THIS web-site continues to listen to what our readers have to say and has introduced a ‘Wednesday Whinge’ where you can express your feelings on racing industry issues of the past week. Try to keep them objective. Just e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

THERE were several e-mails overnight commenting on the latest dust-up between Dan Nikolic and Terry Bailey in Victoria which has degenerated into a situation that needs to be addressed forthwith. We have elected to run only one of these e-mails for two reasons – the incident is yet to be tested at inquiry level and the majority were too defamatory to Nikolic. The racing inquiry in Victoria got another good airing. There was an interesting e-mail concerning reports that CEO Peter V’landys is looking to leave Racing NSW along with a host of other interesting topics. Feedback suggests our new Wednesday Whinge feature – ‘The Gossip, the Threats and the Wankers’ – has proved popular with readers.



HAD the jockeys at Seymour yesterday bowed to the urgings of an out-of-control Dan Nikolic and gone on strike they would have lost the support of the Australian racing public. Full marks to Des O’Keefe for advising them to ride.

Witnesses to the latest flare-up between Nikolic and Chief Steward Terry Bailey say the controversial jockey was way out of line and that eventually Bailey gave as good as he got. It will be interesting to see who comes forward and how far RVL is prepared to haul Nikolic into line over this latest misdemeanor.

It will be interesting to see if those same witnesses are as forthcoming when asked to contribute at inquiry level. There are plenty in the racing industry in Victoria suggesting that if Nikolic escapes this one on a technicality the Victorian stewards may as well shut up shop.


A LOT of industry comment on an apparent Facebook dust-up between two of the most popular identities in the racing media in Australia.

According to reports, Richie Callander from TVN has been trading verbal blows with Shane Anderson, the host of Racing Ahead on RSN Racing and Sport.

Those who have been following the debate ensure us there is no love lost between the duo and that there is little sign of the war games abating.


JACQUI Berriman, the promising Victorian apprentice being hailed a future riding star, has transferred her indentures to the Gai Waterhouse stable in Sydney.

The move was confirmed this week by her dad. The extremely talented Jacquie will leave sister Nikita to fly the family riding flag out of the stable of her husband Brad McLean at Warrnambool.

Some good judges are tipping Jackie will quickly make a real name for herself now that she is linked to a stable with the opportunities that Waterhouse can provide her.


OUR man in the Deagon Bunker informs us that Racing Queensland TAB Thoroughbred Racing Manager, Brent Leisemann, has decided to move on.

Leisemann will apparently be joining the Australian Racing Board in the near future.

Ironically, our man at Deagon says that some of the new powers that be regarded Leisemann as a ‘Bentley man’ and were keen to recommend him for the ARB job when contacted about his credentials.


SHANE Scriven, who this week announced his retirement from riding, could be head-hunted for a job at Racing Queensland.

Scriven, after a successful career of more than three decades in the saddle, would seem the ideal person to help in the training of apprentice jockeys.

We’re not sure what position RQ will be offering him but doubt he will be following Gary Palmer into the stewarding ranks.

There is however talk that a former Kiwi jockey, once based in Sydney, but now successfully ensconced in Brisbane (apart from the odd Facebook concerns) would eventually like to be a steward when he retires from race riding.


THE racing rumor mill is in over-drive about a controversial jockey organizing a farewell party for one of his biggest supporters in the media.

The story goes that he has the final say on the guest list and those who have not supported him or have reported things to his detriment will not be invited.

That will just about exclude the entire Racing Department from a rival media organization many of whom are great mates of the journalist who is retiring.


ONE of the greatest supporters of racing in North Queensland for many decades is tipped to become the new Chairman of the Townsville Turf Club.

As far as many in the industry are concerned in the north Kevin O’Keefe has waited far too long to take over the reins from long-time chairman Alan Parry.

O’Keefe, who has raced a host of good horses in the north and with the Kelly Schweida stable in Brisbane, is regarded by many as the logical choice should Racing Queensland ever decide to appoint a Board member from the country.


