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    Herbert Bartlett found alive


    2019 - 09.21

    Herbert ‘Nobby’ Bartlett has been found alive.Herbert “Nobby” Bartlett wasfound alive in grassland in Maitland shortly after 10.30am Thursday.
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    The elderly man, 86, was found in the back paddock of a property onBonar Street, Maitland.A police dog located the man during a search operation this morning.

    He was hidden in long grass and was suffering exposure after spending four days in the elements.

    EARLIER COVERAGE: Stroke victim missing from Maitland Hospital

    Mr Bartlett is in Maitland Hospital being assessed. His family has been informed and was with him at the hospital for the medical assessment.

    Ada Gibson owns the paddock where the elderly man was found.

    “I could not believe it,” she said.

    “I had been down there with the police yesterday.I am just so pleased he was alive.”

    FOUND: Ada Gibson at the spot where Nobby was found. PHOTO: Cath Bowen.

    The area of Ms Gibson’s property where Nobby was found is bounded by a fenceline andrailway tracks.

    The property slopes downhill and is covered in very high grass, which made it difficult to see the man.

    Mr Bartlett hadbeen missing since Monday after leaving Maitland Hospital where he was recovering from a stroke.

    He is unable to speak or communicate andhas spent the past six weeks in hospital after suffering a stroke.

    Earlier this week police, Mr Bartlett’s family and hospital personnel launched a city-wide search for the man.

    Thursday’s search included officers from the Central Hunter Local Area Command, Newcastle Police Rescue, Hunter Region SES and the Dog Unit.

    Dog Unit officer,Senior Constable Wynn, and his dogUlrichwere the ones tofind Mr Bartlettlying in the long grass.

    “We are very much pleased to have located him,” Central Hunter crime manager, Detective Inspector John Zdrilic, said.

    “We would have liked to find him sooner. But as hope was fading, there was still hope and it is very fortunate for Nobby and his familythat we found him.”

    Detective Inspector Zdrilic said police dog Ulrich has since been deployed back to Newcastle after a successful day. Maitland’s police dogMarco was used in a search yesterday, but was injured in the line of duty by a horse and could not participate in today’s search.

    ‘A part of me died that day’: Victim of sex assault by Luke Lazarus tells court of her trauma


    2019 - 09.21

    Sentencing hearing: Luke Lazarus. Photo: FacebookA young woman says a part of her died the night she was sexually assaulted in a laneway behind a Kings Cross nightclub by the club owner’s son.
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    Luke Andrew Lazarus, 23, is being sentenced in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court having last month been convicted of the attack on the 18-year-old woman behind Soho on Victoria Street, Potts Point, in May 2013.

    Lazarus’ father, Andrew Lazarus, is a part-owner of the club, as well as popular Bondi Junction hotel The Eastern.

    The sexual assault occurred in an alleyway behind the club after Lazarus told the woman, who was on her first night out in Sydney, he would take her to a VIP area.

    In court on Thursday, a victim’s impact statement was read out on behalf of the woman, who said she would never be the person she was before the attack.

    “I thought that once I left the alleyway the pain would go away … but it didn’t,” the woman’s statement said.

    “Everything that made me who I was stayed in that alleyway.”

    The woman said she spent days sitting in a bath after the attack and, in the two years since, had cried until she “couldn’t breathe, crying until I physically couldn’t any more”.

    “I’ll never be who I was. I had to rebuild myself with what I had left,” she said in the statement.

    “A part of me died that day, the part that trusted others.”

    During the trial it was heard that Lazarus approached his victim on the club’s dance floor.

    He claimed to be a part-owner of the club and asked if she wanted to meet the DJ.

    Lazarus then told her: “No, we will go to a VIP area” before he took her out of a back exit into an alleyway.

    The pair kissed but the woman said she wanted to go back to her friends because she was uneasy being in an alleyway.

