Golden couple delivers shock announcement weeks after sad split


Just six weeks after announcing they were taking “a break” from their relationship, Gael Monfils and Elina Svitolina are engaged.

The tennis stars shared the news on social media on Sunday, taking to Instagram to show off Svitolina’s new bling.

“YES!!! To the beginning of our forever,” Svitolina captioned her post.

Monfils wrote “She said YES” with a love hear emoji. “Madame MONFILS.”

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Tennis stars like Caroline Wozniacki, Marcus Baghdatis and Jannick Noah were among those to congratulate the popular couple in the comments section of their Instagram posts.

The shock announcement comes after the pair briefly split up, telling fans about the sad development at the end of the Australian Open in February.

“The decision was incredibly difficult, because we still have love for each other,” the couple said in a joint statement. “But it’s just two best friends realising it’s time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible.

“We won’t be commenting beyond this, and we thank you all in advance for respecting our privacy.

“Sending lots of love to everyone.”

Clearly, the break did world No. 5 Svitolina and world No. 14 Monfils the world of good, and they realised life is better together.

Personal joy amid professional trauma

The major development in his personal life comes as Monfils struggles on court, having not played a match since losing in the first round of the Australian Open.

The Frenchman broke down in tears at his press conference after that defeat, lost for answers about how to dig himself out of a form slump that has seen him fail to win a match since tennis restarted after the COVID-19 break last year.

“I would like to get out of this nightmare but I can’t,” an emotional Monfils said after going down to unseeded Finnish player Emil Ruusuvouri. “I do not feel well.”

Svitolina passed on a very public message of support to Monfils after beating Marie Bouzkova in her first round clash at Melbourne Park, writing “Gael” with a love heart on a camera lens and blowing him a kiss.

Monfils and Svitolina started dating in early 2019 and became a regular on each other’s social media feeds.

The couple was separated during quarantine before the Australian Open, which may have played a part in their decision to take some time apart.

“Gael and I have already received a letter in which it says that we are not allowed to see each other during this time in order not to expand the group of people allowed,” Svitolina said of their quarantine regulations at the time.

“It’s uneasy to know that we are somewhere near but we may not even come close to each other.”

The Ukrainian has also had a tough time on court of late, admitting last month she has struggled for motivation in light of dramatically reduced prizemoney because of the pandemic.

Svitolina crashed to a disappointing loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the opening round of the Dubai Championships in March, which came after a second round appearance at the Qatar Open and a shock defeat to unseeded American Jessica Pegula at Melbourne Park.

“I’m really disappointed with the Doha and Dubai tournaments, how they went for me. For now for sure it hurts but I have to analyse, I have to work on my fitness I have to work on my game on the practice courts,” Svitolina said after her loss to Kuznetsova.

“There are still many tournaments this year and I have to move forward.”

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Adorable Golden Retriever Puppy ‘Defeats’ His Older Buddy in Spite of Size Differences



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The bigger retriever has probably learned its lesson and will henceforth know better than to snatch away its little pal’s toys.

A cute golden retriever pup has been caught on camera playing with an older and bigger retriever friend. The pooch wrestled its buddy, trying to reclaim its toy that the bigger doggo treacherously stole. Eventually, the puppy was victorious and pinned down its “opponent”. No golden retriever was hurt in the “standoff” – they were just goofing around.



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Golden Slipper 2021: result, dividends, finishing order, field, highlights, full report


The Golden Slipper ended up being a one-act affair, with Stay Inside for Richard and Michael Freedman romping to victory in the $3.5 million race.

Ridden by Tommy Berry, Stay Inside showed an explosive turn of foot at the 300m, putting away his rivals in a flash.

The Extreme Choice colt sprinted away to score by 1 3/4 lengths over Anamoe, who was a further 2 1/4 lengths ahead of his Godolphin stablemate Ingratiating in third.

Favourite Profiteer rolled along at a solid clip in front, but had nothing to give over the final 200m, fading to finish seventh.