IT has to be one of the biggest back-flips in Queensland racing history.

Only a couple of weeks after slamming the door in the faces of visiting owners and trainers on Cairns Cup Day, officials have had a major re-think – one would assume with a little career advice from the powers that be in Brisbane.

The Cairns Jockey Club will break with tradition and provide a special area for visiting owners and trainers during the FNQ Amateur carnival. Rather than criticize we will applaud them for seeing the error of their ways of not that long ago.


POPULAR racecourse manager wound up in the wars on a visit to the Birdsville Cup carnival.

Story goes he was seated with a few friends having a camp fire chat when he almost choked on a slice of salami.

Staggering around in desperation trying to clear his throat he tripped over and hit his head on a steel tent support. It necessitated medical treatment and more stitches than he cares to remember.


Here’s this week’s e-mail selection with apologies to those who missed out for legal or other reasons:

WE received many e-mails overnight concerning the decision to stand down Dan Nikolic indefinitely from riding pending the outcome of an Racing Victoria investigation into allegations that he verbally threatened Chief Steward Terry Bailey at Seymour races on Tuesday.

Because the inquiry is yet to be finalized we have elected to run only one contribution at this stage which we hope gets the general message across. Feedback suggests there are plenty of racing people – from participants to enthusiasts – who have had a gutful of Nikolic in his lack of respect for officialdom and his attitude toward Terry Bailey.

There was not a single e-mail in support of Nikolic and below is the one that we have decided to run:



‘ENOUGH is enough. The industry has had an absolute gutful of the lack of respect that Dan Nikolic continues to show not only to Chief Steward Terry Bailey and his panel but also to any form of officialdom and anyone who dares to question how he operates.

If he did threaten Bailey and his family as is apparently being alleged then it is time for Racing Victoria to make an example of him and let all licensees know that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated. As it stands there are those who think that Nikolic believes he is above the law.

What can we expect now? Nikolic will cry victimization. But worst of all his mates in the racing media will weigh into the dispute and go into bat for him. That had already started late yesterday and there were even reports in the industry that one particular racing media man was trying to build a dirt file on Bailey which is an absolute disgrace to his profession.

The controversy was only a couple of hours old and the Nikolic bashing line was being run on TVN. Nikolic is claiming that Bailey has been out to get him for some time and that this was just a continuation of that victimization. Wherever he has ridden his career has been littered with controversy.

Everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence but in the opinion of many licensees if he escapes again on a technicality or at the hands of a Disciplinary Board that has been unbelievably sympathetic to his behavior in the past, then Bailey and his stewards might as well walk away and let Nikolic and his mates run the show in Victoria.’ – The feelings that I have expressed here are those of many other trainers but I ask that my identity not be revealed. In view of the current climate of threats and intimidation behind the scenes in the racing industry in Victoria you will understand my need for anonymity.   

EDITOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the racing media, yours truly included, should steer clear of commenting on this incident until the full facts have been revealed. I declare myself an unashamed fan of Terry Bailey and the job he does. I believe he is the best steward in the land. The attitude that Dan Nikolic adopts to him would not be tolerated in any other jurisdiction on the planet. Had the jockeys gone out in support of him they would have lost the respect of the majority of the racing industry. It is time the Australian Jockeys’ Association cut all ties with Nikolic. Someone is lying in the version of events that both have put forward. I know who I would rather believe. The dead giveaway, from my perspective, is the allegation that Bailey said to Nikolic: ‘I am going to fuck your career.’ I have known the bloke for a long time and I have never known him to swear. My understanding is that the Perna Squad organized police protection to be placed on Bailey last night. What a sad situation this has reached when stewards trying to do their job fear for the lives of themselves and their family. There is no place for this in Australian racing.


IRONICALLY, this was an e-mail we received and had decided to run before the incident at Seymour on Tuesday:


‘THE smug, smart-arse attitude of Dan Nikolic to any form of authority – especially the stewards – is becoming more than a lot of people in racing can handle.