    He told her to put her hands up against the fence before demanding that she “just get on your hands and knees and arch your back”.

    The woman, fearful of what he would do if she did not comply, then knelt on the gravel and put her hands on the ground.

    Lazarus then sexually assaulted the woman for 10 minutes during which time his victim told him she was a virgin.

    When he had finished, he told her to put her name into his phone.

    After the attack, the woman returned to the club, met her friends and left.

    Police were informed the following morning after the woman told her older sister what had occurred. Detectives seized CCTV footage from Soho, which showed Lazarus leading the woman out into an alleyway.

    They also intercepted calls on his mobile with nightclub staff during which he talks about having sex in the back alleyway.

    In a text message to his friend the afternoon after the attack, Lazarus also said: “I honestly have zero recollection of calling you … Was a sick night – took a chick’s virginity.”

    His friend replied: “bahahahaha nice popping does cherries …”

    Lazarus replied: “… it’s a pretty gross story tell ya later”.

    The note section of his phone also contained a list of female names, with his victim’s name appearing on the end of the list.

    During the trial before Judge Sarah Huggett at the Downing Centre District Court last month, Lazarus’ lawyers argued that the sex was consensual. But a jury convicted Lazarus of one count of sexual intercourse without consent.

    The hearing continues.

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    Why Vote Compass doesn’t work for me


    2019 - 09.21

    Patrick Batchelor’s Vote Compass result shows his views are closer to the Greens, but he is a Labor member.Every election I take the ABC’s Vote Compass survey, and every election it tells me to vote for a party I don’t support.
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    I believe we should invest more in public transport, public education, and public healthcare. I support marriage equality, drug law reform, and the humane treatment of refugees. When it comes to WestConnex the only thing I want in my backyard are solar panels and maybe some kale plants. Put succinctly, I’m a rabid inner-city leftie. But in the world of Vote Compass, there is only one answer – I’m a Green.

    The problem is, I’m not a Green.

    I’ve been a Labor Party member for more than 10 years and have volunteered for my two local candidates at every state and federal election since.

    Yet Vote Compass keeps telling me I’m a Green. And I’m not alone. All my fellow Labor volunteers from the state seats of Balmain and Newtown who have taken the Vote Compass survey have experienced the same frustrated bewilderment when told they should vote for the party they are campaigning against.

    So what is the problem?

    The first issue is how the responses to the Vote Compass survey are calculated. Responses are graded against each of the three parties’ state platforms. There is the erroneous assumption that voters living in the inner city who support one of the two major parties, vote for state party platforms without taking the candidate’s personal views into consideration. This is a misleading assumption. It assumes that major parties have a one-size-fits-all platform, ignoring the fact that local candidates represent a diversity of views within a larger coalition.

    A Labor or Liberal candidate contesting an inner-city seat will almost certainly be far more progressive than their respective parties’ state platforms. This also neglects the ability of these candidates to push progressive policy from within their own party caucus.

    Online surveys of this style are far more effective in a presidential-style electoral system where you directly elect a leader and can assess their individual platform. But in a Westminster system like ours, in the lower house, you are not voting for the premier, you are voting for your local member.

    Vote Compass is arguably better suited to the upper house, where voting above the line is essentially a vote for the party’s state-wide platform. But this still doesn’t account for the fact that progressive Labor voters are being identified as Greens.

    This is because Vote Compass fails to assess the level of the voter’s pragmatism in achieving policy outcomes. Even though my responses qualify me as a Green, I’ll vote for my local Labor candidate because I want to see progressive reform implemented, not just feel good talking about it.

    I, like many other inner-city Labor voters, believe a party with a two seat lower house strategy will only ever act as an impotent lobby group to the government of day. Whereas a Labor government, while not always perfect, is the only viable option to deliver actual progressive change.

    But how do you measure this in a question? Perhaps along these lines:

    “Do you believe being part of a party that can form government matters?”

