WEDNESDAY WHINGE - but HAVE YOUR SAY ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.

STRANGE things seem to be going on involving the website HORSERACING ONLY , its operator GRAHAM POTTER & some of his ASSOCIATES. It's time the QUEENSLAND RACING INTEGRITY COMMISSION took a closer look at what is being alleged concerning how Mr Potter and his team work at race meetings. IF you know anything about this please forward the INFORMATION to QRIC or even better still to LETSGOHORSERACING. Where does the weak-kneed Queensland Racing Media Association stand on this issue by the way.

 

'QUEENSLAND STEWARDS AGAIN THE LAUGHING STOCK OF COUNTRY’

AS I am a long-time OWNER of RACEHORSES in QUEENSLAND, please withhold my identity as the last thing I need is to focus special attention on MYSELF or MY TRAINER but I want to express the views of many on various issues arising out of MAGIC MILLIONS DAY.

‘WHAT mystifies me is why the Stewards’ Panel in Queensland, under the chairmanship of Allan Reardon, continues to make themselves the laughing stock of racing in this country.

As the Racing Editor of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, CHRIS ROOTS wrote:

JOCKEY Matthew McGillivray should consider himself very fortunate to be only serving a months’ suspension for the carnage he caused in the Magic Millions Classic.

For some strange reason – that has the entire industry puzzled – stewards opted for a careless rather than reckless riding charge that could have easily been sustained.

The stewards’ inquiry into the first 200m of the $2 million race was one of the quietest conducted as fellow jockeys let the video tell their story. The three other jockeys were asked if they had anything to add after viewing the video and all declined.

Hugh Bowman on Jonker was lucky to stay on his feet as he got inside the line of the fence while horses came from the 1200m chute on the course proper and he ran along the plastic rail for several metres.

The chain-reaction effect of McGillivray's single-mindedness to lead saw horses being forced wider back in the field. Often interference is subtle but this was clear for everyone to see from the stands and it was all because of the actions of one jockey.

McGillivray could only offer that he was intent on leading as he came across from the wide gate and he didn't realize the problems he was causing until it was too late. Stewards said the fact he turned the head of Ef Troop after the damage was done saved him from the higher charge.

He got a month's suspension, the standard penalty for causing a fall, but was allowed to keep his riding fee and percentage from running fourth, a position he only reached because of the interference he had caused to others.  

Reckless riding would have been a more severe penalty and at the very least a fine should have been added to his month's suspension.’

I am not going to suggest that this was a ‘hometown decision’ by the racing police but it certainly did not endear their reputations to many south of the border. I listened into a racing radio program in Victoria the day after the race and the stewards’ leniency was challenged as was their ability to chair a major meeting.

One has to ask the following questions:

Did they ask top trainer Tony Gollan whether the instructions to McGillivray were to ‘lead at all costs’ from his wide draw? Certainly, Gollan, lacking nothing in confidence, warned before the race that nothing would lead Ef Troop. And this was despite a word of warning from a far more respected and less big headed trainer in Tony McEvoy that anything that led Sunlight would do so at its peril.  

Gollan’s horses on the day were firing on all cylinders. An earlier winner, backed in from double figure odds, I’m a Rippa, certainly showed a lot more fight than it did at its previous start when tiring from the 100m mark. Did stewards question the improvement of that horse because it certainly did go a lot better from a wide draw in a much richer race?

Those of us close to racing in Brisbane are aware that there is arguably no love lost between Jim Byrne, the No 1 stable jockey for Gollan and the rising riding star McGillivray. I read where Byrne said that his mount, the stablemate of Ef Troop in Outback Barbie, copped the backwash of the carnage early – yet the stewards didn’t see this or at least it wasn’t in their report. Those mentioned in official dispatches were: Jonker, Sunlight, Secret Lady, Fullazaboot, Meryl, Witherspoon, Bondi, Legislation, Whiskey Shooter and Nomothaj. But with all due respects there weren’t too many that McGillibray missed and one can’t blame Byrne for lining up for his share of whining as well.

When one looks at the replay – without allowing for those who were knocked down which might be drawing a long bow – the desperately unlucky youngster was the runner-up Fullazaboot which not only struck trouble but also raced wide from a bad draw. Well on the subject of that promising colt might I suggest that the asleep-at-the-wheel stewards could have looked back at the way that horse was ridden at its previous start? Many punters are suggesting that it was an absolute slaughter job by Damien Browne and some of those thought the $2.5 favorite was a good thing. It saw plenty of the outside fence and ran second to Blue Book which might be promising but certainly wouldn’t have run second in a Magic Millions.

