Category Archives: 南京夜网

Tremlett eyes Test recall

England’s tour match against Western Australia this week is more than a warm-up for the Ashes.
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With pace bowler Tim Bresnan unlikely to overcome a stress fracture in his back in time to play in Brisbane on November 21, it is an opportunity for contenders to make a final bid for a Test spot.

With James Anderson, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad set to lead England’s attack, the battle appears to be between Chris Tremlett, Steven Finn and the inexperienced Boyd Rankin.

A betting man would back the 201-centimetre Tremlett to snare that place for the first Test.

The tour match, starting Thursday, is being played at the WACA Ground where Tremlett took eight wickets during England’s 2010 Ashes winning series.

He took Michael Clarke’s wicket in both innings, beating him for pace and bounce. Clarke was caught behind by Matt Prior for four then bowled for 20.

It’s the wicket of the now Australian captain Tremlett has his sights set on again.

”Yeah, it’s always important that you target the captain in any side and obviously he’s been their form player in the last few years,” Tremlett said after his first bowling session in the WACA nets.

Tremlett demolished Australia’s top order in Perth in 2010, with each of his eight wickets being recognised batsmen.

He then took 4-26 in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test as Australia was dismissed for just 98 runs. England won the MCG game by an innings and 157 runs inside four days.

But injury has taken its toll on Tremlett. He has played only five Tests since and didn’t play against Australia earlier this year.

At 32, he knows how important this series is for him.

”I have to concentrate on enjoying the times when I am fit,” he said. ”I am doing all I can here to do well and get back in to the team and I can try to do all I can to replicate what I did here last time.

”I came over to Australia not expecting to play in the first Test match [in 2010] and had to grab my place in the third Test.

”Personally I did well and contributed in the last two Tests to help to winning the Ashes. It’s great for me to get back into Test cricket. Unfortunately I have had a time away with injury, but it’s great to be back in Australia now and I have that experience from last time, so hopefully I can contribute if I do get back in the team …

”When you know how to bowl on these pitches and you’ve done well here, that’s obviously in my favour.”

The England team that will tackle WA has not been named yet.

While the battle for a bowling spot for the first Test is still alive, the batting line-up is set and coach Andy Flower is likely to give them a chance to spend some time on the bouncy WACA wicket.

England will be back in Perth for the Third Test starting on December 13.

Kevin Pietersen is expected to be available and played in the corresponding game in 2010 when he scored 58 in the first innings of England’s six-wicket victory.

Pietersen was a late arrival in to Perth this week. He was granted compassionate leave by the coaching staff to travel from England via South Africa after the recent death of a close friend.

He trained with the squad on Monday, which Tremlett said was a pleasing sign for the team.

”Yeah, it’s good to have him back. He’s been away for a couple of days but he’s in good spirits,” he said.

”We know he’s capable; he’s capable of taking any situation away from the opposition. We know how destructive he can be.”

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Marsh boys gear up for WA games

This week is an important one for WA’s Marsh brothers – Shaun and Mitch. They will represent Western Australia in separate games being played at the same time and both are desperate to perform – or at least get through unscathed.
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Shaun takes the helm of the Warriors in the Shield opener against Victoria at the MCG, with an aim of pushing for Test selection for this summer’s Ashes series. Mitch will play for a WA XI against the visiting England side in a Tour Match at the WACA Ground. Both are coming off serious hamstring injuries that have hampered their careers.

Mitch is hoping he can follow his brother’s recovery. Shaun was in hot form in the recent Ryobi Cup tournament his month, averaging 76. He will be keen to perform in the longer form against the Bushrangers to give himself a chance of adding to his seven Test appearances.

Mitch say he has it in him and if Australia’s top order doesn’t perform early, the selectors are likely to give him a chance.

”I have no doubt the selectors will probably be looking at him. If he scores enough runs, there’s no reason why he can’t play Test cricket for Australia again.”

Shaun was dropped from the Australian side after a disappointing tour of India where in 2011-12 when he averaged just 2.83.

But he has shown that he is capable at the level. He averages 41 in Test matches, thanks mainly to a 141 and 81 in his first two innings, against Sri Lanka.

