Olivia will soon be cut off from therapies she needs to live normal life

Children are missing out on early intervention therapies that could stop them relying on welfare support for the rest of their lives, the ACT government has warned.
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In a recent submission to the joint standing commission into the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the government said it had frequently raised concerns that a higher number of children than expected were entering the scheme in the ACT – and many were missing out on support.

One of those children is Olivia Ross. While she can’t jump, feed herself or go to the toilet on her own, the three-year-old was “thriving” since beginning early intervention therapies under her NDIS plan in 2014.

Three-year-old Olivia Ross has down syndrome as well as development issues such as difficulty swallowing after being born premature. She is about to miss out on early intervention therapies due to cuts to her NDIS support package. Photo: Jamila Toderas

That was up until July this year when Olivia’s funding for the interventions was abruptly cut. From a support package once in excess of $20,000, the Ross family now have only $9000 to cover all their daughter’s support expenses for the next 12 months.

“She can’t go to the physio anymore and her motor skills are really poor,” mother Monika said. “We’ve had to drop her occupational therapist down from weekly to once every three weeks and choose between developing her toileting or her feeding skills.

“As it is, the money in her plan will run out by December, January.”

Ms Ross said all Olivia’s doctors and therapists agreed the supports were crucial to helping the little girl, who has Down Syndrome and lives with complications from her premature birth, live a happy, normal life.

“We were setting her up to be able to get a job and not need excessive funding later in life,” she said. “We’ve lost a lot of ground.”

According to the ACT government, Olivia’s case is not unusual. A crucial change in eligibility for NDIS early intervention therapy brought in late last year was “being interpreted to mean children with only one area of delayed development are not eligible”.

Those children were now missing out and the costs “pushed back on the ACT”, the submission warned.

In another case, a three-year-old girl was deemed ineligible for support despite having “severely delayed” language skills and a family history of autism.

“Due to being so young formal assessments do not capture this very well,” the submission said. Some tests showed only moderate delay when her scores were scaled, even though she did not complete any of the tests.

In other cases, children eligible for the therapies were missing out simply due to time delays. Wait times commonly stretched beyond six months – a “significant delay at what is normally a time of rapid development”, the submission noted.

“These delays can have a negative lifelong impact.”

Behavioural therapist Cass Hanbridge said using early intervention therapies to keep kids off the scheme long-term was “the whole point”, but she found NDIS planners often ignored reports from doctors and therapists.

“I’ve got a kid I used to work with who I recommended if we put in intensive therapy now, in 12 months time, he won’t need a plan,” she said.

“Instead of getting a reasonable amount of hours [in his support package], he got 10 hours for the whole year, that’s less than once a month.”

A spokeswoman for the agency said it was engaging providers around to deliver “best practice” early intervention for children.

“Children with a delay in one developmental area which does not have substantial functional impact on daily life; or children whose support needs are best supported through health or educational services will be assisted by the early childhood partner to connect to appropriate alternative support services,” the spokeswoman said.

It was also revealed during the inquiry’s Canberra hearings last month that, while most jurisdictions around had less participants enter the scheme than expected, the ACT had significantly more, at about 23 per cent above the estimate.

“If they’d have talked to anybody in the sector, they would have known,” Ms Hanbridge said.

About a thousand children have an NDIS plan in the ACT but more than four hundred eligible Canberrans are still lacking a support plan.

Advocates and workers in the sector have raised concerns about children already diagnosed with conditions frequently needing new assessments to qualify for an NDIS support package.

Local NDIS support coordinator Michel Hansen was busy trying to help a client who had been told by the agency he needed another assessment to keep his support funding.

“The school won’t to do it because he’s not due for another one until the end of year 6 but the NDIS want one now and he’ll lose his plan if I can’t work it out,” she said.

In its submission, the ACT government also raised concerns about children coming to the end of their package at age 7 “falling through the gaps” if their families were unable to afford private providers.

“There is [also] an acknowledged gap in the area of paediatric rehabilitation for children whose condition is still stabilising,” the submission said.

It noted a “limited number of providers” available to families meant some services were forced to “turn families away” and reported difficulties accessing funding for extra staff.

Unexpected delays within the tender process itself, the submission noted, had also caused headaches and forced the territory to once again pick up the cost.

While the ACT government currently helps children access equipment and technology like prosthetic limbs through its own existing loan service, it warned “in kind provision cannot extend beyond transition and there are budget pressures”.

