Jenny - Clean

SO MUCH FOR RACENET EXCLUSIVE: ‘IT’S NOT ME’ SAYS GERRY HARVEY

THAT ‘exclusive’ on RACENET declaring billionaire businessman and leviathan owner-breeder Gerry Harvey as the potential buyer of Alligator Blood has proved a fizzer – at least for now.

Ben Dorries, the de facto media manager for QRIC, reported this week: ‘News Corp can reveal the latest details of the ongoing Alligator Blood saga which saw the headline horse banned from racing in the Victorian spring carnival due to owner Allan Endresz's status as an undischarged bankrupt.

Firstly, Endresz has made a fresh proposal to Racing Victoria and has told them he is prepared for his share of any spring prizemoney that Alligator Blood earns to be withheld if the Group 1 winner is given the green light to race.

That is "Plan A".

"We have submitted a revised Plan A, but Plan B is for Gerry Harvey to buy some or all of the horse so he can race," Endresz told News Corp. "In principle, Gerry is wanting that to happen.”

Quite the contrary it seems – ‘Genial Gerry’ doesn’t want that to happen – at least that’s what he told MATT STEWART, Racing Editor of RSN in Victoria, who reports:

‘THE identity of the proposed new owner of Alligator Blood remains a mystery, with billionaire Gerry Harvey declaring “it’s not me”.

It had been speculated that Harvey, the breeder of Alligator Blood, had been offered up by embattled Allan Endresz as the “new” owner of the horse, who has been banned from racing in NSW and Victoria.

Racing Victoria confirmed today that it had received an application to transfer the ownership of Alligator Blood to a mystery individual following the refusal of RV to accept entries from horses majority-owned by Endresz, a declared undischarged bankrupt.

In a statement, RV said: “The stewards have received a further proposal from Mr Endresz regarding the ownership of Alligator Blood and are currently considering that. The stewards don’t intend to disclose the details of the correspondence between them and Mr Endresz.

“If the stewards’ position changes any time regarding the eligibility of Alligator Blood to compete within Victoria, then they will advise all accordingly.”

The initial stewards’ ban in both states related to Endresz’ bankruptcy and also lack of clarity about the identity of other registered part owners of the horse via a Trust.

Endresz then proposed to RV that he reduce his share to 45 per cent and gift 15 per cent of the gelding to equine retirement facility, Living Legends.

RV rejected it.

Media reports suggested Baramul Stud owner Harvey was the likely new owner, given he had bred the son of All Too Hard and owned many of his relations.

Harvey said today that he had loosely discussed the Alligator Blood dilemma with Endresz but had made no arrangement to purchase the horse.

“No, nothing has happened,” Harvey said.

Harvey said Alligator Blood was a horse he was interested in, given his close association with his family, and said “it would be a shame if he was banned from racing and spent the rest of his life in a paddock.”

“I’d like to see the horse race for obvious reasons but I have made no arrangement to purchase the horse. We have had discussions but they have not progressed anywhere,” he said.

 

DARE TO CRITICIZE QRIC & MISS OUT ON STEWARDS’ REPORTS – EXCLUSIVES’TO SPIN DOCTORS AT RACENET ARE ILLEGAL COMISH!

IT seems that those of us who dare to criticize QRIC and its new ‘Comish’ continue to be penalized while the ‘spin doctor’ at Racenet (News Ltd) gets the supposed ‘exclusives’.

Memo: Mr Shane Gillard:

Are you unaware that QRIC, as a Government body, is not permitted to provide one turf writer or a specific media company with an inside run?

Obviously not, because the racing public and the punters are required to pay a subscriber fee to Racenet to read these ‘exclusives’ even if they are eventually published in the Daily Rag which less and less people are buying.

Rather than LGHR protest again at this unbelievable favouritism, we will republish what Archie Butterfly has written on www.peterprofit.com as part of a story on the Racenet ‘exclusive’ involving betting charges laid against jockey Noel Callow (and whether this matter is related to incidents in Victoria or not he is now a Queensland-based jockey):

‘Have the QRIC stewards gone back and looked at any of Callow’s rides since he has been in Queensland?

Have they looked at the ones that showed up in the betting accounts?

Are they aware of Callow’s contretemps in Malaysia?

Or the dishonesty that he exercised in trying to flee the country?

Or why he ran?

Do leopards change their spots, without retraining?

Am I the only one who appreciated the delicious irony on the Racenet story being published on a page full of ads and inducements for people to sign up with a bookie or bet?

Are these ads actually legal?

What took the stewards so long to find the 2013 offences?

Who were they really looking at when they stumbled over it?

What were they looking for?

Is it any coincidence that 2013 was also the year that D. Oliver got done on the punt?

If Noel Callow was bowling, who was he bowling for?

How did Ben Dorries of Racenet get the information about the charges exclusively?

QRIC is a Government body, it’s not allowed to give one writer or media company the inside run.

Is Dorries the only runner?

Now that Archie has lodged a nom and anticipated acceptance, will all Racing Writers receive information equally from the QRIC?

What price the Butterfly to be treated in the same manner as Ben, and with respect?

Was I sending my application to QRIC by newspaper, or on the net?  

Are the QRIC aware how many people read peterprofit.com each day, or that they are all in the racing industry, and that each one pays the same subscription fee as The Courier-Mail charges?

Or that they are paying it just to read the work of just a single writer, not to get a whole newspaper?

Last two.

How long do you think Noel Callow’s going to get?

And how long do you think Racing Victoria will give him afterwards?

Ta Ta!

LGHR EDITOR’S NOTE: We are not a subscriber service but believe our website is as entitled to Stewards’ Reports as any other media venue (especially Radio TAB) whether it’s owned by Rupert Murdoch or Shit Can Dan. If we have to write something nice about QRIC and the ‘Comish’ to be afforded that privilege then hell will freeze over first.

Rather than lodge a protest with QRIC we have contacts in the LNP who are preparing a brief on a number of issues involving QRIC and some of its high profile stewards for the Racing Minister to be questioned on in Parliament.

Racenet will no doubt dodge reporting on these privileged discussions but you can rest assured we won’t – and by the way we have just about as many readers as some of the dying breed of Murdoch newspapers boast these days.

As for Racenet we have avoided publishing a volley of whinges about the success or otherwise of their tipsters and questions of how well the newlook Murdoch enterprise is travelling when they have to offer subscriptions for $1.

So this isn’t an attack on a racing website we once regarded as the best in Australasia before Rupert got his greedy hands on it. It’s about ‘fair play’ in the media – a level playing field. Why have highly paid communications people if you are only feeding information to one source?    

 

QRIC COMMISSIONER DOESN’T REGARD PUNTERS AS STAKEHOLDERS – THEY’RE JUST A BUNCH OF MUGS WHO PAY FOR RACING TO SURVIVE

QUEENSLAND Racing Integrity Commission boss Shane Gillard overlooked the most important people in racing during his latest fireside chat with his ‘spin doctor’ at Racenet.

Protecting the punters should be the cornerstone of any Integrity organisation in the racing and gambling industry. If you don’t have their confidence ‘Comish’ – then you’re failing at your job.

Gillard told Ben Dorries – his No 1 media man from News Ltd – that he will convene regular and high-powered meetings of racing industry stakeholders as part of a pact he made when he took on the role.

Gillard has reportedly established a Stakeholder Reference Group which will meet for the first time later this month. “We’ve had a great response so far, we’re getting representatives from all three racing codes – thoroughbred, harness and greyhounds, and representatives from clubs, breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys and bookmakers,” Gillard told Racenet.

Don’t worry about the punters – they’re just the poor battlers who line up week in week out and invest their hard-earned so that the industry continues to survive and officials like the QRIC Commissioner keep their jobs.

Then again if QRIC decided to include punters’ representatives in their Reference Group they might just hear what they don’t want to listen to – that the majority of those who still punt on Queensland racing (especially harness racing) have no confidence in the product.

The trouble with the mainstream racing media these days is that it fails to provide a voice and protection for the punters. That is largely because it is too busy promoting the interests of those more politically important to them (like officialdom) and, of course, their boss who now has an involvement in a corporate bookmaking business.

LGHR tried to get some answers from the Integrity Commissioner some time ago but unlike his predecessors who were always keen to reply, he shut the door in our face. We asked some controversial questions about a couple of his high profile stewards (not surprised he didn’t answer those but the Racing Minister might have to under questioning in Parliament). There was also a query whether jockeys were told at the barriers that horses had drifted alarmingly in price (which happens so often in Queensland when they go on to miss the start, run up backsides or sit wide) but he wasn’t interested in answering a simple integrity question – little wonder punters have no confidence in QRIC or the job he and his stewards are doing.

The ‘Comish’ obviously only wants to listen to those he knows will ask the right questions. Forget about the punters who have no confidence in those supposedly policing the ‘red hots’ and next to no confidence in the Chief Steward Peter Chadwick and some of his First Lieutenants who apparently have the total support of the Commissioner.

There is talk of a changing of the guard in racing stewards in NSW and Queensland. Terry Bailey has been home holidaying in the off-season in Hong Kong. The Racing Minister, who waxed lyrical about the credentials of Shane Gillard when he was appointed, should be whispering in his ear to nail Bailey to a tree and get him to return to Queensland and run racing here. But that won’t happen and sadly Chadwick will continue to plod along, which will suit the stakeholders but dumbfound the dwindling number of punters still betting on the gallops in Queensland.

Will the last one at QRIC please turn out the lights?     

 

 

HERE’S HOPING AUTHORITIES CHECK BONA FIDES OF ALL OWNERS

WITH racing authorities creating a precedent in the ownership issue involving star galloper Alligator Blood should they now be required to check the bona fides of every person who races a horse in Australia?

Controversial Allan Endresz has been banned because he is an undischarged bankrupt forcing the ‘supposed transfer of ownership’ of the Stradbroke winner to new connections which smacks of a farce.

It raises the question of how many other bankrupts are racing horses or for that matter owners with criminal records or acting as ‘fronts’ for ‘underworld’ figures.

Remember conman Peter Foster and the controversy involving champion mare Azkadellia?

Then you have the other side of the argument whereby Racing Queensland is out of step with Racing NSW and Racing Victoria on the Alligator Blood issue. They have no plans to ban horses owned by Endresz.

The critics say that’s nothing new – Queensland has provided a relaunching pad for trainers who have spent time in jail and others with dark clouds of pedophilia hanging over them.

 

THE REVOLVING DOOR THAT COULD SEE CHADWICK REPLACED?

IN an exclusive on his subscriber-only website, www.peterprofit.com, Archie Butterfly suggests that Queenslander Kim Kelly will soon retire as Chief Steward in Hong Kong where he has served for two decades.

‘The Butterfly’ claims the mail is strong that Marc Van Gestel will replace Kelly with Terry Bailey as his deputy and that Kelly will return to take up the role of NSW or Queensland Chief Steward.

One would hope Kelly is returning to his old home town which would see him replace Peter Chadwick who in the opinion of many punters and stakeholders has been a failure in the role in Queensland.

 

SUNNY COAST ALL DOOM & GLOOM FOR FAVOURITE BACKERS

THE Sunshine Coast continues to prove a graveyard for punters and Sunday was no exception with only one outright favourite successful in eight races.

The rot set in early when the odds-on Diana’s Affair was beaten into third place in a six-horse race. It got worse in the second when Superare beat home only two runners. Another Spirit managed to beat home only three in the third but should have finished closer.

The Superare race was won by Cecil Street Lad which landed some good bets at nice odds for trainer Richard Laming who has relocated from Victoria to Queensland.

The only outright favourite successful on the day was debutante Foggy Dew for the Stuart Kendrick stable in the sixth and it looks to have a bright future.

Success story of the day was trainer Les Ross with a winning treble – The Missionary $5.5, Regal Conqueror $6.5 and Mishani Esprit $18. He was attempted to saddle up half the card when favourite Mishani Sniper failed to beat one home in the last. Stewards were told by jockey Samantha Collett that she could offer no explanation for the disappointing performance. Ross said the gelding races best when fresh and will be sent for a spell. .

What nailed punters to the wall was the success of the Liam Birchley-trained Sheza Firecracker $41 which proved a shade too strong for the favourite Katdeel. When questioned regarding the improved performance of the mare, Birchley told stewards that at the beginning of this preparation, Sheza Firecracker was a late scratching at the barriers in Mackay resulting in her missing a suitable race which resulted in her starting over a shorter distance at the Sunshine Coast in a 1100m race. He added that the mare had pleased in her work leading into this race, and starting over a more favorable distance, he was not surprised by her forward showing.  

What has punters and form students confused at the Sunshine Coast is the need for jockeys to find the 'fast lane' on the crown of the track. Whilst not every runner can be that lucky, some jockeys just don't seem to be interested in getting their mounts to the spot where they have a genuine advantage.

 

‘PASS THE BUCK’ RESPONSE OF LITTLE HELP TO BATTLING PUNTERS

READERS might remember the item we published about a punter who placed a bet on a Singapore winner then got ‘robbed’ in his return because two horses were declared late scratchings when they weren’t but still attracted deductions.

Well the matter was taken further to the Compliance and Enforcement Branch of the Department of Gaming in NSW and here’s their ‘pass the buck’ response:

THANK you for bringing this to our attention.

The incident you have described does not offend legislation regulated by Liquor & Gaming NSW. The scope of our framework relates to gambling harm and inducements.

The concerns you raise relate to customer service or consumer issues relating to the account you hold with TopSPORT. While I appreciate that, at times, resolving these concerns may be frustrating, Liquor & Gaming NSW does not involve itself in the arbitration or resolution of account issues.

Liquor & Gaming NSW does not have a role in enforcing all product terms and conditions and does not arbitrate to secure a financial outcome in respect of disputes.

NSW Fair Trading administers the Australian Consumer Law, and may be able to assist you in its application to your concerns.

For consumer issues, NSW Fair Trading are best placed to assist and are able to be contacted on 13 32 20. Additional information can be found at https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/buying-products-and-services/guarantees,-contracts-and-warranties/contracts

Regards, 

Marina Yang
Compliance Officer - Assessments & Strategic Coordination
Compliance & Enforcement Branch | Liquor & Gaming NSW, Department of Enterprise, Investment & Trade

EDITOR’S NOTE: Well how’s that for passing the buck. Once again when it comes to the TAB and corporate bookies punters are treated like mugs and it seems have next to no rights at all.
   

 

RACING’S SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN – FROM OUTHOUSE TO PENTHOUSE

Can you believe there has been a horse racing reincarnation of television super-hero, the Six Million Dollar Man – a humble Kiwi with training super-powers that have elevated him from the outhouse to the penthouse?

In a list of the Top 30 earners in Australian thoroughbred racing for the season just ended, Racenet has revealed that Chris Waller has earnt almost $5 million from his 10 per cent share of prizemoney won by the horses he trained. His training fee earnings have to be added to that.

That makes Waller one of the highest earning sporting identities in the land compared to champion jockey James McDonald (who netted nearly $2mn, slings aside) and some of the best AFL and NRL players who earn over $1mn a year.

Racenet reported that Waller earned almost double that of his nearest racing rivals, Cairon Maher and David Eustace ($2.86mn) and James Cummings (almost $2mn with the powerful Godolphin backing him).

One wonders what the earnings would have been for some of the top trainers of the past – like T J Smith and Bart Cummings? Considerably less, of course, because they weren’t racing for the huge stakes on offer today in NSW courtesy of the emergence of Peter V’landys.

Sir Cryalot might not possess the bionic powers of the original Six Million Dollar Man, Colonel Steve Austin, But when it comes to racing he seems to have capabilities that most training mortals can only dream of.

 

STEWARDS DOING THEIR JOB QUERYING THE WALLER STABLE FLOPS

WHEREAS his Six Million Dollar Man namesake was arguably infallible the same can’t be said for Chris Waller – just ask the punters who religiously back his fancied runners every Saturday in Sydney.

Saturday at Royal Randwick was no exception when Waller had 16 starters but saddled up only one winner – the heavily-backed Lord Ardmore in the Premier’s Cup Prelude.

On the downside the closest he got was with Conqueror which ran second as a short-priced favourite after bookies were prepared to take plenty of risks at its comeback.

As so often happens with Waller horses there were those that mixed their form, namely Yggdrasil (which ran last), Coodarady (second last), Niffler (7th) and Bold Mac (back at big odds to win at his OZ debut but a dismal 6th when favorite on Saturday).

These flops did keep the stewards at Randwick busy:

YGGDRASIL: W. Pike reported that the mare raced one-paced and may have reached the end of its preparation. A post-race veterinary examination revealed the mare to be lame (1/5) in the near-hind leg. Trainer Mr C. Waller was advised that a veterinary clearance will be required before Yggdrasil is permitted to race/barrier trial again.

COODARADY: When placed under full pressure at the 300m shifted out abruptly, requiring its rider to stop riding and straighten, Trainer Mr C. Waller was advised that a warning would be placed on the gelding in respect to its racing manners. J. McDonald reported that in his view the gelding would be better suited being ridden with cover. A post-race veterinary examination revealed the gelding to be lame (2/5) in the near-foreleg. Trainer Mr C. Waller was advised that a veterinary clearance will be required before Coodarady is permitted to race/barrier trial again.

NIFFLER: J. McDonald reported that from a wide barrier he was required to settle further
back in the field than he would have preferred. He said that due to the slow tempo through the early and middle stages, Niffler was not suited by the pace of the race, which developed into a sprint home. A post-race veterinary examination did not reveal any abnormalities.

BOLD MAC: Laid in under pressure in the straight. A post-race veterinary examination did not reveal any abnormalities.

STEWARDS also questioned the tactics on the Waller-trained IRISH ANGEL, one to follow out of the last at RANDWICK:

IRISH ANGEL: When questioned regarding his riding in the straight, N. Rawiller stated that soon after straightening he elected to shift to the outside of Belsielle to secure clear running in what he considered to be the better going. He said that after commencing to place Irish Angel under full pressure he improved between Belsielle and Marchioness, but when Marchioness shifted in slightly near the 200m his mount became held up momentarily when it shifted in towards the heels of Belsielle. He added that after recommencing riding his mount out over the final 50m when starting to close off the race, Irish Angel became held up on the heels of Pandora Blue and could not be fully tested to the finish.

 

HARD EMPIRE WIN DIDN’T SURPRISE THE LGHR LATE MAIL TEAM

IT seems stewards were as flabbergasted as punters when the Gold Coast-trained Hard Empire scored a massive boilover in the Group 2 Missile Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

Hard Empire, which had finished 11th in the Grafton Ramornie, started at $71 and dented a few reputations in the process of its upset win.

HARD EMPIRE: When questioned regarding the apparent improved performance, co-trainer Mr Toby Edmonds stated that when first-up in the Ramornie Handicap on 13 July he had expected the gelding to race competitively, but Hard Empire was obliged to race at the back of the field after striking early interference. He said that the gelding raced keenly and then had some difficulty securing clear running in the early part of the straight before running home well to be beaten a little over three lengths. He added that connections had decided to run Hard Empire in today’s event given that a number of the fancied runners were racing first up. He further stated that the strong pace through the early and middle stages had advantaged Hard Empire, which was able to close off well from a midfield position.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s some useless trivia for most but the LGHR LATE MAIL team was especially angry after Hard Empire won, but that anger was directed at ourselves and not the horse or connections. We tipped the Tony and Trent Edmonds' galloper to win the Ramornie and marked it ‘to be backed next start’ after the nine-year-old should have finished much closer. The price on Saturday frightened us off – no excuses, that deserves an uppercut.