Promising all-rounder Mitch will play only as a batsmen against England. ”Obviously after missing an extended period time, I’m happy to playing any cricket,” he said.

”I have started bowling in the nets off a short run and if all goes to plan I hope to be playing as an all-rounder in a few weeks.”

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Footy on Sunday nights set for Seven

Sunday night footy will be a first for Seven. Photo: Mick TsikasSunday night television is set for a football revolution with the AFL to trial up to three prime-time games on Channel Seven for the first time in that timeslot in 2014.
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The move means that next year’s home-and-away season will feature 7.40pm games on five of the seven week nights from Thursday night through until Monday night with the Sunday night fixture seen by the league as a long-term prospect – preferable and more practical than Monday night.

While the finishing touches are being administered to the 2014 schedule, Fairfax Media understands Collingwood should be involved in at least one of the Sunday night Channel Seven games with West Coast tentatively scheduled to play North Melbourne at Subiaco on Sunday night (Melbourne time), June 1, as part of Western Australia’s public holiday weekend.

Sunday night football has been regarded as an attractive proposition by the game’s governing body given the relative dearth of quality free-to-air programming on a night once regarded as a weekly ratings high point.

AFL clubs were warned in a recent meeting of the 18 chief executives to expect some experimental fixturing in 2014 with the introduction of two byes, the early start to the season and the need to combat rival football codes. Round one sees Carlton host Port Adelaide on the Sunday night of the Melbourne Grand Prix weekend although that game is expected to be shown on Fox Footy.

Both the Seven Network and the AFL remained tight-lipped on Monday about Sunday night football but it is believed at least two and potentially three of Seven’s 3.20pm Sunday games will be moved next season to 7.40pm. Neither Seven boss Lewis Martin nor AFL executive Simon Lethlean would comment on the new football timeslot, which will be unveiled on Thursday.

The AFL also looked at scheduling two Sunday twilight games at Geelong’s Simonds Stadium but at the Cats’ request reduced that to one – a round-16 clash between Geelong and the Western Bulldogs.

Seven had been unhappy in 2013 with the AFL’s move to feature blockbuster games on Fox Footy – notably the Collingwood-Richmond clash at the MCG in round-four and the Collingwood-Essendon game in round-19.

The two AFL broadcasters were still waiting for final confirmation of the breakdown of games on Monday, although Seven was understood to have been more satisfied with its allocation.

The free-to-air AFL broadcaster was also looking to expand its Friday night football telecast, bringing forward its pre-game coverage from 7.30 to 7pm, a move that will further encroach on the Friday radio audience.

While the Blues have again been handed a generous prime-time fixture of at least six Friday night games, along with two Thursdays and one Monday night clash, another big prime-time winner next season is North Melbourne, which is expected to feature in five Friday night games – two more than 2013 and four more than 2012.

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Grandma won the Cup, now it’s my turn

Cup dreams: Let’s Make Adeal with strapper Will Ford at Flemington. Photo: Joe ArmaoNigel Blackiston has got form when it comes to knowing what’s needed to prepare a Melbourne Cup winner: he was the man who led Let’s Elope off the float when she first arrived at Bart Cummings’ Melbourne stables in the winter of 1991 to be prepared for a Cups campaign by the master trainer.
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Back then Blackiston was working in Cummings’ Melbourne operation and Let’s Elope was a little-known New Zealand galloper who had been bought by Dennis Marks. By the end of the spring of 1991 the mare had completed the Caulfield and Melbourne cups double, and Blackiston was well and truly bitten by the cups bug.

Fast forward more than two decades and the English-born horseman is a Flemington-based trainer – and he would like nothing more than to emulate the man from whom he learnt so much when he arrived in Australia in the late 1980s.

He believes that Let’s Make Adeal, a lightly raced grand-daughter of Let’s Elope, can put his name in the spotlight if she gets the chance to show what she can do in Australia’s greatest race where 41 horses remain on the entry list and she is number 40. Blackiston trains the four-year-old for Marks, and he believes that if she can squeeze into the field she will be more than competitive, especially as she will have the services of Cox Plate-winning jockey Chad Schofield in the saddle.

To force her way into the race the daughter of Red Ransom will have to win the Lexus Stakes on Saturday.

