Jenny - Clean


RACHEL Griffiths has praised Michelle Payne’s brother, Stevie, who is set to make his film debut in Ride Like A Girl.

JACKIE EPSTEIN reports for the HERALD SUN that Stevie, the strapper for 2015 Melbourne Cup winner Prince of Penzance, will play himself in the movie depicting Payne’s rise and historic triumph. (PHOTO of MICHELLE & STEVIE, courtesy of HERALD SUN was taken by DAVID CAIRD).  

Acclaimed actor Griffiths, the film’s director, said Stevie was a natural choice.

“He did a beautiful audition,’’ Griffiths said.

“I’m a little concerned his sisters are making him buff for the role. He just had a bit of an air of a movie star about him.

“Stevie had a great journey since Prince won and has certainly been an amazing spokesperson and representative of what people with intellectual disabilities are capable of. We hope to support that message even further with the film.”

The movie will receive a major boost on Friday with key funding to be announced in Payne’s home town of Ballarat.

A partnership between Racing Victoria, the Victorian Government and Tabcorp will support the film, which will begin shooting on April 16.

A five-day shoot is to take place from May 7 in Ballarat.

“Stevie’s so excited about playing himself in the film, he’s even been on a diet in preparation,’’ Payne said. “He must have celebrated well after the Cup, so he’s getting back into shape now.

“It would be hard to get someone to replace Stevie.

“I am really excited about the movie and the fact that Stevie will be in it.”

Griffiths paid tribute to the inspirational Payne family.

“It was a huge kind of awakening the moment she crossed the line, and then when we met Stevie it was a double whammy,’’ she said.

“Our biggest challenge is to depict this world authentically. And really make it universal and very specific and true. Not a Disney version of it.

“Everything that we remember about why we fell in love with this family and why we found them so fascinating.”

Ride Like A Girl stars Teresa Palmer as Payne, along with Sam Neill and Jacki Weaver.



THE WEDNESDAY WHINGE – but you can HAVE YOUR SAY on any day of the week:


‘AS a keen INDUSTRY OBSERVER and a RACE CLUB MEMBER in Brisbane for more years than I can recall, the current situation involving the redevelopment of Eagle Farm has me gob-smacked.

Enough has been reported on the track fiasco to convince most of us that both Racing Queensland and the Brisbane Racing Club have mismanaged the situation very badly.

What I am concerned about is that the BRC are more interested in the $100 million residential development on the home turn at Eagle Farm involving over 200 units in two residential towers than they are in getting the track to a state where racing can resume.

Recent reports through the Real Estate Industry highlight the pressure on unit developments and subsequent sale of the completed projects.

One high profile property commentator was quote by as warning that Brisbane’s oversupplied apartment market and parts of south-east Queensland’s housing sector are headed for a ‘bloodbath’ in 2018. quotes property experts as declaring that an inner-Brisbane unit glut has seen prices slump to their lowest in three years with a recovery not expected for at least 12 months.

This is my understanding of the current unit market:

  • Currently there are in excess of 1,000 units for sale in the Brisbane area
  • A recently completed development saw some of ‘off the plan’ buyers relinquish their deposit (10% of purchase price) rather than proceed to settlement on the unit.
  • We understand this forfeiture was due to the lack of unit demand and an overall reduction in unit value.

I watched Chairman Neville Bell on the Channel Seven News extolling the value proposition of the BRC Unit development which would indicate that the project is at or near completion.

For the purpose of transparency (now that is a new word for the BRC Board’s vocabulary), would Chairman Bell provide the following details to keep club members informed:

  • Anticipated Completion Date
  • Number of Units in the development
  • Number of units sold off the plan
  • Number of deposits forfeited by ‘off the plan’ buyers
  • Number of units which will proceed to full settlement
  • Number of units which remain unsold
  • Cost of the development, including all costs (i.e. borrowing costs, interest development and selling costs)
  • What is the monthly holding cost for this project?
  • Gross sales achieved in dollar terms
  • Bottom line profit or loss of the project

If, as suggested, this project is a ‘winner’ for the BRC, then I would expect a bullet like response from Chairman Bell.

On the other hand none of us will be holding our breath.

I look forward to Chairman Bell’s open and transparent answers to the above.’

EDITOR’S NOTE: WE would welcome a response from the BRC Board, CEO or Chairman on this issue and offer unedited right of reply to the above questions which certainly need to be answered.



MAX SEXTON of GOLD COAST sent this email:

‘RACING QUEENSLAND has to be kidding enlisting the support of sacked Flemington curator Mick Goodie to try and fix the problems confronting the new Eagle Farm track.

Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t Goodie responsible for the presentation of some disgraceful tracks that caused massive embarrassment during recent major carnivals, including the Melbourne Cup two years ago.

It seems RQ – and the BRC who are keen to lay the blame on the shoulders of the control body for anything that goes wrong at the Farm these days – are grasping at straws asking Goodie to try and right the many wrongs that confront officials trying to return racing to Brisbane’s leading track.

Four years since this disaster started and the rebuild has taken another turn for the worse with Dalton Consulting Engineers walking away from the project after voicing a number of concerns over the duration of the rebuild and differences of opinion with RQ.

DCE executive chairman Shane Dalton indicated to The Courier-Mail that this was the first time the company had taken this type of action in its 22 years of operation.

To most industry observers getting Mick Goodie to inspect the project is simply stumbling from one disaster to another.

And to add insult to injury we learn that the BRC is considering whether it is possible to hold some race meetings on the A grass at Eagle Farm which is the size of a bicycle track.

Their reasoning that this would enable use of the currently dormant Eagle Farm facilities and get punters back to the idea of racing at Eagle Farm is downright laughable.

The problem, of course, is that the A grass could only accommodate fields of eight or nine because of where the starting stalls need to be placed which would mean only secondary meetings could be held there.

It has taken four years for this disaster to unfold and the word incompetence rings loudly in the ears of all racing industry stakeholders and followers.

Respected identity Peter Bredhauer reported last week how the new Doomben course proper was reconstructed in only 13 weeks back in 1996 and it came in on a budget under $4 million.

The Eagle Farm rebuild has cost the industry tens of millions and it’s still not right. Can one assume from the tone of the articles being written by ‘media mates’ of the BRC that there might be a civil action taken on behalf of the club against RQ?

Bredhauer got it right when he wrote: Surely the time has come for the Racing Minister ‘Pounds Sterling’ to step in and hunt both the Board of the Brisbane Racing Club and Racing Queensland straight out the front door and appoint some people who actually know what they are doing.’




‘THOSE of us from around the country who tune in weekly to the RSN Sunday morning wrap of the races of the day before were wondering why they sorted out the Eagle Farm track debacle for special attention.

Could it possibly have been designed to divert criticism away from a Flemington track that was a disgrace on Super Saturday?

No sooner had Mick Goodie been punted as track curator than his replacement Liam O’Keefe wound up with a can of worms with everyone from owners, to jockeys and trainers – not to mention the punters – squealing track bias.

Horses nailed to the fence at last Saturday’s meeting had an unfair advantage while those attempting to come from back in the field and travel wide faced an impossible task.

If a jockey fails to give his horse every opportunity to win a race he can be charged. What happens to those who prepare a track that fails to give every horse the chance to win? Answer: Next to nothing!

The big losers of course are the connections of those starters who could not find the fast lane and the poor old punters who tried to follow the form of others drawn to travel back or wide.

It’s impossible to deny that Saturday’s track at Flemington did not have a fast lane near the inside when winners Kings Will Dream (Race 2), King’s Command (R3), Not a Single Cent (R4), Bella Martini (R5), Spanish Reef (R7), Harlem (R8) and She’s So High (R9) all travelled on the fence or one-off in the straight.

Peter Moody, guest commentator for summed up the situation when he said: “We've seen horses come two and three deep and they just hit brick walls.”

Moody had the right idea when he suggested: “They should concrete the running rail to the one spot so it cannot be moved and let the jockeys find the best ground.

Until they do something like that it is never going to be a level playing field.’



SAFETY aspect at some country tracks in Queensland has been an area of concern for some time.

Here’s a story by TERRY BUTTS from the NQ REGISTER of a situation that could come back to haunt one country club or the control body, Racing Queensland.

IT is almost three years to the day since top northern jockey, Graeme Kliese, was involved in a horror fall from a horse named Fundido in a race at Home Hill.

The horse, a well-backed favorite was leading the field when it put a hoof in a hole on the course proper near the 600m. It broke a leg and had to be destroyed.

And the incident went close to destroying the jockey’s career as well. But aided by his fierce resilience and determination, Graham survived after months of recuperation and intense therapy.

Kliese’s lawyers, in a Townsville District Court claim lodged last week, are seeking $750,000 damages against four defendants, Burdekin Race Club, Racing Queensland, Townsville Turf Club and Burdekin Shire Council.

