Sir Cossack fails to flatter for Ryan

Greg Ryan’s mount Sir Cossack finished out of a place in the $60,000 American Air Country Cup (1600m) at Randwick yesterday.
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Starting at 20-1 on the TAB, Sir Cossack was never sighted and eventually finished 12th.

The race was won by the Paul Perry-trained Raminco ($4.20) ridden by Larry Cassidy which beat Trailer Trailer ($18.00) and String ($151.00).

Tomorrow, Ryan will be at at the Gilgandra TAB meeting with engagements in all seven races and is almost certain to ride his share of winners.

Ryan dominated the program at Dubbo on Saturday with a winning treble from five rides.

At Gilgandra he will team up with Dubbo trainer Mark Jones on Del Rio in the feature race, the Royal Hotel Gilgandra Open Handicap (1550m).

The Peter Nestor-trained Thunder Run is an even money favourite for the race ahead of Del Rio at 5-2. Apprentice jockey Roy McCabe will ride Thunder Run.

Justin Stanley’s mount Hot At Dawn is also well in the market at 3-1 while Cheeky Charlie (Fred Walker) is at 6-1.

Open handicap market: 1-1 Thunder Run, 5-2 Del Rio, 3 Hot At Dawn, 5 Cheeky Charlie, 6 Dance Floor, Hegwest, 7 Triple Way, 8 Quiet Ways, Forest Bend, 10 Commotion, 20 Steveo.

Ryan will also ride Ella’s Star for Cowra trainer Charlie Britt in the 1000m maiden plate.

Britt and Ryan combined successfully at Dubbo on Saturday when Jurisdiction saluted.

Ella’s Star is 5-2 favourite for Gilgandra.

Ryan’s other mounts are Just Coasting (4-1), Starquoz (2-1), Seat Of Knowledge (5-2), Black Charger (3-1) and Knickers In A Knot (5-2).

The first race tomorrow is at 1.37pm.

Ryan will be back on the road on Friday and will ride at Grafton and then at Randwick on Saturday where he will be back on board Wellington Boot winner Citi Fella.

In local racing this weekend, the popular Tomingley picnics are on Saturday, while the next western meetings will be on Anzac Day, Wednesday April 25 with meetings at Coonabarabran, Nyngan and Bathurst.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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Blue Bulls claim Richardson Shield

Better preparation is the key to Central West returning to Caldwell Cup contention at Country Week after the Blue Bulls finished fifth in the annual carnival at Moree yesterday.
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Central West won the Richardson Shield play-off for fifth and sixth place by beating New England 38-24 yesterday after the Blue Bulls trailed 17-14 at half-time.

For Central West the result was an improvement on last year’s sixth-placed finish and a platform from which to launch a serious bid for Caldwell Cup contention next year.

Coach Col Jeffs said a rushed build-up didn’t help Central West’s cause but the players – only six of whom had played at Country Week before – would benefit enormously from the carnival.

“The boys stood up,’’ Jeffs said.

“We came up here with the underdogs’ tag but the way we played our football we won’t come here again as underdogs.

“On the ladder we finished fifth but personally I think we were among the top three or four teams considering the two teams that beat us played in the Caldwell Cup final.

“The Caldwell Cup’s obviously the pinnacle but I’m happy to come away with the shield in my first year.

“The players’ response is obviously more important but I’d like to think they’d come away happy.

“I’ll sit down with the executive and management during the next couple of weeks (and discuss the carnival) but I’m confident, with what we’ve got now, things can only improve.’’

With Country Week being brought forward to Easter this year and the Prime Provincial Cup pre-season series taking up three weekends, Central West had room for only one trial against the Canberra Vikings before the carnival.

Still, they almost pulled off a first-round upset against top seeds Newcastle, losing 18-15 after leading 8-3 at half-time, and pushed finalists Central North before wilting to a 28-7 loss in round two.

Out of the Caldwell Cup semi-finals, the Blue Bulls rebounded to thrash Western Plains 37-14 on Sunday to book a place in the Richardson Shield final.

Despite yesterday’s 14 point win Central West played below their best, according to Jeffs.

“We made it hard for ourselves, we didn’t play as good as we did on the first two days … I think fatigue caught up and there was a little bit of overconfidence going into it,’’ he said.

NSW Country selectors were last night mulling over a squad to play the British Lions on June 26.