Horses who win the 2500-metre handicap are catapulted directly into the field and, even though they are backing up three days later in the Cup, Lexus winners have a terrific record: three of the past four (Kellini 2012, Maluckyday 2010 and Shocking 2009) have finished in the first four on the first Tuesday in November, with Shocking winning.

Blackiston has only ever had one previous Cup runner in his own name – Littorio, a dual group 1 winner who has been his best horse. He finished 13th behind Cummings’ last winner, Viewed, in 2008.

”It would be fantastic to get her in the field. I have only had her a while but I have always felt she would be a really good stayer. She has a tremendous pedigree being a grand daughter of Let’s Elope and I have several of her near relations in the stable – horses like Outback Joe, who is her uncle, her aunt Karata and Let’s Make Adeal’s half-brother, Heez Notorious,” says Blackiston.

”She does remind me a lot of Let’s Elope when she first came here. She had only won a maiden race and a group 3 race but improved tremendously in the spring of her four-year-old career as the distances got longer. This horse won a maiden for me and then was only beaten a head in a group 3 race in Adelaide in the autumn.”

It was that race at Morphettville – the 2500-metre SA Classic – that fired Blackiston’s Cup dream.

Many people thought he was tilting at windmills in early September when he ran Let’s Make Adeal at Flemington in the group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes against the likes of Puissance De Lune, Foreteller and Sea Moon. She ran out of her skin to finish fourth that day.

”I knew then that she would run a long distance. We have had to work hard to try and get her rating up during the spring to try to get into the good races. I initially wanted to get her into the Caulfield Cup, but she didn’t make the field. I know it’s a dream, but if she does get there on Cup day she won’t be disgraced. And if she doesn’t, well we will try again next year.”

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The young and the restless

They wanted to move back home, get a game, stop waiting and start over. ”Watch this space,” one player manager told The Age, after six players quit their clubs after one, two or three years. ”Check back in five years. In five years, it could be an epidemic.”
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That was just 12 months ago. But by the end of the trade period, 12 players aged 21 or under had switched clubs, with the western Sydney-bound Jed Lamb to come. It seemed worth asking the question again: what’s going on with the kids?

Like last year, each player that wanted out had his own reasons. Some wanted to go home. Five were fleeing Brisbane. One, Dom Tyson, helped the Giants get their hands on the No.2 draft pick less than two years after they chose him at No.3. Sydney couldn’t match the offer put to Lamb.

Still, 13 is a lot. Are today’s young players, generally speaking, more impatient? Many managers think they are. ”It doesn’t matter where the player’s picked or which club they’ve been drafted to. When you sit down with them before the season and write down their goals, they all want to play senior footy. It’s no surprise that the biggest lure a club can offer is opportunity,” said Ned Guy.

”The other thing is, the kids all know each other. They’ve kept track of each other for years and they have a much bigger sense of how good they are, or where they fit in. If they’re seeing guys get games for GWS when they’re not, and their own form has been pretty good, they start wondering when their turn will come. A lot of them do want it to happen right now.”

There are other reasons. The savvy kids read all the pre-draft previews, said Tom Petroro, and start out with a far greater sense of their own value than they might have eight or nine years ago.

They’re growing up now in the world of free agency, watching older teammates take greater control of their own destinies and make decisions that money and success have a lot to do with.

”I think a lot of them are starting to look at the sport as a profession, from a young age,” said Petroro. ”They get more publicity, so they have a much stronger opinion on their own value and a much more commercial focus. They back themselves more. There’s a lot who are happier to sign a two-year deal because they’re confident, rather than take the security and get three years.

”They’re seeing other players move more easily and more frequently, as well. They’re more prepared to do it, whereas a player who’s 29 or 30 and born in an era when no one moved, finds it a really difficult thing to do.”

They have also become more sought after. Clubs have expressed their interest in getting some of his clients back, said Nick Gieschen, on the very night they have been drafted. He thinks clubs have started to chase young talent more aggressively, given how thoroughly Gold Coast and the Giants have dominated the last few drafts. And as Petroro points out, trading a good kid in at 20 means you could still get a lot of games from him.

