Murdoch may have lost a crucial ally after Saudi arrests

The shockwaves would have been felt around the world over the weekend when billionaire investor Prince al-Waleed bin Talal was among a clutch of Saudi princes and ministers arrested in the kingdom.
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And the real impact of the arrests could hit a very well-known former Aussie next week.

Prince al-Waleed has stakes in many prominent global companies, but none are more important than his crucial stash of voting stock at Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

Prince al-Waleed’s voting stake has made the Murdoch family’s position at both News Corp, and its more lucrative spin-off, 21st Century Fox, impregnable.

The Murdoch family’s control of the company is not quite assured with its 38 per cent stash of voting stock, which dwarfs its economic interest of only 14 per cent.

But add in the prince’s stake and the family could weather severe storms such as the British phone hacking scandal without having to make too many concessions to other investors.

But then things changed for News Corp.

Three years ago the Murdochs came within a few million votes – a wafer-thin margin by corporate standards – of their fellow shareholders voting to unwind its dual class share structure, which allows the Murdochs to control the company via their tight grip on the voting stock.

A massive 47.4 per cent of votes cast supported a proposal to eliminate the company’s dual-class share structure, which, had it passed, would have unlocked the Murdochs’ iron grip on the company.

How did this happen with the prince by Rupert’s side?

It later emerged that the prince had sold almost all of his News Corp shares, making Murdoch vulnerable to other investors for the first time.

Now it just happens that 21st Century Fox is holding its annual shareholder meeting next Thursday, and one of the items on the agenda is a vote to unwind the dual class share structure.

As of December 31, 2015, Prince al-Waleed’s group owned 5 per cent of 21st Century Fox.

If the prince no longer controls this stake, or has not voted on it yet, the voting result could be cataclysmic for Rupert.

But Rupert might be helped by the Disney news overnight, with his media group reportedly talking to Disney about selling its movie and TV production businesses for an appropriate sum.

There is nothing like a multibillion-dollar cash carrot to placate investors. McGrath Culpa

So this is what a real estate bust looks like.

John McGrath’s disastrous float of his real estate agency, McGrath Ltd, hit a new low following the latest downgrade on Monday.

The real estate agency has lost some 78 per cent of its market value since its float less than two years ago.

The promise back then was to expand its office base and continue to devour other agencies to drive growth.

As McGrath told investors in its prospectus, “acquisitions are considered an important part of McGrath’s future strategy”.

The company is now in such a financial hole that all of these expansion plans are on hold and the agency plans to shrink via some significant cost-cutting.

And CBD can’t wait for the shareholder meeting in a few weeks where chairwoman Cass O’Connor gets to explain what the company means by “balancing shareholder earning requirements with longer-term objectives”.

It sounds like the shareholder pain is going to get worse before it gets better, with more money being invested into the business.

So it is a pity that McGrath did not hang on to more cash when it raised $130 million from new investors less than two years ago.

Half of this cash went to McGrath and other existing investors. Another $31.5 million was splashed on buying franchise agents like the operations of part-time racing car driver Shanes Smollens.

In fact McGrath Ltd was left with a paltry $7.9 million for working capital needs – which is substantially less than the $10.1 million it spent on transaction costs for the float. What does that tell you about the priorities at the time of the float. Google Pay

Shayne Elliott and his fellow goody two-shoes crew at ANZ Group did not have to forfeit their bonuses last year, but it still did not help their underpaid boss get the better of his Commonwealth Bank rival, Ian Narev.

Comparing what the two banks have now reported as the ‘actual pay’ of their respective CEOs, Elliott’s $4.26 million worth of remuneration puts him roughly $1.25 million short of Narev despite the latter forgoing his bonus for the period.

At least Elliott’s underlings are not suffering to the same degree, especially the new recruits.

CBD’s eye has always been on ANZ’s new CFO, Michelle Jablko, who will receive $1.66 million in deferred equity incentives – starting this month – for bonuses she sacrificed to hop from investment banking to the banking world.

But what was CBD thinking when we didn’t twig to the pay implications of former Google exec Maile Carnegie?

She collected $2.8 million worth of shares last year as part of a $3.26 million worth of deferred equity she gets for jumping from Google. In fact her actual pay topped that of her boss, Elliott, at $4.34 million. The Hon Hartzer

Meanwhile, over at Westpac, boss Brian Hartzer lightened the mood his joke on the citizenship debacle.

“Well, the good news about citizenship is I’m a dual citizen so you don’t have to worry about me going into parliament,” he said while unveiling an $8 billion profit.

Follow CBD on Twitter. Got a tip? [email protected]成都夜总会招聘.au

The Melbourne Cup trainer filling the biggest shoes of all

James Cummings’ favourite book at the moment is written by his billionaire boss he has never spoken to or met. He doesn’t know if the chance will come to meet him, let alone when.
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His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s teachings are neatly laid out in paperback, the man he has in part entrusted to win a Melbourne Cup that Arab millions have not been able to buy, thumbing through its pages.

