The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on October 26, 2000 · Page 44
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The Sydney Morning Herald from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia · Page 44

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Issue Date:
Thursday, October 26, 2000
Page 44
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8 Thursday, October 26, 2000 Stirling Mortlock The heir to Horan's throne Page 6 i i va wn i niibvii r . r England's one-day wonder Page 7 Spor The big wet threatens to burn a big hole in Victorias pocket RACING Darren Prenderqast The Melbourne Cup hopes of several runners in the Grosby Gold Cup at Moonee Valley tonight are in better shape than Flemington trainer Matthew Ellerton was on Tuesday night and the district of Geelong was yesterday. Heavy rain across southern Victoria since Monday forced Ellerton to fill sandbags on Tuesday as the Maribyrnong river rose, threatening to flood Hobson's Lodge. With the deluge continuing yesterday, the Moonee Valley Racing Club announced the movable rail would be out 3m for the Cox Plate meeting on Saturday. That move pre-empts the likelihood of Moonee Valley's Strath-Ayr track, renowned for its ability to absorb heavy rain, being chopped up after tonight's eight-race card, featuring the Group 2 $151,500 Grosby Gold Cup. Should the rain persist, there is speculation the MVRC may1 shift the rail further to ensure the best surface for Saturday. Racing Victoria has sent stewards to Moe, Bendigo and Geelong to monitor tracks in lead-up events. Geelong Racing Club officials transferred yesterday's washed-out Geelong Cup meeting to Sunday. They also moved today's Derby Trial meeting to Ballarat. No new acceptances will be taken for Sunday's meeting, at which trainer Bart Cummings has confirmed Oxford Dollar will start in Geelong Cup. With 220 horses nominated for Bendigo on the same day as the nine-race card at Geelong, Racing Victoria's main concern is the availability of jockeys. "If Racing Victoria had not shown the great support it has since this morning, the cancel lation of the meeting would have ruined the Geelong Racing Club," the GRC's chief executive Doug Hall said yesterday. "The club would have been financially crippled. We basically live on our two days of the year. It determines our financial destiny" Geelong had been hoping to attract 25,000 racegoers yesterday but the wash-out has left them hoping for a turnout of about 10,000. "It's such a shame," Hall said. "The people of Geelong look forward to the day playing their part in the spring. I drove down the main street a while ago and I drove down the main street a while ago and there were people all dressed up with nowhere to go Geelong Racing Club chief executive DOUG HALL there were people all dressed up with nowhere to go." Ellerton, however, does have somewhere to go. With the assistance of builders from Contract Constructions as well as his cousin Simon Zarah and Wayne Hawkes, the sandbagging worked and no damage was done to his stables. "We were sand -bagging from 6pm until 8.30 last night," Ellerton said. "Thankfully it all subsided a bit and we didn't have to start shifting the horses out." In 1992 Hobson's Lodge was flooded, forcing the stables to evacuate 60 horses. Jockey Damien Oliver will test ride the Allan Denham-trained Yippyio in the Grosby Gold Cup tonight as a possible Melbourne Cup mount should he be unable to.get back aboard Kaapstad Way. New Zealand stayer Cronus will be aiming to go one better than its second behind Streak in the Grosby Gold Cup last year. Streak's trainer Robert Smerdon will saddle-up Melbourne Cup contender Bohemiath in the Gold Cup, while stablemate Mayshiel will contest the Geelong Cup with the aid of a cross-over nose band and tongue tie. Carnival Clues - Page 6 Stop county money grab, says Slater CRICKET Richard Hinds The Australian Cricket Board should formulate a policy on whether contracted players are allowed to play English county cricket rather than relying on a case-by-case approach, Australian opener Michael Slater has said. With the ACB reconsidering its policy after Shane Warne, Matthew Elliott and Michael Bevan returned from England suffering injuries, Slater warned that county cricket posed risks to the well-being of Australian players, particularly those who went to England for the "wrong reasons". "I can fully understand why the ACB are looking closely at it," Slater said. "The amount of cricket played over there, there is a lot of it and the seasons are very close together. "For someone like Glenn McGrath and Bevo to travel straight to Kenya and meet the side there, that's how the seasons are running into each other. From the Australian board's interests, they need to put something in place to protect the assets they have and that's