Jenny - Clean

WILL THE STEWARDS BE TOO BUSY MONKEYING AROUND TO BE DAYDREAM BELIEVERS?

by ARCHIE BUTTERFLY

I am pleased to see that the QRIC stewards have or will this week be reconvening their inquiry into Nathan Day's ride on Helsun in a Midweek Maiden in Brisbane on January 16.

Apparently jockey Day is not at all pleased with my analysis of his ride, particularly the bits where I called it the hottest thing that I'd seen since Rihanna's rump, and the worst ride I'd witnessed since Danny Hobby fell of Strike Softly at Bunbury in 1983.

Well I am here to say that I do not write stories that I do not believe to be true, and that I do not write stories about boat races, dead horses or Handbrake Harry's without conducting first extensive research (including detailed form and video analysis), doing the requisite amount of fact checking, and talking to a lot of people that I know here, there and around the corner.

I reckon my story was spot on, and I'd back it or me in a debate or hearing of the matter in any properly convened forum if someone took issue with my contentions and truly thought that I was wrong.

(For the avoidance of doubt, the definition of properly convened forum does not include the public bar at the Hammo, or the smoking area at Cannon Park. Under the Queensbury rules Super Middles aren't permitted to publicly debate with Super Flyweights, or even Bantams if the complainants listed riding weight is a half kilo light. Plus I'm on bail for serious violent offences, allegedly committed with a biro, a bit of paper and a few words).

I would suggest that the decision that comes from the Stewards’ Hearing of the matter might be the binding tie-breaker, but after reading Nathan Exelby's outstanding piece of product placement on Monday for a tipping service that charges mugs $8,000 a year and claims to tip them three in 10 winners one out, and six out of 10 with their top three, I'm not quite sure I have full faith in the stipes any more.

I'm not quite sure that I have faith in the claimed figures of Rating2Win either.

The average price of winners in Brisbane is circa $6.50 - checked and correct - so if you find three out of 10 of them week in, week out and double your money each time you wouldn't be flogging betting programs to people who'd be knocking off your price would you?

$100

$200

$400

$800

$1 600

$3 200

$6 400

$12 800

$25 600

$51 200

$102 400

$204 800

$409 600

$819 200

$1 063 400

Hey look Mum, I'm a millionaire in just six weeks.

Anyway, that's a story for another day. 

Today I've asked - demanded - that LGHR publish my original Grubby Day and Helsun story back up. I'm doing it as a public service to the people of Queensland.

According to Racin' Nathan, the Stewards need a hand.

Here it is QRICkers - go for your life.

 

BITS & PIECES FROM AROUND THE TRAPS

By Archie Butterfly

Who said That the Chinese Ever Stopped Sailing Junkets?

Eliza Park/Sun Stud are in the eye of the needle after allegations were aired on 60 Minutes last Sunday night about the stud’s owners alleged links to money laundering for Asian criminal syndicates.

Our spies tell us that the Federal and State authorities are presently taking a very close look at money trails connected to very prominent recent comer to the Queensland racing and breeding scene, an outfit that seemingly came out of nowhere to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the thoroughbred industry after the company’s principal originally tried sought a casino license but got knocked back after refusing to submit to the required probity checks.

If the mail we are getting is correct there may soon be some very red faces among the leaders of the local racing industry.

A Story With a Bare Head, a Beer and a Bite

IN one of the more unusual cases to come before the Stewards in recent times, last week little known Gold Coast trainer Philip Kimmet was fined $2200 for riding a galloper named The Houseman down a Bundall street just before dinner time sans helmet and safety vest while carrying a beer in his hand on his way to taking the horse for a swim, and giving better-known but equally battling trainer Brian Guy a gob full along the way.

The word is that it’s very unlikely that Mr Kimmet will be receiving an invitation to Xmas drinks at the Guys this year, and vice versa.  We can only hope though that PK wasn’t about to swim his horse in the adjacent Gold Coast canal, because our clockers tell us that The Houseman isn’t fast enough to out dog paddle a whale, let alone the hundreds of hungry bull sharks living in the canal who love a feed at dusk.

The Easter Bunny Comes Early as a Dual Group 1 Winning Japanese Miler Heads to the Emerald City

AS Aussie punters ignorant about international racing have learned over the past six months Group racing form out of Japan is at least 3-4 lengths superior to ours over here, so after today’s announcement by last year’s Cox Plate winning trainer Yoshito Yahagi that he will be bringing double Group 1 winning miler Mozu Ascot over for the Doncaster it beggars belief that the bookies are still betting $8 bucks about his chances of winning Sydney’s premiere 1600 metre feature event.

I mean we’re talking here about a horse who has run two of the world’s greatest middle-distance performers Indy Champ and Almond Eye – who in just 21 starts between them have won more than $20 million – to two lengths, and done it against Indy Champ twice. That’s better form than you will ever see in a mile race down under, and based on his 2.5 length demolition job in the Group 1 February Stakes at Tokyo the other day the lightly raced six-year-old from the Land of the Rising Sun is still improving, which is scary.

Mozu Ascot will be about 6-4 by the time the barriers fly in the Doncaster and will still be overs at that, so the $8 presently on offer is all your Easter Eggs come early in the one basket. He will win the Doncaster by panels, so don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Just get on Mozu now and back him for all you can.  You won’t be disappointed.

Greg Carpenter Hands Nature Strip the Newmarket on a Platter

WINXY Waller and the lucky connections of Nature Strip must be licking their lips in anticipation and doing cartwheels down the Rosehill straight after their star sprinter copped just 58 kilos in the Newmarket after the weights were released today?

They might well just have asked the eccentric 5-year-old superstar gelding to carry a feather and a packet of Tic Tacs.

I mean let’s be serious,  we’re talking here about a flying machine who

  • Is unbeaten in four starts down the Flemington straight over distances of 1100 metres and more
  • Has won three Group 1’s and two Group 2’s
  • Gave Group 1 winners Loving Gaby, In Her Time, Alizee, Santa Ana Lane and the Bostonian a cold in beating them by three and a half lengths over the same course and distance in Melbourne’s premier sprint the VRC Classic in the Spring, when carrying half a kilo more
  • With a tiny touch of luck. instead track record setting early sectionals and a spot without cover close to the outside fence, would almost certainly have won the 2019 Everest and Doomben Ten Thousand
  • Will be ridden by one of the world’s top 5 jockeys, J-Mac
  • Is trained by one of the world’s top 3 trainers Winxy
  • Is only giving 2 kilos to Gytrash, a mudlark whose only Group win in the Newmarket was in the wet camped in the fast lane while he was stuck in quicksand on a track with a crazy-wicked bias
  • In just 21 starts won more than twice as much in prizemoney than any of his potential rivals
  • Will carry half a kilo under weight for age

Nature Strip might occasionally appear a bit of a head case, but it’s only because he hates it when riders try to choke him when he all he wants to do is run like the wind. This boy is the best sprinter in Australia by panels, and 7-4 to be the six furlong champion of the world.

