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'BASKET CASE' UNEARTHS ANOTHER ANOMALY INVOLVING FEMALE STIPE

by TERRY BUTTS of the NQ REGISTER

RACING needs competent people in control and sadly that seems to be lacking in Queensland on many fronts, particularly administration and integrity. And a separation of the codes is also a must.

BY the way, did you witness the Alan Jones interview on SKY last week? His opinion on how bad racing in Queensland is administered – from the Premier down is, well, pretty spot on.

“It is a basket case,” Jones said. And few would argue.

The idea of placing the three codes under one umbrella was one of the ‘Bentley Blunders’ and should be changed. Racing should not have to piggy back trots and greyhounds.

They should be master of their own destiny and the futility of the present arrangement is clear when a young cadet steward claims she was told by the senior QRIC stipendiary Steward that she could not be promoted to a senior steward in Townsville because she had no harness racing experience.

Of course there isn’t a trots track in North Queensland any longer. In fact there are only three left in the State – Recliffe, Albion Park and Marburg (more a picnic venue).

That same cadet steward by the way is no longer.

She in fact resigned last month after being told she must show cause. QRIC chief Ross Barnett claims she entered false information on a chain of custody document for a swab take from a horse.

That sounds pretty serious but, in fairness, Jess Portch the steward concerned is entitled to her version.

“I was chairman of stewards at Gordonvale and as pre-arranged, I stayed overnight at Mission Beach and the swabs taken at the meeting were delivered back to the RQ office at Cluden by the starter Peter Warren.

“On Monday (my RDO) I called into the office to ensure everything was OK with the swabs and delivered my completed paper work.

“It was then I made the mistake of signing the form that said I had personally delivered both the swabs and paperwork.

 “I don’t know why – but I signed the paper. I shouldn’t have. It was just one of those things and I thought nothing about it.

“Two QRIC staff flew from Brisbane to interview me and I was told I couldn’t have any representation.

“I was on my own – nervous and worried sick. I just couldn’t believe the reaction.

“Then on the morning of the interview I was told I could have legal representation but it was then too late.

“I then asked for an adjournment but it was denied.

“My lawyer told me I would win an unfair dismissal case hands down – but he also said: Do you want to go back?

“I said I would resign”.

Overwhelmed and encouraged by the response from licensees all over NQ, Ms Portch says it may not be over yet.

Workplace and sexual harassment action is being considered.

 

 

DING DONG BELL & HIS BOYS CAN BE DISMISSED WITH A WINX & A NOD

MEMO to the under siege and under-performing BOARD of the BRISBANE RACING CLUB:

FROM industry stakeholders and the racing public in QUEENSLAND: When you start treating people like PETER TIGHE, the owner of WINX and his family like second rate citizens, it’s time to give it away.

If the Board are so desperate to hold their positions that they produce some ridiculous excuse for refusing new memberships then those who vote the current directors back when it comes time for their re-election deserve what they get.

There are strong stories doing the rounds that Mr Tighe, former RQ and BRC chairman Kevin Dixon and several other prominent racing identities are keen to form a ticket to challenge at the next AGM.

Surely word of this has not reached the BRC bunker and immediate steps have been taken to circle the wagons and protect the jobs of those who have arguably not being doing them to the satisfaction of the racing public let alone a lot of disenchanted members especially when it comes to the redevelopment of the new Eagle Farm track which has been a total disaster not to mention a national embarrassment.

In a story in The Courier-Mail, Mr Tighe has taken aim at the BRC Board over its unusual decisions to defend new memberships.

According to the report by Racing Editor Nathan Exelby, who reportedly is off-side with the BRC because he has dared to criticize in more recent times, Mr Tighe paid memberships for himself and seven members of his family this month, but asked for a refund last week after learning new memberships had been suspended, despite earlier assurances they had been successful.

BRC chairman Neville Bell told Exelby the move was designed to help existing members because they were “only getting half the meetings they should”.

“It’s only a temporary suspension of new memberships and as soon as we have some clarity from Racing Queensland on a timeline for Eagle Farm, we will be in a position to make some decisions for members,” Bell said.

