A – AMPED UP
Star chaser Amplified underlined her obvious class with another blistering performance at Mandurah last Friday night. The Krystal Shinners-trained greyhound clocked a record-equalling 27.02sec in winning over 490m, ensuring that she joined Zack Monelli, Panama Pepper and Domino Mac on top of the heap for that distance. The next challenge for the winning machine is tomorrow night at Cannington when she contests an ultra-competitive WA heat of the National Sprint Championship.
B – BETTS AND BETTS
Where to start with the Eddie Betts conversation? Off the top, Betts and those feeling violated by the Adelaide Crows’ infamous 2018 pre-season camp on the Gold Coast deserve much, much more than what they have been afforded in terms of support from the Crows, AFL, AFLPA and SafeWork South Australia. Betts’ revelations this week of what transpired on the camp were horrific. There are so many individuals who should be ashamed of their involvement and the subsequent cover-up by others is equally disgraceful.
C – CASH INJECTION
It’s little wonder that NSW racing participants are some of the happiest in Australia. A prizemoney injection of $30 million this week, announced by Racing NSW chairman Russell Balding, helped lift the State’s total purse for the current season to $358 million. If that wasn’t enough, there will be $125 million pumped into infrastructure.
D – DIRTY BUSINESS
Stay in the south of the State or head to the Kimberley for a swim at the world famous Cable Beach before making your way to Gantheaume Point for the racing round at the Broome Turf Club. Surely, it’s a no-brainer. The action on the red dirt of Broome will be watched by thousands upon thousands next week with the running of the Broome Sprint on Tuesday before the Broome Cup, one of the town’s most iconic social events, takes place next weekend.
E – EAGLE ROCK
For someone as proficient at his craft as Josh Kennedy, he has done a mighty job at avoiding the spotlight. And that is saying something considering he is a future Hall of Fame inductee. Kennedy this week announced that Sunday’s home game against Adelaide would be his last AFL appearance, bringing down the curtain on a career at West Coast that probably exceeded the expectations of even the most one-eyed Eagles supporter. A multiple Coleman medallist and All-Australian and a premiership hero, Kennedy will rightfully go down as a champion of the game.
F – FAREWELL
Australian boxing enthusiasts were in mourning yesterday when news filtered through of the passing of Johnny Famechon. Inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame last century, Famechon was part of a golden era of Australian boxing, rising to prominence alongside fellow world champion Lionel Rose. Famechon won 56 of his 67 professional fights. He was 77. May he rest in peace.
G – GOLD RUSH
We have become accustomed to Australians winning a fistful of gold medals each year the Commonwealth Games comes around. That has again been the case this week in Birmingham. But that should not diminish the achievements of our athletes on the international stage. Our swimmers remain elite, irrespective of who they compete against, and the overall dominance of the Australian team will see us be the No.1 national on the medal tally leaderboard.
H – HURNED IT
Shannon Hurn’s terrific season will be rewarded with a one-year extension by West Coast. Despite turning 35 next month and a host of other Eagles veterans also looking like they will be around in 2023, Hurn will push on for an 18th season at the elite level. The show of faith from West Coast comes even after chairman Russell Gibbs declared in May that the club was committed to a rebuild.
I – I DO LIKE MUNDY’S
David Mundy’s on-field role at Fremantle is coming to an end. Yet his legacy will live on for an eternity. Mundy declared this week that he was finishing up at the end of 2022, despite an indication earlier in the season that he hoped to push on into next year. A Doig medallist and boasting more than 370 appearances, the smooth-moving veteran sits with dual Brownlow medallist and current captain Nat Fyfe and former skipper Matthew Pavlich as the best three Fremantle players in the club’s history. For the record, he has also flown more than 900,000 kilometres throughout his career. That wasn’t a misprint … you read correctly. A whopping 900,000 kilometres.
J – JAILED
The decision by a Russian judge to sentence WNBA star Brittney Griner to nine years jail for drug offences overnight wasn’t a shock. But it was a decision US President Joe Biden labelled “unacceptable” as tensions between America and Russia show no sign of abating due to the conflict in Russia. There has been talk of a prisoner swap between the two countries, with Griner being a key plank of those conversations.
K – KEEP SAFE
Much of the focus for tomorrow’s Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) has swirled around the resuming Forbidden Love. A dual Group 1 winner last campaign, the Michael Freedman-trained mare represents the class ahead of big spring riches later in the campaign. But Count De Rupee’s co-trainer Luke Price is bullish his gelding, also first-up tomorrow, is forward enough to run extremely well. Currently $6 with TABtouch, Price said this morning that he fully expected the gelding to challenge the favourite.
L – LAW AND ORDER
Those predicting a thawing of the cold war between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour might be waiting a while. The feud between the two parties ramped up this week when 11 LIV defectors, including Phil Mickelson, filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the establishment, challenging the suspensions imposed by PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan upon those who participated in the Saudi Arabia-backed tour’s first three events. There are others who are seeking a temporary restraining order to allow them to compete in next week’s FedEx Cup play-off event. Ugly with a capital U.
M – MARK MY WORDS
Mark McVeigh talked a big game in his post-match press conference following the smacking from Sydney at the SCG. He had a chance to make a statement at selection to show he could also walk the walk. So what happened? McVeigh proved extremely vanilla, electing to retain several bigger names while omitting only Lachie Ash, Callum Brown and Xavier O’Halloran.