Greg Carpenter has just handed Winxy and the Strip’s owner the Newmarket on a platter. Ignore the game of ducks and drakes the stable’s playing while they spread the money across Australia ready to go bang and get set. This horse is a certainty.

The Greatest Human Achievement in any Code of Racing in the 21st Century – Yet Not a Soul in the Mainstream Media is Telling You a Single Thing About It

HARNESS racing might not be as fashionable in certain circles as it once was, and the trots may have been relegated to the status of third-code citizens by the River City’s sole practising Racing Editor of none, but by the banks of Breakfast Creek lies the greatest story in 21st Century racing.

The story is about a kid named Angus Garrard, a 16-year-old student at my old alma mater St Paul’s who last week became the youngest person in the history of harness racing in the Southern Hemisphere to win his way into the top ten of a driving premiership in a nation or State, has done it while driving on leave passes issued by his headmaster Doc Browning and bearing the handicap[ of not even being able to race at metro meetings in town.

It’s a staggering achievement and an extraordinary feat, one that places Angus Garrard right up there in rare air of juvenile racing greatness populated by the Steve Cauthens and Dexter Dunn’s and J-Mac’s of the world, yet due to the ignorance of editors, the extreme thoroughbred bias displayed by their writers, and the post-Seymour vacuum of leadership in the harness world, no-one outside the trot bubble knows a damn thing about it.

That’s a huge shame, for all things being equal Angus Garrard should be a certain top 3 contender for the 2020 Young Australian Sportsperson of the Year Award, and I’d have him up as favorite in my market to win it too; but you can’t win medals when the racing writers who are supposed to extol your sport don’t even tell the broader public your name, let alone educate them about the enormity of your achievements.

This is me trying to give them a shove, not because I have any vested interest – Angus’s grand-dad and I wouldn’t piss on each other if we were on fire – but simply because young Mr Garrard’s Top 10 entry at an age when bum fluff is still yet to sprout on his chin is an extraordinary tale of achievement that deserved to be celebrated and told.

You’ve seen the future of harness racing sportsfans.

Angus is his name.

Only Three More Sleeps Until Big Richie Gets Bitten by the Shark – At Least He Has the Hat to Look Forward To

A couple of weeks ago young Richard Callander over at Racenet put the knock on New Zealand’s best galloper Te Akau Shark, suggesting that the only way it could win the Chipping Norton this weekend was if it was racing a field full of camels.

You will remember that I immediately set the big man straight, and was rewarded by a kind and generous offer from  Callendar Jr of evens. About a horse that’s currently 6-4 in the market, or $2.83 using the bet boost on Neds.

It was with a very heavy heart that I told Richie to keep his hard-earned in his pocket, but it doesn’t mean that I won’t be backing the Shark from here until Saturday, or at least until I run out of cabbage anyway, which after spending the kids Easter Egg money on Te Akau Shark-Belle of Montana-Whiskey Riot multis and a plane ticket to Menangle in case Maggie or their mother finds out won’t be very long at all.

The light pockets will only be temporary though, for come about 9 o’çlock on Saturday night there will be first-class tickets to see the lions and zebras on safari for Africa, not that I will be allowed to go without approval from Andrea the strict probation officer, and given that I strongly suspect that I may unwittingly put my leave pass application in the wash while browsing the noms for the T.J. and the BMW that’s about a million to one and blowing like a gale.

The Shark will be blowing a gale as it storms past Group 1 winners Avilius, Fierce Impact, Happy Clapper, Homesman, Verry Ellegant and co at the 200 at Royal Randwick en-route to a giving them a four length shellacking on Saturday arvo too.

Know much about form lines? If you do, and you can spare the time, would you mind spending it schooling Richie on the subject as a favour to me?

Three weeks ago Te Akau Shark gave the high-class 4-year-old Avantage a 5 length kicking in the BCD Sprint at his first run since filling the hole in the Cox Plate. That horse came out last weekend and blitzed them in a Group 1.

He left More Wonder 6 lengths in his wake in the same race. Eight days later it lumped 61.5kg to win the Poverty Bay Cup.

Endless Drama had run 2nd and 3rd in the world famous Group 1 Irish Guineas and Lockinge as a three-year-old, won the Apollo Stakes two years back, and ran third in last year’s Straddie. It couldn’t get closer than 8.5 lengths to The Shark.

Volpe Veloce is a Group 1, 2 and 3 winner. She did marginally better, only getting thrashed by six lengths and change.

Enzo’s Lad has won a couple of Group 1’s. The gap between he and Shark was nearly seven.

Kiwi Ida had won back to back Group 2’s at it previous pair of outings, and The Mitigator had won the Group 1 Thorndon Mile. The Shark put 3.8 and 2.6 lengths on them.

Did I mention that Shark did all this with his head on his chest and the jock standing high in the irons? And that he ran his 325-125 metre split in under 11 seconds? Or that his trainer Jamie Richards advised that he was only 3/4 fit? Have you looked again on replay at his run in the Cox Plate?

I am reliably informed by my international connections that the gang who own Te Akau Shark are bringing over one of their funny hats as a gift for Richie, and that they will have promised to seek him out in the mounting yard after the Shark’s demolition job and personally plant in on his scone?

It will look great on the big man, and at least he won’t have to buy one to wear on Queen Elizabeth Day.

I wonder if it hurts getting bitten by a shark?

An Early Tip to the Wise

I don’t know where he will be running next, or when, or even if being owned by Sun Bloodstock he ever will, but if you ever see a David Hayes-trained two-year-old named Pioneer River line up in a race it will be in a Group rated qualifier for the Golden Slipper, and I strongly recommend that you let loose and load up for plenty.

I could tell you why, but then I’d be feeding you fish instead of teaching you how to catch them, so if you need anything more than my near-absolute guarantee go and have a look and work it out for yourself.

You don’t really need to though, you can trust me on this one.

This horse is the real deal.

I’ve just backed him at $101 to win a condo on Hamilton Island, and under my instructions Maggie is the manchester room of the lodge packing the sheets and pillows right now. After Belle wins on Saturday night I’ll back up and put enough more on him to grab myself a penthouse in Palm Cove too.

Kiamachi was at huge odds a month out from the Slipper last year too.

Take the tip.

 

TRAINER BEN CURRIE COMMITTED FOR TRIAL ON FRAUD CHARGES

DISQUALIFIED trainer Ben Currie is set to face a trial on fraud charges later this year.

AAP reports that Currie, 28, was in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court for a hand-up committal hearing on Monday.

He is facing charges of fraud dating from November 2016 to March last year alleging he used an unregulated horse supplement designed to enhance race performance.

No date was set for a trial in the Toowoomba District Court but it is likely to be later this year.

Currie, who is now living on the Gold Coast, was granted bail and did not enter a plea.

He is currently banned from training and faces further racing charges at the end of his criminal trial.

 

QUEENSLAND RACING IS A JOKE – TIME FOR CHAIRMAN PETE TO GO

IT must be a leap year – in fact it is – the mainstream media has run a story about the lack of questions being asked by stewards in Queensland at the moment.

