Unstoppable Tritton breaks state trainers’ record

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DARREN Elder will nominate Shannonsablast for the Interdominion and Shane Tritton has six races on Monday to get the three wins he needs for a double century in NSW after a big night for Hunter trainers on Saturday.

Shannonsablast was one of three Hunter-trained winners at Menangle, while Tritton runners claimed the opening three races at Newcastle to give the Keinbah horseman a national record for a NSW trainer.

Glasscutterspirit, Controversial and Mickey McRooney saluted for Tritton, taking him to 219 winners nationally for the season and past Steve Turnbull’s record of 217 for a NSW trainer set in 2013-14.

Tritton’s other target in recent weeks has been 200 wins for the season in NSW.

He moved to 197 with the treble and has 14 runners across six races of the nine-event program at Newcastle on Monday, the final day of the season.

Tritton said he was proud of the season, which also included two wins in New Zealand and a maiden NSW drivers’ premiership for his partner, Lauren Panella.

‘‘It means a lot to be ranked as the trainer who has won the most nationally in NSW in history,’’ he said.

‘‘It means a lot to my partner, family and workers.

‘‘We all work extremely hard and it’s good for the country participants to see that anyone can achieve their dreams, no matter where you are from. I’m proud to be from Newcastle.’’

The Tritton-trained Katy Perry was fourth in the group1 Breeders Crown for three-year-old fillies at Melton on Sunday.

Elder, meanwhile, was a winner on a huge night for Hunter trainers at headquarters.

With Todd McCarthy in the gig, Shannonsablast sat outside the leader in race two before a sustained sprint down the straight gave him a length victory in 1.53.8 in race two. The win gave McCarthy the joint metropolitan drivers’ premiership with his brother, Luke.

In race one, Ellalong trainer-driver Michael Formosa won with Ultimate Trump in 1.53.6.

In the fourth, Bolwarra trainer-driver Geoff Dorn had his first win at Menangle when Mista Taptoe Lombo caused an upset to take out a Country Series final at odds of $31.70.

Elder told Harness Racing NSW after Shannonsablast’s win that he would take his stable star to the Queensland Pacing Championship and Gold Coast Cup before a shot at Perth’s $1.8million Interdominion series in November.

He said he was waiting to see how the five-year-old gelding performed on Saturday night before deciding on the Interdominion nomination, and he would now probably lodge it on Monday.

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Bart Cummings dead: Advice from the master sees Contributer head to Moonee Valley

John O’Shea is using one of the many bits of advice that Bart Cummings gave him when Contributer returns in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
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“The old fella told me you always need a run at the Valley. That is where Contributer’s grand final is going to be, so that is why we starting in Melbourne instead of Sydney,” said O’Shea, who spent a couple of years learning at the Cummings stable. “It was just great for a boy from north Queensland to work under a living legend and I learned so much at Bart’s [stable] and it has stayed with me.”

O’Shea is one of numerous trainers to spend time picking Cummings’ brains before going out on their own. He has the biggest job in Australia heading the Godolphin team, which will continue to roll out its spring team on Saturday.

Contributer heads into the spring as a potential star after winning the Chipping Norton Stakes and Ranvet Stakes in autumn before injury saw him withdrawn from the Queen Elizabeth Stakes the day before the $4 million contest.

Hartnell, the BMW winner in the autumn, will step out in the Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick but the pair aren’t being separated by the stable intentionally.

“I would have actually liked Contributer to stay a bit longer in Sydney but he needs to have that look at the Valley in a race,” O’Shea said. “The Chelmsford suits Hartnell and he has come very well and if you remember he ran a great race first-up at the mile last prep [when second to Contributer in the Chipping Norton Stakes].”

O’Shea said Up And Coming Stakes winner Shards will probably not run in the Ming Dynasty Quality on Saturday and be saved for the Golden Rose on September 13, where he will join impressive Run To The Rose winner Exosphere and Holler, which was a game third to his stable mate on Saturday.

Godolphin will have another three-year-old starting a preparation at Randwick. Classy filly Ottoman, which finished her autumn campaign by winning the Percy Sykes Stakes, will make her reappearance  in the Furious Stakes on Saturday. “She is a bit like Exosphere in that she has really grown and matured. She has only had the one trial where Exosphere beat her but it was solid enough,” O’Shea said. “She is another one we are looking forward too.”