”The value of a second-year player going into his third year has gone through the roof,” he said. ”You’re basically getting a whole career out of them. If you’re bringing in someone who could potentially play 10 more years, it’s a pretty good investment.”

Gieschen agrees. ”Interstate clubs have had a lot of the early picks in the last few years. More Victorian kids have gone interstate, so I think that’s one reason it seems like a lot of them are wanting to come home,” he said.

”I think the clubs are getting smarter, getting in contact earlier, and it works for a club like the Giants because they can trade these guys when their value is high and get some good picks back. It means a lot goes back onto the clubs that draft them – not to give them games they don’t deserve, but to pick the right ones, sell them the future and make them want to stay.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

EDITORIAL: Keeping the gates open

COOL heads, not angry words, are what’s needed to settle the simmering disagreement about four-wheel-drive access to Stockton’s sand dunes and other wild places.
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The dunes serve a dual purpose. They are a very precious environmental asset, and an equally precious recreational one.

They need to be preserved against degradation because of human activity, but fair access needs to be maintained for those who are willing to enjoy the dunes while observing the necessary safeguards to prevent damage.

This has always been a difficult balancing act, but it’s getting harder. That’s partly because of the proliferation of off-road vehicles among the urban population.

Where once 4WDs were relatively uncommon and also fairly spartan means of transport, they are now practically ubiquitous, and often extremely luxurious.

As ownership of off-road vehicles expands, so too does the percentage of owners who actually want to take their vehicles onto the beaches and into the forests to enjoy the landscape.

Naturally, this means extra wear and tear on that landscape, and the more fragile places are at risk of great damage, especially if drivers aren’t careful and considerate.

As is usually true with human behaviour, the great majority of 4WD users are perfectly willing to obey sensible rules to protect the country and preserve it for the enjoyment of future generations.

The inconsiderate minority, however, does damage far beyond its numbers. Not only does this minority cause harm to the places that others want to enjoy, it also harms the legitimate claims of all off-road enthusiasts to be permitted free access to the beaches, dunes and forests.

Translating these known facts into the context of the Stockton dunes, it is apparent that compromise will be necessary.

For a start, the recreational vehicle enthusiasts must accept the archaeological importance of some parts of the dunes and also recognise the problems that can arise when beaten tracks create avenues for wave access during storms.

They need to recognise the responsibility the custodians of the land have to preserve and safeguard it for the whole community.

On the other hand, those custodians need to open a frank and friendly dialogue with the recreational vehicle users to ensure that restrictions are fair and don’t go further than they need to.

Wild places belong to all Australians, but access to them requires some degree of control to ensure their precious qualities survive to be enjoyed in future.

GREG RAY: Pollies ride gravy train

‘‘NOT in living memory has there been a government that so deserved to be thrown from office and an opposition that so little deserves to be elected.’’
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That’s Ted Mack speaking, a former independent parliamentarian and one of the very few MPs over the past few decades that I’d rate as worth feeding.

Ted delivered the Henry Parkes oration on ‘‘The State of Federation’’ at Tenterfield last weekend, and he didn’t pussyfoot around.

He seldom does, when it comes to talking about our poor sick Australian democracy.

Did I say democracy?

Ted doesn’t necessarily agree with that.

‘‘Today the Australian political system hardly qualifies as a democracy,’’ Ted said in one of his speeches. ‘‘It fails the fundamental tests of democracy in that it almost never produces majority government and we have an electoral system at federal level and in most states that does not reflect the will of the people. Most governments in Australia achieve a majority of seats with a minority of votes.’’

Real democracy isn’t on the agenda of our political duopoly, according to Ted.

Because real democracy is about decentralising power and those who actually hold power aren’t keen on giving any of it up.

Liberal and Labor are like two mafia families seeking control of the public purse to benefit themselves, their supporters, the industry donors who fund them and for buying votes at the next election, Ted says.

What about the Nationals?

‘‘Simply the country wing of the Liberal Party representing agribusiness and mining corporations,’’ Ted asserts.

The more disgusted we become at their feeding frenzy and the transparent way many politicians line their own pockets and those of their lobbyists, donors and other cronies, the more they pay themselves.