CENTRAL WEST 38 (Nick Job 2, Peter Francis, David Birch tries, Birch penalty goal, 5 conversions) def NEW ENGLAND 24.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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Development of wedding cake hotel no slice of Europe

A $100 MILLION plan to beautify Bondi Beach’s Swiss Grand Hotel has been recommended for rejection by Waverley Council staff.
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The owners of the hotel, Allan Linz and Eduard Litver, who are also behind the controversial redevelopment of the historic Currawong workers’ retreat, want to transform the wedding cake-style hotel into a mixed-use facility. It would contain 82 hotel suites, 98 residential apartments, a two-level supermarket, a gym and spa.

But a report by the council’s development and building unit said the addition of three storeys would create a building "that will dominate the Bondi streetscape far more than the existing building and will be contextually incongruous [with the area]".

The report said the developers had justified exceeding the council’s height controls by saying "beachfront and waterfront locations benefit from a strong street wall which defines an urban edge in places such as Nice, Cannes and San Sebastian".

But the unit rejected the argument saying: "The applicant’s comparison of Bondi Beach to the famous waterfront locations in Europe has limited relevance".

Mr Linz agreed his and Mr Litver’s company, Epic Hotels Pty Ltd, would probably have to consider reducing the proposal’s height.

The Mayor of Waverley, Ingrid Strewe, said it was vital the redevelopment be appropriate, especially as the landmark building might be strata-titled in the future, which would limit the possibility of changes.

The council’s development control committee are to meet on June 24 to decide on the recommendation to reject the project.

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‘Someone will die’ on this road

Someone will certainly be killed if nothing is done to fix a dangerous intersection on the Parkes Road, residents have claimed.
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Locals have dubbed Yarrabar Lane, which meets the Newell Highway 12km south of Dubbo, “Cemetery Lane”, following a number of vehicle accidents and near misses.

The problem, they claim, is a hill which reaches its crest 80 metres south of the intersection, leaving traffic just seconds to turn right onto the highway towards Dubbo before traffic – which they cannot see as they turn and is often travelling at high speeds – catches up to them.

The situation is like playing “Russian roulette”, according to concerned resident Mervyn Lowe.

“The driver exiting towards Dubbo never knows if the moment they have chosen to move out coincides with the appearance of a vehicle on the crest of the hill travelling at 110km/hr or more,” he remarked.

They fear tragedy as “up to 1000 trucks a day” travel the highway at high speeds, and many of the vehicles turning onto the highway from the lane are semi-trailers which have “a long, slow curl” onto the road.

It is a matter of when, not if, someone will die, according to Yarrabar Lane residents Brian Scott and Dean Comerford. Mr Scott was forced to leave the road to avoid having a vehicle run into the rear of his horse float when turning onto the highway.

The group claims its fears will be best addressed if the crest of the hill is lowered to extend motorists’ line of vision.

Andrew Robbins, the proprietor of Yarrabar Pottery which is situated along the lane, said at the present time it would be cost effective for the Roads and Traffic Authority to adjust the road because it had all the necessary equipment in the area currently doing roadworks.

“We are begging them to do something,” Mr Robbins said.

However the RTA said reducing the crest of the hill was unnecessary.

Currently the road is being widened to add overtaking lanes while a three-metre shoulder is being added to allow traffic to safely turn into Yarrabar Lane, an RTA spokesperson said.

Yarrabar Lane was also being changed so the intersection was at right angles, to improve the line of sight, the spokesperson said.

Mr Comerford said the RTA’s measures were totally inadequate: “I’m worried about turning out, not in.”

Nothing short of lowering the hill would fix the problem, he stressed.

“It is a shemozzle – it has to be taken off the hill, they are only mucking around because of the cost.”

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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No ‘nasty’ computer in Queenie’s chat room

An online chat room is one of the last places you would expect to find Dubbo’s oldest surviving ex-resident Queenie Sunderland.
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But last night Queenie went online to share her unique experiences with Australian servicemen and women as part of an Anzac Day tribute.

Throughout April, leading up to Anzac Day, AOL Australia is hosting a commemorative Anzac Day program in conjunction with Legacy.

The program teams the remarkable woman with Lieutenant General Peter Cosgrove and popular grunge band Skunkhour.

Queenie Sunderland came to Dubbo as an English war bride in 1919.

She is as well known to Dubbo people as her views on computers. Going ‘online’ is definitely a first for her and another experience to add to her long list of life experiences.

“Nasty things computers, they steal away men’s brains” is a line in her poem Three Centuries written on the occasion of her 103rd birthday on January 2 last year.