The situation has gone from bad to worse since Peter Chadwick took over as Chief Steward and was nick-named ‘the non-playing captain’ and ‘the invisible man’ by punters because of his absence from city meetings.

Things have to be bad for Nathan Exelby, Racing Editor of The Courier-Mail, to run a story highlighting the anger among punters but then again perhaps it’s just the start of his political campaign on behalf of the LNP to get rid of the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission.

That would just lead to a return to the bad old days. Who can forget the era when ‘Big Russ’ was Racing Minister and the crooks reigned supreme on the track with ‘ring-ins, positive swab fiascos, boat races and high profile media identities running messages from the jockeys room to the bookies ring right under the nose of his steward mates’.

But that was yesterday. Times were supposed to have changed – thanks to a succession of Labor Governments and perhaps some from the LNP who learnt their lesson – but have they?

Exelby didn’t dirty his own keyboard but quoted Paul Daily from Ratings2Win who highlighted the increasing number of racing incidents going unreported and suggesting failures of improved performances were happening regularly but remaining unchallenged by the stewards under Chadwick’s chairmanship.

Exelby reports: ‘Daily, who has a database dating back years documenting par times over all distances and sectionals, was stunned the panel didn’t ask a single question of jockeys after one race a few weeks back.

The winner, who was backed from $17-$10, led by several lengths in the middle stages, but was still carving out sectionals that were many lengths below the average for that grade of horse.

“At least ask a question or two of the jockeys to explain themselves,” Daily said. “It doesn’t give you a lot of confidence when something like that goes unnoticed. I have halved my turnover on Queensland racing in recent times because I can’t be comfortable when these types of incidents are being brushed over.”

Exelby also hints at things being far from amicable on top of the Toowoomba range following a recent dust-up.

Ben Currie’s dominance might be gone but the smell that continues to waft over Downs racing is so bad that no punter with half a brain wants to bet there. They need a whole new set of stewards to clean the joint up. Problem is no steward worth his salt wants a bar of racing in Queensland and you have situations where Paul Gillard, in some punters’ eyes a do-nothing stipe in the north, has now been appointed to one of the ‘hottest trouble spots’ in the State – the Gold Coast – where one punter suggested: ‘The news of Gillard’s promotion prompted a party in the jockeys’ room’.

What Paul Daily is saying is spot-on and full marks to him for having the courage to do so and a bouquet to Exelby for finally showing some balls and at least pretending to protect the punters. It’s long overdue but there's no point to the exercise if all it achieves is questions asked and no action taken. They need to make an example of these 'hot workers'.

LGHR has been protesting the lack of action from stewards at the gallops even before Chadwick arrived and back in the Allan Reardon days, which was described by punters as a ‘social afternoon out when little was done by old Al to rock the racing boat’.

But it’s got even worse since ‘Singapore Sling’ arrived despite the fact he is rarely seen at the track which is a major mystery to anyone who follows racing in Queensland. It’s been left to disgruntled stewards to leave, half competent ones to be promoted and the best steward in the state, Daniel Aurisch, to try his best to right the good ship Titanic as Captain Chadwick steers it toward more icebergs.

Punters are sick and tired of watching competent jockeys miss the start, steer wide passages and run up the backsides of runners in front of fancied runners that have blown like a gale in the betting. (There was a situation as late as Saturday where an apprentice pulled the pants down of an jockey with international experience on a horse that should have bolted in).

Form reversals are common-place as are failures of runners that look like certainties and the word is strong that a big punter interstate has some high profile jockeys on his speed dial.

He was supposedly behind the hot long odds-on favorite that got slaughtered by a top jockey some time back – a situation to be fair that was investigated by stewards who hit brick walls seeking information from corporate bookies.

LGHR has heard reports that Nathan Day is upset about the story that Archie Butterfly wrote questioning his ride on Helsun at Doomben in January. What angered punters most was the horse then came out and won when backed at long odds in tougher company at its next start. Stewards did open an inquiry but it seems to have lingered on forever and will now be held this week. The wheels move slowly in Queensland.

Not a week goes by when there isn’t a questionable race or a half dozen questionable rides on TAB tracks in Queensland – and this isn’t restricted to the south-east corner. There’s a little group who seem to be having a party at Central and North Queensland meetings as well.

As recent as the last week we saw a situation at a south-east Queensland track where the roughest horse in the field was backed into favoritism and the race was run in a farcical way. The favorites blew out the gate and ran accordingly. The only horse that didn’t have the form to win somehow managed to get home after being plunged. Not a question about the race was asked by stewards who had to be asleep at the wheel.

RQ will continue to pump out figures claiming betting turnover is increasing – that’s largely because they are running more races not because of punter confidence which is at an all-time low. If it gets any worse it will be within reach of the ‘red hots’ at Albion Park – rated by punters (those who haven’t deserted it) – as the lowest joint in the country.

 
CHOOKY'S CHAIRMANSHIP CHARADE - FROM PLUMED PEACOCK TO FEATHER DUSTER
By ARCHIE BUTTERFLY

davey

DAVID Fowler has had a long and undistinguished career as an honorary servant of harness racing, which is bad luck for us, but even worse luck for him.

Why?

Because the Bantam has passed his use by date as defined somewhere between pages 1 and 107 of the Associations Incorporation Act 1981 (find it yourself chaps, you have other peoples money to spend on QC’s, or not, whichever the case may be), and as a used by personality under the Act he’s not lawfully entitled to be sitting in his Chair.

Man.

Clause 12.3 of the Rules of the Speed Pacing Capital of the world lays down the Creek laws as follows:

speedpac

You can read as well as I can Chariot Racers, so you don’t need me to tell you what it says.

My old mate Yeah Good does though, because he’s far too busy studying the form guide and calculating his own ratings to spend time reading laws that he has no intention of following if they ever cross his path. _Plus YG’s from Gympie, where all the gold poison in the soil makes most of the folk except for his Mum, Dad and Sister more than somewhat a bit slow.

So for Yeah Good and the Gympie Brigade’s benefit, let me spell it out in plain English to you.

A man or woman are not permitted to hold a position as Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Speed Pacing Capital of the World for more than seven consecutive years.

That does not mean that a Bruce or Brenda can serve a 7-year stretch as Deputy-Chair, and then do another seven year stint as the Chair, not unless they have had a spell as a florist at Herston or something somewhere along the way, or two depending on when they took the first one.

If you read it that way, you’re reading it absolutely wrong.

The no re-election within a year bit buries that illusion/delusion.

You can’t serve in either/and/or/either of the two roles for seven years straight, full stop.

By his own reckoning the Little Red Rooster has served in one or the other of the alleged leadership positions on the Board for nigh on 13 years now.

Which means that he ceased being eligible for election to either role in about 2014.

In other words, David Fowler should not have been allowed to stand as a candidate at the recent club  election in which he got touched up in the popular vote by the Man of Steel, but still managed to scrape home and parlay what he thought were his numbers among the star-struck members of the committee to secure another sinecure as the Grand Poobah of the Creek.

Silly boy Sir. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and smart men always prepare their powder well before the war, so that they might fire it dry. 

