Jenny - Clean

IN his popular column, ‘SILKS & SADDLES,’ published by the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER, respected racing writer TERRY BUTTS tells of the angry response to the treatment of Steve Hogno because he was involved in a Fun Race Day at Kooralbyn 14 years ago.

Butts reveals also that there is a precedent that Racing Queensland might consider to the Hogno affair and it involved the now trainer for the control body chairman in Kelly Schweida.

His column also has items on the Capricornia Two-Year-Old Classic and sales; gold fish races in Rockhampton and the centenary of the Mackay Amasteurs.

Here is the Butts column:

THERE WAS A PRECEDENT AND IT INVOLVED THE CURRENT RQ CHAIRMAN’S TRAINER   

OUR story last week about Steve Hogno, who made the ‘mistake’ of attending a quarter horse race meeting at Kooralbyn 14 years ago and got a life disqualification, drew an enormous response.

Many readers, and particularly prominent racing folk, rang to say ‘it just has to be wrong.’

They expressed ‘amazement’ that Hogno was charged as an unlicensed person and bewilderment that now, after 14 years, he has been ordered to pay Racing Queensland costs of $340,000.

The case also reminded many of the day Kelly Schweida (yes the prominent trainer now based in Brisbane) took a horse named Garrison (an ex-Bruce McLachlan stable sprinter) to Woodstock (west of Townsville) for a Fun Day – and some low-life dobbed him in.

The NQRA Chief Steward at the time was Alan Cooper who had no option but to impose a life disqualification under AR 77 which prohibits licensees from participating in unregistered race meetings.

His hands were tied by official red tape, but Mr Cooper (as stewards did in those days when they disagreed with the rules they were compelled to enforce) allegedly advised Schweida to ‘appeal straight away.’

He did.

 

MAJOR DIFFERENCE SCHWEIDA WAS A TRAINER – HOGNO WASN’T LICENSED

THE major difference is that Schweida was a registered trainer – and still is.

Steve Hogno wasn’t licensed – and never has been.

“But I am now in the throes of bankruptcy for  running a quarter horse at  the Kooralbyn Valley Fun Day 14 years ago,” he said.

Hogno, like many, many others, simply asks: What did he do wrong?

 

BIRCHLEY WAITS ON FINAL ACCEPTANCES FOR CAPRICORNIA 2YO CLASSIC

LEADING Brisbane Trainer Liam Birchley is anxiously awaiting final declarations for next Saturday’s $100,000 Capricornia Two-Year-Old Classic at Rockhampton to see if his youngster Dazzle Me Red makes the cut.

Connections are  keen to run in Central Queensland’s  richest race for babies but to date Dazzle Me Red doesn’t have the required  prizemoney to guarantee a start and will probably go into a ballot at acceptance time on Thursday.

Evergreen jockey Robert Thompson has already been engaged, subject to the filly getting a start.

Thompson is a regular to Queensland and is certainly no stranger to the Callaghan Park track where he has ventured for many years enjoying considerable success.

But his decision to take the ride and give up a certain full book in his native NSW is a pretty fair indicator to the chances of the Birchley-trained youngster which, according to market assessors, will go up second favorite.

 

MYTHOLOGIST WILL HOLD DOWN FAVORITISM BY LYLE ROWE STABLE

BUT there is little chance of Dazzle Me Red wrestling favoritism from the smart locally-trained Mythologist.

Prepared by top local mentor Lyle Rowe, who has won just about every race worth winning in country Queensland, Mythologist cemented top rung of the betting order with a three lengths win on his home track two weeks ago.

The Hidden Dragon gelding had won at his previous start in February accounting for Jokerman which also trailed him home last start.

He looks a readymade racehorse.

Mythologist is out of a Speeding Fine mare Satellite Girl which recorded just one win in 10 appearances in a lowly Thangool Maiden, but she has already proved a winner in the breeding barn with this youngster which, barring accident, is rated as ‘nearly a good thing’ in the Classic as the Rowe winner of a few years back in Kilwinning Option.

Another local given a show is the Jared Wehlow-trained Zaha Dream which has shown improvement with each start and landed some big wagers at Emerald two weeks ago.

