Reporting season wrap: Short term panic sends share prices haywire

Some of the biggest names in business came out to plea to their investors to look beyond their short-term views. Big Australian companies’ share prices have been hammered.
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Richard Goyder, Wesfarmers managing director has lashed investors for short-term thinking. Photo: Philip Gostelow

Ansell chief executive Magnus Nicolin said investors failed to understand foreign exchange rates. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

Seek’s Andrew Bassat pleaded with investors to look beyond the short term. Photo: Josh Robenstone

Illustration: Simon Bosch.

A miserable week in global markets has darkened an already gloomy year on the ASX. It’s certainly enough to have retail investors in tears but even Rupert Murdoch seems worried.

After the US sharemarket fell 2 per cent, joining in the fearful sentiment on China that’s gripping the market, the media mogul pondered on social media whether a global fall in asset prices was a “timely correction or sign of major global crisis the near future?”

It is a question many are asking. It is a global sell off, driven by easily-panicked investors, but it has come at a particularly unfortunate time for Australian companies as their profit reports roll into the market.

The fortunes of companies this reporting season have rested on the fine print: the two or three lines of the outlook for next year. Those few words have sent some share prices plunging.

Things came to a head this week when some of the biggest names in business came out to plea to their investors to look beyond their short-term views.

Even seasoned long-term investors have felt the jitters from an increasingly panicked marketplace.

SEEK founder Andrew Bassat urged investors to look beyond “short term profit” and trust the company on its vision. The comments came after the company’s share price slid 10 per cent despite SEEK posting a 20 per cent boost in its revenue.

“We’re trying to be explicit about who we are. Fair to say that some shareholders are going to hate that because they care more about next week’s profit than anything else” Mr Bassat​ told Fairfax Media.

Arnold Bloch Leibler partner Jonathan Wenig​ said the market has become a “fickle partner” and chief executives are on notice.

“Manage well, execute on your strategy, and achieve and you can still find the market reaction is underwhelming,” he said.

The key word was expectation, Mr Wenig​ said.

“What matters is not how well, or how poorly you’ve done, but how that compares to what was expected,” he said. All prices dropping not just shares. Timely correction or sign of major global crisis in near future?— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) August 20, 2015If new recession biggest nations have few tools left to fight it. mountains of cash everywhere, but nobody investing.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) August 20, 2015

There have been plenty of examples that highlight that theme this year as investors played whack-a-mole with companies which on paper appear to be operating perfectly well in the difficult economic conditions.

Ansell was one of the early victims of the short-term shareholder reaction. Shareholders of the rubber glove and condom maker sent the company’s stock price down 15 per cent despite delivering a 20 per cent surge in underlying net profit to a record $US245 million ($333 million). Sound familiar?

In the company’s outlook it said currency exchange rates, assumed to remain the same as in the fourth quarter of 2015, would hit the company revenue by $55 million.

Chief executive Magnus Nicolin​ placed the blame squarely on the shareholder for the share price plunge: he said investors and analysts “hadn’t fully understood or seen the effects of foreign exchange”.

Even the market darlings were savaged. Domino’s Pizza Enterprises reported a staggering 40 per cent jump in net profit. Cue the party. It also promised 20 per cent growth in the 2016 financial year, which looked good, but below analysts’ expectation of 25 per cent.

There was also cynicism about the company making good on its “15-20 minute delivery or free” promise.

Whack. Down 7 per cent went Domino’s.

Even the big caps were slugged. Blood products maker CSL’s share price broke through the $100 mark for the second time in its history. Its net profit after tax rose 7.8 per cent to a whopping $US1.38 billion ($1.9 billion) .

But then its stock fell 6 per cent.

How about fellow biotech Cochlear? The hearing implants maker profit surged 56 per cent to $145.8 million, but its outlook, while positive, did not satisfy expectations. It was summarily punished with a 15 per cent share dive.

Financial services giant AMP missed analysts expectations, but delivered a 12 per cent lift in its underlying profit to $570 million. Whack.

“There are investors who are looking for different cash flow signatures,” a sanguine AMP chief executive Craig Meller said afterwards.

“Our mindset as a company is how do we make sure that we deliver for the short term, and we deliver for the long term.”