In looking back at the sad sorry tale of the big day at the Gold Coast one wonders if Allan Reardon, as happens with his southern counterparts, reminded jockeys of their obligations prior to racing for such huge money. Perhaps, as usual, he was just going through the motions of an afternoon out with just a few more thousand visitors in attendance. Poor old Al, in the opinion of many, isn’t a light of the days when he was rated the best reader of a race in Queensland. If he doesn’t want to go voluntarily it’s time someone at RQ or QRIC put the old boy out to pasture. ’

 

IF THEY HAD A RELEGATION RULE THEN EF TROOP RUNS LAST IN MM

HERE is a SELECTION of EMAILS that we have chosen to run concerning MAGIC MILLIONS DAY that hopefully gets the general message across for all of those who took the time to have their say:

BRIAN HARRISON of GOLD COAST wrote:

‘IS there a relevant argument for a relegation rule to be introduced into Australian racing in the wake of some of the carnage that is caused in feature races by jockeys hellbent on winning at all costs?

They have this in America where a horse that causes interference is relegated to a position in finishing order behind those runners that suffered.

In the case of Ef Troop in Saturday’s Magic Millions Classic, that horse would have been relegated to last behind Jonker, the runner that suffered the most when Matt McGillivray had a brain snap and decided to cross and lead regardless of the consequences to the safety of his rival jockeys.

Instead, under this archaic and unfair rule that exists in Australia, McGillivray gets a slap on the hand month suspension on a lower charge than the one he should have been facing; the horse, trainer and connections (along with the jockey) share the spoils of fourth prizemoney ($90,000). And what about the connections of those who thought they had a hope of sharing in the riches? Well many were knocked out of business early and Jonker might be lucky to ever race as well as he did before after having the confidence and stuffing knocked out of him. It’s simply not good enough for a horse to be rewarded (by still being paid 4th money) when it causes that sort of problem. This was the worst interference I have seen in a big race in Queensland since Melbourne Cup winning jockey Larry Olsen crossed and collected the field in an Ipswich Cup decades ago. And if my memory is correct he got far more than a month’s suspension when I believe Ray Murrihy was the Chief Steward.’

 

‘IT’S A BAD EXPERIENCE AT THE TRACK OR WATCHING ON SEVEN’

MAL KALLESKE of BRISBANE sent this email:

‘AFTER being subjected to the worst conditions I have ever experienced at a major race day last year I elected to stay at home instead of going to the Gold Coast for the Millions meeting.

Mates of mine returned but report that they have attended for the last time. They say that even from their section of the members (which was a restricted area) it was virtually impossible to see the horses’ parade or return because of the huge amount of space allocated to the media and corporates.

I didn’t fare much better at home watching the coverage on Seven which was nothing more than a free afternoon of advertising for Gerry Harvey and his wife Katie, along with the Magic Millions Group and its Sales.

The continuing suck-up and arse lick by the Seven hosts was so sickening that I eventually tuned out before I kicked the TV through the wall. At least I didn’t have to put up with that sort of garbage on SKY.

Tuning into the news that night there was even more bad news when Premier Anna announced another four years of funding to Magic Millions which is a joke. If the stories doing the rounds in the industry are correct Harvey contributes next to nothing to the $10 million day. The Queensland Government through Tourism Queensland and Racing Queensland foot the prizemoney bill and pay for much of the promotion of the Sales, the returns of which go straight into the pocket of one of Australia’s richest men. And by the way he should watch what he says on national TV concerning tactics adopted in the sales ring when yearlings attract price tags of more than $1 million. We are continually told that doesn’t occur at sales in this country.

Like it or not Millions day is a restriction of trade for those who don’t have horses from these sales that are eligible to race there. And the story that the race day and sales boost tourism on the Coast – give us a break, it’s peak tourist time and the crowds are already there. Those who are coming to the Coast for the races or Sales would be there anyway.’

 

‘WHEN IT COMES TO TIPPING WALLER SENDS THE PUNTERS BROKE’

PERCY the PUNTER from MELBOURNE gives the tipping prowess of champion trainer CHRIS WALLER a backhander:

‘MUCH was made, yet again, of ‘champion’ trainer Chris Waller and his success in two big races on Millions Day and how the establishment of a satellite stable on the Gold Coast had contributed.

