Jenny - Clean


ONE set of statistics claim that our old mate ‘Butch’ Mules was 57 when he so sadly left us last week in the Barcaldine Hospital – and that he rode winners over 40 years for stakes earnings in excess of $2.35 million.

Stats meant nothing to Butch who was essentially a man’s man and lived by the day – not necessarily or strictly to the rules.

Roy ‘Butch’ Mules, from a family of 21, was born in Coonamble NSW but was a Queenslander from his dandruff to his bootlaces.

His was a colourful career – best described as sunshine and shadow – and perhaps crossing a few more dry gullies than lush lawns.

‘Butch’ was your typical happy-go-lucky, affable outgoing mate – happiest on a racecourse or in a public bar. And it didn’t matter where. And it didn’t matter when.

There was only ‘Butch’, known all over Queensland and parts of country NSW. He would give you the shirt off his back, literally.

Help anyone. Harm no one.

He told his great mate Kelly Schweida, who visited him a few weeks ago in a Brisbane hospital, that he just wanted to go home to Barcaldine and die. And he did that last Thursday after a long, painful battle with a merciless cancer that took everything – including at the very end – his infectious, witty  and unique brand of humour.

Schweida remembers the day he turned up at Les McLellan’s Townsville stables with his gear tied up in a knot at the end of a stick. He was 15 and the first thing he did when he arrived was roll a smoke.

“I said to the other boys ‘what have we got here?’ Schweida recalled.

They were to become great mates. ‘Butch’ was actually the last of a long line of top jockeys to be indentured by the legendary Les McLellan – the Theo Green of Queensland. Paul Gordy, Rusty Davis, Robin Norris, and the near unbeatable Rex Caspaney, were others.

Stories of ‘Butch’ and his exploits abound. Like the time he was in Ipswich with trainer Terry Ramsay, who on one chilly winter’s morning was unable to get his jockey out of bed.

“What’s the temperature?” demanded Butch of his boss. “Minus one,” replied Ramsay. “Well, its minus two now – I’m staying here”.

That was our man.

There are heaps of yarns about the larrikin bush jockey. Like the day at Jundah races where after the meeting on the first day a few jocks, ‘Butch’ included, sat down with the stipendiary stewards for a game of cards and ample supply of stubbies.

“It was a lot of fun,” recalls one such jockey, Danny Adam. Until next morning!

“The stipes who drank all night with us put us on the bag – and of course we all blew over the limit and were stood down.

“I think ‘Butch’ blew 2.7. He didn’t care – just opened another can and demanded (unsuccessfully of course) that the stewards also be tested.

“Great bloke!”



RACING Victoria, once the most respected racing authority in the country, and its TV channel, has come under severe criticism in recent days and for good reason, it would appear.

Firstly, it caused a stir by allowing CrownBet, the Packer-owned corporate bookie, to advertise its AFL markets on the racing channel.

It was pointed out that racing competes with all sports betting and in particular AFL for the punting dollar – but RV is obviously not concerned.

You have to wonder why, particularly in view of the fact that Racing Victoria does not get a cent of wagering revenue from the betting on other sports by corporate bookmakers – but does receive a share of TAB sports betting turnover.

And you might recall it was Racing Victoria that vehemently opposed the merger of Tabcorp and Tatts.

But that’s not all. has been savagely attacked both here and abroad with criticism over the sacking of popular presenter Sam Hyland.

Hyland will no longer conduct post-race horseback interviews and will be replaced by ex-Sydney jockey Dean Pettit, a former member of the now defunct TVN that folded, buried in debt. CEO Andrew Catterall (ex-AFL) defended the Hyland decision in an interview on RSN, claiming he had to ‘trust’ his production team.

“They've made a call that there are other alternatives, or perhaps better alternatives, that we should invest time and training into, and that will mean working with Dean [Pettit]," Catterall said.

But racing people around the country are asking: Why fix something that isn’t broken?

THEN Nick Williams of the famous (or infamous to some – but nonetheless  legendary Melbourne racing family – joined the fray with a request for transparency of costs.

“It’s heading in the same direction as TVN was five years ago. Why can’t the Chief Executive of Racing Victoria (Giles Thompson) tell us how much these operations are costing? Or are we just going back to the old days of TVN when we were told nothing until it was too late?” Williams asked.

“No-one has explained why having Sydney and Melbourne on one channel at no cost isn't a better outcome than what we've got at the moment,” he added.

A spokesman for RVL responded that detailed operational financials were ‘commercial-in-confidence.’



SOME startling accusations about some of the main characters in the racing industry of Queensland were made last week by Archie Butterfly (real name) on his website:

He also alluded to what we already suspected - that the marriage of Racing Queensland and its integrity arm QRIC is on the rocks and likely to be dissolved as soon as the LNP get back in.

No doubt a few of the Tories are hoping that it will be sooner rather than later  because there is a hint that Treasury wish to have a few of the allegations against RQ investigated.

By QRIC. Oh dear!


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