In an email to the club last week, Tighe described the explanation as “a lame excuse”. That opinion is shared by the majority of the racing industry who has had an absolute gutful of the way Bell, his CEO David Whimpey and until recently Racing Queensland have handled the entire Eagle Farm track fiasco.

Then again perhaps the reason for the RQ reluctance rests with a story doing the rounds that they were paid $250,000 as Project Managers for the rebuild of the track. We are not saying that is correct but believe the industry deserves confirmation or otherwise of whether that rumour is true.

Story goes that the Labor Government has issued an instruction to RQ and the BRC that this is not to be spoken about publicly obviously as it could prove embarrassing leading up to an election. They would rather pump up prizemoney increases which, by the way, only return Queensland to the level it was before they reduced stakes allegedly because of the financial deficit the industry was left with when the Kevin Dixon Board was sacked in the wake of the greyhound live baiting disaster. In reality Queensland is still a furlong behind New South Wales and Victoria in all things racing, especially prizemoney.

Mr Tighe went on to tell the Courier-Mail: “It seems pretty obvious to me the decision to suspend new membership applications has nothing to do with the racing program, but is more an attempt to avoid the potential for concerned people (such as me) to seek to challenge the BRC board’s decision.

“At a time when racing at the Brisbane Racing Club is at the lowest level possible, through poor management ­decisions and an out-of-touch board, one would have imagined this club would be looking to sign up as many new members as possible during this period of declining membership numbers.”

Tighe is an ex-board member of the BRC and fell out with Bell in the wake of an unsuccessful campaign to overthrow a board member in 2014.

Tighe and fellow board member Paul Williams resigned a number of months later, citing their relationship with other Board members as untenable and later let their memberships lapse.

Rumours of a planned “coup” to overthrow the BRC board surfaced last week, but Bell dismissed the suggestion the membership freeze was related to that in any way.

“If people genuinely had the interests of the club at heart, they would already be a member and quite welcome to stand for the board if they are unhappy with the incumbents,” he said.

“We’re doing so many great things here, it’s a shame somebody who resigned as a director sees fit to try and diminish that.”

Since leaving the board, Tighe has risen to national prominence through the deeds of Winx and has been vocal in his opinion of the board’s management of the BRC.

“With all of the debacles that have taken place at the club over the last 12 months, the BRC board’s only defence has been to blame everyone else,” he said. “Not once have they accepted responsibility for their poor decision-making.”

 

 

HOW WILL RACING NSW STEWARDS HANDLE GODOLPHIN STRANGLES CASE?

IT will be intriguing to see how the Goldophin strangles story plays out.

MATT STEWART writes in his ‘BLINKERS OFF’ column in the HERALD SUN that it is not yet clear if Godolphin tried to contain and treat last August’s outbreak “in house’’ without alerting authorities but the fact Racing NSW stewards are making inquiries suggests so.

Matt Cumani was banned from May 16 until August 1 for failing to report a strangles incident in his Ballarat stables. He was also fined $20,000 and his horses dispersed.

John O’Shea was Godolphin’s trainer last August, but is no longer. James Cummings is about to replace Darren Beadman. If this case plays out as Cumani’s did, would O’Shea face a suspension?

THE strangles inquiry is ­another dramatic episode for Godolphin, here and abroad.

O’Shea’s resignation some weeks ago came after months of rumblings. His relationships with staff — below and above him — had become strained.

In Europe, one of its long-time trainers Saeed bin Suroor, savaged Godolphin’s global chief John Ferguson in a ­Racing Post yarn this month.

Bin Suroor said decisions made by Ferguson, including a directive to use jockey James Doyle, had affected the trainer’s ability to get the best from Sheik Mohammad’s horses.

 

'WHO’S GOT EGG ON HIS FACE OVER ‘SANCTIMONIOUS WINDBAG’ QUIP’?

NORTH Queenslander OSCAR JACKSON, an unashamed fan of outspoken Cairns MP ROB PYNE, sent this email to the WHINGE relating to the problems confronting former Ipswich Mayor PAUL PISASALE:

‘I read with interest an item in the TRAPS column in THE SUNDAY MAIL and thought this little nudge might result in a follow-up this weekend.

