A PIT full of dead greyhounds near Bundaberg and racehorse carcasses at Mt Magnificent in South Australia. A piglet and possums strapped to dog lures in southern Queensland and at Tooradin. An outlawed electric “jigger’’ found on the track at Mornington.

And investigations in many states into a natural salt called cobalt that, when used in ­illegal doses, can — allegedly — make horses run faster and might even kill them.

Horses are whipped to win, and to the outside world the three racing codes are blurred into one colossal bad look.

But maybe it’s the bad look before things get better; that the vigilance of stewards and administrators to go hard without fear or favour in all three versions of the one sport — racing animals for sport and gambling — will lead to a relatively trusted and prosperous era. Australian Trainers’ ­Association president Robbie Griffiths thinks so.

“Maybe this is the big broom,’’ he told MATTHEW STEWART of the HERALD SUN.

“All three codes have copped a hammering and each is making the others look bad, too. The public can’t tell the difference. But I reckon racing is good enough to ride the wave and come out the other side stronger.’’

Investigations are under way in Queensland and South Australia to find those responsible for the macabre dumping of greyhound and thoroughbred carcasses. SA stewards reckon they are homing in on the licensed person — a trainer — who dumped the dead ­horses, and why.

These investigations may shed some light on the brutal realities on the fringes of both sports, of overproduction and wastage in the pursuit of livelihoods and profit.

There may be lessons learnt about the ­occasional consequences of too many people competing for too little. These investigations may also reveal that rogues are rare and are being weeded out of an industry of predominantly good people.

Until a jigger appeared on the track at Mornington, most thought the practice was dead, like strapping piglets to lures.

Griffiths said he hadn’t been aware of jiggers for years. Maybe this is the final dark chapter for both, killed off by killer penalties.

Stables with hundreds in work somehow manage to find homes for slow and retired horses. There has been a huge push for holistic approaches to ex-racehorses — if you own it, you are responsible for it — from Racing Victoria and ­welfare organisations.

The greyhound industry was savaged by reports of baited piglets and possums and will always come under great scrutiny for wastage, but it has ­responded quickly.


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