Oddly, Townsville Turf Club spokesperson, Cassandra Cazzulino, said the club had not received any ‘formal notification’. It is hard to understand the Burdekin Shire Council involvement but Racing Queensland has responded that it will ‘respond to the claim in due course’.

Kliese suffered four broken vertebrae and a cracked pelvis among other injuries in the fall. He claims the hole was covered up and unable to be seen because of the long grass.

Four other senior jockeys who rode at the meeting offered written statements that concurred with Kliese’s assessment of the track.

It really was an incident that should never have happened. It was at a time when the new Cluden track was under construction and the Townsville race dates were distributed to other clubs in the area of which Home Hill was a main beneficiary, which incidentally was a surprise to many licensees at the time.

Home Hill raced three times in five weeks in February-March of that year and a suggestion by the Townsville-based steward, Sam Woolaston, to transfer the last meeting (March 7) to Townsville was overruled by Racing Queensland.

It is most notable that after the fall, all meetings that had been transferred to Home Hill from Cluden were rescheduled for Mackay and Cairns.

Kliese’s claim includes his assessment that Home Hill was receiving insufficient maintenance and upkeep for it to be conducting racing meetings three times in five weeks.

“The track was rough, there were holes and the grass was too long for anyone to conduct an adequate assessment,” the claim states.

We wait with interest further developments in the case, especially RQ’s response.



JACK JOHNSTON of MELBOURNE sent this email:

‘AS a punter I would like to raise the issue of form reversals and how hard it can be these days to back a winner.

The race I would like to talk about is the Australian Cup and how in the hell Harlem was able to win this Group 1 in a massive form reversal.

We’ve heard all the talk about the track bias and how he took advantage of the fast lane on the inside. Then there was the report about his ‘cold’ and the ‘miracle cure’ that Team Hayes adopted.

Let’s skip the BS and look at the facts – Harlem was rising in class to a Group 1 against the best middle distance weight-for-age horses going around. At his previous start he ran eighth of nine, beaten over 15 lengths, by Gailo Chop in an easier race. Now if that’s not a form reversal it will do until one comes along.

And on the subject of the Australian Cup, what about the ride of Stephen Baster on the Waterhouse-Bott-trained Supply and Demand? It was a slaughter job and he certainly didn’t help the chances of Gailo Chop or The Taj Mahal attacking them before dropping out to run second last. Sorry to say there was no query on the tactics adopted by Baster.’



A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR to the WEDNESDAY WHINGE sent in this photograph suggesting that we might run it and provide readers with a laugh.

He was quick to add – tongue in cheek – that any supposed resemblance to former top hoops Darren Beadman, Larry Olsen or Shane Scriven was purely mischief-making.




THE Australian Turf Club faces a million-dollar-plus shortfall on overseas betting revenue from its autumn carnival, with the Hong Kong Jockey Club abandoning a simulcast of The Championships.

ADAM PENGILLY reports that FAIRFAX MEDIA understands the powerful HKJC will not open up wagering on the two $10 million race days to its local audiences, a percentage of which traditionally flows into the coffers of the ATC.

It could leave a seven figure hole in the bottom line for the ATC, which last year reaped income from Hong Kong wagering on the Golden Slipper program as well as the two The Championships meetings at Royal Randwick.

Each meeting is capable of generating upwards of $500,000 for the ATC, which will still have the benefit of simulcasting Golden Slipper day in Hong Kong this year.

The world's richest two-year-old race is likely to be hijacked by the presence of Winx in the George Ryder Stakes as the world champion mare shoots for a 24th successive win.

The HKJC also blocked wagering on last weekend's Super Saturday program at Flemington featuring the Newmarket Handicap and Australian Cup.

The changes come as local officials try to resolve an ongoing quarantine impasse with the HKJC that has severely restricted the movement of horses between the home of Asian racing and Australia.

The Australian government is conducting a thorough biosecurity review of the HKJC's planned Conghua training centre in mainland China, which prompted tightened quarantine restrictions between Australia and Hong Kong.

The Conghua training centre is due to open later this year.

Senior officials from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources are due to visit Conghua later this month, with a particular interest in analysing the threat of glanders disease.

The HKJC is usually part of an international buying bench at Australia's biggest yearling sales, but skipped the Gold Coast's Magic Millions auction in January.

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia has led efforts to resolve the quarantine issue, which has virtually made it impossible for Australian-based horses to travel to Hong Kong for lucrative races without spending months away from home upon their return.

Hong Kong stewards also recently imposed a restriction on what races it would release its star jockeys to ride in Down Under.

