WHY DOES ANYONE BET ON TOOWOOMBA AT ALL – AND WHEN WILL THEY PUT A TOUGHER, NO-NONSENSE CHIEF STEWARD IN CHARGE?

By ARCHIE BUTTERFLY

I’m not silly enough to bet at Toowoomba, so what follows are not the questions of a punter talking through his kick, but rather the serious misgivings of a race watcher and writer who can smell something off when they can see it.

These are my questions.

Are they all just taking the piss out at Toowoomba?

How can the Chief Steward watch a $2.30 shot lead over 870 metres and fall in a hole to get beaten 5 lengths and not swab it?

Who did Bubba Tilley think he was kidding with his beaten rides on the

(1) $2.25 favourite The Minivian in race 1?

(2) $4.40 second favourite Moscini in race 2?

(3) $9.50 pop Mr Azray in race 4?

(4) $1.70 odds on shot Crayon in race 8?

How on earth did the Stewards not call Tilley in and charge him with running and handling offences on at least 2 of these horses, it not all?

Watch the replays at this link and you try to explain it to me, if you can.

On what planet other than Cretin would Justin Stanley’s ride on the 3-1 on ($1.35) favourite in the last race be acceptable?

Why wasn’t that horse swabbed?

What the hell was going on between bush jockey Paul Randell and Bubba Tilley here?

Given the Ben Currie situation, the Major Crimes Squad raids on the Sears Racing stables, the multitude of errors like weighing the wrong horses out and declaring correct weight on the wrong placings, and a litany of other stuff ups under his watch, how on earth does the Toowoomba Chief Steward Rion Hitchener retain the confidence of QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett?

And last but not least – why does anyone bet on Toowoomba at all?

 

 

BELIEVE IT OR NOT - PROMINENT PROVINCIAL BOOKIES APPLY FOR JOB SEEKER ALLOWANCE – THEY HAVE TO BE JOKING!

HEADING into another weekend of racing, it’s the ‘Believe It Or Not File’ from GODFREY SMITH – and you can be assured what is written below has been leaked from reliable sources:

THREE well known provincial bookmakers in Queensland reportedly applied for the Federal Government Job Seeker allowance to compensate for lack of earnings during the Coronavirus shut-down.

All we can say about one of them is ‘how the mighty have fallen’ since those he supposedly had some start with ventured on to greener pastures.

Things must be pretty bad if this trio have hit rock bottom, can’t survive a few meetings without racetrack customers and are so broke they basically have to join the dole queue.

They are so popular with some of their colleagues that this is where the information came from, including their names and where they field but we won't embarrass them by publishing their identities.

 

WHEN ARE THE STEWARDS GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE ROTTEN LUCK THESE FLY-IN, FLY-OUT JOCKEYS HAVE ON HOT FAVS?

ARCHIE Butterfly, now based in the north, tells me the ride of Chris Whiteley on the favorite Full Recognition in the fifth race at Cairns yesterday was so desperately unlucky it had to be seen to be believed. I’ve also received a few calls from some old racing mates in the north who couldn’t believe the rotten luck this top jock copped in the run.

Full Recognition got a passing mention in the Stewards’ Report on the meeting but Archie went into more detail:

‘Witless’ Whiteley – the well-known whack a horse with a whip over the head man – is on the heavily-backed $2.25 favourite in Race 5 at Cairns. Eighty percent of quaddie players have it in their first leg.

Have a look at the replay of the start and you will see that Witless is sitting bolt upright in the saddle stargazing to his left, while all the other jocks are crouched down looking at the starter and ready to go?

Well this is what happens next. The other jockeys come up and spring. Witless goes down and misses. And then he goes up when everyone else is coming down again.

Boom! Out the back six behind the leader – and gone.

Then coming to the home turn Witless goes via the cape. But hey Mum, isn’t there a cutaway rail at Cairns? Why would he do that?

For those of you tuned into the replay now watch the winner. It’s in front of Witless at the 600 metres, and one would have thought he could easily have tracked it.