Being a keen follower of politics and racing in Queensland might I suggest that boofheads like Greg Hallam should adopt the philosophy: ‘I say it best when I say nothing at all’.

According to the writings of Ipswich ‘love child’ Peter Cameron in his TRAPS column last Sunday, Hallam described Pyne, an MP admired by many for his outspokenness against former Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, as a ‘sanctimonious windbag’. Might I suggest what Rob had to say in Parliament about the situation has been proven spot on?

Hallam, described by Cameron as a Councils’ chief and racing ‘wiz’ – which is drawing a long bow in the eyes of some – found out that a week can be a long time in politics and has wound up with plenty of egg on his face with Pisasale now facing some serious charges.

Perhaps Mr Cameron would like to update us as to whether Pisasale’s position on the Ipswich Turf Club Board is still safe regardless of whether the one-time high flyer is entitled to the presumption of innocence or not.

In the meantime my mate Rob Pyne should have a look at Hallam’s history on the RQ Board – I believe that’s the one under the chairmanship of Kevin Dixon that was sacked by the Government in the wake of the greyhound live baiting controversy.

There are plenty in the racing industry who say that Board has to shoulder some of the blame for the disaster that is now the redeveloped Eagle Farm track – closed for business for those who have been living under a rock.

Rather than have the old ‘Ipswich boys’ put their slant on the coverage of this extortion arrest, take the time to read an interesting story by ARCHIE BUTTERFLY on the website IT’S NOT NORMAL – LIFE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS which is titled: ‘WANT A TIP ABOUT HOW A MAYOR TOOK THE PISASALE OUT OF THE PUNTERS AND MADE HE AND HIS MATES FILTHY STINKING RICH?’

        

COMPETITION TRIBUNAL APPROVES MERGER OF TABCORP & TATTS

TABCORP expects its proposed $11 billion merger with gaming rival Tatts Group to be completed by August.

CHRISTIAN EDWARDS reports for AAP that Tabcorp chairman Paula Dwyer said the Australian Competition Tribunal's approval of the merger on Tuesday is an important step towards creating a "world class, diversified gambling entertainment group."

"We look forward to continuing to work with Tatts to successfully complete the transaction and are working towards implementation in August 2017," Ms Dwyer said in a statement.

The deal will deliver significant value for shareholders of both companies and "material benefits" to other key stakeholders, she said.

The combined company is forecast to generate annual revenue of more than $5 billion and dominate Australia's tote betting market by bringing together TAB and the Tatts-owned UniTAB.

Tabcorp said it still expects the merger to deliver at least $130 million in earnings annually from synergies and business improvements, which will be realised in the first full year after completion of the integration.

"The combination will bring together two great Australian businesses, well positioned to invest, innovate and compete in a global gambling entertainment marketplace," Ms Dwyer said.

Tabcorp shares were up 17 cents, or 3.7 per cent, at $4.80 at 1430 AEST, and Tatts shares were up 16 cents, or 3.8 per cent, at $4.33.

Meanwhile, Tabcorp said it expects its revenue for the year to June 30 to be in the range of $2.22 billion to $2.24 billion, growth of 1.4 per cent to 2.3 per cent from the previous year.

Net profit before significant items is forecast to be between $173 million and $180 million, down from $186 million in 2015/16.

ACT president Justice John Middleton said the tribunal was satisfied the proposed merger of Tabcorp and Tatts would benefit the public.

The only condition imposed by the tribunal is that Tabcorp continues with the already agreed sale of its Queensland gaming machine monitoring business, Odyssey, in response to concerns over competition in the sector.

Tabcorp said the competition watchdog has given the nod of approval to the proposed purchaser, Australian National Hotels, a subsidiary of Federal Group.

 

‘GET ON’ DEGENERATES AS RACING.COM SUCKS UP TO CORPORATES

SAM LEWIS, a keen VICTORIAN PUNTER, makes some interesting observations about turnover on Victorian racing and the ‘start’ that corporate bookies seem to have with the broadcaster, Racing.com, which is impacting on its popular program, GET ON.   

