A young Gosford couple and their baby were killed when their car burst into flames in a crash involving a B-double truck and another car on the F3 freeway on the NSW Central Coast yesterday night.Police said two cars stopped on the freeway before a truck struck both vehicles from behind, killing a 27-year-old woman, a 32-year-old man and a five-month-old baby at 10.50pm. The impact caused one of the cars and the truck to catch fire.Have your say on the F3Police said the bodies of the young family were found in the charred car on the 110 km/h marked stretch of road near the Mount White weigh-bridge.Two other people were taken to Gosford Hospital with various injuries.Metropolitan crash investigator Sergeant Peter Jenkins said the family’s car was completely “incinerated”.”For some reason the two vehicles have become stationary in lane one, northbound, they’re not in the breakdown lane, they’re actually still in the traffic lane,” he told Macquarie Radio today.”The young family’s car is the southern vehicle, another northbound car has braked and stopped and swerved to miss it and entered into the breakdown lane.”Since that’s happened the truck driver’s been exposed to these two vehicles and he’s done what he can, but he hasn’t been able to avoid these two vehicles.”He said the truck driver was suffering from shock and had been discharged from hospital after speaking to police.Towers Transport general manager John Perkins said the truck driver was very upset.”He has no apparent physical injuries … he’s extremely distraught,” Mr Perkins said.He would not comment on the circumstances surrounding the accident but said the company had never been involved in a fatal crash.”We’ve been in business for 20 years, weâve got about 50 trucks, and this is the first time we’ve been faced with something like this,” Mr Perkins said.The driver of the second car was taken to Gosford Hospital for treatment, but police have been unable to to speak to him. His condition is unknown.The family has been identified and some relatives have been notified of their deaths, he said.Sergeant Jenkins played down claims the stretch of road was dangerous, saying he hadn’t been able to attribute a serious crash in the area to the design or condition of the road in the past 20 years.”I think the F3 is actually quite a good stretch of road in most parts,” he said.”Inquiries into the circumstances leading up to the crash are continuing,” a police spokesman said.’Expect long delays’Northbound lanes on the F3 freeway out of Sydney have reopened to traffic but motorists are warned to expect long delays.All northbound lanes were closed while police removed the bodies and wreckage and carried out an investigation until about 11.20am today.Despite reopening the lanes, traffic is still banked up for almost 10 kilometres between Mt White and the Hawkesbury River, the Road and Traffic Authority (RTA) says.”All lanes are open on the F3, but traffic will take a while to clear, an RTA spokesman told AAP.”Traffic is still heavy with significant delays and people who have been diverted on to the Pacific Hwy will also experience significant delays.”It is the second major crash in two days on the F3 in that area. Four people escaped serious injury in a six-vehicle crash caused when a piece of scaffolding fell off a semitrailer at Mooney Mooney yesterday.Police are appealing for anyone who might have seen the crash and are yet to speak to crash investigators to contact them via Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.with Georgina Robinson, Dylan Welch and AAP
COMPULSORY land takeovers, welfare quarantining and forced alcohol and pornography bans must cease if Australia’s ”broad-sweep” intervention is to comply with international law, the United Nations says.The UN special rapporteur on indigenous human rights, James Anaya, yesterday gave a damning assessment of entrenched racism that persisted in Australia, specifying measures in the Northern Territory intervention.Just hours earlier, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma, revealed modelling for the first representative body for indigenous people since the abolition of ATSIC in 2005.The absence of such a body had allowed the 2007 intervention to take its one-size-fits-all form, Mr Calma said.Both men called for the urgent reinstatement of the Racial Discrimination Act, and lashed the Government for treating indigenous people as a mass.”The broad sweep that we see in the current configuration of the Northern Territory emergency response isn’t specific enough and goes too far,” Professor Anaya said. ”Significant concerns need to be addressed.”After an 11-day visit, he said he was ”impressed by the strength, resilience and vision of indigenous communities determined to move towards a better future despite having endured tremendous suffering at the hands of historical forces and entrenched racism”.He will make recommendations to the Government within six months.Among his concerns was the Government’s attempt to seize control of Alice Springs town camps. ”It’s a mistake to assume that indigenous peoples, at least in the medium or longer term, are incapable of taking care of their homes.”A similar assumption underpinning welfare quarantining was demeaning, he said.Yesterday was a historic day for indigenous self-determination in Australia, Mr Calma said. A new representative body would convene its first meeting in October next year.Unlike its predecessor ATSIC, the body would comprise equal numbers of men and women and would operate as a company, preferably launched with a $5 million contribution from government. This would allow both financial and structural independence and freedom from political manipulation.Any indigenous person could nominate for a position on the four-tiered body. Mr Calma hit out at critics for undermining the body before its details were known. The executive, to be co-chaired by a man and a woman, would be elected, with the congress of 128 delegates chosen on merit. Each would be refreshed every two years and give voice to the young, disabled and elderly, alongside representatives of existing indigenous organisations.The Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin, welcomed details of the model and said she looked forward to Professor Anaya’s report.”We share much common ground including the legitimate entitlement of indigenous people to all human rights based on principles of equality, partnership, good faith and mutual benefit,” she said.However, no offer of seed funding for the representative body was forthcoming.