Having withdrawn from providing disability services under the scheme, the ACT government established the ACT Child Development Service (CDS) for children who may not be eligible for the NDIS but still need support.

Feedback suggested many young children were now missing out on getting the right supports and connecting to providers under the NDIS, the submission said.

“The NDIS was never intended to replace mainstream services,” the agency spokeswoman said.

“All children who need more intensive longer term early intervention support services may also become a NDIS participant and receive an individualised plan.”

More than 6,000 Canberrans are now on an NDIS support plan.

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Keolis Downer promises a bus every 15 minutes on main routes

Private operator Keolis Downer says it will run bus services every 15 minutes on “key corridors” as part of its impending overhaul of the NewcastleTransport network.
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The company will also “reassess” under-used services as it tries to lift Newcastle’s dismal public transport patronage.

Ferries will also run every 15 minutes under the company’s plan, which will be announced in full this month and implemented in January.

It did not say which routes would get the 15-minute bus service but has said it wantsto improve connections between John Hunter Hospital, the university, Charlestown, Kotara, Wallsend and the CBD.

“With services every 15 minutes, you won’t need to check a timetable,” Keolis Downer’s Hunterchief executive officer, Campbell Mason, said in a statement.

“If you turn up to a bus stop on a frequent route between 7am and 7pm weekdays, the longest you will have to wait for a bus will be 15 minutes.

“We want to make it simpler for people to get where they want to go.”

Keolis Downercited n Bureau of Statistics data on Monday showing only 3.1 per cent of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie commuters use public transport to support its new plan for the network.

The 2016 Census found 16 per cent of workers in NSW and 11.5 per cent nationally use public transport.

Seventy-five per cent of Novocastrians drive to work, significantly more than the state (62.1 per cent) and national (66.1 per cent) rates.

“We already know Newcastle’s public transport is not the first choice for people to get around, and this data confirms that improvements are needed and needed quickly,” Mr Campbell said.

“Opal data shows some bus routes are not well used, and these resources need to be assessed to see if we can make better use of them.

“Our job is to match demand to provide the best overall transport services across the greater Newcastle and Lake Macquarie community.”

Eight years jail for killer driver in New Year’s Eve smash

Gemma Sargent.
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Gemma Sargent, 20, of Ballarat could spend up to the next eight years behind bars for causing the death of a young man in a horrific car crash in December 2015.

The heavily-pregnant Sargentwas sentenced in the County Court on Monday, November 6, after she was found guilty of culpable driving causing death, and negligentlycausing serious injury in September.

Gemma Sargentcried in the County Court of Victoria while being sentenced for losing control of her car and crashing, killing her passenger, Natheniel Merritt-Price on New Year Eve, 2015.

“You grossly overestimated your abilities as a driver. There was no need for you to pass a car that was itself driving 30km/h over the speed limit,” Judge James Montgomery said.

On December 31, 2015 Sargentwas involved in a single car crash on Buninyong-Mercer Road in which 19-year-old Nathaniel Merritt-Price was killed.

The crash scene (left) and Nathaniel Merritt-Price (right).

Sargentwas later found to be driving the car and was charged with four counts including culpable driving, dangerous driving causing death, negligently causing serious injury and dangerous driving causing serious injury.

During the trial, the court heard Sargent was driving with only a learner’s permit and no one in the car was qualified to supervise a learnerdriver.

The court also heard Sargent was driving up to 180km/h on the night onthe crash.

While she initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, a jury found her guilty after a four-day trial at the County Court sitting at Ballarat in September this year.

RELATED COVERAGE

Killed because of ‘a heart that didn’t care enough’Guilty verdict in Sargent caseThe Courier, Ballarat

My precious: Amazon moves to turn Lord of the Rings into a TV show

The chances of the richest person on the planet playing a hobbit just shot through the roof, with news that Amazon is looking to produce a television series based on JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books.
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Variety reports that Warner Bros. Television and the Tolkien estate are in talks with Amazon Studios, the producer of Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle, though no deal has yet been finalised.

The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is said to be “personally involved” in the negotiations.

Bezos, who founded Amazon in 1994, was named by Forbes magazine as the richest person on the planet last month, with an estimated worth of about $US90 billion (he and Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, tend to swap the first and second position on the Forbes list depending on the performance of their respective companies’ share prices, as much of their wealth is tied up in stock).

