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Barnsey, not burnt rubber, saved the day at Homebush

V8 SUPERCARS Australia should send a big thank you to Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss.Dissecting the admittedly questionable crowd figures from last weekend’s Taxpayers’ 500 at Homebush Bay suggests the reformed Cold Chisel on Saturday evening at ANZ Stadium played a major role in pushing that day’s crowd numbers to a three-day peak.Patrons who bought even the cheapest Saturday ticket to the car races could attend the concert. It was a good deal for those who like a bit of Barnsey with their tyre smoke.The crowd numbers fell away on Sunday when there were no rock acts to enhance the V8 show.But due credit: the spectator turn-out over three days was strong and largely enthusiastic. But ”official” figures of 184,000-odd for the three days beggars belief. V8 Supercars Australia has a bit of prior form on this score and old habits don’t die easily. While the hype machine was going full tilt, the real numbers of payers attending are unknown.Attendance numbers inevitably include officials, team crews, VIPs, showboating politicians, media, cleaners, stall holders, ticket collectors and, we can guess, plenty of phantoms and freebies.Officially, the crowd number dreamed up for Saturday was more than 70,000. Aerial footage from Channel Seven suggested many of those people were cunningly disguised as empty grandstand seats.The try-hard cheer squads from News Limited and Seven would have us believe the temporary circuit was a stroke of genius, the racing out of this world, and the pollies who committed $30 million of our money to a Queensland-based business were men of great vision rather than gullible fools.There was unqualified praise for the sheer genius of Mark Skaife’s track design and the fantastic racing it provided. Not quite. The track was created from a bunch of existing streets. The racing was claustrophobic on a track too narrow in parts. The surface broke up badly in places. Not Skaife’s fault. It’s just the way it was.Two months ago, at Mount Panorama, we saw proper full-tilt motor racing on the best circuit in the country. But Homebush, like most street layouts, is a scrappy compromise.On Monday, the toadies of News Ltd went into hyperdrive. Ignoring the basics of numeracy and suggesting there were 184,856 ”payers” at Homebush. The tax department will love that one.
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Turnbull proves why she’s no.1

Leading Bathurst reinswoman Amanda Turnbull driving No Ah Jack to win the Daily Liberal Cup at Dubbo Paceway on Saturday night. Photo: AMY GRIFFITHSLeading Bathurst reinswoman Amanda Turnbull proved why she is one of the most tactically proficient drivers in the sport with a heady drive on No Ah Jack in the Daily Liberal Pacing Cup (2120m) on Saturday night.
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After starting from barrier one No Ah Jack ($1.80 fav) was able to hold the lead in the early stages before Turnbull proceeded to apply the anchors.

After recording a lead time of 40.7s she was able to negotiate the first quarter of the last mile in 32.8s before jogging through the second section in 32.3s.

When the challengers started to make their moves with a lap to go Turnbull increased her own speed, allowing the Grinfromeartoear (USA) x La Saint gelding to slip through the third quarter in 29.0s.

From there it was a one-act affair as Turnbull kept No Ah Jack’s mind on the job and he proceeded to beat Assault Corps NZ (Ashlee Siejka, $9.20) by two-and-a-half metres with Aces Reign (Mick Carroll, $29.20) in third place.

The time for the 2120m journey was 2:43.5 with the mile rate a leisurely 2:04.1.

The win was the first of a winning double for Turnbull, who also drove four winners at the track the previous Sunday.

“The draw helped a lot tonight and we got a good run,” she said.

“I tried to get as easy a run as I could and sprint home and it worked out perfectly.

“I was pretty comfortable once he got to the front so easily and he doesn’t like letting horses get past him so I was always pretty confident he would hold them out when they challenged.”

Turnbull’s second winner came in the second race on the evening when Just A Blue Chip ($1.80 fav) held off a determined challenge from stablemate Not So Bad Lea (Steve Turnbull, $12.40) in the Laminex Industries Pacing Cup.

Currabubula-trained gelding Cobla Mickaroy (Josh Osborn, $4.70) set the early speed and appeared to have the opposition chasing however, the Turnbulls took off three wide with a lap to go and as the field approached home it became apparent it would be master v apprentice in the run home.

In the end it was Amanda who beat Steve in a driving finish, with a half-neck the official margin on the line.

The winner recorded a time of 2:37.6 with a mile rate of 1:59.6.

The roles were reversed later in the evening when Steve Turnbull drove Royal Surprise ($1.80 fav) to a half-head victory over Runaway Red (Amanda Turnbull, $4.90) in the Prime7 Karloo Mick 4/5yo Championship (2120m).