the players." ACB spokesman Brian Murgatroyd said the issue was not high on the agenda at the monthly board meeting yesterday. "That's because it won't be an issue for 18 months because we have an Ashes tour next year," he said. Slater said one of the "wrong" reasons to play in England was money. "If it is not a burning desire of yours then it is not the right reason because you can't underestimate how much cricket you are going to play," said Slater, who spent 1998 and r999 with Derbyshire. Slater, who was in England last winter as a commentator with Channel 4, said he had benefited from six months' rest. "Someone like Glenn McGrath would have benefited from rest," he said. "If you go over there with the right mental approach and you are looking to improve your game and you are going to take on that senior role then it is nothing but positive. But if you are going over for the wrong reasons I don't think you are going to get a lot out of county cricket and it is going to be of detriment when you come back." While Warne has been adamant his knee injury was not the result of his time with Hampshire, the issue is an increasingly difficult one for the ACB. While they want to keep their players fresh for the growing international schedule, the potential earnings for players such as Warne (up to $1.5 million this year) or even Tasmanian opener Jamie Cox (up to $300,000 as captain of Somerset) cannot be matched here. Slater was cleared yesterday to play in the Pura Cup match against Victoria at Melbourne's Punt Road Oval after suffering a chipped bone on the index finger of his right hand during fielding practice on Tuesday. He tested the injury in the nets yesterday morning and was able to hit the ball with his usual power. "Basically it's a chip off the inside and it can't get any worse," he said. The first day of the match was abandoned about midday because of persistent rain. Rain is also forecast today. Slater's availability meant stand-by batsman Greg Mail, who had arrived in Melbourne at midnight from Perth where he was playing a second XI match, was sent back to Perth. While Slater is confident of his own form, he is less certain about who will be at the other end when the first Test starts in Brisbane from November 23. Matthew Hayden, Greg Blewett, Michael Hussey and Elliott are all given some chance of gaining the second opener's berth awarded to Hayden after Blewett was dropped for the last Test in New Zealand. "It is the sort of partnership in any side that needs to be a stable one," Slater said. More cricket - Page 7 7F . ... IK x 1 o Going along for the slide: New York Yankee Derek Jeter slides home to score as Mets catcher Mike Piazza fields the high throw during game three of US baseball's World Series. The Mets won 4-2 with an eighth-inning double at Shea Stadium and trail 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. Photo: AP Women's World Cup failure hastens merger talks SOCCER Michael Cockerill Australia's controversial failure to win the right to host the 2003 women's World Cup is likely to hasten a merger between the men's and women's organisations in this country. Australia is one of the few couiitries where women's football is run separately from the men's national association. The Australian Women's Soccer Association, still reeling from the shock of missing out on the next World Cup, will hold its annual general meeting at the weekend. Merging with Soccer Australia will be high on the agenda. "There's no doubt FIFA's decision has brought the issue of what a merger has to offer to the table," AWSA chief executive Warren Fosher said. "It's something that has been discussed intermittently for a number of years, but this time there is a sense of urgency. It has far-reaching implications." FIFA's announcement yesterday that the women's World Cup would go to China instead of Australia has devastated the AWSA, even though it was partly expected. Australia began bidding two years ago and by the time of the official deadline this year was the only country to nominate. However, FIFA president Sepp It's a bit like a boxer who goes a dozen rounds and smashes his opponent all over the place, only to find when they hold up the scorecard that he's lost on points AWSA chief executive WARREN FOSHER Blattef made no secret of his wish to take the competition back to China, which hosted the inaugural women's Worid Cup in 1991, and although the Chinese have shown little enthusiasm for the project they have virtually been handed the tournament on a plate. "It's a bit like a boxer who goes a dozen rounds and smashes his opponent all over the place, only to find when they hold up the scorecard that he's lost on points," Fosher said. "It certainly shows what a soul-destroying experience it can be to bid for a FIFA event. The signs around the Olympics were not