90s jinx of MCG
The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) seems to have a jinx with batsmen in the 90s and dashing Australian opener David Warner almost joined that list.
Warner was caught at mid-on at 99 off English debutant Tom Curran on the opening day of the fourth Ashes Test at the MCG, but was reprieved with a no-ball call. He had started trudging off the field when TV replays showed that Curran had over-stepped. Warner returned to complete his century and Curran finished the day wicketless.
In 1976, the great Sir Vivian Richards was dismissed for 98 at the MCG and three years later when he returned to the famous Australian ground for the 1979-80 series, he was out for 96.
When Mike Brearley’s England side toured Australia for the 1980 Ashes series, opening batsman Graham Gooch was run out for 99 on the opening day of the third Test at the MCG.
On the opening day of the fifth Test between Australia and South Africa at the MCG in 1953, another opener, lefthander Arthur Morris, of Australia, was run out for 99.
Another left-handed opener, John Wright, of New Zealand, was out for the topscore of 99 on the first day of the 1965 Melbourne Test against Australia.
On the opening day of the 1965 Ashes Test at the MCG, the left-handed Bob Cowper fell to Jeff Jones for 99.
The Australian left-hander Clem Hill was out for 99 batting at number seven in the 1902 Ashes Test at the MCG. When India toured Australia in 1967, another left-hander, Ajit Wadekar, made 99 in the second innings of the MCG Ace jockey Rickey Walcott is the Athlete of the Week for his hat-trick on Boxing Day.
Those wins put him at the top of the leader board for the year and makes him champion jockey for 2017.
Walcott won race three (the Boxing Day Juvenile Open Condition Race) with Inspired Adventure, race four (the 1 800 metres Diamonds International /Vena D’ Amore Handicap astride Zip Code, and completed the hat-trick on Stealin in race five (the Boxing Day Nursery Trophy Allotted Weights). (MK)
T20 is the strongest format for the West Indies, but based on their form over the last year and noting that the likes of Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine are unavailable, home side New Zealand may have the edge in the current three-match series.
Since capturing the T20 World Cup in India last year April, the Windies have won seven of 14 matches – with three of those wins coming against minnows, Afghanistan.
The bowling looks suspect while the batting depends heavily on swashbuckling Chris Gayle.
New Zealand are not fielding their strongest side either, but look to have more depth and should win the series 2-1. (MK)
The battle for champion trainer of the Barbados Turf Club’s 2017 season went down to the wire.
Two men were chasing the title, and this was one of the thrills of the final day of racing for the season. It was Victor Cheeseman versus Robert Peirce to see who would take the top prize.
Peirce got things rolling by winning the Diamond International / Gift Allotted Weight with My friend Patch, to gain ground in the battle, but in the end, he lost a fiercely fought war to Cheeseman by a slender margin of $394.
Overall, the champ tallied $500 394, supported with 27 wins from 130 starters with a strike rate of 21 per cent.
Cheeseman, by winning the title, has now secured a beaver trick in this category, despite going winless on the Barbados Turf Club’s final race day entitled the Diamonds International/crown of Light Boxing Day at the Races Raceday.
Cheeseman, who resides next door to the Val Gale paddock in Paddock Road, went into the final day with a lead of $33 417. The nine starters he sent down still managed to pick up place money and keep the stubborn Pierce at bay, despite his racking up four wins.
Just A Fashion and Quality Star, in the two supporting features, were pivotal returns for Cheeseman. The key to Cheeseman’s repeat was his outstanding star colt Northern Star, which he partly owns with Mervyn Rollins.
In seven starts this year, Northern Star has been ruthless, winning six races, including the Tanglewood Stakes over 2 000 metres and the Sale Graduates’ Vase Champion Stakes over 1 570 metres.
His performances are almost certain to see the son of Carpe Diem out of Aquarius Star, retain the Horse of the Year title. Other horses trained by Cheeseman that are worth mentioning are Guineas winner Fleurette, along with juvenile Creole Quality Star.
Peirce, having squandered a lead of just over $60 000 at the beginning of the final season, amassed final day earnings of $58 097 which was enough. He finished on 21 wins from his 112 starts, which gave him a win percentage of 19 and exactly half million dollars in purse.
One of the horses to lead this gallant effort was dual Gold Cup winner Dorsett, who was victorious in the Diamonds International/crown of Light Boxing Day Stakes and Trophy over 1 570 metres.
Also winning from Peirce’s camp the same day were Dorsett’s stable mate My Friend Patch, Sebcoe and Javalier. Mention should also be made of Oberoi which won the Grade I Midsummer Creole Classic over 1 800, and Banja which carried recorded five victories.
With figures of 23 wins from 130 starts for a win percentage of 18, Boston John’s charges were able to bring in earnings of $306 414, which pushed him to third position in the table. Those figures were attained largely during the first two seasons, with Spartacus proving to be one of his main weapons.
Edward Walcott Jnr. following a slow beginning to the year, got his range correct when his filly