Bezos was also an early and major investor in Google, putting $250,000 into the start-up in 1998; that stock was estimated to be worth $3.1 billion in February this year.

With that much wealth at his disposal, Bezos is able to indulge a few passion projects. In October 2013, for instance, he defied the general consensus that the mainstream media was dead to buy The Washington Post for $US250 million – in cash. He later claimed he had done no due diligence before buying the company.

Bezos is a self-professed geek, and clearly has no issue with playing dress-ups. In 2004, he had a fleeting cameo as a security guard in the Amazon Theatre short film Tooth Fairy.

In 2016, an unrecognisable Bezos fulfilled a childhood ambition when he appeared in a Star Trek film. And he was quite happy to use his clout to make it happen.

“For years I have been begging Paramount, which is owned by Viacom [and is a major partner in distributing Amazon Prime Video content], to let me be in a Star Trek movie,” he said last year.

“I was very persistent ??? I said, ‘Look, I’ll put any amount of make-up on, I’ll be invisible, nobody will know it’s me, but I want a speaking part and I want it to be in a scene that is central to the storyline so I cannot end up on the cutting room floor’.”

Bezos got what he wanted, which is probably nothing new for the world’s richest man. Blink and you’ll miss it, but about five minutes in to Star Trek Beyond, there he is, unrecognisable beneath a mound of latex, playing an alien Starfleet official and delivering the immortal line, “Speak normally”.

“My role is very tiny but it was super fun for me,” Bezos said. “It was a bucket list item so I was very glad to do it.”

If the Variety report is correct, might we soon see Bezos ticking another item off that bucket list.

The trade paper reports “it is uncommon for Bezos ??? known to be a fan of high fantasy and science fiction ??? to involve himself personally in deal-making for Amazon Studios”, but that’s precisely what he is doing here.

One thing’s for sure. If the series gets made, and if Bezos says he wants to don the oversized furry feet for a fleeting cameo, not even Sauron could stand in his way.

Facebook: karlquinnjournalist Twitter: @karlkwin Podcast: The Clappers

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Honduran great slams Socceroos as ‘simple’

San Pedro Sula: The brave face of the Hondurans is verging on the point of arrogance ahead of their clash against after one of their most distinguished players issued a condescending report on the Socceroos while local papers published the team’s hotel location, travelling party details and training schedule.
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The local reception in Honduras for the World Cup qualifying play-off against has been one of drumming-up encouragement for “Los Catrachos” but their bid to gather support is coming at the cost of respect for the Socceroos, and potentially the security of the team.

Arguably the most recognisable player in Honduran history has described the n style of play as “simple”, suggesting it is reflective of a country that has no football history. Former Inter Milan, Benfica and Cagliari forward, David Suazo admitted are a strong team, but made no secret of his low opinion of their style of play and quality as a football country.

Suazo spent 12 seasons in Italy between 1999 and 2012 – most of which in the Serie A – and would have regularly played against the likes of former Socceroos’ Mark Bresciano, Vince Grella and Zeljko Kalac. In an interview with local newspaper La Prensa, Suazo issued a backhanded compliment of n football and held little concern of their threat against Honduras.

” is a strong team but with a simple philosophy and does not have an important football tradition,” Suazo said.

This is despite the fact has participated in more World Cups (four) than Honduras (three) and reached the world’s biggest tournament eight years before the Central Americans.

has travelled a greater distance than any other nation on their road to Russia and could set a new record for games played to qualify for a World Cup with the series against Honduras bringing their tally to 22 games. The upcoming play-off will be Honduras’ 17th and 18th games, but Suazo believes their route through Central America has been far more difficult than ‘s in Asia.

“They [Honduras] have an advantage in arriving with everything because they had to sweat a lot more for their place,” he said. “Honduras in San Pedro Sula has to be respected.”

His comments continue the passionate bravado from the local press and public ahead of the first leg. This series is the first play-off for Honduras but local newspaper, Diez, suggests history favours them, as have lost six of their eight previous play-off attempts. The 2000 Olympics win for Honduras over has been another favoured topic of discussions while more concerning for the Socceroos is the publication of intimate details of their stay in Honduras.

will undergo heightened security amid serious concerns of interference from locals during their five-night stay in San Pedro Sula which have not been allayed by the publication of their accommodation, training schedule, arrivals and touring party.