‘IF the bulk of Racing Victoria's revenue comes from its joint venture with the TAB, why does its broadcast arm, Racing.com, continue to promote major betting rivals Crown Bet and Sportsbet?

One only has to follow the popular Thursday night program, Get On, once streets ahead of anything similar that SKY has to offer, to appreciate how the ‘suck-up’ to these corporate bookmaking ‘parasites’ has degenerated into a farce.

The way things are going there will be more corporates represented on the show than presenters or tipsters.

We now have Simon Marshall (Sportsbet) joining long-time bore Matt Campbell (Crown Bet) and spruiking a different set of shorteners for each race being previewed. What’s next a representative from the allegedly biggest but one of the weakest (if you happen to win) corporate bookies in Bet 365.

Adding insult to injury the one betting agency that should be represented on the panel and the one that contributes the most to betting revenue in Victoria – the TAB – does not have a voice. They should be the first aboard and in the humble opinion of most punters (who quickly learn to hate the corporates and their bogus free bet offers) there is no need for representation from the corporates who are bleeding the industry dry, treating punters like peasants and sending their profits off-shore.

Get On was once an extremely popular, down-to-earth show that was full of plenty of laughs, produced more than its share of winners and was worth an hour out of our leisure time on a Thursday night for those who love racing and the punt.

Now it has degenerated into an hour long free advertisement for Crown Bet and Sportsbet, too much self-indulgent crap and ‘nickname’ calling, involving some of the personalities, while panel host Jason Richardson, once forthright in his opinion, sadly now simply gushes praise on many who don’t deserve it – gone is his constructive criticism of all things racing and in its place it seems a let’s not offend anyone philosophy.

What Get On needs to realize is that there are two stars of the show that the punters want to hear from when it comes to assessment of the races. David Gatley is an acquired taste but a great judge but the real find has been Clint Hutchinson, who is everybody’s favourite and by far the best judge. Why on some weeks he is not on the panel is a major mystery. With all due respects to Adam Olszanski he should stick to race-calling and hang up his punting pin.

Even Olszanski makes Matt Campbell look good when it comes to tipping. The last thing the show needs is Campbell and Simon Marshall adding their tipping prowess to the price shorteners. If they want a show full of betting news then let the corporates host one of their own and they can bring on the clowns from all these outfits. Racing.com, please stop destroying what was once a good watch simply to meet the demands of your corporate bookie mates and how about recognising who really butters the bread of Racing Victoria in the TAB?

Patrick Bartley reports in THE AGE that figures spruiked by Racing Victoria that betting on Victorian racing is at record levels are raising eyebrows.

Racing Victoria announced on Friday that punter interest in Victorian racing is at an all-time high with $6 billion in turnover in 2016 and 2017 and 24 per cent growth over the past three years.

(Interestingly, there have been no similar reports out of Racing NSW where apparently the turnover is down considerably compared to Victoria but the mainstream media doesn’t want to write about for fear of upsetting Mr Wonderful Peter V’landys or risking their second jobs with SKY Channel. What a joke!).  

Bartley, did however, reports that Racing has Victoria failed to make any reference to what its actual receipts from this level of wagering are.

On the most recent figures available, Racing Victoria's returns from racing went backwards by $2 million last year despite more than 6.4 per cent more bets being placed on Victorian racing.

That's because more is being bet with Northern Territory licensed corporate bookmakers who pay much less to racing for every bet they take than TAB does.

The bulk of Racing Victoria's revenue comes from its joint venture with TAB.

According to Racing Victoria caretaker chief executive, Giles Thompson, the record betting on Victorian racing reflected punter confidence.

"We're delighted to reach this milestone, which is an important indicator of the health of Victorian racing and the faith that punters have placed in the quality and integrity of our sport," Mr Thompson said.

However the growing problem for Racing Victoria is for that every dollar that leaves the TAB and is bet with a corporate bookmaker, the industry is substantially worse off – as is the Victorian government.