Godolphin will have four runners in the Tramway Quality – Australian Derby runner-up Hauraki, Sweynesse, It’s Somewhat and Malice. John Thompson will also use the Tramway as the starting point for First Seal, after she had to be scratched from the Warwick Stakes a couple of Saturdays ago because of a foot abscess.

“She had a good gallop at Rosehill on Saturday and is ready to go to the races. She is very fit,” Thompson said.

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World Championships: Hilliard targets under-performers

Australia exceeded their own pessimistic medal forecast but some senior athletes had still under-performed, head coach Craig Hilliard said after the World Championships.
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Australia finished with two silver medals after soberly predicting that it could be a medal-less championships in Beijing.

“Overall I am happy with our younger brigade. I think the younger athletes really stood up out there,” Hilliard said.

“This is our team, our team for the next Olympics … it’s promising for the next five-year period for athletics and where athletics can go.”

A range of high-profile athletes including discus throwers Benn Harradine and Julian Wruck, sprinter Melissa Breen, injured javelin thrower Kim Mickle, discus thrower Dani Samuels and runners such as Maddy Heiner had not performed as well as their form leading in.

“You saw it out there, there’s athletes who have to step up and do better. We have holes in areas, certainly some of the distance events let us down,” Hilliard said.

“There have been some athletes here who have under-performed – I don’t need to spell them out … I think this was one of the better prepared teams we’ve had but some athletes still slip through the net. We’ve got to get better at them performing here. I don’t care about [what an athlete did] six weeks ago.”

Hilliard said he would have robust discussions with a number of athletes and coaches, including national sprint record holder Breen and her coach Matt Beckenham, after Breen was eliminated in her heat after running a time well below her best.

“You can’t hide out there and certainly coming in, Mel knew she was in trouble. You saw the races and what she’d done coming in domestically and in Japan,” Hilliard said.

“She tried a different preparation with her coach to try to break that run of outs she’s had, you can’t blame her for that, but it clearly didn’t work.

“So they’ve got to go home and have a good look at where she’s run her fastest times and why she’s run her fastest times at that time of the year. Come out with a plan that can bring back that form coming into a major.

“She’s gutted by it, when you know you can run times and you constantly don’t do it here it’s the worst feeling you can have as an athlete.

“It will be a robust conversation as it will with all athletes.”

Hilliard said a range of young athletes, including high jumpers Eleanor Patterson and Brandon Starc, hurdler Michelle Jenneke, long jumper Brooke Stratton and 400m runner Anneliese Rubie, had performed exceptionally well.

He revealed Jenneke injured her hamstring in her semi-final, costing her a chance at a place in the final.

Hilliard was eager to have Patterson and her coach Dave Green, who to date have not accepted funding from the sports commission, come within the fold of Athletics Australia.

“She is one of our key athletes and we want her in the program. It makes sense, why look a gift horse in the mouth? There is a fair chunk of money that will come her way which could only help her prepare and help David travel away overseas with her.

“We need to support them, I will continue to support them and would love to get them involved.”

World and Olympic champion Sally Pearson would return after injury, but expecting her to medal at a third successive Olympics is a big ask. The women’s gold being won in Beijing in the slowest time in a decade, however, will doubtless frustrate and motivate her, Hilliard said.

He said the time had come for Australia to invest time and energy in the next generation of sprinters in a relay team.

“We’ve got some young kids now, and it’s time to move on from the ones who are there, the same old, same old, so let’s give these young kids a chance, get them together and say ‘Go for it, guys. Let’s get some times out there’. I’d love to … put them together in a relay team and give them something to prepare for the Olympics or Comm Games 2018, what an opportunity.”

He said 400m runner Steve Solomon had overcome “a fairly horrific injury” and was now back in Australia training in Canberra after deferring medical studies for a year to concentrate on preparing for Rio.

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Cardiff clash with England to herald start of Australia’s World T20 preparation

Australia’s biennial focus on fashioning an effective Twenty20 line-up to break their poor record at the World Twenty20 tournaments starts on Monday in Cardiff.
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New Test and one-day captain Steve Smith will take the reins for the afternoon match at Swalec Stadium against England, but he made it clear he had no interest in retaining the role once full-time Twenty20 captain Aaron Finch recovered from the foot injury that has sidelined him from the entire limited-overs series.