But no, Witless works on the turn and goes a million wide. Meanwhile, the winner’s jockey knows that the cutaway is coming up and waits for it.

The cutaway comes just as they turn, and the winner trails up behind the leaders, as all smart jockeys would on the Cairns track. Suddenly he’s gained a three length margin over the $2.25 pop, without even trying. And he’s conserved all his energy doing it.

Back in the pack Witless is now on the outside fence. Perhaps he just wanted to say g’day to his mate watching the race, and lean over the rail and shake his hand.

The winner wins. Witless’s $2.25 favourite runs fourth. The punters get screwed again.’

WHY DIDN’T THE STEWARDS ASK A QUESTION OR TWO – ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL AGAIN?

Good one Archie BUT what about the stipes – why didn’t they see what everyone else did and at least ask a question or two?

Interestingly, on the panel was that genius Paul Gillard, who only a couple of months back left his position as Chief Steward in Townsville to take up a similar role on the Gold Coast amid much mirth from the punting fraternity and reported jubilation among the jocks.

Now we find him back in Cairns, not even Chairman on the Day – here’s hoping he wasn’t over-seeing proceedings – because he did sweet f… all, as usual.

Little wonder the rumours are doing the rounds that veteran steward John Hackett is being despatched to the north to clean the joint up. John has forgotten more than most of the motley crew around will ever learn but he’s old enough to be put up in a retirement home while he’s in the north. On the job thought he could start by looking closely as the ‘fly in fly out’ brigade.

Sadly it’s not just NQ where the problem lies – the calls continue to fall on deaf ears for a new no-nonsense Chief Steward to replace the current one in Toowoomba. I guess when there’s next to no-one who can do the job then Houston ‘we have a problem’.

 

SURELY THEY’RE NOT GOING TO DIG EAGLE FARM UP YET AGAIN?

THERE is a strong rumour coming from our sources in the Deagon bunker that another upgrade is planned for the Eagle Farm track.

Surely this cannot be correct after the millions that have been wasted and the so-called experts that have been brought in to save this embarrassment to Queensland racing.

What we are hearing is that the Farm will again be dug up because the advice RQ reportedly has received is that band-aid treatment will not improve the current state of play which many trainers and jockeys does not provide a good enough surface.

 

PRIORITIES ARE ALL WRONG AT RQ & IT SEEMS WHAT GENIAL GERRY WANTS GERRY GETS

GREG BLANCHARD from NUDGEE, a contributor who isn’t scared to give the authorities a ‘touch up’ when they deserve it, sent this email to LGHR today and once again he’s spot on:

‘LAST Friday we had that full page ad from Racing Queensland in The Courier-Mail about the re-opening or racing.

I opened this morning’s paper to find the same ad. Why has it been lodged again and at what expense?

We virtually don't have jockey advocates anymore and horses are continually scratched in the bush due to no riders being available.

It’s time Racing Queensland got its priorities right and putting the same ad in today's paper is certainly not a step in the right direction.’

YOU are so right Greg. Problem is, the local fish and chips wrapper is travelling so badly that it needs all the help it can get from its supporters of which Queensland Newspapers is one. It’s the reason the Chief & only Racing Writer in the joint ‘spin doctors’ everything and you rarely see a bad word written about RQ. Forget about the stakeholders and the punters who one would think it was the newspaper’s job to protect the interests of.

Then, of course, we have no-one questioning how horses from Victoria will reportedly be allowed to cross the Queensland border to Magic Millions Sales run by Genial Gerry Harvey while human beings from that State cannot. And don’t expect any questions to be asked by the Murdoch Media after the fortune being spent on advertising wrap-arounds for Harvey Norman. There once was a time when the Front Page was restricted to news but I guess desperate times call for desperate measure and what Gerry wants Gerry gets.

  

 

 

HANSEN PHONES BUTTERFLY: ‘WHY ARE YOU WRITING THINGS ABOUT ME?’

