Monthly Archives:September 2019

Jobe Watson (extreme left) with other Essendon players at Monday’s family day. Photo: Angela WylieIf the fallout from the anti-doping investigation into Cronulla is starting to worry Essendon, midfielder Brent Stanton did his best to convince otherwise, suggesting there were reasons to hope the Bombers were not headed down the same path as the under-siege NRL club.
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Facing the media at Essendon’s family day at Windy Hill on Monday, Stanton was asked whether the players thought there was reason to be ”cautiously optimistic” that their case would have a different outcome to that at Cronulla.

”Possibly – it’s a whole different investigation,” Stanton said.

”We opened up our doors to be investigated. We’re doing everything possible to try to get that process under way and we’re fully co-operating,” he said.

”I think the AFL and ASADA are doing their job – so are we.

”The board, and [chairman] David Evans and [coach] James Hird and [chief executive] Ian Robson have been really confident and really good in the way they have handled the whole thing.”

Stanton stressed he did not know any details of the Cronulla case, which has exploded in the past week with reports that a number of Sharks players have been urged to accept six-month bans or else risk a longer suspension as they deal with the investigation into their club by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).

It’s been reported some Sharks players were allegedly injected with a substance used on horses and greyhounds to increase muscle growth, strength and endurance, and the club has already sacked several key officials.

The Bombers are also being investigated by ASADA over their supplement use last year, when they employed sports scientist Stephen Dank, who was previously with Cronulla.

Essendon’s decision to volunteer information to the AFL prompted the ASADA investigation, and the board has signed off on a full external and independent review of governance and processes at the club.

Stanton refused to say whether he had been interviewed by ASADA, although he did say the players had been kept up to speed as much as possible with the investigation by key Bombers officials and Hird.

However the message Stanton was trying to push was clear – as far as he and his teammates were concerned, the only point of focus was Adelaide in round one.

”As much as you guys want to talk about that, our major focus is about next week,” he said.

Stanton, the club’s 2011 best-and-fairest runner-up, said some young players had been given support from the coaches and other staff in dealing with the investigation.

A crowd of 8300 attended the family day on Monday, and Stanton said the players had been humbled by the faith the club’s members had shown.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Tasmanian stayer Norsqui defied the best local and interstate stayers to take out Monday’s Adelaide Cup at Morphettville, his second feature race win in 18 months.
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Trained by Walter McShane, Norsqui ($26) added the Adelaide Cup (3200metres) to the 2012 Mornington Cup, defying local Waratone ($15) to win by half a length with Victorian Dame Claire ($9.50) 1½ lengths away third.

”What a tough horse,” said winning rider Chris Symons. ”Every time I asked for an effort he gave it to me, he just kept finding the line.”

The victory was Symons’ first feature win back from an injury-enforced lay-off when he was hit by a car.

McShane was overjoyed with the win and said that he would continue to target feature staying races with the six-year-old while dodging the better stayers heading towards the spring.

”There are plenty of races for him,” he said. ”We don’t have to tackle the best.

”He’s such an honest stayer, he just gives his best whenever we ask.”

Victorian Lohnspresso, trained by Darren Weir, won the listed Centrebet Classic and will target more feature races during the Adelaide autumn carnival.

Another Victorian-trained runner, Gold Sand, won the C.S. Hayes Memorial Stakes at listed level for Lee and Shannon Hope.

■Having produced Super Cool to win the Australian Cup on Saturday, trainer Mark Kavanagh will set another of his outstanding three-year-olds on the road to the country’s most coveted races when Sheer Talent runs at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

Kavanagh said that despite Super Cool having run second in the Victoria Derby in the spring, he would now be restricted to middle-distances, leaving Sheer Talent to represent the stable in the Australian Derby in Sydney.

Sheer Talent takes another step towards that goal in the group 2 Alister Clark Stakes on Friday.

”Super Cool was my derby horse in the spring but Sheer Talent is the one that’s suited to the Australian Derby,” Kavanagh said.

Sheer Talent ran the race of his career when he won the group 3 C.S. Hayes Stakes at Flemington on February 16 and then ran right up to that effort next start in the Australian Guineas when third to Ferlax after coming from the outside gate in the 15-horse field at the same track.

”His Guineas run was as good as his win and he’ll be even better over more ground,” Kavanagh said.

The Australian Derby (2400 metres) at Randwick on April 13 is also the target for Fiveandahalfstar, the Victoria Derby winner and runner-up to Super Cool in the Australian Cup.

With aap

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

Star Collingwood forward Travis Cloke has been fined $1000 by his club for using the car park of chief executive Gary Pert once too often.
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In an extraordinary revelation late on Monday night, Fairfax Media understands the club’s leadership group handed down the sanction to their blue-chip key forward last week.

Car parks outside the club’s training base at the Westpac Centre are in short supply and it’s believed Cloke had been repeatedly warned about parking in the spot reserved for Pert.

It’s understood the All-Australian and premiership player had been parking in Pert’s spot on and off for more than a year.