He digests every morsel of the sermon, eagerly hoping to learn something new. It’s as close as Cummings has got to international racing’s biggest spender four months after being groomed and then unveiled as his head n trainer.

The ruler of Dubai asked a little while back for a photo of Cummings with one of his horses so he knew what his youngest worldwide trainer looked like, the grandson of ‘s greatest horse conditioner. Cummings was chuffed.

“I’ve read his book and I pick it up from time to time,” Cummings says. “I have to remind the staff of what he thinks.

“He says, ‘when a gazelle wakes up in the morning it knows it has to outrun the fastest lion to survive that day and when a lion wakes up in the morning he knows he must outrun the slowest gazelle to get through the day’.

“This is the race we’re in. He said he’s not just obsessed with horse racing, but he’s obsessed with the race of life.”

The race that has typically defined his family’s life, at least in the eyes of the n public, has rolled around again. Cummings’ grandfather Bart won the Melbourne Cup 12 times. It will never be beaten.

The expectation is James, still just 29 and in one of the most coveted yet scrutinised roles in world racing, will win one in the future. Maybe he will win two. Possibly three. It comes with the Cummings name.

Yet under his current guise, it won’t be a win for a stout New Zealand bred stayer plucked out of a paddock. Or a horse no one wanted to be patient enough to get a return with as those famous eyebrows lifted long enough to cast a knowing eye over in a sales ring. Or a horse bred on the banks of the Hawkesbury river on the family farm.

It will be for a global powerhouse who doesn’t want to win races the world over, but expects to. And if they can’t find a horse with the right pedigree, they’ll find a blueblood trainer to don their blue jacket to help the cause.

Cummings is deliberate and at a pains to stress Godolphin’s team-first ethos. The n arm of the operation is certainly not about him, neither is this race. But to most ns what is a Melbourne Cup without a Cummings, or for that matter a Waterhouse?

His boss Sheikh Mohammed has been trying for more than two decades to win the Cup and his best result is second. He and Cummings will team up with last year’s favourite and placegetter, $27 hope Hartnell, when he has the honour of wearing the No.1 saddlecloth on Tuesday. No horse will be scrutinised more.

“There are more than a few non-drinkers in the business and they have promised me if I win the Melbourne Cup for them they will drink whatever I’m drinking,” Cummings jokes. “The promise has been reiterated [recently].

“What I would say is it all overbearing for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed because he hasn’t won it yet? That certainly hasn’t filtered through to me.

“I’ve really been able to treat it like another race and there’s no added pressure really. It’s just been about preparing the horse as best as we can like any other race.

“Make no mistake it’s unlike any other race once you’re actually there and involved with it on the day. You become used to build-ups to a lot of important races whether it be the Derby, Golden Rose, Golden Slipper or a Doncaster as part of a racing carnival. The Melbourne Cup supersedes those.

“However, I’m feeling pretty comfortable about it as we speak. As for the weight of expectation hopefully it reveals itself one year when we’re able to go out and do it.”

Hartnell wasn’t going to run in the Melbourne Cup a fortnight ago, although Godolphin hadn’t officially withdrawn him from the race. A week ago he was suddenly back in when it looked like Sheikh Mohammed’s European contingent in Melbourne wouldn’t have a runner.

It fuelled speculation Cummings was coaxed into running Winx’s one-time punching bag Hartnell, an outstanding horse in his own right, in the Cup with anything but a conventional lead-up – certainly not one favoured by his grandfather.

The horse hasn’t run in more than three weeks, and his longest race this preparation has been 2000 metres. He will be forced to run a stiff two miles at Flemington and lump the race’s topweight of 57.5kg to boot.

Cummings maintains he and the racing team have autonomy over race schedules for their horses.

Yet what would Bart think of the most unusual lead-up for his grandson’s first runner solo in the race he made his own?

“He was always big on experimenting and trying new things, and he wasn’t ever big on re-hashing things that hadn’t worked well,” Cummings said. “I think he would see this as an attempt to do something different.

“More traditional methods with the horse have yet to produce a victory despite running well last year. It’s certainly nothing lost if I try something.”

Unfairly on these shores, world racing heavyweights such as Sheikh Mohammed and the globe’s most famous jockey Frankie Dettori are defined by their inability to win ‘s great race.

The Cummings clan have no such issues with that problem.

It was a decade ago Bart was asked on the eve of the spring carnival in a rare interview how his then grandson was adapting to life in the ruthless racing game. The typically quick-witted one-liner claimed James would make a good foreman in 10 years time.