IT’S about 6.30 on Tuesday night and Archie’s sitting there in the office doing the next day’s replays and form. 

The phone rings and he picks it up.

Yep?

Daryl Hansen here.

G’day Daryl, nice to meet you, what do you want?

I want to talk to you man to man.

That’s a shame cos I’m a cross-dressing poof. Sorry, piss off.

Archie hangs up.

A minute later the phone rings again.

Jesus, you again. The floor’s yours.

Why are you writing things about me?

Because I’m a racing writer Daryl, that’s what I do. Write stories about racing.

Why are you picking on me?

About what?

Drenches.

I’m not. I was just telling it like it is.

Why don’t you go pick on someone else?

I did. John Zielke. You were the only two out of 15 who came out to Nathan Exelby and claimed it was only saline drenches you were buying and using off Denis Holbeck, and nothing else. You’re the one who said it, so what’s your problem?

You.

Me?

Yeah.

Why?

Because I don’t use synthetic EPO.

That’s because you can’t afford it Daz. But I didn’t say you did, I just said you were a drencher and bullshit-artist, and that Zielke was too.

I don’t do that.

What don’t you do Daryl?

I don’t hide behind a pen.

That’s good, because I don’t either.

You live in Kuranda, don’t you?

Hey? Are you threatening me?

No.

Bullshit. When are you coming up to Cairns?

I’m coming up for the Cup.

Good. Want me to pick you up at the airport?

Um. Um. Um.

Don’t worry then Daz, I will meet you down at the track. Introduce you to some of my mates from the gym. Don’t mind the neck tattoos or the steroid use. They’re real good blokes when they’re not on the gear, or pissed off at some clown who has threatened their writer mate.

Um, um, um.

We’ll call it a date then. A party even. We’ll take you out for a ride on the boat after the races. Can you swim?

Huh? Why?

Doesn’t matter. Now we know you’re associated with drenching Denis, but who in racing DON’T you want be associated with?

John Zielke

Why not?

Because the bloke’s an imbecile.

Have you told him this to his face?

Yeah, I gave it to him one day a couple of years ago in the mounting yard at Caloundra.

What happened?

I copped a $1000 fine.

Gee you were lucky. Back to drenching Denis. You were only buying saline drenches off him you Daz?

Yep.

You sure?

Certain.

Well I’ve got info to say you are Pinocchio Daz. Do you know your phone has been tapped?

Bullshit.

I wouldn’t go telling any lies if they haul you into the CCC son. That’s perjury, and you will go straight to jail.

You’re full of crap Archie.

Am I now? Do you know when the cops got drenching Denis’s phones and account books Daz?

Nup.

You sure?

Yep.

It was 18 months ago son. Why do you reckon its taken so long for you to be charged?

Because it was only saline.

Rinse your mouth out with salt water Daryl. It’s because they’ve been on your phone you fool. Are you really that stupid that you don’t realise it?

Um, um, um. Just stop writing things about me Archie. My 9 year old daughter reads your site, and it really upsets her.

Well you shouldn’t let her read it should you Daz? Haven’t you ever heard of parental filters? I whacked one on my 13-year-old’s computer when I found her looking at anime porn one day. Do you want me to show you how to do it?

No, I just want you to stop writing about me.

No chance. You sure you don’t want to come out on the boat with me and the boys? 

No.

Oh what a shame. Anyway you’ve wasted enough of my time for one night. Go and threaten a leaf for a while. It might quiver in the wind coming out of your mouth and your arse. And go and tell your fairy tales about salt water drenches to a tree. It might listen. Now f*ck off and stop wasting my time.

Archie hangs up.

Postscript

I think there are a few things that the Dazzler forgot to tell me.

Like that in 2011 he was disqualified for 6 months for presenting his horse Hussonator to race in the Mackay Cup with his TCO2 levels through the roof.

Or that it was his third offence for doing the same thing.

Or that the same year he was fined $10 000 for presenting his horse Essington to race in the prestigious Rockhampton Newmarket with the pain-killing, heart-pumping steroid prednisone in its system.

