on top of the ladder, four points clear of the students with Bulldogs three adrift.


(Chris Plunkett 3, Alex Weal 3, Tim Kaufusi 2, Jordan Bull, Chris Porter, Paul Miller, Andrew Gray, Jono Cody, Isaac Breen, Adam Dwyer, Dane Fitzpatrick tries, Mitch Lavelle 9, Fitzpatrick conversions)


Sam Debenham

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


Bookmakers to take on favoured cup raiders

INTERNATIONAL stars Kirklees and Cima De Triomphe retained favouritism for tomorrow’s $2.5 million Caulfield Cup with TAB Sportsbet last night, but Melbourne bookmaker Michael Eskander said he would be letting punters on the two travellers for as much as they wanted.TAB Sportsbet’s Glenn Munsie said Cima De Triomphe and Kirklees were solid at $8 ahead of equal third picks Daffodil and Predatory Pricer at $9.However, Eskander, who has the Betstar bookmaking business with his son Alan, said he believed the two at the top of the TAB market were under the odds.”Just have a look at the figures – punters always come for them and most of them get beaten,” Eskander said. ”They’re a perfect lay. They’ve come halfway around the world and they’re competing on surfaces that are foreign to them and in a style of racing that is far more hectic than they are used to.”Eskander had Cima De Triomphe a $7 favourite for the Cup last night, with Kirklees the $9 second elect. But he said that during the past 15 years bookmakers were in front of punters who had backed the internationals to win the Caulfield Cup.”You get waves of stories about how good they are and that momentum builds up to a flood of money and so often it goes down the drain,” Eskander said. ”Sure, there’s been the odd time that they’ve been successful, but largely they’ve been a gift to bookmakers.”You’ll find that the two overseas horses to win Caulfield Cups [All The Good at $41 in 2008 and Taufan’s Melody at $67 in 1998] proved to be skinners starting at huge odds and giving us the best Caulfield Cup result in decades.”They come often with an unwarranted boom, with connections having unreal expectations about what they are going to achieve in Australia. I know they add another dimension to the race but, as far as gambling on them, you’ve got to take them on every time.”Munsie was sure Cima De Triomphe would start a clear favourite in the Cup but didn’t believe he would win the race for trainer Luca Cumani.”Because our stayers are so even the punters are looking at the internationals,” Munsie said. ”And with the Damien Oliver factor, I would say Cima De Triomphe is the one they will keep coming for. But I’m not keen on it. I know it’s been running in really good races but I wouldn’t say its form is outstanding.”Munsie rated the Caulfield Cup ”an extremely open affair” and said ”the barrier draw turned the race on its head when Vigor and Predatory Pricer drew wide”. ”It’s a lottery, it’s a dead-set lottery,” he said.TAB Sportsbet will this afternoon offer punters in TAB office outlets the chance to get $8 about the bracket selections of either Cima De Triomphe or Kirklees winning.”The promotion will start at 5pm and will end when the liability gets to $100,000 with a maximum bet of $20 on a ticket,” Munsie said.New Zealand mare Daffodil, which ploughed through the mud to win the AJC Australian Oaks at Randwick earlier this year, was the subject of a $5000 bet at $9 yesterday to win the Caulfield Cup, while another punter had $1000 on a double of Daffodil to win the Caulfield Cup into Speed Gifted to win the Melbourne Cup at $63 with TAB Sportsbet.Munsie said the Bart Cummings-trained Allez Wonder, about which as much as $201 was offered for a Caulfield Cup win before she secured a run courtesy of a Toorak Handicap victory last weekend, continued to attract support.”Our worst way in the Caulfield Cup is Allez Wonder purely because of the doubles we took on it to win the Toorak into it to win the Caulfield Cup,” he said. ”And today we have taken bets on it to win the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups double, with bets of $1000 and $700 at $136 and $1000 at $114.”
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Ghosts could draw tourism to Dubbo

Dubbo’s paranormal side has landed us a spot on national television – something that’s bound to attract some sort of tourism to the city in the future.
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Ghozt Crew the Documentary came to the Old Dubbo Gaol last Friday after psychics told them they believed there were “presences” there.

And apparently, the creators of the series, Rob Kerr, Josh O’Sullivan and Don Meers, did experience paranormal activity at the gaol.

Footsteps could be heard when they were standing in the padded cell, Rob said, and Josh said he felt something touch his leg.

The boys have set out to document what they believe to be the most compelling paranormal footage ever taken.

“You can be a total skeptic and have no belief in the paranormal at all and then something will happen to change your mind,” Rob said.

“A lot of people have had personal experiences. You might have felt something or had a whisper in your ear to let you know that they’re there.”

Whether you believe or not, the exposure is great for our city.

“We were drawn to Dubbo because our psychics said they believed there were presences here,” Rob said.

“One of them said she won’t come back,” Josh said.

For the Old Dubbo Gaol to stand alongside places like the Maitland Gaol, Monte Cristo – Australia’s most haunted house – is no mean feat.

“Part of our aim is to promote tourism in the different areas,” Rob said.

So let’s hope the series draws tourists to Dubbo, to see for themselves whether we are harbouring ghosts here.

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


O’Brien runners need luck after the draw

WHEN the gates were drawn on Wednesday for Saturday’s $2.5 million Caulfield Cup, Flemington trainer Danny O’Brien was caught in two minds.On the one hand he had his former winner, Master O’Reilly, ticking over nicely with a last-start fourth in the Yalumba Stakes at Caulfield last weekend, draw gate 18.While that didn’t concern the trainer, O’Brien couldn’t maintain the enthusiasm when one-time Caulfield Cup favourite Vigor came up with the outside alley.”I’m very happy with both of my horses, they couldn’t have had better preparations,” he said yesterday. ”But the gate for Vigor poses a problem. It is far from ideal. We’ll have no option but to go forward with no weight on his back and rely on luck.”With Master O’Reilly, O’Brien said ”the barrier doesn’t matter” as he will settle off the speed like he did when defeating stablemate Douro Valley in the race two years ago.O’Brien is nearing completion of his Barwon Heads property that he said would complement his Flemington operation.In taking a similar approach to that of trainer Lee Freedman, who developed a training complex on the Mornington Peninsula, O’Brien said the Barwon Heads base, about 1.5 hours from Melbourne, near Torquay, would be a boost for his already flying team.”It gives us another dimension,” he said. ”We can get a lot of work done with the horses on the property and then move them to Flemington. We’ve been using it for the past few months but it is not at full capacity as of yet. The tracks were finished there in the middle of the year so we are able to work horses there but it will be fully operational in the coming few months.”Corey Brown will partner Vigor while Vlad Duric, who is now based in Singapore, is on Master O’Reilly.”It’s good to have Vlad on the horse,” said O’Brien. ”He won the cup on him a couple of years ago and knows the horse so well. And he rode him last weekend in the Yalumba and it was a great cup trial.”O’Brien will start promising filly Rachine in the Arrowfield Plate and lightly raced colt Savaging in the Jayco Stakes. ”Rachine is a former New Zealander, a real nice filly in the making,” he said. ”And Savaging is a Savabeel colt that has only had two starts but shows plenty of promise.”Glam Slam resumes from a spell in the Pure Blonde Plate for O’Brien.”She’s another former Kiwi, she’s only had the two starts for me but she’s shown plenty,” said the trainer. ”I expect her to run well, too.”
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