Jenny - Clean

HUNDREDS of frozen urine samples may soon reveal if Victorian racing has a dark past of illegal drug use.

MATT STEWART reports for the HERALD SUN that Racing Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey said he was confident there would be no more positive drug tests to cobalt from late last year; from the time the first illegal levels from three stables were recorded at the end of the spring carnival and before the Australian Racing Board issued a warning over supplement use in mid-January.

But Bailey also revealed Racing Victoria was sitting on a cache of frozen samples taken some years ago, which could be thawed out and retested by new technology in coming months.

 

THE giant gap between what happens integrity-wise in racing in Queensland and the two big southern states has again been highlighted by the greyhound ‘live baiting' scandal.

Soon after the ABC 4 Corners expose the entire Bord of Greyhound Racing NSW and its CEO agreed to step down after being told to resign or be sacked by Deputy Premier and Racing Minister Troy Grant.

Despite Victoria’s Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna praising the efforts of Greyhound Racing Victoria in a report released on Wednesday, the entire Board resigned immediately and was replaced by a new one.

It smacked of a ‘facing saving deal’ having been done by the Government behind the scenes when a new Board, headed by former Police Commissioner Ken Lay, was named immediately to replace the one that elected to ‘walk the plank’.

Perna, who admitted he still had concerns about an ‘ingrained culture’ in greyhound racing, said ‘ridiculous’ and ‘restrictive’ rules needed to be lifted and called on the Government in Victoria to broaden investigators’ powers in the wake of the damming ‘live baiting’ expose.

 

THE screens went dark a week before Christmas.

PATRICK BARTLEY and KONRAD MARSHALL report for THE AGE that seemingly unending supply of footage — invaluable vision of horse flesh thundering down tracks everywhere from Moonee Valley to Muswellbrook — was cut. A planned blackout was in effect, in the biggest racing markets in Australia.

IT’S a holding pattern that will become a test pattern, at least for TVN.

MATT STEWART reports in the HERLAD SUN that Victoria’s racing clubs, left stranded when NSW walked away from TVN and hopped into bed with SKY, are continuing to explore a range of broadcast options, from digital via corporate bookmakers to an ambitious pitch to Channel 7.

TRAINERS at Sandown applauded on Wednesday efforts to weed out cheats — but added they hoped for an explanation for the spate of positive doping tests during Melbourne’s spring carnival.

DARYL TIMMS reports in the HERALD SUN that Mornington trainer Jason Warren said he wasn’t shocked by news that high cobalt levels were detected in several horses. He said speculation about its use had abounded for several months.

IN the absence of a WEDNESDAY WHINGE this week we have elected to run this item – from one of the most read and controversial racing websites on the planet – the RACING B*TCH out of Hong Kong – whose sentiments we totally agree with.

Whether you support SKY or TVN in the racing broadcast debacle in Australia, here is the RacingB*tch take on the issue which we reproduce with our thanks to that organization and website.

RACING Victoria has today announced that it is fully supportive of the decision by the Victorian representatives on the TVN Board to reluctantly accept the proposal by Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club to disaggregate Victorian and NSW Thoroughbred Racing media rights from TVN.

Once the disaggregation is complete, this decision will allow the Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Industry to get on with managing all of its media rights in the best interests of the Victorian industry, its 70,000 participants and its thousands of loyal and passionate punters.

By GERARD BETROS

ACCORDING to the pundits, the chances of an Australian-bred horse winning this year’s Melbourne Cup are near to none.

The apparent dominance of internationally bred and trained horses suggests that our horses will be also-rans.

The two reasons most proffered for the lack of competitiveness of Australian stayers relate to Australia’s penchant for breeding sprinters and the belief that Australian trainers can’t train stayers. These reasons warrant further discussion.

The assumption that underpins the failure of Australia’s breeding program to produce competitive stayers is based on the flawed belief that breeding, as determined by the racing performances of parents and close siblings, is a reliable predictor of both, its racing performances, and its optimal racing distance.

The evidence suggests otherwise. Gaffney and Cunningham (1988) argue that breeding explains less than 35% of the variance in a horse’s racing ability. However, that study failed to consider the strongly-held, industry-wide belief that breeding is a reliable predictor of performance. As such, it assumes that so-called, poorly-bred horses are given the same opportunities as their better-bred counterparts.

RACING Victoria (RV) has today announced that it will trial an incentive program for licensed and approved Wagering Service Providers (WSPs) to service ‘High Volume, Low Margin’ (HVLM) punters and protect turnover from moving offshore to unlicensed and illegal operators.

The HVLM incentive program will run for six months, backdated to 1 July 2014, and cover the key Victorian wagering period including the highly popular Spring Racing Carnival.

LINDA Meech jets off home to New Zealand on Friday to take a well-earned break.

LAURA BANKS reports in THE AGE that Meech promised her mother that if she clocked up 100 winners nationally this season she would head across the Tasman for her birthday, and she hit the century mark on June 28 at Flemington.

Meech is understated and underrated. She is ranked fourth in the Victorian premiership on 96 winners, behind Brad Rawiller (142), Dean Yendall (131) and Damian Lane (96). But she remains humble, despite hitting the ton for the fourth time in her career and riding her 1000th career winner at Mortlake in November, and she believes she can do better.

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