of the NQ Register

HE was one of racing’s greatest characters – and one of the north’s best trainers.

George Doolan was his name….

George passed away in the early hours of Tuesday in Cairns Base Hospital after a long and merciless battle with cancer.

A battle that took just about everything, except perhaps his famous sense of humour which he retained right to the very end.

He died squeezing the hand of his long devoted wife Viv, and the other idol of his life, daughter Jade.

 George had a colourful history. Firstly, as a policeman in Brisbane, then around the bush of country Queenbsland. His last posting was Ingham where he took out a trainer’s license that he held until the énd of last year when diagnosed with cancer.

He had been down and out a few times in the past two years but always managed to drag himself from the canvas for another bout.

But after watching his beloved football and the races on Sunday from home, he went back to palliative care on Monday where he died peacefully.

Her had many sayings, for just about any situation, but the one I loved best was his description of ‘someone he reckoned lacked ability, especially in the racing game’.

“What he knows about horses you could write on a postage stamp with a crow bar….”

I will always remember that – and will never forget the bloke. The ex copper who dressed up on the big race days in Cairns with a pink tie….smothered with little pigs….

How could you forget him?


AS the new-look Winter Racing Carnival is launched at the Gold Coast on Saturday – with its richest ever prizemoney and a $2 million Stradbroke that will reward mediocrity being run at Doomben – a ‘secret’ battle of Group 1 proportions is brewing behind the scenes at Racing Queensland.

The ‘blame game’ has intensified within the Deagon Bunker – with some key figures fighting for their very survival – as the countdown begins to the recommendations of the MacSporran Inquiry into ‘live baiting’ in the greyhound industry being delivered to Racing Minister Bill Byrne.

Some key staff are so concerned at what they call ‘deteriorating morale at the way the Kevin Dixon-led Board is running the show’ that they want the Government to intervene and take some action to restore confidence before RQ deteriorates into an internal battlefield.

POLICE have arrested two people, one of them a licensed greyhound trainer, in connection with the dumping of 55 dead greyhounds in bushland near Bundaberg.

NATALIE BOCHENSKI reports for BRISBANETIMES.COM.AU that investigators executed a search warrant at a Bundaberg property late Thursday afternoon, allegedly locating a rifle and ammunition.

A 71-year-old Bundaberg man was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.

A 64-year-old Bundaberg woman and licensed greyhound trainer has been charged with one count each of unlawful possession of a firearm and obstructing police.

IT’S time the All Codes Board of Racing in Queensland took the necessary steps to bring an end to the barbaric acts that continue to dog greyhound racing in this State.

The all-powerful authority should order the Queensland Greyhound Board to offer a $1 million reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the 55 carcasses found dumped near Bundaberg.

And as outrageous as it might sound, this $1 million should be taken from the prize-money pool for greyhound racing in Queensland. Someone in the industry knows something about this disgusting act and unfortunately the one factor that rules all in racing is money.



THE bodies of 55 greyhounds have been found dumped in bushland near Bundaberg.

NATALIE BOCHENSKI reports for BRISBANETIMES.COM.AU that a member of the public discovered the carcasses on Tuesday in the Wild Flower Reserve on Coonarr Beach Road in Coonarr.

They were in varying states of decomposition.

The police and RSPCA joint greyhound racing inquiry task force is now investigating.

RSPCA spokesman Michael Beatty said it was believed the dogs were killed before the Four Corners special on live-baiting in the greyhound racing industry was aired on February 16.

"Unfortunately as I think most people would be aware, there's always been a lot of wastage in the greyhound industry," he said.

"The indications are that these may just be young dogs that didn't have the speed, basically. But that's really all we know."

There were no greyhound training facilities or other connections to the racing industry in the area, a police spokesperson said.

Bobby Etheridge from the Friends of the Hound greyhound rescue group said the dumping of unwanted dogs was sad but not surprising news.

"It's horrible, and really shocking to those who don't know about it, but it's everyday business in the greyhound world," she said.

"We have been trying to tell people this for years, but it falls on deaf ears every time because there's too much money involved."

Autopsies will be carried out to determine the cause of death, and the dogs' ages.

Queensland Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller took to social media to say she was "absolutely sickened" by the news.

"Animal cruelty in Queensland won't be tolerated," she said.

Racing Queensland CEO Darren Condon described the discovery as "a despicable circumstance".

"We'll seek a formal report from the police," he said.

"We'll obviously work with police to assist in their investigations and take the appropriate response."

Mr Condon said he hadn't previously seen anything to indicate "a mass dumping of dogs".

The joint RSPCA and Queensland Police taskforce was established to investigate the use of live baiting using possums, rabbits and piglets to train competitive greyhounds.

It came after an ABC Four Corners expose from earlier this year sparked widespread outrage after showing racing dogs chasing and mauling live animals.

So far, five people have been charged with a total of 23 offences in the state.

An independent review headed up by barrister Alan MacSporran SC is also being conducted into the practice.

It's expected to be completed in about three months' time.

This review aims to find out how widespread the use of live baiting is in Queensland, and how it could go undetected for so long.

Police have urged anyone with information about the dead greyhounds in Coonarr to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

RACING Queensland has ramped up its night racing program, announcing eight additional meetings in the 2015-16
thoroughbred season as part of its racing calendar released today.
CEO Darren Condon said the 13-meeting night racing program in 2015-16 was closely aligned to that of Victoria to maximise wagering interest and provide Queensland clubs with a chance to capitalise on the night trade during the summer.



IT was the biggest story in greyhound racing in Queensland since the live baiting scandal all but brought the sport to its knees – but strangely – perhaps even sadly – it did not rate one line in the mainstream media.

An industry meeting in Brisbane this week, attended by almost 200 stakeholders and addressed by Queensland Greyhound Board Chairman Michael Byrne and Racing Queensland CEO Darren Condon, ended in controversial circumstances.

All but one of those in attendance supported a virtual motion of no confidence in RQ’s handling of the ‘live baiting’ saga and called on the All Codes Board, chaired by Kevin Dixon, to resign or at least stand down pending the outcome of the Government-ordered review.

HARNESS trainer/driver Trevor Lambourn has been disqualified for two years and fined $10,000 after stewards found him guilty of placing bets on horses he drove and/or trained in races, as well as horses driven and trained by others in races he drove in between March 2012 and February this year.

Racing Queensland stewards inquired into Mr Lambourn’s driving tactics on Kalvin in Race 3 at Albion Park on Friday, 27 February 2015 after the gelding lead the field at a quick tempo before finishing last by 24m.

RACING Queensland has confirmed three harness and two thoroughbred trainers will appear before Stewards’ inquiries after their horses returned cobalt samples above the legislated threshold of 200 micrograms per litre in urine.

Thoroughbred trainer Jamie McConachy’s horse Vandalised returned a sample in excess of the threshold following its win in the Rockhampton Cup on 21 June 2014.

RACING Queensland has stood down a further 23 greyhound trainers as part of its ongoing investigations into the same training track at Churchable used by other warned-off and suspended trainers.

CEO Darren Condon said after reviewing further video footage, Stewards had cause to commence inquiries into the individuals and stand them and their greyhounds down immediately pending further investigations.

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