It is time someone in authority sat ‘Dan the Man’ down and reminded him that he is smack in the middle of the biggest controversy to hit racing since Fine Cotton and if things take a turn for the worse he could need more than a high paid team of lawyers or some help from friends in the right places to rescue him.

Anyone who watches and listens to Nikolic would soon realize he has a giant chip on his shoulder and he gives the impression that he believes he is above the law. He is like a cat with nine lives, continually emerging from his close calls with a smirk on his face.

His smart arse response to Bruce Clark of TVN when told that Lonergan Milham was honorary clerk of scales at the Caulfield races on National Jockeys’ Celebration Day showed a total lack of respect for the panel working that day.

He should have been hauled in and asked for an apology at least but then Terry Bailey and his panel would have been accused by ‘Dan the Man’s’ mates in the racing media of ‘Nikolic bashing.’

The racing industry in general has had a gutful of Nikolic and his antics. They want him brought to heel. For too long he has enjoyed, in the opinion of many, too much leeway from racing officialdom, police and disciplinary boards.

If the rumor mill is correct Danny has enjoyed a terrific relationship with a lot of people either in key roles or close to those who have the power to alter the course of his career as a jockey. Perhaps these are some of the issues that the Perna Inquiry should be delving into.

In the meantime RVL or its Licensing Body should stand him down from riding until allegations into races in which he has an involvement are fully investigated regardless of the do-gooders who will argue he is being deprived of making a living.’ – Alan Wilson, Melbourne.

EDITOR’S NOTE: IT’S a crying shame Alan that a jockey with Dan Nikolic’s ability and talent didn’t let his achievements on the racetrack do the talking. Wherever he has ridden, in Australia or overseas, controversy seems to ride shotgun with him. The allegations doing the rounds are not helping his reputation or his career which is evident from the declining number of rides he gets these days.    



‘IT seems the ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ approach adopted by the mainstream racing media to the race fixing and corruption allegations in Victoria is not shared by some of their journalistic colleagues.

My mates and I found it indeed refreshing to read the item by Ben Dorries in his Sports Beat column in The Courier-Mail this week entitled ‘Let’s unsaddle blight on Racing.’

But having been around the racing industry in Queensland for some time we wonder how long it would have taken for Ben to have copped a back-hander from one of the veteran writers in the CM Sports Department who would have regarded this sort of comment as ‘not on’ and an ‘invasion into his territory.’

Dorries wasn’t the only one to break ranks with the ‘hear no evil, speak no evil’ racing scribes. Matt Nicholls, writing on a rival website ( called on those responsible for ‘tarnishing the image of Australian horse racing’ to be banned for life.’

Let’s face it, instead of burying our heads in the sand on this issue – which many in horse racing would prefer – why not set an example and protect the majority in the industry who are doing the right thing.

As Dorries said in his article: ‘If these sorts of allegations were being thrown around in any other sport in the land, can you imagine the outcry? Remember cricket’s Hansie Cronje. And more recently Salman Butt? And the Ryan Tandy NRL match-fixing case?

‘These had the sporting public up in arms and especially the stakeholders of those sports. But some horse racing types have a worrying attitude that race fixing and corruption are almost part and parcel of their industry.’

Too many of the ‘dinosaur’ racing writers, like Max Presnell of the Sydney Morning Herald, were too quick to dismiss the Four Corners expose of what was happening in Victoria as nothing new and just a beat-up.

Now it seems Four Corners only touched the tip of the iceberg as far as the controversy is concerned and if the Sal Perna Inquiry delves deeply enough it will find that what started as one race fix allegation could mushroom into many more, some of these in the city and even in feature races.’ – Mal Perry, Brisbane.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Unfortunately Mal those racing scribes prepared to fight for the rights of the punters never seemed to survive while others who adopted the ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ were described by officialdom and some key identities in the industry as the best in the trade and won the majority of the awards. If RVL Chief Steward Terry Bailey and has panel had received the support they needed, especially from the police, things might never have reached the stage they have. One could also argue if the law wasn’t stacked against the stewards to such a degree and the Disciplinary Boards had not let many off after refusing to allow evidence to be presented it might be a different situation as well. Some of those bashing Bailey for not doing enough were the ones supporting the system where he and his panel were forced to fight with one hand tied behind their backs.