Stellar results were no panacea. Qantas on Thursday announced a stunning $975 million profit, a stark turnaround from its previous year’s multi-billion dollar loss. But its shares sank 6 per cent on a lack of guidance for next year.

Credit Suisse Private Banking chief investment strategist David McDonald said while tough conditions were well-signposted, weaker outlooks across all industries was the concern.

“That has definitely been the surprise so far in reporting season, outlooks have disappointed, particularly the spread of sectors where we’ve seen downgrades,” he said.

“It seems to have been across industrials and healthcare, quite a few sectors where the outlooks have been less than rosy.”

Mr Wenig​ said while conventional wisdom suggested companies should worry more about their strategies and long-term performance, their share price movements were an immediate indicator of their performance.

“Human nature is such that where incentives are linked to share price, attention will inevitably be drawn away from the strategic horizon, and towards the Bloomberg ticker along the bottom of the computer screen,” he noted.

Alphinity Investment Management principal Johan Carlberg said some of that short-termism may be reflective of the changing composition of the sharemarket.

He said the market was experiencing a higher mix of short-term investors and hedge funds compared with the more traditional, longer-focused institutional investor set.

He added of the companies that did get a whack, their share prices usually settled in a few days.

Peak Asset Management executive director Niv Dagan said the word “challenging” was a constant in company forecasts this year.

“Companies are very nervous about the next 12 months, the majority of chief executives are saying the outlook is going to remain difficult,” he said.

“The most alarming thing is some of the companies are not even providing an outlook statement,” Mr Dagan​ said.

“When investors don’t get an outlook statement there’s uncertainty, and when there’s uncertainty, there’s further downside.”

Downer EDI was one company which said its operating environment would remain “difficult” while posting a lower 2016 guidance of $190 million net profit before tax. Cue an 11 per cent share price slump.

That mining services companies are under pressure comes as no surprise to Mr Dagan​, but share registration and administration company Computershare’s result was more alarming.

The company’s share price fell 9 per cent to a two-year low after the company not only missed profit guidance this year, but earnings for the next financial year were forecast to fall 7.5 per cent.

Mr Carlberg​ agreed the statements had on average been disappointing, chalking it up to a combination of macro and company specific concerns.

“Tailwinds from economic growth are fairly subdued at the moment, it doesn’t really matter which region you’re in, be it domestic or overseas,” he said.

He also noted any benefits from a weaker Australian dollar, be it companies earning in US dollars and export-driven companies had largely been priced into company share prices.

But he said a weaker euro was also hurting companies, a factor many investors had ignored.

“With the euro weakening so much against the US dollar the translation of those earnings back into US dollars has been quite interesting,” he said.

CSL was one example where this was hurting their bottom lines, also Ansell, which said its revenue was partially brought down by weakness in the euro and the Canadian dollar.

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HUNTER WOMEN’S RUGBY: Merewether book finals spot

WOMEN’S RUGBY: Merewether book finals spot Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil
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Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

Hunter Women’s Rugby Union: Merewether Carlton book grand final spot after defeating Newcastle University 22-10. Picture: Marina Neil

TweetFacebookPHOTOS: Merewether Carlton defeats Newcastle Universityby two points, setting up a grand final clashagainst the Wanderers next weekend.

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Bart Cummings, the Cups King sits alongside the sporting greats

Bart Cummings – it was at the track where he was most at home. Photo: Steve Christo vjc981029.001.001.jpg Pic Vince Caligiuri. Age Bart Cummings on the track with his Derby runner “Runaway”. Photo: Vince Caligiuri
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Cummings could win posthumous 13th Melbourne CupChris Roots: The legend I knewMalcolm Knox: his simple secret to successWhy he was so much better than the restWaterhouse, Abbott lead tributes

Joe Agresta might not be most famous or influential figure to pay tribute to Bart Cummings following his death at 87, but he probably knew him the best.

Cummings’ trackwork rider for more than 30 years at Flemington summed up a legend simply.

“He made me the man I am and I owe a lot to him,” Agresta said. “He knew a bit about everything and if he wasn’t a horse trainer he could have been anything.

“He could have been prime minister or a developer, he was just so smart. He had an insight and foresight on a lot of things.”