Little was said about how badly he misled the punters about his chances on the day which is nothing knew – it happens almost every week in Sydney racing.

Waller was asked on Melbourne radio on Saturday morning for his best of the day anywhere in Australia and he declared a ‘value tip’ for the punters in My Giuliano in the Magic Millions Trophy on the Gold Coast. The first bit of bad news for the punters was that My Giuliano went like a mule and finished 12th at $16. Worse news still was that stablemate Tumultous won the race, backed from $31 to $26.

If you think you cannot beat bad luck, Waller was asked by RSN host Matt Stewart to nominate a PARLEZ PLACE bet for the listeners and this is what he came up with at RANDWICK:

R3 H1 GREAT GLENN: Blew like a gale in the betting and beat one home in an eight-horse field after being under pressure on the turn.                   

R6 H5 LIAPARI: Fell into 3rd place behind DREAMFORCE but there were only six starters so no third dividend was paid.

R7 H2 NEW UNIVERSE: Made some ground to finish 4th but never really looked a winning or place hope.

Waller went a step further and suggested punters could have something on AQUATIC (R8) and VAUCLUSE BAY (R9).  The former ran 2nd (at $16) to a long odds-on favorite and the latter finished with the cab-catchers at $4.4 in the last.

Not one winner from five tips at Randwick but in fairness I should add that it was one of those rare days when the Waller stable didn’t have a winner in Sydney.

However, his best backed runner throughout the country was Invincibella which was $16 to $8 at the Gold Coast and all he said about it was that the horse, like several of his starters on Millions Day, was awkwardly drawn.

All I can say is – that like Darren Weir in Melbourne – Mr Waller is a better trainer than a judge when it comes to tipping to the punters. At least one hopes that’s the reason!’

 

‘MERIT IN THE MOVE TO MAKE THE MILLIONS A NIGHT MEETING’

DANNY JOHNSON of BRISBANE writes:

‘FULL marks to those responsible at the Gold Coast Turf Club for accepting the need to move the Magic Millions to a night meeting.

January is far too hot for horses and racegoers some days. I remember one MM Day around 2002 when they soldiered on in century-plus temperatures that under the rules of today the meeting would have to be called off because of safety concerns as happened at Ipswich on Satuday.

One does wonder how the weak-kneed stewards, under the leadership of the fearless Allan Reardon, would have handled a request to halt Saturday’s Millions meeting had similar conditions to Ipswich occurred. Would they have had to ask the permission of Gerry and the Pacemakers first? You bet they would!

Tony McEvoy spoke for a lot of others when he appealed to Gerry Harvey and the organizers of the Millions to run the meeting at night. The Gold Coast Turf Club has been quick to react and say it could happen in two years – once lights were installed (approval and funding of $6 million permitting). The only change needed would be to the sales across the road – nothing to stop those being held during the day.’       

     

'THE BUCK ON FORFEIT LIST RESTS WITH RQ NOT FELLOW OWNERS’

PROMINENT racing identity JUSTIN DOYLE weighs into the debate on the controversy over those on the Unpaid Forfeit List in Queensland.

‘WHILE I usually enjoy a read of Archie Butterfly’s website (itsnotnormalisit), I choked on my cornflakes when I read his story regarding the ownership of Stella Ombra.

The reason being is that I too am a part-owner of Stella Ombra, along with a few mates and a couple of guys I’ve never met or met once or twice.

My recollection is that Stephen Bizzell is one I haven’t met and I never knew he was a disqualified person after being listed on the forfeit list. Richard Morrison I have met twice and like most, if not all of the owners, had no idea either.

And in saying that I make no judgement of Mr Bizzell and after investigation the circumstances relating to the debt seem rather innocent. The debt incurred relates to the return of prizemoney after a horse Mr Bizzell part-owned was disqualified from a race and for whatever reason the funds were never returned.

Given that Stella Ombra has earnt prizemoney on about seven occasions since surely RQ should have mechanisms in place to ensure it collected the debt before any further prizemoney was distributed to any owner in these circumstances. It’s a pretty simple future fix!

However, my concern relates to the responsibilities of the governing body Racing Queensland in ensuring owners, such as myself, do not suffer consequences because of an issue such as this.

I understand and do support the Rule in question but given that many horses these days are syndicated Australia-wide surely it would be far simpler for the governing body to simply notify the other owners of a disqualification of one of the partners. This notification then affords the balance of the ownership to take action to remedy the issue and ensure innocent owners are not negatively affected by another’s circumstances.

