Busy Bowman delighted with Winx and Marmelo

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Hugh Bowman got a reminder of the power of Winx in a private gallop at Moonee Valley on Tuesday before a he rode Caulfield Cup hope Marmelo for the final time before the race.

Winx had her first look at Moonee Valley since her Cox Plate victory last year and was right at home as she tries to emulate Kingston Town by winning a third consecutive Cox Plate on Saturday week.

“The race can’t come quick enough for her, she feels great,” Bowman said. “The gallop stimulated her and she liked being back at the Valley.”

Winx will likely return to the Valley for another gallop this week. She was also nominated on Tuesday for the Japan Cup but is unlikely to head to Tokyo.

After riding Winx, Bowman headed straight to Werribee and was impressed with Marmelo. The English stayer spurned an Prix de l’Arc De Triomphe start to target the Melbourne spring but where he sits heading into Saturday’s Caulfield Cup is hard to ascertain.

The Hughie Morrison-trained five-year-old led throughout to win the Prix Kergorlay last start and has convinced Bowman he is the right horse to be on in the Caulfield Cup, and maybe the Melbourne Cup, after just three rides on him at Werribee.

However, whether the on-speed stayer can match it with the best 2400-metre horses in is unknown.

“Everyone is looking for answers about him and I’m like everyone else. I’ll find out on Saturday,” Bowman said. “I’m told he has got similar form to a lot of good horses that have come out here in the past, but until they do it out here you really don’t know.

“It was the third time I have ridden since he has been in and he has certainly come on since he has been here.

“I had a pretty firm gallop with him on Friday and it did its job. I feel it stimulated him a bit.

“This morning he was much more on the bridle, much more alert with what he was up to, so I didn’t do a great deal.”

Marmelo is relatively lightly raced and has been out of stakes company since winning his maiden at Doncaster in July last year. The last time he raced over 2400 metres trip he was runner-up in a listed race at Deauville last year. However, his form is around the better stayers in Europe.

“His form is around 3000 metres, so the Caulfield Cup should be a good stepping stone to his main goal of the Melbourne Cup. That is not to say he won’t be running well on Saturday,” Bowman said. “He feels very well and I expect him to be running pretty well on Saturday from what I have had to do with him.”

Marmelo drew gate 10 for the Caulfield Cup, which should allow Bowman to take up a position in the first half of the field.

Morrison’s travelling foreman, Tom Pirie, is happy with the way Marmelo has adapted to n conditions

“I haven’t paid too much attention to the field but it’s a group I and I know we’re good enough to be here,” Pirie said. “It’s a mile and a half and he’s dropping back in trip and the others are racing at their trip.

“Whatever he does over the mile and a half, he’ll improve on at two miles. “

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Teammate breaks silence on Hardaker’s grand finalban

England half Luke Gale has revealed Castleford players went into the grand final unaware a cocaine positive was the reason star fullback Zak Hardaker had been banned from taking to Old Trafford.
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Hardaker, 25, is also out of the World Cup because of what Gale called “a misjudgment”. The reasons for his suspension were not announced until after the Tigers’ 24-6 loss to Leeds a fortnight ago but speculation had been rife.

Gale, Man of Steel as Super League’s player of the year, told Fairfax Media not even Hardaker’s teammates knew what he had done as they prepared to go into battle without him.

“No – he didn’t play in the grand final ‘for disciplinary reasons’,” said the No.7. “There had been a disciplinary matter, probably, two days before the grand final and we needed to keep focused. We had a big job on the Saturday.

“No mate, none of us knew. It’s just disappointing how it panned out, missing him before a grand final.

“Zak, a very good friend of mine and a good person as well.

“Zak is obviously not in the English team as well, and the boys are going to miss him but it is what it is. We can’t change that. “

Gale said he was not worried about Hardaker’s wellbeing despite another off-field misadventure costing him one of the biggest games of his career and a World Cup.

“I wasn’t concerned at all,” Gale said. “He’s a good fella, I have the utmost respect for him. He’s made a misjudgment and he’s been punished for it.”