Yet exactly a decade on he’s heading up an international racing monolith.

“Like most Hall of Famers from time to time he dealt blame unfairly, but I couldn’t speak highly enough of the benefit for me being a 19-year-old foreman for him with a team of 75 horses in training and feeling like a temperature on a Tuesday morning was my fault, or a poor run at the provincials on a Saturday was my fault or an injured horse going to a carnival was my fault,” Cummings says.

“Because he kept making me feel that it was when we had success it was if I was training it. I knew he was training them. [But] that prepared me for the pressure that was going to lie ahead.

“And I’m pretty impressed with how the company works together and team ethos is very important for Godolphin. We feel like we can share together some great results.

“We’ve shared consistency since July and we have pretty seamlessly hit the ground running so to speak. We look around as we get to know each other and there’s periods where we can really build. That’s really important going forward.

“We’re really proud of the efforts of our horses and we’ve been able to win a group 1 and come close in others.”

Coming close in another Melbourne Cup might be considered a good result with limited representation and a horse cast aside in betting markets this year. But in the future? Cummings will always be searching for that extra edge. And he knows he won’t have to stray too far from his desk to find it.

“It’s probably worthwhile reading [the book] again at the end of the carnival because it’s always better the second time,” he says.

China conducts naval drills to stop and search North Korean weapons ships

is stepping up its role in tightening the net around North Korea, carrying out naval drills with the United States and South Korea to practise intercepting ships suspected of carrying illicit weapons to and from the rogue regime.
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Two Anzac Class frigates began the two-day joint exercises on Monday in seas to the South of the Korean peninsula alongside powerful guided-missile destroyers from the other two countries as well as four smaller warships, maritime patrol planes and helicopters.

The crews are rehearsing how to stop and search a suspect ship of any country but the drills are clearly aimed at North Korea, which is not allowed to trade in arms because of several sets of United Nations sanctions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Photo: KCNA/AP

Defence Minister Marise Payne said the drills would enforce UN Security Council Resolution 2375, concerning “the interdiction of vessels carrying suspicious cargo”.

“The multilateral maritime interdiction exercise is an opportunity to practically demonstrate the n, ROK and US navies’ ability to work together, in support of the rules-based global order,” she said.

” has a world-leading maritime interdiction capability and this exercise will enable the sharing of knowledge and skills between the three navies to help prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction.”

n frigates HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Parramatta will undertake the training alongside South Korea’s Sejong the Great destroyer ship and USS Chafee, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

The training mission came as the Pentagon outlayed the grim choices facing the US and its allies in stopping North Korea, saying that a full ground invasion of the country was “the only way” to be certain it could destroy all of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons.

And US President Donald Trump started his 12-day tour of Asia, during which mustering international determination to stop North Korea’s nuclear program is the number one objective, according to a senior US administration official.

The United States wanted to dramatically increase ship interdictions in the most recent round of UN sanctions aimed at reining in Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. That would have allowed the US and others to use force on the high seas to stop ships suspected of carrying any type of goods whose trade is prohibited by sanctions.

But veto-wielding Security Council members China and Russia stripped out those measures, leaving the noose of interdiction efforts only incrementally tightened, meaning that interdiction can only happen if ships are suspected of carrying arms materials, particularly anything used in the production of weapons of mass destruction and missiles to deliver them.

Socceroos’ airport snub puts Honduras press offside

San Pedro Sula: If it wasn’t for the dozens of armed guards surrounding it, you could have easily missed the Socceroos’ team bus parked in a dark corner at the rear of the Ramon Villeda Morales airport in San Pedro Sula.
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The n team was braced for a hostile reception from hundreds of passionate local fans. Team staff waiting to greet coach Ange Postecoglou and the main delegation of the national team wore plain clothes rather than team uniform to avoid any association at the arrivals lounge.

They were ready for hordes of passionate supporters wielding drums, singing chants and even throwing missiles. Had they not been warned once on the ground, they may have been shocked by what they saw when they walked out of the exit gates.

Not a single football fan was in sight late on Sunday night when the core of the Socceroos squad landed in the industrial capital of Honduras. The loudest voice behind the barrier was that of a crying baby as the n contingent slipped through the rear doors.

However, if there was a sour taste to the whole event it was felt by the locals. Dozens of journalists from national TV stations and newspapers anxiously awaited the arrival of the Socceroos with plenty of questions for a team they’ve become fascinated by. The choice to not stop for the press wasn’t solely the Socceroos’ though as they were under security orders to make for the rear exit to the bus as quickly as possible.

But the waiting reporters, after the n team did not so much as glance in their direction, made no secret of their displeasure as ‘s adherence to their pre-arrival plans was perceived as hubris.

