The horses have come out in full force for tomorrow’s 12-race programme at Caymanas Park, featuring the season’s first grade one-trophy race, the Eileen Cliggott Memorial Trophy and the Long Shot Trophy for $180,000 claimers, both over 1300 metres.Both the Pick-9 and Super-6 start anew after they were cornered last Saturday, the Pick-9 offering the guaranteed minimum of $1 million and both Super-6s minimum payouts of $750,00. The Pick-9 will embrace races four to 12, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from race seven to 12.Seven starters have been declared to contest the opening race over 1820 metres (restricted allowance 3), including co-favourites BALLON D’OR and MIND SET, to be ridden by champion jockey Shane Ellis and four-time champion Omar Walker, respectively.Both are well suited to the distance, and along with recent winner TURBO MACHINE CAT, should ensure keen competition. MIND SET from the stables of 15-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta has the most appealing form, having finished two lengths second to DREAMCOMETRUE over 1500 metres on January 9. The Anthony Nunes-trained BALLON D’OR caught the eye when running on well for third to stable-companion SOUTHERN CRUISE over 1400 metres on January 30 and will only go down fighting. MIND SET, however, has greater pace and will get first run and thus gets the nod.MAIDEN CONDITION RACENext on the programme is a 4-y-o and up maiden condition race in which SLEW DI CLOCK under top apprentice Linton Steadman, LAZZA with apprentice Hakeem Pottinger, and the lightly-aced EL SALADO with in-form apprentice Bebeto Harvey, should have the finish to themselves in a 10-strong field.EL SALADO, a 4-y-o bay colt by Deputy Glitters out of Muchacha Favourita from the stables of Randolph Scott, has shown promise in two races last year, and although sidelined for nearly 11 months, has looked sharp enough at exercise to return on a winning note against such moderate opposition.LAZZA has good pace and could use it to best advantage, while SLEW DI CLOCK finished second to CRUCIAL VALOUR over this trip on December 23 and could go one better.SILVER CLOUD, who went under in a driving finish as the favourite to the rank outsider ABBEY ROAD over 1400 metres recently, is programmed to recoup losses in the third race over 1600 metres in which the free-running filly BUBBLING KITTEN and the late-kicking ORIGINAL TRAIN are twin dangers in a quality field of six.ITALIANO, who has won two of his last four races, steps down in class (claiming $450,000 – $400,000) for the fourth race over 1200 metres and now back with his old connections (claimed), including jockey Omar Walker, represents a five-star banker in a nine-strong field. The grey gelding won back-to-back races for popular owner O’Shaun Connection and trainer Neive Graham some weeks ago but was subsequently claimed. He was reclaimed by Graham last Saturday after finishing third to DWAYNE STAR on a $500,000 tag and cannot be opposed on a $450,000 tag.The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by the speedy BIG DATA under Aaron Chatrie and SPORTING CLAY with three-time champion Dane Nelson in division one of the Long Shot Trophy. Their respective dangers are MISTER BONES and PRINCE O’SHAUN.FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES(1) MND SET/BALLON D’OR(2) SLEW DI CLOCK/ELSALADO(3) SILVER CLOUD/ORIGINAL TRAIN(4) ITALIANO(5) BIG DATA/MISTER BONES(6) SPORTING CLAY/PRINCE O’SHAUN
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Khemraj Ramgobin of Timehri, East Bank Demerara (EBD) on Friday admitted before Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus that on May 29, 2018, while in the vicinity of Wismar, Linden, and while armed with a cutlass, he broke and entered the home of Anthony Lieu-Ken-Pen.An alarm was, however, raised by Lieu-Ken-Pen, who was at home with his two children, and the 23-year-old Ramgobin was arrested and charged.In a plea of mitigation, Ramgobin told the court, “I was really hungry, and I was calling really long…but I didn’t get to go inside far.”Ramgobin has been sentenced to one year’s imprisonment for the offence.