Yet last night Queenie relented to help future generations understand the past.

“I am impressed with what computers achieve and the information available on the internet; I just have enough in my head already and don’t want it pushed out by this enormous amount of information and new technology,” she laughed.

As Australia’s last surviving English war bride, Queenie is as close as many peolpe today can get to an Anzac. She met Gunner Ted Sunderland, Regimental Number 162 of the 1st Battery, 1st Brigade, 1st AIF on Salisbury Railway Station in 1917.

“He was what I call an ‘original Gallipoli Anzac’ who landed at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915.”

For her 100th birthday Queenie wrote Bride of an Anzac, a wonderful account of her life.

It details meeting and marrying Ted Sunderland of ‘Pine Farm’, Dubbo in the period between the landing at Gallipoli and the Battle of The Somme, their marriage in England, her voyage on the ‘Osterley’ to Australia, life on the farm and the move to Sydney – a wonderful social history and a glimpse for the reader into a vital period of Australia’s climb to nationhood.

When appearing on A Current Affair on her 103rd birthday in 2000, mention was made of the book.

As a result of the interview publishing company Garry Allen Pty Ltd picked up the rights to Bride of an Anzac.

“I wrote another three chapters last year and added many of the photographs I had taken myself during the years,” Queenie said.

The book continues to sell well and is available in all book shops across Australia.

“There is even talk of a reprint,” Queenie added.

Since turning 100, Queenie has reached celebrity status.

“I am continuously amazed by the interest shown in me,” she said.

“Just recently I have even been included in the Celebrity Hall of Fame at the Australian War Memorial. Every day is so full of new experiences there is no time to think about ‘getting old’.”

Although born in England in 1897, Queenie has spent all but 19-years of the first century since Federation in Australia. She considers herself a

dinky-di Australian and never regretted marrying Ted and coming to live in Australia.

“Australia has been good to me and I would especially like to thank

Legacy as they have looked after me well. With the wars so long ago, people tend to forget what the organisation has done and continues to do for the widows and families of servicemen.”

DR Brett Wayn, Managing Director, AOL Australia said that ANZAC Day is an important day in the Australian calendar and AOL Australia is proud to have worked with Legacy in the development of this year’s ANZAC Day area.

“We believe the online medium can play an important role in helping Australians learn more about the ANZAC tradition as well as giving them the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings through message boards and live online chats with Australians who have experienced events first-hand.”

So for Queenie going ‘online’ is definitely another ‘first’. “I haven’t

had any experience at all with the Internet, but it is never to late to learn,” she said.

“I am happy to share my stories. We shouldn’t glorify war, but neither should we forget what the men fought for.

“That Ted survived, when so many of his mates were left behind on the battlefields of WW1, I thank the Lord who has protected me and guided me

through my long life.

“Maybe I have been left behind so that I could in a small way contribute

to the collective memory of a Nation in its first global first baptism of fire since Federation and show how the young Australians who were sent to fight a battle of which they had little knowledge, other than to protect their shores from the enemy invader and who gave their lives as a consequence, will not be forgotten.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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Ski racing titles return

LAKE Charm will host the National Speed and Marathon Ski Racing Championships for the second time in five years.
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Australia’s ski racing community will turn its attention to the popular lakeside venue for three days of competition from Friday, January 11 to Sunday, January 13.

The lake last hosted the national titles in 2009, with more than 100 boats and teams converging on the district.

It is predicted next year’s event will attract around 200 skiers, participating alongside 120 boats across 500 events.

“Lake Charm is seen by our board as the spiritual home of ski racing in Victoria,” Ski Racing Victoria chairman, Tony Mithen said.

“The Shire of Gannawarra and the people of Kerang make us welcome and we only think it’s fair to bring the big show to town when it’s available.”

There is also the prospect the lake could host the 2014 titles, with Victoria given the rights to the next two national championships.

“There’s a lot of work that has to be done with the shire and with Transport Safety Victoria to get closures and permits in place (in relation to the 2013 event),” Mr Mithen said.

“There’s also a lot of marketing that needs to be done to attract racers and spectators. That was started on October 30 by Ski Racing Victoria.”

The Kerang-Lake Charm Power Boat Club, which manages events at Lake Charm, competed against two other locations for the right to host the titles.

“It’s great for the area and brings so many people,” club commodore, Eric Boyd said.

“With all the losses of water in the area, we need to bring back tourism.

