Sunday Territorian 18 May 2014
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52 SPORT SUNDAY MAY 18 2014 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Heats on for Matildas CAPTAIN Kate Gill scored a double to help Australia to a routine 3-1 Womens Asian Cup victory over Jordan yesterday becoming the Matildas greatest goalscorer. Gill scored either side of halftime in Ho Chi Minh City to make her tally 40 goals in 81 international appearances, topping the previous mark held by former long-serving skipper Cheryl Salisbury. Katrina Gorry extended the margin before Jordan rounded out the scoring with a controversial goal. Australia, who entered the eight-nation tournament as Asian champions, can qualify for next years FIFA Womens World Cup in Canada with vic tory in their next match against Vietnam today. Matildas coach Alen Stajcic made 10 changes from the side that drew 2-2 in their opening game against world champions Japan on Wednesday, and his new-look side struggled to find any degree of fluency in the days humid conditions. Japan midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi struck twice, and Nanase Kiryu and Yuki Ogimi also scored as Japans Nadeshiko earned their first win of the comp against Vietnam. After two games, Japan with four points top Group A on goal difference ahead of Australia, with Vietnam one point behind after beating Jordan 3-1 on the opening night. Phelps returns to form MICHAEL Phelpsreturned tothe top of a podium for the first time since the 2012 Olympics when he won the 100m butterfly at the Charlotte Grand Prix yesterday. Phelps made it through a gruelling double in the morning preliminaries, also swimming the 200 freestyle, then limited himself to one race in the evening. While he didnt improve on the time from the first meet of his comeback, when he finished second to Ryan Lochte last month, it was another big step toward competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Its been a while, he said. Its nice seeing the first place next to your name. Its good to be on that side of it again. Thats my first one since I came back. Hopefully, we can get a string of those. Going out strong and remaining comfortably ahead on the return leg, Phelps cruised to victory in 52.13 sec, about a half body-length ahead of runnerup Pavel Sankovich of Belarus. Phelps matched his time exactly from Arizona, his first meet since retiring after the London Olympics. But this time, he did not have to contend with Lochte, who aggravated his surgically repaired knee and was resting. Asked if he couldve beaten Phelps, Lochte smiled. No, he said, holding out his left leg. Ive got a brace on my knee. Swifts alert to danger THE Adelaide Thunderbirds may be out of this years finals race, but the NSW Swifts remain wary of their capabilities heading into todays showdown in Sydney, says shooter Caitlin Thwaites. The Thunderbirds have won the past six matches between the two sides although, to highlight how evenly matched both teams appear, the past three matches have been decided by three goals orless. Allphones Arena is hosting the match and the Swifts are hoping to better last years crowd of 8021 that watched both these sides in action and potentially challenge the overall league regular season record of 8509 set when the Melbourne Vixens hosted West Coast Fever in the final round of 2013. With the Swifts still well and truly in contention for the double chance, Thwaites said they will be approaching todays game no differently than they do any week. Were definitely not thinking its going to be an easy win, Thwaites said. Its going to be tough game because theyve still got a great line-up. So were not taking it lightly at all, well work on a few things for our game plan. Theyve still got a few stars out there so were going to have look at ways to shut themdown. Streama torrent of talent TRAINER Guy Walter has hailed Streama among the best he has trained following the mares fourth Group 1 win in the Doomben Cup at what may have been her swan song. Walter said he could not pre-empt what her owners, the Coghlan family, would do but admitted she was coming to the end of her career. She will go to stud this year but she might have a short campaign in Sydney in the spring, Walter said. But it would be a good way for her to end her career. She has been so consistent all the way through her career and she has never had an unsound day. She won the Keith Mackay Stakes as a two-yearold and has raced through to being a Group 1 winner as a rising six-year-old. It was her fourth