 

PUNTERS BIGGEST CONTRIBUTORS BUT ONLY LOSERS IN NSW CASH SPLASH

ONLY punters – the major contributors – were wiped in the Racing NSW extravaganza announced this week in which $30 million was sprayed far and wide, the major recipient being prizemoney centred on sprinters.

MAX PRESNELL, Sydney’s most respect racing columnist, suggests in his column for FAIRFAX MEDIA that perhaps horse players will get stronger fields (debatable) in a sphere of small mercies but few, if any, in the booming industry can bleat.

Again Peter V’landys, the Mr Big of racing and rugby league, has come to the fore. A few years back he embarked to conquer the Melbourne Spring, which was regarded as an impossible task.

Due to gained buck power and with the younger generation attracted by promotion of The Everest promotion, he is reaping the result. The Sydney spring this year will be like no other from a bounty viewpoint.

Still, contentious points are on the boil: many country supporters are dirty on the big metropolitan and provincial stables spreading their wares to the bush, and there are murmurs about problem gambling and barring the whip.

However, the industry is booming under the iron rule of V’landys. Certainly, the spotlight is on sprint races rather than staying power, as emphasised today at the Royal Randwick meeting featuring the Missile Stakes, in which Forbidden Love returns and won’t be out of place in the coming bonanzas.

The Missile is far superior to Flemington’s Aurie’s Star, which was once a launching pad for top spring prospects but now is just a prelim in which Sydney will figure if the Snowden-tuned King Of Sparta can handle the “straight six” course that is often a bogey for first-timers.

V’landys promotes razzle-dazzle, and the only major increase here for substance over speed is the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick in the autumn going from $4 million to $5 million, and the Doncaster (1600m) from $3 million to $4 million. A bevy of other sprints have leapt by $500,000s and millions.

Racing NSW, too, has allowed Sportsbet – a corporate bookmaking firm once regarded as untouchable by the ruling body – to sponsor a $6 million bonus to those who top the points score for the six top short-distance races. This is, of course, an attempt to keep the world’s best sprinter, Nature Strip, here. The Nature Strip Stakes has gone from $1 million to $3 million.

Meanwhile, Melbourne is hanging tall to the traditional: the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.

Yes, they are the classics and are more to my taste than a 1200m dash; Anamoe promises to be my spring treat.

Away from the majors, more money is going to the bottom on the food chain: picnic racing, which is the soul of the bush for amateur riders; and strappers, who generally groom the horses and pick up the manure.

Picnic events were worth little more than chaff bags and go $7000. The strapper’s bonus will increase from 1.5 per cent to two per cent of prizemoney, which is considerable if they are handling a top-liner or even if you make hay like Ian Smith, so often showing his expertise leading horses in the mounting yard at Sydney racecourses.

“Country trainers only” are races under the new deal, but obviously city slickers or top provincial trainers like Kris Lees going to the bush aids turnover, as was the situation on Thursday for the Coffs Harbour Cup, which featured a Hugh Bowman pearl on the Lees-trained Hosier.

No doubt the whip is out on V’landys, who is attempting to get millions from the State Government for rugby league stadiums in times of dire need for funds elsewhere.

He is also sour about the competition to The Everest from Bruno Mars at the nearby new Sydney Football Stadium on October 15.

“It is beyond comprehension,” he declared, adding to this Harbour City spring being fast a furious.

Problem punters will just have to make do with bonus bets.

 

 

SERIES OF $1mn BONUSES TO BOOST MELBOURNE CUP CARNIVAL

THE Melbourne Cup Carnival’s position as Australia’s grand final of racing has been bolstered by a series of $1 million bonuses connected to several of its Group 1 races.  

Racing Victoria has announced five bonuses for the Spring Racing Carnival, four of which lead into Melbourne Cup Carnival features: the $2 million Group 1 Penfolds Victoria Derby (2500m) and the $1 million Group 1 TAB Empire Rose Stakes (1600m), both run on Penfolds Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 29 October; and both the $3 million Group 1 VRC Darley Champions Sprint (1200m) and the $3 million Group 1 VRC Kennedy Champions Mile (1600m), which – along with the $3 million Group 1 VRC Champions Stakes (2000m) – headline VRC Champions Stakes Day on Saturday 5 November.   

This will complement the new-look Melbourne Cup Carnival, which offers almost $30 million in prizemoney across all four days. 

A $1 million incentive was first offered last year for the $1 million TAB Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) for fillies and mares, with the winners of 12 races across Australia and New Zealand eligible for the extra bonus on top of the $600,000 winners’ cheque. The James Cummings-trained Colette, victorious in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) before taking the Derby Day feature, took home $1.6 million for her success. 

The Empire Rose Stakes bonus will continue into 2022 with three horses – Sydney’s Group 1 Queen Of The Turf (1600m) winner Nimalee, Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) victor Imperatriz and Startantes, successful in the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) in Brisbane – already qualified. 

This year, the $2 million Penfolds Victoria Derby (2500m) for three-year-old stayers will also offer a bonus with the winners of the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m), Listed Geelong Classic (2200m) and Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) all eligible.  

Should any horse win one of those lead-up races and then the Penfolds Victoria Derby on the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, they will earn $2.2 million in total. 

The $3 million VRC Darley Champions Sprint (1200m) and the $3 million VRC Kennedy Champions Mile (1600m) will respectively bring the best sprinters and milers together for a thrilling conclusion to the Melbourne Cup Carnival on VRC Champions Stakes Day.  

The winners of five sprints throughout September and October – the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m), the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m), the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m), the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1000m) and the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) – will be eligible for a $1 million bonus should they also win the VRC Darley Champions Sprint.  

However, that is conditional on their participation in the Manikato Stakes, with horses required to contest the October 21 feature at Moonee Valley to claim the added reward. 

The VRC Kennedy Champions Mile $1 million bonus will be awarded to any horse that can win the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) or the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) before striking success on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. 

Should either bonus be claimed on November 5, the winning horse will earn $2.8 million. 

The Melbourne Cup Carnival begins with Penfolds Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 29 October with Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 1 November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 3 November and VRC Champions Stakes Day on Saturday 5 November. Tickets for the Melbourne Cup Carnival are now on sale. For more information, please visit VRC.com.au.

 

DAYLE BROWN TO JOIN TERRY BAILEY AT HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB

HARNESS Racing Victoria CEO Dayle Brown has resigned and will next soon join his former close colleague Terry Bailey at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

The duo worked together when Bailey was Chief Steward for racing in Victoria before taking up a similar post in Singapore and then moving on to Hong Kong to work with another former Queenslander Kim Kelly who is Chief Steward there.

Bailey and Brown were both offered to Racing Queensland in a package deal some years ago but for some strange reason the powers-that-be looked elsewhere for replacements at the time and punters have had no confidence in the product ever since.

 

CAN THE SITUATION GET ANY WORSE FOR THE ALBION PARK HRC?

ARCHIE BUTTERFLY doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to harness racing and reports on his subscriber-only website peterprofit.com that there has been a new appointment heading to the under siege Albion Park Harness Racing Club.

He writes:

‘Remember the story we wrote a while back about how the Wagga Harness Racing chief Greg Gangle was moving to Albion Park?

Well it’s true!

He has pissed everyone off at Wagga and they didn’t want him.

Why would you want a bloke who tries to ban a lovely lady who spends hundreds of dollars of her own money at the canteen buying trainers and drivers food and drink to keep them warm.

Gangle is regarded in some quarters as an idiot and a rude and obnoxious one too.

His time in the Riverina will soon be over.

Albion Park is exactly where he belongs.’

 

 

AFTERNOON ON PUNT WITH PAUL & KIAARN POPULAR WITH VIEWERS

MIXED bag from contributors for this week’s WEDNESDAY WHINGE. Here are the ones we were prepared to publish:

ALAN K of BRISBANE writes:

‘MY days of going to the races are long gone and I enjoy sitting back, having a punt and watching the coverage in the comfort of my home.

That involves switching from SKY to RACING.com when I’m keen to get the best of coverage and when I’m lazy I just tune into SKY1 and wade through the ‘rubbish’ as well.

My thoughts on that situation will save for another day.

The real reason I am writing to you is to praise the SKY coverage of meetings where Paul Joice and Kiaarn Holland are the co-hosts and tipsters, especially at the Sunshine Coast of a Sunday.

Not only do they find plenty of winners but my friends and I also find them far more entertaining than some of the others that do the same job and by that I mean no offence.

Paul has been a breath of fresh air since he moved north with SKY and I cannot understand why they don’t use him more often at city meetings. Kiaarn has a background in racing and she often finds a successful roughie in her tips.

It’s an interesting afternoon playing out the highs and lows of the punt on the Sunshine Coast where the form is not always easy to follow as Paul and Kiaarn would be well aware.

On that subject, what happened to the well-fancied Tony Gollan-trained Sweet Sixteen in the last on Sunday? Talking through my pocket but it was always at the tail of the field, ran past a couple of stragglers in the straight and never looked a hope.

But, as so often happens at the Sunshine Coast, no questions were asked. This happens far too often with fancied horses at this venue.’

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Stewards’ Report on SWEET SIXTEEN read: Slow to begin. Heavily bumped near the 300 when OUTBACK GLADIATOR shifted out abruptly when not sufficiently (clear). Jockey B Thompson was reprimanded for careless riding pursuant to AR131(a) for this incident.


NSW TAB NEEDS TO LIFT ITS ACT – TAKING DEDUCTIONS FOR SCRATCHINGS BEFORE DEADLINE TIME IS ILLEGAL 

MICHAEL BRENNAN, who has had a lifetime association with racing and now in his 70’s still enjoys a regular punt, relays an interesting story involving illegal deductions taken on a Singapore winner last weekend which the NSW TAB needs to rectify from a public relations viewpoint.

Here’s his Whinge:

‘A PUNTER friend of mine placed a bet on Fadaboy, the winner of Race 2 at Singapore last Sunday, at a hotel TAB in the Honeysuckle area of Newcastle.

The bet was $150 the win at Fixed Odds of $14. The horse won in a photo finish.

The punter, who did not hear the race, was delighted to learn he had won but a shade disappointed when told there was a late scratching and that there would be a deduction of between 12c and 13c in the dollar.

When the punter collected his winnings he noticed that the TAB deduction was actually much higher – in fact it was 20 cents in the dollar.

After researching what had happened he discovered that the TAB had deducted 11 cents for the legitimate late scratching but had also taken another three cents in the dollar for three horses that had been scratched at the official scratching time (around 11.20am NSW time).

As his bet had been placed much later, around 12.45pm, when these original scratchings could not influence the market, he was puzzled how the extra deductions could be considered legitimate (in fact these were illegal).

If the TAB traders involved did not do their job and were not on the ball to determine scratchings taken out before the deadline then they should pay for the mistake not the punter.

This matter has been raised publicly to alert fellow punters how they can be robbed, not only by corporates but also by the TABs (in this case the NSW TAB where if you go onto the results service on their website you will see that the 11 cent deductions have incorrectly been taken for horses that weren’t late scratchings). This is just daylight robbery and action should be taken to ensure it never happens again.

The scratching times have been verified by the Singapore Turf Club and other betting agencies, eg Sportsbet. This again highlights the advantage the TAB and corporate bookmakers have over punters and the terms and conditions that most don’t have the time to read are slanted against the punters and don’t seem to have any input from an organization representing them.   

EDITOR’S NOTE: Perhaps SKY’s fluctuations ‘expert’ Glenn Munsie, who is always blowing the trumpet of how wonderful the NSW TAB service is compared to the corporates etc, might like to address this problem from a PR viewpoint and organize a refund of part of the $189 that the punter lost because of the NSW TAB blunder.  

 

OWNER ANGRY AT TOP JOCKEY WITH BIG PUNTER PINCHING HIS PRICE

NAME with-held by request:

‘JUST want to warn owners who like to back their horses that a high profile Victorian jockey has a big punter north of the border who is receiving more information than he is entitled to.

We don’t have the same Rules in Australia that saw Chris Munce jailed in Hong Kong as a consequence of the ‘tips for bets’ scandal in Hong Kong but it still isn’t legal for jockeys to have punters who bet for them.

My problem is that I have raised concerns about the cosy relationship between this top jockey and his big interstate punters with our trainer but because I am only part-owner of the horses concerned others have outvoted me in having him replaced.

What has angered me even more is that friends of mine over-heard this big-mouthed punter boasting in a restaurant recently how the top jockey fed him all this information in return for him backing horses (some of which I have an interest in) and tipping them early so that he gets the best price.

My next step is to take this matter to the stewards in the hope that they can check out the betting records of the big punters concerned and perhaps even look at telephone records to see who he is calling and who is calling him.’

 

OWNERS GET ROUGH END OF PINEAPPLE WITH POLY TRACK TRANSFERS

NAME with-held by request:

‘AS an owner of several horses I have instructed my trainers never to start them on the Poly track at the Sunshine Coast.

Perhaps it’s time the Owners’ Association raised the issue of owners not wanting to race on this terrible surface when meetings on the turf are abandoned because of wet weather.

The suggestion that the prizemoney is not lost to the industry by transferring to the Poly is absurd when the majority of owners and plenty of trainers don’t want to race there.

I like the LGHR suggestion that they run double-headers on a Sunday – either a day-night meeting at the Sunshine Coast or meetings at another venue in addition to the one programmed on a Sunday. This seems to work successfully interstate so why not in Queensland?’

 

 

 

 

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO CONVINCE RQ THAT POLY TRACK IS LOST CAUSE?

WHAT does it take to convince these rocket-scientists at Racing Queensland to write off the Poly track at the Sunshine Coast as a lost cause?

There’s a message from the stakeholders when trainers scratch horses in massive numbers whenever a meeting is transferred from the turf and the punters are simply not interested in betting there.

Monday was another classic example when Saturday’s washed-out Gold Coast fixture was transferred to the Poly with an amazing 68 horses scratched.

That left just 36 runners across eight races with six of those having four or less starters. The TAB turnover was abysmal.

This can hardly be regarded is ensuring that prizemoney isn’t lost to owners. Transferring turf meeting to the poly in the event of abandonments because of rain has to be dispensed with.

And to think they are now building another Poly track at the Gold Coast. The waste of more millions of much-needed racing money.

There are several solutions to the problem:

(1) If RQ insists on racing on Poly tracks than program a meeting just for horses that trainers believe are best suited on that surface.

(2) If turf track meetings are lost due to wet weather then look for an alternate day to run them when originally programmed. What is wrong with holding an additional support meeting on a Sunday to the one already scheduled. They do it successfully in Victoria and the punters love it.

(3) And finally, tongue in cheek, the only time most punters believe RQ should race on Poly tracks is on February 29 in a leap year with the first timed to start around 1am.

 

 WILL NEW RV CEO SUCCEED WHERE RACING AUSTRALIA FAILED?

 IS there some light at the end of the tunnel in the war between officialdom of racing New South Wales and Victoria.

Paul Tatnell reports for racing.com that new Racing Victoria CEO Andrew Jones has met his NSW counterpart Peter V’Landys, in what has been described as a ‘constructive and open’ first conversation.

The relationship between the two states has been tense over a variety of issues, leading to Racing Australia barely meeting for the past 18 months.

Jones, who started at RV on July 11, said it was a positive first meeting to “open up the lines of communication”.

“I would describe the meeting as constructive, cordial and very open. We both strongly agree on the need for a fan focus in racing to be a key priority and there was a good understanding where each state stood on certain topics,” Jones told Racing.com.

“We didn’t solve significant issues but we both agreed on having regular meetings and the need for an open line of communication.”

While there is unlikely to be a change in policy from each state following the meeting, it was hoped the appointment of Jones, an experienced sports administrator, would improve the two state’s relationship.

The main points of tension between the two include new races disrupting the pattern, group status for races and a whip trial by Victoria.

Jones wouldn’t discuss the topics covered but said there was enough good will to suggest an improvement in dialogue.

“There was a consensus that the rising of the tide lifts all boats and it was a constructive meeting,” Jones said.

 

RECORD FOR PUNTING ON HONG KONG IN SEASON JUST ENDED

THE Hong Kong Jockey Club has again reached record heights during a Covid-19-impacted season, with punters wagering HK$140.4 billion (A26bn) during the 2021-22 racing campaign, which concluded at Sha Tin last Saturday.

The South China Morning Post reports that the figure topped last year’s total by more than HK$4 billion on the back of a record 836 local races, up one on last year, and a 36.4 per cent increase in simulcast races to 281, up from 206 last term.

Turnover on local races was up just 0.5 per cent but money wagered on simulcast races grew an enormous 49.1 per cent, with total turnover increasing by an even three per cent and betting duty paid to the Government totalling HK$14.1 billion.

“I am extremely proud of the efforts of all involved that, with the trust of the Government in giving us permission to continue racing, we have again been able to complete a full season of world-class horse racing while at all times upholding the principle of protecting the health and safety of the public, our employees and stakeholders,” HKJC Chief Executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said.

Attendance was up significantly on last season despite months of closed-door meetings and a season of restricted numbers, with the 394,000 fans who walked through the gates signifying a 77.7 per cent increase on 2020-21.

 

SKY CHANNEL TREATMENT OF MACKAY CUP WAS SIMPLY ABYSMAL

THE disgusting treatment of the Mackay Cup on Saturday again highlights how racing in Queensland is considered second rate to even second string meetings in NSW by the main broadcaster, SKY Channel.

Because there was a delay in the loading process – and not a major one – the feature race in Queensland – albeit a Country Cup – was relegated to SKY2 to make way for the mounting yard preview of a Maiden Plate from Gosford.

Adding insult to injury the Mackay Cup shared a split screen with a race from Roebourne in outback Western Australia and the Queensland feature had already been run before the Gosford race even jumped.

Here are a few figures:

The Mackay Cup carried prizemoney of $150,000 only $50,000 less than the richest race on the day, the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield. It was worth double what they raced for in each race at Doomben and treble that offered at the Morphettville Parks meeting.

On TAB.com.au the Mackay Cup held close to $230,000 compared to $110,000 on the Gosford race it clashed with and almost $70,000 (who would have believed that) on Roebourne.

Randwick was called off after race one because of the wet weather so there was no log-jam of races for SKY to contend with. The boofheads behind the programming schedule simply did not realize the importance of the Mackay Cup because they are so focussed on racing in NSW where even a second string meeting gets priority to anything else in the country – thanks Mr V’landys.

Does that mean if the new $2 million feature The Big Dance clashes with the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday in November, and there’s a delay loading the field for the big two-miler, the race that stops the nation will be relegated to SKY2?

Just joking!

 

POWERS-THAT-BE SCORE A WIN OVER THE WEATHER FORECASTERS

The powers-that-be in Queensland racing had a win over the weather forecasters and those calling for contingency plans for the weekend, which included LGHR.

QRIC stewards, in conjunction with RQ, decided to wait until Saturday morning to put horses over the track at Doomben and adopted the same procedure at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.

Their patience was rewarded when both tracks were deemed safe for racing and Doomben proceeded with an improving track as did the meeting at Corbould Park dodging a transfer to the despised Poly surface.

