Home' Greymouth Star : January 15th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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Thursday, January 15, 2015
The Westland Racing Club completed
the four-day West Coast New Year
racing circuit in style yesterday, enjoying
the continued fine weather and drawing
a weekday crowd of 1000, while the tote
was in demand both on and off-course.
The club carded a competitive seven-
race programme, compared with eight
last year, yet patrons still pushed through
$80,072 ($80,438 last year), while off-
course betting was well up as TAB
investors outlaid $508,999, compared to
$484,445 a year ago.
“It has been a great and intense four-
day circuit and we rounded off with a
bang,” club secretary Colin Stevenson
“ We went with seven good fields and
we got the right results. I don’t think we
could have wished for better. A terrific
day all round, a great crowd, good
weather, great racing and a very good
turnover. It completes what has been
a very successful West Coast circuit,”
Northern galloper Noble Warrior,
trained at Waiuku by Grant Shaw
and ridden yesterday by leading
southern rider Chris Johnson, took
out the $20,000 Birchfields Coal and
Landscaping Hokitika Businesses Cup.
Noble Warrior has fashioned an
impressive record at Hokitika, having
now won three races and placed second
twice from just five appearances on the
The hardy eight-year-old galloper
and Johnson were registering back-to-
back wins in the feature, and with a top
weight of 62kg had to call on all reser ves
Johnson settled the stayer midfield
on the outside during the running and
when asked for an effort over the final
stages the horse responded.
“ We were parked early but got a good
sit, one out and one back,” Johnson said.
“ It was close but he kept grinding and
pulled out enough — a good, tough win.”
The eight-year-old Le Bec Fin gelding
is raced by Grant Shaw ’s wife Tana,
who races the horse in partnership with
Wally Noble, of Whangarei.
“It was always the plan to win this race
again but we also wanted to win the
Kumara Nuggets, but he didn’t like the
track on Saturday,” Shaw said.
“He is a bit arrogant and does have
ability, and Chris ( Johnson) gets on well
with him. He’s had a busy campaign and
I’ll take him home now and give him a
well deser ved spell.”
The in-form Riverton visitor Haylee
Maree, trained by Kevin Tyler, was
successful in the other feature race, the
$20,000 West Coast Scrap and Steel
Miss Scenicland Stakes, with rider and
part-owner Rebecca Black in the saddle.
Black races the four-year-old in
partnership with Tyler, having purchased
the horse for $1000 at the South Island
Haylee Maree was shooting for a
hat-trick of wins leading into the
Miss Scenicland Stakes, having won
at Invercargill and Omoto prior to the
fillies and mares feature.
The daughter of Le Bec Fin showed
raw ability yesterday and continues to
build on an impressive record of four
wins and a second placing from seven
Rebecca Black said things did not
really go to plan, but in the end Hayley
Maree found plenty and kept fighting
when asked for an effort.
“ We had no option but to settle back as
I wanted to be on the outside, but David
(Walsh) had other ideas and tried to
keep us in,” Black said.
“Down the back we were wide but I set
my mare alight and was challenging on
the turn. She had to dig deep and had
to scrap for the win as the other horse
wasn’t giving it away.”
Haylee Maree grabbed a brave
front-running Elusive Tracy in the
shadows of the post, with favourite
Duchessofcambridge running on in
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Rebecca Black gets Hayley Maree home ahead of Elusive Tracy in the $20,000 West Coast Scrap and Steel Miss Scenicland Stakes,
one of two feature races at Hokitika yesterday.
of the Westport News
Westport man Ellis Palmer
turned 90 this week, but that will
not stop him from doing the
things he loves to do, including
organising softball games and
driving Westport’s wheelchair bus.
Born in Westport in 1925, Mr
Palmer grew up on the family
farm in Excelsior Road (then
Soapworks Road). As a young
adult, he had an important job
in the flax harvesting industry, so
became part of the Home Guard
service for about 12 months
during World War Two.
In 1949 he started an agricultural
contracting business, which he
ran up until retirement in 1990.
However, he never really retired.
He still does conventional baleage
work for a number of lifestyle
blocks around town to earn some
‘ beer money ’.
In 1947 he became involved with
softball, which he chose to play
over cricket because it gave players
more frequent opportunity to bat.
Soon after, he began coaching
women’s teams and umpiring
women’s tournaments around the
He still has the blazer he wore
while umpiring in the 1950s. His
commitment to promoting softball
in Westport always remained
strong, even with its popularity
falling in recent decades.
In the 1980s, over 400 people
played softball in Westport, he
said. It was currently nowhere near
In addition to his commitment
to softball, Mr Palmer is a
dedicated driver of the local
wheelchair bus, which takes
wheelchair-bound people into
town to do their shopping.
He said he would continue
to drive the bus for as long as
‘common sense’ prevailed.
The bus was easy to drive and
in many ways was easier than a
He drove it about once a week,
on a roster with five to six other
He loved driving and getting out
and about because it kept his mind
and body active and healthy.
“If I didn’t, I’d be like a drone.”
He acknowledged good genetics
might also have something to do
with his health.
