Mayor-y had a Little Lamb

During his time in politics, Eurobodalla Mayor Fergus Thomson has been accused of having the wool pulled over his eyes more than once.It’s an allegation he’d likely reject, but one that may be hard to dispute after a little lamb this week became the first real sheep to sit in the Mayor’s chair.Far from following him to school one day, Mayor-y Thomson chose to take the lamb to his workplace after it was rejected by its mother and had to be fed four-hourly.The Thomsons would usually “cross-bag” the little creature with a foster mother, which involves putting a jacket on another newborn lamb, and then putting it on the orphan to try to confuse the mother into believing she has two lambs with the same smell.But Cr Thomson said he didn’t have time to do that straight after the lamb was born, as it was weak and needed to be bottle-fed.“So, it ended up in here,” he said.“This sort of thing can only happen to a country mayor.”The act of kindness has also proven politically astute, with council flooded by responses after it shared the “it could only happen in the country” moment on Facebook.It seems little lamby has become the shire’s favourite political figure.“People have embraced it,” Cr Thomson said. “I don’t get anywhere near the publicity that lamb got!”The lamb stayed in a cage in the Mayor’s office for the day and was fed by Cr Thomson and his wife, Yvonne, in between meetings and Mayoral commitments.Cr Thomson said anyone who didn’t know the situation would have been confused by the frequent bleating coming from behind the closed door.Later in the week, Cr Thomson managed to find a foster mother for the lamb, and she is now happily grazing in the paddock with her new mother.Cr Thomson said the lamb was part of the rebuild of his herd, following the recent long drought.He said he was concerned about recent reports of a dry spell over the next couple of months.“We really don’t want to go back into a period of drought,” he said.“It would be good to see the lamb grow up in a good season.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Eight drowning deaths but no blackspot survey

By LACHLAN THOMPSONTHE Eurobodalla Shire will not be included in the initial stages of a NSW Surf Lifesaving survey of drowning blackspots, despite having recorded eight deaths in the past 12 months.The project aims to identify the localised factors which contribute to drowning deaths and is being undertaken by a special state-funded taskforce.Taskforce project manager Adam Weir said that while it would be great to include the Eurobodalla, in its first year the project would assess only the 10 most dangerous areas in NSW.Despite eight fatalities in the past 12 months, the Eurobodalla did not make the top 10 because the spots were chosen using the average number of fatalities over the past seven years.“It’s a four-year project but the sheer size means it takes time,” Mr Weir said.However he did say they hoped to assess the shire at some stage in the next four years.Among other things, theproject creates signage warning of recurring dangers.Far South Coast Lifesaving director Andrew Edmunds called for such signage at Moruya North Head earlier this year after two drownings in the spring.He said the Batemans Bay/ Moruya area not being included in the survey was “a bit strange” but recognised the enormity of the task at hand.“Any improvements we can make to reduce fatalities would be a good thing,” he said.Police and Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher says the NSW Government is committed to putting in place strategies to reduce accidental drowning deaths.“We need to identify the factors which are contributing to people drowning and put in place measures to reduce these risks,” he said.“This important project will hopefully provide us with a working blueprint for a state-wide coastal drowning prevention strategy.”A spokesperson from his office said the fact that the Eurobodalla would not be assessed for at least a year did not indicate the project was underfunded. “It’s obviously a mammoth project and I don’t know if it would be possible to assess the entire coastline in a year no matter how much money was thrown at it,” she said.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Roly’s Mudgee master class