The AFL Players Association released a statement suggesting Collingwood has no right to fine Cloke for what it sees as a trivial indiscretion.

”It sounds like a ludicrous situation,” an AFLPA spokesperson said. ”We can only assume there has been some kind of confusion – clearly the AFL players’ code of conduct makes no reference to players being sanctioned for parking in an executive’s car space.”

Cloke signed a five-year contract to stay at Collingwood late last year, but only after a season of protracted negotiations.

Cloke said last week that the uncertainty surrounding his contract status had affected his on-field performance and caused disagreements with his father, David.

It is the second time in recent days that the Magpies have fined a marquee player for non-football related indiscretions.

The Pies slapped Brownlow medallist Dane Swan with a fine for taking part, without the club’s permission, in a television interview in which he addressed rumours about alleged drug use.

Swan’s manager Liam Pickering said if Swan was fined the full permitted amount of $5000 by the club, he would take the issue up with the players’ association. It is understood Swan’s fine is less than that.

Swan’s interview aired on Channel Nine’s The Footy Show last Thursday and the next day Pies president Eddie McGuire warned that fines would increase for players who break club rules.

McGuire said the $5000 ceiling for fines that clubs could impose on players was inadequate.

”If I could make it 25 grand, I’d make it 25 grand to make the point,” McGuire said on Friday in relation to the fine imposed on Swan.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.

POLICE have charged a Mirrabooka man who allegedly killed two dogs after they attacked and killed his dog.
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Lee Smith, 36, was charged with aggravated cruelty upon an animal and malicious damage.

‘‘If it takes me getting charged to stop someone else being bitten, so be it,’’ Mr Smith said on Monday.

Mr Smith added that relatives can be ‘‘in the yard now, without worrying about dogs knocking the fence down.’’

The Newcastle Herald reported last month that Mr Smith allegedly stabbed and killed two American Staffordshire terriers that had mauled to death his 10-year-old dog Buddi.

Two children, aged 12 and 10, were inside their house at the time.

A police statement said two dogs entered Mr Smith’s property on Mirrabooka Road, Mirrabooka and began attacking his dog, which was tied up in his yard.

Mr Smith, police allege, ‘‘came out of his home and stabbed one of the two dogs to death’’.

Police allege Mr Smith then ‘‘chased the other attacking dog off his property and down the road before inflicting fatal injuries on it before returning it back to his property’’.

It’s alleged Mr Smith then smashed windows of a neighbour’s house and car.

Mr Smith was given conditional bail to appear in Toronto Local Court next month.

Lake Macquarie City Council is investigating circumstances surrounding ownership of the two attacking dogs and how they escaped from a property.

As previously reported, the dogs that killed Buddi were the offspring of two dogs that attacked Mr Smith’s partner, Natalie Southam, in May last year.

On that occasion, two American Staffordshire terriers jumped two 2-metre fences and attacked Ms Southam.

Ms Southam was left with injuries to her ear, neck and arms that required 19 stitches.

The two dogs were destroyed, after a council investigation.

COUNTS: Lee Smith is charged with aggravated cruelty upon an animal and malicious damage.

MURDER accused George Robert Ballantyne once declared that his love for Clare Weston would last ‘‘forever and always’’.
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The couple had been together for just four months when Ms Weston’s body was found, partly naked, lying on the swollen banks of the Hunter River at Aberglasslyn.

Mr Ballantyne, 30, of Evans Street at Greta, was not brought into Maitland Local Court on Mondayto face a murder charge, and he was formally refused bail.

Police will allege that Mr Ballantyne scuffled with Ms Weston some time after 2am on Sunday before dragging her down an embankment and leaving her lying in a pool of water near the Melville Ford Bridge.

Her body was found about 8am the same day.

Police will allege she was found face down with her knees and back out of the water.

They allege women’s underpants were found nearby and a pair of denim jeans were in a nearby tree.

Mr Ballantyne and Ms Weston allegedly drove to the site to talk.

Mr Ballantyne, a store person at a mine, walked into Maitland police station about 5.30pm on Sunday and was subsequently charged.

Police will allege Mr Ballantyne later escorted them on a walk-through of the crime scene.

Police also seized clothing and a motor vehicle from his parents’ house at Greta, where the couple had been living.

On Facebook, Mr Ballantyne had appeared to post messages about their budding relationship in November and December, describing Ms Weston as ‘‘my soulmate’’ and ‘‘my world, my everything’’.

On a picture of the couple kissing, Ballantyne wrote: ‘‘Cant b broken forever and always’’.

Tributes poured in on Mondayfor Ms Weston, a 23-year-old mother of two.

Friends posted photographs and tributes on a Facebook page created in her honour.

‘‘Taken too early from this world leaving behind … the rest of the family who love her very much,’’ uncle Frank Weston wrote.

Jenny Sherwen wrote: ‘‘RIP Clare, loved you since you were born, loved watching you grow into the person that you grew to be.’’

Clare Weston.