“It’s in the holiday period and we’ve got a very unique area with other lakes to go skiing in. They also generally finish around 5pm and daylight saving gives locals another three hours .”

It is anticipated the event will have a flow-on effect for local businesses, with visitors needing to find accommodation and purchase food and fuel during the three days of competition.

“I think this is a great opportunity for us to put ourselves in front of the faces of those taking part and creating activity,” Business Kerang chairman, Ron Saunders said.

“We know the participants spend a certain number of days in Kerang and a certain number of days in Swan Hill, but we need to make participants and spectators feel that they want to come back.

“This will be a good opportunity to potentially try and get to those who come to the area around Christmas and capitalise on them to stay on for the championships.”

Many community groups may be called upon to help cater for those who will watch the action on the foreshore.

Across the two-day period in late January 2009, those who witnessed or participated ate around 100 souvlakis, 200 steak sandwiches, 250 salad sandwiches and 10 kilograms of dim sims, as well as drank 384 bottles of energy drinks and 960 bottles of water.

Organisers also served around 100 people pasta on the opening night, as well as preparing roasts for 200 on the final evening of events.

“I think a number of community groups could be asked to help with the catering,” Kerang Progress Association president, Irene Ayres said.

“I also imagine there will be a need to purchase fuel from the airport (for participating boats), which will benefit the Mid-Murray Flying Club.

“I’m sure some of the women who do not want to watch the event may come into Kerang and browse the shops.”

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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Tough job to decide winner

Don’t be surprised if the judges from this year’s Miss Dubbo Showgirl competition refuse to take on the role again next year.
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After what has been dubbed the most difficult-to-judge contest in memory by chief judge Patrick Keast from the Agricultural Society Council of New South Wales, speech pathologist Debbie Burmester took out the coveted title of Miss Dubbo Showgirl 2001.

“I’ve been doing this type of thing for about nine years and this is the hardest yet,” Mr Keast admitted after the announcement.

“Dubbo should be very proud to see such involvement.”

Also on hand to lend a little advice to the contestants were 1999 Miss Dubbo Showgirl and chief steward Jane Hollow, and Miss Royal Easter Showgirl Kate Woodward.

After the long and agonising decision which kept Mr Keast, along with fellow judges Jenny Lloyd from Mendooran CWA and Rhonda Orr from Eastern Australia Airlines, debating to the very last second, the enthusiastic 21-year-old accepted her sash from Miss Dubbo Showgirl 2000 Amanda Beazley.

On accepting the title of Miss Dubbo Showgirl 2001 Debbie was a little shaken and was undecided as to whether it was the cold wind or the thrill of winning that had affected her.

“I’m very excited and a little nervous at the moment,” Debbie said directly after the announcement.

“It has been such a fabulous day and it was such a privilege to be among such great contestants. I’m really looking forward to my role in the future.”

Debbie works for the Department of Community Services in her role as a speech pathologist and thrives on helping those around her to benefit from her skills.

The 21-year-old comes to Dubbo from Queensland were she attended school at Wellington Point State High School before studying for her degree in Speech Pathology at the University of Queensland.

“I want to live each day as it comes and take every opportunity to do new things in may life,” Debbie said.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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Super Saturday as top teams set to clash

It will only be round four of this season’s Dubbo and District Junior Soccer Competition but tomorrowwill be a ‘super Saturday’.
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Four out of the five junior soccer divisions will host top-of-the-table clashes.

The legion of rooball fans will once again be at the Lady Cutler fields for another day full of fun tomorrow, but the older players’ matches, form under-10 to under-15, are expected to draw huge crowds for a fantastic feast of junior soccer.

Under-10s will be the only division where you have to go down the pointsscore to find the match of the round and it will see equal-second-placed Rangers up against equal-third-placed Rebels at 10am in Narromine.

Rangers are on six points and Rebels three and the home-ground advantage might prove to be an asset Rebels but Rangers will make it difficult.

There are still three undefeated teams in under-11s – Rangers, RSL Lions and Wanderers – and tomorrow’s match of the round will feature two of these when Rangers come up against Lions at 11am on Lady Cutler 1.

These teams had good clashes all of last season and this occasion should see no change in the excitement department for their supporters.

The winner will come from the team that puts in the best defensive effort.

The under-12 match of the round will see Westside (1st) being challenged for the top by SASS (2nd) on Lady Cutler 3 at 12pm.

Westside have been in exciting form this season netting 25 goals.

SASS have only put away six goals in three wins and a draw.

