The Northern Territory news Wed 9 Jul 2014
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38 SPORT MONDAY JUNE 9 2014 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 FOOTROT FLATS Snitzerland for breeding barn GROUP 1 winning sprinter Snitzerland has been retired from racing and has a possible date with Black Caviar's half brother All Too Hard. The four-year-old was pulled up in an exercise gallop on the eve of the BTC Cup in April. Although cleared of serious injury, she suffered ligament damage which meant a lengthy spell. Her owners Neil Werrett and Steve McCann decided yesterday to send her to the breeding barn this spring. Werrett, a part-owner of Black Caviar, is also a shareholder in Vinery Stud where All Too Hard stands. Snitzerland's highlight in a career of many stellar performances was her win in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington in February. Snitzerland had eight wins from 20 starts and earned prize money of almost $2 million. Time for McLean, Rioli to enter Hall of Fame THE Territorys contribution to the AFLs Hall Of Fame was expanded by one last week when Adelaide Crows great Andrew McLeod joined the games elite. It was a big celebration for Territory football, particularly for the McLeod family and fans of the great man who played a club record 340 games for the Crows and won almost every individual award on offer in his 16 seasons at the top of his trade. But while Bunji McLeod received just reward for his brilliant career by joining Territorians Michael Long and Nathan Buckley in the HOF, the jury is still out on Michael McLean and the late Maurice Rioli. Those two players inspired a generation of young footballers through the 1980s and 90s but remain on the outer with HOF selectors. McLean went straight from the Territorys Teal Cup side to the then VFL in 1982. There was no stint in the SANFL, WAFL or NEAFL for the man they call Magic. He played 183 injury plagued, but always spectacular, games with Footscray (Western Bulldogs) and Brisbane, was a dual best and fairest at the Lions, an all-Australian in 1988, captained and coached the indigenous All-Stars and was vice-captain of the NT Queensland and Allies teams. An integral member of the AFLs indigenous Team of the Century, McLean coached Territory Thunder in its inaugural season and continues to work with young Territory footballers in his role with the Clontarf program. Rioli was a superstar on the field, becoming the first Territorian to win the Norm Smith Medal in 1982 and becoming the player every Territory kid wanted to be in thousands of backyard matches. Hall of Famer Anthony Koutoufides told me in 2012 Rioli was a player he admired like no other, for his offensive and defensive skills. Rioli only played 118 games for Richmond, but they were all from the top shelf and priceless advertisements for Australian Football. Sharapova surprised by success MARIA Sharapova's second French Open title on the claycourts of Roland Garros yesterday left her scratching her head as to how she achieved the feat. Reared on the hardcourts of Russia and Florida, and happiest on the green grass of Wimbledon, the biggest name in women's sport is a late convert to the slippy red surface. She once described her early outings on clay as being akin to a cow on ice, but since her thrilling 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 win over Romania's Simona Halep in the finest Paris final in many a year, she is now a claycourt legend. Asked at her post-match press conference if she found it bizarre that it had turned out that way, Sharapova replied: I'm with you on that one. If somebody had told me that I'd have more Roland Garros titles than any other grand slam, I'd probably go get drunk. Or tell them to get drunk, one or the other. It's really amazing. I feel that I worked to get to this position. There's nothing else. There is no substitute in winning these titles. You can't just go out there and just do it without putting in the effort. You're not just born being a natural clay court player. Okay, maybe if you're (Rafael) Nadal. But certainly not me. I didn't grow up on it, didn't play on it. I just took it upon myself to make myself better on it. Hard work and sacrifice is something the Russian has never shied away from since leaving her country and her mother at the age nine to further her career in the tennis heartlands of Florida. World No. 1 status and her Australian Open win at the start of 2008 helped make her one of the most marketable names in sport. Halfway to glory, time to Finke big NSW rider and dual winner Toby Price on his KTM 500 EXC led the bikes into Finke, finishing 64 seconds ahead of his nearest rival in the Tatts Finke Desert Race Picture: PHIL WILLIAMS THE father-son combination of Shannon and Ian Rentsch are leading the car field after the first leg of the 2014 Tatts Finke Desert Race. The Victorian team in their JIMCO 2010 3500cc Buggy made the 226km trek to the halfway point at Finke in a time of 1 hour 49 minutes and 5 seconds. The Rentsch team, second fastest in Fridays Prologue, are dual Finke champions having won the race in 2005 and 06. Second into Finke for the overnight stop was the JIMCO 2013 Buggy 3500cc of South Australians Jack Rhodes and David Pullino in a time of 1.49:56 from Travis Robinson and Paul Currie from WA in a JIMCO OBR Nissan 3500cc PRO buggy. Filling spots five and six are JIMCO Aussie Special 3500cc of Victorians Matt Hanson and Leigh Wells and the JIMCO of Darwin duo Paul Gilbert and Jol Pritchard. Finkes ironman, Queenslander Billy Geddes, is seventh after the Finke leg and looks well on his way to becoming the first man to compete in both cars and bikes at the same event. NSW rider and dual winner Toby Price on his KTM 500 EXC led the bikes into Finke. Price had a battle royal with David Walsh from Alice Springs on a X94 Honda CRF450 before steadily pulling ahead as the race progressed. At the first checkpoint at Deep Well (68km from the start) the gap between the two was 14 seconds, increasing to 27 at Rodinga, 30km further on and 64 seconds at the finish. Prices time for the trip to Finke was 1hr 58min 43sec, 25 seconds better than the 2013 winner Todd Smith managed last year. Walsh, second in the 2012 race, completed yesterdays run in 2.47. In third position is Ivan Long from Tanunda in SA on another KTM. He trails Walsh by 48 seconds. Josh Green on a Yamaha YZ450F is fourth from Centralian Daymon Stokie on a Honda. Defending champion Smith is sixth on a Honda, more than five minutes behind Price. Four-time winner Ben Grabham is seventh on a KTM, almost eight minutes behind. The cars (7.30am) and bikes (noon) leave Finke today for the run home to Alice Springs. The first cars are expected about 9.15am and the bikes about 1.50pm. By JORDAN McARDLE MOTORSPORT