Hong Kong hoops are now allowed to apply for a clearance to ride only at Australian meetings which feature one of the world's top 100 races after the HKJC became frustrated with the growing amount of suspensions and injuries that were affecting the mammoth amounts of gambling on Sha Tin and Happy Valley meetings.

Arguably the world's most popular jockey, Brazilian ace Joao Moreira, was injured in a fall on Melbourne Cup day and was forced to forfeit mounts back home in Hong Kong afterwards.

But Racing Victoria has also yielded some ground, relaxing its previously strict rules around suspension dates to marry up with NSW protocols that allow a suspended jockey to ride for up to nine days after an infringement.

Regan Bayliss was a recent beneficiary of the relaxed stance, winning the Newmarket Handicap on Redkirk Warrior last weekend just seven days after incurring a hefty ban for causing interference in the Australian Guineas.

While the plunge in betting revenue from Hong Kong will be a concern for the ATC, it will be delighted about an increased international contingent residing at Canterbury for The Championships, which will be held on April 7 and 14.



WARWICK FARM trainer Matthew Smith was in shock at being questioned by stewards after Racing NSW investigator Nathan Hayward found syringes with the sedative Acepromazine – "ace" – in a gear bag in his truck.

CHRIS ROOTS reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that Smith admitted the bag and syringes were his, in the unlocked truck at Randwick, and said he carried them routinely as part of his travels.

“I travel with a lot of horses around the state and we have them there just in case one of them plays up, so we can calm them down,” Smith told stewards. “I wouldn't do anything like that if I thought I was doing anything wrong.”

Hayward found the bag in Smith’s truck at Randwick at around 2.15pm, after La Courbette had run in the first race of the day and stewards immediately opened an inquiry.

Challenged by chief steward Marc Van Gestel about where he got the prohibited substance, Smith said he got the 'ace' from the Randwick Equine Centre and had drawn the syringes himself as part of his travel procedures.

“It is there as a safety measure. I would never use it for anything else,” Smith said.

“You know that it is a breach of the rules to have them in the truck? That it is prohibited under the rules,” Van Gestel asked Smith.

“I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong,” Smith said.

'Ace' has to be prescribed by a vet for a particular horse and is not allowed for general use.

Stewards adjourned the inquiry to a date to be fixed and will test the substance in the syringes as well as La Courbette.




PETER BREDHAUER has been many things in racing from an amateur jockey to a bookmaker, a race-caller, a market framer, racing journalist, owner-breeder, bloodstock agent, major club director and also served on the Racing Appeals Board and Principal Club in Queensland.

Now in semi-retirement but racing several successful horses from Victoria to Queensland and the Northern Territory, Bredhauer (pictured) runs Darling Downs Bloodstock out of his self-sufficient property at Cambooya on the Darling Downs.

The former Brisbane Turf Club director plays a self-imposed backseat role these days, but never has been backward in coming forward on issues of importance to racing or bagging identities in the sport that he feels are imposters or free-loaders.

This week Bredhauer, who was on the BTC committee that oversaw the development of the new amazing Doomben track without a hiccup, weighed into the debate over the redevelopment of Eagle Farm which has cost much more and become an increasing embarrassment for racing in Queensland.

Here’s what Bredhauer forwarded to the LGHR WHINGE:

‘WHAT in the f#*+ing hell is going on with Eagle Farm?

Surely the time has come for the Racing Minister ‘Pounds Sterling’ to step in and hunt both the Board of the Brisbane Racing Club and Racing Queensland straight out the front door and appoint some people who actually know what they are doing

When the course proper at Doomben was re-constructed it took 13 weeks (I REPEAT 13 WEEKS) from when the bulldozers moved in on a quiet Sunday morning until racing re commenced on a lovely fine Saturday afternoon. (Doomben raced on September 14, 1996 – heavy machinery was on the track the following day and racing recommenced on Saturday, December 14, 1996).

The people in charge were Course Ranger Warren Williams and Committee Works Supervisor Jon Haesler. What an amazing job they did when you look back at the stuff-ups that have occurred (and continue to occur) with the new development at Eagle Farm.

The work-load the Doomben track has copped in the past few years is testimony to the great job Williams and Haesler did and they came in under a budget of $4 million dollars (wonder how many tens of millions Eagle Farm is costing above that figure).

Obviously some of our recent Racing Ministers ‘Gun Smoking Bill’, ‘Furlong in Front Dick’ and ‘Amazing Grace’ would have sacked the lot of them if they knew anything about their portfolio.

Why not bring Jon and Warren back to see if they can sort this Eagle Farm mess out?