“The ns came to the country and they did it with total secrecy. They did not give a smile to the media who were covering their arrival. Part of the press wanted to interview some and [the Socceroos] did not give in,” was how the arrival was described in San Pedro Sula newspaper, La Prensa. One journalist at the scene said “even the United States say something”.

For the locals, the Socceroos are an oddity. Very rarely does Honduras get exposure beyond its own region for positive reasons, let alone entertain football teams from so far away. The only time in the last two years Los Catrachos played a team outside of their confederation was in a friendly match against Ecuador and that was away in Quito. Only once in six years has a non-CONCACAF national team visited Honduras, when South Africa played a 2015 friendly in San Pedro Sula.

So local journalists waited at the barriers with plenty of questions. They asked about Tim Cahill’s ankle injury, they wanted to know about Postecoglou’s starting line-up and most importantly, they wanted to know what the ns thought of them.

A country that’s become synonymous with violence is desperate to tell the world the other side of its story. The murder rate doesn’t lie, but nor does it impact every day life for the overwhelming majority of the population. Crime is largely contained within street gang disputes but the public fear it has tainted the image of their home. While football does its best to separate itself from politics, the two are never far away and the visit of appears to be as much a public relations opportunity for the Hondurans as it is a rare and novel event for the city of San Pedro Sula.

The local interest in the Socceroos is evident – from publishing the team’s hotel, training ground and arrival times to its around-the-clock watch on Cahill’s ankle. On match day, that attention will understandably become inhospitable inside the stadium. But, until then, could find themselves the subject of welcoming intrigue rather than the abuse some predicted.

New Myer chairman’s bombshell a ‘lie, fabrication’

Premier investments chairman Soloman Lew and CEO Mark McInnes pose for a photo on 25th Se[tember 2017. Picture by Wayne Taylor. AFR.Myer’s incoming chairman has claimed that Solomon Lew’s Premier Investment – a scathing critic of his ability to lead the department store’s board – once courted him for the same role.
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Garry Hounsell dropped the bombshell in a letter to Myer shareholders on Monday rebutting calls by Premier, its largest shareholder, to vote against all resolutions Myer puts forward at its annual general meeting on November 24.

That call includes voting against the appointment of Mr Hounsell, who Premier has pilloried for allegedly lacking retail experience, and two other directors.

Mr Hounsell fired back on Monday, revealing that the Premier board approached him to become its chairman prior to Mr Lew’s appointment to that role in 2008. He said he refused the approach.

“Why is Mr Lew trying to block me from acting as Myer’s chairman when I was considered good enough to lead the Premier board?” he said.

But a Premier spokeswoman said Mr Hounsell’s claim was a “lie and a fabrication”, and that he had never been offered the chairmanship or even a directorship at Premier.

“This letter is yet another attempt by the Myer board to mislead its own shareholders,” she said.

Mr Hounsell said Mr Lew – who owns 43 per cent of listed rival retailer Premier – was “selling fear” and encouraging other shareholders to act against their own interests by asking them to appoint Premier as their proxy at Myer’s AGM.

He also accused Mr Lew of deliberately driving down Myer’s share price with his campaign of “hostility, disruption and criticism”.

“This may be in Premier and Mr Lew’s broader interests, but it is in our view against the interests of Myer shareholders,” he said.

Premier’s $100 million investment in Myer in March sparked speculation it was positioning for a takeover bid, but it has said it has no “current intention” of buying out the company.

Since March Myer’s shares have fallen more than 36 per cent – from $1.15?? to 73??.

Mr Lew has sought two seats and the appointment of a further independent director to the Myer board, but has so far been refused.

Myer say his position as both a supplier and competitor through his businesses, which include Premier and associated family companies which together generate almost $200 million in sales a year through Myer, represented an insurmountable conflict of interest.

Premier on Monday revealed a major shake-up to its own board, announcing the retirement in July 2018 of directors Lindsay Fox after 30 years service and Gary Weiss after 23 years.

Premier said it was reviewing potential directors to fill the vacancies.

Shard of wood misses man by centimetres as storm smashes Kurri Kurri

DEADLY DEBRIS: The piece of timber which shattered the window of Luke Apthorpe’s business in Kurri Kurri on Monday. Picture: Marina NeilLuke Apthorpe will wake up feeling lucky on Tuesday.
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The Kurri Kurri business owner was looking out the front of his shop at a storm battering the townwhen a jagged hunk of wood speared through the window, missing him by centimetres.

“I rang my brother and said ‘I wasn’t meant to die today,” a relieved Mr Apthorpe said shortly after the storm, which tore through Kurri at about 2pm on Monday.

The jagged shard of wood was part of a clump of debris, including a section of the Kurri Kurri Community Centre’s roof, that was blown across from Lang St to Barton St by fierce winds.

“I went to look out the window because the noise of the storm was just incredible,” Mr Apthorpe said.