On this occasion their decision to wait on the weather proved correct. But had the forecast rain for south-east Queensland coastal areas of 'six months in one day' arrived, they would not have been so lucky.

It seems when it comes to predicting the weather, the Bureau tipsters are about as good as those from Racenet who readers now have to pay for.

 

MARS ASSAULT ON NSW RACING GOD – WAKE UP BRUNO, PVL DECLARES TIMING OF YOUR SHOW 'STUPID'!

DOESN’T international singing superstar Bruno Mars realise he needed the permission of Racing NSW before holding a concert in Sydney that would clash with the world’s richest race on turf, The Everest?

The front page headlines on The Daily Telegraph today roared: CLASH OF THE TITANS. BRUNO MARS v THE EVEREST. POP STAR HEAD TO HEAD WITH AUSTRALIA’S RICHEST RACE.

The exclusive report from Editor-at-Large Matthew Benns reveals that the NSW Government is close to inking a $10 million deal with the music superstar for a blockbuster opening for the new Allianz Stadium at Moore Park.

Mars will fly to Australia for just two stand-alone concerts in Sydney at the marquee $828mn stadium in front of up to 50,000 fans on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15.

But scheduling the American singer’s concert on the same day as one of the world’s biggest race days, the Everest just down the road at Royal Randwick, has stunned racing officials.

“I don’t believe it,” Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys told the Daily Telegraph. “No-one would be that stupid.”

The Everest claims to have broken the mould for racing and attracted a younger audience with almost 80 percent of the reported 40,000 attending aged under 35.

Racing NSW has previously paid around $400,000 for post-race day concerts from Jason Derulo, Kelly Rowland and Liam Payne but the concern is the audience this year will be slashed if the Mars concert goes ahead.

“Ideally what they should do is have Bruno Mars perform on the Thursday and Friday and then get him to perform after The Everest at Royal Randwick on the Saturday,” Mr V’landys said.

What a great idea but who’s going to pick up the TAB – no doubt it won’t be the TAB or Racing NSW but if it happens (and PVL has a habit of making the impossible happen) then it will have to be the NSW Government.

NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said” “Global cities can do multiple things at once. New York wouldn’t cancel the Yankees because Bill Joel was playing Madison Square Garden, would they?

“We want the best acts playing in the best venues in the best city in Australia,” Ayres said, to which Venues NSW Chair Tony Shepherd added: “We should be thinking of this as a day of celebration for Sydney. You can have one of the best days of your life by going to The Everest and then the Bruno Mars concert.”

The two Bruno Mars concerts are set to pump almost $16 million into the NSW economy. Over to PVL ‘spin doctor’ Razor Thomas to dream up some outlandish figure that The Everest is returning.

What’s wrong with these show business morons, don’t they realise that the world revolves around racing in NSW and that The Everest is bigger than the Melbourne Cup?

 

QRIC HIGHLIGHTS SAFETY AS NO 1 PRIORITY IN IPSWICH DECISION

THE Queensland Racing Integrity Commission has issued a statement in the wake of the controversy surrounding the decision to postpone the Ipswich midweek meeting close to the running of the first race on Wednesday.

It reads:

SAFETY of all racing participants is our number one priority, and importantly the safety of those who race on the track is paramount.

QRIC stewards walked the Ipswich track with experienced jockeys who were due to ride on the track, before making the difficult decision to cancel the meeting.

A decision like this is never taken lightly, however if there is a risk to horse and jockey safety, it’s imperative the correct decision is made before any racing begins.

We always welcome participant feedback on improving processes and look forward to further discussions on how QRIC can continue to provide better integrity services.

QRIC is continuing to work with RQ, Clubs, peak bodies, and the broader industry to achieve a consensus view on how decisions of this nature can be made that satisfies all sectors and delivers safety as a priority

 

 

WHAT IS RQ CONTINGENCY PLAN IF DELUGE WASHES OUT DOOMBEN?

WITH the forecast of an unbelievable six months of rain in a day to deluge Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast on Thursday and Friday what is the contingency plan for Saturday racing.

Nathan Exelby, the former Racing Editor of The Courier-Mail, in his new role with SKY Channel and the Brisbane Racing Club, told RSN in Melbourne on Wednesday that heavy rain always seemed to fall prior to a Doomben meeting.

But he made no mention of the BRC chatting with Racing Queensland about a contingency plan. With the rain set to clear on Saturday, visibility should not be a problem for jockeys therefore permitting the meeting to be transferred from Doomben to Eagle Farm which handles the wet far better.

A few weeks ago RQ transferred a Sunshine Coast meeting from the turf to the poly five days before it was due to be run. Here’s hoping the same doesn’t apply to this Sunday’s meeting, where an extra race has been added to the program, with rain expected to clear on Saturday.

After Wednesday’s debacle at Ipswich – and news that the RQ’s official track walker, former Chief Steward Alan Reardon will inspect the track before racing goes ahead again – here’s hoping the midweek meeting rescheduled to Monday gets the green light.

 

 ANOTHER EMBARRASSMENT FOR RQ WITH LATE ABANDONMENT OF IPSWICH – TIME FOR QRIC TO PHONE A FRIEND OTHER THAN RACENET

ANOTHER embarrassment for racing in Queensland with the late abandonment of the Ipswich midweek meeting which left trainers fuming, punters shaking their heads in disbelief and calls for the powers-that-be to get their acts together.

Leading trainer Tony Gollan declared the situation a ‘disgrace’ and suggested there was a ‘simple solution’ for Racing Queensland and QRIC stewards.

That would mean a meeting of ‘great minds’, the half million dollar man, RQ CEO Brendan Parnell and the ‘bobsy twins’ from QRIC, Commissioner Shane Gillard and Chief Steward Peter Chadwick (with Racenet on the fast dial of their trusty mobiles).

It was in fact Racenet who quoted Gollan as calling for an urgent powwow between top racing officials 'to ensure this never happens again.'

To add insult to injury for racing participants the major midweek metropolitan meeting in Queensland was not called off until just before the first race when stewards and jockeys declared a section of the track unsuitable for racing.

“Following a track inspection with stewards and senior riders, a section of track between the 1550m and 1400m has been identified as unsuitable to race on and the meeting will not be proceeding,” QRIC  told Racenet.

Sadly, their favorite 'mouth piece' did not bother to ask the question on everyone’s lips: Why was the decision made so late? Then again that might have upset the new Comish who apparently doesn’t plan to answer any questions from those who dare to constructively criticize the job he, his stewards or QRIC are doing.

Maybe Mr Gillard should get on the blower to Tony Gollan. He’s the only one talking any sense at present. “The formula we are using is not working,” Gollan said. “Why don’t we put horses over the track on every morning of a race meeting at 6.30am?

“Why don’t we do a simple old style, effective method until we get this track back how it should be, put horses back over it in the morning?”

The Ipswich track – now that Eagle Farm after years of drama – has emerged as the latest basket case for Queensland racing where the ‘rocket scientists’ don’t seem to have any idea of how to fix it.

Cameron Partington from the Australian Trainers’ Association (Queensland), told News Corp “to say trainers are disappointed or dissatisfied is a gross understatement. ATA has been working extremely hard with RQ and QRIC over the last few months on the long standing problems and concerns around track preparation in Queensland. We thought after many recent discussions and meetings the worst was behind us.

“As recently as a trainers’ meeting yesterday we were assured the failures of the past had been learnt from and measures were in place to ensure instances like today at Ipswich couldn't happen again. The major concern is ensuring RQ track experts are on the same page as both the Club curator and the stewards who ultimately decide if a track is safe or not.”

Instead of worrying about offending RQ or QRIC it’s time for the Trainers’ and Jockeys’ Associations to start taking some tougher action because whatever they are suggesting at present, no-one seems to be listening.

Once again no information in the form of a Media Release or Stewards' Report from QRIC concerning the reasons for the last minute abandonment of the Ipswich meeting (that was as of 3pm Wednesday). A few people in highly paid jobs need a quick course in public relations. Wakey, Wakey, Amazing Gracie!

 

DOES PROVIDING ‘EXCLUSIVES’ BREACH GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORKS?

WE have received several emails concerning the story we published which read in part:

IF you want to read important Stewards’ Reports don’t expect these to be published on the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission website, instead you have to pay a fee for the privilege to log onto Racenet where these are now being published exclusively.

Not only does this make a mockery of the integrity body’s responsibility to keep the racing public and stakeholders informed, it is arguably a breach of the Parliamentary Act under which the Labor Government established QRIC requiring Stewards’ Reports to be published on its website for all to see and certainly not to first be released exclusively to any media outlet.

LGHR has no problem with Ben Dorries chasing ‘exclusives’ – he’s a good operator – and Racenet was the best horse racing website in the land before Rupert Murdoch got his ‘greedy’ hands on it. But to be selective in who QRIC provides Stewards’ Reports to smacks of favoritism and looks even worse considering those missing out are critical of QRIC and its Commissioner while News Ltd and Racenet could be accused of ‘spin doctoring’ and ensuring the organization and its boss faces next to no constructive criticism.

IT has been pointed out to us that Stewards’ Reports on individual race meetings are still available through the Racing Queensland website. That was not what we were referring to.

Our whinge is that it would appear special actions taken by stewards, the outcome of inquiries and other newsworthy items are being advised exclusively to Racenet and, on occasions, News Ltd, which owns that website. That is before these are even published on QRIC’s own website – in fact three recent important actions by QRIC and its stewards still have not appeared on their own site.

In a little over a week we’ve had News Corp obtaining a letter from QRIC Commissioner Shane Gillard advising the Albion Park Harness Racing Club that stewards would no longer participate in industry networking events because CEO Scott Steele had not been stood down pending the finalization of criminal charges against him. LGHR can’t find a word of this on the QRIC website.

Then we had the Racenet ‘exclusive’ reporting that Melbourne Cup winning jockey Chris Munce has been hit with a barrage of new stewards' charges which allegedly stem from CCTV footage seized from his Eagle Farm stable. Again we can’t locate any mention of this on the QRIC site and there doesn’t appear to have been a Media Release.

And finally there was the Racenet story of veteran Central Queensland jockey John Stephens being outed for nine months following a wild brawl with trainer Ricky Vale at Rockhampton earlier this year.

Racenet had video footage of the incident and reported that Stephens had pleaded guilty to two charges of misconduct in a stewards' hearing on Monday, putting him on the sidelines for nine months.

One would at least have expected an inquiry of this magnitude to have resulted in a QRIC Media Release (which it didn’t) or appear on the QRIC website under Stewards’ Race Day Reports but the last ones published there were in late June and involved trainers Jared Wehlow and Rob Heathcote on treatment related inquiries.

 

SO MUCH FOR OPENNESS & TRANSPARENCY, INTEGRITY & ACCOUNTABILITY

HERE is what some of our readers had to say about this situation:

“IF what is reported about Stewards’ Reports being published exclusively on Racenet, then Racing Queensland is breaching its own Governance Framework which is based (supposedly) on ‘the concepts of: Openness and transparency; Integrity and accountability; Due care; and  Public defensibility.’

There is nothing to defend this change to a restrictive model of reporting of stewards inquiries.”

 

DIFFERENT APPROACH TO RACING MEDIA FROM NEW BOSS

“SHANE Gillard, the new QRIC Commissioner, obviously adopts a different approach to the racing media than his predecessors Ross Barnett and Mark Ainsworth (for so long in an acting capacity).

Unlike Barnett and Ainsworth who were highly ranked and respected Queensland Police Service officers before joining QRIC, Gillard was appointed last December after spending five years establishing the Greyhound Racing Integrity Unit in Victoria.

He also worked closely with the Victorian Government on the development and delivery of the Victorian Racing Integrity Board as well as the transition of the code specific disciplinary structures to the Victorian Racing Tribunal that presides over all three racing codes in Victoria.

That's impressive so surely that experience would have taught him that you don’t play favorites with the racing media because of the positive publicity that one powerful group has afforded you. It’s time the Racing Minister reminded Mr Gillard that the honeymoon is over and the ‘concept of openness and transparency’ which is at the forefront of his role, refers to all sections of the media, even websites that he doesn’t recognize or like.”    

 

AT LEAST CHADWICK HAS ONE INDUSTRY SUPPORTER - HIS NEW BOSS

“THE new Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner doesn’t seem to  have a problem like many stakeholders and industry observers do with Chief Steward Peter Chadwick.

Taking over from some highly respected and experienced identities before him, it was never going to be easy for Chadwick even allowing for the reports that kept filtering back from his former Chief Stewarding base in Singapore.

Story goes Chadwick is looking to move on and has been chatting with authorities in South Australia where no doubt his services would be welcomed.

Considering the action there has been at the station during Chadwick’s vacation, perhaps if one of his deputies like Daniel Aurisch were to replace him then racing in Queensland might start to win back some punter confidence. They certainly don’t have any under the new ‘Comish’ Gillard, Chadwick or some of his merry men from the Gold Coast to Cairns.”  

 

NEWS LTD & RACENET CONSPICUOUS BY THEIR SILENCE ON STEELE

AND on another topic we received this email overnight:

‘THOSE in the know in harness racing say that under siege Scott Steele has resigned – not stood down – as CEO of the Albion Park Club.

Apparently his decision followed a fireside chat between his brother Brad, the club chairman and a couple of Albion Park heavies with the Office of Racing Minister Grace Grace.

Story goes she threatened to withdraw the club’s license to race and it was all over red rover.

What my mates and I are struggling to understand is why The Courier-Mail and its little racing off-shoot Racenet have not reported this. Hasn’t the news got through to QRIC yet?

It seems that Grace was the Kryptonite that brought the 'Men of Steel' to their knees."

 

MAIL IS STRONG SCOTT STEELE HAS RESIGNED AS CEO OF APHRC

THE mail is strong that alleged rapist Scott Steele has resigned as CEO of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club.

Archie Butterfly reports on his website, www.peterprofit.com, that former television sports reporter and politician, Chris ‘Bomber’ Bombolas, has been appointed to the role.

The APHRC had refused to stand Steele down despite a direction from Racing Queensland pending the hearing of sexual assault and rape charges against him. This matter has been before QCAT but no decision had been handed down.

Bombolas served a term as the Labor Member for Chatsworth in the Queensland Parliament from 2006 to 2009. During that time he was Parliamentary Secretary for the then Minister for Sport Andrew Fraser. He chose not to contest the 2009 election.

In June 2009, Bombolas became the Chairman of the A-Leaue footballl club, Brisbane Roar. His controversial decision to replace coach Frank Farina with Ange Postecoglou saw the Brisbane Roar win the record for the longest unbeaten run at the top level of any Australian football code, which stands at 36 league matches without defeat. Brisbane Roar are also the first and only club to win back to back A-League Championships.

In 2012, Bombolas was asked to join Hancock Coal/GVK as their External Affairs Advisor (Media & Corporate Communications Advisor). He has more recently worked as a freelance Media and Communications Specialist and during that time has had an involvement with the Department of current Racing Minister Grace Grace.

Sadly for Scott Steele, who is entitled to the presumption of innocence, he will be remembered as the CEO who almost brought harness racing at Albion Park to its knees. The mail is strong that the Government was about to strip the club of its license.

 

THOSE WHO WANT TO READ IMPORTANT QRIC STEWARDS’ REPORTS NOW HAVE TO PAY ‘KING RUPERT’ FOR THE PRIVILEGE TO DO SO  

IF you want to read important Stewards’ Reports don’t expect these to be published on the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission website, instead you have to pay a fee for the privilege to log onto Racenet where these are now being published exclusively.

Not only does this make a mockery of the integrity body’s responsibility to keep the racing public and stakeholders informed, it is arguably a breach of the Parliamentary Act under which the Labor Government established QRIC requiring Stewards’ Reports to be published on its website for all tosee and certainly not to first be released exclusively to any media outlet.

LGHR has no problem with Ben Dorries chasing ‘exclusives’ – he’s a good operator – and Racenet was the best horse racing website in the land before Rupert Murdoch got his ‘greedy’ hands on it. But to be selective in who QRIC provides Stewards’ Reports to smacks of favoritism and looks even worse considering those missing out are critical of QRIC and its Commissioner while News Ltd and Racenet could be accused of ‘spin doctoring’ and ensuring the organization and its boss faces next to no constructive criticism.

In the past week we’ve had News Corp obtaining a letter (which must have fallen off the back of a QRIC truck) from Commissioner Shane Gillard advising the Albion Park Harness Racing Club that stewards would no longer participate in industry networking events because CEO Scott Steele had not been stood down pending the finalisation of criminal charges against him.

Now we have a Racenet ‘exclusive’ with Dorries reporting that Melbourne Cup winning jockey Chris Munce has been hit with a barrage of new stewards' charges which allegedly stem from CCTV footage seized from his Eagle Farm stable.

His report reads, in part:

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission has provided a statement to News Corp detailing eight new charges that Munce, a legendary jockey-turned-trainer, has been served with in writing.

Munce’s son Corey, who works for his father, has also been hit with two further charges.

“Queensland Racing Integrity Commission stewards have charged trainer Chris Munce and his stable hand son Corey with a total of 10 additional charges as part of an ongoing inquiry into breaches of the Rules of Racing occurring during September and October 2020,” the statement from QRIC reads.

“Munce senior has been charged with six counts of injecting racehorses within one clear day of them competing. He’s also been charged with two counts of administering an alkalinising agent to horses on race day.

“Munce junior has been charged with two counts of being a party to the administration of an alkalinising agent to horses on race day. Mr Munce and his son have until 2 August 2022 to provide written submissions to the charges.”

Last month, News Corp reported Chris Munce had been charged by stewards with administering an alkalinising agent to Skate To Paris prior to the mare winning the $125,000 Listed Brisbane Stakes at Doomben on September 12, 2020. Corey Munce, who worked as a stablehand at the time, was charged with being a party to the administration.

Both pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Those charges – and the fresh charges that Chris and Corey Munce have now been slapped with – date back to 2020 when racing authorities seized stable CCTV footage after an inspection of Munce‘s Eagle Farm stables.

It resulted in Munce initially being suspended for three months on a treatment charge involving the mare Lady Brahmos, with Munce’s ban subsequently reduced to a $5000 fine on internal review.

At a previous hearing, barrister Jim Murdoch told steward Dan Aurisch that much of the CCTV footage was ambiguous or inconclusive. “We have studied it in depth and are of the fairly strong persuasion the (CCTV) footage is ambiguous,” Murdoch told News Ltd at the time.

Well, the lawyer to the stars who strike trouble in racing will now have extra CCTV footage to peruse before stewards finalize proceedings and if Munce – who was jailed over the tips for bets scandal when he was riding in Hong Kong – is penalized, that will no doubt signal just the start of a lengthy appeal process where the arguably useless QCAT will be involved.

QRIC have made a number of important appointments in recent times (no doubt boosting the wages bill of the organization which is already under the financial microscope of the LNP Opposition which might even replace that body when it wins the next election).

One of those appointees, Chris Reid, is the general manager of external affairs at QRIC and is currently doing the rounds with the media organizations making them aware of his presence and offering any assistance. He contacted LGHR during the week and we regard him as a welcome addition providing his hands aren’t tied by the obvious dislike for websites like ours and peterprofit.com who have dared to raise question and criticism of Chief Steward Peter Chadwick (hopefully reports of him moving on to South Australia are correct).