‘I have noted with a great deal of interest that the ‘vultures’ are circling Danny Nickolic over his possible connection with a “questionable” race run at Caulfield in February.

I should point out that I do not have any argument with their strong views.

The issue I would like to address – in my layman’s terms - is the degree of difficulty that is needed for stewards to carry out their duties to a level that would satisfy the Grandstand Jury.


In the good old days the Rules of Racing gave powers to deal with offenders if ‘in the opinion of the stewards’ a breach of the rules had been committed.

The level of proof required for the Stewards to ‘HOLD’ their case at any appeal was to show that ‘on the grounds of probability’ a breach of the rules had been committed.

These days stewards’ opinions DO NOT MATTER. It is simply the opinion of those sitting on the Appeals Board. The level of proof required is then upgraded to satisfy them.

Forget this ever happened. It is only going to be a distraction during the most important period of racing in the country.’ - Aub Marshall  Melbourne.

EDITOR’S NOTE: You make a good point Aub about the level of proof required to support a ‘race fixing’ charge. There are stories doing the rounds that a high profile jockey has turned evidence against his mates in one of the races being investigated. It will still be his word against theirs. But it will provide a power-keg of ammunition for those investigating the race to ask some very interesting questions of those allegedly involved.



‘I read the story on your website taken from The AGE newspaper regarding Mr Perna, the Victorian Integrity Commissioner, requesting an interview with jailbird Tony Mokbel on the smelly past of the Victorian racing scene.

To say I was a little surprised is an understatement.

My memory skipped back to the Four Corners program that fuelled the present crisis.

A replay made reference to his little brother Horty and one or two additional ‘shady’ characters working the boards at a Melbourne TAB. It was fair to consider the question  “Is Mokbel still directing traffic from within his new abode?”

With Mokbel’s background and criminal history in mind should I be in Mr Perna’s shoes I would pull the blinds and check outside to see if Mokbel was telling me the truth if he said “it’s daylight outside”.

I would go so far as to say that Tony knows more about what is going on here in Brisbane than the local ‘Chairman for everything’ and the rest of his ‘noddies’. 

I hope Mr Perna you are not grasping at straws in a bid to justify your position and/or build a bigger kingdom?

After all where have these whistle blowers been during your two or three years in business?

I wish you well. Goodness knows you will need all the help and luck you can get.

And a request to the new Queensland Racing Minister: “If our Premier can sack enough civil servants to afford a Racing Integrity Commissioner, at least give the job to someone that has the confidence and respect of the industry, not some retired Legal Eagle who is influenced by ‘bar talk’ and coat-tuggers.’  - Bruce Lemon, Ipswich

EDITOR’S NOTE: One suspects Tony Mokbel is hardly going to ‘dump’ on those involved in ‘racing fixing’ in Victoria from his jail cell. With all due respects to the Perna Inquiry, it is drawing a very long bow on this one. As for your comments about Queensland racing Bruce, well you have attracted my interest, especially in relation to the forthcoming appointment of an Integrity Commissioner. With so little integrity in Queensland racing at present punter confidence in the north could well hinge on getting the right man for the job. We can only hope. 



‘PERHAPS there was a touch of irony to emerge from the question posed by prominent owner Peter Horwitz in an intriguing article in the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this week: ‘Where has the Racing NSW leadership gone?’

The answer might not be as definite as Mr Horwitz would like but it seems that one of the head honchos, Chief Executive Peter V’landys is looking for an escape route and may have even found it.

AAP subsequently revealed in a story that V’landys is leading a Steve Bradbury-like race to be the Australian Rugby League Commission's new chief executive after No 1 target Gillon McLachlan rejected a big money approach to quit the AFL.