“It’s Finchy’s team, actually . . . [which will] take a bit of weight off my shoulders I guess in this form of the game,” Smith said.

Up to five of England’s players could face Australia for the first time. Batsmen James Vince, Sam Billings, Jason Roy and all-rounder David Willey all made their international debuts earlier this summer, while left-arm paceman Reece Topley is yet to play for England. Hard-hitting opener Roy played in last season’s Big Bash League, for Sydney Thunder.

Australia’s squad contains three potential Twenty20 debutants: opener Joe Burns, who made his limited-overs debut on Thursday in Belfast, spinner Ashton Agar, who has played two Tests, and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis. who is yet to feature above Australia A level.

The match is the first of seven Twenty20s Australia will play before the 2016 World Twenty20, to be held in India in March.

Selectors have underlined their determination to mould a settled line-up in that time by flying leg-spinner Cameron Boyce over for just this match, rather than the entire one-day series.

In Australia’s 2014 World Twenty20 campaign their primary leg-spinner was James Muirhead, who has since fallen out of favour with both Australia and Victoria as he works through a difficult patch in his still-fledgling career.

Queensland Boyce played four matches last season, taking six wickets at an average of 13.67 and, most encouragingly, conceding only 5.47 runs per over.

Smith strongly suggested the 26-year-old would feature in the match against England, partly on the basis that “it’s a pretty long way to go to not play”.

“I think as a leg-spinner you’ve really got to read the batsmen quite well. I think he does that. I think he knows when someone is going to step down at him and try hit to him for six, and when they’re going to sit back. I think he adjusts his length and his pace quite well, so I’m looking forward to seeing him bowl out here,” the acting captain said.

“It’s going to be quite tough conditions, I reckon, with probably a pretty good wicket and short straight boundaries, so he’s going to have to adapt there and see how he goes.”

With all but three members of the Australian squad – Boyce, Agar and Burns – either holding or having held IPL deals, Smith reckoned acclimatising should not pose a problem at next year’s World Twenty20.

“I think we’ve got some pretty experienced T20 players. A lot of the guys that are probably going to be in the squad for that World Cup have played a lot of IPL cricket and cricket in India and adapted to those conditions, so there’s no reason why we can’t win that tournament.”

Besides the one-off match against England, Australia’s only Twenty20 matches before the World Twenty20 are three at home to India next summer and three in South Africa just before the tournament.

ENGLAND (from): Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Steve Finn, Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes.

AUSTRALIA (from): Steve Smith (c), Ashton Agar, George Bailey, Cameron Boyce, Joe Burns, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh, James Pattinson, Mitch Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, Shane Watson, David Warner.

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World Championships 2015: Coach says Kim Mickle was okay to throw

Athletics Australia has defended the decision to allow Kim Mickle to throw in the javelin despite having torn ligaments in her shoulder.
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AA head coach Craig Hilliard said Mickle was eager to compete and the doctors were aware of the state of her shoulder.

There had been some miscommunication from Mickle over the severity of her shoulder injury, which would be subject to a review after the championships but Hilliard said he was comfortable Mickle had ben allowed to throw.

The silver medallist in Moscow two years ago was able to register only one legal throw of less than 60 metres and was eliminated in the first round.

Mickle had said in a press conference before competing that her shoulder was “great” but said afterwards she had downplayed a dislocation she had suffered in Germany two months earlier. She said after being eliminated that 30 per cent of the tendons of the rotator cuff in the shoulder had been torn.

“Her shoulder has not been good for a while. No secret about that,” Hilliard said.

“I think there was a clear miscommunication in terms of what was said and what actually occurred. I am not going to go into that but at the end of the day Kim was pretty strong about wanting to compete here.

“She got through her training program but clearly there is an issue we need to address better.

“She was fairly headstrong about what she wanted to do, went out and performed, certainly not to her ability, but she wanted to find out one way or another.

“The injury she has got is clearly a rehab one for another length of time or potentially surgery. The medical staff will go through the process with her and come up with the ideal solution.

“At the end of the day Kim was convinced in herself that competing outweighed the risk of further damage.”

“She had all the treatment in Cologne, we had physios, medical people there and when she got home from London so she hasn’t been mismanaged in terms of her rehabilitation and where she’s at – I want to make that totally clear. Nothing slipped through the net in that instance.

“You can argue about `should she have gone out or shouldn’t she have gone out’ – she wanted to compete.”

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