Reid will prove a valuable addition to the media contingent at QRIC where LGHR has found Vincene Overs to be one of the best communications managers we have dealt with in any racing or sporting organization and don’t take that to mean we haven’t crossed swords over some of our coverage.

Good luck to Racenet (News Ltd) for securing their ‘exclusives’ from QRIC but it’s an absolute farce when racing followers and stakeholders are expected to pay for the right to receive information that should be readily available on the Commission’s own website.

 

PUNTERS APPLAUD STEWARDS QUERYING TACTICS ON WALLER RUNNERS

IT was close to a full moon which might explain one of the rare occasions that Sydney stewards questioned the tactics on a Chris Waller stable runner at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday but rather than be cynical punters applauded the move.

Waller had five of the nine runners in the Vinery Stallions Handicap which was won by the Godolphin four-year-old Alcyone which was resuming with Hugh Bowman in the saddle.

Fiordland, which ran second, was the first home of the Team Waller runners and should arguably have finished closed to Alcyone when being held-up to the 200m but it is doubtful he would have beaten the winner.

Waller ran 3rd, 4th, 7th & 9th with his other four runners but it was the ride of apprentice Reece Jones on fourth placed Karlstad which caught the attention of stewards. Their report reads:

KARLSTAD: When questioned regarding his riding of the gelding in the early and middle stages and the significant amount of pressure he applied to Karlstad, App Jones stated that he was instructed to ride the horse in a prominent position and to lead or sit second. He said that after beginning satisfactorily he was positive on his mount in the early stages and he identified Lease, an anticipated forward runner which was drawn to his outside, to begin well. He also added that he identified Fiordland and Go Troppo jumping well and having regard to his instructions he then continued to ride Karlstad aggressively to ensure he consolidated his position in the first two. He said that after improving to the inside of Lease when that runner was eased approaching the 1000m Karlstad was able to take the lead leaving the 1000m. He added when Lease was then ridden forward from the 700m he allowed Karlstad to improve with that runner as he felt it was too late of a stage in the race to hand up the lead. Trainer Mr C Waller confirmed the instructions were to have Karlstad ridden positively however did not issue any specific instructions to ride the gelding in an aggressive manner to ensure that it led the event. He added that in his opinion, App. Jones would have been better to have desisted from riding Karlstad along sooner in the early stages to avoid the unnecessarily strong pace that was set. Stewards advised App Jones that he had made an error of judgement by riding Karlstad too aggressively for an extended period in the early stages which resulted in a strong tempo being set in the early stages.

Stewards also queried the tactics on the three-year-old colt Lease and their report reads:

LEASE: When questioned regarding his riding in the middle stages and why he commenced a forward move from the 700m, when the early tempo of the race had been strong, B Avdulla stated that he was instructed to lead and that in pre-race discussion with connections it was agreed that he should ensure that the pace was solid through the middle stages as connections felt that at its last start Lease was not advantaged by the moderate tempo set. He stated after beginning well Lease held the lead in the early stages and near the 1400m he was surprised that Karlstad was being ridden along to hold a position to his inside. He said that he attempted to continue forward to cross that runner however when Karlstad maintained its position to his inside and its rider App R Jones show intent on obtaining the lead, near the 1000m he eased Lease to race outside of Karlstad. B Avdulla added that in the middle stages when Lease was unable to dictate the race, it lost concentration and for this reason he elected to start a forward move from the 700m to attempt to have the colt pick up and to comply with his instructions. Stewards advised B Avdulla that having regard to the strong early pace he should have ridden the colt in a more conservative manner from the 700m to provide Lease with the opportunity to be left with a stronger finishing effort.

Full marks to stewards for inquiring into this race – it’s not a good look when a stable has more than half the field and the tactics of one of these runners disadvantages one of the remaining dangers. Waller didn’t win the race but it seems all involved were happy to throw the apprentice rider on Kapstad under the bus.

 

ANOTHER WALLER SECOND- STRING LANDS LONG-PRICED PLUNGE

INTERESTINGLY, Bold Mac, a newcomer to the Waller stable, was a scratching from that race but came out and won at his Australian debut one race later and landed some good bets at long odds.

In a race where the powerful stable had only three starters, Bold Mac firmed from $21 to $12 and arrived on the line with jockey Jay Ford telling SKY post-race that Waller was very keen on the horse’s chances before the race.

Stablemate Yiyi, strongly tipped by some of the ‘experts’ including Racenet’s Tony Brazil who made it an each-way special, was never sighted first-up firming into $5.5 and beating only two home.

This is typical of the second-string stable runners that continue to upset more fancied rivals for Waller on almost a weekly basis in Sydney.

Again stewards were on the ball and had a chat with the riders of winner Bold Mac’s stablemates Hugh Bowman (Yiyi) and Tyler Schiller (Toomuchtobear) which was unwanted in the betting at $17 and arguably should have finished closer to the winner.

Here’s what stewards reported:

TOOMUCHTOBEAR: From the outside barrier was shifted behind runners in the early stages. T Schiller reported that on straightening he elected to shift the gelding to the outside of the field similar to how it was ridden when successful first-up last preparation. He stated after shifting to the outside of Dream Circle soon after straightening, he was able to place his mount under pressure whereby Toomuchtobear responded to his riding. He said that near the 200m when he was unable to continue to the outside of runners, he was obliged to change course back to the inside of Dream Circle whereby Toomuchtobear closed its race off strongly.

YIYI: H Bowman reported that he was not overly disappointed with the performance of the gelding, which was first up today, and added that Yiyi would appreciate being stepped up in distance at its future race starts.

From a punter perspective Waller trained four winners at the meeting, spearheaded by the heavily-backed duo Frumos and Lord Ardmore which both beat home stablemates.      

In the LGHR preview of the ‘Wally World’ runners OZ-wide we declared the best was THALASOPHILE and it duly saluted at Flemington at $5. Who said you can’t follow the form of the best stable in the country?

 

IS STEWARDS' WITHDRAWAL OF SERVICES AS TOUGH AS IT SOUNDS?

HERE’S a black eye for all of those critics who reckon Queensland Racing Integrity Commission boss Shane Gillard has been sitting on his hands since taking over the role.

Gillard has weighed into the controversy over the refusal of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club to stand down its CEO pending his trial on charges of sexual assault and rape.

The Courier-Mail reports that stewards will sensationally pull their support for harness racing in Brisbane in an unprecedented move as the club refuses to stand Steele down.

In a letter, obtained by News Corp Australia, Gillard informed staff on Thursday morning that he has written to the APHRC Board, informing them of his decision to withdraw support until the criminal matters surrounding the club’s chief executive Scott Steele are resolved.

Gillard said QRIC stewards will still perform vital race day integrity services but ‘not participate in any industry networking events’. Industry observers have questioned what that means.

Won't they be accepting invitations to any events or functions held by the club during the Winter Carnival or officating at special barrier draws?

Wouldn’t it have been more effective to withdraw their services on race nights (not that many punters reckon it would make much difference if they were absent, such is the lack of confidence in the product)?

In his letter, Gillard said while Steele is entitled to a presumption of innocence unless proven guilty, staff at Albion Park are also entitled to feel safe in their workplace.

“Significant charges laid against a CEO of a Club, albeit unproven, also impact upon the reputation of racing,” Gillard wrote. “It is the responsibility of the Club’s Board to balance these competing rights and responsibilities. The Club has available to it a range of options to treat Mr Steele fairly, while also ensuring the safety of employees and persons who attend the Club.

“The Club’s Board has chosen to leave Mr Steele in his position as CEO. I understand that in March 2022 Racing Queensland issued a direction to the Club to remove Mr Steele as CEO. The Club applied to QCAT for a review of that direction, and the matter has been heard, but QCAT is yet to hand down its decision.’ (What’s new there – they often take months – another body that needs to be dispensed with – racing wise – sooner than later).

Rather than all this pussy-footing around it’s time for the Government and the Racing Minister to step in (as RQ seems hamstrung to do) and appoint an Administrator to run the APHRC. It’s pretty obvious there are too many conflicts of interest at present for stakeholders to have any confidence in those elected to run the show.

 

WHERE WERE THE TTC DIRECTORS AT FUNERAL OF PAST PRESIDENT?  received an email from a high profile racing identity in Townsville concerning the funeral of long-time real estate agent and former Turf Club director Laurie Quinlan.

Quinlan, 91, was a prominent real estate industry figure in North Queensland for more than half a century. He was also well-known in horse racing where he served on the TAB Board of Queensland for five years and was a past President and life member of the Townsville Turf Club, as well as a life member of the Brisbane Racing Club.

The racing identity, who contacted LGHR, sent us this message: “There were many past Presidents of the Turf Club at Laurie’s funeral at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church at Mundingburra this week along with plenty of life members of the club but I struggled to see one representative of the current Board. If I am correct – and I believe I am – that is extremely disappointing to say the least.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: HERE is a response from TTC president MAL PETROFSKI:

'I do not know who attended or who did not as I was clearly not in attendance.

The passing of Laurie Quinlan was raised at a recent Board meeting, and I advised that I would be attending.

Due to an emergency on the day, I did not go and in my haste did not ring around and ensure someone did attend.

It does look like poor form on our end and the blame lays with me for not arranging a suitable replacement.'

 

 

WEIGHT OF NUMBERS ENSURES ‘WALLY WORLD’ OF ROSEHILL WINNERS

OUR weekly ‘Wally World’ Preview of Saturday racing certainly suggests that weight of numbers alone will ensure no repeat of last weekend’s disaster when the champion trainer failed to saddle up a winner.

The leading stable in the land quickly bounced back with a winning treble on that poor excuse for a midweek Sydney meeting at Warwick Farm saddling up a winning treble and not even contesting the two-horse fiasco where the Clerk of the Course weighed in.

Chris Waller has 21 acceptors in seven races at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday (none in the last and he isn’t eligible to contest the Hi-Way or Midway which are the weekly graveyards for favourite backers).

So where do we start? Probably in the ninth where he has the heavily-backed and unbeaten Frumos at $2. But beware stablemates, in particular Sur La Mur and also Il Atturo, are capable of upstaging the hot favourite and how often do we see that happening with Waller – nearly every week?

Waller will saddle up the favourites – Alberish and Pretty Wild in R1 & R3 and he has Fiordland bearing down on the top fancies in the sixth (it is one of five runners the stable has in that race).

Lord Ardmore $3 and Francesco Guardi $4.2-$3.2 in early betting pose a major threat to $3-$2.8 favourite Comme Bella Fille from the O’Shea stable in the best race of the day, the fifth. This is the race where rather than try and work him out, it might be profitable to lay the FAV on Betfair.

Despite his weight of numbers in Sydney, we think Sir Cryalot’s best VALUE BET of the weekend is THALASSOPHILE $5 in the second at Flemington. It is overdue for a win and Brett Prebble retains the ride.

Waller has the heavily-backed last start winner Khaalis engaged in Race 4 at Eagle Farm. Stablemate Himalain ($8-$5 in R5) and Za Ceibas ($6 in R1) spearhead his strong book in the north.     

 

SHOULD AN ADMINISTRATOR BE APPOINTED TO RUN ALBION PARK HARNESS CLUB WITH FUNDING WITHHELD BY RQ OVER SCOTT STEELE STANCE?

INDUSTRY observers believe that Racing Minister Grace Grace should seek Government backing to appoint an independent administrator to run the Albion Park Harness Racing Club in the wake of the Scott Steele controversy.

Whilst most thought Grace was sitting on her hands while the club had refused to stand down its CEO after he was committed for trial on charges of sexual assault and rape, it has emerged that she requested Racing Queensland to direct the APHRC to take this course of action.

The APHRC, of which Steele’s brother, Brad, is the Chairman, reportedly ignored the direction and has challenged the legality of RQ ordering them to stand the CEO down with QCAT, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Grace has told the ABC: “Since the APHRC has refused to follow Racing Queensland’s direction, issued on September 1, 2021, RQ has withheld general funding payments from the club that amount to about $600,000. APHRC has not been issued with a new funding agreement for the 2022-23 financial year.

“While the club fails to follow the direction issued by RQ, I fully support these payments being withheld.

“As Minister I do not have the power to stand down staff members of private racing clubs. However, I think it is completely inappropriate for the APHRC CEO to remain in hi while facing serious criminal charges.”

QCAT, which can take unacceptable amounts of time to hear appeals, listened to the arguments of both parties in March and the Tribunal reserved its decision. Well it’s now four months later, so with all due respects, it’s time for QCAT to make a decision.

Archie Butterfly reports on his subscriber-only website, peterprofit.com that the Albion Park club’s Board has now directed Scott Steele to work from home until the situation is reviewed.

As expected Brad Steele, as Chairman, has disqualified himself from any discussion or decision making in relation to these matters involving his brother.

 

IS THE TIMING OF DAVID FOWLER’S HOLIDAY A PURE COINCIDENCE?

ARCHIE Butterfly has raised another issue on peterprofit.com and questioned whether it is related to the murky situation that has the image of the ‘red hots’ in Brisbane at an unbelievably low level at the height of its Winter Carnival. It involves controversial media identity David Fowler, the one-time chairman of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club.

Archie writes:

HOW strange it is that David Fowler takes his annual leave in the middle of winter, on the exact same day that the close friend that he appointed to the top job at Albion Park was about to be exposed as an alleged rapist.

David claims that he did not know that Scott Steele was facing a rape charge at the time his appointment to the CEO role at Albion Park was made by David himself, in his then role as Club Chairman.

I am not calling Mr Fowler a liar, but I will state for the record that I find these claims very, very difficult to believe, impossible in fact.

Scott Steele and David Fowler are long-time friends.

They are known to dine out on a weekly basis together, and known to have done so for a number of years.

The pair have been closely associated personally and professionally for years through their joint roles in thoroughbred and harness racing, and Fowler is known to have attended numerous private functions both with the accused rapist, and with the new Albion Park Chairman who stands accused of protecting Scott Steele, that person of course being Steele’s brother Brad.

It gets worse.

Steele and Fowler have also owned a number of gallopers and pacers together, one of them – quite oddly – a pacer named La Player, who was trained by Vicki Rasmussen, the licensee who along with her then partner, Shane Graham (a very close friend of Scott Steele) was charged with criminal match fixing related to matters that the police alleged occurred at Albion Park. (Both Graham and Rasmussen were later cleared of the charges, or in Graham’s case not convicted).

In all these circumstances, David Fowler’s claims of ignorance of his friend’s legal status at the time that he appointed him to the lucrative six-figure role stretch credulity so far that it lands somewhere in Mars.

It is simply not good enough to accept what Mr Fowler is saying without question.

When he gets back to work someone needs to put these matters to him, and do it with some conviction.

    

 

GODOLPHIN TO FILL THE STABLES ONCE OCCUPIED BY BOUGOURE?

ANOTHER piece in the puzzle of the ‘real’ reason behind the eviction of Group 1 winning trainer Danny Bougoure from his Eagle Farm stables is about to emerge.

The mail is strong that the powerful Godolphin empire will expand to Queensland under the direction of stable foreman Reg Fleming, who is rumoured to be moving back home.

Fleming, a one-time dedicated foreman for Cups king Bart Cummings, is now a valuable component of Godolphin, headed up by Bart’s grandson, James. He recently won the Thoroughbred Excellence Award and Dedication to Racing Award in Victoria.

A popular figure from his days with Cummings, Fleming will be welcomed back to Queensland regardless of the controversy surrounding the stables that Godolphin will occupy at the expense of Bougoure whose horses were declared ‘not up to the standard required’ by the Brisbane Racing Club.

 

THE DOGS ARE BARKING THAT PETER CHADWICK WILL BE REPLACED AS CHIEF STEWARD BY WADE HADLEY – could QLD RACING be that lucky?

THE mail is strong that the Chief Steward for racing in Queensland, Peter Chadwick, may be moving on – and from a punter and industry perspective that’s great news.

Chadwick is currently on holidays – you may have noticed a lot more action at the station from the QRIC panel in his absence – but the rumour mill is in overdrive.

If you are to believe it Chadwick has been offered or is considering moving to the role of Deputy Chief Steward in South Australia.

That seems like a good place for him to ply his trade – racing is going backward, the former Chief Stipe has been moved on to a supposed promotion and replaced by his deputy. \

Nothing much has changed with at least one heavily-backed favourite performing like a mule each Saturday and little being done about it.

If – and we can only hope – Chadwick leaves for greener pastures the tip is he will be replaced by Wade Hadley, a former Victorian steward now policing the greyhounds in Queensland.

With all due respects Chadwick has failed to fire since joining QRIC and some of his key appointments – especially that of the ‘I’ve been everywhere man’ – Paul Gillard – have been absolute disasters.

Just as an example LGHR recently received this email from BETH HARRIS which reads:

‘AS an avid follower of racing in the state’s tropical north, I enjoy taking the time to do the form, watch the replays and conduct due diligence on potential wagering investments. 

During the course of my race day routine it was identified that at (the recent) Cairns meeting Race 4 Horse 3 Koonunga Hill, the prepost favorite for much of betting was under a Stewards’ embargo not to race prior to the provision of a vet certificate after being found to have bone chips in both front knees at its most recent start in September 2021.

It comes as no surprise that the official that placed the embargo on the horse in September 2021 is the Senior Steward in the Tropics, Mr Paul Gillard. The same official that no doubt would chair that meeting in Cairns and would surely review any current embargo’s placed on horses at acceptances for the meeting. One would only assume that the horse in question has also undergone corrective surgery and this in turn should be relayed to the punting public via all available avenues of media. 

And the horse won.’

 

 

 

KARMA WON’T BE KIND TO POWERBROKERS & MEDIA 'SUCKS' WHO WANT TO SUPPORT SCOTT STEELE BUT DESTROY DANNY BOUGOURE

THE contentious topic of the week centres on charges of sexual assault and rape levelled against Albion Park Harness Racing Club CEO Scott Steele, whether he should have been stood down from his role on full pay pending the outcome of a District Court trial and why the mainstream media does not seem interested in covering this story.

As part of the LGHR WEDNESDAY WHINGE we have attempted to get the message across for the many who have emailed us but sadly we cannot answer many of the questions that have been asked but believe this is a topic that should be debated under Parliamentary privilege if we can find politicians on either side of the House with the balls to do so.

At the outset we need to say that the ultimate decision of whether Scott Steele is guilty or not will be determined at his trial, not by Racing Queensland, the Albion Park Harness Racing Club or his friends or enemies in the media. Whether he should be allowed to continue in his role as CEO at the leading trots venue in the State is debatable but Steele is certainly entitled to the presumption of innocence until the District Court decides his fate.

HERE are some of our readers observations (edited in some cases for legal reasons) on issues relating to the Steele situation:

WHY HAS ALBION PARK REFUSED TO STAND DOWN ITS UNDER SEIGE CEO?

‘TWO questions need to be answered. Why did the justice system seem to protect Scott Steele by waiting a month after his committal to answer questions from Ray Hadley’s The Morning Show which would have allowed him to be identified? And secondly, why has news of his committal and his identity not appeared in the mainstream print media, especially News Ltd, considering the profile Steele enjoys in the racing and harness racing industries in Queensland?’