IT was relatively quiet this week for our Moruya runners but things certainly get busier next week, reaching a crescendo with the Batemans Bay Cup meeting on July 13, at the Moruya Jockey Club, bringing to an end a fantastic season for our horses, trainers and jockeys.Last week kicked off at Goulburn on Friday with Chris Hensler’s popular old campaigner Blow Up The Pokies being the only Moruya runner on the card.He stepped out in the Benchmark 60 event over the mile on the heavy surface and as usual he jumped quickly to take the lead where he stayed for much of the race until the chasing pack overwhelmed him in the straight and he finished unplaced.Dear old Pokies will turn 10 in a few weeks and has been a great earner for Chris on the country circuit, amassing $114,450 in prize-money over his 84-start career.Interest then moved to Mudgee on Sunday where Roly Saxton had six riding engagements on the seven-race card.His winning ride aboard Conch for Mark Milton of Gulgong was nothing short of a master class for all riders in the Benchmark 55 mile event.Jumping from an outside gate Roly decided to ride him patiently well back hoping to have one last crack at them coming home.He was virtually last as they fanned at the turn and instead of going wide with so many horses in front of him, he elected to save ground and ride for luck up the straight.All he needed was luck and that came for him as he weaved his way through the big field with doors, or at least gaps, opening in front of him and he emerged from the pack at full bore to win by 1.5 lengths.Conch, who Roly had ridden to victory two starts back at Dubbo over the same distance, returned an amazing $19.20 on the tote for the win.Roly’s other rides on the day, all at double-figure odds, did not get into the placings.Praise in the riding department must also go to Tim Phillips who’s travelling the state on the Picnic Racing circuit, where he’s enjoying success.I reported a few weeks ago on Tim’s win in the Mallawa Cup in the far north aboard Annette’s Pumpkin, and two weeks ago his success continued at the Talmoi picnic meeting at Garah where he placed a half-neck second in the Talmoi Cup and ended with a win in the Memorial Trophy race from his three rides.Last Saturday he rode at the Duck Creek picnic meeting at distant Nyngan where he took out the first two races and finished third in the time-honoured Duck Creek Cup.For those of you who subscribe to the Racing NSW monthly magazine, I strongly suggest you check the regular Picnic Racing report where you’ll find Tim’s name appearing continually as a winner or placegetter atvirtually all picnic meetings across the state.Today Tim heads a little closer to home to the Cowra picnic meeting where he has rides in all six races on the card and Kevin Cassidy has Effie Mia in the Cup and Longbro as second emergency in the Trophy handicap.All things being equal, Tim will probably be riding at the Wean Picnic meeting in the Hunter Valley tomorrow – go journeyman Tim!John Marzol had three runners step out at Wagga Wagga on Monday, they being Mineral Deposit, Possess and Bad Kitty.Mineral Deposit ran a mighty race in the Class One sprint, leading for much of the run up the straight but was collared late by a bunch of swoopers out wide to be relegated out of the placings.Bad Kitty ran the best race of her current campaign to rattle home for second by a length in the Benchmark 55 sprint.Today racing returns to Nowra where Moruya runners line up in all but one of the eight races on the card and Joe Azzopardi and Roly have rides.I’m looking forward to seeing Colbey Hill’s Certino run second-up in race three after his great second placing first-up a few weeks ago, as well as Luke Pepper’s Lawyer’s Limits who jumps in race seven, fresh from a spell.Peter Afflick’s Peekay is our only nomination for Canberra’s meeting on Sunday and Lynda Bundy has Moorings Royal nominated for the main race at Kembla Grange on Tuesday.Don’t forget it’s Batemans Bay Cup day at Moruya next Friday, where all members of the Soldiers Club get free entry on production of their members badge.The final fields will appear in next Friday’s edition of theIt’s a tight four-way tussle between John Marzol, John Law, Chicka Pearson and Luke Pepper in the trainers’ premiership, which may not be decided until the very last race.Until next week, good luck and good punting.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Oh Aussie tennis stars, where art thou?