N – NO PEER
When it comes to the GOAT of Commonwealth Games swimmers, one name and one name only sits atop the summit. And that individual is Emma McKeown. The Australian veteran claimed six gold medals at Birmingham this week, eclipsing the four she won at both Gold Coast and Glasgow. McKeon has pocketed a staggering 20 medals overall, a record figure, at her three Commonwealth Games appearances. It follows her outstanding effort at last year’s Tokyo Olympics when she won four gold medals and seven in total.
O – OVERRATED
Expect English Premier League fans to tell you that sleep is very much overrated as they prepare for week one of the new season. The opening match of the first round between Crystal Palace and Arsenal kicks off at 3am tomorrow, WST, before the rest of the Saturday action gets into full swing. It is the most absorbing soccer league in the world featuring some of the most cashed-up clubs going around.
P – PONY UP
Ed Langdon, good on you. An honest answer to a question before a huge AFL clash featuring his Melbourne up against Collingwood, currently on a 10-game heater. “They’re sort of all duck and no dinner in a sense if they are playing fast footy on their terms they are hard to stop, but they are a bit of a one-trick pony at times,” Langdon said when quizzed about the Magpies. “Hopefully we can dampen the way they want to play.” It was far more enlightening than arrogant. That said, Langdon can expect some “free advice” from the Collingwood players tonight, you would think.
Q – QUESTION ANSWERED
Minjee Lee entered the British Open knowing full well what was at stake … the world No.1 ranking with a victory at Muirfield. It could be daunting for some. Not Lee. The Royal Fremantle product, already boasting two major wins, overcame a tardy start to card a three-under 68 to sit in a tie for fifth behind Japan’s Hinako Shibuno (65) ahead of her second round later today.
R – R.I.P
When you think of legendary basketball figures, there are many names that spring to mind. Bill Russell is one. Unfortunately, the revered Boston Celtic passed away this week, aged 88. Russell won 11 NBA titles with the Celtics, the final two coming while he performed the dual role as player and coach (the first black mentor in the NBA). Until Michael Jordan burst on to the scene in the 1990s, Russell was regarded as the greatest player of all time. He also played an integral role in social justice and civil rights.
S – STAGE IS SET
The best version of Stageman would be good enough to take out tomorrow’s Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington. But is he capable of producing that now that he is eight years of age. Though he hasn’t won for nearly two years, he has raced against some of this State’s best sprinters and was second to Graceful Girl in last year’s Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m). It will be intriguing to see how he races under the care of Danny O’Brien.
T – TIGHT LEASH
Luke Beveridge and the list management team at the Whitten Oval have done everything they can to ensure the Western Bulldogs dominate their opponents in and around the centre of the ground. The Bulldogs have a plethora of midfield options when all available talent is playing. Fremantle will understand the importance of keeping the hosts within arms length in tomorrow’s clash at Marvel Stadium. If the Dogs’ prime movers run loose and tally big disposal numbers, the Dockers’ top-four prospects will be all but over.
U – UNSAVOURY
Hasn’t the Kyle Chalmers-Cody Simpson-Emma McKeon storyline out of Birmingham been gutter journalism at its worst? To be fair, it hasn’t just popped up at the Commonwealth Games. It has been tabloid fodder for a few months, with Chalmers and McKeon’s former relationship continually being referenced now that she is dating Simpson. Zzzzz.
V – VINNIE’S VICTORY
It seemed inevitable that I Am Invincible would one day be crowned Australia’s leading stallion by prizemoney earnings. And that day came over the weekend when the striking sire, who stands at Yarraman Park Stud, had his deeds for the 2021-22 season recognised. I Am Invincible’s progeny amassed $19,867,371 for the 12-month period, more than $500,000 than his closest rival, So You Think.
W – WAT ON EARTH
The NFL has a hard time avoiding the headlines courtesy of questionable behaviour from several of its players. The latest to be dominating the newsreel for all the wrong reasons is Deshaun Watson, who was this week suspended for six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Not believing that penalty to be sufficient, the NFL lodged an appeal and will pursue an indefinite suspension of at least one year and a financial sanction. Watson has been accused of sexual assault and inappropriate conduct during massage sessions in civil lawsuits filed by 25 women.
X – X-RATED
David Klemmer is a man’s man. Always has been. Always will be. Therefore it was not a shock this week to learn that he allegedly used expletives towards Newcastle Knights trainer Hayden Knowles last weekend when asked to leave the field during the loss to the Bulldogs. However, given Knowles was making the request at the behest of coach Adam O’Brien, it’s fair to say Klemmer should have known better.
Y – YELLOW AND BACK
Richmond’s finals push was on life support at half-time last Sunday against Brisbane. But some telling positional moves from coach Damien Hardwick inspired a famous comeback that provided a kiss a life. The Tigers are by no means guaranteed of being active in the post-season and would dearly love to be able to chalk up another victory against Port Adelaide this weekend. It will be a tough ask without Dylan Grimes (hamstring), but after some heartbreaking losses in recent times, they have a chance to establish some much-needed momentum.
Z – ZEROING IN
North Melbourne were adamant soon after the sacking of David Noble that they wanted Alastair Clarkson. It was just a matter of whether Clarkson, a former North Melbourne player before moving to Melbourne, wanted them. The four-time premiership mentor has spoken to both the Kangaroos and GWS, who are also in the market for a senior mentor. But reports this week suggest North Melbourne could well have their noses in front thanks to ongoing dialogue between Clarkson and his management and Kangaroos powerbrokers,