According to Ted, the basic salary of the Prime Minister is now $507,000, compared to the US President on $417,000 and the UK PM on $240,000.

‘‘Salary packages for MPs have escalated at federal level with the steady creation of new positions and extensions of fringe benefits … state governments have followed suit,’’ he said.

Voting themselves endless pay-rises is one thing. But what about the rest of us?

We are supposed to be more efficient, producing more for less pay. We are supposed to be happy about deregulation, restructuring, down-sizing and off-shoring – surprise, surprise – all the things the big business lobbyists want and the politicians automatically support.

‘‘For at least the past 20 years both major parties have constantly extolled the virtues of a free market and globalisation,’’ Ted said in one of his speeches.

‘‘They harangue the community that we need to restructure, embrace competition and deregulation. Yet they carefully exclude themselves from these ideas. When competition comes to them they scream, like all oligarchies, that independents are a waste of time.’’

‘‘The public service has been stacked with politically aligned yes-people, lobbyists and consultants are spreading like expensive viruses and the whole system is focused on tipping public resources into the pockets of mates and sponsors.

‘‘We have cabinet ministers selling access to themselves at breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Incumbents encourage financial contributions from developers, clubs, hotels, mining companies and many other well-known supporters of democracy and rort elections by entrenching incumbents with vast quantities of public and private moneys.

‘‘Open tendering is a thing of the past and ‘commercial-in-confidence’ facilitates corruption at all levels of government,’’ Ted truthfully complained.

Where does all this leave us?

In Ted’s words, Australia is now ‘‘the second best pseudo-democracy money can buy’’.

A hurtful description, but one that seems more accurate with each passing month.

TED MACK

Victoria Derby: Hugh Bowman likes Polanski, but punters don’t agree

Polanski, ridden by Hugh Bowman, beats San Diego in the Norman Robinson Stakes. Photo: Pat ScalaHugh Bowman is a visitor to Melbourne but in Polanski he has the best hometown chance in the Victoria Derby.
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And the Sydney hoop is so confident that he has queried if the betting is right for Saturday’s classic at Flemington.

Polanski will be looking for a hat-trick of wins after taking out the Super Impose Stakes at Flemington, followed by a strong effort in the Norman Robinson at Caulfield, in which he ran down San Diego. ”He was good over 2000 metres, and he is just big and strong, with a great trainer of stayers in Robbie Laing,” Bowman said.

”I was able to book myself on him straight away [after Caulfield], and it is very exciting to get on a live chance.”

Bowman is no stranger to success in the Victoria Derby, winning on Lion Tamer and Sangster in successive years in 2010 and 2011. He got the ride on Polanski for the Norman Robinson, and has little doubt about his staying potential.

All of which means the $8.50 on offer at Sportingbet might be generous, with Bowman believing there is not much between the Sydney and Melbourne form.

”It is hard to line up the form but I think the Sydney form might be suspect,” Bowman said. ”The way Drago went [on Saturday], but also you had Savvy Nature come out and win. I actually think they’re all pretty even, and I know my bloke is a last-start winner and can stay.”

Punters, though, have taken a different view, with Spring Champion Stakes winner Complacent the $4 favourite in front of Savvy Nature at $4.20, while Criterion is at $8.

”They have only wanted to back two horses since Saturday and, surprisingly, it has been Complacent that most money has been for – and he didn’t even run [on Saturday],” Sportingbet boss Michael Sullivan said.

”Savvy Nature ran third to Complacent in the Spring Champion, and came out and didn’t handle the Valley and still won. So he went from $7.50 to $4.20, and has been solid at that quote.

”Complacent has been $4.50 to $4 since Saturday, and they are really the only two horses we are writing tickets for. The punters … have dismissed the Melbourne form. Polanski is $8.50 but we can’t write his name.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Bart Cummings’ horse Precedence penalised one kilogram

Craig Williams rides Precedence to win The Drake International Cup. Photo: Pat ScalaTwelve-time Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Bart Cummings’ mission to get an 88th runner in the race is alive, just, after Moonee Valley Cup winner Precedence was penalised one kilogram.
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Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said the penalty given to Precedence for the group 2 win was in line with what the horse carried in last year’s Cup when a brave ninth to Green Moon, and took into consideration the horse’s age (eight) and the fact that he has won a group 3 and a group 2 staying race in the past year.