    “Do you think it is important to work with moderate supporters to build a majority coalition to progress policy initiatives?”

    These questions would address, at least partially, one of the main distinctions between a left-wing Labor voter and a Green. If given the opportunity to scale the importance of these questions at the end of the survey, it would hopefully recalibrate my results to reflect my true voting intention.

    The ability to scale which issues are most important to you at the end of your survey is a good concept, but it also has its problems. I identified education and public transport as two of my most important issues. But of course, this made me become more of a Green. While aspects of the Greens transport and education platform might somewhat align with my personal views, the two Greens candidates in Newtown and Balmain would only be elected at the expense of Penny Sharpe and Verity Firth. Two left-wing, progressive Labor candidates and likely transport and education ministers in a Labor government.

    I want to like Vote Compass. I really do. It encourages civic engagement and helps people with one of their most important responsibilities as a citizen. But sometimes an online survey like Vote Compass is about as useful as a quiz figuring out which character from Game of Thrones you are. Or maybe I am just a Green after all. Since when has an internet quiz ever been wrong?

    Patrick Batchelor was a field director during the 2013 federal Labor campaign and the 2012 Obama campaign. He wrote his masters thesis on the Americanisation of Australian election campaigns.

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    ‘Petty requests’ for metadata: public servants caught in the middle


    2019 - 09.21

    Independent Senator Nick Xenophon. Photo: Andrew MearesMore public service news
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    The Greens and independent senators say the Coalition’s metadata retention laws would make public servants both the perpetrators and victims of intrusive information gathering under the new legislation.

    Attorney-General George Brandis has argued the laws – requiring telecommunications companies to keep customer’s metadata for two years – were needed for national security agencies to stop terrorists.

    On Thursday, looking to toughen privacy provisions, Independent senator Nick Xenophon quoted Fairfax journalist Philip Dorling by saying public servants could get in trouble for revealing “how many paper clips Centrelink had”.

    The senator also referred to former Customs official Allan Kessing who received a nine-month suspended jail sentence in 2007 after it was found he leaked two confidential reports about weaknesses in security at Sydney Airport.

    The leak led to a $240 million security upgrade.

    In an interview with ABC TV in 2007, Mr Kessing, who still maintains his innocence, said the government’s pursuit of him had a wider effect.

    “It sends the message – you’d have to be a fool to take a call from the media or anybody else because you’ll always find incompetent people able and willing and eager to hide their incompetence by being vindictive,” Mr Kessing said.

    Senators worked through numerous amendments on Thursday for a bill which the Greens say worked two ways for federal bureaucrats.

    It could expose whistleblowing public servants or allow them to unnecessarily spy on Australians for petty reasons.

    The Greens have this week argued existing metadata requests showed a massive number had nothing to do with major crimes.

    Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said instead they related to “petty requests by agencies such as the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Human Services to track what ordinary Australians – people not suspected of any serious crime – are doing”.

    “So, why the red flag on national security? Because that, of course, pushes buttons,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

    “But knowing where a Centrelink recipient is at a particular time when they make a phone call, and knowing who they make it to, is the type of information that we are talking about.”

    She said under the new legislation, Australia’s attorney-general will be able to add agencies to the list of agencies able to access metadata.

    “Further, history shows that the data will be hacked and leaked to the internet – there is no way that the government can pretend that they can guarantee that that would not happen – leading to massive privacy breaches.

    “The Department of Immigration and Border Protection have been involved in one of their own scandals of breaching privacy of data, when they accidentally released the names, the numbers, the addresses, the ages and the nationalities of over 10,000 asylum seekers here in Australia.

    “Who, overwhelmingly, accessed that data? Governments and sources with international IP addresses.

    “That put those 10,000 people who were seeking asylum and protection from their own countries at even more risk because it revealed that they were in Australia seeking protection.”