“All of a sudden a lump of timber flew through the window right next to me. My heart is still going.”

Related:Building partially collapses in Kurri Kurri amid severe weather

Mr Apthorpe shrugged off damage to the building, which is estimated to cost thousands of dollars, sayingit was “lucky no one was killed”.

The storm caused chaos throughout Kurri when it suddenly struck. Two people received non-life-threatening injuries when the roof partially collapsed at the community centre, while power lines and roofs were down and damaged acrossthe town.

By 4pm, the State Emergency Service had already registered more than 100 calls for assistance.

The Kurri Kurri Ambulance Practice Hall was one of the worst damaged, with the entire roof torn off the heritage building.

“It was just like a tornado and whoosh, off went the roof,” Elana Lawrence, who was in the hall at the time of the storm, told Fairfax Media.

The centre, which provides after school and holidaycare for children, was empty except for Ms Lawrence.

Kurri resident Cheryle Shoesmith lives on Main Road leading into the town. Winds downed multiple trees along the stretch of homes, damaging multiple houses and leaving a mass of vegetation to be cleared.

“It was cyclonic, the rain was going sideways,” Ms Shoesmith said.

The longtime resident said it wasn’t the first time the area had been struck hard by storms, but Monday’s one was “just horrific”.

Amidst the gloomy aftermath, Ms Shoesmith praised the swift reaction of emergency services and fellow community members.

“There’s a fellow up the road with a chainsaw and everyone has come straight away to help with the clean up,” she said.

The impact of the storm is likely to continue into the week, with Kurri Kurri Public School announcing it would close on Tuesday due to storm damage, while Fire and Rescue NSW inspected the community centre on Monday afternoon to assess its stability.

Your guide to all the horses in the 2017 Melbourne Cup

Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all Racing
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Wondering who to put your hard-earned on in the Melbourne Cup? Andrew Garvey tests the waters – and waves in some favourites.

Boom Time spears through the fence to win the Caulfield Cup. Photo: AAP


This time last year he was the Cup favourite. In 2017 his form is not as strong and he is well down the market order. However, his form apart from a last-start failure at Caulfield has been solid enough and he did run third last year. Against that is the fact he does have to shoulder an extra 1.5kg. Punters would be a long way ahead by not backing Cup runners owned by Sheikh Mohammed to win over the past 20 years but placings at odds have been frequent. One for the multiples.


His credentials were looking outstanding before Damien Oliver’s suspension this week. It read five times Cup-winning owner, dual Cup-winning trainer, three times Cup-winning jockey and a Cup winner himself. Now he has to carry a bloke who, while a champion jockey overseas, has a great losing record in the Melbourne Cup. Almandin faces a stiff rise in the weights on his win last year but if you can overlook his last start failure, he has to be included in the better chances because his previous win was most impressive.

Almandin faces a stiff rise in the weights on his win last year. Photo: AAP


Has a mind of his own but his close second in the Cox Plate showed that on his day, he is nearly as good as any horse around, apart from Winx. Trainer Darren Weir was unhappy with the ride in the Caulfield Cup prior to that so it could be wise to overlook that failure. He has a good horse’s weight but if the breaks go his way is he capable of going close enough to get the cigar.


His father might be a teaser but this fellow looms as the real thing as far as Cup contenders go. He has won four of his five starts this year in France and looked good winning over 2500 metres at group 2 level last start. Last year his managing owner and syndicator Darren Dance purchased Heartbreak City to win the Cup only to miss by the narrowest of margins. He might not be of noble blood but he looks capable of winning – and if he does expect a conga line of owners behind Darren and the Cup.

Red Cardinal

Owned and trained in the same interests as 2014 winner Protectionist and to be ridden by dual Cup winner Kerrin McEvoy. Much travelled six-year-old whose most recent form, winning in Germany and the US, was very good before last-start failure in France in mid-August. Whether he might be too fresh could be a query but he is unbeaten in two starts over 3200m. If our George is running a sweep at the Vatican on Tuesday, he’ll definitely be the one everyone wants to draw.

Red Cardinal at Werribee. Photo: AAP


Too good for his rivals when leading all the way to win the Prix Kergolay, the race won by subsequent Cup winners Protectionist and Americain before arriving in . After settling well back he finished off strongly in the Caulfield Cup at his local debut. Unlike his name – a shortened version of marshmallow – he’s better suited on firmer rather than soft tracks. Might not be the best name for the Cup honour roll but sounds better than wizz fizz, sherbie or freddo.

Johannes Vermeer

Yet another of the Lloyd Williams cavalcade. By champion European staying sire and after winning a group 1 aged two in France, he took a while to find form again after injury. Stable then had enough confidence to send him to and two runs here have been excellent, including an unlucky third in the Caulfield Cup. Apparently his namesake was a Dutch painter who died penniless but punters who stick with him look a good chance to shout their mates a few “Johannes Vermeers” post race.

