Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Wed 8 Mar 2017



The Northern Territory news Wed 8 Mar 2017

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin

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News Corp Australia

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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News Corp Australia



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42 SPORT WEDNESDAY MARCH 8 2017 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Ecuador, with regular rider Adam Hyeronimus in the saddle, winning the Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) at Rosehill last May Picture: SIMON BULLARD AN unorthodox lead-in to the Australian Cup is no concern for connections of Ecuador, who will be chasing his first Group 1 win in the weight-forage race. The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained sevenyear-old has had four 1400m starts so far this campaign and now steps to 2000m in Satur MATHEW TOOGOOD days $1.5 million feature at Flemington. Bott admitted the original plan had been to head to the Australian Cup via the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) but instead the stable decided to give him his chance in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes over 1400m. Ecuador finished third to Black Heart Bart and Tosen Stardom in the Futurity, beat en just over half a length, after also running third in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield. The gelding had won two 1400m races in Sydney at the start of his campaign before heading south and Bott is looking forward to Ecuador stepping up to a distance he believes is more suitable on Saturday. We dont have any con cerns stepping up in trip, Bott said. It wasnt the original plan to have the two runs at the 1400m, but going into each of those two Group 1 races, he was a live chance and when youve got a horse in careerbest form, its hard to knock back the opportunity to give him a crack at it. We were mindful of going to the Australian Cup eventually and we didnt have any concerns keeping him at the 1400 and then stepping straight up to the 2000m. Ecuadors other placing at the elite level came when he ran second to Winx in the 2015 Epsom Handicap (1600m) in Sydney. To be ridden by his regular jockey Adam Hyeronimus, Ecuador is at $21 for the Australian Cup with acceptances to be taken today. Connections unfazed as Ecuador steps up for Flemington A-League expansion stoush brews AN A-League expansion fight has broken out in the Illawarra, with the Wollongong Wolves determined to press for a standalone team despite southern Sydneys high-profile consortium declaring they are far superior. Southern Expansion, the new bid party led by SBS pair Les Murray and Craig Foster, say they have the backing of the Wolves regional governing body Football South Coast, along with the Sutherland and St George football associations, for an amalgamated franchise featuring A-League, W-League and National Youth League teams. Underwritten by $12 million in bank guarantees from its sole backer, Chinese property giant the Jia Yuan Group, the partys chief executive Chris Gardiner said they would present a far stronger bid than the Wolves could ever put on the table. This is going to be a football institution, Gardiner said. It will serve the Illawarra in a way that the Wolves cant. Under their proposal games would be split between Cronullas Shark Park, Wollongongs WIN Stadium and Kogarahs Jubilee Oval, before long-term plans to construct a purpose-built stadium. But Wolves chief executive Chris Papakosmas suggested that scenario equated to the Illawarra being thrown a couple of crumbs to jump on board another Sydney bid. Troisi in line for Socceroos Cup qualifiers TWO years after his Asian Cup heroics, James Troisi is set to earn a Socceroos recall for this months vital World Cup qualifiers. Troisi hasnt featured for the Socceroos since November 2015 but has made a compelling case as a bolter in coach Ange Postecoglous extended 30-man squad, to be named today for the upcoming clashes against Iraq and the UAE. After enduring a rough stint overseas and a broken collar bone on return to the ALeague, the 28-year-old has rediscovered his eye-catching pace and intelligence in Melbourne Victorys attacking midfield which would make him an excellent replacement for injured playmaking wizard Tom Rogic. Postecoglou has signalled his intent to include more ALeague players in his squad for the March 24 Iraq game in Tehran and March 28 fixture against UAE in Sydney. Alex Wilkinsons superb form in Sydney FCs central defence may be enough for a second coming, while midfielder Josh Brillantes tireless work doesnt hurt his chances. Perth right-back Josh Risdon was benched in favour of Milos Degenek for Novembers worrying 2-2 draw against Thailand but again shapes as a potential for the problematic position, with Melbourne Citys Ivan Franjic another possibility. THE Australian Paralympic Committee intend to use the impending return of the Arafura Games to prepare athletes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The NT Government is keen to reignite the Darwinbased multi-sport event, either next year or in 2019. The Games have not been held since 2011. The APC met with the government on Monday to Pair still in with shot at sprint TRAINER Mick Price and jockey Joao Moreira still have a genuine chance in the Newmarket Handicap despite Flying Artie being ruled out of the Group 1 sprint. Stablemate Extreme Choice will now run with Flying Artie out of calculations for Saturdays 1200m-straight race at Flemington after being scoped following trackwork yesterday. A normal scope just revealed a bit of mucus and Im not happy with that, Price said. I just think hes got a low-grade lung infection. He walked past me after he galloped this morning and still had a big blow and I just think thats not right for a horse going into a Newmarket. Extreme Choice had a gallop and wouldnt have blown a candle out and thats how they should be. I just couldnt have run him based on that. Well try to get him ready for the T.J. Smith Stakes (on April 1). Dual Group 1-winning colt Extreme Choice was to be saved to run in the William Reid Stakes (1200m) later this month, but is now set to be a Newmarket acceptor with Moreira switching from Flying Artie. We had Moreira sitting there so I thought well accept with Extreme Choice and have a look at the race and see how we go with Moreira on, Price said. Extreme Choice ran home strongly for third in the Oakleigh Plate first-up and Price said he was in perfect order. Extreme Choice is now the second favourite at $6 behind Spieth at $3.50. Games Olympic gateway discuss a partnership that would see para sports included when the international tournament returns. Para events were first admitted into the Arafura Games in 2005. Tim Matthews from the APC said it became an important fixture for para athletes, who were disappointed to see it cancelled in 2013. It gave us the opportunity to run officials courses and give education around Paralympic sports. It also provided opportunities for athletes to qualify for major competitions in some sports, Matthews said. It was sad to see it go off the program. Once it was announced that the current government was keen to bring it back, we wanted to express an interest We want para sports as part of the program. Matthews said the Arafura Games would present an opportunity for individual athletes to compete against strong opposition ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. We suspect there will be nations, particularly from Europe, that are looking for opportunities in the Asia/ Oceania region leading into Tokyo To an extent its like a mini Paralympic Games, Matthews said. Assistant Minister for Bring ing Back the Arafura Games Kate Worden (pictured) said discussions were encouraging. They had a fantastic presentation and are really keen to partner again with the government to bring Paralympic events here in preparations for Tokyo in 2020, she said. They have indicated the sports they would like to see and they will also invest money into that competition. Furthermore, the government has held talks with more than 15 sports about inclusion in the Arafura Games ablebodied program. Worden said that the Northern Territory event could be used as a medium to engage with Asia. Sport can be the vehicle that can wrap around business, art and tourism, Worden said. JACK HISLOP

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