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    Hard to pin down: Callum Morton’s new set for the Melbourne Theatre Company


    2019 - 09.21

    Callum Morton on the set he designed for the Melbourne Theatre Company production of Endgame. Photo: Penny StephensIn an age where design is elevated to the same status as art, Callum Morton happily flits between the two. The new set he has designed for the Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Beckett’s Endgame should not be, he says, seen as a signature Morton artwork.
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    “I want audiences be seeing a set that works on stage. Its not art, its design. You try and make things works for the specificity of the performance,”

    Aiding him on the journey to anonymity is Beckett himself, whose directions are both elusive and strict.

    “The cues are very specific and indeed the Beckett Foundation ensures they are kept to. I was interested in working inside that limit and seeing what you could do.”

    It’s not the first time Morton, head of visual art at Monash University, has turned his hand to set-making. His earlier collaboration with director Sam Strong and MTC was on Other Desert Cities in 2013.

    “In Other Desert Cities, it was a specific time in Palm Springs modernist architecture you could place it in a world.”

    “With Beckett, I did start by testing it in particular places. We knew it needed bare interiors, two windows high up, a door at stage right, a picture back to front on the wall, grey light.”

    Morton then started to play with the ideas of a window where ocean is on one side and land is on the other. A lighthouse was the natural conclusion.

    “There’s all sorts of possibilities inside a tight frame. It’s kind of like the world Beckett describes which is contained and tortured.”

    “Because Beckett is such an ambiguous figure, he’s equally a modernist and a postmodernist, he’s quite elusive. His work is hard to design because it’s never in a place. It’s not a non-place but every time you try and locate it disappears from your grasp.”

    Endgame is at the Sumner, Southbank Theatre, until April 25.

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    Did Karl Stefanovic sledge Indian cricket fans with 7-Eleven remark on Today show?


    2019 - 08.21

    TV host Karl Stefanovic is known for his on-air gaffes. Photo: James GreenNote to Karl Stefanovic, Indians do more than work at 7-11
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    Today show host Karl Stefanovic has once again found himself the story, notching up another on-air gaffe to add to his already long list.

    Interviewing Indian cricket supporters ahead of Thursday’s World Cup semi-final between Australia and India, Stefanovic said:  “I was just going to ask…who’s going to be manning 7-Elevens today?”

    The Swarmi Army member laughed off the comment before returning as good as he got: “I’m not sure about who’s going to be manning 7-Elevens but you might have to look at Centrelink as well I think Karl.”

    While the Indian and Australian cricket teams have a notorious rivalry with no shortness of sledging, some social media users did not see Stefanovic’s question as a harmless quip. Aust-Ind relations have matured over past 10 years, unlike you @karlstefanovic – watch the #AUSvIND game and stop your basic comments! — Kamna (@kamnamuddagouni) March 25, 2015 Can’t believe @karlstefanovic this morning. I cringed so hard. Good to see the Indian cricket supporters give some back to him. #AUSvsIND — Ashley (@S00TS420) March 25, 2015

    Indian Australian Association of NSW president Yadu Singh said there was an “inherent and underlying stereotyping” in Stefanovic’s question but he did not think it was racist.

    “It might be a news to him that Indian Aussies constitute a sizable proportion of medical profession in Australia,” Mr Singh said.

    “Big numbers are also in accounting, IT profession, finance, banking and small business segment. They are basically in every profession. Nothing wrong if some of them are working in 7-Eleven set-ups.”

    Former Wallaby Tim Horan has also trodden a similar path to Stefanovic. Horan posted on Twitter on Thursday morning: “What are the chances of getting a taxi in Sydney later today” followed by the hashtags #taxidrivers, #india, #worldcup and #cricket.

    After receiving some criticism, the tweet was later deleted.

    Mr Horan later posted another tweet to apologise for his comments calling the earlier post “an innocent error” and saying he “never meant to offend anyone”. Hi all earlier tweet today was an innocent error……never meant to offend anyone — Tim Horan (@TimHoran12) March 26, 2015This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美甲美睫培训学校.