Local newspapers revealed the Socceroos hotel and details of their own chef’s food preparation coming from local produce. The location and images of the team’s hotel was also published by the same newspaper, so too the venue and time for their first training session on Monday as well as the three main airport arrival times of the national team. The publication also revealed the accommodation details of the core n supporter’s group.

The Socceroos are anticipating a hostile reception from the locals, primarily on match day and the day before the game. However, the revelation of their details could prompt more fans to attempt to interfere and intimidate the players well before Friday’s match (Saturday, 8:30am AEDT).

Time to buy mining shares and dump insurance stocks? Not so fast

Last year was a shocker for insurance companies. A raft of large catastrophes took their toll on profits, with the usual “rainy day” reserves proving insufficient to meet the claims of policyholders.
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Shares, on the news, took a beating.

Miners, on the other hand, had a great 2017 financial year. Prices were up, volumes were steady or higher, and that one-two punch sent profits (and share prices) soaring.

So sell insurers and buy miners, right? Not so fast.

First, no investor ever made money (other than through sheer luck) looking only in the rear vision mirror. Last year’s profits belong to last year’s investors. Buying (or holding) those shares entitle you to a piece of next year’s profit, as surely as you can’t collect last year’s rent if you buy an investment property today.

After almost three decades without a recession, ns could be excused for thinking the economic cycle is a relic of history. We really are living through a Goldilocks period of prosperity, even if it’s not evenly shared.

But within that longer-term success, we’ve seen our share of economic volatility. The Asian financial crisis, the dotcom crash and global financial crisis each put the economy under pressure.

It’s worth, then, reminding ourselves what economic volatility is; the inexorable – despite central bankers’ best efforts – swings between optimism and pessimism. Between success and failure. Between, in both economic and investing parlance, boom and bust.

Those swings have been with us since at least the 1600s, with the most famous historical example being the Dutch tulip mania of that century, when otherwise rational people were paying the equivalent of house prices for tulip bulbs. It is perhaps bizarre, then, that it took the economics profession another four centuries to properly embrace the reality of humans as flawed economic actors.

Booms and busts – economic cycles – are a feature of all economies. And of the different parts of those economies. They are caused by human emotion – our inbuilt tendency to overreact to both good and bad news. Generally, the root cause can be traced back to extrapolation – the sense that whatever is currently happening will continue.

Iron ore selling for $140 per tonne during the mining boom, for example. Many investors were seduced into believing that the height of the boom was a “new normal”. The concepts of the “super boom” and “stronger for longer” were born ??? and subsequently killed off, as economic reality imposed itself.

More bizarre are the impacts on mining company shares based on the overnight moves in commodity prices. If you’re an investor, yesterday’s gold or copper price means little – this year’s profit (and next year’s and the years after that) relies on future prices and production.

Insurers tend to be treated the same way. A few years of catastrophe-free profits do wonderful things to share prices, and shareholders somehow forget that bad things happen to insured buildings, cars and businesses. Then, when those catastrophes occur, share prices get hammered.

The irony – especially when it comes to insurance companies – is that those businesses are designed specifically to absorb catastrophes on behalf of policyholders. They are supposed to have good and bad years, thanks to their role as corporate shock-absorbers. But over time, if the policies are priced appropriately, insurers and their owners can make a decent profit.

As long as those owners pay the right price for their shares. Foolish takeaway

The stockmarket has often been described as a mechanism to transfer profits from the impatient to patient. It could just as easily be described as shifting wealth from those who forget about the reality of cycles to those who know it only too well.

Buying shares in cyclical businesses requires that you understand two key factors: firstly, that cycles exist, and second, that it’s the average profit across the cycle which tells you whether you’re getting a bargain or being taken for a ride.

New report: The “blue chips” of tomorrow aren’t the blue chips of yesterday. If you want to look forward rather than backward, we’ve released our three best ideas for 2017. Click here to learn more.

Scott Phillips is the Motley Fool’s director of research. You can follow Scott on Twitter @TMFScottP or email [email protected]苏州夜网. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to educate, amuse and enrich investors.

Former Chinan Schoolboy Pasami Saulo set to sign contract extension with Newcastle Knights.

STARTING OUT: Newcastle’s coaching staff have highhopes for rookie Pasami Saulo. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
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HE has yet to appear in a first-grade game, but Newcastle Knights officials have so much faith in Pasami Saulo’s potential they are set to lock him in for the long haul.