They tell me that ten members of the Speed Pacing Capital of the World have requisitioned the Secretary to convene a special general meeting of the club, and that as required by the rules such a meeting has indeed been convened.

The subject matter is said to be very interesting, particularly to those with a passing interest in the passing of Jumping Jack Flash Gregory Pecks.

We’ll see what comes out in the wash.

 

LOYAL TROTS FOLLOWERS SAY ‘IT’S TIME TO ISSUE A SHOW CAUSE TO STEWARDS’ PANEL AT ALBION PARK’

‘AFTER watching the integrity of harness racing at Albion Park spiral downhill at an alarming rate for years now, my friends and I are convinced that the only answer is for QRIC or the appropriate authorities to issue a show cause notice to the Stewards’ Panel seeking an explanation of why they should not be sacked.

It’s an unprecedented step and some might say ‘well aren’t QRIC the employers of those responsible for policing the sport’ but the situation in this State is rather unique where the Chief Steward was reinstated by court order after being dismissed by his bosses.

Insiders say that there is no love lost between the QRIC Commissioner and the Chief Steward and insist that there is no confidence from either side on the job being done by the duo at loggerheads.

The situation is untenable. Racing Minister Sterling Hinchliff must be aware that the Albion Park trots are on the nose and have been for years and that, in the eyes of the punters, nothing seems to be done to correct the situation.

Adding insult to injury, in the eyes of many like us who have followed the sport for such a long time, senior members of the Stewards’ Panel at Albion Park most Saturday nights were there during the notorious days when Russ Hinze was Racing Minister. One of them lives in a retirement village.

In our opinion nothing was done back then to correct what was happening on the track because of stewards feared for their jobs with the likely ramifications if Hinze horses were in any way under the spotlight and the joint has gone downhill ever since. Even when they try to do something these days it gets thrown out on appeal because of some technicality allowing the critics to declare QRIC incompetent which is far from the truth.

Some followers of harness racing in south-east Queensland haven’t forgotten the incident way back when the private trainer for Big Russ belted a stable driver in the mouth in Silks Restaurant because he got up ‘dead’ on a stablemate at the ‘red hots’ at the Gold Coast. Both horses were owned by Hinze but the big fella had backed one that got beaten. Although the assault occurred during a race meeting at Albion Park it was eventually passed on to the police and guess who was Police Minister at the time.

Bob Gibbs, during his days as Racing Minister, did his best to clean up the integrity mess that Russ left at the trots but through a change of Governments it wasn’t long before we returned to the bad old days. And now we have current LNP Racing Spokesman John-Paul Langbroek all but promising to dismantle QRIC in the lead-up to the next election and lambasting the QRIC Commissioner for daring to tell the truth about the trots in Queensland.

JP delivered a scathing rebuke of QRIC in Parliament recently and took specific aim at Commissioner Barnett’s 2017 comments suggesting a link between harness racing and organized crime, noting that nearly all of those cases were thrown out of court.

Langbroek accused QRIC of decimating harness racing which is a crock of shit. Whoever is feeding him the crap that is being unloaded in Parliament has an agenda and one suspects it is coming from a couple of poorly informed media men or their political mates.

The integrity of harness racing, specifically at Albion Park is on the nose and will continue to be on the nose unless the Stewards’ Panel are far more proactive. As writers of this protest and call for action we cannot afford to identify ourselves or the roles that we play or have played if we want to continue to be involved in the sport without fear of repercussions. But first hand we can tell you that the organization of some races on the track at Albion Park is worse than it ever was. The statement by the QRIC Commissioner was spot on and the criticism by JP Langbroek way off the mark.

If JP thinks that any LNP criticism of the integrity of harness racing will reflect on the association the soon-to-be Government has with wealthy benefactor Kevin Seymour he is sadly mistaken. Rather than listen to mischief makers he should sit down for a fireside chat with Kevin and would learn that the problems are not confined to on the track activity but Seymour has had a gutful of what has happened and how he has been treated off the track despite the contribution he has made to the sport locally. Talk about biting the hand that fed you. Seymour has kept harness racing in Queensland afloat and been treated shabbily in recent times for the giant contribution made by he and his wife.

And as for the mainstream racing media coverage of harness racing, well most followers believe it is biased, unacceptable and a standing joke. How can David Fowler wear the hat of the APHRC Chairman then write an objective column about the sport when he is one of the officials under fire over the financial demise of the State’s major club? How can we expect his mate Nathan Exelby, who seems to be the only racing writer at the Courier-Mail (gone are the days when Gary Keep covered the sport so excellently), to write anything that Fowler disagrees with? Fowler is too busy sucking up to RQ and telling everyone what a wonderful job they are doing because he's future with 4TAB is quite shakey or so the story goes. You never see him providing in a column an explanation of how badly Albion Park is travelling financially under his chairmanship and what he writes about the integrity of the sport is finger down the throat stuff. But what would you expect?  

Talk about needing a new broom through the whole joint. First the Stewards’ Panel need a show cause (or just to be sacked). Bring in some new no-nonsense blood like Terry Bailey (pay some big money and get a decent steward who can take over at the gallops from that other boofhead) and start cleaning the three codes up.

Because if you don’t and the LNP wins the next election with JPL listening to all the wrong people with agendas to protect the wrong participants then we are heading back to the bad old days when Big Russ ran the show and it was ‘anything goes’ and the big losers were the punters and the image of the sport. If that happens there will be next to no harness racing at all in Queensland. Heed our words!’

 

‘FUN POLICE’ SPOIL DAY FOR HOT-BLOODED MALE JOCKEYS AT SUNNY COAST

RHIANNON Payne, very much an ‘I’ve been everywhere young jockey’ of the riding ranks in Queensland, ran into an unusual road-block during a hit-and-run visit to the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.

Payne, who had only the one ride on the Gladstone-trained outsider Angel of Leon, needed to shed some weight late and decided to head to the race day sauna.

Unfortunately that sauna is situated in the male jockeys’ room at Corbould Park and Payne was on her way – clad in a bikini (or so the story goes) – when stewards intervened.

Her visit didn’t have a happy ending for the North Queensland based rider who ran last on Angel of Leon and copped a reprimand for failing to adhere to a stewards’ direction regarding the use of the club’s spa facilities (that's what the Stewards' Report says but fails to give an explanation of what happened).  

Many of those keen for her share the sauna in the male jockeys’ room reckon the fun police were the spoil-sports on the day at the Sunshine Coast. And who can blame them?
 

 

‘REPORTS OF MY DEATH HAVE BEEN GREATLY EXAGERRATED’ - PB

MARK TWAIN was in London in 1897 as part of a speaking tour around the world during which he attended a Melbourne Cup and wrote that magnificent story about it.

At the time the great writer had considerable debt in the US and hoped to earn enough money on tour to pay it off.

While he was in London, a rumour started that he was seriously ill. This was followed by a rumour that he was dead. The story goes that an American newspaper printed Twain’s obituary.

Supposedly soon after that, when asked about this by a reporter, Twain replied:

‘The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated’.