His father made it to 96, and
three of his aunties got to over
100. He also had a 93-year-old
Entries are up 30% for the
Mountain Man and Goat races to
be run this weekend.
After the inaugural races last
year, they have an international
taste to them this time around,
Denmark, Holland and France
contesting the Goat Race.
In the Mountain Man event,
Greymouth man Seamus Meikle,
a previous winner of the Coast to
Coast two-day event, is favoured
to take line honours.
Manson, fourth in the Coast
to Coast longest day event last
year, is also in with a chance,
along with another Christchurch
entrant Nathan Peterson, who
was second in the event last year.
Organiser Phil Lemon said
Peterson was eager for the
winner’s title on Saturday.
Two Nelson men, Dan Bocuh
and his training partner Jeremy
McKenzie, are also chances.
The Mountain Man race starts
from the Cobden tiphead at
6.30am on Saturday. Competitors
run from there to Jellyman Park,
jump on their road bikes and
head to Barrytown, then run over
Croesus Track, mountainbike
ride from the track car park to the
Grey River, then kayak down the
river for 25km to the finish line at
the Blaketown lagoon.
Ten teams have entered the
Mountain Man event, with a
mix of locals and visitors and
ex-and-current Coast to Coast
The Goat Race over the
Croesus Track starts at 10.30am
at the former All Nations Hotel
and finishes 25km later at the
Lemon said last year’s winner,
Ben Aynsley, was in the line-up
but an injury he received late last
year would probably see him “take
it easy ” on Saturday.
Former Christchurch man, Sam
Hawker, now based in Perth, has
competed in a number of ultra-
marathon type events and was
tipped to take line honours.
The West Coast primary
boys’ cricket team got their first
competition point in an overall
draw with Dunedin Metro,
in Blenheim, at the South
Island Primary Schools Cricket
West Coast, with a new
opening pair of Caleb Reeves and
Sam Anderson, got the innings
off to an ideal start, seeing off the
Coast was sitting comfortably
at 31 without loss after 10 overs.
However, when Anderson was
caught at gully, the wheels started
to come off with 50 for six.
With Ryan Sheehan at the
crease, playing yet another strong
innings, West Coast limped to
108 all out.
Sheehan was supported well
by Harrison Calder, who held
in long enough for Sheehan to
make his maiden half-century.
The West Coast bowling attack
started strongly, with Matthew
Robbins dismissing a D unedin
opener for a duck.
The assignment got tougher for
Coast, with wickets few and far
Dunedin took the first innings
points, cruising past the West
Coast total just after tea. D ue to
time restraints the second innings
were abandoned and the points
Today West Coast were to
take on North Otago in a match
which they are targeting.
Scorecard: West Coast all out
108 (R Sheehan 52, C Reeves
14, B Greenall 4-13). D unedin
Metro 260 for two (T Wilson
103 (not out), H Biggs 64).
West Coast primary schools cricket team opener Caleb Reeves
defends a delivery in the opening stages of the match against
Dunedin Metro, yesterday.
Coast in draw
PICTURE: Westport News
Ellis Palmer, 90, with some softball gear at Craddock
90 and no plans
to slow down
of the Herald on Sunday
It has been a long time since a New Zealand
player lost a match at the Heineken Open
— a nd walked off to a standing ovation.
Michael Venus’ performances of the last
two days have given fans a feel of what it
must have like when Brett Steven was at his
pomp in the 1990s, a hometown boy in the
thick of the action at Stanley Street.
New Zealanders have rarely been
competitive here over the last decade.
Most matches were predictable — some
resistance before falling away. Venus might
have lost — 7 -5 6-4 in just under 75 minutes
yesterday to Lucas Pouille — but showed
plenty of fight and skill against an opponent
on top of his game.
He rallied well, forced break-point
opportunities and ser ved well, but Pouille
did everything just a bit better.
“It’s not a huge gap but it ’s little things
and doing them consistently well over a long
time,” Venus said.
“That ’s the difference.”
Pouille is ranked 136 but looks headed
At the Paris Masters in October, he beat
Ivo Karlovic (world No 27) and Fabio
Fognini (20), and caught the eye of Roger
“He has a beautiful technique, like all
French players,” Federer said of Pouille.
“He knows how to do everything. He
knows how to ser ve. He knows how to go
to the net.”
Venus had some windows of opportunity
but they were quickly slammed shut.
The 20-year-old Frenchman played an
exceptional volley when facing a set point
in the first set, and came up with perfect
plays to defuse other break points.
“I had a couple of opportunities but, when
I got chances, he didn’t give me a chance to
get in the points,” Venus said.
The New Zealander — and the capacity
crowd — were waiting for the Frenchman
to falter, but it simply did not happen.
He played near-flawless tennis for most
of the match, coming up with the correct
options at the right times.
Venus found out “around lunchtime”
that he was facing Pouille, after fifth seed
Tommy Robredo succumbed to injury.
Maybe the Spaniard, coming in cold,
would have been a better match than Pouille,
who was coming off three tough qualifying
On the negative side, Venus was guilty of
being impatient on some big points, going
for winners from improbable situations. He
also switched off momentarily in both sets,
and was instantly punished.