A person close to the action there at the moment said to me this week: “If the current mob were able to get on with the job at hand and not have any on-going interference from the BRC and Racing Queensland it would have been finished by Christmas. They have missed the best grass growing period so coming into winter will only put things further behind.”

‘Pounds Sterling’ show us you have a set of balls and step in and sort the mess out before it gets worse?’


THE WEDNESDAY WHINGE – but you can HAVE YOUR SAY on any day of the week:


MUCH has been made of the flying visit to Victoria by senior members of the Queensland Racing Integrity Unit, reportedly to be briefed further on the controversial Aquanita case.

The question that needs to be answered is whether they are specifically interested in matters pertaining to top Brisbane trainer Liam Birchley or if there was another reason for the trip.

Our spy close to the QRIC bunkers informs LETSGOHORSERACING that stewards are seeking information apparently contained in the Aquanita brief, which does not involve Birchley, but the alleged illegal activities of other parties involved in racing in Queensland.

This could answer the question why QRIC would need a more detailed briefing on evidence in the case when they made a decision to continue to allow Birchley to train horses in Queensland long before heading south.

The racing industry mill is always in overdrive but could they be looking into information received concerning a high profile vet who is allegedly flying from Victoria to Queensland on a regular basis to ‘treat’ horses from a prominent stable? No confirmation but it’s all food for thought.

QRIC deputy chief steward Daniel Aurish, Integrity Relations Unit manager Tracey Pelling and two Crime Squad investigators met with Racing Victoria officials, including high profile steward Rob Montgomery, on Tuesday.

Aurisch told Ben Dorries of the website Racenet: “It was a purposeful trip for us. “We shared certain information … we were able to glean some information off them and they were able to get some information off us.

“They sent us their (Aquanita) brief of evidence last week but it’s been very helpful to have a look at what we have had a look at today. The confidential nature of the meeting prevents me saying anything more."

Dorries reported that the interest in the Aquanita affair from Queensland Integrity officials includes, but was not limited to, the alleged involvement of Birchley in an alleged bi-carb doping ring.



THERE appear to be vastly differing views regarding the progress being made on the Eagle Farm track remediation project.

Racing Queensland released a report last Friday claiming preparation of the sand profile on the final stages of the new track was nearing completion and that ‘the last of the sand continues to arrive on site ahead of being position on the track and compacted. The profile, once compacted, will undergo a rigorous testing phase to ensure compliance with the strict project specification before the laying of turf recommences.’

One day later Nathan Exelby, writing in The Courier-Mail, put a dampener on that when he reported that the final 700m of the Eagle Farm circumference remained unturfed as testing and maintenance continued on ­sections that were laid in ­December and January.

‘It has been a month since the last blade of grass was put down, leaving the final section (from the 1800m to 1100m) well behind the remainder of the track. The delay means this section is going to be put down close to the end of the growing season,’ Exelby wrote.

LETSGOHORSERACING was contacted this week by an insider, close to the action, who told us:

EAGLE Farm has 700m of un-laid turf as they have run out of sand.

THEY have been unable to source the identical sand profile.

THEY cannot use alternative sand as this would create an uneven racing surface.

THE expectation is that the turf should have a root profile of 10cm. Tests last week delivered a result of 6cm.

THE turf is 40 per cent behind its growth expectation.

AUTUMN is here and the growing period will diminish.

RQ has previously stated that Eagle Farm will be ready for a spring return to racing. But The-Courier-Mail suggests the BRC and RQ have agreed that the track will not be used until both are completely satisfied it is ready.

These are the questions being asked that need to be answered by RQ or Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe:

  • IS the industry being told some porkies on the real progress being made on the track mediation project?
  • ARE the BRC happy to see RQ cop the flak should something go wrong and a further delay become necessary which looks inevitable?
  • WHAT is a realistic date for the return of racing to Eagle Farm without Queensland again becoming the laughing stock of the nation?

Our insider suggests that this won’t occur before the next summer season and more than likely it will be early 2019 at best. Time will tell!



‘BARRY BARKER’ from CAPALABA sent this interesting email concerning the greyhound racing scene:

‘IT was interesting to read the following Media Release from QRIC concerning a serious oversight by stewards at the Ipswich greyhound meeting on Sunday.

After reading it I wondered who was in charge of the panel at that meeting but could not find a Stewards’ Report on the official website. In fact there are no official reports for any of the meetings in the month of March. I was wondering why this is so?

Here is the Media Release in question:

THE Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) has opened an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the running of the incorrect dogs in two races at the Ipswich Greyhound race meeting last night.

QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett said it appears the trainer of both dogs Western Comet and Westmead Comet has inadvertently swapped his two runners and entered the wrong dog to race in Race 1 the Ipswich Maiden handicap and in Race 2 the Sky Racing Maiden Handicap.

“The mistake went unnoticed after Race 1 as the incorrect dog did not place in the race, however when the dog that should have been in Race 1, Western Comet placed third in Race 2 the trainer’s mistake became clear,” he said.

Mr Barnett said stewards were alerted to the mix up after Race 2 when all placegetters were microchipped and checked, identifying the third placed dog as a runner not listed to compete in that race, but listed to run in the previous race.

“This is a clear breakdown in identification protocols prior to the running of both races and QRIC stewards have not correctly identified the runners prior to each race commencing.

“The correct procedure before the running of each race mandates the checking of the identity of each greyhound before they race, and this has clearly not occurred in this case and I will be investigating why.

“I would like to sincerely apologise for this failure in identification protocols at Ipswich Greyhounds on Sunday night,” Mr Barnett said.

“It is an unacceptable mistake that has disadvantaged the public who must have confidence that dogs listed to run in each race are identified and checked before each race and I will be investigating why our strict protocols were not followed in this instance.

“After the error was confirmed, both Greyhounds were disqualified and placings were adjusted.”

THE reason for this email is that I am wondering if a certain steward with some skeletons in the closet as far as the QRIC chairman is concerned was in charge or responsible for the meeting in question. I guess we will have to wait and see.’



WE also received this contribution overnight to the WHINGE pertaining, in a roundabout way, to the same greyhound issue:

DOUG MILLARD, a long-time lover of greyhound racing, sent this email:

 ‘I want to take David Fowler to task over an item he wrote on a rival website which I didn’t bother lodging a protest with as I believe it would fall on deaf ears. At least by making this contribution hopefully you will allow me to get my message across.

 Despite writing for a site that is restricted to horse racing David took the opportunity – once again – to kick the sport of greyhound racing while it is down. This time the subject of his attack was the mix-up of kennel-mates at the Ipswich meeting which I agree was inexcusable.

 As a follower of greyhound racing and a great supporter of the sport for as long as I can remember, I accept his right to express an opinion but considering his involvement with harness racing, which is hardly squeaky clean, then David has a set of double standards.

 He is reportedly at the coalface of the controversy confronting the ‘red hots’, some of his long-time friends have been implicated in alleged wrong-doing, there are questions over how the Albion Park Club, of which he is chairman, is being run and the sport in general in Queensland has a disgusting, long-term reputation of losing the confidence of punters big and small.

 David, in my opinion, uses his position in the racing media to kick greyhound racing in the guts every time he gets a chance but fiercely protects and resists any form of bad publicity for harness racing. His media bosses should be stepping in and saying ‘enough is enough, you have a major conflict of interest mate’.

 Many other greyhound followers share my opinion. It has reached the stage where we no longer regard him as the top race-caller in Queensland. Josh Fleming has taken that mantle – not only because he is a great young caller but because he doesn’t get involved in the politics of racing. He doesn’t hold down any fancy positions, look to rub shoulders with the power-brokers and influential people in the industry, write columns expressing his opinions on all things racing – Josh simply does his job and minds his own business. That’s why he’s the best – and will continue to be the best caller in Queensland – as long as ‘the Bantam’s’ bum points to the ground.’

 EDITOR’S NOTE: WHENEVER we publish a Whinge that criticizes David there is normally a quick response from his dad Max. Should either wish to reply to the above email LGHR would be happy to publish same. I will add, however, that I felt David’s item related more to protection of punters than a kick in the guts for greyhound racing.



A FORMER HIGH PROFILE OFFICIAL of RACING in south-east QUEENSLAND has raised some serious questions about life membership of the BRC:

‘WE only read or hear these days in the mainstream racing media what the Brisbane Racing Club want us to know.

This is an issue that probably means little to the general racing public but it is of great interest to those of us who were involved in the merger, some call it take over, of Doomben by Eagle Farm allegedly for the betterment of the industry.

Perhaps David Fowler could do one of his Sunday morning interviews with BRC chairman Neville Bell and include some questions on this subject among the Dorothy Dix’s he throws at his chosen subjects under the spotlight.

  • IS it true that all former Queensland Turf Club Board members who did not make the newly merged Brisbane Racing Club Board were provided with life membership of the BRC?
  • AS former QTC Board members resign from the BRC Board is it true that they will receive life membership of the BRC?
  • AND, IS it also correct that no Board member of the former Brisbane Turf Club has been afforded the same privilege.