Well a similar situation occurred last weekend involving a prominent racing identity. He’s no Mark Twain and he’s certainly not broke (in fact he runs a successful bloodstock and spelling business on the Downs) and has an ownership interest in horses Australia-wide.

The funeral notice in The Courier-Mail last Friday of the sudden death of Peter Bredhauer had the racing industry Tommy Drum’s beating. We understand that the College he attended even sent out news of his death and later had to rescind that.

The party planned at one particular racing venue and organized by a couple of his old media colleagues had to be abandoned. It was sadly, in fact, Bredhauer’s cousin, also called Peter, from the Sunshine Coast who had died suddenly.

The ‘shoot from the hip’ PB no doubt echoed the words of Twain: ‘Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated’ and still plans to be around to fulfil that promise of ‘pissing on the grave’ of that one particular person that we won’t name.

 

DISGRUNTLED PUNTERS HAVE THEIR SAY ON WEEKEND RACES & TROTS  

HERE’S a few contributions made by disgruntled punters after the weekend’s racing:

HOW DID THESE ODDS-ON FAVORITES GET BEATEN OUT OF PLACE

HARRY ANDREWS writes: ‘If someone had told me on Friday that the odds-on favourites Nature Strip and Libertini would finish out of the placings I would have had them certified.

Tommy Berry, who turned in a shocker on another beaten hot favourite Dame Gisselle early in the card, told stewards that Libertini may not have been entirely comfortable on the soft surface and had closed off the race disappointingly.

Well Tommy, Libertini had always raced well fresh, was unbeaten at the track and distance and more importantly at three runs on soft surfaces had never been out of a place.

All the so-called experts would not hear of Nature Strip being beaten in the Lightning at Flemington but the Chris Waller-trained speedster raced lengths below his best.

Jockey James McDonald told stewards the gelding raced fresh and in his view would benefit from the outing. He added the gelding had pulled up well and he could offer no further explanation.

From the perspective of a punter that excuse is simply not good enough. Nature Strip had been unbeaten in four starts up the straight, had good fresh form, had won six times at the distance and is just as good on wet and dry surfaces. And according to the Chris Waller stable he had trialled fabulously.

So what went wrong? Neither trainer nor his representative or the jockey, was given any sort of grilling on the matter. And if Nature Strip comes out and wins next start – like happens so often with form reversals from the Waller stable – it will just be put down to one of those things or a great training performance.

NOT GOOD ENOUGH!’

 

‘STAMPE OF APPROVAL BUT NOT FOR INACTION OF THE STEWARDS’

CLIFF JACKSON writes: ‘WHEN I saw Daniel Aurisch was the Steward in Charge of the meeting at Eagle Farm on Saturday I figured the punters had some chance. Alas that’s not the case when ‘Singapore Sling’ finds the rare time to sit in the chair at one of the city meetings.

I love taking Quadrellas but just threw my hands in the air when Stampe won the second last leg. Despite any amount of form assessment, it was impossible for me to have included him ahead of several others.

Now I know he dropped in class (albeit with 3.5kg more) but at his first run from a spell over the same track and distance Stampe finished 10th of 11 and was beaten out of sight – more than 15 lengths behind Master Jamie. He drew the same barrier and admittedly did some work early to race on the pace but was a shot duck on straightening.

Fast forward to Saturday and Stampe, with a different jock up, is ridden back in the field and charges home to win in a massive form reversal. First we are subjected to all the alibis hastily put forward by former jockey Bernadette Cooper on SKY for the improvement (when are they going to turf her and get some objective commentary that protects the interests of the punters and not pumps up the tyres of the trainers and jockeys)?

Then on comes cocky little Chris Munce (remember him from those controversial days in Hong Kong) and tells us that Stampe was a lot fitter and that the win didn’t come as any major surprise to the stable.

Whoppee!

Here’s what the Stewards’ Report had to say about the boilover win:

STAMPE – Stewards questioned Trainer C. Munce regarding the seemingly (they have to be kidding describing it as that) improved performance of STAMPE today as compared to its most recent start at Eagle Farm on 18 January 2020. Mr Munce explained that the gelding raced fresh last start and pulled hard when racing outside the leader and this in his view attributed to the disappointing performance. Mr Munce added that STAMPE took a fitness benefit from that race and has worked well leading up to today’s race and he expected a forward showing. His explanation was noted.

On that explanation if little Chrissy was training me I would go from running last in the cross country at Charleville to winning the Olympic Marathon.’

EDITOR’S NOTE: I understand your frustration Cliff but have to admit that the LGHR LATE MAIL include STAMPE in our TOP RATINGS for the race and managed to snare the QUADDY which paid in excess of $16,000. Our reasoning was that STAMPE showed potential last campaign and we have become accustomed to massive improvement from the MUNCE-trained horses. 

 

EAGLE FARM TRACK A GOOD 4 BUT TOSSING UP CLODS OF TURF

MAX DIAMANTE, who admits to being a regular follower of BRISBANE racing, but prefers to watch from the comfort of his lounge room, posed this question:

‘IT seems they have finally got it right with this new Eagle Farm track despite the tens of millions it cost to correct the earlier disasters.

One could assume that unless there is a visibility problem or a cyclone there is no reason for an Eagle Farm meeting ever to be abandoned again.

After all the rain we have had in the past two weeks – and the chaos it has caused elsewhere – not only did we race at Headquarters but the track on Saturday was rated a GOOD 4.

Might I suggest that was a major rating blunder? Anyone who watched the races could see giant clods of turf being thrown back. That doesn’t happen when it’s a Good 4. Strangely however the sectionals didn’t suggest the track was SOFT. The answer’s a pineapple!’

 

WHERE ARE THESE ADVOCATES PROTECTING OUR JOCKEYS?

GREG BLANCHARD, a regular contributor from NUDGEE, sent this email:

‘I just read (trainer) Pat Webster’s comments about burn-out and fatigue following on from what jockeys like Damien Oliver and others spoke about the other week.

Well we are not immune to this in Queensland and where are the Jockey Advocates at race meetings in this State? The only one is Ben Saunders who goes to meetings around the Darling Downs and does a good job.

Why is there not one other Advocate who goes to meetings in the whole of Queensland?

Shane Scriven used to go to meetings as did the likes of Dean Tanti and others a few years back. Scrivo will get his once a year advocate job on National Apprentices’ Day (March 18) at Doomben.

Over the years I’ve had the privilege of lending an ear to those who needed it – the welfare of participants is of utmost importance. Our young apprentices deserve to have more than one advocate going to race meetings – it’s great for the Downs but what about the rest of the State.

Anybody who doubts what I say let me tell you that I check every Stewards’ Report in Queensland. Do the same and you will see what I mean.’

 

‘HERE’S ONE FOR QRIC TO LOOK AT INDEPENDENTLY AT ‘RED HOTS’

MARK SHERRIFF, a long-time trots follower, sent this email: ‘How much longer are punters going to be subjected to what is happening every week at Albion Park trots?

‘It’s no point me sending this to the Stewards’ Panel that officiated at the meeting – in the opinion of those few punters who are still betting blind at the place they either don’t know or don’t care.