The 29-year-old from Leeds said coach Wayne Bennett had helped give him the confidence in national camp, which he took back to Super League in 2017 with devastating effect.

“It’s the first question you get asked, ‘what’s he like?’ I couldn’t be any more positive,” Gale said. “He fills you with confidence.

“He’s been really good for me. In the back of your mind, if a coach like Wayne picks you it’s massive and I want to repay the faith he’s shown in me.

“I love him as English coach, he’s brought the team closer together. It’s a big seven weeks that lies ahead. Who knows what he’s going to do but I’m looking forward to the next seven weeks under him.

“I’ve played in Super League and I guess this is the next step up. I want to to show them that I can do it on this stage.”

Asked if he was interested in playing in the NRL, Gale said, “I’m contracted to Castleford but I’d like to test myself against the best players in the world”.

Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘energy revolution’: lower prices, lower emissions, greater supply

Coal-fired power plants have been thrown a lifeline by Malcolm Turnbull’s “game-changing” new energy policy, which boasts it can cut electricity bills, end summer blackouts, and meet ‘s Paris emissions commitments with “no subsidies, no taxes, and no trading schemes”.
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The Prime Minister said the framework, which is scheduled to begin from 2020, was recommended by “real experts in this field, in the national energy market and its operation”.

“It creates a level playing field for the first time. No more industry policy, no more picking winners, no more favouring one technology after another, but simply ensuring that we have a reliable energy system, that we keep the lights on, that we do so in a way that is affordable and, of course, we meet those international commitments,” he said.

The proposed system, which requires the approval of states leaders at future Council of n Governments meetings, will work by requiring electricity retailers to source a minimum component of their power from so-called “dispatchable” or baseload suppliers – that is, not intermittent energy such as wind and solar but coal, gas, and hydro.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Those levels are yet to be set and will be reviewed annually.

Acting on advice drawn up in little more than weeks by COAG’s new Energy Security Board – itself a recommendation of the chief scientist’s recent report known as the Finkel review – the government secured the enthusiastic endorsement of pro-coal MPs in its party room, who praised the shift away from emissions reduction towards affordability and reliability of supply.

But the so-called national energy guarantee – which the government has claimed “could” deliver annual average household savings of up to $115 and achieve 36 per cent renewable energy take-up across by 2030 without the renewable energy target – comes with scant modelling, and with key details still to be finalised.

While the Labor opposition warned of major damage to the renewables sector, it is yet to determine a final position on the plan, leaving open the possibility of political bipartisanship a greatly improved level of investment certainty.

If that can be secured, the policy could see coal-fired generators reassessing their options. Government officials are confident that had the national energy guarantee been in place five years ago, it would have delayed the closure of coal generators such as Northern in South in 2016, and perhaps prolonged the life of the soon-to-shut Liddell plant in New South Wales.

Mr Turnbull called the national energy guarantee a game-changer “that will ensure that we have affordable power, that it is reliable … and that we meet our international commitments under the Paris Agreement to cut our emissions”.

“In other words it delivers affordability, reliability, and responsibility.”

Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, who drove the process, proclaimed the policy as a “credible, workable, pro-market policy that delivers lower electricity prices”.

The government has commissioned more detailed modelling to support the changes and will now embark on a series of consultations, beginning with the states, but also including the opposition and crossbenchers.

While the new arrangements do not require legislation, Parliament will need to legislate the Paris target of a 26 to 28 per cent reduction of n emissions by 2030, against 2005 levels.

Federal Labor has already questioned how much the plan would reduce household power bills, which modelling suggests might be as low as 50?? a week from 2020 and as high as $2 a week by 2030.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews complained that former prime minister Tony Abbott’s recent campaign to undermine Dr Finkel’s proposed clean energy target had caused Mr Turnbull to retreat in the face of an internal party room revolt.

“Alan Finkel has been replaced,” he said. We’ve now got Tony Abbott as chief scientist.”

Greens leader Richard Di Natale claimed Mr Turnbull had “done what Donald Trump had done” but less spectacularly.

“He’s effectively pulled out of the Paris Agreement,” Senator Di Natale said.