Why would Mr V’landys want to leave an organization where he has been painted as the White Knight who saved the industry, masterminding the a court win over those dastardly corporate bookmakers.

If the future is so rosy for Racing NSW one has to wonder why V’landys is looking for an out.

It seems he is keen to move on and the $1.5 million a year ARL job has him interested, especially after it was rejected by Gillon McLachlan and a lot of other high profile candidates including former TAB boss Warren Wilson, ex-NZRL chief executive Jim Doyle, respected Canterbury CEO Todd Greenberg and the man who is holding the position on an interim basis - Shane Mattiske.’ – Glen O’Keefe, Sydney.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Peter Horwitz is a Sydney racehorse owner whose resume includes the 1983 Golden Slipper winner Sir Dapper and Takeover Target Stakes winner See The World.

Here is what he wrote in the SMH this week:

Where has Racing NSW leadership gone? The Racing NSW board was appointed in late last year, and NSW prizemoney received a boost following the court victory in March. But what has the new board achieved itself?

It seems to be treading water. Whatever the board's members are doing, it has not been shared with the public.

The board is sitting on more than $100 million. The only cash it has released is a prizemoney increase that totals $30 million annually. That is $2.5 million a month. But Racing NSW receives in excess of $2.5 million each month just from the ongoing bookmakers' levy (product fees). This means prizemoney received no additional benefit from the build-up of over $100 million from the bookmakers' levy prior to the court decision.

Yearling price increases and racing cost increases have far exceeded prizemoney increases. Owners are many times worse off today than 25 years ago.

Racing NSW should not feel cosy because the Victorians are underperforming at this time.

There are capital outlays that need immediate attention. NSW racetracks are in appalling condition, as are many training facilities. Yet the ''banking'' mentality within our hierarchy is blindly looking to close down a number of racetracks.

 The reality is the demands of racing and the TAB means that NSW racing is dreadfully short of adequately maintained racetracks (Randwick renovations and the wet winter are only part of the causes of this).

 The NSW racing public is entitled to see a written plan that has starting and finishing dates and dollars allocated.

 Moreover, despite the rhetoric, programming and handicapping is still not working, thus limiting field sizes and betting potential.

 The NSW racing losses (annual racing costs versus annual prizemoney) prior to the court case were more than $150 million. As of July 1, NSW owners are losing $30 million less. Prior to

Racing NSW being formed in 1996, the losses were less than $50 million a year.

 Does the fire brigade pat itself on the back when it puts out 20per cent of the fire?

 Racing NSW now has the opportunity to make owning a horse more attractive.

 The biggest problem of all with the board of Racing NSW is they are their own masters. They are not accountable to the industry via a commercial or corporate structure, or any other way.

 We heard a lot of bluster when the new board was appointed. Let's see the plan.



‘COULD someone please tell me what Gai Waterhouse was on about when she told big Richie Callander on TVN that Pierro had never received the recognition that he deserved.

The so-called experts in the racing media never stopped applauding his performances – and rightly so – when he completed the Golden Slipper, Sires Produce and Champagne Stakes clean sweep as a two-year-old.

“He’s the best colt in Australasia by far,” declared Waterhouse after his comeback win in the Run to the Rose at Rosehill last Satuday.

And who would dare to disagree with the first lady of racing who is now setting him for the Cox Plate where bookmakers have him early favorite ahead of stable-mate More Joyous.

I am just mystified at the comment about never receiving the recognition he deserved. Perhaps she was referring to the boom on All Too Hard that has been well and truly lowered at his runs this time in.