Cummings died surrounded by his family at his western Sydney property Princes Farm on Sunday morning. The man known just as Bart or the Cups king or for his remarkable record of winning 12 Melbourne Cup sits alongside the sporting greats in Australia.

The Prime Minister Tony Abbott recognised Cummings in a statement.

“Australia has lost a sporting giant and a racing legend,” the statement read. “Few people have dominated a sport like Bart Cummings did. He will be remembered as a truly great trainer, the winner of literally thousands of races.

“Race day will not be the same without him. On behalf of all Australians, we extend our sincerest sympathies to Bart’s wife of 61 years, Valmae, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

Opposition leader Bill Shorten took to Twitter to offering some kind words, a “legend of the turf has left us”.

It was at the track where Cummings was most at home. He finished his life with 266 group 1 wins and another two top level victories in partnership with grandson James, left him only behind his great rival Tommy Smith.

Smith’s daughter Gai Waterhouse, a fellow hall of fame trainer, said his legacy will live on.

“He is an all-time great Australian trainer. An icon of our country and his 12 Melbourne Cup wins is amazing,” Waterhouse said. “He is going to be sadly missed by his family and friends and my thoughts are with his family.”

She had earlier tweeted. “A great sadness clouds over the Industry with the news of Bart Cummings’ passing,” Waterhouse tweeted on Sunday morning. “The Cups King’s legacy remembered – past, present & future.”

Racing Australia chairman John Messara believes there will never be another man to take racing to the general community.

“The name JB Cummings is forever etched in racing history. Bart will always be spoken of with wonderment at his achievements” Mr Messara said.

“Bart had a unique impact on the general public with his laconic wit and big race victories. He brought racing to the wider community.”

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China ready to launch military power from artificial islands in South China Sea

China has won the first round of its contest for control in the South China Sea by completing construction of an archipelago of artificial islands, say senior Australian sources.
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And there is little that will stop China from winning the next round, too, as an indecisive US Administration and allies including Australia struggle to follow through on earlier promises to challenge unlawful Chinese claims with “freedom of navigation” exercises, the sources say.

By 2017, military analysts expect China will have equipped its new sand islands with ports, barracks, battlements, artillery, air strips and long-range radar systems that will enable it to project military and paramilitary power into the furthest and most hotly-contested reaches of the South China Sea.

Those facilities would give China the ability to obstruct other claimant countries and potentially disrupt sea lanes that carry more than three-fifths of Australia’s merchandise trade, according to military analysts.

“This is a huge strategic victory for China,” said one official source.

“They’ve won Round 1,” said another. “It’s hard to see how they will be stopped from winning the next round too.”

In May, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter demanded a “lasting halt to land reclamation” and commissioned plans to conduct “fly throughs” and “sail throughs” within 12 nautical miles of the artificial islands.

The tough US commitments were strongly supported by Defence Minister Kevin Andrews and accompanied by high-profile US surveillance flights, including one involving a CNN camera crew and another carrying the Commander of the US Pacific Fleet, Admiral Scott Swift.

Fairfax understands that those flights took place outside the 12 nautical mile zone, contrary to some media reports at the time.

And military, defence and other official sources have told Fairfax that the promised “fly-throughs” and “sail-throughs” have not yet taken place, adding that the two surveillance flights took place at a distance greater than was widely reported at the time.

While the US and its allies have struggled to follow talk with action, fleets of Chinese dredges have completed reclamation work including the foundations for a second 3000-metre airstrip in the area, on Subi Reef, which will be capable of landing the largest aircraft in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.

The reclamation work has largely been completed in time for President Xi Jinping to make a smooth state visit to Washington in about a fortnight’s time, with the number of Chinese dredges in use in the Spratly archipelago falling by about 90 per cent in recent weeks, according to sources with access to satellite imagery.

Meanwhile, US and Australian defence planners have run into problems as they struggle with old maps and time-series aerial photographs to work out which of the Chinese structures should be the target of freedom of navigation exercises.

Compounding the confusion, strategists have realised that Western vessels and aircraft may have for decades endorsed Chinese claims that have no basis in international law, out of “politeness”, thus raising the risks involved with a sharp shift in behaviour now.