A press gallery, it is often said, tends to hunt in a pack. But the fallout from Wednesday night’s ”exclusive” by Channel Nine’s state political reporter, Kevin Wilde, suggests that the NSW press gallery has turned on itself. The Australian’s Imre Salusinszky opened the attack yesterday with a withering assessment of Wilde’s report that a deal had been done to roll Nathan Rees and install the Planning Minister, Kristina Keneally, as premier. ”Mate, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a piece of fantasy quite so devoid of substance dressed up as a breaking news story,” he told ABC 702’s Adam Spencer. However, it was left to Wilde and his direct competitor, Channel Seven’s Louise Milligan, to provide the day’s best blood sport. As the Premier left a function in western Sydney, Milligan asked him, in front of Wilde: ”How do you feel when people keep running fictitious stories about you?” to which Wilde parried with his own question: ”It’s not fictitious, Premier, because there are plotters. Will you deal with the plotters?” The pair later engaged in a toe-to-toe shouting match in the carpark. Wilde delivered the line of the day, a notable malapropism, last night declaring to the newsreader Peter Overton: ”Peter, I’m no sucker. And my sources are impeachable.”CUPBOARD IS BARERicky Ponting might urge the Australian public to keep the faith following the loss of the Ashes, but an anonymous Englishman in Sydney is having none of it. His email, titled ”Australian manufactured trophy cabinet for sale”, sets out its attributes before listing its ”former contents” as a ”guide to its size”. These include the Ashes, the Bledisloe Cup, the Rugby League World Cup, Davis Cup â¦ we could go on. ”All these trophies are now overseas, and the cabinet is excess to requirements,” the email concludes. ”To make an offer call R. Stuart, R. Ponting, S. Mortlock or P. FitzSimons, who once commented: ‘The Australian cabinet is groaning under the weight of all the trophies.’ Contact any of above on 1800-LOST-THE-LOT.”GREENERY AND IRONYThe NSW ALP has rectified its downgrading of the former premier Morris Iemma as the lowly MP for Lakemba on the list of former Labor premiers on its website but, as the Herald’s Project Sydney campaign to find a transport solution for the city continues, the Diary must point out an even more glaring error. The substantial entry for Iemma’s predecessor, Bob Carr, who held power for 10 years, lists such achievements as ”cautious, responsible financial management” and an environment legacy including ”more than 300 national parks, and expanded other state reserves through regional forestry agreements”. However, the claim that Carr embarked upon ”a massive infrastructure program” must have been included as a cruel joke.ROVING BRIEFNot to be outdone by Kevin Rudd’s multiple appearances on Rove, the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Julia Gillard is set to appear on another show hosted by Rove McManus, Channel Ten’s Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? The quiz show, which pits adults against primary schoolers, goes to air on Monday, cementing the pint-sized McManus as Federal Labor’s favourite soft media option. Gillard joins an eclectic line-up of celebrities to brave the program, including MasterChef’s Matt ”The Cravat” Preston and the American World Wrestling Entertainment star Big Show.REBA’S REAL DEALReba Meagher’s notorious Coogee apartment may have taken a long time to offload, but there can now be little doubt it was worth the wait. The former NSW health minister, who attracted years of criticism for living in the eastern suburbs enclave while purportedly representing the good people of Cabramatta in Parliament, sold the flat for an impressive $770,000, according to property records. The same records show that Meagher bought the place in 2001 for $425,000, leaving her with a tidy profit.GOT A TIP? Contact [email protected]出售老域名.au or 9282 2179WITH REVVIN’ RUSTYTHE Rabbitohs co-owner and would-be Robin Hood Russell Crowe appears to be adding another feather to his cap as commentator for the V8 Supercars in Bathurst. Crowe is expected to confirm the appointment today alongside several V8 drivers. As a result of the association he will also become the ”face” of a Bathurst 1000 television advertising campaign. The Gladiator actor, who has just wrapped filming on Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood in Britain, is understood to have had enjoyed several meetings with the executive chairman of V8 Supercars, Tony Cochrane, who was keen to sign the star. Yesterday a spokesman for Crowe refused to confirm the deal, offering only that ”all will be revealed” today. The spokesman also kept mum on whether the signing extended to Crowe acting as promoter and commentator for the controversial Telstra 500 V8 race at Sydney Olympic Park in December. The phone company sponsorship could prove a perfect fit for the tempestuous star, who was arrested in New York in 2005 for throwing a phone at a hotel concierge.A BIG WEEKEND FOR MICHAEL O’LOUGHLINThe Sydney Swans’ games record holder, Michael O’Loughlin, will play his last for the club tomorrow. The star full-forward will join the 2005 premiership plater Leo Barry and the champion midfielder Jared Crouch in entering retirement after the clash against Brisbane at the SCG. The three follow a string of senior players to quit the club this year, including Barry Hall and the Irishman Tadhg Kennelly.WITH FESTIVAL FLAG WAVINGTWO years ago the organisers of the Big Day Out drew outrage when they announced they were banning the Australian flag in an effort to dissuade overly patriotic festival goers. This weekend organisers of the Leeds and Reading festivals in Britain are following suit for far more practical reasons – to stop flag bearers from ”restricting the view of the people behind”. The Guardian reported that flags bearing inane messages – ”I love sausages” being one example – were a bit of a problem at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, and in such abundance that they blocked views of the video screens. Some of the signs displayed humour and imagination – there was one for Rolf Harris that read ”Rolf, I think I’m pregnant” – and many were in place merely so people could find their friends in the crowd, but these considerations were not enough to prevent the ban. All that is needed now to ensure an equal experience for those behind the mosh pit is a similar ban on sombreros and bikini-wearing girls sitting on boyfriends’ shoulders.
GERALD RYAN’S spring carnival build-up continues at Rosehill on Saturday with Hus Der Lieften leading another solid team of thoroughbreds.
"It is hard to line them up until they race against the better horses but I think he can measure up," Ryan said on Thursday. "From now on it is going to get tougher so we’ll find out soon enough."
The Rosehill-based trainer described Hus Der Lieften, which came with a price tag of $1.2million, as "a lovely, well-balanced horse with a sensational attitude".
"He copes with everything, nothing bothers him," he said. "The second-dearest horse I’ve had. The first one was Rumbler, he cost $1.5million. He wasn’t much good, sold him at an Inglis [sale] for $12,000, he is standing at stud in China now."
Hus Der Lieften has been to the races three times and is looking to complete a winning hat-track in the CHPRSL Run To The Rose which has attracted a quality field of three-year-olds. Included among them is the Peter Snowden-trained Denman, More Than Great, Romanus, the Victorian Bombay Sling and Queenslander Fear No Other.
Denman has toyed with rivals winning at each of three runs from a spell. The victories have been in Victoria with Snowden eyeing off the group1 Golden Rose at Rosehill in a fortnight’s time. "Denman is coming out of Melbourne so it is hard to line the form up," Ryan said. "More Than Great is coming out of winter form like we are while its stablemate Magic Model has looked impressive."
Ryan reported emerging talent Rothesay, which was due to run in last week’s San Domenico Stakes at Randwick, had overcome a virus after treatment with antibiotics.
"He is back to normal and he’ll run in a ratings race on the 12th of next month and then a fortnight later in the Stan Fox Stakes," Ryan said.
Hus Der Lieften is one of four runners Ryan takes to Rosehill with Ready To Lift and Fangles going round in the Club Liverpool Handicap, while Ahdashim contests the Merrylands RSL Club Handicap.
"Ahdashim has grown over the withers and trialled nice," Ryan said. "He is a hard horse to get fit so he will improve a heap with the run.
"He does have ability, he was a bit stiff in the autumn, ran into a couple of nice horses. He was three times stakes placed and didn’t appreciate wet tracks either."