In any case if there are still some doubters those two are set to clash in the Guineas when Team Hawkes will get the distance they believe that All Too Hard is now looking for. Personally, I don’t think he will get close enough to fire a shot at Pierro.’ – Len Pope, Sydney.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Gai was back to her best behind the microphone at Rosehill and one suspects the Pierro comment was just another throwaway line. She’s never lacking in confidence when a horse wins and rightly so where Pierro is concerned. To turn your back on a $1 million race like the Golden Rose which looks at his mercy to take a punt (and that’s what it is) on him rising to the next level and winning the Cox Plate shows just how good Gai thinks this fellow will be. As for All Too Hard I wouldn’t go writing him off just yet – John Hawkes is an outstanding trainer and don’t be surprised if he gets to prove the critics wrong down the track.    



‘MY husband works behind the barriers at country races and I would like to know why I cannot take along my young children for an afternoon out during those meetings because of these licensing laws?

I am not the only wife in the same situation. We are being discriminated against and apparently so are the race clubs because they are not prepared to pay big money to employ security.

Could it be that some of these licensing officers in the country double dip at weekends earning money as security guards and that is why they are keen to implement these unfair rules on clubs that won’t pay-up?

I can tell you this – a security guard earns a lot more money for an afternoon at the races than my husband and his mates do behind the barriers when they risk injury loading at times unruly horses.’ – As I don’t want this to jeopardize my husband’s career, please do not use my name.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As Terry Butts so splendidly pointed out in his ‘Silks & Saddles’ column this week the situation regarding these licensing laws has reached a ridiculous stage and needs to be addressed by the LNP Government, the Racing Minister and the Racing Queensland Board. It is a major embarrassment for the lot of them at present.



‘WHAT is going on with this LNP Government and its Racing Minister (in Queensland) where they are allowing country clubs to be discriminated against by these draconian licensing laws?

One would have thought the National Party would be keen to promote racing in the country. Instead they are allowing a less than level playing field to exist where children are permitted to attend other major sporting events while the letter of the law is implemented at horse racing.

In Melbourne you can take your kids to the Cup where there are more drunken louts than you can poke a stick at by the end of the day. In fact officials encourage families to attend.

Is the Racing Minister even aware of the problem confronting racing in the country where the very future of the sport is at risk if young people continue to be banned from major meetings?

If he isn’t aware of what is going on then there is a responsibility for the Racing Queensland Board to start putting some pressure on he and the Government to have this situation rectified.’ – Josh Andrews, Townsville.

EDITOR’S NOTE: When Ray Stevens was being tipped as the likely Racing Minister in an LNP Government he promised that this discriminatory licensing situation would be one of the first things to be eliminated. Perhaps Ray should have a whisper in the ear of Steve Dickson who got the job or more to the point Treasurer Tim Nicholls who everyone in racing suspects is really calling the shots in racing with the new Government. It certainly isn’t winning too many Brownie Points for the LNP in the country.



‘THIS Pommie mob at Bet365 must think the punters of Australia are a bunch of dills if they expect us to believe they arrived in this country with a crystal ball.

The statement that they have released concerning the First Four ‘sting’ on the dog race at Ipswich certainly suggests in a closeted way that they believe they were duped.

Even if they were – and that has yet to be determined by a couple of inquiries – surely Bet365 are not suggesting that they failed to pay the successful punter his $70,000 in winnings because they had prior knowledge of some sort of sting. If they did why then was there an offer to settle for a substantially lesser amount?

Confirmation that stewards have discovered that the two greyhounds who failed to chase in the race were kenneled at the registered property of a Matthew Brunker does raise certain suspicions. But even the stewards have said they are uncertain whether Matthew Brunker was related to the successful punter Steve Brunker. It’s about time they found out and told us one way or another.

Bet365 gives the impression in their statement that they didn’t pay out because of a suspected relationship. Give us a break fellas! You haven’t got that big a crystal ball.

You could hardly refuse to payout because there was an inquiry into two greyhounds from different trainers refusing to chase in the race in question and that was opened before there was even a suggestion of a link with the property where they were kenneled.

There is no way they would have refunded the money had this guy lost his bet. But more importantly they tried to change the terms and conditions of the payout on exotics and have these back-dated which must put into question whether they deserve to have a license in this country.

How many occasions do these corporate bookmakers allow punters to invest heavily when they know a horse, pacer or greyhound cannot win? Plenty I would imagine.