"While more is being bet on Victorian racing, the real winners are corporate bookmakers and not jockeys, owners and trainers," one wagering insider said.

Bartley went on to report that the challenge appears to have been exacerbated by the industry's own broadcaster racing.com, which promotes betting with corporate bookmakers Sportsbet, CrownBet and Bet 365.

This will intensify when Racing.com starts broadcasting South Australian racing from which the Victorian industry does not receive a cent for bets placed with corporate bookmakers.

It is difficult to measure Racing.com's success for Victorian racing as the channel does not participate in television ratings and there is no transparent reporting of its profitability.

Racing.com digital and production costs alone exceeded $13 million last year. At the same time racing's wagering returns went backwards.

A Racing Victoria spokesperson confirmed that  there was a 0.24 per cent reduction in wagering revenues in the 2016 financial year (12-month period ending June 30, 2016), although RV's total revenues rose by 11.4 per cent for that period to ultimately deliver a surplus of $27.9 million for the 2016 financial year.

 

 

 

 

WHAT A BUNCH OF WEAK-KNEED BOOKIES THEY ARE AT UBET

By TERRY BUTTS of the NQ REGISTER

EVERYONE really can’t wait for the merger of the Totes.

It seems Ubet have just about given up. Last week a well-known Townsville punter telephoned the head office to inform them that he intended to withdraw $8,000 from his account next day. No problem until he went to get it. He was told ‘Sorry, we can only give you $4,000’.

He approached the TAB manager and was told: ‘That’s the rule’.

The punter has since changed bookie. As you would.

Then at Mackay on Thursday a trainer tried to have $200 on his horse in the Lightning.

He approached the Ubet tote window on-course and was told he could have $166 on it – that’s all.

So he just walked away – shaking his head.

And they (Ubet) encourage licensees to bet with them – to be loyal to the industry. And they have the audacity to get on radio and skite about how much they bet to lose.

 

O’SULLIVAN & PURTON BEGIN POST-AEROVELOCITY ERA IN HONKERS

By Andrew Hawkins of the HKJC

TRAINER Paul O’Sullivan and jockey Zac Purton farewelled one of their favourite horses during the week with the retirement of two-time LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint winner Aerovelocity, but the duo quickly bounced back to dominate Sunday’s Members’ Day race meeting at Sha Tin with a four-timer each.

Purton won four of the first five races, joining with O’Sullivan for three of them – taking the Class 5 Beas River Country Club Handicap (1800m) on Aeroluminance (131lb), the Class 4 Oi Suen Handicap (1650m) aboard Namjong Invincible (123lb) and the Class 4 Sha Tin Clubhouse Handicap (1200m) with Starship (131lb). O’Sullivan later won the Class 3 Happy Valley Clubhouse Handicap (1650m) with Karis Teetan-partnered Willie Way (123lb) to complete his quartet.

“I feel like John Size for the day!” O’Sullivan quipped after he brought up his first Hong Kong four-timer after 13 seasons in the territory. “The stable has had a good season in terms of placings, my strike rate isn’t far from John’s in that respect, but with winners it’s been hard. A lot of my horses have run well from tough gates or have just struggled to get to the place where they can break through.

“It makes such a difference when you have a good barrier,” he continued. “Today, all of my winners drew a gate, they had really good runs throughout, and that showed at the finish. You know, life without ‘Aero’ is not going to be that good, but today’s a red letter day, I’ll take more of these!”

O’Sullivan moved to 25 winners for the season, well behind championship leader Size, but he believes that a couple of his winners have the potential to help him start next season strongly.

“Starship, Zac said that he really sprinted strongly today even after he struck a little bit of trouble in the straight,” O’Sullivan said. “He had a mid-season break so he could keep going now, but I think next season is when he will be able to make his mark in Class 3. And Namjong Invincible, he has a few issues that mean he just can’t perform to his best on the turf. Now we’ve found out he goes well on the dirt, he might be able to go even higher than we thought.”

“Even Aeroluminance, he might have another win in him, although today felt like he got his gold star for participation. Some horses do go to another level when they win, though, so maybe he will be one of them.”