‘So I am suggesting that the QRIC Commissioner or some of his independent staff take a close look at the first race from last Saturday night and in particular the performance or drive on a top fancy.

‘Take it from someone with a little inside information and they should examine the TAB records on the First 4 on the race and have a gander at the betting activity with the big corporate bookies as well.

‘How do some of the top fancies keep getting beaten out of a place? That’s what the punters want to know but the stewards obviously don’t.

‘One other thing – and I’m not seeing reds under beds either and have heard all the stories about it being decided by computer – but someone needs to have a close look at the draws for some of these races at Albion Park.’

 

 

 

 

ARCHIE BUTTERFLY POSES SOME INTERESTING RACING QUESTIONS

Which senior public servant working in the racing industry is presently the subject of a covert internal investigation, and might expect a call to head office around the same time as the Ides of March?

What prominent racing stable had a most unwelcome visit by a posse of Government agents recently? And did the visitors really stay all day, and then grab some takeaways as they left?

Is a certain racing club chief about to get a rude come-uppance before the Easter Bunny arrives with the eggs?

Did his close comrade and confidante jump ship because he saw it coming?

Is a different racing chief presently doing all he can to throw the chief of a rival organisation under a bus?

Why does Scone trainer Brett Cavonough keep bringing horses up to race at Toowoomba? It's a long drive from Scone and back isn't it?

Wasn't Cavanough at one stage mooted to be taking over Ben Currie's stable?

Isn't the Scone trainer, like Mark Currie, a great mate of Moods?

How many very prominent - and in some cases, rather controversial - Sydney racing identities are as we speak shitting themselves after the NSW Court ruled on Friday that the contents of commission agent Steve Fletcher's phone are open slather for the Stewards?

Can it really Snow in summer?

How good was Racing Queensland's idea to switch the metro midweek meetings from Wednesday to Thursday? When was the last time Doomben raced on a Thursday again?

Was Pins Parnell really trying to cook the numbers about greyhound racing's social and economic impact in his puff piece video about the new greyhound complex that Racing Queensland claims to be building, or did he just misread the already bloated numbers contained in his Minister's recent press release, and simply need new glasses? 

Was Robbie Fradd's ride on Impasse in the fifth at Eagle Farm on Saturday really fair dinkum?

Was there a Stewards’ Inquiry into it?

Do all the loud peacocks screeching that the Australian Guineas is a match race between Alligator Blood and Catalyst actually remember that there is a colt that is better than both of them sitting back in the bleachers smoking its pipe?

Or that his name is Super Seth?

How good is Exondabeach? This filly missed the start, got stuck back in the field on the fence and looked no hope coming to the turn, and then before you could say ''fix your bloody microphone Bernie" she started shooting through a gap near the inside and within a few strides the race was all over bar the shouting. It was a scintillating win in quite a decent late summer field, and this filly is headed for far bigger things.

How unlucky was the Queensland chaser Velocity Bettina in the Group 1 Rookie Rebel at The Meadows on Saturday night? What might have happened if it didn't cop that check on the turn?

Was Tommy Berry sufffering from some form of delirium when he eased back and sat hot favourite Dame Giselle three-wide in the Lonhro Plate in Sydney on Saturday?

How did Brisbane's number 4 race-caller David Fowler manage to convince himself and listeners that Eric the Eel had arrived for third place in the second last race in Brisbane on Saturday? It was beaten nearly half a length.

Should gun jockey Ryan Maloney really be sporting such trendy short haircuts at his age as he did at Flemington on the weekend, given the barren desert fast appearing on the top back of his skull?

Where was Chief Steward Peter Chadwick on Saturday, given that he wasn't at Eagle Farm?

Why does star young harness reinsman Chris Geary elect to work out of Queensland when the driving fees here are on average 30% lower than those paid in NSW, and don't attract the 5% winning percentage drivers are paid down south?

Was Race 5 at Gloucester Park on Friday night the hottest race in the whole wide world?

Does the nature of the Stewards’ Inquiry into aspects of the race suggest that the officials might not necessarily have milky white hands?

Doesn't anyone from RQ actually realise that it gets hot in Far North Queensland during summer? If you are going to be calling off race meetings in February at Innisfail and Home Hill due to heat, then just don't schedule them.

Is there any chance in a million that the results from Menangle on Saturday night will be repeated once the retention barn security system comes into play? I don't think so.

How good is Bayley Nothdurft going?

And how well is Leah Kilner, the young hoop who rode a treble at the Coast on Saturday, going since returning from an educational stint with Gai Waterhouse too?

Should Bubba Tilley be saying a thousand Our Father's and five times as many Hail Mary's after escaping a suspension for being overweight on Saturday?

How good is it to see young Darling Downs mentor Troy Pascoe starting to kick goals now that he is getting some decent cattle to work with? Perhaps nice guys can win in racing after all.

Have you ever seen a bigger flock of sheep than the group of jockeys who followed Brett Prebble and Brad Rawiller over to the outside part of the track in the sixth race at Flemington? Dumbos.

Is Dwayne Dunn the strongest rider in the country when he wants to be? His heavy lifting effort aboard Sylvia's Mother last weekend was a beauty, and his aggressive ride to get Ole Kirk up at Flemington on Saturday was even better. 

How bad is South Australian racing going right now across all three codes? Is there any way back?

Wasn't Ben Melham's ride aboard Foxy Lady in the seventh at the Valley on Friday night an absolute gem?

Wasn't Grant Dixon's drive on General Jujon at Menangle on Saturday night an absolute Barry Crocker?

Will Someone Shoot a Rocket Up Sky Channel's Arse? These persistent technical issues that seem to be occurring every weekend are driving punters mad. Bernie Cooper's microphone wasn't working properly during her interview with Maddy Sears on Sky Thoroughbred after Exondabeach's win; some idiot at Sky 1 decided to put up the field list right in the middle of the race, totally blocking punters watching on TV's view of the action; and of course there's the never-ending problem of interim dividends being superimposed over the slow motion replays of close photo finishes. It doesn't happen during footy broadcasts, why should it happen here?

Does all this hype and hoopla over Alligator Blood being a proud Queenslander grate at anyone else as much as it grates on me? The gelding was born in NSW. His Dad is from Sydney and his Mum's a half-American Kiwi. His trainer is also from NSW, his owner's from Albury, and his jockey is a Victorian. Oh well. I guess Greg Inglis is from down south of the Border too.

Which member of the Peter and Wil Hulbert training partnership won a $15,000 jackpot on the pokies at the Breakfast Creek Hotel over the weekend? Clue - it wasn't the older one.

Wasn't apprentice Adin Thompson's ride on The Kingdom in Race 6 at Eagle Farm an absolute peach? The kid jagged straight back off the 14 gate, was one off the fence before they'd gone 50 metres, used cover all the way then brought it to the outside and gave it everything down the stretch to out-muscle top senior rider Matt McGillvray and win on the line. It was a cracker. This young man has really come of age lately, and big things surely await.