Ready To Lift, whose list of credits include a Summer Cup, a Christmas Cup and a McKell Cup, hasn’t raced since finishing second in the Brisbane Cup in June. "She has done well, come up good and strong," Ryan said. "She will keep improving with racing but she does look stronger."
Fangles has been somewhat disappointing and is backing up after a 10th behind Murray’s Sun with Blake Shinn in the saddle last Saturday. "Fangles appears to have lost all speed," Ryan said. "Blake said after he rode him at Randwick the horse felt like he was looking for 1400m to 1600m and he will appreciate a firmer track this weekend."
Ryan’s Silver Slipper-winning filly Melito will trial on the course proper at Warwick Farm on Friday.
PEAK teacher and parent groups rallied at Rosehill Racecourse yesterday to protest government plans to allow the publication of school league tables later this year.When the NSW Parliament resumes next week, the Premier, Nathan Rees, will move to overturn legislation that will impose $55,000 fines for the publication of league tables.The Reverend Fred Nile, the independent MP whose support the Government will need to pass the amendment, addressed the rally.Instead of telling the audience what he thought they wanted to hear, Mr Nile indicated he would support the Government. He later told the Herald he was ”opposed to any censorship of the media”.”If I support removing the ban then the media should not abuse it,” he said.He was considering imposing some control on the format of student test data. ”You can’t compare a wealthy Sydney school with an Aboriginal school,” he said.Dr John DeCourcy, from the Catholic education diocese of Parramatta, said league tables had led to the distortion of national test results in Britain and the United States and now threatened to undermine the credibility of national literacy and numeracy testing here.”We are in favour of transparency, we are against league tables,” he said.The NSW Parents and Citizens Federation spokesman, Steve Carpenter, said governments were using children as a ”political tool”.”We don’t want league tables … We don’t want to devalue and demoralise our young learners by saying this one is a winner and this one is a loser.”A spokesman for the NSW Primary Principals Association, Graham Doust, said league tables had narrowed the school curriculum in other countries. He said subjects including art and sports, which encouraged creativity and teamwork, had disappeared in many British schools.Dick Shearman, the general secretary of the Independent Education Union, representing teachers at independent and Catholic schools, said league tables would simply reflect each school’s socio-economic status. ”There is a concern that good schools will be stigmatised,” he said.
ONLY a racehorse trainer perhaps but Pat Quinn was the epitome of what the Australian male was and should be.
Trapped between a horse and rail of a stall at Canterbury on Wednesday, hardly an unusual situation, Quinn, 63, took the longest count of all in an ambulance on the way to hospital.
Much praise has been written and said concerning Quinn, all justified. Throughout my time on the turf I have never heard a bad word about him.
It wasn’t because he was a stand-out character or colourful racing personality, more his stability and maintaining what is difficult for so many – being a good bloke. Quinn was the same when, seemingly still a kid, he worked for Bert Lyell at Rosehill. He had a ready smile, was only too happy to help and in later decades was one of those people it was always good to see on the race course.
When Theo Green, grand master of apprentice jockeys, had a spell, he transferred Malcolm Johnston, then the hottest property in racing, to Quinn, testimony to the high regard in which he held him.
"I was with Pat for six months, we had some good winners including Go Mod and Top Charger," Johnston recalled this week. "He was a wonderful guy and great horseman. Pat was so precise and careful, with such a great understanding about what he was doing, that it just seems impossible he could go the way he did. Trainers get in that situation millions of times and come out unscathed."
After Rosehill, Quinn went to Belmont Park where his expertise shone pre-training for Woodlands Stud. More recently he prepared a team at Port Macquarie where he has been developing apprentice Allan Chau about whom he was very enthusiastic.
Ironically, Quinn won the Premiere Stakes, run at Rosehill this Saturday, with Legal Agent in 1996. – Pat Quinn’s funeral service will be held at St Agnes Catholic Church in Port Macquarie on Tuesday, from 11am.
