Jenny - Clean

IN hiswidely-read column, ‘SILKS & SADDLES,’ published by the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER, respected racing writer TERRY BUTTS reveals how popular veteran northern jockey Stan Watkin will walk away from racing if he loses an appeal against a 12 month disqualification at Mackay. It turns out the horse had the problem not the jockey.

Butts also reports on a Laurel and Hardy show at the Bowen Cup meeting – just another embarrassment for the team now running Racing Queensland and headed by the White Knight Kevin Dixon.

There are also column items clarifying why four starters were allowed in QTIS races at Twin Hills but questions about a similar situation at Toowoomba.

Here is the Butts column:

 

 

WATKIN VOWS TO WALK AWAY FROM RACING IN DISQUALIFICATION STANDS

STANLEY WATKIN, one of country Queensland’s best known and respected jockeys, has vowed to walk away from racing after being disqualified for 12 months on a running and handling charge.

The recently appointed chief steward for Mackay, Carl Smith, has certainly hit the ground running.

At his first day in the chair he outed Watkin for his ride on Rock Like Crazy in a Maiden run at Mackay on September 22.

In doing so he and his assistant stewards ignored the insistent plea by Watkin and trainer Col Smith that the horse was sore.

Connections of the horse say this was confirmed in a statement by the highly regarded Mackay based veterinarian, Dr David Lemon, who told stewards, by letter, he inspected the horse the day after the race. 

He diagnosed compaction of the shoulder muscles that he claimed would require daily chiropractic therapy to relieve the soreness and spasms.

A vet examination after the race revealed no abnormalities.

But trainer Smith said the club’s on-course vet only watched the horse ‘trot up’ on a lead, and that he didn’t do any physical examination.

Dr Lemon contended the horse would have felt ‘soreness under saddle and a rider,’ and particularly when negotiating turns.

Stewards claimed Watkin made no attempt to keep his inside running near the 700m.

 

WATKIN TOLD HEATED INQUIRY THAT HE CONSIDERED PULLING HORSE OUT OF RACE

WATKIN said at that time he was seriously considering pulling the horse out of the race.

It was a heated inquiry, according to the trainer, with Watkin becoming quite frustrated that his argument was not being either understood or believed, by the stewards.

Stewards claimed Watkin had “deliberately and consciously restrained Rock Like Crazy, conceded ground, and “maintained a wide position from the 700m”.  They further claimed that near the 500m he continued to restrain the horse and allowed Zanatus (T.Bannon) up on his inside.

“On rounding the home turn and ente4ring the straight he deliberately and consciously continued to restrain the horse”

Stewards said Watkin failed to ride with sufficient vigour”when it was reasonable and permissible to do so”

They contended the horse was “not fully tested”.After finding him guilty Watkin said on leaving the Enquiry that he was finished for all time.  He refused point blank to consider an appeal and efforts to contact him have been unsuccessful.

However trainer Smith said the owners of Rock Like Crazy,( who is top weight in a maiden at Towsville Tuesday)  have offered to  finance an appeal .And he said advice from a leading Brisbane based  barrister, who specializes in racing maters ,is  that he should  lodge an appeal .

The barrister made an interesting observation.  He said the QCAT appeal board is made up of lawyers who are only concerned with facts.

Personalities and sneaking suspicions are not considered.

 

BIG CROWD FOR BOWEN CUP BUT THIRD WORLD FACILITIES AND FARCICAL RACE STARTS

BOWEN Cup day was a cracker.

Old-timers couldn’t remember a crowd so big and ladies were complaining about the toilet facilities (or lack of) before the first race.

‘Third world’ was how one busy little lady strapper described them.

True, Cup day will be remembered for the wrong reasons.

There were incidents during the day without precedence. 

Jockeys swarmed into the stewards’ room before the last race to get an undertaking there would be radical changes to the barrier staff before the next meeting.

Stewards apparently agreed with them.