‘WHY has the Albion Park Harness Racing Club refused to stand Scott Steele down (on full pay) until this matter is resolved when they have been requested to do so by Racing Queensland (it is now in the hands of QCAT and many in racing have no confidence in that organization)? It’s not a good look when his brother, Brad, is Chairman of the APHRC, whether he disqualified himself from any discussion on the issue or not.’

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is the response provided to Ray Hadley from APHRC deputy chairman Greg Mitchell when he raised the issue of a Scott Steele stand-down with the club:

“THE Board believes the Albion Park Harness Racing Club should not terminate Mr Steele. (Editor’s Note: Hadley never suggested termination but felt the CEO should be stood down pending the outcome of the trial)

“The allegations refer to incidents that allegedly took place in previous work locations in 2015 and 2016.

“As soon as we heard of the charges the Board commenced an independent external investigation by an experienced female lawyer. That lawyer interviewed Mr Steele and 19 of our 20 staff.

“The Chairman and directors had no say in the appointment of the investigator and no say in the findings. We did not see it before it was presented to us in its final form – it was completely independent.

“The Chair has recused himself of all discussion and decision-making in relation to this matter.

“In these ways the Board has ensured there is no conflicting interests, and that we have, and been seen to have, upheld best-practice in these difficult situations.

“Her investigation included the following findings:

  1. Employees are comfortable with Mr Steele’s continued employment. This will be influenced by the level of Club support for Mr Steele, and Mr Steele continuing to protest his innocence.
  2. There has been no significant change in the workplace attitudes to Mr Steele since employees were made aware of the nature of the charges.
  3. Mr Steele is considered a good CEO, is well-liked and respected by the employees interviewed. They spoke highly of his work and contribution towards the Club and racing industry.

“Its recommendations included the following:

  1. In terms of continued employment, the Club has taken reasonable steps to ensure that the employees feel comfortable and safe working with Mr Steele. It would be advisable to continue the current practice that forbids Mr Steele having one-on-one meetings with any females, or closed-door discussions.
  2. A sexual harassment policy should be implemented, and training conducted. All new employees should be inducted to the Club’s policy on sexual harassment, bullying and harassment, and discrimination. Evidence of participation in the induction process of each employee must be recorded.
  3. A complaint handling process should be implemented with employees encouraged to speak to either a board member or an appointed person with whom the employees are comfortable. Alternatively, the Club should consider an Employee Assistance Program.
  4. As the hearing into the charges against Mr Steele will take many months, the state of mind of employees should be regularly checked.
  5. The Club should take all reasonable steps to ensure it exercises its duty of care to all its employees.”

 

BRC IMAGE AT ROCK BOTTOM RIDING SHOTGUN WITH CONTROVERSY 

‘AS long-term followers – and I might say supporters – of the racing industry in Queensland my family is utterly disgusted at the way the Brisbane Racing Club and certain members of the print and broadcast media have handled controversial situations involving Scott Steele and Danny Bougoure.

We felt the BRC treatment of Bougoure – evicting him from his stables at Eagle Farm – was unfair and outrageous. Just what involvement the BRC played in the Steele situation is for others to judge.

Police allege that Steele sexually assaulted two women in separate incidents during April 2015 and December 2016. At the time Steele was the General Manager of the Brisbane Racing Club (and heavily involved with the licensed premises Gallopers), several years before he took up his current role with Albion Park Harness Racing Club in 2020.

According to Ray Hadley, David Fowler claims that during his Chairmanship of the APHRC the BRC provided him with a ‘glowing endorsement’ of Steele ‘despite being aware of the allegations that had been made by two women against him when he worked for the BRC’. There is a general opinion in racing circles that Fowler and Steele are friends.

 

‘AMAZING GRACE, AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE, FOR FAILING WORKPLACE’

RAY Hadley is spot-on with his suggestion on the 4BC Morning Show that Racing Minister Grace Grace, Queensland Racing and the mainstream racing media (News Ltd, 4TAB and SKY Channel) have failed to stand up and be counted when it came to coverage of the Scott Steele committal and the Danny Bougoure eviction from Eagle Farm.

In the case of Bougoure, Hadley told listeners:

‘Racing Minister Grace Grace hasn’t been seen inside Nobby’s despite various complaints to her on behalf of racing participants’.

‘It is an affront to justice by Racing Queensland for allowing this (the Bougoure eviction) to happen.’

‘Some of my colleagues in the News Ltd racing media are seen sipping champagne and other alcohol beverages in the Chairman’s Lounge (at the BRC) but are too terrified to identify Neville Bell in any way and it appears they believe in all shapes and forms this is Danny Bougoure’s fault.’

And in the case of alleged rapist, Albion Park CEO, Scott Steele, Hadley described Racing Minister Grace Grace as an ‘absolute disgrace’ for not ensuring Steele was stood down pending the outcome of his trial. “When are you going to protect the rights of women Minister?” he so rightly asked.

One has to question would this have happened under an LNP Government headed by David Crissafoli. One could argue that Shadow Minister for Racing and Sport, Tim Mander, has been conspicuous by his silence on both the Bougoure and Steele issues which is not good enough.

Here is a prime opportunity to build Brownie Points against the Labor Government and what is the LNP doing? Nothing!

Perhaps the photographs they have been sent of the BRC Big Four enjoying a 'love-in' with the Premier, the Racing Minister and company in the Chairman’s Lounge during the carnival might prod them into action.

 

‘SUCK UP & SURVIVE’ MENTALITY IN MEDIA – YOUR HEARD IT FIRST AT LGHR

‘CAN the image of the racing media in south-east Queensland – from News Ltd (now Racenet as well) to SKY Channel and RadioTAB – reach an even lower level with industry followers.

Ray Hadley, discussing the eviction from Eagle Farm of Danny Bougoure on The Morning Show on 4BC, summed it up best when he referred to even some of his colleagues in the media:

“You blokes are nothing but sucks, giant sucks who suck off the shark’s belly. I won’t let up. I don’t expect to be invited to the Chairman’s Lounge (at the BRC) and if I was I wouldn’t go because if you lie down with dogs you get fleas.

“You are seen sipping champagne and other alcoholic beverages in the Chairman’s Lounge but are too terrified to identity (BRC Chairman) Neville Bell in any way and it appears you believe in all shapes and form this is Danny Bougoure’s fault.

Guess the lack of support for this popular trainer from SKY comes as no surprise. They are in bed with the BRC but continue to treat Brisbane racing second rate in coverage to the crap meeting outside Sydney of a Saturday.

4TAB see themselves as promoters of the industry and dodge any form of controversy which is not unexpected. As for the News Ltd and Racenet coverage well there is a belief that what they write is controlled by a former high profile scribe now working for the BRC.

A leading radio commentator once told me never to contribute or read LGHR or PETERPROFIT because Lingard was bitter and twisted and Butterfly was out of his tree on drugs and an out of control lunatic who had been finally silenced through the courts by those he unfairly criticized.

Can’t believe control of the racing media has reached the stage it is in Queensland and they reckon there’s no such thing as ‘cash for comment’.

EDITOR’S NOTE: When I started referring to the ‘suck up and survive’ mentality of the racing media in Queensland, I was branded bitter and twisted by some of my former colleagues who have lost sight of the need to represent the punters not their political mates in racing who they think can boost their profile. They are subservient to one man and as an old mate on the Downs so rightly described him – the bloke is nothing more than a ‘maggot’. As for the rest, as Ray Hadley said, if you lie down with dogs you get fleas.

 

 

ALBION PARK HARNESS RACING CLUB CEO SCOTT STEELE, COMMITTED FOR TRIAL ON CHARGES OF SEXUAL ASSAULT & RAPE OF TWO YOUNG WOMEN

RAY HADLEY has revealed today on his Morning Show on 4BC that an alleged rapist has not been stood down from his important role of running a major race club in Queensland.

Scott Steele, the CEO of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club, where his brother Brad is the Chairman, has been committed for District Court trial on two charges of sexual assault and one of rape involving two women who worked with him at licensed premises, believed to be Gallopers Club at Ascot.

While the media has been forced to pussyfoot around naming Steele because of archaic suppression orders in the law in Queensland, Hadley has revealed that the high profile racing identity could have been identified a month ago.

For some strange reason his committal has been kept under wraps with what Hadley described as ‘little co-operation from Queensland justice’. This deserves an explanation which the mainstream racing media should be following up on.

Hadley has also revealed that Racing Queensland asked the APHRC to stand down Scott Steele but the club refused to do so. They maintained they could not afford to stand him down on full pay and employ another acting CEO. This matter is now before QCAT.

According to Hadley, David Fowler, the former Chairman of the APHRC, threw his ‘mates’ at the BRC under the bus when asked about the Scott Steele employment situation. Fowler reportedly claims that the BRC offered him at the time of his chairmanship of Albion Park a ‘glowing endorsement’ of Steele despite being aware of the allegations that had been made by the two women against him.

When asked by Hadley why Steele remained in his role at Albion Park, where he had recently employed women to work for the club, the Deputy Chairman Greg Mitchell, explained that the club had an investigation carried out by a lady lawyer. One of the conditions of Steele continuing as CEO was that he could not have one-on-one meetings with female employees behind closed doors. Women who work at the club had been interviewed and said they had no problem with the current situation.

Describing the way the Steele situation had played out over the past year as smelling of a ‘stalling game’ and ‘protection racket’ Hadley called on Racing Minister Grace Grace to intervene and have him stood down on full pay until his District Court trial is completed.

“When are you going to protect the rights of women Minister?” Hadley asked, declaring Grace Grace and the whole situation an ‘absolute disgrace’.

 

‘DREADFUL TREATMENT’ OF BOUGOURE HIGHLIGHTED BY HADLEY

THE return of RAY HADLEY to the airwaves on The Morning Show on 4BC has highlighted the inadequacies of the Racing Minister, Racing Queensland, the Brisbane Racing Club and the mainstream racing media.

Hadley didn’t miss any of them when he returned from holidays and for those who missed his broadcast here are a few excerpts especially relating to the 'injustices' of the eviction of Group 1 winning trainer Danny Bougoure from his stables at Eagle Farm.

“A lot of people came to support Danny. A GoFundMe page was organized to help with his legal fees. But Danny doesn’t want anyone to pay for him and those donations will be refunded – a note of the character of the fella.”

Hadley described the treatment of Bougoure by the BRC as ‘absolutely dreadful’ and laid the blame squarely at the feet of Chairman Neville Bell, CEO Tony Partridge and ‘this other character Matt Rudolph, a bloke I have no regard for’.

He told listeners to The Morning Show that three other parties had let Bougoure down badly – the Queensland Government (‘Racing Minister Grace Grace hasn't been seen inside Nobby’s despite various complaints to her on behalf of racing participants’); Queensland Racing (‘which is an affront to justice for allowing this to happen’) & the News Ltd racing media (‘they are seen sipping champagne and other alcoholic beverages in the Chairman’s Lounge but are too terrified to identity Neville Bell in any way and it appears they believe in ally shapes and form this is Danny Bougoure’s fault’).

Hadley said that despite a complaint about the BRC being lodged with RQ, it was rendered ineligible under the Club Complaint Policy. Of the mainstream media (‘some of them my colleagues with News Ltd) he said: “You blokes are nothing but sucks, giant sucks, who suck off the shark’s belly. I won’t let up. I don’t expect to be invited to the Chairman’s Lounge and if I was I wouldn’t go because if you lie down with dogs you gets fleas.”     

 

WHO WAS THE ‘SKY PILOT’ DRINKING WITH ALLEGED SEX OFFENDER?

ANOTHER contentious issue raised by RAY HADLEY was the continued delay in the court case involving a high profile Brisbane sporting official facing serious sexual assault charges.

Hadley explained because of archaic laws in Queensland there were suppression orders which prevented him from naming the person or the sport he was involved with.

“I have been talking about this for a year now. Queensland law prevents me from naming him until he has been committed to stand trial. I will be naming him then.

“He was charged on July 14 last year. It is alleged he sexually assaulted a young woman in 2015 and another young women in 2016 at licensed premises. The matter was first mentioned in the Sandgate Magistrate's Court on July 22.

“Since then this matter has been mentioned nine times. You know the old saying ‘justice delayed is justice denied,” Hadley said. “It is due for a 10th mention in court today (Monday). I will keep a close eye on this and as soon as I can name this bloke, if and when he is committed to stand trial, I will be and we will go from there.”

“I mentioned this allegedly happened at a licensed premises. Well the person who has been charged was seen recently at the same premises in the company of a leading SKY Channel identity enjoying a few beers.

“Members of that licensed establishment said they could not believe their eyes. How would anyone go back to the alleged scene of the alleged crime and have a few beers in the presence of a high profile SKY Channel identity?

“I happen to know the SKY identity quite well and I will be telling him he needs to be careful about the company he keeps.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Isn’t it a breath of fresh air to have the objectiveness of Ray Hadley in a media full of ‘suck up and survive’ merchants? What a shame he wasn’t prepared to identify the high profile SKY identity. We suspect it is one of two ‘culprits’ and with all due respects to the profile they enjoy, this just reinforces the opinion of many in racing that both of them are grubs.

 

CONCERNS AT REDEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR ST LEGER AREA BY BRC

CAMERON MANA expresses his concerns about a car park development planned by the BRC and needs your support:

 THE Brisbane Racing Club has submitted a development application for the redevelopment of the St Leger stand.

As part of the application, the BRC proposes to replace the apron and some of the grass in front of the St Leger stand with car parking.

The BRC bangs on about its ‘world class facilities’ but I am shocked that the BRC thinks it is a good idea to remove a lovely piece of green space and place a new carpark immediately adjacent to the home straight, approximately 200 metres from the finishing post.

Notwithstanding the visual impact of having a carpark on the home straight, what happens when a car alarm or reversing beeper goes off as tired horses reach the end of their run on in a race or a trial and a jockey and or horse is injured? Will Mirvac and the BRC be held accountable by the courts for this foreseeable and preventable injury?

And if the plan is to close the carpark during times when the track is being used, the application fails to meet its requirement to provide car parking.

The application is impact assessable and open to public comment by 13 July on The Brisbane City Council development application website. Application number - A005947005

I have written to the Thoroughbred Owners’ Association and Jockeys’ Association pointing out my concerns re jockey and horse welfare - absolute crickets - not even an acknowledgement of receipt of my email.

I have lodged a submission with Council and encourage you to review the documentation and, if you share my concerns, to encourage your readers to contact the BRC and share their views.

Thank you for taking the time to read my correspondence.

 

NO SCHOOL HOLIDAY FUNDS FOR THOSE RELYING ON ‘WALLY WORLD’ 

LONG-SUFFERING mum and dad punters relying on ‘Wally World’ to boost their school holiday bank balances were left badly let-down at the weekend.

It’s hard to believe but the champion trainer Chris Waller had 24 starters at five tracks and failed to saddle up a single winner.

Crack out the tissues and lower the flags to half-mast in Sydney where Sir Cryalot has been so dominating in recent weeks. None of his 10 runners was capable of winning at Randwick leaving the ‘Waller, Waller, Waller’ Cheer Squad speechless.

The narcs – and LGHR would never be one of them – might say there was quiet justice in his failure to win the South Grafton or Rockhampton Cups where the best he could do was a second and a third.

Who would have thought that Bullfinch, a recent dual Eagle Farm winner or stablemate Kubrick, narrowly beaten in the Listed Wayne Wilson, could not figure in the finish of the Rocky Cup?

Bullfinch ran favourite but had to be content with third behind the all-conquering local star Master Jamie while Kubrick ran an inglorious 11th and we can’t tell you if there were any excuses because as of first thing Monday the Stewards’ Report had not been posted.

Waller tried gang-tackling the South Grafton Cup on Sunday, where the first two qualified for the $2 million The Big Dance at Randwick on Melbourne Cup day. He originally had six acceptors but that number was halved by post-time after strong criticism from country stables.

The Gai Waterhouse-Adrian Bott-trained Surf Dancer controlled the pace, with Winona Costin in the saddle, which did not suit the Waller favourite Wicklow (4th). But it wasn’t all bad news with stablemate Solar Apex finishing second and sealing a Big Dance berth.

It was one of those days at Randwick where none of Waller’s 10 runners arguably ever looked like saluting. It was better news for his seven starters at Doomben with roughies Zing and She’s the Gift filling the minor placings behind Tycoon Evie in the G3 Pam O’Neill Stakes.

It’s hard to imagine Waller not winning one race from 24 starters at five tracks. But no doubt the clichés would have been rolled out by his spin doctors – a week can be a long time in racing (there’s the two big days at Grafton during the week before we even get to next Saturday) and the best of all, good things come to he who waits.

 

SCRATCHINGS SEE THE BIG DANCE QUALIFIER REDUCED TO A FARCE

THE qualifier for the $2 million The Big Dance turned into a ‘big fizz’ when the South Grafton Cup was so decimated by scratchings that it was five short of a full field.

There was much debate about the country horses that missed a start when the field of 20 (including four emergencies) was declared with the majority from city stables, six of those for Chris Waller.

Under fire for breaking his policy of mostly staying clear of country racing but making an exception because this was a Big Dance qualifier, Waller wound up scratching three that were badly drawn. At the end of the day he played second-fiddle to the Waterhouse-Bott winner Surf Dancer.

But it didn’t halt the criticism of the champion trainer, especially from his country colleagues who accuse him of gang-tackling any race on the east coast where there is half decent prizemoney. They are calling for numbers in big stables to be capped but believe there is no chance of that happening in Racing NSW believing he has too much influence there.        

 

STABLE FLYING UNDER THE RADAR & NETTING PLENTY OF WINNERS

IF someone asked you to name the most successful trainer at the Rockhampton carnival and south-east Queensland at the weekend, including remnants of the Winter Carnival at Doomben, who would your answer be?

It certainly wasn’t Chris Waller (he didn’t have a winner Australia-wide) or Tony Gollan who had 19 starters, no winners from eight at Doomben but 3 from 11 at the two-day Cup carnival in Rockhampton.

It was, in fact, Mark Currie who tends to steer clear of the publicity spotlight and fly under the radar, apart from his continued domination at many of the meetings at his home base of Clifford Park in Toowoomba.

Currie had a landmark weekend with eight winners at five tracks. He started with a double at Rocky on Newmarket day, then winners at Doomben, Esk and a treble at Toowoomba on Saturday, followed by success on protest at the Sunshine Coast Poly on Sunday.

It was a terrific training effort – up there with the best stables in the country – and deserves some coverage in the mainstream racing media.

 

 

IT’S THE BIG DANCE & IT’S ALL ONE-WAY TRAFFIC FOR ‘SIR CRYALOT’ 

COUNTRY trainers have expressed their anger at the increased presence of Sydney invaders in Sunday’s South Grafton Cup, especially the gang tackling by the powerful Chris Waller stable.

With the first two home in the $80,000 feature qualifying for the $2 million The Big Dance at Randwick on November 1, 12 of the 20 final acceptors are from Sydney stables, with six of those representing Waller.

Full marks to Mitch Cohen of Racenet for having the courage to pen an article where country trainers were critical of the greed of the Waller stable but a gutless Racing NSW refused to comment on. No doubt young Mitch will be given a stern talking to by ‘Razor’ Thomas, ‘Wally World’s’ spin doctor.

Whether it is good or bad for racing that The Big Dance has ensured the South Grafton Cup is the strongest ever is debatable but it highlights significant challenges faced by country stables with a record of more than 50 nominations received for the qualifier.

