Jenny - Clean

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..

OUR decision to introduce the Wednesday Whinge with snippets of gossip from around the country has been welcomed, especially since something similar was dispensed with when Mark Oberhardt left The Courier-Mail and his Ear column was discontinued. Your response to our new feature ‘The Gossip, The Threats and The Wankers’ has been overwhelming. It also gives us a chance to run some of your e-mails too hot to handle in the mail box in a toned down version that still gets the message across. Spearheading the e-mails this week is a concerning one from a group of owners and trainers in Queensland who have spoken out about integrity in racing or lack of it. Our old mate Godfrey Smith is back – his column will appear again on a monthly basis on this website – and he has turned contributor taking a tongue-in-cheek look at his day at the Kilcoy races. There are a heap of other interesting and far more serious comments on issues from around the country.

 

 

OUR NEW WEDNESDAY WHINGE FEATURE – THE GOSSIP, THE THREATS and THE WANKERS!

THE racing rumor mill is in over-drive about the dust-up between several Queensland lady jockeys at the return of racing to Kilcoy on Monday.

It seems the only ones who didn’t know about the ‘cat fight’ were the stewards which comes as a surprise to most considering one of their former colleagues was allegedly involved in the mud-slinging.

She wasn’t at the centre of a real nasty war of words when a veteran lady jockey reportedly suggested to a talented younger colleague that the only reason she survived in the business was because she was just as good a rider off the track as on it.

What caused the dust-up remains a mystery. If we find out we’ll let you know. 

***

THE mail is strong that the comeback of a controversial jockey, who has been serving a period of disqualification, could be delayed.

There are unconfirmed reports – but more information is expected to emerge – that the jockey may have been having a flutter on a telephone TAB account.

Standby for an inquiry and some breaking news on the matter when investigations have been completed.

*** 

PLENTY of questions from owners who subscribe to the QTIS Scheme after the revelation by Terry Butts in his Silks & Saddles column that two QTIS races worth nearly $10,000 were run at the Twin Hills annual each with a field of four.

Owners want to know how this was allowed to happen. They thought there were rules which placed limits on QTIS fields (of more than four starters) before bonus payments could be made.

Our advice: Address your concerns to Racing Queensland or the Racing Minister as the Government provides the QTIS money. There’s no point us asking RQ for an explanation. They don’t talk to web sites (media outlets) that are objective or critical or doing the job that the mainstream racing media should be doing.

*****

 

LETSGOHORSERACING fully endorses the criticism by Phil Purser on his terrific website justracing.com.au of the abysmal and, in our opinion illegal, dollar dividends being paid by TattsBet on long odds-on favorites.

As Phil so rightly points out – but the Brisbane daily fish and chips wrapper chooses to ignore arguably because of the money they are paid by TattsBet to publish form guides – how can it be legal for punters to invest their hard-earned with no chance of winning?

Regardless of the TattsBet rules or protective legislation concerning the payment of dividends when pools on individual starters reach a certain level, the fact remains that if you place a bet you are entitled to believe that you have a chance of winning. That’s how gambling works. If you have no chance of winning then it has to be illegal.

How can a punter have a $1 on a horse and get only his or her money back if the horse wins. Would they have refunded his money had the horse been beaten not likely? In other words he or she had no chance of winning but had a chance of losing. If that’s fair we give up.

The message for punters from this is give TattsBet a big miss – it’s another reason why they hold significantly less than the other two big TABs in this country – and open an account interstate if you live in Queensland or with one of the corporate agencies. You will get a fairer run for your money.

****    

 

SPEAKING of fairer runs for your money, don’t necessarily expect that if you bet on TAB meetings in south-east Queensland, especially Brisbane of a Saturday.

We received several e-mails from disgruntled punters highlighting the number of odds-on favorites beaten in Brisbane over the long weekend. We can expect now another defensive, playing with figures article, in the mainstream racing media attempting to deny the belief that odds-on favorites get beaten more than they win in Brisbane.

Rather than run the selection of e-mail complaints that we received about the odds-on flops over the long weekend in Brisbane – there were at least five beaten – we have elected to run an interesting observation that opens the Wednesday Whinge this week from a group of owners and trainers complaining about integrity in racing in south-east Queensland.

***

 

WITH the matter involving Rod Fullar, the popular SKY race-caller from New South Wales, now before the courts – as reported originally and exclusively by justracing – there is some speculation that Terry Spargo might be encouraged to return from Dubai.

It sounds a big call even if Terry and his family were keen to return home to OZ, especially considering the profile of his position in one of the best racing venues in the world, if not the best.

Dubai to Dubbo and all ports in between in New South Wales might be a bit hard to handle after years of rubbing shoulders with the ‘movers and Sheikers’ of the racing world, but Spargo would certainly be a coup for SKY if they were able to lure him back from camel country.

***

IF you listen to an interested candidate for the Chief Executive Officer’s role at Racing Queensland, don’t count on it being advertised.