I’M going to make a bold statement here, but it’s one that I think is on the money.Craig McLaughlin’s comedy career is in a better state than Australian tennis at the moment.And if we didn’t have sporadic moments of success from Sam Stosur, then we’d be in an even deeper hole.The way that Bernard Tomic carried on in his first-round loss at Wimbledon last week was nothing short of disgraceful.He simply didn’t want to be there and he made that abundantly clear with his lack of effort. Then, to give the appearance that he cared, he started smashing his racquet to pieces.To see him then get booed off by the Wimbledon crowd was very satisfying.In his post-match press conference, he said there were some personal issues playing on his mind.Well, that might be the case but if you’re not in the right frame of mind to take part in the most prestigious Grand Slam of all, then give your spot to somebody who actually wants to be there and is willing to put in the effort.At least Lleyton Hewitt, whether you like him or not, gives everything he’s got to give.On an unrelated note, you may remember reading in Back Chat several weeks ago about my distaste for excessive grunting in women’s tennis.Well, it seems I’m not the only one who holds that view as the Women’s Tennis Association is set to crack down on unnecessary grunting.Umpires could soon be carrying handheld devices that measure noise levels to determine whether grunting is below an “acceptable level”.Maria Sharapova is finally going to have to come up with a new game plan.SYDNEY’S GIANT DERBY FLOPIf the AFL was to have one massive anti-climax this season, then Saturday night’s match between the Sydney Swans and the GWS Giants was it.I’ll admit, I didn’t watch all of the game but the bits I saw were more than enough. Of course, the Giants weren’t expected to win (and realistically they probably won’t win a derby for a few more years), but this was as one-sided and dull as derbies get.A crowd of 22,565 turned up at ANZ Stadium – not bad, you might think. Well, it was a crystal clear night in Sydney, the game had more than its fair share of build-up in the press and there were no big NRL matches in the harbour city on Saturday.Not to mention, more than 38,000 turned up for the corresponding fixture in round one. But it wasn’t just that; the atmosphere at the ground was as flat as the occasion.SPAIN CONQUERS ALL IN KIEVSpain confirmed its status as one of the greatest football teams in history on Monday morning with an emphatic 4-nil win over Italy in the final of Euro 2012.You might think after a 4-nil demolition that the result was somewhat expected, but in fact it was the first time in almost 100 years that Spain had beaten the Azzuri in a competitive match.Not even outspoken Italian striker Mario Balotelli could prevent the Spanish onslaught.Balotelli made headlines before the final when he warned Spanish defender Gerard Pique that he would make him look silly in front of his pop star girlfriend Shakira.“I will invite Shakira to the final, so that she can see what I will do to her boyfriend,” Balotelli said pre-game.For the record, Balotelli stormed off the pitch in tears after the match.Follow @Dean_Benson14NoneThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Bjorn Baker’s relocation lands him the dough

THE wisdom of former Bathurst resident Bjorn Baker’s decision to open an Australian stable was put into a financial perspective when Mr Tipsy and Havana Rey continued the New Zealand product’s end-of-season streak on Saturday.Baker was a pharmacist by trade when in Bathurst, but made the decision to take up training alongside his father Murray in New Zealand.Together the duo found success before Bjorn branched out on his own and now he has returned to Australian soil, that success has continued.Mr Tipsy, backing up after winning at Rosehill last week, took an inside run to beat Sour Mash in the Markey Saddlery Handicap (2200 metres) at Warwick Farm on Saturday to give 34-year-old Baker his first double as a trainer.“He’s a very special horse for the family and it’s just great he was part of my first double,” Baker said.Apprentice Lauri Wray drove Mr Tipsy ($12) along the fence and he finished too well for Sour Mash to win by a long neck.Despite the significance of Mr Tipsy’s win, Havana Rey’s all-the-way victory under jockey Glyn Schofield in the Pluck @ Vinery Handicap (1600m) confirmed Baker’s decision to relocate and set up base in Sydney last year is turning out to be the right one.“With the BOBS bonus this is probably the equivalent to winning a $150,000 race back home in New Zealand,” Baker said.“It’s taken time to get established, but any doubts about moving over aren’t there now with stakes like this.“I’ve got to pinch myself sometimes.”Havana Rey was a first-up Warwick Farm winner but dropped back in distance from an unplaced 1900m run at Rosehill last month.The three-year-old was allowed to set an even tempo and he kicked strongly for Schofield to beat Flying Zero ($5.50) by 21⁄4 lengths with Disciple ($18) another 11⁄4 lengths away third.Baker said Havana Rey came from a modest background to become a flag bearer for his Warwick Farm stable.“I’ve got a lot to thank Havana Rey for,” Baker said. “He came from a pre-trainer in Orange and I didn’t know a lot about him.“He was my first Saturday winner here and he’s won three city races, so I owe him a lot.”This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.