“I played a loose game at 5-5 (in the first
set),” Venus said.
“I’d love to have it back but I can’t change
it. There was another game in the second
set (with) some decision-making on a few
points ... you lose a game and (then you are
fighting to get back in there).”
Venus has given himself a great platform
for 2015, and reminded New Zealanders
that men’s tennis does exist in this
“There’s been a lot of reaction,” Venus
said, who on Tuesday became the first New
Zealander to beat an overseas players at the
tournament in more than a decade. “My
phone was going off (after the win). I think
it shows the up-and coming kids that it’s not
that far off, that it can be done. I felt more
relaxed on the court (yesterday) ... almost
like a monkey off the back.”
The world No 426 is expected to rise
almost 50 places in the rankings, into the
Alex McKinnon’s recovery from
spinal trauma has continued with the
Newcastle back-rower standing for the
first time since suffering the injury in an
NRL game in March last year.
McKinnon is continuing his recovery
on the Gold Coast, with fiancee Teigan
Power, and the Knights released a
statement yesterday with the update on
“I remain on the Gold Coast, where
I have been for approximately three
months as I continue rehabilitation at
Making Strides,” McKinnon said.
“I am in the final stages of my current
rehabilitation programme on the Gold
Coast. When aided to stand up out of
my chair, I am now able to stand for a
short amount of time with assistance.
“I am set to return to Newcastle in the
coming weeks to commence my new role
with the Knights. Thank you as always,
for the well wishes and encouragement. ”
Earlier yesterday new Knights coach
Rick Stone told 2KY ’s Big Sports
Breakfast that McKinnon stood by
himself, but he has since clarified those
comments. Stone said McKinnon
continued to be an inspiration to the
Newcastle club. McKinnon has spoken
of his desire to walk again. — AAP
Mountain Man and Goat entries up
of the New Zealand Herald
Star shooter Maria
Tutaia is set to return to
the court for the Silver
Ferns next week after
proving her fitness ahead
of the Oceania Netball
Series in Fiji.
Tutaia has been
sidelined since August
after sustaining a
foot injury during
the Ferns disastrous
campaign, missing the
Constellation Cup series
against Australia and
England’s tour of New
Zealand late last year.
The shooting ace was
only taking limited part in
Mystics training sessions
in December, but Tutaia
made strong progress at
this week’s squad camp in
Auckland and the Ferns
medical staff have deemed
her ready to take the court
in next week’s Tri-Series
with Fiji and Samoa.
Tutaia is one of five
changes to the team that
contested the England
series, with the national
selectors opting to
give the likes of Ellen
Halpenny (shooter), and
midcourters Camilla Lees
and Shannon Francois
another chance to prove
their value in the Ferns
environment after being
unwanted for the end of
They replace Cathrine
Latu, Ameliaranne Wells,
Liana Leota and Joline
Henry in the side, with
the latter not considered
for selection due to injury.
Rookie defender Phoenix
Karaka also comes into
the team in the place of
Silver Ferns coach
said fitness and
conditioning has been a
key focus for the Silver
Ferns squad at the January
camp and those who have
put the work in have been
“It was a tough selection
but this team comprises
of those players in the
best physical condition
to compete in three test
matches at this time of
The Ferns test line-up
leaves for Fiji on Saturday,
with the rest of the squad
to remain in camp in
Auckland to continue
working on their strength
and conditioning. The
group includes Silver
Ferns skipper Casey
Kopua, who is said to be
making strong progress
with her recovery from a
serious knee injury.
Silver Ferns.— Laura
Katrina Grant (vice-
captain), Jodi Brown,
Maria Tutaia, Ellen
Halpenny, Bailey Mes,
Camilla L ees, Grace
Rasmussen, Leana de
Bruin, Phoenix Karaka,
Kayla Cullen. — N ZME
to return for
NZer puts up good fight
A repentant Ben Flower
wants to meet Lance
Hohaia and say ‘thank
you’ for holding no grudge
after he knocked out the
New Zealander with
double punches in the
Super League grand final
The Wigan prop has
spoken of his devastation
after becoming the first
player to be sent off in a
Super League grand final.
The 27-year-old Welsh
international is halfway
through a six-month ban
imposed for punching
the Kiwi stand-off during
the opening minutes of
the Warriors’ 14-6 defeat
by St Helens in last
October’s title decider at
Old Trafford. Speaking
for the first time since
the incident, Flower said
he was taken aback by
his own actions and the
furore that followed.
“I think about it every
day,” Flower told Sky
Sports News. “If I could
take it back, I would,
every day of the week.”
Flower admits he was
“pumped up and ready
to go” before kick-off.
Having punched Hohaia
in the face, F lower
stunned the 77,000 crowd
and millions of television
views by repeating the act
while his opponent lay
helpless on the ground.
“I think the frustration
of knocking on, then
getting hit from the side
made me react in a way
I’ve never reacted before,”
he said. “ The game was so
intense and I’ve naturally
just thrown a punch. I’ve
got no recollection of
throwing the second. I
don’t know why I did.”
breaks his silence
McKinnon standing again
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