SCRATCHED: Who Shot Thebarman

An elevated temperature means the nine-year-old with the cult following was scratched from the Cup field on Sunday evening. It would have been his fourth Melbourne Cup.

Max Dynamite

He must have taken some time to recover from his pinball impersonation here two years ago when he caused maximum carnage in the straight knocking over runner after runner in his bid to stop the Prince Of Penzance fairytale, only to miss out by half a length. He failed when favourite in a hurdle two runs back before breaking through for a win carrying 73kg in a weak flat race last start. While the form card reads no, he has a most astute trainer and will not be here to enjoy Melbourne’s spring weather. He could be a blowout chance.

Ventura Storm

Import who joined strong local stable this year. He appeared to have every chance in the Caulfield Cup last start but failed to finish off his race. Prior to that he ran second in the Turnbull here beating home Humidor, who also failed at Caulfield before giving Winx a scare in the Cox Plate. He was good enough to run second in the Doncaster St Leger over 2800m as a three-year-old and it would be no surprise to see him storming home to victory if he produces his best.

Wicklow Brave

Top-class Irish hurdler who managed to beat only two home in this race last year so connections are obviously brave in venturing back from Ireland for another try as a nine-year-old. His recent form at home had been solid in good company and his run in the Caulfield Cup was much better than it looks on paper. He is entitled to start at big odds though, and punters will need to be brave to put their faith in him.

Bondi Beach

Former Irish stayer who might be named after one of ‘s most iconic seaside spots but calls the lower-profile Lloyd Williams ranch at Mount Macedon home. Fitter for two recent runs and the longer trip suits. He improved three places on 2015 to finish 13th in this race last year, so at that rate of progress could be a place chance in another three years. Splash your money on him and there is every chance you will end the day with a case of sunburn.

US Army Ranger

Import who won his first two starts but has been battling to win a race since, although he did run second in the Epsom Derby. Placed over 4355m and no, there were no hurdles in the way, three runs back, before disappointing at last couple. He runs in the Lloyd Williams colours, which provides some reason for optimism but the five-year-old turns for home his jockey should have a white hankie handy.

Big Duke

Import who has come a long way since winning a weak race at Caulfield on Boxing Day to record his first local victory. Placed in Sydney Cup earlier in the year on a very heavy track with his big dukes helping him get through the sloppy conditions. Beaten as a hot favourite in the Moonee Valley Cup last start but he didn’t have a lot of luck getting clear running on that occasion. DarrenWeir-trained runners are invariably very competitive in the Melbourne Cup and if the rain arrives the six-year-old gelding looks every bit a big chance.

Boom Time

Ironically named gelding whose owner was forced to sell out for a pittance prior to his win in the $3.1 million Caulfield Cup after going bust. He was given a perfect ride just behind the speed in that race and was tough to the line. It is hard to knock a last start Caulfield Cup winner but being by a Golden Slipper winner with a dam who is closely related to undefeated champion Black Caviar, the extra 800m this time might test his lungs. Others are likely to give a bit more boom for your buck this time and prefer the place.

Boom Time spears through the fence to win the Caulfield Cup. Photo: AAP

Single Gaze

Raced on speed and toughed it out remarkably well to hold on for second in the Caulfield Cup so deserves her chance, although she does not look well weighted. She doesn’t know who her parents are but her pedigree does not give a lot of confidence that she will run out a strong 3200m. Still, she has a name that could attract the interest of those single punters who have hit Flemington in search of another lonely heart as well as a winner.


One of the Williams lesser lights although he did win the Sydney Cup last year over this trip. He has had only two starts since beating four others home in this race last year. Was last when resuming this campaign before running down the track in a weak Geelong Cup. Entitled to start at big odds and it would only be the brave punters wanting to invest their hard-earned on him.


He didn’t show much star quality in the UK before joining the Chris Waller yard and developing into a more than handy stayer, running second in last year’s Sydney Cup. He settled at the rear before running on well for second in the Moonee Valley Cup in something of a return to form last start. Given that by birth date he should be a Taurean, it is a bit hard to make an accurate prediction of his future Cup chances, so it might be best to concentrate on others.


Tough stayer who had been racing well before breaking through in the Ebor Handicap to give him his first win in two years. That race was won last year by subsequent Cup runner-up Heartbreak City. It is hard to see him making it two wins in a row in what is a stronger race here but for Elton John fans looking for a bit of value he could be the one to throw in first fours and trifectas.