Saulo, a 2016 n Schoolboys representative, spent the first half of this year in National Youth Competitionbefore progressingto Newcastle’s NSW Cup side, featuring in their play-offs campaign.

Last week the towering 19-year-oldkicked off his first pre-season with the NRL squad and is expected to be groomed for a possible debut in 2018.

His agent has been negotiating with Knights officials and it is understood they are close to agreeing to an extension that would secure him for the next three seasons, until at least the end of 2020.

The Maitland product and former Hunter Sports High School student, who has been with the Knights since he was 15, is still eligible for under-20s next season but hopes to be featuring at a higher level.

“It’s exciting,” he said.

“It’s hard and the body is still getting used to it.

“But it’s a good bunch of boys and they’ve welcomed me. I’ll be trying to learn as much as I can off them.”

Saulo, the 2016 recipient of the Carlson Club-Andrew Johns Medal won previously by the likes of Johns,Brett Kimmorley, Owen Craigie, Anthony Quinn, Dane Tilse, Kade Snowden,Jarrod Mullen andSione Mata’utia, said the step from under-20s to reserve grade had been challenging.

“It was tough,” he said.

“A little bit slower, maybe, but the physicality of it was much more intense.”

At 188 centimetres and 107 kilograms, he already appears built for first grade but his goal during the next few months is to “get a bit bigger and stronger and work on some speed”.

“Eventually maybe 109 [kilograms] would be a good size,” he said. “Lean muscle.”

Already one of his n Schoolboys teammates has graduated to the NRL –Canberra winger Nick Cotric, who was the Dally M rookie of the year this season.

Knights coach Nathan Brown hasblooded 15 debutants in the NRL in the past two seasons. Saulo hopes to become the 16th.

“I’ve just got to perform in training and show him what I can do,” he said.

The surfies and the rockers divided Hunter Street in the early 1960s

Subculture: The cast from Quadrophenia, a cult movie about mods and rockers. Musician Sting starred in the film at age 28. Back in the early 1960s,Newcastle wasdivided between the surfies and the rockers.
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The surfies (obviously) loved to surf and the rockers wore jeans and leather jackets and rode motorbikes.

Topics wrote last week about surfers and revheads in Novocastrian subculture, which generally referred to the ‘70s and ‘80s.

New Lambton’s Ross Greig took us back further to the early ‘60s.

“A famous incident happened in the top end of Newcastle,” Ross said.

At the time,Hunter Street ranthrough Pacific Park in Newcastle’s EastEnd.

Bothsides of the street were dotted with cafes and fish and chip shops, Ross recalled.

Youngsters would hang out there, tucking into hamburgers, milkshakes andice cream.

“There’d be motorbikes lined up on one side of the street andsurfboardson the other,” Ross said.

“The southern side was the surfie side androckers congregated on the northern side.”

Tension between the two groups came to a head whensomeone painted a white line down the middle of the road.

The wordrockers was painted on one side and surfies on the other.

“They were dividing their territory,” Ross said, adding the story was shown on TV news at the time.

“That’s when police said ‘that’s enough’. They didn’t want a brawl or war.”

The rivalry between surfies and rockers in Newcastle mirrored conflict between the mods and the rockers in England, which wasimmortalised in the movie Quadrophenia, starring Sting.

“There was less reason to be surfies in England,obviously,” Ross said.

Ross said tension between surfies and rockers in Newcastle and elsewhere appeared to dissipate somewhat, when the Beatles toured in 1964.

“From then, the young fellers considered being a mod – combing their hair forward and wearing tight suits andskinny ties.

“Blokes started to realise that music was another avenue to impress girls, rather than being a surfieor a rocker.”

Fashions on the Field Back in the 1980s, shoulder pads were in.

Speaking of old-time culture, Belmont North’s Diana Taaffe sent us this photo of her two daughters, getting ready to head toa Melbourne Cup party in the 1980s.

“Shoulder pads were the fashion then,” Diana said.

The Naming GameRick, of Blackalls Park, told Topics last week abouta library with no books at a high school in Maitland.

Rick pointed out that the wordlibrarycomes from the Latinlibrarium, meaning “a place to keep books”.

A library without books should be called something else, Rick said. But what?

Reader Sue, aretired librarian, suggested “Information Resource Centre”.

Hmmm. Nice idea, but it sounds a tad bureaucratic. We’d prefer something more modern. How about InfoZone?

