Track Watch: Miss Ready willing and able

BEFORE launching into the review of the past week’s racing, let’s focus on the exciting full-TAB meeting at the Moruya Jockey Club next Tuesday.The club has been overwhelmed by the 137 nominations received for the seven-event program so we should be in for big fields and highly competitive racing across the card.All the usual facilities will be in full swing at the track and Priors dedicated race-day bus service will be running from the Bay, booking details for which, as well as the sponsors for the day, appear on the Moruya Jockey Club’s promotional poster on page 37.This is the second last meeting of the racing season and all trainers will be out to improve their positions on the premiership tables, the last being the Batemans Bay Cup meeting on Friday, July 13. Interestingly, John Marzol has only two nominations for the day, they both being unraced maidens, and it’s good to see Mark Latta’s name appear once again in the training ranks, also with two untried maiden runners.Unfortunately the final fields for the day will not be declared until today, but can be accessed on the Racing NSW website for your early consideration.Let’s all pray for good weather, with gates opening at the track at 11am and the first race set to jump at 12.40pm.Only a small number of Moruya gallopers stepped out at meetings over the past week but, as always, there was plenty of success and some great performances.Luke Pepper was our only trainer who made the trip to Wagga with just one runner last Friday, that being new stable acquisition Miss Ready.The three-year-old filly by More Than Ready, who was previously trained in town by Gai Waterhouse, had five previous starts under her belt for one third placing.Her debut run for Luke was in the Maiden event over 1200 metres in a field of 14, and she settled near the front on jumping under the patient and confident riding of Brendan Ward.She took the lead into the straight and kept going away from her opposition all the way to the line for an emphatic three lengths win.Despite her previous record, the punters found her in the market and she started at $3.20 near favourite.She was not only ready, but willing and able as well, and I think Luke and the connections are going to have some good times with her as she works through the grades.Keep an eye out for her next assignment.Five Moruya gallopers made the trip to Goulburn on Saturday for the six-event meeting and all ran brilliantly.First to step out were Colbey Hill’s Certino, resuming from a spell and Luke’s Winning Angel, both in the Maiden 1000m sprint.And it was Colbey’s Certino who almost caused a boil over when rattling home late at huge odds to claim a 1.3 lengths second on the line.That was his 20th start, and probably his best to date, and if he can reproduce the same second up he’ll be right in the mix to break his Maiden status.Winning Angel finished mid-field in the event.Peter Afflick’s Worpali was also first-up from a spell when she lined up in the Benchmark 50 (1000m) sprint from an outside gate, and she looked great when flashing home out wide to claim a two lengths third placing under Michael Travers’ guidance.The final race was a Benchmark 60 event over 1300m with Lynda Bundy’s Moorings Royal, ridden by Neil Perryman, and John Marzol’s Mineral Deposit with Kevin Sweeney aboard, both in the starting line-up.Two weeks ago, Moorings Royal returned from a spell at the Goulburn track to record a great third placing and I reported that I was sure both Lynda and Neil would have been delighted with that first-up run as a positive indicator of a good campaign ahead.John’s Mineral Deposit was the punters’ favourite for the race, starting at $3.20, but it was another brilliant ride by Neil for Moorings Royal to steal the limelight at the juicy odds of $17.30 on the tote with a half-neck winning margin. Mineral Deposit finished four lengths behind in fourth.A team of six Moruya runners step out at Canberra today with Steve Stephens’ Olympian and Domidor, both to be ridden by Joe Azzopardi in races two and four, Peekay and Bad Kitty in race six and Blow Up The Pokies and Summer Duck Wood in race eight.John Marzol’s Grey Drama and Our Billy Blue ran at the Randwick meeting, which was transferred to Newcastle on Wednesday but unfortunately both failed to find a placing.Until next week, good luck and good punting.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Fox forced to shuffle the Tigers’ back