“The penalty takes Precedence back to the same weight he carried when running ninth to Green Moon in last year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup,” Carpenter said.

”The penalty is the same given to Vatuvei for winning the 2012 renewal at Moonee Valley and does not guarantee the horse a start in the race. After withdrawals at the third-declaration stage, Precedence has moved from 45th to 26th in the order of entry but is far from guaranteed a place.”

To make the field, Precedence must win either the Mackinnon Stakes or the Lexus Stakes on Saturday at Flemington or sit back and rely on attrition to improve his position in the order of entry.

Cummings’ grandson and training partner James said if Precedence managed to sneak into the field his grandfather would be on track at Flemington to watch.

Chris Waller said he had given up looking for reasons not to run his import Foreteller, saying the horse’s time has arrived.

”It was a cracking run … in the Cox Plate,” he said. ”OK, will he run a genuine two miles is the question. Saintly went from a Cox Plate to winning a Melbourne Cup with a doubt on him staying. I know the horse was trained by a genius [Bart Cummings], but I am just hoping Foreteller could do exactly what Saintly did … We have been finding reasons not to start him, but his time has come.”

While Waller will not be the biggest player in the Cup as wealthy businessman Lloyd Williams could have up to a quarter of the field of 24, the former New Zealand horseman has three hopefuls – Foreteller, Hawkspur and Kelinni.

”That’s how I’m looking at it. They are all in great order and I can’t fault them so the Cup is their mission. But Foreteller will not run on Saturday, he will go straight into the Cup,” he said.

The Melbourne Cup dream is still alive for the connections of 47 horses which were paid up after third declarations, but Saturday’s Derby day meeting could play a significant hand in shaping the final field as there are ballot-free positions on the line.

Key Cup hopefuls which must win include Jet Away and English raider Forgotten Voice.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Talented rider Aaron Morris hits new high

AS far as it is known, Aaron Morris does not sing much, dances rarely, does not have a Big Brother and is definitely not a geek. Beauty? That is in the eye of the beholder.
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What Aaron, 21, does best is ride motorcycles and when it comes to parading his talent on television reality shows the Redhead revhead lets his riding talent do the talking.

In fact it is his consummate skills aboard powerful motorcycles that earned him a place in a compact cast for this year’s The Ultimate Rider series, potentially one of the most dangerous television shows going.

In one of those ‘‘I was hard at work when the phone rang’’ moments Morris says he took a phone call from the show’s judges, international rider trainer Bernie Hatton and former Australian champion and international 500cc Grand Prix racer Daryl Beattie, effectively inviting him to join its six-strong rider line-up.

‘‘They called me up and said: ‘Send us your resume and we’ll go from there.’ I got it all together, sent it off and here I am,’’ he said.

The format has the riders – Morris, Cessnock’s Sophie Lovett, Ben Henry, Brayden Elliott, Jake Ralph and Matt Berry – competing against each other across a number of riding disciplines including road circuits, motocross, speedway-style dirt tracks and the crossover motard class that mixes tarmac and dirt with a little bit of supercross thrown in.

The six riders not only have to compete against each other but to complicate matters just a little they also have to live with each other, the scenario creating a pressurised environment.

‘‘It was definitely a learning experience. Not so much the riding but the production side of the show and getting along with that.

‘‘It wasn’t too bad, though,’’ the second-generation racer said.

‘‘The one problem we had was that the bikes were not full-on race bikes, they were road bikes so you had to look after them a bit.’’

Aaron managed to fit his television work around his racing calendar which included a full season in the Australian Supersport Championship in which he finished second, just seven points behind the winner.

Next year? Still in the planning.

‘‘It could be Supersport again or we could go up into the Superbikes. We’re still deciding which way to go.’’

And the outcome of The Ultimate Rider?

‘‘I’m sworn to secrecy.’’

The Ultimate Rider screens on One HD on Saturdays.

MAN AT WORK: Aaron Morris demonstrates the motorcycle riding skills that earned selection for a new television reality show.

RIDER: Aaron Morris.