Posted by: jkirkby8712 | October 24, 2011

Saturday 22nd October 2011 – rain, horses and cricket!

Certainly for my son, Adam, a disappointing scene would have greeted him this morning – miserable rain, in almost wintry conditions again – for Round 3 of his cricket season, which has already seen the first two games he was involved in postponed completely or called off incomplete. Although I didn’t see any of the game last week [it had stopped by the time I got there], Adam did get a bat, came in at first wicket down, stayed around for a while and made 12 runs – holding the wicket up was apparently his role that day. Playing for the Sunbury Lions B Grade team, which is in fact their senior team in the overall district competition. Sent him an optimistic text this morning, ‘hoping’ he might get some cricket, and intending to drive around to the ground later on if there is any play.

I notice on the news that there is some delay over the burial of Gaddafi, following his death yesterday in Libya – normally, as per his culture, burial would take place within 24 hours, but it has been delayed, presumably because of fears of reprisals or reactions etc. Meanwhile, speculation continues over the manner of his death – he was captured while fleeing his home town of Sirte, and subsequently died of wounds received in circumstances that remain hazy One story is that he was shot in ‘crossfire’ between his supporters and the new regime fighters soon after his capture from a sewerage culvert where he had taken refuge. On the other hand, there is wide speculation that he was summarily executed by his captors. The UN have called for an investigation amidst  opposition to the idea of such a ‘extrajudicial killing’ [a guess similar doubts will always remain over the death of Osama Bin Laden, in contrast to Saddam Hussein’s trial and official execution].

In the meantime, a degree of violence visited the streets of Melbourne, when after tolerating a large protest group which had occupied the City Square for some days, and severely affected traders and others in the area, the police moved in yesterday, and because of strong resistance from the protestors, the situation became quite violent and bloody at times. About ‘100 Occupy Melbourne’ demonstrators, who had camped out in the City Square for a week as part of global protests against corporate greed, defied an order to leave by 9am, and give the City Square back to the citizens of Melbourne. The numbers grew substantially as police moved in. I disagree with the inflammatory comments of   Greens MP Adam Bandt, the federal member for Melbourne, when he said that  calling on the riot police to intervene was a serious error by political leaders. He said “[Premier] Ted Baillieu and [Lord Mayor] Robert Doyle have made a huge blunder by sending in the police, turning a week-long non-violent protest into a site of confrontation,” Mr Bandt said  “The authorities should have negotiated with the protestors before resorting to heavy handed pressure.  “By their actions, the Premier and Lord Mayor have moved the situation from negotiation to conflict and have hardened peoples’ positions.” I can’t go along with that, and in my view, such comments from high profile people like Bandt, only worsen the situation.  Personally, I have no real sympathy for the major protagonists who carry on with these things; I’m happy for protests and demonstrations to take place [I have been a part of some], but when they began to severely affect the livelihood of others or prevent people from going about their own business, they lose any support I might have had. At one stage, crowds flowed across Collins Street in the city, stopping trams, traffic and pedestrians from going anywhere. When a protestor was asked by a reporter – ‘what about all these people trying to get home, etc?’, the response was ‘I don’t give a f—k about them’!!  Well pal, you deserved anything you got from the law yesterday!!

The rain held off this afternoon until early evening, so Adam’s cricket team was able to have a completed match. I actually paid a couple of visits to the local cricket ground  –  Adam was fielding on the first occasion I went there, and wickets seemed to be falling constantly. That they were – the opposition team [from Melton, all bundled out for just 31 runs!!!   I returned just in time to see the start of the Sunbury innings  –  and with Adam coming in at first wicket down, I didn’t have to wait long. The first over saw the wicket go with no score on the board, and out strode Adam. Oddly, felt rather nervous as he faced some rather hostile bowling, and was almost run out in the first couple of balls. Then he picked up a single, and appeared to be batting in his usual cautious way for a couple of overs. Suddenly, as he admitted later, he took a swing at a ball which would have been best left alone – and was bowled, out for just the one run this week!  I stayed around for the next few overs, and with one of the batsmen hitting a few runs, it was obvious, so long as the rain held off, that Adam’s team would achieve the required runs. In fact, after I left, they lost 2 more wickets, but ended up winning the match with a score of 4 for 32 – not a very batting friendly day. Adam came over for a brief chat, about 10 minutes after he lost his wicket. I think he was glad to at least have the likelihood of a completed game, though as it would turn out, they were lucky it was such a short match, as in a couple of hours, the weather would turn very nasty.

I returned home mid afternoon, and enjoyed the opportunity to watch the WS Cox Plate race meeting from Moonee Valley, a couple of the main races anyway. The brilliant Black Caviar was running this afternoon – didn’t have much competition with just five starters in it’s race – which needless to say, resulted in this amazing horse powering away from it’s opposition in the straight [all Group winners nevertheless] to the tumultuous applause of the large crowd, many of whom had come just to see this horse win. Not to win any money from it  –  for a $1 bet, the TAB payout was just $1.04 – but simply to witness this magnificent animal tease the opposition, and then streak away in the last couple of hundred metres, and achieve it’s 15th win from 15 starts!!! Trained by Peter Moody and written by Luke Nolan [ a very powerful racing duo in Australian racing at the moment], this horse was breaking all kinds of records. Meanwhile, in the main race, the WS Cox Plate over 2,040 metres, a Weight For Age race worth $3million for 3 year olds & over, we saw a relative outsider with good credentials, came from behind to win that race – Pinker Pinker – ridden by another brilliant and successful jockey of this era, Craig Williams. That race was actually run during a brief lull in a rather violent rain storm that struck the race course, and much of Melbourne [and Sunbury] at around that time. So often happens in Melbourne in the midst of the Springtime racing carnivals – storms arrive right on cue for the big races!!! Today was no exception, with heavy rain and thunder greeting the horses to the starting barrier!.  Earlier, the Moonee Valley ‘International’ Cup was won by Americain, the overseas horse that won last year’s Melbourne Cup. Second in that race was one of my fancies for this year’s Cup, a horse named ‘Tullamore’. I think this was Americain’s first race [or win] in Australia since the 2010 Cup

That evening, it would rain quite steadily through much of the early hours, and turned my driveway area into a quagmire again. I was a little annoyed that Susie had gone out with friends, and left her car in the carport, forcing me to park out in the street, which because of the relative narrowness of our court, I generally try to avoid. And when she did come back late tonight, it was not long before she went out again [for the night], but by that stage I was in bed, and not terribly interested in moving cars at that stage of proceedings!  Susie’s social life and nocturnal activities are all rather erratic at the moment – don’t know who these ‘friends’ are she stays with, but I never really know until the last minute, if even then, whether she will be home or not of any particular night!

Talking about the horse racing, reminds me that I am currently reading Bart Cumming’s biography [given to me as a retirement gift by one of the public tenants associated with the VPTA. While it contains a lot of horsey statistics, and talk about breeding, etc, I’m finding it a very interesting book. One fact which emerges –  the success of someone like Bart Cummings who has now trained 13 Melbourne Cup winners, and is still having that kind of success in his 80s, he reveals as being dependant upon the way you treat the horses that you are training. Describes them as very intelligent animals, that remember how they have been cared for and treated, and will generally respond to positive treatment in a positive manner. More on that, as I get into the book.

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