Archive for March, 2019

Gary Harley’s racing review


THE Irish eyes of talented jockey Declan McDonogh were smiling on Saturday when he landed a double on his first-ever visit to Newcastle Racecourse.
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The 37-year-old Irishman had four mounts on Saturday and he was first past the post on Puppet Master in the 900-metre Three-Year-Old Maiden Plate and California Turbo in the 1400m Maiden Handicap.

WINNER: Jockey Adam Hyeronimus (centre) rides Magic Choir to victory in race three at Rosehill Gardens. Picture: AAP

His other two mounts were unplaced.

The brilliant Pupper Master, the hot $1.60 favourite, wasn’t far outside the 900m track record when he treated racegoers to a display of sheer speed. With McDonogh sporting the colours of 2017 Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign, Puppet Master quickly put a gap on his rivals, and he straightened up with a big lead and full of running.

Puppet Master won by one-and-three-quarterslengths in 51.34, or 0.17 outside Rebel Miss’s track record.

The colt sped over the last 600m in a breathtaking 32.07.

He is trained for a large syndicate of owners by She Will Reign’s Warwick Farm trainer, Gary Portelli.

Purchased at a “ready to run” sale in Melbourne, the three-year-old has had five starts, for a win and three placings. McDonogh had a smile from ear to ear when greeted by connections on dismounting.

“Wow, he is quick,” he said. “Very fast.

“I wasn’t going to give up the rails but I had no worries there. He left them standing.”

McDonogh’s other winner California Turbo is from the power Snowden stable and he was very impressive.

The three-year-old was on debut after a recent Randwick barrier trial win and he settled at the tail of the field.

The leader, Starvino, kicked away inthe home straight and looked to have the race won. But California Turbo unwound a powerful sprint to gather in Starvino and race away to win by a widening 1.8 lengths.

“The trainer told me to have the horse where he is comfortable in the small field,” O’Donoghsaid.

“They got along up front, so I rode him patient and he attacked the line.”

McDonogh started his riding career at 17 and he has since ridden 960 winners.

“Unfortunately my visa only allows me to stay until the end of January,” he said.

“I love it here in Australia and the tracks are so much better than at home.”

Champion trainer Chris Waller produced a highly promising filly in the 1200mMaiden Plate.

Seahampton, a three-year-old daughter of Golden Slipper winner Sebring, is not only a magnificent looking individual but is also richly talented.

After firming from $4 to $2.80 in her second race start, Seahampton settled near the tail and was held up near the top of the straight.

Jockey Grant Buckley managed to find a gap and Seahampton stormed home to win by two-and-a-half lengths.

The Kris Less-trained Heat Haze was the only Newcastle-trained galloper to win at the meeting.

Meanwhile, AAP reports: Todd Howlett will target another Highway Handicap with Magic Choir after he made a successful metropolitan debut in the concept for country horses at Rosehill.

The four-year-old ($18) notched the third win of his six-race career after finishing strongly to beat Gitan ($7) by half a length on Saturday, with Forever Newyork ($18) a neck away third.

After recording his third Highway Handicap victory, Howlett said Magic Choir could expect to make another road trip from Muswellbrook over summer.

“We picked this out early in his prep and we’ll come back for another Highway,” he said.

“He’s racing well. He’s doing a nice job.”

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Katy Gallagher High Court ruling not a test for Labor: Mark Dreyfus


Bill Shorten and Mark Dreyfus press conference on citizenship. Pic Nick Moir 6 dec 2017Labor won’t consider a High Court ruling on Katy Gallagher’s eligibility as a precedent for MPs under a cloud over dual citizenship claims, despite Malcolm Turnbull’s view that other opposition MPs should resign if the ACT senator is disqualified.
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The High Court said on Friday evening Senator Gallagher’s case would go before the Court of Disputed Returns for the first time on January 19, asking for evidence and submissions in the case, and that of Labor lower house MP David Feeney, to be received before December 21.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said on Sunday that even if Senator Gallagher was found to be ineligible to sit in Parliament, the opposition could seek further rulings to determine the cases of lower house MPs Susan Lamb, Justine Keay and Josh Wilson.

The Labor members were all dual British citizens on the day they nominated for the 2016 federal election, but believe they are not ineligible because they had taken all reasonable steps to renounce overseas citizenship.

Mr Turnbull said last week the fate of Ms Keay and Mr Wilson should be determined by Senator Gallagher’s case, “because the facts are essentially the same”.