    Caught red-handed … or just a classic snap?


    2019 - 08.21

    A timely Getty Images picture of Mile Jedinak’s sensational free kick to give Australia a 2-1 lead over world champions Germany shows that it could have been an even better strike than first thought.
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    As the ball edges over the heads of of the German defenders, towards Ron-Robert Zieler’s goal, a bright red light can be seen to the right of the last defender in the wall. A person in a dark coat with what looks to be a blue shirt or scarf showing around the neckline is seated closest to the aisle.

    The person’s hand is raised to their shoulder level, as you may hold a torch, and a light is clearly shining from the clasped hand.

    This photograph has our office divided. Is that a laser or a camera in the hand of the cloaked fan ?

    It certainly had no affect on the end result of the stunning strike which was the highlight of the Socceroos’ encouraging 2-2 draw.

    What do you think? Have your say in the comments below.

    If it is a camera then that fan has snared a fantastic memento of the game. If it is a laser then it is another example of an annoying trend that has recently blighted sport.

    Last year, Australian five-eighth Bernard Foley was targeted by green laser beams on his face and missed two crucial kicks when Australia trailed Argentina towards a Test they eventually lost 21-17.

    Western Sydney Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic was also targeted during the Asian Champions League win over Saudi Arabia giant’s Al-Hilal by the Riyadh, although that did not prevent him from making a series of great saves.

    “There was a whole bunch of them out there doing whatever they could to distract me,” said Covic after the game.

    “It’s just more of pain in the backside really … I spoke to the ref at half-time.

    “I mean, what do you do? Sixty-three thousand people and 20 or 30 of them shining lasers, not much you can do. But in the end we’re the ones smiling.”

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    Flat Chat: Horror Airbnb hosts flout building’s and council’s by-laws


    2019 - 08.21

    Flat Chat – March 28 Photo: Shakespeare.The facts are appalling – a family rents several apartments they own in a seaside block through an online agency, in direct contravention of their building’s by-laws and local council zoning.
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    They are making so much money from this that they just pay any NSW Civil Administration Tribunal fines that come their way.

    Meanwhile, the council says they need more reliable evidence than something as unconvincing as Airbnb listings, complete with an online calendar that tallies with the comings and goings of short-term guests.

    A senior member of the council, and a friend of the family, also rents part of his house online as holiday accommodation.

    Members of the executive committee have been threatened, their cars have been keyed, they are subject to a torrent of email abuse, police have been called many times and AVOs have been issued.

    Now, before all you Airheads get your iPads in a twist, this is not an attack on Airbnb. We use it and have found some great friends through it.

    The problem is, online rental agencies make it way too easy for scumbags like this family to flout their building’s by-laws and ignore council zoning.

    At least Airbnb asks owners to confirm that they are allowed to list their properties this way. This family is clearly lying. Unfortunately, the Airbnb complaints email address isn’t working.

    The two real problems here are that, firstly NCAT is ultimately a toothless organisation, no better than its predecessor the CTTT when it comes to dealing with the realities of modern apartment living.

    If the by-law breacher decides it’s worth paying modest fines every few months, there’s nothing they can do. Another fine, another slap on the wrist and the victims get zilch as their apartment block is turned into a holiday hotel.

    As for the council – let us not forget that the government prefers to leave issues like this to the locals; hand washing and buck passing in one deft move. Sydney MP Alex Greenwich’s bill on short-term letting can’t come soon enough.

    You can read the whole holiday hosting horror story on the Flat Chat Forum.