THE Opposition has blamed pressure from the ”leviathan” Defence Department for the Howard government’s creation of the fatally flawed Australian Military Court.And the shadow attorney-general, George Brandis, has blamed the then defence minister, Robert Hill, for giving in to pressure from Defence to leave the military justice system under direct Defence control.The High Court ruled on Wednesday that the Australian Military Court was constitutionally invalid, casting doubt on more than 170 convictions of service staff tried over the past two years.To deal with the problem, the Government will return to the military court model recommended by a bipartisan senate committee in 2005 and rejected by the Coalition government.Senator Brandis said a mistake was made when the original system of courts martial was replaced with the military court in 2006. He argued that Labor – then in Opposition – had supported the government in passing the legislation creating the court.In fact, the Attorney-General, Robert McClelland – at that time the shadow attorney-general – had argued in Parliament that the planned court would be unconstitutional.The challenge to the validity of the military court was brought by Brian George Lane, a former navy seaman who was charged with indecently assaulting a superior at the end of a day of golf and drinking in 2005. Mr Lane, 40, denies the allegation.The Defence Minister, John Faulkner, wants legislation ready by the time Parliament resumes on September 7 to re-establish the old courts martial system as a stopgap until a new court can be created. The new system is likely to be what the original Senate committee wanted: a part of the Federal Court system with judges with military experience.
WHEN Kristina Keneally was asked by the Herald last year if she had ambitions to be premier, her answer was revealing.”Someone once said to me that if any member of Parliament tells you no, they are lying,” she said.If one takes that candid admission seriously, it is hard to be convinced by yesterday’s emphatic denials – delivered in the face of rampant leadership speculation – that she has her eye on the top job.But if she does aspire to lead NSW, Keneally – who attended the same Catholic high school in Toledo, Ohio, as Tom Cruise’s wife, Katie Holmes – faces several stumbling blocks. The biggest, most agree, is her pronounced American accent.In 1999, Keneally manned the phones in the Ryde campaign office of the former deputy premier John Watkins. When Walt Secord, the former premier Bob Carr’s director of communications and now the Treasurer’s chief of staff, rang the office, it was Keneally who answered.Secord spoke to her briefly before being asked to be put through to one of the campaign directors. ”Get that woman with an American accent off the telephones,” Secord said.”Well, I got off the phones that day, but today I have the floor,” Keneally said in her inaugural speech to Parliament.Her accent may not have stopped her winning the southern Sydney seat of Heffron in 2003 after a bitter preselection battle with her predecessor, Deirdre Grusovin, but inexperience aside, her twang may well be blocking her path to the top job.Many in the Labor Party, including her supporters and her enemies, are convinced that the slight softening of her accent can only be attributed to elocution lessons. But Keneally has repeatedly denied she is having any such training.That is hard to believe, given that a senior Government minister is known to have warned repeatedly that her accent is a problem.A staunch Catholic, Keneally (maiden name Kerscher) was born in Las Vegas to an Australian mother and American father. She lived for a short while in Colorado before her family settled in Ohio, where they still live.Keneally was educated at the Notre Dame Academy where she knew Katie Holmes, Toledo’s most famous daughter.Holmes’s dad was her high school basketball coach and the movie star’s older sister, Holly, was one of her friends and teammates.She went on to study at the Catholic University of Dayton, Ohio, where she dabbled in student politics and admitted in 2002 to a ”brief flirtation” with the Republican Party during her teenage years.Keneally met her husband, Ben, nephew of the author Tom Keneally, in 1991 when they were in Poland for World Youth Day. After a long-distance relationship that survived on phone calls and letters until she moved to Australia in 1994, they married in 1996.She surrendered her American citizenship in 2000 so she could become an Australian and joined the Labor Party the same year, following Ben and his family into the ALP fold.Three years later, she was in Parliament. Keneally, who is often observed applying and reapplying lip gloss during question time, has immaculately manicured red acrylic nails and a stylish bobbed haircut. She is slim and striking, popular with men, but less so with female colleagues who are never short of catty remarks.”She’s just so up herself without any good reason,” one senior female MP said. But other colleagues are more forgiving.”She’s green, she’s untested but at least she isn’t Nathan,” one senior MP said.Questions of a leader in waitingResidents in Kristina Keneally’s seat of Heffron were shown a picture of their MP and asked:1. Do you know who this woman is?2. Would you vote for her as premier?3. Would her American accent put you off?Glenda HatchPAGEWOOD1. Yes.2. Yes, I certainly think she would be a good premier. She is very active in the local community, always looking for ways to help people, particularly seniors. I think she’s got enough experience for the job. I don’t like Frank Sartor or John Della Bosca, so she is the best out of the three. I was surprised no one else has been mentioned. I thought someone would have come out of the woodwork.3. It doesn’t bother me at all.Dennis RobertsonMASCOT1. Yes.2. Yes, I would vote for her. I’m not really political though, unless it’s in the media, so I don’t know much about her track record.3. I don’t think it’s an issue that she has an American background. She is an Aussie, and that’s all that counts.Fred PerryPAGEWOOD1. Yes.2. Yes, I think she would be better than Nathan Rees. He is a bit of a slick and not honest with people. He talks his way out of things. She would be a good premier. You’ve got to give her a go. Nathan Rees has had plenty of time and things don’t seem to be getting done.3. No, it’s not a problem.Jemima BrentnallWATERLOO1. No.2. Yes. I think fresh blood would be good. I think [Rees] should be replaced. Some things are getting swept under the rug. Female politicians are stronger and starting to speak up. It’s now more equal to have women in politics. Her image looks pretty good [after being shown a photo] also.3. It doesn’t matter.Patricia SteeleBOTANY1. Yes.2. Yes. I think she would be reasonably good. She probably doesn’t have enough experience, but she couldn’t be any worse than the current premier.3. She’s still got her accent and I do like it. It’s going slowly, and it would be disappointing if she lost it altogether.