Talk about a merger of equals, if this is the case that certainly has to be questioned and I am assured from those on the inner sanctum that this has occurred but is being kept very quiet.’




‘THERE was a track record run at Royal Randwick on Saturday but those not close to the inner sanctum of NSW racing would not have been aware of it.

It occurred a race after Winx completed a demolition job of her rivals in the Chipping Norton Stakes but not on the track – in fact it was in the saddling enclosure after the running of the Surround Stakes.

A prominent racing journalist, renowned for pumping up his tyres with officials who count in preference to the punting public, burnt dirt getting to a prominent owner after Shoals returned to Group 1 winning form.

The story of the win focused of course on everything but the form reversal. Little wonder most in racing have no respect for what is written or spoken in the mainstream racing media.’



JOHN the FIREMAN from DEAGON is a passionate follower and supporter of racing in QUEENSLAND but far from happy at the way the industry is travelling. He has sent us a copy of a number of questions he has fired at new Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe:

‘As the new Minister for Racing,

 Hopefully you will be able to answer questions below and drive necessary change once you settle into the roll and meet with Queensland racing or other industry groups/ people.

WHAT really is the state of play regards the finances of the industry? As we need to know the real facts and not creative accounting that gives a false impression.

IT doesn’t seem possible that a $28 million debt can be lowered so quickly through basically lowering prizemoney and restructuring RQ with waste removed.

MANY reports have been submitted at RQ request with a cost to industry. When will ALL the information finally create the model that’s needed to take the industry forward? As there still appears to be smokes and mirrors happening and personal agendas.

The industry knows that we need to be more proactive regards getting better value and returns from our assets, racing and non- racing. So if you look at each region what work has been done and documented to show what each region can do better regards meeting these aims?

Non racing income is a basic requirement nowadays from the racing venues. It has to be actioned where possible ASAP.

AS a Minister in Government you must know that the industry needs a model for racing that allows it to be self-sufficient in the future. As Government has many other things to spend money on before racing.

IF the industry received a fair return from ALL that make money from our product, we should have good funding available.

WITH the ADANI issue nearly railroading the ALP campaign would the Government and racing be able to look at possible opportunities for renewable energy? Examples solar farms/battery back-up system. Remember there are around 131 racetracks throughout this State on large parcels of land.

ALL things need to be on the table to create a successful racing model and secondary income. Amalgamation of clubs maybe and we have to accept change has to happen as the competition from other sports is not going to get any easier. Cricket has the 20/20 games on top of the other forms getting further dollars.

RACING Queensland needs to stop making silly statements that we will match NSW and Victoria, as it only makes the industry feel the people running the show have no idea. The actions from RQ only need to create the best possible Queensland industry that can be sustained from the income we receive.

RQ need to show the industry what prizemoney levels could be over next three to five if their strategies are successful. This would give the industry hope to hang in there.

BRISBANE Racing Club issues need to be transparent. Eagle Farm is a disgrace and hurting racing for far longer than it should have.

WHAT are the overall benefits to the industry from the BRC Master Plan? As currently it looks like a huge debt that can’t be afforded. Does the BRC Master Plan create long-term non racing income?

REGARDS the racing overall model and each region’s model there needs to be more information from RQ regards what changes actually deliver – for example if a region amalgamated clubs and created non racing income would that in turn mean that region’s race meetings will race for increased prizemoney. If RQ can provide what changes basically deliver it becomes quite simply for people to support the change.

INDUSTRY is over slogans and the smokes and mirrors from RQ. The facts need to be presented and have to be dealt with to fix things and go forward.

RQ needs to be made accountable. There have been some terrible decisions made by people on large wages that appear to have self-interest rather than the industry as a whole at heart. Most obvious poor decision was increasing Stradbroke prizemoney when it wasn’t going to be held at the home of the race, Eagle Farm. Surely it should have been done after the new track was up and running. But why put feature prizemoney money up at all when the industry is struggling and really it achieves nothing regards the race or field, as the same horses would come regardless.

WHY are the RQ executive staff not on a basic wage and have an incentive payment attached? Then there is more accountability and then reward for success.  Not much different to others in industry. Example a jockey/trainer gets basic income but if successful (win races) they receive 5% or 10% extra.

MAYBE the Government/Minister needs to get the best people available running RQ this term – as RQ doesn’t need to be a poisoned chalice for the Minister. A lot in the industry would suggest (former top trainer) Peter Moody on some arrangement. (Racing NSW) Peter Vlandy’s name comes up as a successful person who knows the industry.