Purton played the role of friend and foe to Size as the handler chased his own milestone, a new record for wins by any trainer in a season. The current mark of 91 was set by Tony Cruz in the 2004/05 season, and Size entered Sunday’s meeting two adrift on 89.

Purton and Size combined to win the Beijing Clubhouse Plate (1000m) with griffin Hot King Prawn (127lb) giving Size his 90th winner of the season and setting Purton on a course towards his four–timer.

“He’s had two soft wins against average opposition,” Purton said. “He’s still got a lot ahead of him, but he does everything right – he has good gate speed, he’s got a good head on him and he was prepared well. He gives you a nice feel but until they get put under pressure, that’s when you find what they are made of.”

“I think you’ve just seen the highlight for the day!” Size quipped after the Denman two-year-old produced an impressive five and three-quarter length triumph.

The trainer was right, at least with his own string; he drew a blank for the remainder of the card as a number of his well-fancied runners finished around the money without breaking through, setting up a potential challenge for the record at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (21 June) where he has six runners.

For Purton, the four winners inched him closer to his own personal goal of 100 wins for the season; he now sits on a total of 97 wins. The only time he has cracked the century before was in his championship-winning season in 2013/14, when he reached 111 wins.

“We were hoping we could have a day like that today,” Purton said. “I have had things against me the last couple of seasons, a couple of injuries, that have meant I haven’t been able to quite get to 100. This time, hopefully we can get there – today will help.”

The featured Class 3 Members Cup Handicap (1200m) went to Francis Lui’s progressive four-year-old Jumbo Luck (121lb), who made it three wins from five starts with a two and a quarter length victory under Joao Moreira.

The Brazilian rider then made it back-to-back wins on classy four-year-old Seasons Bloom in the Class 2 Moon Koon Handicap (1600m), with trainer Danny Shum indicating that the Hong Kong Classic Mile and Hong Kong Classic Cup placegetter would now have a break.

“It’s been a long, but very good, season for him,” Shum said. “We could go to the Class 1 on the last day, but I think we will put him away now and bring him back next season – we will aim towards the Hong Kong Mile. Hopefully Joao can ride him then!”

 

RECORD BREAKER MEECH CONTENT TO CHASE COUNTRY WINNERS

LINDA Meech wished her record breaking 112th win for a female jockey on Saturday was at Moonee Valley and not Wodonga but she’s not too perturbed as riding in the country is something she’s used to.

MICHAEL MANLEY reports for the HERALD SUN that Meech broke the record of 111 winners in a season which she had held jointly with Clare Lindop since 2008/2009 when she won the first race at Wodonga on Hulme on Saturday.

Only four of Meech’s winners this season have been in the city but she isn’t concerned by this either.

“I’m making a really good living doing what I’m doing. I’m not going to get too emotional about not being in town,” Meech said.

“Yes I’d like to be in town more but I’m happy with the way I’m going and I need to pay the bills which I do this way.”

“I’d rather it would have been at Moonee Valley breaking the record but I’m happy to have done it.”

Meech said she needs to keep riding winners if she wants to keep the record as South Australian jockey Jamie Kah has ridden 108 winners and New South Wales jockey Rachael Murray with 102 winners are just behind her.

Meech said Monday’s meeting at Donald underlined how the landscape had changed in terms of women riders as 10 female jockeys are riding including seven apprentices.

Meech said she was glad she wasn’t part of the previous generation of women riders as they did it hard.

“I’m so grateful to them. Thanks to them the girls are getting so much more opportunity these days,” she said.

Eight months ago Meech bought a four hectares property on the Stawell racetrack as she has taken out a jockey-trainers’ licence.

Meech said she had enjoyed training her team of five yearlings but said they are all being spelled at the moment.

 

FEATHERS FLY OVER PENALTY IMPOSED FOR PIG'S NAME IN CHARITY RACE

ALBION Park Harness Racing Club Chairman, David Fowler, has described as ‘over the top’ a three-month suspension imposed on a female trainer-driver for giving a fund-raising pig a similar moniker to a high profile steward.