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Dubbo Church service times

St Brigid’s Catholic Church
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Brisbane Street, Ph: 6882 4233

Holy Thursday 21 April: 7.30pm Mass of Lord’s Supper

8.30pm Agape Meal in St Brigid’s Hall

8.30pm-10pm Prayer of Watching before Blessed Sacrament

Good Friday 22 April: 3pm Celebrations of the Lord’s Passion

Holy Saturday 23 April: 10am Morning Prayer of Waiting

7pm Easter Vigil

Easter Sunday 24 April: 9am Mass

6pm Mass

Easter Monday and ANZAC Day 25 April: 8.30am Mass

Easter Tuesday 26 April: 8.30am Mass

St Laurence’s Catholic Church

Fitzroy Street, South Dubbo, Ph: 6882 4233

Easter Sunday April 24: 7.30am Mass

Jehovah’s Witness

Chifley Drive, Ph: 6884 1443

Easter Sunday 23 April: 10am

Seventh Day Adventist

Corner Cobra and Sterling streets, Ph: 6885 1151

Easter Saturday 23 April: 11am

Wesley Uniting Church

Church Street, Ph: 6885 4200

Maundy Thursday 21 April: 7pm

Good Friday 22 April: 8am

Easter Sunday 24 April: 9.30am

Riverside Church Christian Outreach Centre

Thompson Street, Ph: 6884 5540

Good Friday 22 April: 9.30am

Easter Sunday 23 April: 10am

Dubbo Community Church of Christ

Lot 1, Mitchell Highway, East of Orana Mall, Ph: 6881 8816

Good Friday 22 April: 10am

Easter Sunday 24 April: 10am

Cornerstone Community

101R Bunglegumbie Road,

Ph: 6884 5718

Easter Sunday 24 April: 5.45am

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RUFFLED FEATHERS: Nothing to squawk about for Cockatoos

Narromine’s Luke Harding scores for the Gorillas during last year’s Blowes Cup grand final. Harding and the NSW Country Cockatoos are yet to win a match in 2011.Just a year after they were the unbeatable force of provincial amateur rugby union, the Country Cockatoos are wondering where their next victory is coming from after losing 20-15 against Queensland Country at Ballymore on Saturday night.
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It was the second loss on the trot for the Cockatoos side, which features Narromine pair Luke Harding and Lachie McCutcheon, after they were knocked over 41-38 against ACT a week earlier but unlike that match, there were few positives to draw on for co-coach Col Jeffs.

“It was pretty ordinary. You wouldn’t believe we were the same side that played the ACT,” Jeffs said.

“We had a couple of blows before the match with [hooker] Tala Vea and [winger] Chris Jack missing out through injury, Tala got hurt during training on Friday.

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“In saying that though we had the depth to cover those losses but we came up well short.”

In a game that was a polar opposite of the attacking feast served up seven days prior in the ACT clash, only one try was scored and it proved the difference for Queensland who scored the rest of their points through penalties.

For the Cockatoos, all their points came from the boot of David Kennedy.

Playing at one of the spiritual homes of the sport in Australia in a Super 15 blockbuster curtain-raiser, the home side came out and played accordingly while the visitors failed to match that intensity.

“We were very poor in the first 20 minutes, we took poor options and continually turned the ball over,” Jeffs said.

“We had a good opportunity late in the half when Queensland had two players yellow carded but even with 15 on 13 we couldn’t get across the line until right on half-time and that try was disallowed.”

The incident Jeffs referred to surrounded Hollis, the clever half-back getting over from close range only to have his bid for a try turned down, the referee ruling that he had been held up.

It was to be as close as the NSW Country side would get to a five pointer.

“We just spent so much of the game chasing our tail after that bad start,” Jeffs said.

“We did have our opportunities but the final pass didn’t stick or we found a way to blow it.

“Out wide guys like Sam Stewart and Shamus Lautami were punching holes in the defence and making ground, and where last week there were players in support this week there were not.

“To be honest I don’t think we were as sharp all week as we were before the ACT game. Training was a bit dis-jointed and even on game day I thought we probably got to the ground way too early and just didn’t prepare as well as we should have.”

Aside from the game itself and the result, Jeffs said the experience of the situation in which they played was one for his players to savour.

“Absolutely, it was a fantastic experience just for the atmosphere that was there,” he said.

“The whole concept was awesome, it was just unfortunate that they played the way they did.”