The first Sydney sighting of Zeljko Ranogajec was at Ada Sutton’s pub, The Vulcan, in Ultimo.
Ada, folklore has it, made her pile out of sly grog and did some punting for Darby Munro. More importantly, The Vulcan was a brisk three-minute walk from the sporting department on the fifth floor of The Sun-Herald building in Broadway. Mind you, it was not the first watering stop but if you were parked down that way it broke up the trip nicely.
Long after Ada had departed, word filtered through that a punter, outlaying huge amounts on the tote, was working out of The Vulcan. Lured by the promise of an extra percentage edge big-time Sydney tote punters were striking cosy deals with PubTAB licensees. The publican at The Vulcan, Richard Sharp, told The Gadfly (in The Sun-Herald) that "one of these guys tried to work out of my place. We had the fraud squad check him out. He doesn’t offer the publican a commission, he just wants a place to stay. What he wants to do is pick up the 2per cent [of turnover that PubTAB operators earn], but he doesn’t offer the publican that, he just offers you rent. He offered me $650 per week which is just bloody peanuts … he’s a mathematical genius, they reckon, but I wouldn’t touch him. So he’s down the road running a credit facility. He is punting big … I hear turning over $700,000 to $800,000".
That was Zeljko – pronounced Jelko and referred to by me previously with the J – back in 1993. He is now the biggest punter in the world with a reputed turnover of $1billion a year. Computer skills have been a factor in his triumph but so, too, has anonymity.
Looking at most major plungers of the past many have been head-liners but hardly ended up on the bountiful side of the bottom line. In fact, some were last seen wearing a sandshoe and a gallosher.
Earlier this week, however, Z made a rare visit to newsprint. Street Talk in The Australian Financial Review reported that the sale of Tote Tasmania "is believed to have attracted the interest of reclusive betting billionaire Zeljko Ranogajec and his associate, Tasmanian art dealer David Walsh. It is thought the pair have placed a bid below that of Tabcorp and Tatts Group but will be considered because Ranogajec’s wagers amount to a huge proportion of Tote Tasmania’s turnover".
Seeking information on Z, the only real result came out of PuntingAce出售老域名 which reports Z "shuns publicity, only occasionally poking his head from the darkness, similar in style to the none-too-often appearances of that beast who hangs in Loch Ness".
Hobart-born in 1961, the son of Croatian immigrants, Z had, going on sketchy reports, "a natural intellect, a way with numbers rarely seen and memory that was seemingly photographic …"
Still, to get the real insight into Z you have to research an American, Bill Benter, and the late Alan Woods, one of ours. They discovered the river of gold that flowed from the Hong Kong tote, but also maintained a code of silence. Like Z, Benter and Woods were card counters and warned out of casinos, high-rollers who had the audacity to win too often. Wood, aged 62, died last year and PuntingAce出售老域名 estimated his wealth at $670million accumulated from a standing start at a blackjack table. Insiders reckon it was more in the vicinity of $1billion.
Consider the figure. Bob Ingham, bolstered by the family chicken business, was given the $1billion tag by Business Review Weekly after he sold the Woodlands Stud equine empire to Darley.