“If Katy Gallagher is successful then they will rest easy. If she is unsuccessful then they will have to resign,” the Prime Minister said.

But Mr Dreyfus disputed the stance on ABC’s Insiders, arguing Labor wouldn’t view the Gallagher ruling as a precedent.

“Not really,” he said. “Each case has to be determined on the particular circumstances of the candidate or member concerned.”

“We think that Katy Gallagher took the reasonable steps that the High Court has spoken of in repeated decisions.

“She, like the rest of us in Labor, care about the constitutional legitimacy of the Australian Parliament. We want this cleared up, we want this mess to end.

“As you heard Katy say in the Senate, she believes that she’s got a clear case that she was eligible to stand for Parliament but she wants it cleared up.”

He said the government’s refusal to refer a group of its own MPs, as well as the Labor members facing questions, means the citizenship chaos would continue through the summer months.

“We say there is no case against the people who have been identified on the Labor side. Mr Feeney is in a different category … he’s dealt with his Irish citizenship but he can’t find the papers for his British citizenship,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“But the other three, we say say they took reasonable steps and there’s a disagreement on the law between the government and the opposition.”

In heated debate in the final sitting week of Parliament, a Labor motion to refer Ms Lamb, Ms Keay, Mr Wilson, Xenophon Team MP Rebekha Sharkie and Liberals Nola Marino, Jason Falinski, Alex Hawke, Julia Banks failed.

Last week Senator Gallagher stepped aside from her Labor frontbench roles after documents provided to the Senate showed she was “at the date of her nomination for the 2016 election, a British citizen by descent” and that her moves to renounce in April 2016 were only finalised a month after the July election by the UK Home Office.

Constitutional expert George Williams said Senator Gallagher could survive the challenge, but the question of what constituted reasonable steps needed to be decided by the High Court.

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Major runs Belmont home


Major runs Belmont home DELIVERY: University paceman Jackson Thompson in action on Saturday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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DEFENCE: Stockton-Raymond Terrace batsman Leigh Osmond. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

HAUL: University celebrate one of Michael Radnidge’s 10 wickets for the match. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TweetFacebook NDCA – University v Stockton-Raymond TerracePictures by Max Mason-HubersA career-best 176 not out from Jesse Major almost single-handedly delivered Belmont valuable first-innings points on Saturday and kept the club’s semi-final aspirations alive for 2017-2018.

Major, who belted 26 boundaries and two sixes, featured in back-to-back century partnerships as the hosts chased down Waratah-Mayfield’s 7-293 with six wicketsin hand and 10.2overs to spare at Miller Field.

It was Major’s fifth ton in the Newcastle District Cricket Association first grade competition since making his debut for Charlestown almost a decade ago, but after stints at City, University and now Belmont this was by far the top performance.

“It was a super knock,” Belmont skipper Mark Littlewood said.

“It was probably one of the better ones I’ve seen for a number of years.

“He’s been threatening to do something like this for a while now. He’s looked good all season without going on with it. For us it was really importantthat he kicked on after gettingto 100 and outside a close stumping on about 130 it was pretty much chanceless.”

The 25-year-old right-handed batsman found himself out in the middlefirst over of the innings after the dismissal of opener Sam Logan (0) and then remained there for the next 72.

Major and opener Toby Gray (37) put on 118 for the second wicket before combining with Littlewood (47) for a 125-run stand.

This combated the unbeaten 165 made by opponent Jonty Durrheim, adding 40 to his own overnight tally and 58 to the team’s total during the eight overs faced by the visitorsearlier on day two.

The result puts Belmont seventh on the ladder but within striking distance of the top four and14 points clear of ninth-placed Waratah.

Elsewhere in round eightand Toronto’s first win of the season brought Newcastle City’s undefeated run to an end with the Kookaburrasdismissing the Sabres (120) 35 runs short, including a collapse of 6-21.

Hamwicks all-rounder Sam Webber took 7-65as Charlestown (223) finished 33 shy of the Pumas despite the efforts ofBayley McGill (97 not out), Merewether ended up 34 ahead against Wallsend (210), Wests cruised past Cardiff-Boolaroo’s 145 but couldn’t get maximum points while 99 to Stockton-Raymond Terrace’s Nick Foster staved off an outright loss toUniversity.

LADDER: Merewether 50, Wests 46, City 41, Charlestown 36, Hamwicks36, Wallsend 33, Belmont 31, University 30, Waratah19, Toronto 15, Stockton13, Cardiff 8.