Or that in 2016 he narrowly escaped a 9 month disqualification for presenting a horse to race at Ipswich bicarbed to the ceiling, after the QCAT found on appeal that the Victorian lab that tested the B-sample of the horses swab hadn’t been properly accredited due to an administrative oversight.

Or that he copped a $5000 fine for administering alkalinising agents to his horse Yarrapower on a raceday at Doomben in July 2018.

It didn’t matter though, because I’m a racing writer who writes about racing. I already knew.

Do you know what Daz’s litany of loose-lipped la-la reminds me of? That old poem Rime of the Mariner by the junkie genius Samuel Taylor Coleridge – who by the way did use a pen – the one about the thirsty sailor on a ship out at sea who could see sea water everywhere he looked, but couldn’t sip a shot of the stuff because it was all full of salt.

How’s it go again?

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

No, that’s not it.

This one

Bicarb, bicarb everywhere,

And all drenchers stink;

Bicarb, Bicarb everywhere,

and not a saline drench to drink.

I wonder what Daz has got against boats?

He’s raced in plenty of them.

*the only bit of the story that’s not true is me telling him I was a cross-dressing poof. I said I was a trans-sexual, with a leather fetish.

 

A GAMBLER HAD HIS BETTING ACCOUNT FORZEN AFTER LOSING MILLIONS - THEN ANOTHER TWO CORPORATES CAME KNOCKING

by STEVE CANNANE & KYLE TAYLOR of ABC INVESTIGATIONS

FOR almost four years, Gavin Fineff (photographed by David Maguire of ABC News) kept his secret from his closest friends, family and even his wife.

On the surface, life seemed good for the 41-year-old senior financial planner and father of two from Sydney's north shore. He was making headlines in the financial press — helping cancer victims to secure trauma insurance payouts — and his professional skills were rated highly by his clients.

Three months ago, that life dramatically unravelled.

Gavin confessed to family and friends that he'd lost a lot of money, much of it other peoples.

The money wasn't lost on a deal gone wrong, a bad investment, or a plunge in the stock market — but to three of the big online betting agencies.

The total was more than $8 million.

He's now facing potential jail time.

"My life is destroyed. I had to tell my wife that there's a part of me that she had no idea about," he says.

Gavin takes responsibility for his actions, but the former financial planner feels he's not the only one to blame.

Amid a deep personal sense of shame, he's now determined to speak out against what he sees as the predatory practices of sports betting companies who he says took advantage of his addiction.

"I can't take away the pain that I have caused people around me at this time," he says.

"But I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that other people don't go through this.

IT STARTED IN THE PUB - THEN CAME THE VIP TREATMENT

GAVIN’S gambling started in moderation.

"For the most part, it was just like anyone else — a couple of drinks with friends at the pub," he says.

"I'd bet mostly on horse racing. When the option became online and on your mobile, I guess that's when it started to become serious."

After opening an account with TAB, his gambling escalated. Before long, he was given "VIP status" and assigned a personal customer service manager, who'd call him often and dish out special treatment.

"I was offered all sorts of things, events and experiences and bonus money to bet with. They had reward systems for more deposits."

VIP customers are a key driver of betting industry profits and have been a source of concern in overseas jurisdictions. The UK's gambling regulator found one of the major betting agencies there took 83 per cent of all its deposits from VIPs, who make up just two per cent of its customers.

As Gavin's betting behaviour changed from moderate to risky, he'd become an ideal target.

The more he gambled, the more he lost and the harder he tried to win it back.

Rather than offering him support, his VIP manager would instead be on the phone offering bonus bets and tickets to sports events to keep him punting.

"It was seductive. Very soon after that, I was addicted, completely addicted," he says.

"I know that through having now looked at my betting statements. The behaviour is nothing short of insane."

ABC Investigations has viewed Gavin's transaction history with TAB. In just one six-month period in 2017, he lost $1.5 million.