“It’s obvious that we’ve ramped up our penalties and we’re going to get people’s attention,” competition director Robin Pemberton said. “We’re going to grab this one by the horns.” Robbie Reiser, crew chief for Kenseth, and Kenny Francis, crew chief for Kahne, were suspended four races. Rodney Childers, crew chief for Riggs, and Josh Brown, crew chief for Sadler, were suspended two races. Kahne, Riggs and Sadler are teammates at Evernham Motorsports. Kenseth, the 2003 series champion and runner-up last season, drives for Roush Racing. All four crew chiefs can appeal, a process that could allow them to work the Great American Race. If they do and the committee cannot schedule a hearing before Sunday’s race, they would be allowed to participate. But Roush Racing already has a replacement for Reiser and said the 500 will be the first race he has missed since the team’s inception in 1999, a stretch of 255 races. Reiser and Francis may not appeal because delaying the suspension could cause them to miss the debut of the Car of Tomorrow at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. In toughening its penalties, NASCAR made the unprecedented move of taking points away before the season has even started. Kahne and Kenseth were docked 50 points apiece, while Riggs and Sadler lost 25 each. Reiser and Francis also were fined $50,000 each, while Childers and Brown were fined $25,000 each. All four drivers will start the season with negative points in a move that most likely infuriated the teams but sent a strong message that NASCAR will not tolerate rule-breakers. Kenseth and Kahne had their qualifying times thrown out after inspectors discovered illegal holes in the wheel wells, which could have improved aerodynamics. Evernham maintained the holes had been covered with duct tape that apparently fell off before the Dodge was inspected. But Pemberton said NASCAR believed the tape had been cut. Riggs and Sadler’s cars both had modifications that allowed air to leak out of the trunk area. It was discovered before qualifying and had not been announced by NASCAR before Tuesday. Waltrip, meanwhile, had a suspicious substance in the intake manifold of his Camry. The part was seized before qualifying, and the car was impounded after the session. Inspectors plan to examine the car today, and NASCAR has not decided if it will be returned to Waltrip in time for Thursday’s qualifying races. No penalties have been decided as NASCAR continues investigating. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NASCAR suspended the crew chiefs for Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Scott Riggs and Elliott Sadler and docked all four drivers points before the season-opening Daytona 500. All four cars failed qualifying inspection. A fifth, Michael Waltrip’s startup Toyota Camry, faces additional penalties that could be even more severe. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR vowed last summer to crack down on cheaters and pledged to toughen penalties in a sport in which bending rules is as common as banging bumpers. Officials made good on that promise Tuesday.
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Chargers certainly were aware that Norv Turner was 24 games under .500 and made only one playoff appearance in his nine seasons as an NFL head coach. It didn’t scare them off in the slightest. The Chargers also signed Ted Cottrell a two-year contract as defensive coordinator, then added Ron Rivera as linebackers coach just hours after the Chicago Bears said he wouldn’t be back as their defensive coordinator. Rivera, a linebacker on the Super Bowl champion 1985 Bears, had interviewed for the job that went to Turner. While the immediate reaction by fans was lukewarm, the Chargers pointed to Turner’s previous experience and the chance at continuity. Turner was San Diego’s offensive coordinator in 2001, when he installed the system that helped carry LaDainian Tomlinson to the league MVP award in 2006. “This isn’t a team where you’re rebuilding,” said Turner, who had been San Francisco’s offensive coordinator. “We should start fast. We should be good early and we should be good late. Not having to go through the normal things you have to go through when you make a coaching change is going to help the players more than anyone.” Turner has done well working with young players, and quarterback Philip Rivers is expected to benefit from his tutelage. Rivers was voted to the Pro Bowl as a first-year starter. Turner also knows general manager A.J. Smith, who was an assistant to the late John Butler in 2001. Smith survived a power struggle with Schottenheimer, who was fired last Monday by team president Dean Spanos, who cited a “dysfunctional situation” between the coach and GM. Turner said he spoke with a handful of players on Monday morning and they seemed relieved there wouldn’t be major changes. “Everyone I talked to today said one central thing: We want to win a championship,” Turner said. “We’ve been talking about it ever since I had the opportunity to interview. If it happens, it would be a heck of a deal for all of us.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Turner got his third shot at a top job when he was given a four-year contract Monday to take over a team that went an NFL-best 14-2 before melting down in the playoffs and then in the front office. The hiring came a week after the surprise firing of Marty Schottenheimer and less than 24 hours after the Chargers finished interviewing the last of six candidates. Turner was the only one with NFL head coaching experience and the only one from the offensive side of the ball.
