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Beer and Skittles



Gold $398 Silver $6.00 Saturday 3 July, 2am Sydney

G'day. Pretty quiet down here in the metals today with a tight $2 range holding solid, as we close in on 7.30am New York. An early COMEX close today so the action will be a little more compressed.

The employment numbers sucked bigtime. The dollar got crushed which obviously killed my gut feel I mentioned yesterday, that we were in for a dollar rally in the next few days. Gold popped $5 and hasn't budged since. There is some resolute selling at $400 but would expect that we will see some sort of attempt to break through, maybe even late today on more squaring up before the weekend. Very quiet heading into the weekend with no follow through buying seen at this stage. Is it nearly beer O'clock yet?

Silver ran from $5.86ish but stalled at $6.05. Following the gold move for sure but there have been some signs of life in the base metals which has piqued a bit of interest. Silver appears still rangebound and a break of $6.25 is required before people get too excited.

I said yesterday that paper gold and silver won't be much use to people if things go as anticipated. I was referring to people who think they own gold, when in fact all they own is an IOU over gold. I refer to allocated versus unallocated gold and silver. Unallocated gold is just a claim over gold that is in someone else's control. Sure it says you own X number of ounces but when you want the actual metal, you are relying on someone else's performance to give you the gold. What if they don't have it, have leased it out or sold it with the expectation that more was coming in? The only real gold is physical gold/silver that is not under anyone else's control but its owner.

I certainly don't suggest that equities aren't going to benefit from what I see coming, unless industries were nationalized or something equally frightening. I own many both personally and professionally and I don't consider nationalization a real possibility, but things change so I would never say never. Futures are paper gold, until delivery is demanded and then it is real gold, as long as it is allocated or physically removed by the owner. Futures contracts in commodities are by definition physically deliverable. Could there be a default on a commodity exchange? Absolutely.

All I'm saying is that I think it is imperative that people own some physical gold and silver that is safe yet accessible for them, and that they don't rely on anyone else's performance before they can access their gold.

Minyan Rebecca sent a light hearted comment to Todd the other day which he forwarded ... maybe it's the accent?

Random musing: Rebecca's favorite thing on the part of Laurie McGuirk's articles that have nothing to do with metals.

I don't know if that's a good or bad thing? It's way more fun writing about non metal stuff, believe me and you can write it without a "deadline"... anyway just some observations that people may enjoy.

Nothing to do with markets stuff....

The Euro soccer tournament has produced a few memorable moments such as the goal that the dude from Portugal scored yesterday to seal their victory, but isn't it sensational that Greece has made the final especially when they were the rank outsiders to even make it to the quarterfinals. Just goes to show what hard work, plenty of good luck and a well executed strategy can achieve. Don't we all just love underdogs? I hope they don't get blown out of the water in the final but you couldn't bet against the home mob. Imagine if the Greeks won? They'd be so happy they might even get around to finishing building that Acropolis thingy.

The American Oaks will be run this weekend at Hollywood Park and there are a couple of New Zealand bred fillies in it that I have been asked about. I spoke today to my mate Brent Taylor, who runs Trelawney Stud in NZ and he owns and bred Vouvray, who won our Oaks here a few weeks back. He is a world class horseman for sure. He suggests that Boulevardofdreams is the better chance of those entries and that she would be hard to beat if it was run at another track. Apparently this track is quite a tight turning track compared to what we race on here. Home stretches of over half a mile are common and so late charging horses get plenty of time and space to balance up for the sprint home, down here. BofD prefers to race back in the pack and this could be a distinct disadvantage for her on the tight track. FWIW.

Exceed and Excel is still in the July Gold Cup next week in England. Any Poms out there know what odds he is for the race?

The 2 Year old colt, Danihilate, had his first official trial today. To quote the trainer - "He trialled poorly. He raced up on the pace but when placed under pressure he didn't respond and finished a disappointing last, some five lengths off the lead. He definitely needs to trial again and we will be looking for significant improvement over the next two weeks". Oh well, I guess that means we should shelve plans for flying him over for next years Breeders Cup! (I'm happy that I sold down my share of this horse to a negligible 2%.) Remember the optionality of girls over boys? He's already had his nuts cut off, so the next step after proving to be a slow racehorse is either Equestrian training or police training. The other more final option finishes in an aluminium can. We generally would give a horse away to a showjumping school or something, before literally canning him.