Dannielle McMullen was suspended for three months for ‘misconduct’ after her prank at the recent BOTRA Charity race day in a penalty that NATHAN EXELBY reports in THE COURIER-MAIL has left harness racing participants with disbelief.

McMullen did not drive at the meeting, preferring to help raise funds for the charity, being a full-time employee of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club.

One of the fund-raisers on the day was a pig race, where participants could ‘buy’ a pig. McMullen took up an offer to race one of the contestants, before deciding to give it a name that had a striking resemblance to deputy chief harness steward Kwan Wolsey.

The pig, officially named Qualm, won the race and McMullen even took the winning ribbon to show Wolsey. Nothing further was said on the day.

The ‘incident’ took a turn for the worse two days later when McMullen was issued with a misconduct charge by stewards.

At a subsequent inquiry presided over by Joseph Elliott, Kerry Lathopolous and Robyn McCrae from the QRIC Integrity Regulatory Unit, McMullen was suspended and fined $500.

The driver estimates the suspension could cost as much as $10,000. As she’s also a trainer, she has already relinquished horses in her care to other stables.

Fowler went into bat for McMullen: “Maybe Dannielle should have been more mindful, but the penalty is way out of kilter for a somewhat innocent mistake.

“In her employ at Albion Park, I have never once had reason to question her respect or manners.”

Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett vigorously defended the sentence on Friday and said he expected QRIC staff to be “treated with a high level of respect”.

“This action was inappropriate and showed a lack of respect and disregard for common decency in relation to a QRIC staff member. Ms Wolsey felt disrespected by this regrettable incident,” Barnett said.

McMullen is now awaiting the result of an internal review of the penalty before deciding if she will appeal the verdict to QCAT.

 

 

ONE THING'S FOR SURE THERE'LL BE MORE DRUNKS THAN HORSES AT IPSWICH ON CUP DAY

IPSWICH CUP Day can lay claim to the best attended Winter Carnival meeting in Queensland – and it hasn’t even been run yet.

Saturday’s big day at Bundamba is expected to attract a crowd of 20,000 which will surpass the official attendance at Doomben for last weekend’s transferred Stradbroke meeting by 6,000 people.

There has long been a battle between Eagle Farm and Ipswich over which club will secure the biggest Winter Carnival attendance. Some officials claim that Ipswich has been asked to downplay the rivalry to avoid ill-feeling with the Brisbane Racing Club.

STEVE HARLING from the ISPWICH TURF CLUB has shared some amazing figures with the QUEENSLAND TIMES when it comes to what is required to stage CUP DAY.

Some of these might surprise you – especially the amount of alcohol that will be drunk on a Winter’s Day in Queensland.

  • 150,000 ready to drink alcoholic beverages will be consumed
  • 50,000 Stubbies of beer will also be drunk
  • 20,000 people are expected on the day
  • 16,000 Cans of soft drink will be downed by patrons
  • 15,000 glasses of wine will be drunk
  • 14,000 meals will be served
  • 7000 plastic chairs will be dotted around the grounds
  • 5000 square metres of marquee space will be hired
  • 800 kilowatts of extra power will be on hand to cope with the demand
  • 700 kilograms of hot chips will be cooked on the day
  • 400 temporary staff will work the Ipswich Cup
  • 200 Portaloos will be shipped in for the day
  • 40 cold rooms will be imported to keep the drinks cold
  • 10 generators will be fired up
  • 3 km of temporary fencing
  • 1 kilometre of extension cords will be in operation

 

‘SUPER SLING’ FOR JOCKEYS IN QLD – NOT ANOTHER BALLS-UP?

By TERRY BUTTS of the NQ REGISTER

IT IS like a lethal grenade sitting on page 70 of the current Racing Queensland Annual Report – and, somewhat surprisingly, has to date elicited not a comment from anyone.

It reads: “Australian Tax Office issued Racing Queensland with default assessments with respect to superannuation contributions allegedly payable to certain jockeys in relation to the quarters commencing 1 July 2009 and concluding on 30 September 2014.

