Jenny - Clean

TIME TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD IN QLD RACING & THAT STARTS WITH THE STIPES

By ARCHIE BUTTERFLY

 

DIDN’T Brad Stewart have a lucky day out at Ipswich on Sunday?

First he cops a slap over the wrist with a wet bus ticket for flogging the crap out of his mount in flagrant violation of the racing rule that was implemented to show we care about animal welfare, when clearly many really don’t, and the incy wincy fine he gets is based on the fact that he’s got a wonderful record in relation to bashing horses with hard leather sticks when he’s not allowed to.

Stewart had a great record alright.

A record of violations as long as your arm, and his good fortune was that the only three people in the world who couldn’t read his rap sheet were the only trio that mattered – his mate the Chief Steward who’s not Neil Boyle, the real chief Peter Chadwick, and the QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett whose only interaction with horses prior to becoming head of one of Queensland’s Principal Racing Authorities was watching the Lone Ranger and Tonto on Trigger and whatever the dark bloke’s horse was called on TV as a kid.

It was lucky escape.

A real strange one too, given that Neil Boyle – as both a former jockey colleague of Stewart’s, and at one time a trainer who engaged him as his rider of choice – should have been the one Steward in Queensland who knew Bradley Stewart’s record better than anyone in the business.

Poor old Boyley – who no-one but Chadwick rates, but most folk like – must have been having a real bad day in the memory stakes, for he completely forgot his friend Bradley’s careless riding record too.

See how after Stewart was charged with a breach of AR 131(a) for careless riding his sentence was reduced after the Stewards took into account his previous good record in relation to the rule?

It’s bullshit.

Brad Stewart doesn’t have a good record when it comes to safe riding, he has an absolutely appalling one, with serious transgressions going back thirty years and never stopping.

I could give you dozens of examples, but for the sake of brevity here are just two.

On Doomben Ten Thousand day 2018 Stewart skittles Chauffeur’s rider and almost sends him head first over the inside running rail. He is charged with reckless riding, and outed for a month.

In January this year he cops nine days he does almost exactly the same thing to apprentice Stephanie Thornton at the Sunshine Coast, but because it was line ball was  only charged with careless riding rather than reckless.

Careless riding is of course the same charge he faced on Sunday, issued under the same rule, and on this occasion he is given nine days in the bin.

Neil Boyle was not officiating at either of these meetings, so although you’d hope as a Senior Steward that he would keep himself informed and up to the play with what’s going on, it would be difficult to point the finger at him and say “Neil, you knew!”

Police officers working across different shifts face the same difficulty, that’s why they a police database on which the records of killers, bank robbers, rapists and writers like me are recorded, so that if we get pinched the copper who collars us knows our prior form, or lack thereof, whichever the case may be.

QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett was once the Assistant Commissioner of police, and aspired for the top job until fate, affirmative action, and the outstanding skills of Katarina Carroll got in his way, and cast him forever into the world of racing, or until he gets his next pay kick to boost up his super and then retires anyway.

Given his vast policing experience, you would assume that the QRIC must have a database similar to that held by police that lists every conviction for a breach of the racing rules that a jockey has ever committed. If they do, Stewart’s would look more like a bible than a pamphlet.

You can’t hang a man on suspicion though, so without knowing whether such a database exists, we can still up to now suspend reality and disbelief, and forgive Neil Boyle for not knowing his former colleague, contractor and friend’s abysmal track record of riding like a cowboy who only cares for himself.

You can’t forgive this though.