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    Glenn McGrath’s Cricket World Cup formula for Australia against India: Quick wickets equals victory


    2019 - 08.21

    Former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath.DL: What do Australia’s fast bowlers need to do to counter India’s batsmen?
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    GM: We have the bowlers to do it, hopefully there’ll be a little bit in the wicket for the fast bowlers. India has always been a quality batting outfit, there’s never been any doubt about that. It was their bowlers, more-so, who let them down in the tri-series earlier this summer. To see the turn-around in the Indians has been incredible because you would hardly have given them a chance to make the last eight the way they played earlier! They’re really switched on – it’s the World Cup and it’s obviously important to them. Australia needs to take early wickets. The importance of early wickets was highlighted the other night when New Zealand played the West Indies. [The Kiwis] were only two or three down at the 30-over mark and then scored 230 runs off the last 20 overs. They showed if you have wickets in hand you can do anything. There’s a need to take early wickets [today]. India has an outstanding batting line up and while M.S.Dhoni has been a little bit out of form he still adds a lot as a proven finisher.

    DL: A lot has been said about Australia’s bowlers, what are your thoughts on India’s attack?

    GM: Their bowlers have really turned it around. They have guys who are bowling at 150 km/h, they have control, are taking wickets and bowling well in partnerships. Mohammad Shami is one  . . . bowling in the high 130s [and taken 17 wickets at 13.29]. Ravi Ashwin offers good control as well; a quality spinner. They’ve worked things out . . . maybe they were thinking about the World Cup during the Tri-series.

    DL: What does Australia need to do to win this semi-final?

    GM: Score more runs than India [laughs]. Australia needs to focus on what they do well. They have a strong batting line-up, a very good fielding team and very good bowling attack. They just have to go out there and continue to do what they’ve done so far. If Mitchell Starc can take early wickets again; Mitchell Johnson comes back and bowls a little bit better; Josh Hazlewood bowls good areas  . . . look, they just have to bowl as they have throughout the World Cup. They need to be aggressive, they need to look to take wickets because if they can take three or four early wickets then it’s game over.

    DL: You mentioned Mitchell Johnson. Put your coaching cap on for a second and tell us what’s going on with him.

    GM: It can be tough coming back from a successful year because everyone’s expectations – as well as your own – are very high. If you don’t start off with a bang everyone’s asking questions and making comments. You can try and force things so my advice is ‘Mitch, just relax. Run in and let it go. You have everything you need to be successful and your other bowlers are bowling well’. Yeah, just run in and let it go and try and bowl good areas and at good pace.”

    DL: That sounds easier said than done

    GM: Sometimes it is. It all comes back to the individual. Pressure is something that I think comes from within. Mitch will know better than anyone else where he’s at. If he’s happy with where he’s at it won’t be long before he’s back. Although, he did well in Adelaide [against Pakistan] and he just needs to build on that effort.

    DL: The left-handers have made a big impact . . .

    GM: Mitchell Starc has been the stand out but Trent Boult [New Zealand], Wahab Riaz [Pakistan] have been tremendous. I thought it was ridiculous Riaz was fined for his duel with Shane Watson the other night. Everyone at the ground loved it, it was a good and competitive battle and I don’t think it crossed the line at all. But the left-handers have been outstanding and I put that down to the pace they’re bowling and their control.

    DL: Finally, your thoughts on Starc?

    GM: Mitchell Starc has been outstanding and if he bowls well he’s a match winner. He knows his one day game very well – he can run in and swing the ball and bowl yorkers. His confidence is up and that’s having a positive affect on the others. If he continues to bowl well Australia can win the World Cup.

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    Local breeders set to reap rewards as Fastnet Rock stays put


    2019 - 08.21

    Local hero: Fastnet Rock will not shuttle to Europe for this year’s northern hemisphere season. Photo: Kate Geraghty Local hero: Fastnet Rock will not shuttle to Europe for this year’s northern hemisphere season. Photo: Kate Geraghty
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    Local hero: Fastnet Rock will not shuttle to Europe for this year’s northern hemisphere season. Photo: Kate Geraghty

    Local hero: Fastnet Rock will not shuttle to Europe for this year’s northern hemisphere season. Photo: Kate Geraghty

    Australia’s champion sire Fastnet Rock is an absentee from Coolmore’s 2015 northern hemisphere breeding season, a decision that will no doubt be a popular one with local breeders.