BLASTERS: Newcastle advance to Regional Bash final at SCG

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Watch as wildlife rescuers save a wombat from its mother’s pouch


The baby wombat freed from her dead mother’s pouch in Harcourt North.WILDLIFE rescuers were able to free a baby wombat from the pouch of its deadmother after she was struck by a car in central Victoria on Saturday morning.
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And they say injured wombats in the region are becoming increasingly common due to expanding development in the southern parts of Victoria, pushing them further north and beyond their natural habitat.

A passing motorist spotted the dead wombat on the road in Harcourt North, near Bendigo, and managed to move it to the roadside when he noticed a baby in the pouch.

Wildlife Rescue Emergency Service attended and were able to free the baby and take her back to the shelter where she is being nursed back to full health.

She weighed 2.3 kilograms and was covered in about 200 bush ticks.

Jo Lyall, of the WRES, said they had found a number of injured wombats near Bendigo in recent years –in Big Hill, Ravenswood, Eppalock and Spring Gully.

She said it was a concern for the native animals.

“We don’t want to see wombats in Bendigo, it’s just not the right place for them,” Ms Lyall said.

Click the below video to see the baby wombat being freed from the pouch:

“But due to overpopulation, they are being pushed further and further. The ground is far too hard for them in this part of the state.

“We also worry that they will be considered a novelty by some people who won’t do the right thing.”

She said it was fortunate that a passing motorist had stopped to help the wombat, and she wished to thank him.

The wombat, to be known as Hattie, will be nursed back to about 25 kilograms and released back into the wild.

WRES rescued a wombat weighing 194 grams and were able to released it back into the wild several weeks ago.

They are known to be very territorial and can cause injury with their powerful scratch, so Ms Lyall said they could only be handled by skilled professionals.

“Even when they are in our enclosure, I would stay away from them,” she said.

“For your average person who thinks they can go up and pat them –don’t do it.”

If you spot an injured native animal, contact WRES on 0427 301 401.

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Lendlease’s Barangaroo set to export water


It’s official, the Barangaroo precinct has its own ecosystem.
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Lendlease has completed one of the major pieces of infrastructure at its $6 billion Barangaroo site with the opening of its recycled water plant.

The plant has a projected production of more than 200 million litres annually and will make the precinct one of the most sustainable in the country.

According to Lendlease, the plant is a critical and final piece of Barangaroo’s infrastructure network to make the precinct water positive, meaning Barangaroo will be capable of producing more water than it consumes and will become a net exporter of recycled water.

The NSW minister for energy and utilities Don Harwin, who was at the opening on Friday, said Barangaroo a was an ”example to the rest of the world of what partnerships between government and the private sector can achieve”.

“Lendlease has set a new precedent for water conservation in an urban area creating a positive and lasting legacy for both Barangaroo and the wider central business district,” Mr Harwin said.

“This is a critical step to fulfil our ambition to make Barangaroo one of the world’s most sustainable urban regeneration precincts.”

When completed, Barangaroo will be home to three nearly fully occupied office towers, a new retail area on the central site and close to 1000 apartments.

Currently about 25,000 workers and visitors arrive in the area daily from the new link to Wynyard station and the regenerated pedestrian strip along George Street.

The integrated energy company, Origin, is the latest tenant to Barangaroo, having signed an agreement to lease 7,850sqm in the building, for a 10-year period with a further two five year options.

Origin will consolidate its two Sydney offices, currently located at Australia Square and Bond Street, into its new home at Barangaroo by mid-2018.

Mr Harwin said there were now 20 private recycling schemes licensed under the Water Industry Competition Act.

Lendlease Property Australia chief executive Kylie Rampa said integrating the plant with Barangaroo’s low carbon, waste management and renewable energy strategy was the culmination of ”seven years’ work”.

”The opening of the Barangaroo South Recycled Water Plant represents a final piece of the puzzle towards us becoming Australia’s first water positive precinct,” Ms Rampa said.

”Barangaroo’s other infrastructure network also includes the district cooling plant, which uses Sydney Harbour water to cool all the precinct buildings, 188,500 litres of water across the area, 6,000 sqm of roof-top solar panels and a private power network.

Aside from its office and residential towers, Lendlease has also built a timber property using cross laminated timber (CLT) and glue laminated timber (glulam).

Known as International House Sydney, it will be the new home of Accenture and will help Barangaroo to become the country’s first large scale carbon neutral community.

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