Ski Lodge, a mare that I own a quarter of, races tomorrow in a $50k race over ¾ mile. It will be televised at 11pm NY time today for those who asked. Race 3 in Sydney. She is number 13. She will be 200-1 to win and deserves every bit of it. She could start now and still not beat some of these sprinters home. I'd be more than surprised if she ran a place. Her best races have been run over twice this distance, so I think she will be better suited a little later when the distances suit her and she is more race fit. Will have a dollar on her to run 4th, as usual.

The Wallabies, our national Rugby team, are playing a match on Saturday in preparation for playing the New Zealand All Blacks in a couple of weeks. The All Blacks are the most feared team in rugby, and a good solid match against tough opposition is always a good prep, but I think given the choice, I'd be missing this one for sure. The Wallabies are playing a combined Pacific Islands team. The best from Fiji, Tonga and Western Samoa combined in one team. I'd rather play the All Blacks! Allow me to expand and reminisce a moment...

In about March 1991, I got a call from a mate asking me if I wanted to play in a International Seven-a-side Rugby tournament in Apia, Western Samoa. Six days away on a tropical island in the middle of the south Pacific for free, play in a couple of rugby matches and generally have a nice holiday on someone else's nickel. No need for a second thought, I'm in!! There would be a few training sessions in Sydney before we left and I would meet the rest of our team. I was young, fit, could play a bit and was indestructible, in my mind anyway. There were 12 in our squad of which 8 were Samoan nationals. I was about 50 pounds lighter than the smallest of the Samoans on our team, and the only one of the rest not to have played for Australia. No worries, with these big guys on side, we're laughing.

I started to get a little worried when we arrived in Apia at the same time as a plane from New Zealand and I recognized about 12 All Blacks standing around waiting for their luggage. I wonder what they are doing here? Then the significance of the tournament was explained to me by our 6' 6", 240 lb skipper. It was effectively the National Championship whereby most Samoan players around the world go home and represent their Village and bring a few guests with them. It is a huge event. Each team must have 7 of their twelve players originating from that village and the remainder are by invitation. They also invite the Tongan national team, Fiji and a few other international teams.

The first day was all beer and skittles. You beauty, pass the pineapple. Beach barbeques, great weather and great food. How good is this, I thought. How freaking huge are some of these guys staying at the hotel we were in?? We then went to have a light training session at the national stadium before the tournament. We did some opposed stuff against a village called Mo'toa, which was captained by All Black legend Michael Jones. He was the smallest guy in their team. Our guys started to look a lot less formidable! No worries, I will just keep a low profile, be a substitute and hardly play at all. I may even get through the whole thing without even getting on the field. It didn't pan out that way. Half our team got food poisoning on the night before the finals and some couldn't play the next day. We played 5 matches in two days and unfortunately, I didn't get sick.

I hadn't ever been worried about my safety on a football field, nervous sure, but I don't actually recall not wanting to be on the field at any given time in my life. In Samoa, I was. These Islander guys hit for keeps and aren't that small. In Sevens rugby, there is nowhere to hide - no resting, no pads, no helmets and seriously full contact. Some of the tackling was borderline attempted murder. Reminded me of Rhino's charging into each other. Agility beats size on most occasions in Sevens. I was made an example of what happens when size collides with agility, on more than one occasion. The crowd was bigger than what I expected the whole population of the Island could be. They went nuts when Fiji were beaten in the semi-final by the local favourites, Mo'toa. Old tribal war history is certainly alive and well in the Pacific. The final, between two Samoan village teams (with a few invitees), playing for nothing but pride and honour, was the most violent yet legal rugby contest I have ever seen. I was happy to get on a plane home with nearly all bones intact.

And the Wallabies are gonna play these guys as a "practice" game??? Pull a hammy in the warm up, is my advice.

Have a great 4th July holiday weekend and enjoy the rest of your day...


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