Melbourne Cup 2017: Raider Wall of Fire firmswith Aussies and “Ossie” behind him

Francesca Cumani rides Wall of Fire at Altona Beach in preparation for the Melbourne Cup. Francesca, a respected horsewoman and TV personality, is married to Rob Archibald who works for Hugo Palmer, who is looking after Wall of Fire leading up to the Cup. He was a British heir. She was a country girl from Tooraweenah, NSW.
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He was learning his straps in racing under the tutelage of ’s first lady of racing, Gai Waterhousethat would build a foundation for an exciting future and learning no one gets off on light duties in the Waterhouse stable. She was making her way in the banking industry.

He was taking Gai’s horses tothe Magic Millions carnival and attending thesales. She (his future wife) was holidaying with friends on the Gold Coast. They both hada mutual English female friend and they both met in the hullabaloo of the carnival.They fell in love and became boyfriendand girlfriend.

He is Hugo Palmer, now one of the top trainers at Newmarket, Englandand she is Vanessa Palmer, nee Webb, a banker for Morgan Stanley, who grew up on a farm, “Dooroombah”, near Tooraweenah.

On Saturday night Vanessa had the unenviable duty of choosing a barrier for Wall of Fire in the Melbourne Cup. Barriers can make or break a horse’s chances in the race. Confidently, with little aplomb, she strode up and picked up the little cup and lifted it up. Fifteen!There were shouts of joy all round.

READ MORE: Melbourne Cup 2017: The complete guide to the race that stops the nation

To actually get to the position of drawing a barrier has been a nerve wracking time for the Palmers. Hugo and his team have been on tenterhooks for weeks not knowing if Wall of Fire would make the field. At one time the horse was 30th in the order of entry, then suddenly it was 24th looking like itcould get a start, then Qewy won the Bendigo Cup and shot above it in the order.

Then last Friday, Qewy was withdrawn and also JonSnow, and Wall of Fire was safely in the field with just a day to spare beforethe field was declared.

“It’s been a very nervy time,” admits Palmer.

Hugo Palmer, top British horse trainer has Wall of Fire in the Melbourne Cup. He worked for Gai Waterhouse and met and married Aussie girl Vanessa Webb, from Tooraweenah.

An n interest bought into Wall of Fire 12 months ago. Melbourne entrepreneur “Ossie” Kheir has made some wise investments in racing over the last few years. He had part ownership in Protectionist,which won the Cup in 2014.Theysay every time Ossie has a Cup runner his wife is pregnantand it’s happened again this time. “We’re going to have a lot of kids by the time I’m finished,” he quipped on Derby Day, when his horse Sully ran second in the Derby.

Hugo watched Wall of Fire’s firstAussie start where he made a strong finish for second. He returned tohis racing operation at Newmarket where he looks after 140 horses. He then left last Wednesday in a dash back to “Down Under”as he calls it for Derby Day and the Cup draw. He had world class jockey Frankie Dettori as a travelling companion for some of the way as he returned “backwards” around the world to . Dettori was on his way to watch the Breeders Cup at Del Mar in the US. (won by Gun Runner, with world’s best horse on dirt Arrogate no threat). Frankie is riding the favourite Almandin in the Melbourne Cup and he is hoping finally for a change of good luck in the big race. Almandinwon last year’s Cup.

Palmer is in shock he has come so far in training in just seven years. Heregularly leadsback group places in England with his horses. He thought he’d win an Epsom Derby first, not be a contender for a Melbourne Cup.

He has done it the hard wayby himself. Everyone says he is very humble despite his links to a British heirdom.He and Vanessa married in July 2015, with a wedding at his ancestral home, Manderston in Berwickshire, before they went back and celebrated with her family in .

Now they are looking at the very real chance of winning the Melbourne Cup, surrounded by their family and friends. Wall of Fire is a 15-1 chance andnow Vanessahas selected barrier 15, it seems Aussieluck is there.

Craig Williams has taken the ride, and his strength will suit Wall of Fire, Palmer says.

“It’s an absolute dream tohave a runner in a Melbourne Cup. We have been planning this for 12 months and all has gone to plan.”

Asfor Wall of Fire? “He’s gota great turn of foot, he stays well, and gets in with a very light weight. He’s a very neat, nimble horse, not a big striding horse.”

And when Vanessa and Hugo have children? “I’m very proud to say they will be half n,” says Palmer.

The Land