TONIGHT at the Clanree Hotel in Letterkenny, the women in Business in County Donegal will launch their fresh new brand, website & online directory and host an evening of “Meet the Donegal Women in Business” showcase. The network committee would like to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to come along on the evening.The event, which will be officially launched by Minister Joe McHugh, is FREE of charge & there will be a large number of businesses networking & displaying on the night. There are some spaces still available and if you are interested in coming along or having a stand on the night, call Rachel on 0749160735 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.We will have ladies from all industry sectors & of all age groups sharing their experiences with you about how the network benefits them and the networking on the night will be invaluable.Donegal Women in Business was set up 14 years ago to support all women who work in business and who own or manage a business in the county.With over 200 members, the Network is all about helping their members succeed. It supports members by: Giving shared learning and best practice through regular seminars and workshops, providing opportunities for businesses to promote themselves, being a source of information, holding regular networking events, enabling members to build up useful business contacts. The network run a number of seminars/workshops/breakfast meetings throughout the year. It’s not all work though, the Network also runs a number of social events, which provide a welcome diversion from daily business life and are a great way to have some fun while getting to know other members!The Network is open to all women with an interest in business. If you are interested in joining the Network, please contact: Rachel Wasson, Denise McClintock or Grace Ann McGarvey by email to email@example.com or follow us on Facebook and on Twitter. Looking forward to seeing you there. DONEGAL WOMEN IN BUSINESS TO LAUNCH NEW WEBSITE AND ONLINE DIRECTORY was last modified: October 13th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Los Osos vs. Claremont Site: Claremont HSTime: 7 p.m.Records: Los Osos 5-1, 1-0; Claremont 3-3, 1-0Outlook: Most Baseline League observers figured last week’s Los Osos-Rancho Cucamonga game would be a competitive, down-to-the-wire contest. Few would have anticipated a Los Osos 52-21 blowout win. “To do what they did last week, it was an eye-opener,” Claremont coach Mike Collins said. “They served notice to everybody that they’re a team that will contend for the league championship.” Claremont opened league play on the right note, too. The three-time defending Baseline champs beat Etiwanda 34-25 to set up tonight’s battle for first place. “We brought it up to the kids, to let them know who they are,” Los Osos coach Tom Martinez said. “They usually play a tough preseason, and it gets them ready for league.” Rancho Cucamonga vs. Alta Loma Site: Montclair HSTime: 7 p.m.Records: Chaffey 5-1, 1-0; Montclair 4-2, 1-0Outlook: Montclair coach Steve Sullivant watched each of Chaffey’s last five games, and never saw an opposing offense score a point. His thoughts? “God, those guys are great,” Sullivant said. “It’s quite a good defense, one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.” Montclair, coming off a 42-17 win over Colony, has already tipped its hand by using spread and shotgun formations in a recent game when the team trailed at halftime. Sullivant had hoped to save those sets for later in league play. “Now, it’s no surprise,” he said. Chaffey coach Chris Brown doesn’t need his team to post its fifth shutout of the season; a win would do just fine. “You could have all the scheme you want or design all the plays you want, but if you don’t have good kids, it’s not going to matter,” Brown said. Moreno Valley vs. Norco Site: Norco HSTime: 7 p.m.Records: Moreno Valley 3-3 overall, 0-1 Mountain View League; Norco 6-0, 1-0.Outlook: Norco coach Todd Gerhart isn’t worried about a letdown after last week’s impressive 42-21 victory over Corona Centennial, but he is owrried about Moreno Valley, which utilizes multiple sets on offense. “They change every single play,” Gerhart said. “That’s a concern.” Troy Hall leads the Vikings, who lost to Corona 28-21 last week, with 363 rushing yards, but he has only one touchdown. With most of his starters playing little more than a half in the first five games, Gerhart noticed a lack of stamina in the second half last week. Even if Norco gets out to a big, early lead, Gerhart might let his starters play close to three quarters. Norco’s offense has seen