In his Racenet article Cohen rightly stressed that metropolitan stables are well within their rights to have runners in such races. But he pointed out that the trickle-down effect of city horses raiding country loot was coming at a cost according to country trainers.

One trainer told News Corp: “I don’t think they want us in the bush” while social media also erupted labelling the final field ‘a joke’, ‘a disgrace’ and ‘farcical’.

Port Macquarie conditioner Marc Quinn’s stable was one impacted by the massive city interest. His Cup hopeful Optimo was balloted out of a run in the race. He told Racenet: “The country trainers just get swept aside. This used to be a race for the country trainers, now it’s part of The Big Dance and that’s put an end to that.

“All the big stables are only playing by the rules that Racing NSW have laid out but if I look at 10 years ago when I won the Port Macquarie Cup, my horses now wouldn't even get a start in it.”

To put things into perspective, last year’s South Grafton Cup was won by the Bob Milligan-trained Texas Storm and took place without a single runner from a city stable in the field.

Racenet reported that the Waller yard has come under the most criticism for sending such a strong team to the Cup for this year’s race. Some have made reference to Waller’s past quotes where he stated ‘we do try to stay away’ from sending horses to the country.

In fairness to his stable it is rarely present at country meetings, with the exclusion of some Showcase days, but the Big Dance’s introduction has changed the landscape. Stables like Waller’s must now target specific Country events or forgo contending for The Big Dance at all. They too have owners who want to see their horses run in The Big Dance, which takes place on the biggest day in Australian racing for a substantial prize.

“We are not trying to upset anyone by any stretch of the imagination but the hardest part is that there is only one way into The Big Dance,” Waller’s stable representative Charlie Duckworth said. “There are horses and their owners that may only get one opportunity to race for $2mn, and you have to run those horses where you think they can win or run second to gain entry into the race.”

Some trainers have suggested putting a cap on how many runners a stable can have in each qualifier. However race guidelines for The Big Dance aren’t expected to be reviewed until after the first running of the race.

Race conditions of this year’s South Grafton Cup also see country trainers further disadvantaged against city quality horses. As a Quality event, the weight scale allows city horses to get in well below their regular country impost.

Racenet credits increased turnover and taxes as ‘a driving factor behind growth in NSW racing.’ And with some of Australian racing’s biggest names present at Grafton on Sunday, turnover is expected to be significantly boosted across the meeting.

Country racing has been the beneficiary of such financial growth with the introduction of races like the Country Championships, Kosciuszko and weekly Highway events.

The Waller stable argues it is only trying to qualify horses for The Big Dance. But such is his firepower that every time there is a big prizemoney race at stake you can just about guarantee he will gang tackle it.

In the Group 3 Pam O’Neill at Doomben on Saturday Waller has four starters spearheaded by Easifar and Seleque. His horses will even venture as far afield as Rockhampton to contest the Cup (on Saturday) where he has the favourites Bullfinch and Kubrick engaged in the $150,000 event.

To be fair the Tony Gollan stable has a far stronger presence in Rockhampton on Cup day with favourites in four of the seven support events to the Cup where surprisingly he does not have a starter.

Any suggestion that Waller should be restricted by the numbers he can have in these qualifiers for The Big Dance will no doubt be silenced by Racing NSW, adding to the argument that he has too much start in that State.

The solution is to follow the Hong Kong lead and limit the number of horses the big stables can train but of course that would be regarded as a restriction of trade and there is no chance of it happening. So racing fans, get used to the Waller domination, the form reversals, the hot favourites getting beaten of a Saturday and the second strings beating the more fancied stable runners – and the multitude of accepted excuses – that’s ‘WALLY WORLD’.     

 

IT SEEMS ILLOGICAL TO TRANSFER A MEETING TO POLY FIVE DAYS AHEAD

CAN you believe that five days out from a meeting on the Sunshine Coast it would be transferred to the Poly track?

Not a chance that it might dry out sufficiently with little or no rain forecast – this has to be a first even for racing in Queensland.

Sunday’s Sunshine Coast meeting was transferred to the despised Poly track on Wednesday after an early morning inspection by QRIC Stewards.

They decided that even clear skies and brilliant sunshine in the interim would not provide a turf track that was safe for racing. They claim the Corbould Park track has not recovered from the big Cup meeting run last Saturday.

If a major turf track in south-east Queensland cannot dry out within a week then authorities have a problem on their hands. The question posed by Archie Butterfly on his website, www.peterprofit.com, was plausible: “Do we have another Ipswich on our hands here.

“What the hell is going on with all these supposedly top class tracks in south-east Queensland with the industry spending tens of millions of dollars a year on them? Yet a two cent track like Dingo races and recovers better.”

That just doesn’t sound or smell right. It’s time to call in some independent experts to conduct a forensic inquiry to find out why the industry is flushing all this money down the drain every time it rains.”

The industry deserves answers. It’s time the desk jockeys (or the politicians) got off their plush four-wheeled leather mounts and provided some.”

We’ve seen tens of millions allocated by the Government and Racing Queensland to get the Eagle Farm track right while the Brisbane Racing Club wastes their money on employing security guards to ensure TV crews don’t film the eviction of trainer Danny Bougoure from his on-course stabling.

Now with racing in Queensland under siege from corporate bookmaker industrial action in protest at the POC Tax increases, we have turnover again being slashed by the transfer of a meeting to the Poly track, where punters don’t want to bet, five days before it is due to be run.

It’s time the politicians got off their behinds and started to ask a few questions about the decision-making of the half million dollar man, RQ CEO Brendan Parnell and his team; the QRIC ‘Comish’ of his stewards; and especially of Amazing Grace, the Minister.

Many racegoers and observers believe the LNP are too close to their ‘silver tail’ mates at the BRC and while these ‘goat riding’ boofheads sit back and do nothing, photos are circulating of the Head Honchos of the major club with their snouts in the trough on a big day at the Farm socialising with the Premier and her Racing Minister.

Go figure!

 

‘WALLY WORLD’ FOCUSES ON GANG TACKLES AT DOOMBEN & GRAFTON

THE good news from our ‘WALLY WORLD’ preview this week is that in the ‘gang tackle’ of the G3 Pam O’Neill at Doomben the stable has booked Michael Cahill for a prime comeback ride on EASIFAR.

Cahill, who has been sidelined since last year from career-threatening injuries, came make a successful return with Easifar boasting strong Sydney form-lines and the most fancied of the Waller team that includes Seleque, She’s the Gift and Zing.

Waller’s two best chances at Randwick appear to be And We Danced, $4 to $3.3 favourite for Race 3 and Tinnie Winnie $6-$4.5 to test top fancies Nothinsweetaboutme and Le Chevalee in Race 4. He has upset hopes in Race 6, 8 & 9 in Fastconi, Irish Angel and Oscar Zulu.    

And We Danced is the one that looks the likely winner – sadly those are the Waller runners that so often perform badly of a Saturday. Tinnie Winnie, back onto a Heavy track, looks his best VALUE chance for ours. We think his best BOLTER is True Detective a second-string in Race 8 where he will also saddle up Oscar Zulu and New Arrangement.  

One of the highlights for ‘Wally World’ this weekend may well be the $80,000 South Grafton where the stable has six runners (Francesco Guardi, Mubariz, Lord Ardmore, Wairere Falls, Solar Apex & Wicklolw).

This is a qualifier for the where the first two home will secure a start in the $2 million Big Dance in Sydney on Melbourne Cup day. So no doubt Waller will be ‘gang tackling’ these races in the lead-up so don’t be surprised if he winds up with half the field in that new race.

 

WONDERFUL ARTICLE BY MATT STEWART ON SA JUMPS RACING BAN  

LGHR reproduces this article by one of our favourite turf scribes, Matt Stewart of RSN, concerning the Government ban on jumps racing in South Australia because it saves us expressing how we feel about this ‘crow eater’ fiasco. It reads:

ON the Western Highway, the SA border with Victoria is defined by an easily-missed signpost west of Nhill.

For the sport of jumps racing, the invisible line that splits the states couldn’t be more starkly defined – death on one side, prosperity the other.

SA and Victoria were once linked by rich jumps history. The Adelaide Hills had ancient Oakbank and we had ‘The Bool‘, each entrenched as the other.

This week the SA Labor Government officially abolished jumps racing in the state following Racing SA’s controversial decision some months ago to suspend it.

Rearguard action included a bid to overthrow the anti-jumps board of the Oakbank Racing Club that failed, although the club faces on-going accusations of impropriety over the voting process in the ballot to get rid of it.

Lack of participation – as in a mere handful of jumps trainers and horses – was Racing SA’s rationale for pulling the plug, an action felt most crushingly at Oakbank where for over a century the Easter carnival had been least as the equal of Warrnambool in May.

They raced at Oakbank this Easter, a ghost meeting with no Great Eastern or Von Doussa, just flat horses, sprinters mainly. Hardly anyone turned up, including most of the officials who’d signed off on it.

Record crowds flocked to Warrnambool a few weeks later. The jumps races were extraordinary; tight, gruelling finishes and not one fatality.

The clean sheet was consistent with a remarkable turnaround in falls, injuries and fatalities from 2009 when a horror spate led Racing Victoria to suspend it. The decision was made in the steward’s room on the final day of the three-day May carnival, where a number of horses had perished.

Salvage efforts in SA have not surprisingly run out of steam but in 2009 RV granted a last-minute reprieve amid passionate backlash that included a union-like rally at RV’s front door where speakers addressed the crowd as anti-jumps protesters faced off on the other side of the fence.

KPI’s were set to a time-line.

New, safer jumps were introduced, jockeys were ordered not to fog tired horses, jumps candidates were more strictly schooled and supervised, fatalities plummeted and jumps became trendy.

As Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace, Symon Wilde, Gai Waterhouse, Patrick Payne and others increased their teams as new owners leapt on board, all competing for ever-increasing stake money and guarantees of years of certainty, SA had nose-dived.

Participation levels had dropped to a trickle, Racing SA’s key ammunition in ditching it.

Jump supporters claimed Racing SA deliberately starved the jumps and failed to factor-in the dire impact on participation of two years of Covid.

Around 20 SA trainers claimed they’d have raced jumpers had Racing SA provided assurances and adequate infrastructure.

But it’s a moot point. Across the border, it’s game over.

There are fears that the increased Greens presence both parliaments could put racing, in general, under greater scrutiny. Many believe two-year-old racing will be the next target.

It was the Greens who pushed for the SA jumps ban information provided by the RSPCA is parroted by the Greens, who claimed that jumps racing had “fallen out of favour” with society.

Nick Rule, the former chairman of the Warrnambool Racing Club and a senior jumps administrator, told Racing Pulse on Thursday that the Greens’ figures regarding falls and injuries had been exaggerated.

In a statement of support for jumps racing, Racing Victoria today said there had been “inaccurate statistics in the public domain.”

Rule said the Greens’ stats relating to the three months leading up to June were wrong and RV pointed out that the “inaccurate statistics … ignore the fact that since the introduction of new One-Fit hurdles in 2021, Victorian jumps racing recorded its lowest fall rate in history last season with a 66% reduction on the 10-year average.”

Rule said the Greens’ anti-racing agenda would filter across the border to Victoria but the strength and relative popularity of jumps, and traditionally strong support from the Labour government, should protect it. In its recent Green Paper, RV provided a minimal 10-year assurance of support for the jumps.

Rule was disappointed that Racing SA had “not gone on the front foot and tried to defend their position,” saying Racing SA should have strongly insisted its position against jumps racing was economic and not relating to animal welfare and Greens pressure.

Maybe they should put a second sign out there west of Nhill. “Welcome to South Australia, where jumps racing came to die.”

     

 

MORE ‘WHINGES’ ABOUT TREATMENT OF BOUGOURE THAN ANY OTHER

WE can’t recall a controversial issue that has caused as much feedback to the WEDNESDAY WHINGE as the eviction of popular Group One winning trainer Danny Bougoure from his stables at Eagle Farm.

Such has been the response that LGHR has devoted an entire column today to this ‘injustice’ without even publishing those criticisms of the Brisbane Racing Club that we regarded too risky from a legal viewpoint.

There was not one positive response supporting the BRC action in the Bougoure case and a couple of those who sent us emails were Eagle Farm-based trainers asking to remain anonymous because they fear being evicted as well for criticizing the premier club.

Here are some examples of what people had to say about the Bougoure eviction and the stance taken over the last 12 months by the hierarchy at the BRC:

 

‘WHEN YOU CAN’T CONTROL THE MEDIA CALL IN THE STORM TROOPERS’

‘ISN’T it amazing when the BRC can’t control what is written like they have in the Murdoch Media for years, they have to employ security guards to keep cameras out of the track when Danny Bougoure is evicted.

As you would be aware many objective racing scribes have been silenced for daring to be critical of the BRC and before that the QTC. Some say those who toed the line and worked more as ‘spin doctors’ for the major clubs were rewarded with jobs in racing.

It is no secret that Bart Sinclair, whose behind-the-scenes activities as a racing journalist were the subject of much discussion during one of the many Racing Inquiries in Queensland, found a cushy job with the major club when he retired as Turf Editor of The Courier-Mail.

There are those who claim he has continued to have an influence over what was written since he left and that it was the kiss of death for any turf writer who got him off-side. His successor Nathan Exelby did such a good job that he has followed in Sinclair’s footsteps working for SKY and promoting Brisbane racing through a joint deal with the BRC.

Fortunately, whilst they might be able to control what is written in the Murdoch Media and Racenet (as many believe), there are TV and radio stations (especially the Ray Hadley Show on 4BC) that don’t wear the same blinkers where racing is concerned.

There are also those racing websites but as was the case with Archie Butterfly who became too critical of the BRC and some of their mates that court action saw him silenced. Our understanding is that shots were also fired over the bow of letsgohorseracing which you might like to confirm.

This control of the media has to stop and fortunately we have people like Hadley who it is much harder for power-drunk officials to silence. If there is a positive out of the Bougoure case, the image of the BRC in the eyes of the racing public is where it belongs – in the shithouse.’

EDITOR’S NOTE: Having worked alongside Bart Sinclair during my years as a racing scribe I can confirm that it was ‘his way or the highway’. Anyone wanting to read the ‘real’ story of the Sinclair Years should acquire a copy of a speech made by then BTC director Peter Bredhauer to a national racing conference. It’s warts and all.

As for shots being fired over the LGHR bow, that is correct and it was a ‘Dickless Tracy’ from the Hendra Police branch who gave us a warning that if we continued to be critical of certain people or issues at the BRC we would wind up facing court action like Archie Butterfly. So much for Freedom of the Press or the ability to express objective criticism – only in Queensland!

 

DID TIMING OF BOUGOURE EVICTION MISFIRE IN HADLEY’S ABSENCE?

‘PERHAPS the eviction of Danny Bougoure was timed – as some believe – to coincide with the absence of holidaying Ray Hadley from The Morning Show on 4BC.

One can understand how racing in Queensland and specifically the Brisbane Racing Club cannot afford to have Hadley telling his huge audience the side of the ‘injustice’ to Bougoure that you won’t read much of in the major daily rags.

But the timing may have backfired with Mark Levy, standing in for Hadley, providing just as much information and proving equally critical.

In case you missed what Levy had to say on Wednesday morning it went something like this:

“I have been contacted by several trainers who have watched this (Bougoure eviction) unfold. One, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of probably being barred as well if his identity was known, wrote me a letter saying this:

‘Can you believe these grubs at the BRC had security guards at Eagle Farm this morning to stop the media coming onto the track to film Danny’s eviction?’

Levy commented: ‘If they have nothing to hide why are they stopping the media from highlighting what is happening to a good, honest bloke  just trying to do his job as a horse trainer. It is unbelievable.

“The BRC has rubbed plenty of people the wrong way with this injustice and instead of owning up to their mistake have dug a bigger hole for themselves.”

 

WOULD THIS EVICTION HAVE OCCURRED IN HALCYON DAYS OF QTC?

“MY friends and I have been members of the QTC and BRC for years. The question we are asking is: ‘Would the directors of the old guard at Eagle Farm allowed this to have happened or is this, as has been alleged, a personal issue between BRC Chairman Neville Bell and the Danny Bougoure stable?’

One wonders if Mr Bell – as has been suggested by Ray Hadley – has overstepped his role and thinks he is an Executive Chairman. Should any action or warnings given to trainers based there about talking to the media been the responsibility of the CEO with the Chairman playing no active role in these eviction proceedings?

If this was purely a landlord v tenant dispute and the BRC believed that the Bougoure horses weren’t performing up to the standard required of a facility such as the newlook Eagle Farm, then why have they not taken similar action against trainers with statistics that are worse than those of Danny?

The fact that the BRC involved Queensland Racing Integrity Commission stewards by requiring them to advise Bougoure that he was being evicted on July 7, does that not open the door for QRIC to investigate circumstances involving the action taken and look into claims of ‘injustice’ by the trainer and some of his supporters?

It just seems that QRIC and Racing Queensland have stood by and allowed the BRC to walk all over a Group One winning trainer whose family have been an institution in the racing industry in Queensland for decades.”

 

DO ‘GOOD GUYS’ PLAY SECOND TO LOW-LIFES AT FARM THESE DAYS?

'ONE has to question the priorities of the Brisbane Racing Club these days in the light of the Danny Bougoure eviction.

Here you have a well-liked industry participant, described on the Ray Hadley Morning Show, as a good, honest bloke just trying to do his job as a horse trainer.

While he appears to have been treated like absolute crap, the Eagle Farm gates have been opened to some low-lifes, including one who has been to jail, should never been allowed on the track, but seems to regularly rub shoulders with prominent trainers and officials.

Then you have another one – who played a prominent role with the club for years – who we can’t identify and talk about because of serious charges that he is facing. There is also the club administrator who over-saw the eviction of Bougoure joining the BRC with plenty of skeletons in his own closet.

Going back some time we had a BRC directive that resulted in highly respected racing website pioneer Phil Purser ordered out of the enclosure while just trying to do his job covering Stradbroke Day. On the very same day con-man Peter Foster was in the saddling paddock before the big race standing beside one of the top chances that he didn’t even own.

Some of the things that anyone who has any connection with the racing industry in south-east Queensland hears every day would warrant another Commission of Inquiry. And we’re not even talking about the Bougoure case – the background to which certainly needs a lot more investigating than has already taken place.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: WE have so many ‘Whinges’ on this topic that it would fill a book. Hopefully those we have published above gets the general message across not to mention that feeling of disgust from not only the racing public but also trainers based at Eagle Farm itself.

Should anyone from the Brisbane Racing Club wish to have their say on the issue they are welcome to an unedited reply. They can even get one of their 'spin doctors' to write it.

 

CRITICS OF BOUGOURE EVICTION HIGHLIGHT STATS OF RIVAL TRAINERS

The looming eviction from Eagle Farm of popular G1 winning trainer Danny Bougoure has divided the industry and done little for the image of the BRC in the eyes of the racing public.

Trenton Akers reports for The Courier-Mail that the Gold Coast Turf Club will provide a new training base for Bougoure which should see his year-long dispute with the leading club draw to a close - or will it?

The BRC last year alerted Bougoure that they would not renew his training lease for the much-sought after boxes at Eagle Farm due to his on-track performance, with demand at an all-time high for more room.