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Golden Slipper 2021: result, dividends, finishing order, field, highlights, full report


The Golden Slipper ended up being a one-act affair, with Stay Inside for Richard and Michael Freedman romping to victory in the $3.5 million race.

Ridden by Tommy Berry, Stay Inside showed an explosive turn of foot at the 300m, putting away his rivals in a flash.

The Extreme Choice colt sprinted away to score by 1 3/4 lengths over Anamoe, who was a further 2 1/4 lengths ahead of his Godolphin stablemate Ingratiating in third.

Favourite Profiteer rolled along at a solid clip in front, but had nothing to give over the final 200m, fading to finish seventh.

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Is superannuation facing the same fate as the goose that laid the golden eggs?


There’s also ongoing speculation about the future of the superannuation guarantee, which is set to rise 0.5 per cent in July and then continue with these annual increases until it reaches 12 per cent by 2025. The government has also considered making a portion of the super rises optional for workers and at the same time faces pressure from backbenchers to scrap the rise completely.

The federal government, Labor and the super funds all appear to have a different view about the point of superannuation funds in the first place. If there’s no agreement about the purpose of the eggs, is it really a surprise we don’t know what to do with the goose?

It’s here where most reports and reviews of the system agree. There has to be a clearly defined objective for superannuation and for the retirement system more broadly.

In 2014, the Financial System Inquiry’s final report after a broad review of the sector referred to three areas where improvements could be made in the superannuation system. Two of these, improving operational efficiency during the growth of super accounts and improving efficiency during retirement, continue to see federal government action. Fees, an ongoing source of scrutiny, are currently a focus of the ‘Your Future, Your Super’ reforms being pursued by the government.

However, the third was to “set clear objectives for the superannuation system”. That objective does not yet exist in law.

Former financial services minister Kelly O’Dwyer got the ball rolling on enshrining a purpose in law in 2016, following the recommendation to do so by the Inquiry. There was a bill written up in 2018, the industry was consulted, and since then there has been no progress.

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The final report of the Retirement Income Review last year, which talks about all the pillars of the retirement system, says an agreed objective is needed “to anchor the direction of policy settings, help ensure the purpose of the system is understood, and provide a framework for assessing the performance of the system”.

This is one of the major sources of tension between the Morrison government and the industry super funds, who are now flexing their financial muscle in multi-million dollar advertising campaigns directly targeting the Coalition for “meddling” with retirement savings.

Enshrining an objective for superannuation in law would not be a cure-all, but it would help limit some of the frustrations the industry holds about how the government treats super.

It would also mean any suggestion of opening up super to solve pressing issues, such as housing affordability or running out of money during a pandemic, would need to be looked through the prism of the purpose for the system. But it would also mean the super funds have to look at their use of money through this lens and have this purpose in mind when choosing how to invest.

Defining a purpose for the current system would provide a solid ground for policymakers, the industry and the public to be able to talk about the future. It’s hardly surprising people are pulling super in multiple directions when there isn’t agreement on the fundamental purpose.

Bringing back this Bill has the potential to be a line in the sand to start repairing the relationship between the government and the super sector. It will also put everyone back on the same path.

Without a clear view of what we are doing with the superannuation system we are at risk of falling prey to another mistake warned about in a lesser-known story from Aesop’s Fables.

In this tale an astrologer is gazing at the stars as he walks along, contemplating the future. He is so focused on the sky above that he does not notice what is in front of him on the ground. Distracted and too busy pondering about what might be, he falls into a well. A woman, scornful that he cannot see what is at his own feet, queries how he expects to be able to see into the heavens.

This same concern should apply now. How can super funds and workers plan for the future if they do not know the lay of the land today?

Ross Gittins is on annual leave.

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Golden Slipper, Rosehill, postponed, weather, news, racing 2021, when is it, full field, odds, new date


Saturday’s Golden Slipper meeting at Rosehill will not go ahead due to heavy rain and the state of the track, with the meeting postponed by one week.

