Jenny - Clean

IN his popular column, ‘SILKS & SADDLES,’ published by the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER, respected racing writer TERRY BUTTS reports on the overdue announcement of an investigation into the development of on-course stabling at Cluden.

Butts reveals how Townsville Turf Club officials see the stabling as one solution to major safety and viability issues confronting Cluden with a Bruce Highway over-pass threatening traffic chaos.

His column also includes items on Home Hill Cup day, the 150th anniversary milestone at Bowen and several jockeys battling to return to the saddle in the north.

Here is the Butts column:

 

IN his popular column, ‘SILKS & SADDLES,’ published by the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER, respected racing writer TERRY BUTTS reports on a win of sorts for the big Brisbane trainers at the expense of their country cousins on the Work Place front.

He also questions whether the Sydney racing dramas are painting a picture of a less than level industry playing field, warns buyers of ‘shonky’ dealers selling horses and previews the Mt Garnet Annuals this weekend.

Here is the Butts column:

IN his popular column, ‘SILKS & SADDLES,’ published by the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER, respected racing writer TERRY BUTTS reports on a series of positive swabs that have prompted a leading Queensland veterinarian to call for a review of the testing procedure.

Butts also applauds the appointments of high profile lawyer Barry Taylor to the all-powerful Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board and North Queensland Suncorp boss Brad Steele as new Chairman of Harness Racing Queensland.

He says with Taylor and Steele on QACRIB that Racing Minister Steve Dickson has fulfilled the pre-election promise of the LNP Government of a country voice when it comes to running racing.

Here is the Butts column:

LEADING VETERINARIAN CALLS FOR URGENT REVIEW OF RQ SWAB TESTING

A SPATE of positive swabs to the drug Prednisone has prompted a leading veterinary surgeon to suggest an urgent review of swab testing procedures in Queensland.

Five positive swabs have been detected in recent months and all trainers have claimed they have not used the drug in any shape or form.

Dr David Lemon, one of the state’s best known and respected equine veterinarians, said it was ‘bizarre that there are so many positives to the same drug.’

“You have to start thinking there is something wrong somewhere,” he said.

Last Saturday’s Cluden winner King Among Kings returned a positive when he scored on the same track at his previous start.

His trainer Glenn Baker said he is ‘totally dumbfounded’ by the charge and says he will swear on a stack of Bibles that he did not administer any illegal treatment.

“I brought my own buckets down from Atherton on Saturday in case he won again. I don’t trust any other equipment. My horse was drug free when he left home that day and I know I am innocent.

“He will probably return a positive again today, but what can I do?” he pleaded.

“I will have to go and try to find a job.

“I can’t afford to fight it – and I am 100 per cent innocent. It is just so wrong.”

 

FIRST SWAB IN ALMOST HALF A CENTURY STUNS DEAGON TRAINER

DEAGON trainer Tony Bita has been training horses and dogs for 49 years without a positive swab. He is adamant he is innocent but was fined $3000 by stewards last week and lost the winning prizemoney when his horse Purrfectly Fearless won at Ipswich.

Owner Daryl Northfield believes his trainer and is prepared to finance a barrister to appeal the fine before QCAT.

“And if need be, we will go to the Supreme Court. This is just so wrong,” he said. “We are seeking   justice – that’s all.”

Mr Northfield said his emails (to RQ) have not been answered and two telephone calls to stewards ‘have gone straight to message bank.’

“Yes, we are angry. Because we are innocent,” he said.

There are two other positives in Rockhampton and a report of at least one other at Mt Isa.

Mackay trainer John Manzelmann was fined over a Prednisone positive swab last year – and still vehemently swears his innocence.

According to Mr Northfield there have been no positive swabs to Prednisone detected in NSW.

 

RACING MINISTER DELIVERS ON HIS PROMISE TO GIVE COUNTRY A VOICE

THE appointment of positions to the all-powerful body overseeing the three codes of racing in Queensland, the clumsily named QACRIB, was a tantalizingly long time coming.

But for stakeholders in the multi billion industry the wait is over.

For a few, the final composition of the Board provided some surprises, but it would seem that country was a winner.

Said one: ‘It was just what the Minister ordered.’

Maybe.

At least the appointment of prominent Townsville lawyer Barry Taylor to deputy chairman of the All Codes Board will ensure that those stakeholders residing north of Gympie will have a voice – and a strong one at that.