Bougoure was offered alternative stables at Deagon by the BRC but he preferred a move to either the Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast and – according to the CM – the latter has granted him approval to work horses at their facility.

The CM also reports that a A GoFundMe page, set up by Bougoure’s partner Marybeth, has already raised $16,800, with a goal of reaching $60,000 to fight the situation, which they label an ‘injustice’, so the last may not have been heard of this controversial matter.

Here’s what a fellow trainer, who for obvious reasons did not wish to be identified, had to say on the issue to LGHR overnight:

‘Some of us who have watched this ordeal for Danny play out over the past year are not sure who should be blamed – the BRC for their arguable standover tactics, Racing Queensland for not intervening or QRIC for rubber-stamping the action taken by the club without investigating claims made by Ray Hadley on 4BC that there is more to this situation than meets the eye.

Let’s accept that Eagle Farm has set a performance-based benchmark for their supposed world-class training facility and that the Bougoure team does not meet that standard. If there are no ulterior motives to moving him out, then can they explain the following?

According to official statistics from his last 100 starters Bougoure has trained 11 winners. Here are the statistics of some other Eagle Farm-based trainers who have not suffered the same indignity of being evicted by the BRC:

Bruce Brown two winners from his last 100 starters; Rod Hurdley & Lindsay Gough 9 each; Desleigh Forster 10 (she has a worse performance than Bougoure but would they dare to evict her)? Brian Smith and Chris Meagher have 12 each.

The question being asked is: Who will move into the Bougoure stables and does that trainer have an association with a high profile BRC official? If that is the case should this matter not be the subject of some investigation on the basis of industry integrity.

One could even argue that Bougoure is ‘too good a trainer’ to be based out of Deagon where the statistics of winners to last 100 starters for some of those based there are woeful, but let’s not embarrass anyone.”

 

PENRITH PACEWAY TO BE REPLACED BY NEW NRL STADIUM

INTERESTING situation developing with the future of an historic paceway in Sydney's western suburbs hanging in the balance after Infrastructure NSW made the shock announcement it would move to compulsorily acquire the site for a new NRL stadium.

Jake McCallum reports for the Daily Telegraph that Infrastructure wrote to representatives of the Penrith Paceway on Monday to formally commence negotiations for the acquisition of the land for the new Penrith Panthers stadium development across the entirety of the site.

“The proposed area for the project has been researched at length and will unfortunately require the acquisition of the whole of the property owned and occupied by the Penrith District Agricultural Horticultural and Industrial Society,” a letter to the club by head of projects NSW Tom Gellibrand said on July 4.

"If an agreement is unable to be reached, Infrastructure NSW may commence the compulsory acquisition process. Infrastructure NSW will make a genuine attempt to acquire the property by means of private agreement with you for at least six months from the date of this letter."

Just 24 hours after contacting representatives behind the Penrith Paceway, which was established in 1964, Infrastructure NSW announced the "commercial negotiations" surrounding the site.

“The existing Penrith Stadium will continue to be available for the Penrith Panthers' 2023 NRL season, which provides certainty to the Penrith Panthers and its fans,” the statement said. “Following a six-week community consultation program, feedback from over 3,000 people provided a clear picture of what the new stadium needs to deliver.”

Food for thought as to whether the Queensland Government should be looking at making Albion Park a new home for a more successful sport than harness racing – or perhaps they will just wait and redevelop it as one of the main venues for the 2032 Olympics.

 

CURRIE HAPPY TO CALL HONG KONG HOME IN THE COMING SEASON

VICTORIAN jockey Luke Currie is happy to call Hong Kong home when the new season starts there in September.

One of 11 overseas riders to be granted a full season license by the HKJC, Currie said it came as a pleasant surprise. “I was hoping for 12 months but thought I may only get a six-month extension,” he said.

Little has gone right for Currie since he arrived in Hong Kong in January. A barrier trial fall sidelined him for over two months. Since then he has boosted his win tally to seven.

In the new season Currie hopes to be joined by his family in Hong Kong. He has spent the past six months alone but credits support from fellow Australians David Hayes, David Hall and former RV Chief Steward Terry Bailey.

Bailey was instrumental in luring Currie to Hong Kong as part of his role as Secretary of the Licensing Committee at the HKJC. “He was looking for someone to come over at the time," Currie explained.

“I don't think a lot wanted to come in the middle of a pandemic, which is understandable. He approached me about coming over and he's given me some sound advice and some good help. I really appreciate what he's done for me.”

Currie is excited about bringing his family back with him to Sha Tin ahead of the new racing season. “I look forward to being able to, next season, have my family here and be able to actually look around and do a few touristy things and have a bit more fun. I really enjoy the lifestyle, the racing a couple of days a week and how structured it is. It allows you to spend a lot more time at home and a lot more time with your family.”

 

RQ SUFFERS BUT PUNTERS BEING HURT MOST BY BOOKIES PROTEST

THOSE hurt most by last weekend’s protest from corporate bookmakers to the Point of Consumption Tax increase in Queensland were the punters.

Without signalling their intent to downgrade their service on the main meeting at the Sunshine Coast, corporates left many clients totally confused.

LGHR received numerous emails from punters along the lines of this one from GUNI LIEPINS of TOWNSVILLE which read:

‘What was the problem Sportsbet had with Queensland racing on Saturday? You had to continuously go looking for all the races be it thoroughbreds or trots.’

Wagering giants Sportsbet and Ladbrokes placed Saturday’s marquee Sunshine Coast Cup meeting last on their betting list, below the likes of Darwin, Roebourne and Murray Bridge, despite featuring three of the biggest races of the day anywhere in Australia.

On top of that, many corporates made the decision to scrap any promotions for the meeting, which resulted in a dramatic effect on turnover.

Archie Butterfly reports on his website, www.peterprofit.com that the bookies retaliatory assault protesting the 15 to 20 per cent POC tax hike immediately effected betting figures.

Archie posed the question: ‘How much would you guess betting on Queensland racing has dropped just through the early punch thrown by the bookies?’ His answer: More than 50 per cent ‘and they haven’t even started yet’.

The bottom line is: If punters stop betting on Queensland races, then RQ doesn’t earn a tax return and consequently doesn’t get any race field fee income. It means that interstate punters will stop betting on the product in the north as well.

Caught in the crossfire of the Government decision on POC Tax has been the ‘half million dollar man’, RQ CEO Brendan Parnell. His weak-kneed response to last weekend’s protest vote by the bookies was:

‘We have attempted to reason with the corporates by flagging potential changes to the race field fees when they come up for renewal next year.’

This is ‘too little, too late’ as Dean Shannon, CEO of Entain, owners of NEDS and Ladbrokes responded:

‘If Brendan Parnell expects to be treated as a partner, he would take action immediately to reduce the cost of Queensland product rather than just offer the prospect of change sometime down the track’.

It would seem that unless there is some sort of intervention the war has only began and the big losers will be not only the punters but also Queensland racing in general. The winners are those who say the corporates are ‘parasites’ and any damage to their profits is good news.

 

NEW CHIEF STEWARD INHERITS ‘POISON CHALICE’ BUT THINGS STAY SAME

MATT SANTORO has inherited the ‘poison chalice’ of new Chief Steward as part of a management restructure of Racing South Australia.

Little positive can be said about racing in ‘Crow-Eater country’ – many of the top names have abandoned SA racing, the main meeting of the week struggles to reach the standard of a second string fixture in NSW or Victoria; and the form is hard to follow.

Rarely a week goes by when a heavily-backed, strongly tipped favourite doesn’t perform well below market expectations. Last Saturday at Murray Bridge was no exception when the $1.60 chance Karacasu ran an unbelievable sixth.

The Richard & Chantelle Jolly-trained three-year-old looked a class above his rivals in the set weights event but was struggling on the turn and beaten over five lengths. Stewards, under new Chief Santoro, inquired into the performance and their report reads:

KARACASU (J. Toeroek): Laid in under pressure in the straight. Lost its off fore plate during the event. Rider explained that he had settled just behind midfield just as he had anticipated and that the gelding had travelled well in the early and middle stages of the event. However, when asked for an effort in the vicinity of the 500 metres, had not responded in its normal manner and had been disappointing to the finish. A post-race veterinary examination revealed no visible abnormalities.

One would have thought that the new Chairman, keen to stamp his early authority, would have at least ordered Karacasu to trial to the satisfaction of stewards before racing again. He didn’t. It seems the more things change in South Australian racing, the more they stay the same.   

 

WILL LAST ONE TO LEAVE ‘THE CREEK’ PLEASE TURN THE LIGHTS OUT?

ONCE again with the help of ARCHIE BUTTERFLY and his subscriber-only site, www.peterprofit.com, we’ve reproduced a story illustrating just how bad harness racing is travelling at Albion Park, which reads:

‘THESE hush-hushers who run the Albion Park Harness Racing Club have got to be kidding, haven’t they?

Two-tenths of fuck-all members of the public go to the trots anymore, and I know that for a fact because 1/10th of the attendees are three of my mates.

In Queensland harness racing is losing $5 million a year – every year.

Until it sold its soul and the rights to the track, the Albion Park Club was losing about a million a year and was in diabolical trouble.

So it signed on a dotted line to say: ‘Here Racing Queensland, it’s all yours’, and got $1.5 million in return, and then immediately raced out and spent a big chunk of it on building a private bar, restaurant and night club for the VIP’s like the rednut bloke and whatsername the swimmer, who get paid to turn up for photo shoots and hosting gigs at the track, but wouldn’t otherwise be seen dead there unless it involved a big sling.

To put it plain, the club has SFA cash, a plush invitee-only bar, and a paying audience of about three.

So what does it do?

Runs out and spends tens of thousands of dollars on hiring a plush invitee bar in the city and putting on flash free food and grog for people who would in the main come to the track three times a year max.

Brilliant!

They are geniuses this crew.

It must have been a blood good night though, for eight hours after the barrier draw for the big race they were there to celebrate and they still hadn’t posted the draws.

Long live self-indulgent incompetence.

And God help the trots.  

 

 

HAD THE ROLES BEEN REVERSED, WOULD STEWARDS HAVE IMPOSED THE SAME PENALTIES? IT’S CERTAINLY FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

WHEN it comes to profile and performance jockeys Brett Prebble and Blaike McDougall are poles apart.

One has competed with the world’s best on the international stage in Hong Kong and the other is working hard to make a successful transition from bush champion to matching motors with the best in Victoria.

Both broke the Rules in the Banjo Paterson Series Final at Flemington on Saturday – one arguably had the book thrown at him while the other escaped with a slap on the wrist.

It prompted a keen racing follower from NSW to send this email to the LGHR WHINGE:

“I won’t bag the Victorian stewards for their decision to uphold the protest but I think it could have gone either way, especially as the two horses never touched.

‘The question I want to ask is this: ‘Had the roles been reversed with Prebble the rider of Mimi’s Award and McDougall on Monbaher, do you think it would have been the same outcome?

‘But more to the point would McDougall have got a simple warning had he leaned across and slapped Prebble on the back. Be it in jest or not, I believe stewards would have made an example of him.’  

The interesting aspect of the protest from our viewpoint at LGHR is that neither Prebble nor trainer Matt Cumani intended to protest until they were urged to do so by the part-owner of Monbaher, Walter Alteri, planted the seed post-race.

Mimi's Award sustained a strong gallop to fend off Monbaher by a half-head but laid out steadily in the run to the line. Stewards ruled that the wayward mare shifted seven horse widths across the track and ultimately denied Monbaher from winning outright.

Prebble, who successfully argued the interference was greater than the margin, credited Alteri with prompting him to consider a protest. "I actually didn't feel the interference out there and the owner said to me, ‘Are you going to protest?' “He didn't touch me really as such, but he just kept taking me off my course.”

That makes the penalty imposed on McDougall of 12 meetings arguably excessive. It also raises questions whether Prebble should have been suspended for deliberately coming into contact with another jockey just past the post which is a breach of the Rules.

Despite the jocks chuckling over the incident, the stewards watched a replay which showed that after duelling in the straight – and being taken off his line – Prebble gave McDougall the prod as their respective mounts Monbaher and Mimi's Award slowed down.

“It's a good rivalry this time of year. It's a bit of a slog,” Prebble said after being awarded the race on protest due to interference in the closing stages of the 2600m race. “I just got back from holidays and had to do it pretty tough to make the weight.”

Stewards inquired into why Prebble made contact with his left hand to the back of McDougall after the line and took evidence from both jockeys. Their report reads:

“After viewing the patrol vision and taking into account the circumstances, stewards notified Brett Prebble that they were satisfied his gesture towards Blaike McDougall had no malice but notified him that he must refrain from making such gestures in similar circumstances in future.”

So there you have it: McDougall not only lost the race in the Stewards’ room on a decision that could have gone either way (there have been worse incidents of interference that have seen protests dismissed) but he also copped a 12 meeting suspension. Prebble won the race on protest, broke the Rules and walked away with no penalty for his indiscretion.

As one wise head suggested to LGHR:

‘The Lion and the Tin Man were in play with Prebble past the post. It always pays to look the other way. That’s how they like it.’

Perhaps that’s where the Scarecrow took his queue!

  

WALLER STILL MANAGED A FAVORITE FLOP & SECOND-STRING WINNER

ONLY half the card was decided at Rosehill on Saturday before stewards called the meeting off but that didn’t stop the powerful Chris Waller stable from saddling up a heavily-backed favourite that performed like a mule and a second-string stablemate that was successful.

It all happened in the one race – the Fujitsu General Handicap – which saw Yggdrasil (well backed into $5.5) salute after the track had been downgraded to a Heavy 10 and stablemate Black Queen (the $3F) gone on the home turn beating only one home and finishing 15 lengths behind the winner.

Waller wasn’t on course at Rosehill but his ‘main man in the media’ ‘Razor’ Thomas was there to publish the usual alibis. Stable foreman Charlie Duckworth told him Yggdrasil was clearly a superior mudlark.

"Yggdrasil relishes the wet,'' Duckworth said (reaffirming that this bloke’s a real rocket scientist when it comes to racing observation). "She is only lowly rated but we thought with the small field we should have a throw at the stumps.''

Duckworth told Thomas that Black Queen had ‘lost her turn of foot in the incredibly heavy conditions’. “A couple of jockeys went into the stewards’ room after race three and questioned whether we should be racing so that tells you how heavy the track is today.”

Yggdrasil, named after a heavy metal band, had won only a Scone Maiden from her previous 11 starts. Interestingly, Black Queen had previously started three times in Heavy conditions for a win and a third. As they say in Sydney racing these days, it was probably one of those different ‘heavy’ tracks that cause horses to lose a leg or two.

The Stewards’ Report read:

BLACK QUEEN: Rider K. McEvoy reported that the mare failed to handle today’s Heavy (10) track conditions. A post-race veterinary examination did not reveal any abnormalities.

Stewards advised ‘Sir Cryalot’ to report back on the post-race condition of the mare in subsequent days.

Just another day at the track for long-suffering Sydney punters – the more things change, the more they stay the same.

 

ABYSMAL STEWARDS’ REACTION TO OVER-USE OF WHIP AT NEWCASTLE

THE moment the Rosehill meeting was abandoned SKY Channel immediately upgraded the second -ate Newcastle meeting to primary coverage.

That enabled viewers to watch one of the most disgraceful examples of over-use of the whip seen on a track in Australia for months.

Rather than provide you with what we saw, here’s Archie Butterfly’s version as published on Sunday on his subscriber-only website, www.peterprofit.com (it’s the best racing read in the country):

IF Aaron Bullock isn’t the luckiest jockey in Australia today, then I don’t know who is. And if Unforgiven isn’t the sorest horse in the land this morning, then the other one must have the toothache from hell.

Count how many times Bullock hits this horse with the whip – the answer is 25. 14 of the strikes are in consecutive strides inside the 100m mark. 10 strikes were prior to the 100m mark. Many were delivered with the arm raised above shoulder height.

The whole point of the introduction of the whip rule was to prevent this type of return to the old days of Dittman when riders used to bash their mounts to the line, by punishing any repetition of it so heavily that riders would be forced to change their ways, and not ride in this manner any more.

Sadly the intent seems to have failed.

Aaron Bullock should have been charged with using his whip in an excessive, unnecessary or improper manner. It was a clear case, the shining example of a rider doing at least two, and probably all three.

Instead he merely got charged with using his whip more than five times prior to the 100m mark.

As he used it 10 – five more than permitted – the Stewards should have penalised him hard.

They didn’t.

All Bullock got was a $200 fine.

It’s a farce!

The STEWARDS REPORT read

UNFORGIVEN: Prior to the declaration of correct weight it was identified that A Bullock, rider of the first placed Unforgiven, had used his whip on 10 occasions prior to the 100m (five more than permitted by the Rule). When Stewards could not be comfortably satisfied that Unforgiven had gained an advantage that resulted in it finishing in first place, in accordance with AR221(2) they declined to exercise their powers under AR132(10) and did not proceed with a formal protest. At a subsequent inquiry A Bullock pleaded guilty to a charge under AR132(7)(a)(ii) in that he used his whip on 10 occasions prior to the 100m (five more prior than permitted by the rule). A Bullock was fined $200. In assessing penalty, Stewards were mindful that this was A Bullock’s first breach of the rule since November 2017.

WITH all due respects, it’s bordering on incompetence to suggest that ‘stewards could not be comfortably satisfied that Unforgiven had gained an advantage that resulted in it finishing in first place’. The horse fell in after the jockey disgustingly flogged it and beat the favorite in the process, costing punters a certain win.

 

WET WEATHER HEADACHE BUT ASSESSING WALLER RUNNERS A NIGHTMARE

IF the wet weather watch wasn’t headache enough, trying to assess the form of the multiple Waller runners makes the Rosehill meeting an absolute nightmare for punters.

The prospect of heavy rain and a track downgrade is even more daunting for those looking to bet at the final Winter Carnival meeting in Queensland – Sunshine Coast Cup Day.

The safer option might be Finals Day at Flemington, a track that traditionally throws up big price winners, but it’s a dry deck and the form might be easier to follow.

SUNSHINE COAST

IF there’s a sentimental bet on the card it has to be the Danny Bougoure-trained INDISCREETLY to upstage the heavily-backed favourite Battleton in the Listed Winx Guineas.

QRIC stewards contacted Bougoure this week advising that Matt Rudolph of the Brisbane Racing Club had told them his permission to train at Eagle Farm had been withdrawn from July 7.

This is viewed by the majority as disgraceful treatment of a famous family in Queensland racing and for whatever reason (the official one is his horses aren’t performing well enough) and the other (according to Ray Hadley on 4BC, alleged payback for the removal of horses owned by a high profile Bougoure client from a spelling farm operated by the Club chairman).

With all due respects to the Sunshine Coast’s big day racing at Flemington steals the spotlight this weekend where our specials are ROCK UP & CARDINAL GEM look the BEST BETS in RACES 5 & 9.

 

WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM 'WALLY WORLD' AT RANDWICK ON SATURDAY?

THE Chris WALLER stable has dominated Sydney racing the past two Saturdays and again have massive numbers engaged. He has favourites BLACK QUEEN (R4), KALINO (R6), NAVAL SEAL (R8) & WICKLOW (R9). Be wary here as WICKLOW is also engaged in R8 – surely punters are entitled to know by now which race dual acceptors are going to contest.   