A BIZARRE yet devastating injury to Bay Tigers fullback Nathan Wood has forced coach Deryck Fox to shake up his backline for Sunday’s Group 7 clash against Berry-Shoalhaven Heads.Wood, who has consistently been among the Bay’s best this season, was on the receiving end of a “nasty spear tackle” at Warilla last month, which Fox said led to a fracture in his neck.“He copped a nasty spear tackle at Warilla the other week and what’s happened to the poor fella is that he sneezed in his sleep last week, which actually caused him to fracture a vertebra in his neck,” Fox said.“He’s had an MRI scan, he’s in hospital and he’s going to be out of action for a long while.”With that in mind, Fox will be crossing fingers and toes that star man Willy Newton gets through tomorrow’s representative game against Group 20 unscathed so he can return for the Tigers at centre on Sunday.If fit to play, Newton will be part of a new-look Tigers’ backline, which will include moving Jared Wood-Johnston from second row to five-eighth and Michael Tadich from the halves to his preferred position of fullback.Despite the major positional changes, Fox is confident that it won’t affect the team too much.“What’s happened to Nathan is very unfortunate but what I’ll do is move Michael Tadich to fullback because he comes to us as a highly rated fullback,” Fox said.“I’m going to rotate things a bit, but the people in key positions know exactly how we should be playing.”The Tigers will line up at Mackay Park after an unexpected break, which came in the form of a washout last weekend.Even though that meant the Tigers had to wait another week to see if they could snap their five-game losing streak, Fox suggested it was a blessing in disguise.“It did (come at a good time), actually,” he said.“Willy (Newton) wasn’t right with his ankle and Grant (Roberts) wasn’t right with his knee.”Fox is confident that Newton should be right to play this weekend, but said he couldn’t “see Grant (Roberts) being involved this weekend”.Newton’s inclusion is a major boost for the Tigers – he starred in round two as the Bay beat Berry-Shoalhaven Heads by 42 points.The under 18s kick off Sunday’s action from 1.15pm before the first grade match at 2.45pm.Follow @Dean_Benson14NoneThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Roberts ready to bare it on world stage

MEGAN Roberts doesn’t come across as a world champion.Softly spoken and incredibly humble, the Nelligen girl has achieved more in her six years as a barefoot skier than most athletes do in their entire career.So when she heads to Texas in August to defend her open women’s trick world title, she is keen for her feet to do the talking.“I’m excited now, but I’ll be nervous when it gets closer,” Roberts said.“I’m the current open women’s trick world champion, so I guess I do feel a bit of pressure.”With the short winter days and the warm waters of summer a distant memory, Roberts’ opportunities to train on the Clyde River have been limited.So, by her own admission, Roberts’ preparations for the Barefoot World Championships have been less than ideal.“I probably haven’t done as much training as I would’ve liked,” she said.“So because of that I’m a bit unsure (of how I’ll go). Ideally, I should be skiing three or four times a week.”However, the 17-year-old Bay High student braved the shivery conditions last weekend when she went for a training session on the Clyde – an experience she described as “freezing”.“With daylight saving, it’s a bit hard to train down here but we went out last weekend locally and it was absolutely freezing,” she said with a laugh.“So I’m looking forward to the warmer waters.”Roberts won’t have to wait too long to warm up as she is off to Queensland on Sunday for three weeks to train with her coach Gizella “Gizie” Halasz.The world titles don’t get underway until August 27, but Roberts will be heading to the United States three weeks earlier to train in California, where she hopes to “do some other things as well” and even see “a few celebrities”.“I’ll be in Sacramento training for two weeks before I go to Texas so I’ve been googling stuff to look at while I’m there,” she said.But once she gets to the Barefoot Ski Ranch in Waco, Texas, it will be straight down to business.New Zealander Georgia Groen is likely to be her “main competition” over the three disciplines (slalom, jump and tricks) but Roberts knows where her strengths lie and she hopes to make the most of them.“I’m better at tricks because I’ve worked at it more than the other (disciplines),” she said.“But it all just depends on how you ski on the day.”Flying to the US isn’t cheap for a 17-year-old and to help lighten the financial burden, family friend Kelly Hadlow has been doing her bit to help raise money – something Roberts is extremely grateful for.“It’s an expensive trip so I really appreciate it,” she said.“But I should also thank my mum and dad (Denise and Paul) for all of their support.”The barefoot world titles run from August 27 to September 2.Follow @Dean_Benson14NoneThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Batemans Bay’s happiest refugee