This well qualified and experienced guy, whose identity we will shield, came away convinced after talks with RQ heavies that Adam Carter, the Finance Officer filling in as Acting CEO, is being very protective of the position.

Surely the RQ Board won’t just appoint Carter to the role without testing the water to see who is interested both nationally and internationally.

A couple of high profile interstate CEOs, who some months ago could not wait for the job to be advertised, have gone very cold on the idea since watching what has happened at RQ since the interim body (it is supposedly interim isn’t it?) took over.

***

 

WE received quite a few e-mails from angry racing enthusiasts and industry personnel who felt the penalty imposed by the RAD Board on Danny Nikolic did not ‘fit the crime.’

Because this is likely to be the subject of an appeal to a higher authority we have elected to run only the one of these, some of which were extremely critical of Nikolic’s behavior.

All we can say on the issue is this: If being found guilty of threatening the safety of a Chief Steward and his family is only worth a two-year ban, how much more serious would a charge of this nature have to be to attract a five-year or life ban?

  

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

GROUP EXPRESSES CONCERNS ABOUT INTEGRITY IN QUEENSLAND RACING

‘THIS e-mail has been sent to your web site on behalf of a group of concerned owners and trainers facing a predicament over the direction that the integrity of racing in south-east Queensland seems to be heading.

We are certainly by no means high profile but we race plenty of horses between us and contribute a great deal of money and effort into an industry that we love. Unfortunately we are of the belief it is no longer a ‘level playing field’ in some aspects of racing in Queensland but there seems little we can do about it.

How can we take our concerns to Racing Queensland when the two major players in their Integrity Department are so close to the new Board chairman? 

How can we take our concerns to the Crime and Misconduct Commission when they will just hand-ball it back to the RQ stewards who we have no real confidence in?

How can we take our complaints to the mainstream racing media with their connections to the RQ Chairman? Some have second Saturday jobs working for the Brisbane Racing Club – a conflict of interest you might think when it comes to providing an objective view? 

How can we take our concerns to the Trainers’ Association which has, by all reports, jumped ship politically to take advantage of a new control body at RQ, or to an Owners’ Association that had its full financial support withdrawn by the new Board and doesn’t seem to have much influence with the new powers that be?

How can we get our concerns expressed without going to web sites like letsgohorseracing and justracing, the only two media outlets with the courage to question the things that are wrong with racing in Queensland, the main reason they are despised by those in high places and their supporters?

Our predicament is that while those who train our horses are seen as fair game, others appear to be treated differently. Eye-brows are being raised about those trainers who never seem to be questioned.

There are bookmakers in bed with the new RQ that should have been shown the door years ago. Instead the industry is basically paying them to survive when some are already earning plenty.

We all saw what happened to a couple of betting stewards who tried to raise concerns about what was happening in the local rings some years ago. They were sacked. Bookmaker friendly replacements continue to survive by not rocking the boat.

Odds-on favorites have a disgraceful strike rate at TAB tracks in south-east Queensland.  Some trainers and jockeys are questioned over failures or form reversals. Others don’t seem to be.

Horses from certain stables go out one week as hot favorites – are ridden one way – and get beaten. They come out next start, get ridden differently, and bolt in. There is poor policing of gear changes made or promised when it comes to certain stables. Some trainers are having too much influence when it comes to programming of races.

There are major form reversals – look at the weekend just gone – there were five or six odds-on favorites beaten. Sometimes questions aren’t even asked. But in the event that there is an inquiry the explanation is either noted or accepted, even if there isn’t really an explanation.

RQ once had an Integrity Department. Now there is virtually none. No-one is complaining or game to complain officially. The general industry feeling is that Allan Reardon is a great steward when it comes to reading races but isn’t prepared to create too much fireworks. Chief Steward Wade Birch is regarded as still relatively inexperienced. How many major inquiries or high profile players have been suspended or disqualified since he took over? None! And don’t expect that number to increase.

The only way the current disillusionment can be rectified is for an independent Integrity Department to be established. We know it won’t happen but all positions need to be thrown open and advertised nationally and internationally to get the best possible candidates.

Integrity needs to be totally removed from control by RQL – and that means everything including the swabbing which is an issue that we decided not to touch on for legal reasons. But it would help if horses were required on course much earlier than they are now.

If the Integrity Department is to become an arm of Government – as was promised by the LNP pre-election – then there must be no political interference. Everyone knows the ties between the key racing politicians and certain high profile RQ identities. There can be no Government involvement or interference in Integrity whatsoever.

That is the solution but can we expect those who make the decisions to provide the cure. We doubt it.’ – As much as we would like to provide the above statements to a proper and trusted authority or body the current political climate makes it impossible for us to do so.    