Westside will be the one to beat here as they seem to be able to turn goals on from anywhere on the field and will really test the strong SASS defence.

SASS are currently the best defensive side in the under-12 division so it should be a very exciting tussle.

The under-13 match of the round will see the long rivalry continue between equal-first-placed teams in SASS and Rangers at 1pm on Lady Cutler 2.

These teams really put it on for the spectators and although both have lost some good playing personnel during the off-season they will once again turn it on for the large crowd expected to be on hand.

On a good day there is only usually one goal separating these teams, but more often than not a draw is on the cards, and the bounce of the ball can play a huge part, so don’t miss this thrill-a-minute match.

The excitement continues in under-15s where equal-first-placed teams SASS 15s and Wanderers 14s do battle.

This should be a terrific game with some physical defence and relentless attack.

There is not a split hair between them with both teams scoring 24 goals so far this season.

SASS have let in two goals and Wanderers three.

It will be a tough assignment for the younger Wanderers 14s to get over their older and bigger opponents but they have the firepower to really stick it to them.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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Protection for young front rower

While the benefits of a youthful team are many, the physical demands of first grade rugby can play havoc on younger bodies and have forced changes to the Dubbo Kangaroos for tomorrow’s match against Cowra.
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In the first four Blowes Menswear Cup matches of the season the baby Kangaroos – despite emerging victorious just once, against Parkes in the opening round – have been enthusiastic and enlivened.

But against bigger and more experienced opposition they have often been battered and bruised, particularly in the forwards, where coach Scott Vaughan has moved to protect one of his young stars.

For the match against Cowra at Recreation Oval, Vaughan has put Sam Webster back into second grade, promoting Len Bartley to the first XV, in a move designed to protect the promising young prop.

“Sam has come off the field injured the last three weeks so mainly for physical and health reasons we thought we would move him back,” Vaughan said.

“He has been playing really well in first grade and I’m sure he has learned a lot from the experience.

“In second grade Sam can concentrate on his scrum technique, which needs a little bit of work, and I’m sure he’ll be back pressing for a first grade spot.”

Webster’s move back to second grade will give Brian Swords the opportunity to move back to his favoured position at tight head prop while Bartley, who has been performing well in seconds in recent weeks, will play loose head.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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Rhinos look to livelier start

The Dubbo Rhinos – despite being beset by injuries – believe it is a sluggish start to their matches which has led to losses in the first four rounds of the Blowes Menswear Cup this season.
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And they are acutely aware that another feeble first 10 minutes against the Orange Emus at Apex Oval tomorrow could mean another mauling – like the 27-0 defeat Bulldogs handed out last weekend – along with loss number five.

The Rhinos travelled to Bathurst for their match against Bulldogs last weekend minus nine regular first grade players, but it is not their injury and absentee toll which is frustrating coach Andrew Williams.

“In the first three matches of the season (against Cowra, CSU and Orange Ag College) we have let in points in the first 10 minutes of the match which have ended up being more than the other team’s winning margin,” Williams said.

“If you take that into account, except for the game against Bulldogs last weekend, we have won the last 70 minutes of all our matches.

“That is very frustrating for me as a coach, that blokes are turning up to play and they aren’t switched on and ready to go.”

Williams said part of the reason for the Rhinos’ slow starts relates to the number of injuries the club has encountered but refused to use their missing men as an excuse for their winless start to the year.

“That we have interruptions every week and the players often turn up on Saturday not knowing who is going to start is obviously a distraction,” he said.

“So is the fact that the injuries mean that we can’t train as a team, especially in the backline. Overall, we haven’t been able to get any consistency in the lineup.

“But other teams have injuries too and like them we just field the best 15 players we can, we won’t be making any excuses.”

While still awaiting a fair number the Rhinos will welcome four regular first graders back to the team this weekend – prop Aaron Frost, hooker Mark Unthank, winger Dave Neeves and centre Matt Leach.

The return of Leach, the Rhinos goal kicker, will be a valuable boost for the Dubbo team, who failed to score a point in any grade against the Bulldogs.

“We haven’t been able to penetrate in the backs and that is a worry,” Williams said.

“That has been in part because there have been players out of position and unable to train together. But we have also been without a goal kicker and passed up three chances from almost in front last weekend.”

Rhinos club captain Glen Gallagher will also play his first match of the season tomorrow, from fullback in second grade. Gallagher missed the first four matches this year after suffering a hand injury.

This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.

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