For Woods "racing was nothing more than a mathematical equation to be solved with all players nothing more than a never-ending string of numbers," opined PuntingAce出售老域名. He played the stock exchange but with not quite the success of horses. Obviously it wasn’t as clean or predictable. Woods often bragged that he had not set foot on a racecourse for more than 20 years. Word has leaked about his end-of-season soiree for his staff in exotic locations where he really came out of his shell, performing a favourite party trick to the chant of "Go, Alan, go."
Research on Benter gives more insight into their winning ways.
"His secret was software," maintained Smart Gambler. "It scores each horse on 120 different handicapping factors then estimates its probability of winning and calculates the appropriate amount to bet. One reason Hong Kong is such a favourite with gamblers is that the same 1000 or so horses compete against each other throughout the season."
And the only direct quote that could be located from the three came from Benter in Smart Gambler: "If we do make money the money has come from somewhere? Well, yes, the general public loses a somewhat high ratio."
Which means sucker money aplenty in Hong Kong pools.
Generally Z seems to work successfully on a smaller margin and has even been known to play the trots in Portugal. "Anywhere he deems the odds are in his favour," PuntingAce出售老域名 pontificated.
"He has a staff of over 20 who watch videos, study form and make assessments." Once regarded as a "major, major player" in the United States, he has subsequently dropped off there. One well-known racing man after lunching with him said Zeljko was obsessed about people "robbing" him.
Yet he doesn’t orchestrate plunges or sort out races. His style isn’t based so much on big wins but returns of 1-2per cent, in the opinion of PuntingAce出售老域名.
Rebates received worldwide are a major factor to an incredible dividend.
Which is where the Tasmanian tote comes in. He gets a considerable rebate there, a point that has irked the NSW Government when the benefit of an Australia-wide pool is mooted. Tasmania investments go into the Victoria pool but Tabcorp is far more amicable to Z than the old NSW TAB. He rents office space from them in Ultimo, ironically not far from The Vulcan, and is regarded as a "Premium Punter". No doubt if he ran an end-of-season bash they would be only too happy to chant: "Go, Zeljko, go."
Me, I don’t envy these computer boffins their bottom line. I wouldn’t trade numbers for names and a cheer for Makybe Diva in her third Melbourne Cup or Sunline refusing to lay down in Hong Kong. Remember the song from High Society: "Who wants be a billionaire?"
THE Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, called for the end to the history and culture wars yesterday, but wound up starting a new fight with his predecessor, John Howard.Launching the first volume of Tom Keneally’s Australians: Origins to Eureka, Mr Rudd called for a reappraisal of the way the nation viewed its past.In a pointed reference to Mr Howard’s time in office, he said it was time ”to move beyond the arid intellectual debates of the history wars and the culture wars of recent years”.”Time to leave behind us the polarisation that began to infect every discussion of our nation’s past. To go beyond the so-called black-armband view that refused to confront some hard truths about our past, as if our forebears were all men and women of absolute nobility, without spot or blemish.”But Mr Howard accused Mr Rudd of failing to grasp the basic concepts of the history debate.”I can understand why he wants to move on from the debate because he clearly doesn’t understand the intellectual framework of it,” Mr Howard told the Herald.As prime minister Mr Howard often referred to the ”black-armband” view of history when rationalising why he did not believe in issuing an apology to the stolen generations.Yesterday he said that Mr Rudd had misunderstood the meaning of the term. ”It’s the opposite of what he said it was,” Mr Howard said. ”The black armband view was that our past was filled with unutterable shame.”Mr Rudd’s office said later that the Prime Minister was using the term to refer to those who were guilty of glossing over Australia’s past blemishes.But Mr Howard also took aim at Mr Rudd’s other assertion. ”It’s never, in my view, arid or unintellectual to debate Australia’s past as well as Australia’s present or Australia’s future. My view is that we should never be unwilling to debate. The whole idea of free intellectual inquiry encourages us to constantly debate our past and interpret our past.”Mr Rudd said there should not be one single, official narrative of Australia’s history. But neither should there just be an interpretative view of history.A ”core chronology of events” was essential for understanding the nation’s history, but there should be more beyond that.”It’s time we called a truce to the history wars between a straight narrative history that brooks no contradictions, and an extreme relativism that is only about interpretation and not about events.”Just because Australia did not grow out of revolution or war did not mean its history was boring or ”second order”.”Just as not every great film is necessarily an action movie,” he said, ”not every great history is a story of revolution and destruction.”Mr Rudd said it was time to turn the page and ”embrace a balanced, reflective but positive view of our past that both informs and inspires our future”.