Is a king tide of scandal about to swamp the Creek? If what a number of different sources have told us in recent days is any guide it appears the answer might be yes. Perhaps the former club CEO Damien Raedler who disappeared through the doors last week might not be quite as dumb as he looks. Or maybe he is. Only time will tell. Watch this space.

Will a larger than life racing personality follow through with his promise to return serve this week on a gee-up story your humble correspondent aced him with last week? I suspect so. Batten down the hatches.

Pray For the Dead, Cos They Can't Pray For You

Two horses died on Queensland tracks over the weekend. 

May they rest in peace.

 

It Seems Animal Welfare Is a Dead Issue in Queensland

WHEN a jockey immediately realizes that his mount has a physical problem just metres after the start, isn’t there a positive obligation both under the Rules of Racing and the law to immediately pull the horse up and dismount, so as not to cause further injury?

I believe so, and I am confident that most horse lovers would agree.

So why did Sean Cormack continue to ride a horse named Bradbury for about two kilometres after the start of Race 10 at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday afternoon, and why did those actions go unpunished?

It is an agreed fact that Cormack felt Bradbury had an issue just metres after the horse had jumped from the barriers in the Butler McDermott Lawyers Benchmark 65 Handicap run over 1800 metres.

It is also agreed that a post-race veterinary examination found the horse to be sore in the off-foreleg, an ailment possibly caused by the shifting of a plate (a horse shoe).

Cormack may not have known why Bradbury felt wrong in its action – he most likely didn’t – but he did know that something was wrong, and as a result he didn’t apply undue pressure to the horse at any stage of the race. He did however continue to ride it at high speed and complete the race, and I think it’s a disgrace.

Two horses died on Queensland tracks on the weekend, at a time when thoroughbred racing is in the glare of the spotlight over animal welfare abuses in or connected to the sport.

In times like these it is incumbent on the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission to stamp down hard on racing participants that fail to put equine welfare first. After all, the QRIC was created for this express purpose.

The Stewards called Cormack in to explain his ride on Bradbury, but their only interest was in knowing why the jockey didn’t take to his mount with whip and heels and metaphorical spurs to encourage it to race more competitively.

Once Cormack told them about his certainty immediately after the start that Bradbury was suffering from a problem, they wrote the gelding’s trainer out a warning, marked him down as requiring a veterinary certificate prior to starting again, and lost interest.

If this type of negligence and neglect continues, a whole lot of other racing people soon might too.

I doubt that Romaneque lost its near fore in running. Three-legged-horses have trouble standing up, let alone running. I suspect that it might have been a lost plate.

 

DEATH on the track - The tragic tale of a slow gelding named GALLOPINKAS

I’M not quite sure that Gallopinkas was actually swabbed after it competed in the last race at Nanango on Saturday afternoon.

It would have been a good trick, because the horse was dead.

A sick feeling in my guts tells me that it probably shouldn’t have been.

The late Gallopinkas had been fractious behind the barriers prior to the start of Race 6, and had banged into the barriers and dislodged its jockey Melissa Cox. The horse took off, and crashed into the outside rail before being recaptured. I’m not quite sure how far it had run.

After it was caught Gallopinkas was taken back behind the barriers to be examined by the vet Dr Samantha Morrow.

Dr Morrow works at the Nanango Vet Surgery. There are four vets who work out of that practice. Two specialise in working with cattle, one with horses, and another with small animals.

Dr Morrow is the vet who specialises in treating small animals – cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, animals around that size.

Horses like Gallopinkas are quite a bit larger.

The vet inspected the runaway double crash victim and declared the horse fit to run.

At the 400m mark Gallopinkas blundered badly. The horse that has just minutes before cannoned into the outside rail had broken down in the near shoulder.

He was humanely euthanized.

Killed.

The swabs were post-mortem samples.

Gallopinkas was the second horse to die on a Queensland race track last weekend.

Two is far too many.

Queen of Kingston was also euthanized after breaking down in Race 5 at Eagle Farm on Saturday. It had not been inspected by the vet prior to the race, and was not swabbed after.

 

COURT GRANTS STEWARDS RIGHT TO INSPECT PRO PUNTER’S MOBILE

PHRACING NSW has been given the green light to image the contents of the mobile phone of professional gambler Stephen Fletcher after the Supreme Court on Friday ruled stewards had the right to look for any breaches of rules of racing.

CHRIS ROOTS & ADAM PENGILLY report for FAIRFAX MEDIA that Fletcher had surrendered his phone to stewards last year during an investigation into former TAB trading manager Sally Snow. Stewards suspected he had placed bets on behalf of her and husband Nathan.

Fletcher argued Racing NSW should be restricted to data relating to the Snow matter when they imaged his phone, but the Supreme Court found stewards had more extensive powers in relation to the rules of racing.

“The information obtained from Mr Fletcher’s phone could be used by the Stewards for the purpose of any investigation or inquiry into a matter in connection with racing, including use by informing a decision to initiate an investigation or inquiry,” the court judgment read.

It also stated: “whichever way the matter is approached, Mr Fletcher by his conduct as a professional gambler bound himself to comply with the Rules of Racing of Racing NSW.”

Sally Snow refused to hand over her phone for the investigation and was warned off from all racecourses by stewards and resigned her executive position at Tabcorp.

Stewards had been waiting for the ruling to continue the investigation into the Snow matter, which was sparked when Nathan Snow applied for a syndication licence. His financial records revealed a $10,000 transfer from Fletcher into his bank account.

In evidence tabled before the NSW Supreme Court, Racing NSW reported Nathan Snow told them he contacted Fletcher to help facilitate the wagers because he wasn't allowed to bet with Tabcorp because of his wife's then employment.

Racing NSW imaged Nathan Snow's phone last January and claimed the data showed the Snows had been "in regular communication" with Fletcher "in relation to bets which they, jointly and severally, were placing through [Fletcher], including bets laid at TAB outlets."

While conceding Racing NSW had legitimate reasons for wanting to access information on his phone in regards to the investigation into the Snows, Fletcher's legal counsel argued the body could be "fishing" to find data about his broader activities to take action against him.

Stewards had not started to image Fletcher’s phone until the Supreme Court ruling. Chief steward Marc Van Gestel said the decision would allow the investigation to continue and upheld the ability for Racing NSW to protect the integrity of the sport.

“We will have a thorough look at Mr Fletcher's phone now,” Van Gestel said. “The decision upholds our rights to look for any matter that would be a breach the rules of racing.

“We have several other phones in this matter and we will continue our investigations.”

 

MOODY TO REUNITE WITH STABLE JOCKEYS NOLEN & MEECH

PETER Moody plans to reunite the old team of stable jockeys Luke Nolen and Linda Meech when he returns to training in May.

“Certainly the relationship I had with the likes of Luke and Linda, forged over a decade and a half, will be hard to resist when I get up and rolling again,” Moody told Radio TAB.

He plans to have up to 120 horses on his books. “I’m looking at having 40 in work and maybe another 30 in pre-training and 30 in the paddock. I’d like to restrict it to around 100 or 120 horses.