many different defenses this year, and Gerhart had learned to expect anything. “Last week, Centennial took on the inside, with six players between the tackles, so we took the edge,” Gerhart said. “But we can actually throw the ball. This week, I anticipate a 6-3 (alignment). But if we spread them out with trips, the 6-3 becomes a 6-1.” Chino Hills vs. Ayala Site: Ayala HSTime: 7 p.m.Records: Chino Hills 6-0 overall, 1-0 Sierra League; Ayala 2-4, 0-1.Outlook: This game could easily be considered a blowout based on this year’s records, but the same could have been said for last year’s contest. But in that game, Chino Hills won by only 21-16 to improve to 6-1 while Ayala dropped to 1-6. Ayala won two years ago, 21-17. “This is becoming a bigger rivalry,” Ayala coach Bob Mount admitted. “They know these (Chino Hills) kids and it ratchets up the emotions.” Mount believes his team will be competitive in this contest but only if the Bulldogs eliminate mistakes that have plagued them this year. “If you look at our record, we’ve been our own worst enemy,” Mount said. Sophomore Matt Baca and junior Charlie Barcelo will continue to alternate at quarterback until one of them claims the No. 1 spot. An aggressive Chino Hills team (three fourth downs converted in the first quarter) got off to a quick start against Glendora last week en route to an impressive 43-6 victory, avenging a loss to the Tartans last year. Rialto vs. A.B. Miller Site: Miller HSTime: 7:30 p.m.Records: Rialto 1-5, 1-2; Miller 3-3, 2-1Outlook: The Rebels can choose from senior Derrick Duran or A.J. Springer at QB, both of whom run the option well. Duran is recovered from injury and Springer has come on of late and will probably start. David Williams, Victor Gil and Joey Zazueta pace the OL. Linemen Williams and Byron Glass and LB Zazueta pace the defense. Rialto fell 14-12 to Yucaipa last week, but beat Fontana the week before and has been been improving. “I said when I took the job that I was concerned with character and improvement and that if we had those, the wins and losses would eventually take care of themselves,” Rialto coach Brad Hornback said. DeyJuan Hemmings led the Knights against Yucaipa with 53 yards rushing, a 30-yard interception return for a TD and 14 tackles at linebacker. Sophomore OL/DL Quentin Toailoa (6-4, 255) played last week with a broken hand and shined. Daniel Flores, Carlos Flores (not related) and Xavier Penaloza lead an improving offensive line. Eisenhower vs. Colton Site: Colton HSTime: 7:30 p.m.Records: Eisenhower 2-4, 1-3; Colton 5-1, 3-0Outlook: The Yellowjackets are on a roll following wins against Rialto (42-0), Fontana (74-0) and Redlands (50-12). RBs Allen Bradford and Shareece Wright are heavily recruited and QB Brad Sorensen has blossomed. Other standouts are WR/DBs James Smith Daniel Sorensen (the QB’s brother) and two-way linemen Roman DeCastro and Mario Perez. Soon a pair of transfer DLs, Jeff Moore (6-4, 265) from Alabama and and Wordall [cmcq] Soa’alo (6-3, 285) from Moreno Valley will join the rotation on a sometimes-porous front. Colton last game had 138 yards in penalties, a problem all season. Eisenhower’s Julius McChristian doesn’t advertise it, but he’s toned down the Eagle offense, returning to a ball-possession ground game. He also is calling more of his own plays. Star RB Courtney Randall is banged up, but will play. He runs behind big OL like Ted Pagkaliwangan, Ben TakiTaki and Albert Lee. Freshman QB Anthony Lucero is coming on. Tonight’s other games (all games 7 p.m. except where indicated) Citrus Belt League Fontana vs. Redlands at U. Redlands, 7:30 p.m. Mt. Baldy League Diamond Ranch at Colony Don Lugo vs. Ontario at Chaffey HS San Andreas League Arroyo Valley at Carter Sierra League Glendora at Chino Damien at Diamond Bar Valle Vista League San Dimas at Ganesha Nonleague Garey at Nogales Golden Valley at Ontario Christian, 7:30 p.m. Eight-man Metro League Upland Christian at Desert Chapel 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Site: Chaffey CollegeTime: 7 p.m.Records: Rancho Cucamonga 4-2, 0-1; Alta Loma 5-1, 0-1Outlook: It’s not quite desperation, but there’s certainly a sense of urgency tonight for Rancho Cucamonga and Alta Loma. Each teams lost its respective Baseline League opener last week, and neither can afford to lose again. “Both schools are in the exact same situation,” Rancho coach Chris Van Duin said. “We both had very successful preseasons, and now we’re both staring at the potential of one of us being 0-2.” Van Duin said after Rancho suffered a 52-21 loss to Los Osos last week, “the preparation this week was as good as