Wall Of Fire

Improving type but has found the competition a bit hot and struggled to win when up in grade this season, although he has generally been competitive. He was suited in the Herbert Power last start when able to finish off strongly for second after sitting at the rear off a strong tempo, with third placegetter Boom Time going on to win the Caulfield Cup. There is a lot more depth in this event but when others are hitting the wall he should still be whacking away. Perhaps worth a place ticket at odds.


Owned by Lloyd Williams and partners with the Melbourne Cup fire in the Williams belly not needing any rekindling since winning his first with Just A Dash back in 1981. Only a three-year-old to European time but has strong form lines in Europe and three runs back beat home his older rivals in a group 2 contest over 2800m. He is the first Cup runner for Joseph O’Brien whose father Aiden brought out another European three-year-old, Mahler, who carried 1kg less when running third behind Efficient in 2007. Respect.

Amelie’s Star

Despite all the horses who have had “star” in their names, none have won the Melbourne Cup. But this one is trained by a bloke named Weir who has a habit of breaking records. The trainer was not happy with the ride given her in the Caulfield Cup so it could be worth overlooking that failure as her previous win here was excellent. The Amelie in the 2001 French romantic comedy of the same name liked to make people happy and there will be plenty in the crowd feeling that way if equine Amelie can get the cash.

Jockey Damien Lane on Amelie’s Star. Photo: AAP


Solid effort in the Moonee Valley and then defied all attempts to run him down in the Lexus to sneak into the Cup field. He comes in on the minimum weight but unfortunately for him those above don’t appear to have enough weight to slow them down to his level. He will be up on the pace so will give supporters a sight but despite what the ever-optimistic Gai might say, he has a very big mountain to climb.

Thomas Hobson

He spent most of the last three years hurdling, winning four such events before being restricted to the flat since earlier this year and his astute trainer Willie Mullins knows what is required to be competitive in this race. He sealed a trip down under with a strong second placing in the Doncaster Cup over 3600m at his most recent start in September. Stamina is one thing the eight-year-old is not short of and punters who envisage a strong tempo could well make him their choice.

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Malcolm Turnbull acts on citizenship, and the next stages could be explosive

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addresses the media during a doorstop interview at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 6 November 2017. fedpol Photo: Alex EllinghausenIn the end, Malcolm Turnbull concluded that among the unpalatable options available to him in the dual citizenship crisis, doing nothing was the riskiest path of all.
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His government’s one-seat majority had begun falling apart, mid-term.

Defending the status quo was defending the indefensible. Worse, it was tantamount to a government siding with chaos and tumult when they exist to bring order, certainty, predictability.

Through no fault of his own, Turnbull found himself helming a show that, to paraphrase Douglas Adams in The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, was starting to resemble a military academy – “bits of it kept on passing out”.

And because of the ad hoc, headline-driven way this disintegration was occurring, the aura of helplessness suggested an administration overwhelmed by greater forces. Personally and politically, this was devastating.

When Turnbull arrived back into the country on Friday, his resentment over Stephen Parry’s craven post-High Court demise and fresh interest in the heritage of Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg – now one of Turnbull’s closest allies – obscured his capacity to discern and articulate the public reassurance needed politically.

That visceral anger had been human enough, but with public confidence draining fast, more was required.

The Greens had already restated their long-held calls for a full audit and Labor quickly dropped its ‘nothing-to-see-here’ line, proposing a “universal disclosure” – not an audit as such but a mechanism where all MPs showed their sole-citizen bona fides.

What Turnbull has now unveiled at least conforms to established parliamentary practices regarding financial interests. But in its core function, it is close to what Bill Shorten proposed.

It now seems most likely that the outcome, if it is not an audit, is a stocktake designed to establish who we have in the parliamentary stock, and if any should not be there.

But unknowns remain. Would those with citizenship problems resign automatically? How would non-compliant or doubtful cases be referred to the High Court, and would parties continue to deny cases on party lines? Would the government risk a working majority?

At best, this is progress – the beginning of the end of this citizenship controversy.

The next stages could be explosive. The worst case for Shorten is that he is still in opposition once it’s done. For Turnbull the risk has always been winding up in the same place. In opposition.

Contour after weight loss

SHAPING UP: An abdominoplasty involves surgically removing the excess fat and skin from the abdomen, along with tightening the abdominal muscles.LOSING a significant amount of weight is an amazing achievement, but often the results of this hard work are hidden under folds of excess skin that has lost its elasticity.
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Weight loss surgery can be life changing for people who have struggled with being overweight, and the results can be amazing.

Some patients follow their weight loss journey with body contouring surgery to remove this excess skin and restore their shape.

“Body contouring surgery can be tailored to suit an individual’s specific problem areas,”says specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Gary Avery, director of Avery Plastic Surgery.

An abdominoplasty involves surgically removing the excess fat and skin from the abdomen, along with tightening the abdominal muscles.