good, FIFA officials were behaving very sheepishly towards us. I think it's proved that having an exemplary Olympics was not a factor. The decision had already been made, and that's definitely left a sour taste in our mouths." The outlook for women's soccer in Australia, already coming to terms with a 50 per cent drop in government funding, has been clouded by the failure tp host the World Cup. Last week the full-time scholarship program at the AIS in Canberra was disbanded, with national-team players either heading to the US to try to earn a contract in the new professional league or returning to the workforce and continuing as part-time players with the State-based academies. Blatter's forked tongue - Fage 7 SPORT UPDATE MOTOR SPORT McCoy keen to let fame game slide Motorcycle star Garry McCoy has discovered a downside to his newfound fame. The 28-year-old from Camden won a legion of fans this year with the daredevil riding style which helped him capture three 500cc world championship grands prix. And while he is now able to afford the latest Ferrari, he is not keen on being recognised in it. "Everyone wants a piece of me," McCoy lamented. "It does get a little too much. But on the other hand you can't upset people, you've got to try to keep them happy." On Sunday McCoy will try to add the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island to his collection and snare third place in the championship. He knows he will be under pressure to win but is trying to treat the race like any other. AAP SOCCER Sir Alex's champions in a shambles Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has labelled his team's defence a "shambles" after the 1999 European champions lost 2-1 to Anderlecht in the Champions League. United will have to beat Dynamo Kiev next Wednesday to win through to the second phase of the competition. Page 7 ODD SPOT Yeah, but can the nerds slam dunk? An American university has been put on four years' probation for cheating on school work for its men's basketball team. The NCAA, the governing body of college sport, said the University of Minnesota was guilty of the most serious rules violations in 20 years. A coach, academic counsellor and secretary were all involved in the fraud, in which the secretary completed about 400 items of course work for at least 18 players between 1994 and 1998. Grades and exam scores were also improved. The Golden Gophers will lose five scholarships for three years and have their recruiting program restricted, while team and individ ual records during the offending period will be wiped. The three former employees have been banned from college sports for five to seven years. Bloomberg QUIZ Sporting question of the day What was the highest successful run chase in one-day international cricket? YESTERDAY'S QUIZ: Which horse ran third in the 1999 Cox Plate? Sky Heights. ONLINE UPDATE Leaguehq gears up for World Cup The Kangaroos have touched down in England to defend the rugby league World Cup and Steve Mascord is there to report all the news and drama at DIALOGUE . . . but doubts remain for fans Is rugby league's so-called World Cup a joke or what? There are 16 teams, but league is seriously played in only four or five of the countries they allegedly represent. Most of the other sides are stacked with second-string Aussies, Kiwis or Poms, so I wonder why the organisers don't recognise reality and play Australia I, II, III and IV against England I. II and III, New Zealand I and II, New Guinea and the "Rest of the World". Given the similarities between the Murdoch ownership of the game and the Packer "World Series Cricket" enterprise, it would be just like the good old days for punters. Martyn Yeomans, West Pymble Want to get something off your chest? Send your email, in no more than 100 words, to smhsport(? Emails must include your name, address and daytime telephone number. ENJOY NIGHT TIME FINALS WITH YOUR DAY PASS. Plenty of great free entertainment on both nights. Tonight and tomorrow night. See lots of Paralympic action. SOME OF THE EVENTS YOU CAN ENJOY Tonight Tomorrow Night Athletics (F) Athletics (F) Football Standing Volleyball (F) Table Tennis (F) Table Tennis (F) Wheelchair Rugby Wheelchair Rugby Swimming (F) Swimming (F) Wheelchair Basketball Wheelchair Basketball (F) Go tonight or tomorrow night to avoid the huge crowds anticipated during the day and on the weekend. Most venues at Sydney Olympic Park have limited capacity. Entry, subject to seating availability. For more information on events at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, check your Official Souvenir Program or visit For details on getting to Paralympic venues, consult your Paralympic Transport Guide, visit or call the Transport Infoline on 131 500. Vi rrr (F) Finals Ya Bom OR2730I-I

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