Events before the start of race four were straight out of Laurel and Hardy.

There was a 15 minute delay before the field was eventually and dispatched after two horses ( yes, one was mine!) were standing in their stall while the starter, who also happens to be the clerk of the course, tied her horse to the gates and sorted out (or tried to) the correct barrier positions for the remainder of the field.

There were a couple of scratchings and she and her staff just couldn’t get the order right. Horses were moved into the stalls, and out again. In and out. The huge crowd was left totally in the dark too. No announcements.

One of the jockeys, after 10 minutes of messing around said: “Give us the book love, and we’ll sort it out for you!”

She refused the offer of help and so the totally unnecessary delay went on – and on.

Of course it should have been sorted BEFORE the horses left the enclosure but it wasn’t

All this occurred after a riderless horse was led into its stalls in the second race - and just left there - abandoned by the attendant. Of course it ducked under the gates and bolted rider-less around the track – another incident that should have been easily avoided. To say trainer Darren Symons was unhappy would be an understatement.

After the fiasco before the fifth, the jockeys had really had enough. They agreed to ride in the last (the Cup) but insisted to Stewards they wouldn’t ride there again until the barrier staff and starter were replaced.

Next year is the 150th anniversary of the Bowen Cup. It should be BIG.

Hopefully with certified barrier staff, an accredited starter, more suitable toilet facilities, and perhaps a temporary raised platform so the huge crowd might actually see the action. 

In spite of all this there were positives.  The track was a picture (though jockeys reported the racing surface was rock hard) and the huge crowd proved that people still love a good country race meeting.

And this year’s Cup will forever remain a standout memory for young jockey Emma Ljung.  She won the cup at only her 21st ride in a race.  And it as her sixth winner in a short but dazzling career that has everyone in the game raving about her talent.

It really is an incredible beginning for the unassuming young lass who had never been on a racehorse’s back until a year ago. She has natural flair, and most of all, has an unwavering dedication to go with it.

 

FOUR QTIS RUNNERS MIGHT BE ACCEPTABLE AT TWIN HILLS BUT WHAT ABOUT TOOWOOMBA?

LAST week I was critical that only four horses contested the two QTIS bonus races at the Twin Hills annuals.

We contended that subscribers to the somewhat expensive QTIS scheme would be alarmed to see how some of their money is being ‘spent’ around the country.

Rob Luck, a country commentator and devout QTIS supporter, was quick to explain that non -strategic clubs in Queensland are permitted to stage races with fields of four. So there were no rules broken.

In fact it happened again on Saturday night at Toowoomba when only four horses contested the QTIS Maiden, after four late scratchings.

Rob Luck explained there would have been more runners in the Twin Hills races had more jockeys been available. Only four turned up. And one of those was a 45-year-old three kilo claimer.

We accept that might be a reasonable explanation for Twin Hills.

But Toowoomba, well that begs a few questions?

And will we hear more?

 

OLD WAR HORSE NOW HEADED TO HIS HOME CUP AT INNISFAIL AFTER GORDONVALE WIN

THE old war horse from Innisfail did it again!

After his victory in the Atherton Cup a fortnight ago Our Private Jet headed for Gordonvale on Saturday where he blew them away again and connections now have their sights firmly focused on their hometown Cup on Caulfield Cup day.

Our Private Jet has been a real money spinner over the past couple of seasons. If he hasn’t won he has been very close in all the major races which is a credit to his trainer Kosta Potamianikas.

He might have only one little problem however. The big grey, Cash Attack, is back from the big smoke and he too is on a mission to Innisfail for his new trainer Laurel Cullen.

 

COLUMN COURTESY OF TERRY BUTTS AND THE NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER, one of Australia's leading rural newspapers.

TERRY BUTTS can be contacted by e-mailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Join Us on Facebook

Racing News

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

 

Getaway & Go Racing &
Day at the Races FREE Ratings
BN: 55127167

Login Form