It need not list the reason for the disqualification to ensure one’s Privacy Act protections but surely the protection of the majority of the ownership of all racehorses should be front of mind for all racing authorities.

And again I repeat the ownership of many thoroughbreds racing is widespread and in my own case I race a few other horses with people sharing in the ownership that I’ve never met and probably never will.

On reviewing the forfeit list in Queensland its enforcement seems a bit of a joke. The current list contains licensees still operating as well as owners still racing horses and I would guess that many associated with the horses attached to those on the forfeit list would have no idea whatsoever.

To take action against the innocent without warning or notification would be unjust and mechanisms need to be put in place by RQ immediately to deal with the issue raised by Archie.

Finally, in this case I believe Archie has probably fired bullets at the wrong person in Richard Morrison as he, like me, probably had no idea of Mr Bizzell’s listing.

Whether he should have known or not is a matter of conjecture and excusable at the very least. After all RQ has accepted nominations for Stella Ombra and no doubt other horses in which Mr Bizzell has ownership in while knowingly having him listed on the forfeit list.

Therefore my read is that a huge proportion of the blame should be attributed to RQ so if anyone deserves Archie’s wrath it should be RQ. After all they have all the necessary means to deal with or have dealt with this matter long ago including informing the balance of the ownership group so the matter could be resolved. Despite the rude awakening (by Archie’s article) I believe something good can occur from Archie’s post. Dr Forbes, over to you…’

POSTSCRIPT to THE ABOVE – JUSTIN DOYLE advised YESTERDAY:

JUST an update from the manager of Stella Ombra on the email I sent you yesterday regarding Stella Ombra.

Hi all

Biz’s liability to Racing Queensland paid yesterday. The original statement and the payment confirmation are attached.

It related to the recovery of prizemoney for a horse called Island Tang which won a race in Mackay and was subsequently disqualified. Bizzell and his partners had sold the horse prior to it winning this race, but the transfer had not been processed so the prizemoney went to Bizzell and the previous owners. They had forwarded the prizemoney onto the new owners prior to receiving the refund request. Bizzell had advised Racing Queensland of this and asked them to follow up the new owners for the re-imbursement. Obviously, it didn’t happen and Bizzell did not follow it up. He did not realise he was on the forfeited person’s list. He paid the liability as soon as he became aware yesterday to avoid any further issues.

 

POSITIVE SWAB EFFECT ON CONNECTIONS OF SECOND PLACED HORSES

A BRISBANE OWNER who has suffered as the victim of the SYSTEM sent this email to the WHINGE:

‘IT seems a little-known fact, that when a horse runs second and the winner returns a positive swab the owners of the winning horse are paid the first prize money. 

The horse place second is then DEEMED to have won and the difference in prize money is not paid until all appeals etc. have been exhausted.

The horse which is DEEMED to have won is handicapped accordingly, but no winning prize money is paid.

The current system does not seem fair to owners of the horse which was elevated following the positive swab and then DEEMED to have won, as this process of appeals can take up to 18 months to be finalized, hence the horse is restricted by having to race in a higher class and not being paid the winning prizemoney.

As an example, after a very lengthy process, the winner could be re-instated and the second horse goes back a class.

Should this happen in the case of a Maiden horse, after 18 months of having to race in a higher class without success, connections could then be told you can now go back to a Maiden. This could mean the end of the racing career for that horse and the owners are ‘out of pocket’ and the horse retired a non-winner.

This system seems very unfair to owners and trainers who are abiding by the Rules of Racing and are the innocent parties in this case.

I base these facts on my own personal experience. '

 

TAB DELIVERS ‘DEAR RUPERT' LETTER DUMPING MULTI-MILLION TAB FORM GUIDE DEAL THAT HAS BEEN ENJOYED FOR FAR TOO LONG BY NEWS LTD

IT seems one of the first victims of the TABCORP-TATTS Group merger will be the multi-million dollar Form Guide deal enjoyed for far too long by the greedy News Limited organization.

In effect UBET has written a letter which, in our words, delivers the following message:

Dear Rupert

The pot of gold that the TAB has provided to your company for the publication of racing Form Guides in second rate publications that next to no-one wants to read these days will soon be discontinued. We can in future provide a far better, more professional service ourselves through our own and other far cheaper and competitively more popular website and digital devices than what you have to offer.

Thanks for ripping us off over the years.

Your mates at the TAB.