Stewards inspected the track early Saturday morning and deemed it unsuitable for racing following days of persistent rain in Sydney.

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The thought of a postponement of Slipper day was in the minds of the stewards during the week, when there was some 50-100mm forecast to hit western Sydney on Saturday.



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Golden Slipper 2021 form guide, field, start time, who to bet on, who is the favourite, weather


The two-year-olds take centre stage at Rosehill Gardens with the big race for the juveniles, the Group One Longines Golden Slipper carrying a purse of $3.5 million.

This year it looks like it will come down to which runners can handle a wet track, with rainfal heavy predicted in the lead-up and on raceday and if it comes to fruition, we are certain to be on a heavy surface.

Check out the runner-by-runner analysis of the race (starting at 4pm AEDT), along with the verdict and suggested $100 betting play

BARRIER DRAW: FAVOURITES FARE BRILLIANTLY

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Big wet turns Golden Slipper into a $3.5 million lottery


Premier trainer Chris Waller said Rosehill had received its share of rain, but he was not concerned about the meeting being run on Saturday.

“If it was winter, we would be talking about it,” Waller said. “I was more worried about this meeting going ahead last year because of COVID.

“If it is too wet, we will just have to wait for another day. It not the worst thing happening in the world.”

Waller has a trio of runners and believes Skyline Stakes winner O’President will be at home on heavy ground, while Silver Slipper winner Home Affairs has handled a slow track at his past runs.

Gai Waterhouse will look for an eighth Golden Slipper from Swift Witness and her second in a row with trainer partner Adrian Bott, who was another guessing whether his filly would handle the wet conditions.

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“I’m unsure exactly how she handles it. It could work in our favour or it could work against us,” Bott said.

“You’re confident of them getting a fair go on top of the ground. Maybe her being drawn a bit wider might bring her a bit more into the race.”

Bott believes if the meeting is called off it would not affect the chances of many runners.

“In terms of delaying it, if it’s your grand final, which I suppose for most of them it is, it won’t affect it too much,” he said.

“As long as you’ve got a bit of notice to adapt to those changes with the necessary work and lead-up program.

“But what does it mean for the Sires if it goes back a week? It changes a few things.

“You don’t necessarily prepare for that, but if it’s what you have to deal with, you have to do it.”

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Golden Slipper 2021: Final field and barrier draw, start time, odds, who is the favourite


Market fancies Profiteer and Stay Inside strengthened their grip on Saturday’s Group One Golden Slipper (1200m) after faring well at Tuesday’s barrier draw.

Speaking to Sky Thoroughbred Central, co-trainer Mick Price described barrier five as “pretty ideal” for Profiteer, with Hugh Bowman to have plenty of options for the son of Capitalist.

Profiteer shot into Golden Slipper calculations with a slashing win in the Inglis Millennium in February before a narrow defeat to Blue Diamond place-getter Anamoe in the Todman Stakes.

Anamoe himself didn’t fare so well, drawing gate 16, and will need a gun ride from in-form jockey Rachel King.

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Golden Slipper 2021: Chris Waller has hit back at accusations he pinches horses


A defiant Chris Waller believes he has the artillery to silence his critics when his three young guns attempt to give the champion trainer his first Golden Slipper success.

Chris Waller can finally put to rest the theory training two-year-olds is his stable’s weak link by winning his first $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

The Hall of Famer, who also set the record straight on unfair accusations he “pinches horses” from other stables, has three leading chances in the world’s richest juvenile race — Shaquero, Home Affairs and O’President.

This is the biggest representation Waller has ever had in the Golden Slipper, a race where he has had very few runners and is without even a placegetter.

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Regarded as the nation’s dominant big-race trainer, Waller has prepared a staggering 119 Group 1 winners during his stellar career but his only Group 1 two-year-old wins have been in the JJ Atkins Stakes over 1600m in Brisbane with The Autumn Sun (2018), Press Statement (2015) and Pressday (2010).