It is fine while things fall their way but the instant they have to payout or lose too often there is one hell of a blue or they cancel accounts.’ – Cec Jenkinson, Sydney.

EDITOR’S NOTE: ONE would have thought there had been sufficient time for stewards to have completed their inquiry – then again it does involve one jurisdiction where the wags in the industry reckon they take an hour and a half to watch Sixty Minutes.

HERE’S the statement that BET 365 released after receiving some adverse publicity in the wake of the Steve Brunker complaint about their refusal to pay his First 4 winning bet of more than $70,000.

FOLLOWING heavy criticism on racing forums, Bet365, one of the world's biggest betting companies who have only been active in Australia for a short time, released a statement relating to the matter.

"Following a steward's inquiry immediately following the race, two dogs in the race in question, including the favorite, were subsequently suspended for 28 days for 'failing to pursue' and Racing Queensland are conducting an integrity inquiry into the race," the statement read.



‘DOES a Saturday ever go by when there isn’t a major form reversal or a couple of heavily-backed favorites that perform below expectations in Adelaide and Brisbane?

I don’t think so.

Adelaide racing was a great advertisement on Saturday for driving punters away from gallops to the major sports. Four odds-on favorites all beaten. Why not bet on the football – the odds are hardly any worse – and it’s only a two-horse race.

Brisbane wasn’t to be outdone with an odds-on favorite biting the dust at Eagle Farm, a major form reversal (there’s one almost every week up there) and another unexpected a successful plunge landed.

They are mighty good judges some of these ‘informed’ punters behind the plunges landed in Brisbane lately. Punters certainly couldn’t back these winners with the same confidence.

I got a friend of mine to check out the selections panel from the Brisbane Courier-Mail and he tells me that of the five experts not one found a spot in his four tips for Shafeeq in the Open Handicap. Now that’s either pretty ordinary tipping or the experts gave the plunge runner no hope at all.

With spring racing now upon us the message is loud and clear for the punters. Unless you want to do your money cold steer well clear of Brisbane and Adelaide. It might be tougher in Sydney and Melbourne but at least you will get a run for your money.’ – Oscar Carlson, Adelaide. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s hoping that Chris Munce doesn’t decide to ride too often at the big spring meetings in the south. He has proved the punters’ pin-up boy in Brisbane and continues to salute on heavily-backed runners most Saturdays. As for Adelaide racing well punters who bet there deserve what they get.



‘YOUR web site likes to make a big deal about form reversals in Sydney and Brisbane but continues to turn a blind eye to what happens in Melbourne of a Saturday.

Here are a couple of examples you might like to consider. Bloomingdale Miss settled last of eight at its previous start and never looked like threatening then leads all the way and walks in front to land a plunge at Caulfield on Saturday.

Let’s Be Happy beats only one home at her previous run at Caulfield then comes out and wins over the same track and distance last Saturday with Dan Nikolic producing a perfect ride after being late into the enclosure.

Celebrity Girl, unbeaten at three previous first-up starts, blows like a gale in the betting and races accordingly. Stewards query the run and Michael Rodd says the mare is looking for longer. She was unbeaten at two previous starts at the trip.

Elite Elle, unbeaten at four previous starts, is heavily backed but struggles to finish fourth and they blame the firmer surface. And the winner of the race, Lady of Harrods, led and beat one home, 14 lengths behind the winner at her previous start, and you want to know what that was – Elite Elle.

Perhaps next time you are bagging the crap out of Brisbane or Sydney racing you might take your blinkers off when it comes to Melbourne.’ – Dudley Ryan, Sydney.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Everyone is entitled to their opinion Dudley so let’s address your concerns. If you had bothered to read the stewards’ report you would have learnt that Bloomingdale Miss was slowly away at her previous start. She shared the lead at her two previous runs and appreciated a significant drop in class on Saturday. There were excuses for Lets Be Happy when an apprentice was aboard at her previous start and her form before that wasn’t all that bad. Celebrity Girl had 60kg and a wide alley. She got back on a day when the track suited the on-pacers. Lady of Harrods was first-up from a spell when she failed on the heavy. She had won at her last start before that at Caulfield and did have significant gear changes on Saturday. Perhaps Elite Elle is better suited in the wet, as her trainer suggested all along. My suggestion to you Dudley is keep betting in Sydney and Brisbane. But for value and a fairer go you will in the long term get a far better run for your money in Melbourne.