could be expected.” Star defensive end Devin Johnson recovered from a concussion in time for the Los Osos game, but then injured an ankle and is listed in the questionable-doubtful range for tonight. Previously unbeaten Alta Loma suffered a 38-17 loss to Upland last week. Bonita vs. Charter Oak Site: Charter Oak HSTime: 7 p.m.Records: Bonita 6-0, 0-0; Charter Oak 4-2, 1-0Outlook: Before beating Walnut 27-0 last week, Bonita coach Eric Podley said the game would be his team’s toughest yet. This week, it gets even tougher. “We’re taking a major step up in competition,” Podley said. Charter Oak will present the challenge of the season for undefeated Bonita in the Bearcats’ Miramonte League opener just ask Los Altos, another powerhouse which fell 31-13 to Charter Oak last week. “They’ve always been blessed with great size, speed and athleticism, and they have those things again this year,” Podley said. But with the way Bonita has been playing, anything seems possible. “With only having eight seniors, people maybe anticipated a less-than-successful season,’ Podley said. “Those eight seniors haven’t allowed anything but winning to take place.” Chaffey vs. Montclair
Six towns in Donegal are to benefit from enet-SSE’s plans to bring super fast fibre broadband to rural Ireland.enet-SSE has announced that it will bring super fast fibre broadband connectivity to 115,000 homes in nine towns and the Cathoirleach of Donegal County Council, Councillor Gerry McMonagle, has welcomed news that six of the nine towns are in Donegal.Picture: Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD Minister Naughten, Brian Boyle, Head of Information Systems, Donegal County Council, Cllr. Gerry McMonagle, Cathaoirleach, Donegal County Council and Stephen Wheeler MD SSE Airtricity at the recent launch of the enet-SSE Broadband Plan. Enet-SSE will deliver the new fibre-to-the-premises broadband network to nine towns in the West and North West, including Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal Town, Ballybofey, Stranorlar, and Buncrana. The network roll-out will connect each town in phases and will be completed in 2019.“I am delighted that six of the nine towns announced are in Donegal and this will have a major impact on the provision of broadband in Donegal. I have to commend the work of the Information Systems team in Donegal County Council who have been working closely with both the Department and these broadband providers to ensure that Donegal is well placed in the delivery of this broadband programme,” said Cllr. McMonagle.“This type of world class high speed broadband connectivity is vital for the sustainable development of the county. It means that businesses in Donegal will be well positioned to compete globally, creating jobs and bringing investment to our towns and villages.”Enet-SSE is a new commercial joint venture between Ireland’s largest open-access fibre network provider enet and energy utility SSE and this initiative represents more than €100m investment. Brian Boyle, Head of Information Systems believes that this investment is of critical importance for Donegal.“High speed Fibre to the premises connectivity is one of our top priorities in Donegal County Council, and this investment will have a huge impact not only for businesses but also for residents.The Enet-SSE project is an open access fibre to the premises solution delivered via the Council’s Metropolitan Area Networks, which will enable gigabit connectivity for businesses and homes in each town. It’s great news that County Donegal has featured so strongly in this announcement.When coupled with the OpenEir rural fibre programme and the SIRO fibre to the premises project in Letterkenny, delivery of high speed broadband services in Donegal is progressing strongly even in advance of the National Broadband Plan” Six towns in Donegal to get ‘super fast’ fibre broadband was last modified: September 11th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Brian BoylebroadbandCouncillor Gerry McMonagleDonegal County Councilenet-SSEgerry mcmonagle
Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said that the new Government plan to tackle white collar crime “won’t see any white collar criminals losing any sleep.” The Departments of Justice, Finance, and Business Enterprise and Innovation have collaborated to publish a list of twenty-eight actions with the goal of combating white collar crime, as well as the introduction of an anti-corruption bill.The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement has also been declared as an independent agency. Deputy Doherty says that this plan however, will fail to deliver the cultural and legal change required.Deputy Doherty said: “This cut and paste job from a government whose Programme didn’t even mention white collar crime, we won’t see any white collar criminals losing any sleep.“I can only presume it’s meant to be some sort of response to the tracker mortgage scandal but there is nothing in the plan that would make any of the bankers responsible for the scandal any more accountable.“Likewise, the plan includes looking at the Banking Inquiry recommendations but they are weak and arrived at through a very narrow legal focus. “The plan simply would not have prevented the banking crash or even seen any more of its perpetrators held accountable in a Court.“The issue of reckless lending is not mentioned, there is nothing about individuality accountability and even issues raised by the Central Bank like the need for a new offence of giving misleading information to the Central Bank are not addressed. Class Action suits are not mentioned despite the obvious need for them in light of the tracker scandal.“In short, the plan is a flop. It will not bring about the cultural and legal changes the State needs.“This cut and paste job is a scrambled together photo-op for four Ministers; it is not a serious attempt at radical reform.“The government has shirked the responsibility of doing the hard work, the forensic analysis of what is required. The first five actions all relate to one piece of legislation while others are about implementing EU directives already overdue or responding to international moves as we are obliged to do.“After today, I am more convinced than ever before that this government does not have the political will to do the hard work on this issue. The tracker scandal has forced them to cobble together a report but it fails far short of what is needed.” TD: ‘White Collar Crime’ plan won’t see too many criminals losing sleep was last modified: November 5th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Pearse Dohertywhite collar crime
Air New Zealand has revealed Peter Jackson’s theatrical interpretation of the mythical Dragon Smaug exclusively to the world, ten days ahead of the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.See video below.A Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with the 54 metre (177 feet) long Dragon emblazoned on both sides was unveiled in Auckland on Monday December 2.The first film in The Hobbit Trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey famously featured just Smaug’s eye, leaving it to fans to envisage for themselves how he might look in Peter Jackson’s imagination.Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the airline has been in discussions for some time around permission to feature Smaug on the ‘flying billboard’ ahead of the film’s official release.“For our partners to allow Air New Zealand to reveal their star to the world is a huge privilege. We worked with Weta Digital which designed the graphic especially for us for this purpose.”This is the second 777-300ER inspired by The Hobbit Trilogy in the Air New Zealand fleet. The first was unveiled last year to coincide with the launch of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and has been wowing fans around the world since.Director of The Hobbit Trilogy, Sir Peter Jackson, says while the first aircraft, featuring various characters from the first film, was extremely impressive the enormous scale of the single Dragon running the entire length of the aircraft is even more awe inspiring.“To see Smaug fly off the big screen and into the skies like this is pretty exciting. We’re proud to debut him here in New Zealand, where our team has worked so hard to bring him to life.” Visual Effects Supervisor Eric Saindon of Weta Digital says designing a graphic which not only fits with Peter Jackson’s creative vision but also meets the various specifications required to fit on an aircraft was no mean feat.“Capturing Smaug’s presence and the amazing detail in his design while accommodating the windows, doors and wing shape was quite a different experience for us,” said Saindon. “It was great to see Smaug brought to life, and he appears even larger in the film!”The aircraft will head to Los Angeles Monday evening, to arrive just in time for the premiere on December 2nd local time.As part of its global marketing campaign around The Hobbit:The Desolation of Smaug, the airline has also released a video entitled Just another day in Middle-earth, which features staff from across its business, with a magical Hobbit movie-inspired twist. The video has been viewed online 1.5 million times in less than two weeks.