“Working out which claims we recognise and how that should be communicated is not easy,” said a source.

In any case, strategists concede that freedom of navigation exercises will not necessarily hinder the militarisation of China’s new sand islands.

Some strategists believe China will have a largely unfettered run until at least 2017, when the land-locked Chinese client state of Laos cedes the chairmanship of ASEAN and a new US administration settles into place.

Other Australian and US officials, however, say that China has won at the tactical level but lost the bigger strategic game, as nations throughout the region respond by building closer security ties with each other and the US.

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OBITUARY: Dr Colin Keay

Retired professor of physics Colin Keay combined an inquiring mind with a vast amount of energy. Picture: Stefan MooreOBITUARY
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Dr Colin Keay, 1930 – 2015

WHEN former University of Newcastle physics professor Dr Colin Keay died peacefully last week, he was holding his daughter Andra’s hand and listening to Vivaldi and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital in Brisbane.

His wife Myra, and myself, Sue, were also there.

Dad had been on palliative care and had been calm and comfortable.

His last few days were spent with family around him, listening to his favourite composers, and blissfully free of most of the Parkinson’s tremors.

Colin was born on February 2, 1930, in Timaru, in the South Island of New Zealand, the elder of two sons to William and Ruby Keay. His brother Alister was born three years later.

Dad was dux of Papanui High School in 1947 and a founding member of the Canterbury Astronomical Society.

He received his BSc and MSc from the University of New Zealand (Canterbury) and joined Cliff Ellyett’s Radar Meteor Astronomy group.

His mettle was sorely tested as a young child, spending time in an orphanage and boarding away from home due to his mother’s poor health and then fighting off tuberculosis during his undergraduate studies. He spent almost two years in Cashmere sanatorium and endured two major operations in 1956-57 to remove part of both lungs. The scars on his back looked like a singlet, but it was hard to notice any reduction in his lung capacity for the energy and drive he brought to his life and work.

Dad married Mum in 1958 in Christchurch. He was awarded his PhD in physics in meteor astronomy at the University of Canterbury in 1964 and was also awarded the Mechaelis Gold Medal in astronomy from the University of Otago. He also received an MA in astronomy from University of Toronto in 1965 and, near the end of his career, was distinguished with a DSc from University of Canterbury in 1997.

Mum and Dad moved to Australia in 1965 for Colin to take up a senior lecturer position in physics at the University of Newcastle where he worked until his ‘‘retirement’’ in 1993. Both Mum and Dad kept so busy in retirement that some of us wondered how they ever found time to work.

There were a number of firsts in Dad’s long career. He created a new branch of science called geophysical electrophonics – ‘‘theproduction of audible noises of various kinds through direct conversion by transduction of very low-frequency electromagnetic energy generated by a number of geophysical phenomena’’.

Within 24hours of the launching of the first satellite (the Russian Sputnik in 1957), Dad was the first to calculate that it would be visible over New Zealand. This led to Dad and Dick Anderson publishing the first two papers on observing a satellite.

He also published the first papers on high resolution infrared maps of Jupiter and was president of Commission 22 of the International Astronomical Union and inaugural chairman of its working group on the prevention of interplanetary pollution (space junk). In 1997, Minor Planet 5007 was named after Dad in recognition of his services to astronomy.

As a pioneering science communicator, as well as numerous public talks, Dad wrote monthly newspaper columns, first for the Christchurch Press and then for The Newcastle Morning Herald, which regularly published his Sky and Space notes for more than 30years.

As a press correspondent, he covered some of the launches of NASA’s space missions.

Away from science, Dad was active in the community, being the founding president of the Hunter Skeptics (1987), president of the Newcastle Cycleways Movement (always lobbying for more bikeways), founding president of the Newcastle Astronomical Society (1993), and a member of University of Newcastle council representing staff, among many other notable activities.

Colin Keay, DSc FRASNZ FAAAS FInstP FASA, was husband to Myra, brother to Alister, father to Andra, Lindsay and Sue, father-in-law to Michael and Mark, grandfather to Ilyan, Rob, Miranda, Zoe, Sarah and Sammy. He will be greatly missed but what an amazing 85years it was.

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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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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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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 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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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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