The Cockatoos now have a week off before turning their attention to Victoria in Melbourne.

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Allenby not the only one with an appetite

NOT always does a golf tournament stick to the script, unless Tiger Woods is playing, and predictions early in the week that the Australian PGA championship would become a clash of the Australian titans are now a reality.Of course, the name of Woods was on everyone’s lips at Coolum yesterday, given that he has announced an indefinite absence from golf, but it is a veritable Who’s Who of Australian golf in a mass shoot-out today.Robert Allenby, seeking a fourth PGA title and back-to-back wins after last week’s big payday at Sun City in South Africa, leads by one over 1998 Australian Open champion Greg Chalmers and WA’s Scott Strange.Then, just a further stroke in arrears are defending champion Geoff Ogilvy, who is looking to bookend his year after winning the opening PGA Tour Mercedes Championship in early January, Australian Open winner Adam Scott and Michael Sim, the young man with a bullet beside his name.Sixteen players are within five shots of the lead and it was the considered opinion of all that the eventual winner will have to dig deep into the red numbers around the 6081m Coolum layout.Allenby held a dinner party at his resort apartment on Saturday night, cooked by Ten Network MasterChef finalist Lucas Parsons, himself twice a winner on the Australasian Tour, with 21 guests including Ogilvy.The wines included a 20-year-old Grange Hermitage.Indeed, Allenby was mighty relaxed yesterday despite a couple of bogeys en route to a five-under 66 and even took time to chat with Ten golf commentator Jay Townsend, with whom he played in Europe in the 1990s, as he walked the 18th fairway.Ogilvy was sitting at the back of the media interview room as Allenby talked through his round – ”Geoff, are you going to ask me some questions, mate?” Ogilvy didn’t, but suggested at the end we hadn’t asked the right question.What’s there that Ogilvy knows and we don’t?Not to worry. Allenby last had back-to-back wins – well, three in a row – when he won Australian golf’s Triple Crown – the Masters, Open and PGA – and he believes he is similar form right now.”I’m playing well. Last week was a great win for me – a good field but not many of them [12] but they’re always the good ones,” Allenby said.”There’s still 18 holes to go. There is a lot of great players behind me; one of them is sitting in this room.”There’s a lot of golf to be played; that one shot (lead) could be over in one hole. I’ve just got to try to shoot as low as I can and hopefully it’s good enough.”Chalmers was the anti-hero when he won the Australian Open at Royal Adelaide in 1998.Virtually everyone wanted the grieving Stuart Appleby, who lost his first wife, Renay, in that horrendous accident outside London’s Waterloo Station just a few months earlier, but it was not to be. He was runner-up in company with Peter Senior.That victory remains Chalmers’ most recent, and he reckons it is about time for another – ”I’m aware that was my last win. Unfortunately we have a lot of good players showing up as is evident of the leaderboard right now. There is not too many names missing from our golf’s Who’s Who,” he said.In recent years, he has returned for our pre-season tournaments in either good form or good frame of mind. He has always battled to retain his US Tour card, but this year was no such worries. He finished 89th on the money list with earnings of a tick over $1.1 million.”I’ve come home worn out. This year I guess I’ve been buoyed by the confidence of a good year overseas. It’s the first year in a long time I’ve had a really nice year. That takes a lot of stress and pressure of you,” Chalmers said.”There’s a big difference between playing free and open and trying to keep your card.”Of course, he did finished runner-up to the aforementioned Tiger Woods in the recent Australian Masters, a visit by Woods which might just have opened the whole can of worms he now faces.Chalmers doesn’t quite look at that runner-up finish as being best of the rest against Tiger, but it certainly shows his rich vein of form right now.Min-Kyu Han, the smiling young man from Korea who shot that stunning opening nine-under par 62 which only Senden has approached with his 65 yesterday, has sadly vanished into the oblivion from whence he came. His follow-up was rounds of 75-73 to trail by six.Ogilvy, with rounds of 70-66-70, hopes that progression will continue tomorrow. A 66 probably won’t do it, but a couple less might.”Hopefully that sequence continues. I’m in as good a position as I was last year. I think I was a couple back starting last year. But the top six or seven guys, everyone of them is capable of having a six, seven or eight under,” he said.”One of them will, probably. It will take a good round from any of us.”It’s a course that gives up a lot of birdies when you play well.”For Sim, winner of three events on the Nationwide Tour this year, 2010 beckons with all sorts of possibilities. He is No. 50 in the world rankings and he’ll improve with victory, or even a top 10 finish. He doesn’t even contemplate the latter. He will play his first US Masters next year.But, he is not getting ahead of himself. His focus remains squarely on a good round today – one without the two bogeys in his first six holes yesterday.For the remaining 12 holes, he shot eight birdies for his 65.
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New Premier goes bush to feel the heat