“I want to keep it a more manageable number, more hands on, and I’m certainly not looking at going down the big commercial path that we did previously.

“Probably 25 percent of that horse population will be taken up by my own horses – some older clients that I’ve trained for, for a lot of years, have indicated they want to support me and that’s how we will kick off.

“I will probably be kicking off around the first of May. I’m in the process of signing a lease on a stable complex at Pakenham racecourse.”

Moody, who once had 400 horses on his books, has bought some horses to race himself and other on behalf of clients. “One thing I have learned in the last four years is there is more to life than being a racehorse trainer holus-bolus.”

Moody is still contracted to media roles with Ladbrokes and Channel 10 for another 12 months and is keen to fulfil those commitments.

 

ONLY 400 ALLOWED TO ATTEND DUAL GROUP ONE CARD IN HONG KONG

ONLY 400 people will be allowed to attend Sunday’s dual Group One card at Sha Tin as the Hong Kong Jockey Club acquiesces to a Government demand to further reduce crowds at Hong Kong race meetings.

The SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST reports that just trainers, jockeys, key personnel and horse owners with runners will be admitted on course for the next three meetings – February 12, 16 and 19 – to help prevent any further spreading of the coronavirus.

Only two rooms were open at Happy Valley on Wednesday night and those who attended were be subjected to temperature screening while being required to wear medical masks.

Jockey Club chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges says the measures are necessary in the current environment and enforcing them as requested is the only way to ensure racing continues.

“We think that by having 400 people or less on track means there is minimal risk of spreading the virus,” Engelbrecht-Bresges said.

“With 700,000 to 800,000 fans watching our races on TV, it helps keep people at home rather than out on the streets and therefore helps to contain the situation.

“We really think it is important to keep racing and provide a source of entertainment in these circumstances. If we stop racing, it is likely we won’t be back for about three months.”

These moves come after the Jockey Club has already closed all 101 of its off-course betting branches and nine of its telebet lines. Automated and online services are still running.

Unsurprisingly, turnover continues to take huge hits, with Saturday’s Sha Tin meeting down HK$410 million on last year’s corresponding fixture to HK$1.166 billion.

A partial lockout has been in place since the Lunar New Year fixture on January 27 and it continues to be tightened.

There are two Group Ones scheduled for Sunday’s card – the Hong Kong Gold Cup featuring Exultant while stars Beauty Generation and Beat The Clock will go head-to-head in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup.

“We would like to ask for the understanding of our customers for these additional measures, which are being introduced to protect the health of both customers and employees,” the Jockey Club said in a statement. “We apologise for any inconvenience that may be caused.”

 

ILLNESS AFFECTING SEQ GREYHOUNDS A STRAING OF CANINE CORONAVIRUS

THE Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) veterinarians have this week tested several greyhounds suffering from gastroenteritis.

Results have confirmed all dogs to be infected with Canine Enteric Coronavirus with some dogs also testing positive for a mixed or secondary infection with Clostridium perfringens. All dogs were negative for Parvovirus.

Important: Gastroenteritis caused by Canine Coronavirus is in no way related to the current ‘novel coronavirus’ outbreak causing respiratory illness in people.

Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said testing confirmed the presence of a current Canine Coronavirus outbreak in greyhounds in the South East of Queensland.

“Greyhounds are presenting with mild, transient (2-3 days) lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea, associated dehydration and a fever may or may not be present,” he said.

“Canine Coronavirus is a common cause of diarrhoea and vomiting and is highly contagious between dogs. Unlike with parvovirus, the mortality rate is low with Canine Coronavirus. Puppies are the most susceptible to this disease.

“There is no specific treatment for Canine Coronavirus, however supportive care is very important and greyhound racing participants should seek immediate veterinary advice for affected dogs.

QRIC Animal Welfare and Veterinary Services Director Dr Martin Lenz said a vaccine is available as a combination vaccine (Protech C2i) against Leptospirosis and Canine Coronavirus.

“The vaccine will aid in the prevention of the disease but does not stop infection or limit shedding of the virus but maybe recommended for puppies and breeding kennels,” Dr Lenz said.

“The vaccination of dogs should be discussed with your veterinarian.

“I would urge all participants to apply strict personal hygiene and biosecurity practices to help limit the spread of this virus.  

“This includes frequent hand washing, isolating sick dogs, wearing gloves and protective clothing, cleaning and disinfecting all areas and equipment including transport vehicles, monitoring the health of all dogs and limiting and quarantining new arrivals.

“Dogs with vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy or a temperature above 39.5◦C should be isolated immediately.

“It is important that all those in contact with this virus that there is the potential for the virus to be transmitted on clothing and equipment and they should take precautions when handling both healthy and sick dogs within the kennel.”

All owners and trainers should contact QRIC Stewards if any of any their greyhounds are affected with the virus.  

The health of all greyhounds must be checked before bringing them to race or trial and if they are ill they must be scratched from racing.

 

MAN BITES HORSE & GETS A JOB WITH QRIC STAMPING OUT ANIMAL CRUETLY – IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN IN QUEENSLAND!

By ARCHIE BUTTERLY

BACK in 2011 letsgohorseracing featured a story with a bite about a barrier attendant named Clayton ‘Chopper’ Warren, who had been stood down from work after a woman and her daughter watching the Townsville Cup meeting in TV had noticed the bloke grab a skittish horse by the ear and then, in best tradition of Mad Mike Tyson and Chopper Read, take a great big chomp at its said lug.

The understandably upset race-loving lady made a completely justified complaint about the matter to the then Racing Queensland-controlled Stewards, who with their hands forced had no option to hold an inquiry into the matter, but doing their damnedest to keep the whole Man Bites Horse did so in camera, which means behind closed doors under a veil of secrecy for those not familiar with the term.

Chopper Warren was found guilty of a charge of conduct prejudicial to the image of racing, and stood down from the sport until he had undertaken sufficient and appropriate remedial training under the supervision of RQ officials to correct his errant horse ear chomping barrier behaviour.

Oddly, no-one outside the inner circle of the secret stewards’ commissariat ever quite got told what exactly that remedial training entailed, or how long a spell Chopper had to spend on the sidelines in the sin bin, although some wags with a sense of black humour suggested they might have sent the equine ear biter down to Tommy Noble’s illegal training at Churchable so he could learn to let his lust for blood loose on possums tied to lures away from the public eye, instead of exhibiting it on national Sky Channel broadcasts.

Well Jesus died on a cross so our sins can be forgiven (or at least that’s what I’m told), and even rabbit punching murderers get parole, so we shouldn’t really be surprised that fast forwarding nine years Chopper Warren has found a new and most rewarding career in the racing industry.

Yes sports fans, I’m pleased to announce that these days Chopper Warren is a senior official of the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission, working in a team run by the newly appointed pontiff of Gold Coast racing integrity Paul Gillard, and he proudly sports the gold badge of an authorised officer empowered to investigate incidents of animal cruelty.

That’s a joke with a bite isn’t it?

Don’t laugh out loud too much though, for its true.

Only in Queensland punters, only in Queensland.