Waller said he is aware of the perception training two-year-olds is his “Achilles heel”.

“I respect people’s opinions,’’ Waller said.

“But what I’ve learnt after starting to get my foot in the door is that there will always be someone trying to bring you down.

“I occasionally get accused of pinching horses from other stables but I can honestly say my phone rings for the job that I do and not for the job I make out I do.

“But I’m pretty proud of being in the position I am when we started with a barn of (just) 10 horses.

“Good luck to those people who say I can’t train two-year-olds, the only people I feel sorry for is the team behind me. They do a fantastic job whether it be for a two-year-old race or a Melbourne Cup.

“We have runners in most of the feature races, year in year out, and I think in time we will get a Golden Slipper on the mantelpiece.

“I’m sure (then) there would be another ‘Achilles heel’ on the other leg suggesting a Melbourne Cup is next — there is always something but I have a great team of horses and staff and we are really proud of the results we achieve.’’

Waller is enjoying a very successful season with his two-year-old team including preparing the winners of the Magic Millions, Breeders Plate and Pago Pago Stakes (Shaquero), Silver Slipper (Home Affairs), Skyline Stakes (O’President) and Wyong Magic Millions (She’s All Class).

Home Affairs is rated at $15 with Shaquero and O’President at $21 in early TAB Fixed Odds betting on the Golden Slipper. Profiteer and Stay Inside are joint favourites at $4.50 ahead of Tuesday’s crucial barrier draw.

Waller said it was hard to split his trio of well-bred two-year-old colts.

“Shaquero has the points on the board, he is a Magic Millions winner in good shape,’’ Waller said.

“Home Affairs is the real deal in terms of being a tough, strong two-year-old and he is going to mature into a lovely horse.

“O’President has ‘three-year-old’ written all over him and he is doing it on raw, natural ability.

“The difference in my three is the barrier draw, luck in running and how they train through the week. Every day is a long day with two-year-olds and you don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself.’’

WALLER’S SLIPPER RECORD

2012 Jade Marauder 15th

2013-17 No runners

2018 Fiesta 7th, Performer 14th

2019 Yes Yes Yes 7th

2020 Hungry Heart 5th

GODOLPHIN RELY ON ANAMOE AND INGRATIATING

Godolphin has confirmed Anamoe and Ingratiating will be their only Golden Slipper runners and the $150,000 late entry was paid to secure starts for Artorius and Rocket Tiger as the final field takes shape for Saturday’s big race at Rosehill Gardens.

Trainer James Cummings has retained Rachel King for Anamoe after she combined with the colt to win the Todman Stakes last start while Hall of Fame jockey Damien Oliver has been booked for Ingratiating.

With Blue Diamond winner Artorius and the tough bush two-year-old Rocket Tiger now locked in for the Golden Slipper, it was announced that Tiger Of Malay and boom Kiwi colt Sword Of State would both miss Saturday’s race but could clash in the ATC Sires Produce Stakes at Randwick next month.

The connections of borderline Slipper hopefuls Swift Witness and Captivant were breathing a little easier last night with the likelihood both will now make the elite 16-horse field.

Godolphin, chasing their second Golden Slipper in three years after Cummings trained the quinella with Kiamichi and Microphone in 2019, also announced their outstanding sprinter Bivouac will be retired to Darley Stud at the end of this season.

Vin Cox, Godolphin’s Australian managing director, said Bivouac and European champions Ghaiyyath, Pinatubo and Earthlight will be new additions to Darley’s stallion roster this spring.

“These four horses are of a quality that is as high as we could wish for,” Cox said. “Any farm would take any one of them in a heartbeat.

“Each is an immaculately bred son of a pre-potent sire. We are immensely proud to have them and can’t wait to offer these champions to breeders.”

Cox said Bivouac will continue to race this season with his next start scheduled for the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick on April 3 before a possible trip to England for the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

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