Much travelled international jockey Mark Pegus, who picks and chooses his mounts and destinations these days, has been engaged.

The Capricornia Classic headlines a big weekend of racing in ‘Rock Vegas.’

A typical Rocky long lunch and Calcutta on Friday is followed by the races on Saturday and the Yearling Sales on Sunday which have attracted an interesting book of babies to go under the hammer.

 

UNLIKE SOME OF THE BIGGER SALES THOSE IN ROCKHAMPTON HAVE FINE REPUTATION  

THE Rockhampton Sales have a solid reputation of providing quality youngsters  at realistic prices and over the years there have been some handy  graduates, including the Group and Stakes placed Diamond Harbour, and, in more recent times, Kilwinning Option and Brisbane Black Type winner River Lad.

The Rockhampton Yearling Sales do not share the less than savory reputation of rival events.

Claims of ‘buy backs,’ false prices, kickbacks to buyers and other incentives are widespread at the bigger sales now and buyers are staying away in droves.

Many believe that the big breeders have too much influence in an industry widely recognized for its elitism in this country.

One breeder complained recently at the poor prices and said that ‘the offer didn’t even cover the cost of the service fee’ to which someone promptly replied: “Maybe the service fee is too high.”

Stallions are overpriced as are service fees and too much prize-money, is dedicated to two-year-old racing which long term is detrimental to the industry as well as to the young horses.

 

NATHAN TINKLER NOT CONVINCED ALL IS ABOVE BOARD AT SOME YEARLING SALES

THE well documented ‘dirty dealings’ that have allegedly gone on at yearling sales are becoming more public and to quote one big loser, one-time billionaire Nathan Tinkler, in the Australian Financial Review: “If ASIC governed the industry half of them would be in jail. It’s criminal some of the …. that goes on.”

Not a good wrap from a bloke who has been ‘well handled’ and certainly right at the coal face, if you will pardon the pun.

Some will call it sour grapes but certainly some of the mud has stuck as evidenced by results at the Queensland Sales this year. Buyers deserted them.

Hopefully Rocky fares better – it deserves to.

 

GOLD FISH RACES ON A SUNDAY THE NEW DRAWCARD IN ‘ROCK VEGAS’

MY Central Queensland correspondent, Russell (Brolga) Leonard, took a few minutes off his calling of the goldfish races – yes gold fish races – on Sunday to give us a rundown of events this weekend.

Apparently gold fish races are the latest Sunday attraction in Rockhampton where punters pay up to $200 for their fish, name them and let them loose in a Perspex pond the length of the bar.

Apparently the boys get pretty serious. There’s $2000 for the eventual winner every week.

Well, just another way to spend a lazy Sunday in ‘Rock Vegas.’

It all happens at the old Union Hotel in East Street – now run by well-known sportsman Karl Shamberg, who renamed it The Giddy Goat.

No kidding!

 

PLANS WELL UNDERWAY TO CELEBRATE CENTENARY OF MACKAY AMATEURS

PLANS are well underway to celebrate the centenary of the Mackay Amateurs on May 25.

Gold Coast fielder Gary Gorrie will sponsor the Hally Connor Memorial, a race to honor and remember one of the great characters of Mackay racing who passed away a couple of years ago.

Hally was a leading trainer for many years in the sugar city and known all over the State.

The Mackay Amateurs have a rich history and though it is now only a one-day affair with TAB/Sky coverage, it was once a two day race meeting with festivities lasting a week, including a sell-out ball and clay pigeon shoot among the feature attractions.

Mackay Amateurs once heralded the first of the Winter Racing Carnivals in the north and Ooralea was the scene of many big wins, big plunges and big crowds.

But like many country racing carnivals it has lost a lot of its gloss and glamour in more recent years, but Kerry Woodman, the MATC president, is hopeful of a rejuvenated carnival this year.

“We intend to bring as many of the old jockeys – the old amateur boys – for the centenary celebration,” said Kerry, who is one of only three remaining MATC presidents.

The others are Sid Cowan and Don Wall who will be in attendance along with 90-year-old Tootie Cowan, who not only rode, but trained many Mackay Amateur Cup winners before and after the War.

 

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..

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