Group 1 and she has won 10 races. She deserved this day after racing at the top level for an extended period of time. Walter, the trainer of 13time Group 1 winner Tie The Knot, said Streama rated beside outstanding sprinter Spinning Hill among the mares he has prepared. She has just been so honest all the way through, he said. I cant express how much she means to me. Walter also praised Blake Shinn who produced a superb ride to guide her to victory over the 2000m of yesterdays feature. Shinn and Streama ($4.20 equal favourite) stalked Leebaz ($7) before overhauling him in the straight to win by threequarters of a length with the other market leader, Junoob, a further long neck third. Blake is the stable rider and is a great asset to me, Walter said. He is riding as well as anyone in Australia. Shinn said he went into the race with the plan to track the pace and it fell into place when Leebaz went forward. James McDonald said Leebaz had come a long way in a short time. Look out for him in the spring he will be a horse to be reckoned with, McDonald said. Nash Rawiller, who rode Junoob, said he was pleased with the way the gelding adapted to Doomben. But I still think he will go better on a bigger track like Eagle Farm. Once I was able to get him into a rhythm he gave me a beautiful ride, he said. Junoobs Chris Wallertrained stablemate Moriarty ran fifth while Victorian galloper Akzar came from last to finish fourth. By MARK OBERHARDT HORSE RACING River Lad goes for Stradbroke, after bold victory RIVER Lad is poised to give trainer Natalie McCall her first runner in a Stradbroke Handicap after his gutsy win in the BRC Sprint at Doomben. Ridden by Tim Bell, River Lad ($9.50) outlasted Bennys Buttons ($5.50) to win yester days Group 3 race by a long head with Fire Up Fifi ($9.50) three lengths away third. McCall, who trains a team of horses at the Sunshine Coast, has never had a runner in a Group One race. She has always had the $1 million Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 as River Lads winter carnival goal. Hes nominated for the Doomben 10,000 next week but our plan all along has been to try and get him into the Stradbroke and weve achieved that by winning this race, McCall said. I like to space his runs with three weeks between races so why change now? River Lad beat only one runner home at his lead-up run in the Victory Stakes but McCall dismissed that performance. It was a total forgive run, she said. He was in a pig of a mood before the race then copped a whack with a big clod in running and the next day he was sporting a big black eye. Vandyke doubts filly suited to distance TRAINER David Vandyke is not convinced Arabian Gold is a genuine stayer despite the fillys dominant win in The Roses (2000m) at Doombenyesterday. Arabian Gold ($2.10 fav) defied the pattern of the day when she covered ground on the home turn before sweeping past her rivals in the straight to win by 1 lengths from Tinto ($13) with Tornado Miss ($61) a similar margin away third. Vandyke admits the 2400m of the Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) at Eagle Farm on May 31 is a concern for Arabian Gold. Its definitely a risk and I want to see how she pulls up before we see if she runs in The Oaks, Vandyke said. Im mindful this is the fourth carnival in a row that shes competed at and shes done a great job until now. Vandyke was confident of victory when jockey Blake Shinn had Arabian Gold travelling comfortably midfield before allowing her to stride froward approaching the hometurn. Its a relief to win because, on paper, I didnt think she could be beaten today, he said. I was confident she had the ability to outsprint her rivals because she has a very economical action and keeps herself balanced. Blake allowed her to track through her gears and she let down beautifully. Shinn said Arabian Gold always had her rivals coveredbut echoed Vandykes assessment of the fillys staying ability. I think 2000m is her pet distance but shes a filly of high quality and often when theyre racing their own age group class prevails, he said. Tim Bell, who rode Tinto, believes the filly will be highly competitive in The Oaks. Shell relish another 400m and even though Arabian Gold won well, my filly was taking ground off her at the finish, hesaid. Blake Shinn celebrates after returning to the mounting yard following the win by the Guy Waltertrained five-year-old mare Streama in the Doomben Cup (2000m) yesterday Picture: MARK CALLEJA By STEPHEN RODGERS in Brisbane
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