‘I hope you guys at letsgohorseracing are ready to eat some humble pie after Snitzerland bolts in at Flemington on Saturday.

All you wanted to do was bag her effort when she won the San Domenico at Rosehill first-up. What will you have to say when she proves that form was a good pointer and repeats the effort in Melbourne?

What or who is it you don’t like – the horse or trainer Gerald Ryan who you continue to pot?

It took a champion to beat Snitzerland in the Golden Slipper. She made your favorite All Too Hard look second rate and I see you were making excuses for another failure by him at the weekend.

How about giving credit where credit is due? Gerald is a great trainer and Snitzerland will turn out to be one of the best youngsters his stable has ever produced.’ – the Leap Frop Racing Syndicate from Sydney.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Sounds like you guys might work or socialize with the Gerald Ryan Fan Club from SKY Channel. We have never questioned the ability of Gerry as a trainer. All we say is that favorites from his stable don’t have a very reliable record. As for Snitzerland we have never doubted her ability. What we said about the San Domenica was that we were surprised Drifontein didn’t apply a bit more pressure early and Snitzerland had to win with the sectionals she was allowed to run early. We make no excuses for not giving up on All Too Hard. Let’s see what happens when he gets up to a more suitable trip in a bigger field. As for Snitzerland you might like to know that Blake, son of Gerald, sent a tip to the hosts of the popular TVN Monday night show, Talkin’ Thru Your Kick, to tell them that on her work the filly should bolt in. So I guess if Snitzerland gets rolled in the G2 Danehill Stakes on Saturday we can just put it down to another well backed Ryan favorite to bite the dust.     



‘WITH the majority of Fixed Odds markets with the corporate bookmakers and bigger TABs posted by Thursday afternoon, is there a reason why these are not used in some major newspaper form guides on a Friday?

Brisbane’s Courier-Mail is a classic example. Whoever frames the prices there would go broke very quickly if they were operating as a bookmaker.

In the main their Brisbane prices are an embarrassment and rather than list numerous ‘hefty overs’ of recent Saturday winners, I will just give you one example from last weekend.

Flying Jet was rated an $8 chance by the CM in the last at Eagle Farm on Friday morning.  On the Fixed odds market you would have been lucky to get much more than half that price.

One wonders where they get some of their tipsters from as well. When Mark Oberhardt was in the CM panel he might have thrown up some roughies but at least they had a chance and he had a big following.

Last Saturday’s panel included a character called Jack Smallhorn (it couldn’t possibly be an alias) from AAP. Jack managed to select the winner of the last, Flying Jet, on top but had to be using a pin for some of his other top selections.

For some reason he couldn’t find a place in his four for favorite Grey Assignment and selected the $31 chance Frozone on top. Here’s hoping Smallhorn isn’t the one they have doing the early markets for them.’ – Peter Dove, Toowoomba.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I guess it was fortunate the Jack’s parents didn’t call him ‘Ivor.’ More seriously though, the Courier-Mail markets on Brisbane racing have been a standing joke for ages. No-one takes any notice of them anymore. Serious punters rely on the Fixed Odds betting and can avail themselves of the fluctuations free on the web without even bothering to buy the local fish and chip wrapper.  


DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in the above e-mails should not be interpreted as those of JOHN LINGARD, the owner of the letsgohorseracing web-site. That is why he has added an ‘EDITOR’S NOTE’. Every endeavor is made to verify the authenticity of contributors. We welcome any reasonable and constructive responses from parties or individuals.