THE big dry has tightened its grip on NSW with 80 per cent of the state now in drought.As Premier Kristina Keneally prepares for a tour of rural NSW, the latest figures show the situation is the worst it has been for more than two years.Drought declarations in seven regions mean a substantial rise in the percentage of the state which is drought-affected, up from 73.6 per cent a month ago.Ms Keneally and Primary Industries Minister Steve Whan will visit New England and the Central West over the next two days.â??These figures paint a very bleak picture for farmers and it’s likely to get worse, with this summer expected to be the worst in years,â? Ms Keneally said yesterday.â??Rain is desperately needed over the Christmas-new year period to replenish water supplies.â??Honey producers in central NSW may have to soon resort to sugar feeding to keep bee colonies alive until autumn, while farmers are carting water and supplementary feeding to keep livestock alive.â??The NSW Government has committed more than $500 million in assistance measures since the drought began in 2002 and will continue to support farmers until the drought breaks.â??I want to talk to people in rural NSW to get a firsthand account of the challenges they are facing.â?
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Dubbo doing best in Evocity campaign

Dubbo is the best performer so far in the Evocities initiative, attracting 56 families from the big smoke in favour of country life.
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Launched in early September, the Evocities campaign promoted the positives of seven regional NSW cities such as job opportunities, good schools and affordable housing. Other regional cities involved in the program also fared well with Bathurst attracting 42 families, Orange attracting 32, Armidale with 22 new families, Wagga with 20, Albury with 12 and Tamworth gaining 10.

Councillor Greg Matthews predicted the statistics of the initiative may not always swing in Dubbo’s favour.

“Evocities is a long-term strategy and sometimes we will be ahead and sometimes you will be behind,” he said.

The future of NSW was predicted by Cr Matthews to be reliant on regional growth as “the city is clogged”.

“The future is in regional areas and hopefully Dubbo will grow so we maintain the lifestyle we expect. There are a lot of things that will attract people to Dubbo in the future,” he said.

Councillor Peter Bartley was positive about Dubbo’s growth.

“I think it is because Dubbo is seen as a ‘can do city’ that achieves things in its own right. It has always been a pioneering city not relying on government handouts or relying on one aspect of the city,” he said.

The geographic location of Dubbo was also an attractive feature, Cr Bartley said.

“I think that it is accessible in every direction so people can return to Sydney for business or pleasure and can travel North, south or West if they want to,” he said.

Dubbo being competitive with cities such as Sydney was more important in Cr Matthew Dickerson’s eyes than beating other country centres in the region.

He believed the region growing collectively was just as important to focus upon, as well as Dubbo’s individual growth.

“In years to come people will see rural centres as an alternative,” he said.

Evocities spokesman James Treloar said the 56 families that moved to Dubbo included people who had specifically gone to the Evocities website, made an inquiry and informed us that they had relocated.

“There may have been a lot more than that,’’ he added.

The targeted campaign is funded by state and federal money and last month the seven cities shared in a $500,000 funding boost.

Mr Treloar said there had not been any financial incentives offered to individuals to move.

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Dubbo wedding creates a royal stir

The intrepid British couple who want to say “I do, I do, I do’’ the day after the real Royal wedding in their home country put another smile on the dials of people in the office yesterday.
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They’re on their way to Dubbo.

The logistics of organising a wedding from another country, meeting relatives and friends from points north and south of Dubbo, and tying the knot in a ceremony at the RSL club is enough to make it more memorable than many weddings.

Bride-to-be Julie Lovell said the planned rooftop ceremony with 60 guests will be more special to them than anything Westminster Abbey could ever offer.

It’s out of left field, and it’s great. Ms Lovell ’s happy childhood connection to Dubbo – her memory of a road trip with her dad, who apparently quite frequently said they would stop “when they get to Dubbo’’, seems to have stuck with the young woman.

The Poms might have Wills and Kate, but we have Julie and Matt (Harrington). And they have “I Love Dubbo’’ t-shirts.

Notionally, there is a sense of ownership about our own “royal’’ wedding, although the occasion is a private one.

This terrific young couple is a bit gobsmacked by the attention but, hey, we’re the city of smiles and sometimes it’s nice to do just that.