“Racing Queensland has lodged an objection against the default assessment and the ATO is considering the objection.”

And how much – or how many millions – are involved is a question you might well ask?

Some idea can be gained by one North Queensland jockey, who rides barely once a week and is somewhat restricted by weight. He has been told to expect ‘around $30,000’ in back payments.

The mind boggles as to what the final figure will be for all jockeys statewide. Some suggest it could be in the millions.

While the official line from the ATO is that the matter with RQ is still not settled, jockeys who joined an action undertaken by Sunshine Coast-based Vertical Super Solutions have already received one payment. One jockey is believed to be entitled to as much as $100,000 in back super and penalty interest.

Spokesman for the firm, Shane Harding, said he has 25 Queensland jockeys in his action to recoup the unpaid super. Their claims alone total $800,000.

“I have only seen a couple of notices and it seems the September 2009 quarter has been paid in full and about 10 per cent of the December 2009 quarter has been paid as well.”

Queensland Jockeys’ Association president, Glenn Prentice, said the QJA cannot be involved. Jockeys must apply to the ATO themselves.

Claims can only go back to the five-year period from September 2009 to September 2014. Eligible jockeys are entitled to up to nine per cent of race and official trial fees. Prizemoney is not included.

Harding has told his clients they should be receiving 20 quarters (five years X four quarters) of contributions – but has warned that it could take time.

“The action has not been fully settled between the ATO and RQ just yet, but I am very encouraged that the first payment has been made by RQ.

“It has been a brand new type of claim for everyone involved and we can set some legal precedence which is fantastic for the jockeys, especially those who commenced their riding careers around 2004”. 

This is yet another looming financial disaster for Racing Queensland – or the entire industry really that relies on competent administration by the control body.

However, while the current Board is not to blame in this matter, it must bear the cost.

The Eagle Farm fiasco and the delay on the Tabcorp-Tatts merger verdict is only part of the mega financial problems RQ currently faces.

The failure to deliver a verdict of the two totes is particularly sorry news.

And reading between the lines it is much to do with the ACCC which inexplicably allegedly encouraged the corporate bookmakers to make a case to oppose the merger.

It was no surprise – in fact it was expected – that Racing Victoria would voice opposition. Certainly it wouldn’t want Queensland ‘trampling into their lucrative lucerne patch.”

For in recent years, while Victoria has announced whopping stakes money increases due mainly to the Tabcorp grants, Queensland has wallowed in its wake. That they would be sharing some of those annual spoils was not – and is not – on the RV to-do list.

The hearing into the merger adjourned last Friday with an announcement that the verdict would not be released until September, which is a major disappointment for Queensland.

Most thought the merger was a formality. It would pave the way for the establishment of a National Tote, deemed essential to rival the corporate bookmakers.

These bookies have come from the UK and clearly conquered the Australian off-course gambling industry of which our racing solely relies on.

Of particular disappointment too, was part of a submission by Melbourne Racing Club executive Josh Blanksby, who told the Competition Tribunal hearing that “pubs and clubs could remove the Tabcorp (TAB) retail wagering service and rely on punters to place wagers through the telephone or on digital applications”.

Can you believe that?

It prompted the Melbourne Age to write: That concept would face stiff opposition from administrators, racing participants and the State Government given the revenue racing earns from TAB dwarfs what is received from corporate bookmakers.

Blansky (or is it blank space?) was commenting on the ambition of Racing.com, the broadcast arm of Racing Victoria, to create a racing channel for hotels and clubs in competition to rival the long-standing Tabcorp-owned SKY CHANNEL service.

However, Racing.com's ambitions would not have the support of Australia's 5000-plus hoteliers. “The Australian Hotels Association supports a single provider of racing vision into retail venues,” CEO Stephen Ferguson said.

There is no argument that SKY could do with some healthy opposition or at least some fairness in its racing coverage that is dominated by NSW events.

No doubt!

But it is the merger that is an absolute necessity, especially for Queensland – in spite of what the ACCC and its corporate bookie buddies might pontificate.

But those passionate about racing – not just the gambling side of it – already fear the worst.

  

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