Fearless sporting predictions for 2014

I glanced at the calendar the other day and couldn’t believe another year had flashed by faster than Usain Bolt.

There has been plenty happening in the world of sport, both big achievements and high drama.

I thought it was time to gaze into my crystal ball and make some bold 2014 predictions.

Let’s start with horse racing.

Warwick Farm trainer Peter Snowden is leaving the powerful Darley Australia stable where he has been in charge for seven years. Snowden is heading out on his own, setting up new stables in Warwick Farm with his son Paul.

While he probably won’t have the large numbers at his disposal like he did at Darley Australia, Snowden is a smart man and good horseman and he will continue to be successful and win his share of Group One races.

As for his replacement, my money is on Randwick trainer John O’Shea to be the new boss at Darley Australia.

In cricket, Liverpool-born Michael Clarke, who is the flint-hard Australian Test captain, will be named Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

In recent years Clarke has graduated from a very, very, good player, becoming the best batsman in the game and the Wisden award will confirm this No.1 ranking and lofty status.

Before we know it the rugby league trials will be here in February and the premiership season kick-off is Thursday, March 7, between Souths and premiers Sydney Roosters.

While there are many, many tries, tackles and drama to happen in 2014, I reckon Newcastle Knights will win the grand final.

Master coach Wayne Bennett will become the first mentor to win grand finals at three different clubs when he takes the Knights to the title next October

One prediction for sure is the Sharks, yet to win a grand final, will find their trophy cabinet bare again by the end of 2014.

Queensland will make it nine consecutive State of Origin series victories and captain Cameron Smith will announce his retirement from representative rugby league then reveal he’s joining the Brisbane Broncos in 2015.

New Zealand Warriors coach Matt Elliott will be the first one sacked in 2014.

Eels star Jarryd Hayne will be named Dally M Player of the Year.

The Melbourne Cup will be run on Tuesday, November 4, and all writers, authors and novelists will back Irish horse Ernest Hemingway. I believe this five-year-old stallion will win the 3200 metre classic at Flemington.

In golf, Tiger Woods will go winless in the four majors, and keep the bookmakers driving BMWs instead of Holdens.

The punters love backing Tiger and the bookies know the odds about the American champion winning major tournaments is lengthening each year.

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