For those who want to punt his runners the pattern is normally that a well tipped and backed runner goes like a mule; a second string upstages a more fancied stable runner; and more often than not a form reversal is on the cards.

Using that blueprint we think the best chance of his four favourites is BLACK QUEEN but bear in mind we find him impossible to follow. One of his roughies, RUBAMOS, has firmed from $21 to $12 in the last where the O’Shea-trained WAIHAHA FALLS is the favourite.

We thought the best WALLER value chance might emerge from Race 6 where he has SUR LA MER $5 & STEEL DIAMOND $7 opposed to the favourites RIDUNA & PER INAWAY.

WALLER has a strong hand at FLEMINGTON as well with IL AFFARE & SELBUROSE backed to win the Leilani Series Final (R1); BELLE ROUGE scratched from Randwick to contest the Rivette Final (R3) & THALASSOPHILE in the Silver Bowl Final (R9).

At the SUNSHINE COAST, bookies are keeping Waller newcomer BENTAYGA safe in R1. With all the stayers he has we were amazed Wally World couldn’t find a starter for the Caloundra Cup. He has KUBRICK $10, BLONDEAU $13 & BULLFINCH $21-$11 in the Glasshouse – KUBRICK has the best form-line but don’t be surprised if BLONDEAU despite his suicidal draw & finishing with the cab-catchers at Eagle Farm last Saturday doesn’t turn in a kingsize form reversal. He had no luck in the Healy.

 

GREG RUDOLPH MOVED IN MANAGEMENT RESTRUCTURE OF RACING SA

GREG RUDOLPH, caught in the crossfire after the damning Federal Court case involving his time as CEO with the Hawkesbury Race Club, is involved in the revolving door movement at Racing South Australia.

A management restructure has seen Matt Santoro appointed the new Chief Steward in SA. He was the former deputy to Johan Petzer who remains the General Manager of Integrity with a reduced role on race days.

 As part of a broader revamp, Rudolph will transition from his position as a senior steward and become racing operations manager. This comes in the wake of the Federal Court decision that was scathing of his behaviour when CEO at Hawkesbury Race Club where the Judge ruled that his "sustained bullying" had " effectively destroyed (the) life" of long-time sponsorship manager Vivienne Leggett.

The club was ordered to pay just over $2.8 million in compensation and legal fees in a case that had dragged on for years and only reached a conclusion in early June.

 

BELIEVE IT OR NOT - THE TOMMY DRUMS ARE BEATING SNAKE VENOM’

DECADES back it was Elephant Juice, years later Cobalt and now the Tommy Drums are beating Snake Venom.

All three supposedly improve the performance of racehorses by lengths.

Now we at LGHR would be the last to suggest OR believe that the success being enjoyed by some stables can be attributed to Snake Venom – the supposed juice that can’t be swabbed.

With all the ‘spy camera’ footage and other surveillance available to stewards these days only a dumb trainer would treat his horses with an illegal substance – and the fingers are being pointed at some who are smarter than that.

Let’s just hope in one big state that the stewards are still ‘fence jumping’ and ‘monitoring stable CCTV footage’ because such is the seriousness of these ‘rumours’ that all the stakes increases in the world won’t improve the image of their product in the eyes of the punting public.

 

TIME FOR NEW PM TO PUT ANTI-RACING GREENS BACK IN THEIR BOX

OUR new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese might not be a ‘racing man’ but he needs to take a blow torch to the moves by the Greens to destroy an industry that employs so many and ploughs so much money into the economy.

PETER ROLFE reports in the HERALD-SUN that hopes of the Caulfield Cup being staged in front of a capacity crowd for the first time in three years have been placed in jeopardy by a Greens-led Council protest vote.

Glen Eira Council was this week expected to rubber stamp plans to build a new deck and events space at Caulfield to be enjoyed by up to 10,000 general admission racegoers.

But Melbourne Racing Club chiefs now fear hopes of crowds of up to 30,000 returning this October will be scratched.

The deck and fan zone, already approved by Heritage Victoria, the State Government and Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Trust, is at an advanced state of construction.

But MRC executive property director Alex Dobson said the decision by “certain councillors’’ to vote against it threatened fan numbers at the first major races of the spring carnival.

“The decision to oppose was not based on merit but based on ideology and risks the ability to have our first capacity crowd at the Caulfield Cup Carnival for three years.”

Former planning Minister Richard Wynne approved plans for the MRC to rebuild its event deck and lawn in December.

Works are nearing completion, with just asphalt and turf and services such as water and power to be added.

The last hurdle was for the council to approve incorporated documents of the plan, demonstrating the event space had been built in accordance with the permit approved by the Minister.

Councillors on Tuesday night voted 4-3 against approval, despite the Council’s own senior urban planner and Mayor Jim Magee recommending they be given the green light.

It means the event deck area, covering about 10,000sq m and accommodating between 8500 and 10,000 or 40 per cent of the Caulfield Carnival’s capacity, is unlikely to be finished in time for the October 15 Cup.

Former Greens Upper House politician Sue Pennicuik and Greens councillor David Zyngier were among councillors leading the protest vote.

Zyngier incorrectly quoted Spartacus when telling councillors it was “better to die on our feet than live on our knees’’ in the hope voting against the motion would send a message to the State Government.

Opposition racing spokesman Tim Bull said: “This appears to be nothing more than a typical Greens council anti-racing agenda. I would call on the council to reverse this decision and if they don't do it I support the Planning Minister calling it in and fixing it before spring,’’ he said.

The Government could intervene to approve the project or the racing club could take the matter to VCAT but the tribunal is unlikely to be able to act before the Carnival kicks off in October.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If these Green dickheads get their way there will be no racing in this country. It’s time for the new PM to stand up and be counted on this issue and to put these morons back in their box where they belong.

 

ARE THERE A SHADE TOO MANY COINCIDENCES IN THE MUNCE CASE?

LEGITIMATE questions are being asked by some of our readers in relation to the latest hurdle hit by high profile jockey-cum-trainer Chris Munce but don’t expect too many answers.

Whilst we aren’t prepared to publish a couple of contributions to the Wednesday Whinge because the latest case involving Munce and his son Corey has yet to be concluded, it is obvious that confusion reigns with some in racing.

CARL T of the GOLD COAST writes:

HAVE to agree with your mate Archie Butterfly (on peterprofit.com) that it seems a strange coincidence a near two-year Stewards’ Inquiry into alleged illegal treatment by trainer Chris Munce comes to light just four days after the conclusion of the Winter Carnival.

I guess we have to accept it’s also a coincidence that Munce has been charged with doping a mare, and that six of his seven winners during the current carnival were mares to, and as Archie pointed out, won races worth $130,000, $150,000 and $200,000, along with one that placed in a $700,000 Group 1 last Saturday.

My friends and I have been involved in racing in Queensland for a long time and we pose the same question as Archie: How did Munce get his license back after serving 30 months in jail for a racing-related crime? It has to be one of the greatest mysteries of the turf.

Just have a look at who first licensed Gerald Ryan when he returned to Australia after fleeing to Asia amid some terrible accusations (which he is still to confront) emanating from behind the scenes in his training career in Melbourne. It was, of course, Queensland Racing.

 

WHAT ODDS MUNCE ESCAPES LATEST HURDLE ON LEGAL TECHNICALITY?

AND this one from JEFF N of BRISBANE:

ANOTHER top trainer represented by the best racing lawyer in Queensland and what odds he gets off – probably that stewards were mistaken in what they thought they saw on stable CCTV footage?

You blokes at LGHR keep bagging the stewards but you should take a closer look at what happens just about every time there is a high profile inquiry.

The stewards try to do their jobs but are stymied by all these fancy ‘natural justice’ manoeuvres by smart lawyers which tend to confuse members of QCAT, especially those who are totally ignorant of ‘racing rules’. When are we going to get that promised new Appeals Panel?

Don’t think we are supportive of all the stewards operating in Queensland where some of the best in the world have been dispensed with over the years. Take the latest – Alan Reardon – was that his name we saw listed recently as a ‘club steward’ at a Gympie meeting.

We agree with the opinion of many that Peter Chadwick is the worst Chief Steward ever in racing in Queensland and should never have been appointed (that’s a story for another day).

Spare a thought for Daniel Aurisch, arguably the best on the QRIC panel, Isn’t it ironic that the moment the Chris Munce case emerges, Chadwick conveniently takes leave – probably just another coincidence or once he saw the Perry Mason of racing justice in Queensland was appearing did he throw Aurisch one of the best ‘hospital passes’ of all time?

 

AND finally this email from BETH H which was short and sweet:

‘PETER Chadwick is on a month’s leave – hopefully he’s job hunting’.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We couldn’t agree more.       

 

VIVIENNE LEGGETT, A LIFE DESTROYED BY RACING – in her OWN WORDS

JUSTHORSERACING recently interviewed VIVIENNE LEGGETT (photo courtesy of FAIRFAX MEDIA), the lady who won a Federal Court battle with the Hawkesbury Race Club over Workplace Laws which saw a Judge scathing of her treatment by Greg Rudolph, when he was an administrator there.

Justice Rares, in his decision on Leggett v Hawkesbury Race Club, stated:

‘In my opinion, the club’s conduct, through Mr Rudolph, effectively destroyed Mrs Leggett’s life.

She cannot work and, as the joint experts agreed, is permanently incapacitated from doing so because of Mr Rudolph’s conduct.

That conduct caused a very serious psychiatric illness that can never be cured.’

We reproduce the interview JHR interview undertaken by Adam Page which was published under the headline: VIVIEENE LEGGETT, A Life Destroyed By Racing, which reads:

TO the wider racing industry, the vast majority won’t know who Vivienne Leggett is and what she has done for racing, spanning three decades.

She was a very successful sponsorship manager of the Hawkesbury Race Club (HRC). She joined in 1991 and worked there for 26 years, with her hard work pumping significant money into the HRC.

That love, passion and dedication for her job came to a grinding halt in May 2016 when Greg Rudolph, a former Racing NSW deputy chairman of stewards, was appointed CEO. Fast forward five months and thanks to sustained bullying from Rudolph, Leggett was left with depression, fatigue, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

After the HRC ‘repudiated’ her contract, Leggett took her battle to the courts and after several years of fighting, the Federal Court ruled in the corner of Leggett, where the HRC was ordered to pay her a total of just over $2.8 Million. Full findings can be found here.

In an interview with Adam Page from Justhorseracing, Mrs Leggett details what she has been through over the past six years.

AP: Thanks for your time Vivienne. First of all, how are you?

VL: Well besides feeling broken from this almost six year ordeal, I feel all my emotions have been validated by the Federal Courts Honour’s judgement and orders set down recently.

AP: If I say the name Greg Rudolph, what comes to mind?

VL: Arrogant, anxiety, heart palpitations and disgust.

AP: That first meeting with him back in 2016…how long did it take you for realise what he was like?

VL: I knew straight away that he was a control freak as he very proudly told the admin staff this the first day he started. I thought at our first meeting that he was going to make my life difficult as he told me I was “a nothing”.

AP: How disappointed are you in the HRC for not being in your corner during the time of bullying?

VL: Extremely disappointed. Their actions or lack thereof made my condition far worse.

AP: Does Brian Fletcher have questions to answer, in your opinion?

VL: No I don’t think so, although he did recommend Greg Rudolph to the Board. But, the Board should have done there own due diligence before hiring him and maybe set some perimeters during his time on probation.

Our agreement we had in place was by handshake and mutually agreeable however the fact I did not have a contract in place gave Rudolph the idea that he could just bully and harass me because I had no formalised contract, but Justice Rares understood that I did have a contract in place for my 26 years as that’s how I was being paid and in the eyes of the law that is a contract in itself.

AP: During the darkest of dark times during this period, how low was your mental state and how serious were the suicidal thoughts?

VL: I was referred to St John Of God Rehab because of my suicidal thoughts and mental state but Racing NSW refused to pay under Workers Comp and they withheld any funds from me for 13 months so I could not afford to go to rehab.

AP: How big of an issue is the bullying of women in racing?

VL: Bullying of women in the workforce seems to be rampant, not just in racing.

AP: What would your advice be to someone getting bullied at work?

VL: My advice would be to trust yourself and know it’s not your fault. Talk to your doctor and get help before your mental state spirals out of control.

 

NO MAINSTREAM MEDIA REPORT  OF ROLE PVL PLAYED IN CASE

THE reason LGHR reproduced the above interview is to provide background for our readers to an email received from ANDREW E (a prominent Gold Coast racing identity), concerning the Hawkesbury Race Club case:

An excerpt from that notification reads:

‘According to documents produced by the (Hawkesbury) Race Club and before the (Federal) Court, Racing NSW CEO Mr Peter V’landys advised Mr (Greg) Rudolph that he shouldn’t make any payments to Mrs Leggett other than her basic statutory entitlements, notwithstanding that she has been a highly valued employee of the club for over 25 years and had generated millions of dollars in revenue for the club.’

EDITOR’S NOTE: This again raises the interesting question of why the mainstream racing media in Sydney, spearheaded by the ‘spin doctor’ for PVL, Ray Thomas haven’t bothered to question the ‘NSW Racing God’ in the wake of the court decision and especially the criticism of Greg Rudolph, who is now a steward in SA, left to cop the brunt of the blame with his reputation in tatters after a nightmare sojourn in racing administration in Hawkesbury. It again highlights the unhealthy relationship between high profile turf scribes and commentators with officialdom of Racing NSW. Whatever happened to the days when their job was to represent the punters, the racing public and the interests of the industry stakeholders?   

  

 

CHRIS MUNCE CHARGED OVER TREATMENT OF LISTED WINNER IN 2020

CHRIS Munce, the jockey-turned-trainer who was jailed in Hong Kong for providing tips for horses he was riding, has been charged by stewards in Queensland over a matter dating back to 2020.

Munce faced a Stewards’ Inquiry at Doomben today (Tuesday) and was charged with administering an alkalinising agent. It was revealed that stable CCTV footage will be central to an additional 10 matters under investigation.

Racing authorities seized stable CCTV footage after an inspection of Munce’s stables at Eagle Farm in October 2020 and he was initially suspended for three months on a charge involving treatment given to the mare Lady Brahmos. That ban was subsequently reduced to a $5,000 fine after an Internal Review.

QRIC stewards have since spent an incredible 18 months examining more CCTV footage which resulted in Munce being charged over treatment allegedly given to Skate To Paris before she won the Listed Brisbane Stakes at Doomben in September 2020. His son, Corey, who was a stable-hand at the time, has been charged with being a party to the administration.

Chairman of the inquiry, Daniel Aurisch, has indicated that of 21 additional matters relating to the CCTV footage, there were 10 that remained the subject of the stewards’ inquiry.

Chris and Corey Munce have pleaded not guilty to the charges and are being defended by ‘gun’ racing barrister Jim Murdoch who has a terrific strike rate, especially when it comes to beating ‘treatment’ charges.

Their defence is spearheaded by claims that much of the CCTV footage is ‘ambiguous or inconclusive’. Stewards agreed to an adjournment to allow the Munce legal time more time to examine the CCTV footage. The inquiry is expected to be concluded in a fortnight.  

 

INSTAGRAM PHOTOS OF TOP JOCKEYS ENJOYING CAPRI IN ITALY

POSTING photographs on Instagram would suggest that the relationship between high profile jockeys Jamie Kah and Ben Melham is no longer a secret.

Melham posted a photo of the couple last night (Australian time) taken at Capri in Italy where Kah has been holidaying with a girlfriend.

Kah, 26, was formerly engaged to jockey Clayton Douglas. Melham, 34, is recovering from shoulder surgery after a fall in Adelaide and hopes to be back riding next month.

Melham and Kah were both caught at the infamous Airbnb party last year along with fellow jockeys Mark Zahra, Celine Gaudray and Ethan Brown from which they suffered hefty fines and length suspensions.

 

 

VETERAN TRAINER FAST-TRACKS RETIREMENT IN PROTEST AT POOR STANDARD OF STEWARDING COMBINED WITH HEATHCOTE TREATMENT

HIGHLY respected veteran Townsville trainer Terry Butts has fast-tracked his planned retirement in protest at the standard of stewarding in Queensland which he says has been highlighted by the penalty imposed on Brisbane colleague Rob Heathcote this week.

Heathcote, who won Saturday’s Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara with Startantes, was fined $34,000 after being charged with possessing and administrating Hemoplex, a product banned last year after it was found to contain minuscule amounts of cobalt.

The saga resulted in a number of Heathcote horses being scratched on race morning in April, including his Winter Carnival winners Startantes and Prince of Boom. The leading trainer will also be required to provide submissions to stewards to prove why the affected horses should not be disqualified from races contested when they allegedly had Hemoplex in their systems.

Butts, who has trained the winners of most major races in North Queensland, is now in his 70’s and has been battling ill-health for several years. Rather than risk facing charges of bringing the industry into disrepute for speaking out, Butts will hand in his trainer’s licence.

“The treatment and subsequent over-the-top reaction by stewards to the Heathcote situation is an absolute disgrace,” Butts said. “It has helped me make the decision to bail out of racing altogether after a 60-year association.

“Apart from being downright farcical...it is much worse than a joke. Stewards should be SACKED and replaced with a panel of some semblance of ability. The current lot obviously has none from the Chief down.

“I don’t know Rob Heathcote personally. I have never met or even spoken to the man. But that’s not the point. Seemingly idiotic decisions by arguably incompetent stewards should not have to be tolerated.

“Appeal Rob and let the entire racing world be aware of this incredible decision. Sack ‘em I say.

"I was once charged with bringing the game into disrepute (Butts wrote about an unfair system during the Bentley era in his Sillks ‘n’ Saddles column in the North Queensland Register which was republished by LGHR. The supposed integrity bosses back then tried to use Rules that applied to him as a licensed trainer to take action over something he did as an accredited journalist and Turf Writer. They lost out.)

Butt’s recalls: “I won and got a nice payout – so should Robert Heathcote get monetary compensation.

“Rather than lose my brief (as a trainer) for speaking out, they can gladly have it.”

The Courier-Mail reports that Heathcote maintains he never knew Hemoplex was banned and that it was entered into his treatment book out of a matter of habit by his staff.

The charges came after stewards inspected his stable on race morning and found 10 bottles of the substance along with a treatment book showing some horses had been treated with it, something Heathcote later argued was a clerical error as it had previously been used by him for two decades.

Chief steward Peter Chadwick charged Heathcote under AR 254(A), which relates to the administration of cobalt salts via injection, for treatment from May 1 2021, when the product was first banned until 31 December 2021, to which Heathcote pleaded not guilty as there were no records of any use of it.

He was also charged under the same rule for 23 administrations between January 1 2022 and April 23, which were found in the treatment book by stewards, to which Heathcote entered no plea.

HOOFPRINT: It appears that Peter Chadwick was MIA from Eagle Farm’s final Group 1 meeting of the season last Saturday with the Stewards’ Panel chaired by Daniel Aurisch. Perhaps he was too busy preparing for the Heathcote inquiry. With stewards to decide if the Heathcote horses administered with the treatment are disqualified and the top trainer planning an appeal against penalties imposed, chances are Aurisch will be in the drivers’ seat more often in the weeks ahead (which is good news for many), while 'Pete the Plodder'  either takes annual leave or prepares for appeals that the bookies are already betting will either be won by Heathcote or at the least penalties significantly reduced.

 

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