The gloom of an underground car park is no match for Adil Mohamed’s smile.The former Sudanese electrician may be unable to ply his trade in Australia, but his grin has been lighting up the Village Centre car park in Batemans Bay for months.It will only get wider if money, time and opportunity combine for him to improve his English and requalify in Australia as a “sparkie”.In the meantime, Adil is delighted to have work to support his wife and children, even if it means travelling every week from south-west Sydney.Travelling has been Adil’s necessary friend since he fled north-west Sudan and its fundamentalist government 12 years ago for Egypt.“The government in Sudan did not give any opportunity,” Adil said.Nepotism was rife and jobs went only to “the people who worked with them or belonged to the government”.“My wife was a teacher and had the same problem with the government,” he said.Fearing his family had no future, he made a momentous decision.“I hated this government, so I went to Egypt,” he said. “I really tried hard, I worked hard in Egypt.”After four years, his family joined him and they approached Australian migration authorities.“I gave them all the documentation and after four months I came to Australia,” he said.That was eight years ago and, at first, the language barrier was tough.“If you don’t speak English very well, you can’t find a job,” he said.Language classes at TAFE helped.“Now I can communicate with other people,” he said.But in February, with everyone feeling the economic downturn and jobs scarce in Sydney, he headed south.“I miss my wife and kids, but I have to work and I have to get money,” he said.“I have to sacrifice.”He loves his adopted country.“It is really better than Sudan,” he said.“Australia is a good country. They help all the people. There is no discrimination. People are peaceful.“If you compare this life with other counties, Australia is the best country in the world.“If you need to do anything in Australia, you can, because of the freedom here.”He’s grateful to those who have reached out to him.“I find help from many people here in Batemans Bay,” he said.A fellow worker in the Village Centre “has helped me all the time and given me magazines”.Adil still hopes to requalify in his former trade.“I hope to find opportunities to do my job as an electrician, but I need four years at TAFE,” he said.After attending TAFE, Adil’s wife gained entry to Sydney University and hopes to gain work in children’s services.However, after a 12-year separation, Adil longs to see his mother before she dies.“I miss my mother, she is in Sudan and getting old,” he said.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Flying foxes pose no health risk: NPWS

National Parks and Wildlife Service has continued to reaasure Batemans Bay residents that the flying foxes roosting in the Water Gardens pose no health risk to humans unless bitten.As a protected wildlife species, anyone who interferes with the flying foxes and their camps is liable to prosecution and large fines.NPWS staff are available to advise and assist any landholder, including the council, who is affected by flying foxes or any other native species.With the Batemans Bay roost on Euro-bodalla Shire Council land, a council director said it would liaise with NPWS about the problem following complaints.Planning and sustainability services director Lindsay Usher said the eastern grey flying foxes were protected under the NPW Act and listed as vulnerable under the Threatened Species Conservation Act.“It is understood that the recent attempt to relocate flying foxes from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney followed a lengthy environmental assessment process, and approvals by both the Federal and State governments,” he said.“Advice provided by NPWS to council in April is that the current population in Bate-mans Bay is present on a seasonal basis and will most likely move on of its own accord.”The NPWS said this week it understood the concerns of the Batemans Bay community and had been working with council to ensure people are well informed about the species and the things that can be done to reduce conflict when living alongside the camps.NPWS acting Far South Coast manager Stephen Dovey said staff had been talking to the community and distributing brochures and posters.Jointly with the council, it has sent letters to residents who live near the flying fox camp.Mr Dovey said NPWS would monitor the colony and continue to liaise with council and residents.“NPWS considers the Batemans Bay colony to be a temporary camp and we believe it is likely to recede once the local food source, flowering eucalypts, diminishes,” Mr Dovey said.“There are a number of options that the council can consider regarding the flying foxes and NPWS will continue to work with them on this issue.”Mr Dovey said one option was for council to apply for a licence to attempt to move them but this would be a last resort and would not be guaranteed of approval.Information is available on the web at www.environment.nsw.gov.au/animals/flyingfoxes.htm.Back in April, just weeks after the colony began moving in in big numbers, NPWS reassured residents that the nomadic mammals would likely move on after feeding on the blossoms of flowering spotted gums.Far South Coast manager Tim Shepherd reassured residents they posed no health risks unless people were bitten or scratched, and he warned people not to handle any injured flying foxes.Although Australian bat Lyssavirus and Hendra virus are associated with flying foxes, the risk of them transmitting disease to humans was extremely low.The NPWS officer said the virus was not spread through droppings or urine and was only transmitted by flying fox saliva coming into contact with an open wound or mucus membrane such as eyes, nose and mouth.Residents worried by the issue can contact park rangers on 4760 8000.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.