    Fastnet Rock has been shuttling to Coolmore’s Irish base since 2010 and during that period has had 436 foals born. He had 55 live foals in his first year after arriving late in the season in Ireland.

    The following year he successfully covered 136 mares and in 2013 had his most successful season with 183 mares foaling. However, last year his book was just 85 mares served – a decision that no doubt prompted the Coolmore team to keep him in Australia.

    Fastnet Rock’s oldest progeny are four year-olds and he has had more than 40 winners in Europe, including several group wins and a group 1 placing.

    The son of Danehill won the Australian 2013-14 stallions premiership with earnings of $9,440,061 from 340 foals, which featured 151 individual winners, including 13 stakes winners.

    Fastnet Rock has been at the top of this year’s premiership for the past four months – 106 winners from 205 runners and $7,232,589 in earnings. First Seal is his leading lady and she runs in the group 1 Vinery Stakes at Rosehill as a hot favourite on Saturday.

    Last Saturday he sired the Golden Slipper third-placegetter Lake Geneva, a $1 million yearling sale purchase, which has been placed at her only three starts earning $520,000.

    Fastnet Rock will once again be the star attraction at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sales with 57 lots catalogued. He has relatives to Ocean Park, Mosheen, Smart Missile, Starspangledbanner, Dance Hero, Igugu, Rock Classic, Arapaho Miss and Fiveandahalfstar.

    He also has full sisters to Lake Geneva and last year’s Inglis Sales top lot, the Fastnet Rock x Perfect Persuasion colt, which fetched $1.6 million and races as Lighthouse Keeper in Saturday’s opener at Rosehill.

    US breeders set to spend up

    One of America’s emerging breeding operations, Merriebelle Stables, will again be represented at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sales at Newmarket beginning on April 7.

    A year ago Merriebelle’s wealthy owners, John Moores and Charles Noell, sent noted bloodstock agent Mick Flanagan to Sydney and he purchased three yearling colts on their behalf going to trainers Chris Waller, Peter Moody and Gerald Ryan.

    Waller’s two-year-old is the Encosta De Lago colt Vanbrugh, a $100,000 buy, which won first-up at Randwick before finishing fifth to Tarquin in the Pago Pago Stakes on March 14.

    Moody prepares a More Than Ready youngster, which cost $230,000 and Ryan’s two-year-old is a $100,000 purchase by Nicconi.

    Merriebelle Stables began their splurge into racing three years ago and currently have 15 broodmares in America and 10 in Europe with a number of seven-figure buys.

    “This year we could buy a filly or two in Australia. We believe that our interests will be able to grow slowly over time and the owners really like the overall racing there,” Flanagan reported.

    Overall, a number of American’s have become extremely impressed with the Australian breeding set up and have been most active at the past two Easter sales and Magic Millions Gold Coast sale in January.

    Star miler for Swettenham

    Adam Sangster’s Swettenham Stud in Victoria has received a major boost to its 2015 breeding roster with European champion miler Toronado joining shuttle sires Americain and Equiano.

    Toronado becomes the second European sire from Sheikh Joaan in the space of a week to be involved in a shuttle season to Australia. Last week Bloodlines reported Arrowfield Stud had done a deal to stand Olympic Glory in 2015.

    Sangster claims Toronado is the quickest son of the deceased High Chaparral and was described by champion English jockey Richard Hughes as the fastest horse he has ever ridden in a mile race at Ascot.

    Toronado stood his first season at the English National Stud this year and was strongly supported by Sheikh Joaan’s Al Shaqab operation with many of the top breeders in Britain, France and England also sending big numbers to the stallion.

    His Australian service fee at Swettenham Stud is $22,000.

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