Scars from a tummy tuck can vary depending on whether or not the navel is relocated and how well your skin copes with scarring.

“Generally, the scar should be hidden when wearing underwear or a swimsuit, and will fade with time,” Dr Avery said.

Many people choose to combine a tummy tuck with procedures such as a breast reduction, breast augmentation, or breast lift to fully address their concerns.

“A lower body lift involves removing the excess fat and skin from the abdominal area and the lower back, which can benefit those people who have experienced greater weight fluctuations,” Dr Avery said.

“Excess skin can also be removed from the arms (arm lift) and inner thighs.”

Length of recovery will depend on what procedures are conducted, however most patients are back to their pre surgery fitness levels by 6-8 weeks post surgery.

“A hospital stay up to four nights, and 2-4 weeks off work may be recommended,” said Dr Avery who performs all body contouring surgery at Lingard Private Hospital in Merewether.

“All our procedures take place in an accredited hospital, with appropriately trained support staff and anesthetists.”

Dr Avery recommends waiting at least six months after reaching your ideal weight in order to stabilise beforehaving further surgery.

“Surgery is a big investment in yourself, you really want the results to last,” he said.

Dr Avery, is an Australasian-trained Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, experienced in body contouring surgery. He has operated in the Hunter Region for the past five years and this year opened a solo practice at Suite 1, Ground Floor, 31-33 Watt Street, Newcastle. His specialties include all cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures. For more information, ring (02) 4002 4150, email [email protected]成都夜总会招聘.au or visit averyplasticsurgery成都夜总会招聘.au.

Turnbull government MP John Alexander may be a dual citizen

Former tennis champ and new Member for Bennelong John Alexander during his first Liberal Party meeting at Parliament House in Canberra today Thursday 9th of September 2010 photograph Glen McCurtayne FAIRFAX MEDIA SPECIAL SHADOWTurnbull government MP John Alexander is scrambling to confirm whether he is a dual citizen, which if proven would trigger a byelection that would further threaten the Coalition’s grip on power.
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Fairfax Media can reveal Mr Alexander’s father, Gilbert Alexander, was born in the UK and is likely to have conferred citizenship by descent to his son. Mr Alexander has never before been named as an MP with a parent born overseas, meaning his status has flown under the radar since the citizenship saga first erupted in July.

The Liberal member for the Sydney seat of Bennelong has confirmed he never renounced any British citizenship before entering Parliament, and cannot say definitively whether his father did so before the former tennis champion’s birth in 1951.

This means he could be ineligible for Parliament under section 44 of the constitution.

A spokesman for Mr Alexander said on Monday: “He believes his dad renounced his UK citizenship in the 41 years he lived in before John was born. But of course he will fully participate in the process that the PM has just announced today.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Monday revealed all federal politicians will be required to publicly detail their citizenship history under new transparency measures designed to end the crisis.

The claim that Mr Alexander’s father may have renounced at some point after he arrived in in 1911 is complicated by the fact the concept of n citizenship did not come into force until 1949.

That means he may have only had a two-year window to renounce before his son was born in 1951.

Under the online renunciation search tool provided by the British National Archives, there is no record of Mr Alexander’s father having renounced at any time after 1948.

Gilbert died in 1987, aged 80.

Fairfax Media has obtained documents that show Gilbert was born in Essex, England in September 1907. He was baptised in London the following month.

An incoming passenger card shows Gilbert and his family travelled from London to Sydney on June 9, 1911, when Gilbert was aged three. He enrolled to vote in the seat of Warringah in 1930 at age 23, and married Mr Alexander’s mother, Thelma Fletcher Hipgrave, in 1944. They had John in July 1951.

Under the British Nationality Act 1948, people born to British citizens are automatically given citizenship of the UK by descent.

This law conferred British citizenship on the Nationals’ Fiona Nash and One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts, who were kicked out of the Senate by the High Court last month. Former Senate president Stephen Parry resigned from Parliament last week after revealing he was a dual UK citizen through the same law.

Asked if he was confident he would not lose any more Coalition MPs to citizenship issues, Mr Turnbull said on Monday: “The federal director has told me that all of the Liberal Party members believe that they are in compliance with the constitution.”

Mr Alexander won Bennelong, a culturally diverse electorate on Sydney’s north shore in 2010, defeating sitting Labor MP and former ABC broadcaster Maxine McKew. He was reelected at the 2013 and 2016 federal elections. Mr Alexander holds the seat with a margin of almost 10 per cent.

The Turnbull government is down one lower house seat while former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce fights a byelection in his NSW seat of New England.

In a statement issued on Monday night, Mr Alexander’s spokesman said: “My father was born in the United Kingdom in 1907, before moving to as a very young child.

“He became an n citizen as soon as he could. I understand he renounced his British citizenship before I was born, because he was a proud n.” i