No doubt, in response to having his access to more multi millions of racing industry and easy money from the TAB extinguished Rupert quickly fired off an instruction to his Editors who will duly have passed it on to their lackey Sports Editors and Racing Writers.

Dear Hired Guns, there to do my bidding politically and in all areas of making money for News Ltd (that’s me and my family)

Please ensure at the earliest opportunity that whatever dirt you can dig up is run on the TAB. They no longer have the ‘spin doctor’ protection of our publications so generate as many stories as soon as possible on how bad the TAB is, especially this new merged entity and highlight how these deals that they have done (which in the past we expected you to write favourably about in return for the cash cow the Form Guide millions were providing for us) gets a right royal Rupert-style bucketing as well. Who do they think they are reneging on a deal with me?

Your less than impressed fearless leader, Sir Rupert.

Here are the official contents of the UBET letter to PUB & CLUB TABS sent earlier last week.

Good morning,

Please be advised UBET will cease to sponsor the Form Guide in News Corp’s major metro daily newspapers after January. As a result venues will no longer be provided with free daily newspapers.

With the declining print press audience and customer preference to engage in form analysis via digital devices, UBET will invest its marketing in other advertising and form enhancements. UBET has just extended the form provided on its venue Info screens and digital services. Further enhancements are planned in the coming months.

Regards

Greg Shannon UBET Head of Retail.

Well UBET certainly got a few things right in that message: Declining print press audience and customer preference being the main one. As for no longer receiving free newspapers daily, who cares?

We will continue to be fed propaganda about how well the metropolitan newspapers are travelling in Queensland – trumped up figures about circulation when hidden in the small print they will actually be taking about readership. Despite having a monopoly in the Brisbane area where once there were three major newspapers, the Courier-Mail is a standing joke and will continue to decline in popularity. From politics to sport and racing its spin doctor style no longer sits comfortably with the readership who prefer honest journalism, especially the punters when it comes to racing – not the crap that has been pumped out for far too long by imposter turf editors. The readership surveys that News Ltd uses to pump up its alleged publication popularity is done by the way when they rate each household as having a half dozen people who all read the daily when in actual fact it is one or none.   

With the FORM GUIDES to go in the major metropolitan newspapers in Queensland, one wonders if this will also be the case in Sydney and Melbourne and just what sort of even worse second rate product the Murdoch Media will publish now that the pot of gold has dried up. One can assume it won’t be as big or as costly if it is up to Rupert to provide a service for his readers (the punting public) that might just cost HIM money. Not to worry he still owns Sportsman (the price of which was increased outrageously recently – Winning Post is a cheaper and far better buy) and there’s always his recent website purchase punters.com.au (a terrific service but here’s hoping it doesn’t start charging for form on instructions for the new boss and see its popularity diminish like everything else News Ltd in this country). It doesn’t matter really there are plenty of sources where punters can secure their form free or at a much cheaper rate than buying the daily fish and chips wrapper which hasn’t been delivering what the TAB has been paying for in Form Guides for a long time now.

As for the $11 billion merger of the gambling giants TABCORP & TATTS Group, is this decision to geld the News Ltd cash cow just the first of many cuts to follow – some long overdue? There are plenty working in shaky shoes at UBET in Queensland waiting for the sword to fall despite assurances that their jobs are safe. Time will tell!    

WILL LADBROKES PROVIDE THE SAME SERVICE AS THE TAB FORM GUIDE?

THIS is a story run in NEWS LTD PUBLICATIONS without mentioning that the TAB Form Guide deal with the company has ended:

MEDIA giant News Corp Australia has struck a deal for Ladbrokes Australia to become its major wagering partner in Queensland, South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania from February 1.

News Corp, publisher of this masthead, recently signalled the importance of wagering to its future growth when it purchased the country's largest thoroughbred wagering affiliate company punters.com.au.

"Ladbrokes is committed to these markets and they have identified a holistic partnership with News Corp as integral to their plans to capture market share," News Corp chief operating officer, publishing, Damian Eales said.

As part of the three-year agreement, News Corp's form guides in Queensland, SA, Tasmania and the NT will carry exclusive Ladbrokes branding and odds integration.

Ladbrokes will also become the exclusive wagering partner for NRL and AFL in 23 metropolitan and regional news titles in these territories and for NRL, AFL and US Sports on news.com.au. Ladbrokes CEO Jason Scott said the deal underlined his company's commitment to Australian punters.

We expect the partnership to add a range of innovations for readers on our print and digital assets next year.

 

 


 
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