THE industry, like the population, is over both major parties blaming each other for the state of play on all issues. Just get on with governing and making good policy that fixes issues for ALL.

I will stop at this Minister, but I’m happy to explain anything further or offer more detail.’





‘FOOT in mouth disease’ appears to be the curse of every politician who inherits the poisoned chalice of Racing Minister in Queensland.

The latest victim is a delusional Stirling Hinchliffe, who has become the butt of racing jokes since his declaration that racing in the Sunshine State is ‘squeaky clean’ and intergrity in the north 'the envy of the nation.'

LETSGOHORSERACING has been inundated with emails to its DAILY & WEEKLY WHINGE COLUMNS since Hinchliffe penned his ill-informed commentary piece in THE SUNDAY MAIL last weekend. He has been labelled by the racing public – from stakeholders to punters – as a ‘wanker’, a ‘dickhead’ and ‘a dreamer’.

Even the ‘spin doctor’ of racing in Queensland, News Ltd’s No 1 turf writer, NATHAN EXELBY, has declared Hinchliffe’s  attempt to use the Aquanita scandal as an opportunity to champion the cause of the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission in the Sunday Mail as ‘ill-timed, self-serving and above all, deluded’.

Exelby rightly wrote: ‘IF the Minister thinks the issues have been isolated to Victoria, he would be sadly mistaken.’

On Hinchliffe’s claim that: ‘Queensland is better placed than any other jurisdiction to tackle corruption … in racing,’ Exelby suggested he only needs to speak to a handful of trainers to learn that they believe they are competing on anything but a level playing field at the present time.

He even went as far as finally writing what everyone – from those involved at the coalface to the mum and dad punter – believes ‘’ THAT THE CHEATS ARE PROPSERPING IN QUEENSLAND WITH LITTLE OR NO CHANCE OF BEING CAUGHT AND PITIFUL DETERRENTS IF THEY HAPPEN TO SLIP UP.

Exelby went on to write: ‘As for QRIC being ‘the envy of the nation’, a simple questionnaire of those working within its walls would reveal this to be anything but the case, let alone the perception in which it is viewed by the wider industry.

LGHR wants to add a few points to that if our ‘I know nothing’ new Racing Minister is prepared to listen:

THERE is a strong belief that some leading stables in Queensland have start.

THERE is a strong belief that trainers are treating their horses on the way to the track and getting away with it right under the noses of stewards.

THERE is a strong belief that a handful of jockeys are systematically stopping favorites from winning.

THERE is a belief that big punters connected to one leading stable which recently had a string of favorites get beaten at a TAB meeting not only backed those to lose but also had a nice win on the quadrella.

THERE is a belief that STEWARDS working on the QRIC panel have become frustrated believing that when they catch the ‘crooks’, especially involved in doping, someone at a higher level is halting the progress of these inquiries perhaps because of political connections and influence the stables involved enjoy.

THERE is a belief that many on the QRIC PANEL have lost confidence in the job being done by ALAN REARDON as CHIEF STEWARD and can’t wait for him to retire.

THERE is a belief that the greyhounds are the whipping boys while ‘race fixing’ and ‘rorts’ allegedly involving some powerful stables continues to occur on a weekly basis at the ‘red hots’ where there is not an ounce  of confidence in the stewards’ panel.

STIRLING HINCHLIFFE has managed, in an even shorter time, to catch the ‘foot and mouth’ disease which saw one of his predecessors, Grace Grace, anoint herself the ‘best Racing Minister ever’ in the eyes of the industry and Steve Dickson declared that under his LNP Government racing in Queensland would ‘wind up a furlong in front’ of the southern states. Now we have another goose telling us that Queensland is leading the way in integrity. Do these people think the punters in the Sunshine State are a bunch of morons? I guess we are for electing them to start with – but let’s face it, there’s not much to choose from.

Just a reminder of this doozy from the new Racing Minister in Rupert’s fish and chips wrapper from last Sunday:

‘Fortunately, thanks to the Palaszczuk Government’s racing integrity reforms, Queensland is better placed than any other jurisdiction to tackle corruption and animal cruelty in racing. The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission, whose very creation the Queensland LNP opposed, has proven to be a highly effective organization.’

If it’s so effective where are the results apart from lowering the boom on greyhound racing to appease the animal liberationists. Harness racing is still ‘red hot’ and the least said about what is happening at the gallops – and will continue to happen unless we get a no-nonsense new Chief Steward who is allowed to do his job – the better.



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