Good luck to them.

Catherine Edmanson

Editor

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Pakistani coach labels Australians ‘beatable’

PAKISTAN coach Intikhab Alam has labelled Australia “beatable” while also laughing off reports his job is on the line on the eve of his side’s tour across the ditch.Pakistan, who will head into day three of their third Test against New Zealand at Napier today with the series up for grabs at one-all, arrive in Australia next week.They are scheduled to play three Tests, five one-dayers and one Twenty20 match.Alam, despite his side’s less-than-convincing performances against the Black Caps, is confident victory is there for the taking against Australia. “There’s no doubt that it [the tour to Australia] will be a step up,” he said. “Australia are one of the best teams in the world and you have to give them that credit.”It’s going to be a challenge for us to go there and try and do well against them.”They are still one of the best sides in Test cricket, but that’s not to say they can’t be beaten.”They can be beaten and other sides like India have done that the last time they were there.”The South Africans also beat them there and, to me, that means there’s also a very good chance for us as well.”This side, if we play up to our potential, especially in the batting department, I think we have a good enough bowling unit to get them out twice.”Alam also conceded the Australians, who were pushed to the wire by the West Indies in last week’s second Test at the Adelaide Oval, had lost their aura of invincibility. hey have lost some matchwinners, there’s no denying that,” he said. “Adam Gilchrist is not there. Glenn McGrath is not there.”Shane Warne is not there either, and it makes a lot of difference.”When you lose so quickly three matchwinners, it makes a lot of difference. Naturally, it provides a great opportunity for other people to get a chance to play for Australia and I think it’s going to take some time before they reach that same standard they had.”Responding to reports in late November that the axe was hovering over his head and that a new coach could be appointed as early as the Australian tour, Alam laughed off the conjecture.”I have signed a two-year contract and these reports are nothing but speculation,” he said.”People have different ideas and different motives.”I’ll be getting on the plane with the team when we go to Australia.”Meanwhile, an ultra-cautious Tim McIntosh and cavalier centurymaker Daniel Vettori adopted contrasting styles as New Zealand dominated Pakistan on the second day of the third Test held in Napier yesterday.McIntosh’s gritty half-century laid a solid foundation for Vettori to score his third Test century of the year as New Zealand reached 6-346 at stumps, holding an overall lead of 123 runs. Vettori timed his counter-attacking innings to perfection, erasing the disappointment of his 99 in the first Test at Dunedin by tickling a single to fine leg to initiate brief celebrations an over before the close.
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Conway blitzes field in only second race start

CLEAR WINNER: Paddy Conway led for the entire race and won by 6-3/4 lengths in the opening race of the Dubbo Greyhound Racing Club’s Anzac carnival. Photo: BELINDA SOOLEThe Jeffrey family celebrated their recent return to the sport of greyhound racing with the opening winner of the Dubbo Greyhound Racing Club’s Anzac carnival.
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Paddy Conway ($2.40 fav) had the honour of crossing the line first in the Welcome To Dubbo Carnival Maiden Stakes (400m).

The race wasn’t without controversy though, running six minutes late when the boxes failed to open the first time around. But it didn’t change the result, with Paddy Conway scoring a 6-3/4 length victory after leading for the entire trip.

Navajo Puzzle ($2.90) finished second with Conundrum Chick ($15.80) in third.

Paddy Conway, which was having just its second race start, is trained by Anthony Jeffrey and owned by his father Wayne.

“We bred this one so it’s nice to get a win,” Wayne Jeffrey said.

“He’s a good dog this fella. The box was the only thing that was going to get him beat.

“Once he jumped in front he was never going to get beat.”

The second event on the program was a triumph for Orange trainer Peter O’Neil when Where’s Makayla ($1.50 fav) won the Coonabarabran to Dubbo Final (400m).

The Where’s Pedro x Ice Dancer bitch won a heat of the series on April 10 and jumped from box one in yesterday’s race.

Despite being slow early, the black bitch was able to muster speed up the inside of the field to win running away from I’m Starring ($6.00) with Frogstar ($7.80) in third.

After the race O’Neil admitted he was confident Where’s Makayla would be competitive in the series.

“It’s a long way from Orange to Coonabarabran for the heat so I thought she would go well,” he said.

“She’s got some ability. She’s never really fast to start but when she gets her four paws on the ground and going she can really motor so I wasn’t really surprised that she was midfield early.

“I knew after her heat that she was better than a lot of these she just needed a clear run and luckily we got that.”

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