Mr Abbott took to Twitter shortly after the Coalition joint party briefing to write: “Progress at today’s party room. The clean energy target has been definitively dropped”.

However, if Dr Finkel was aggrieved the clean energy target had been rejected, he wasn’t showing it, instead, endorsing the Coalition government’s new plan as credible.

“There’s always more than one way to skin a cat.”

Dr Finkel conceded the clean energy target was “awkward for various reasons” but said he was not privy to why the government refused to embrace it.

The n Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive James Pearson cautiously welcomed the prospect of lower prices and greater reliability but warned “the detail, and its ability to win bipartisan support will be critical”.

ANZ offloads super, planning businesses

ANZ Bank has joined rivals in retreating from wealth management, selling off superannuation and financial planning businesses for $975 million but failing to offload its life insurance arm.
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The banking giant is selling the wealth management businesses to IOOF Holdings, it said on Tuesday, in a move that will narrow its focus onto traditional retail, business and institutional banking.

However, some in the market were disappointed that after a lengthy review of its entire wealth operations, ANZ is not yet selling its life insurance business, as National Bank did last year, and Commonwealth Bank is doing.

Instead, ANZ will spend millions of dollars separating the life insurance arm from the planning and super businesses it is selling to IOOF, and consider other options for offloading insurance in the future.

The deal is a reversal of moves in the early 2000s to bulk up in wealth, by buying into ING ‘s wealth management business, which it then purchased in full in 2009 under former chief executive Mike Smith.

ANZ will make a $120 million loss on the sale, because of hefty costs from separating insurance from the other businesses, a write-down in its carrying value, and a loss on treasury shares.

ANZ wealth group executive Alexis George said separating life insurance from the other parts of the wealth division would give the bank a “cleaner look” at how to scale back its role as a manufacturer of life insurance policies.

“ANZ is still committed to the strategy of not manufacturing insurance. So we need to look for alternatives for insurance. It may take some time. I just want to be clear about that,” Ms George told the bank’s in-house news service, BlueNotes.

Banking groups have been selling off the parts of their businesses that hold life insurance risk, amid weak returns and tougher capital requirements. Yet banks also remain keen to distribute products to retail customers, and ANZ’s sale to IOOF includes a 20-year deal to make IOOF super and investment products available to its retail customers.

The deal leaves ANZ with OnePath life insurance and general insurance, group and individual insurance, ANZ Financial Planning and lenders’ mortgage insurance.

Velocity Trade analyst Brett Le Mesurier described the sale as a “miserable outcome” for the bank, and predicted it could take about a year for ANZ to also sell its life insurance business, because of the complex separation process.

“ANZ did not understand the ING business it acquired in 2001 and has maintained an unrealistic view of its value. Therefore, they achieved only a partial sale after a year of trying. This is a miserable outcome,” said Mr Le Mesurier, who has a “sell” rating on ANZ.

UBS analyst Jonathan Mott, who has a “neutral” rating on the stock, said he was “slightly disappointed” ANZ had not sold a larger proportion of its wealth arm by now. Mr Mott said the businesses being sold only contributed 0.5 per cent of ANZ’s profit in the last financial year.

Bell Potter analyst TS Lim, who has a “hold” rating, said it appeared ANZ’s original plan to sell its entire wealth division had been complicated by Commonwealth Bank’s “first mover advantage,” after CBA found a buyer for its life insurance operation last month.

IOOF will hold a $450 million fully underwritten institutional placement, a share purchase plan and a engage new debt facilities to help fund an acquisition that is expected to complete within 12 months.

It said it would become ‘s second-largest advice business by adviser numbers.

Ms George said the bank had increased its options around exiting life insurance manufacturing but that picking the right one would take some time.

“By partnering with IOOF, we are able to create greater value for our shareholders while also providing our customers with access to quality wealth products,” Ms George said.

Analysts previously estimated the value of ANZ’s entire wealth business at about $4 billion.

The sale comes before ANZ will report its full-year results next Thursday, to be followed in the coming weeks by NAB and Westpac.

With AAP