“The new Board is very much as Minister Steve Dixon said it would be on his tour of the north before Christmas,” said Taylor when the appointments were announced last week.

“It is now up the new QACRIB to deliver.”

 

BARRY TAYLOR A WORTHY CHOICE ON THE NEW ALL CODES BOARD

FOR stakeholders in the country and provincial areas of the state, Barry Taylor is an extremely worthy choice.

Taylor has many years as a lawyer, was foundation director of the Cowboys, deputy chairman of Ergon, Board member of the North Queensland Racing Association and Chairman of the NQRA Appeals Board until it was dismantled during the Bentley era

Some say he has a ‘bulldog approach’ to matters he believes are right.

And he is seldom wrong as stewards, licensees and appeal committees will attest.

He is equally at home representing leading jockeys (Larry Cassidy) and trainers (Kelly Schweida) as he is looking after the concerns of trainers and strappers in far flung areas of country Queensland.

Taylor, in his bid for endorsement, had the support of all the major race clubs up the coast as well as many smaller country race clubs, particularly in the North and North West.

He also gained the written support of the Rockhampton Trainers’ Association (biggest in the state), Queensland Bookmakers’ Association and Queensland Jockeys’ Association.

 

SOME PRESSING ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED AT A CRUICIAL TIME FOR INDUSTRY

QACRIB meets for the first time on May 1 at a crucial period with the industry under ‘threat’ of another Government inquiry.

The serious concerns of dwindling attendances and totalizator turnover – the lifeblood of the game – must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Then there are the TVN/Sky arrangements that seemingly have left Queensland out in the cold while a crucial new TAB Agreement with Tattsbet is also due for negotiation soon.

And then there is the cancer of the overseas-owned corporate bookies that have invaded the entire country in recent years.

Of course there is little QACRIB can do other than to  entice governments to  stem the flow of our gambling dollar off shore and to highlight the deleterious effect the corporates have had on our once proud and profitable industry.

In other words governments and racing bodies must work towards the establishment of a national tote.

Really it is that simple – and would rid the corporates or their big and lucrative selling point of offering punters the best tote or ‘best of two totes’.

 

THE BRAD STEELE HARNESS APPOINTMENT FROM LEFT FIELD BY POPULAR

IF the Barry Taylor appointment came as a welcome surprise to some, it was the appointment of fellow Townsville businessman, Brad Steele, as chairman of Harness Racing Queensland, that really caught many off guard.

Steele is the general manager of Suncorp in North Queensland and a former chairman of Redcliffe Harness Racing Club.

He has raced several good pacers including NZ Cup runner-up Cobbity Classic. He has also raced greyhounds and gallopers over the years.

In spite of Townsville no longer having a harness racing facility Steele hasn’t ruled out a rebirth of the code in country Queensland. “I am starting on a blank canvass and I won’t rule anything out,” he said.

Winton-born Brad grew up in a racing family. His two uncles Phutta Dooley and Sam Carmichael were leading trainers around Longreach many years ago – but his real passion is harness racing.

“We are going back to the grass roots. The harness racing regime needs a complete change” he said.

 

FORMER NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOY HANDLING WEIGHTS OF DIFFERENT KIND

BARRY Taylor and Brad Steele were not the only North Queenslanders to be honored with new appointments last week.

Ayr-born and bred, former Cowboy footballer Nathan Bourke was named as the chief handicapper following Lester Grimmett’s decision to take a consultancy role heading to a much-deserved retirement.

Nathan was Lester’s understudy for many years – in fact from the time Bourke gave up football and moved from the Burdekin to Brisbane.

Nathan is the son of the Burdekin footballer and flying icon Owen Bourke who was tragically killed in a light plane accident a few years ago when heading home from a crop dusting assignment.

 

MOTOR DEALER MIKE CARNEY TO SPONSOR GREAT NORTHERN TWO-YEAR-OLD

PARRY NISSAN is a household name in racing in the north.

But the Great Northern Two-Year-Old, the richest race for babies in the area, has had a name change.

New owners of the Nissan dealership somewhat surprisingly relinquished sponsorship of one of the greatest races in country Queensland but it has been snapped up by rival motor dealer Mike Carney.

So our big two year old classic to be run on June 1 will be known as the Mike Carney Tomcar Great Northern Classic. Bit of a mouthful – but no doubt we will get used to it.

It is the second major change of sponsorship for the TTC Club which only last week announced that the RSL Club was replacing Jupiter’s as sponsor of the Townsville Cup.

 

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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