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rest assured as long as this web site operates – and we plan to be around a lot longer than some of our critics – we will do everything in our power to protect the interests of all the good, honest people in racing in Queensland and that includes the battling owners and punters who contribute their share but get little in return. We are aware of the behind-the-scenes politics being played to discredit web sites like ours and justracing (and I am sure Phil Purser who also calls a spade a spade would be equally aware). It is good to see that a group of people are concerned enough to try and do something to protect the product they love. We are aware of some of the issues you have raised and are keeping a record of certain things that are happening on a weekly basis. I know of a major player in the industry in Queensland who tried to get the Perna Inquiry from Victoria to look into certain aspects of racing in the north but he was advised it was outside their guidelines. They were prepared to pass on his concerns to the local stewards. He told them not to bother. He has now taken some serious allegations to Four Corners and they are ready to investigate. It’s a sad situation when individuals don’t have sufficient confidence in the local system to raise their concerns with them. The only way this will be overcome is with the appointment of an independent Integrity body run by an experienced staff (some with a police background) recruited from interstate and overseas by an organization outside the racing industry with no previous ties to anything Racing Queensland and free of political interference. When you consider that a couple of the best stewards in the world say no amount of money would entice them to work for Racing Queensland in its current format, then any hope of a change sounds like a Mission Impossible.

 

THERE SEEMED TO BE A LACK OF ‘REFEREE SUPPORT’ FOR NIKOLIC IN HIS TIME OF NEED

‘HAVING given consideration to the two-year disqualification that jockey Danny Nikolic

suffered as a direct result of his clash with Chief Steward Terry Bailey at a recent race meeting at Seymour the one point that stood out to me was the quality or otherwise of his referees.

There were a total of three who came forward to support him. The first was Phil Sly, the second former top jockey Wayne Harrisand the final one was a Mr Evans. 

Mr Sly didn’t waste any time in appointing a jockey to replace Nikolic to ride his top mare Mosheen within days of Nikolic being stood down by RVL stewards at Seymour. That’s hardly a vote of support and confidence if ever I have seen it.

According to reports Mr Evans runs amongst other things a hotel that Nikolic owns in Melbourne. I would suggest that there is an incentive for Mr Evans to act as a referee.

Surely that is not an unrealistic assumption?

Wayne Harris, former jockey and TV presenter. Oh well, what more can I say?

I didn’t see Des O’Keefe from the Jockeys’ Association, any trainer or any licensee from anywhere coming forward to support Dan the Man.

And his apparent promotional managers from the racing media in TVN duo Adrian Dunn (formerly Herald Sun) and Bruce Clark were conspicuous by their absence.

I hope Danny gets the message or will he? - Jason Bell  Melbourne.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The only thing I want to comment on your e-mail Jason is that when a replacement rider was confirmed for Mosheen it was obvious that Nikolic would not be available to ride her. Phil Sly did give an assurance that if Danny was available he would be first choice for Mosheen in her spring engagements.

 

GODFREY’S BACK AND HE’S BEEN TO KILCOY TO JOIN THE HOEDOWN AND SWAT THE FLIES

‘HAVING just arrived back after an extended overseas holiday I find that the more things change in racing in Queensland the more they stay the same so here is my offering – a tongue-in-cheek look at the re-emergence of Kilcoy as a TAB venue.

I look forward to reuniting with the letsgohorseracing website and through my once popular Horsing Around column will be writing again about my travels, experiences in racing and how I see the local scene.

Rather than just make a boring trek back to the races at Doomben on Monday to see some old acquaintances (if they are still alive or even attending) I decided instead to make the trip to the country to see the return of TAB racing at Kilcoy after an absence of almost a decade.

Realizing that the race day would double as a political hoe-down I got my best western gear out of moth-balls (didn't even need to borrow a big buckle from my old mate Cowboy Bob Frappell) and I could easily have been mistaken for a local attending a country fair in Nashville, Tennessee.

I jumped into my best pair of R M Williams, refusing to give them a good clean as I expected the bull-dust would be flowing thick and fast and they would be covered in it by the time I got home.

My expectations were realized. One could have been forgiven for believing the race meeting was an excuse for a National Party reunion. The new King of Racing Queensland was there being treated like one of the ‘old boys.’

That surprised me. When I left I thought he was a strong Labor man as he has been anointed by the then Government and his strong supporter Rob Schwarten to orchestrate a peace treaty, merger or they tell me what it became was a takeover of the BTC by the QTC.

A change of Government and a change of political shirt later and the new found Messiah of all things racing was determined by the LNP to be the best man to lead the racing industry in Queensland out of the Bentley wilderness.

That aside it was good to see him mixing with all the old ‘goat riders’ at grass roots level trackside at Kilcoy, which I can report is still the home of the world’s best steak burgers and biggest flies that drop into your beer (or your mouth if you open it too often) without warning.

King Kevin was there for the launch of this country racing series – which sounds awfully like the old Friday circuit reincarnated which in my opinion is long overdue. And there ever so close behind was my old colleague and the man they now call his media manager (D'Plane Boss, D'Plane). That was certainly the first real signs to me that there had been a change of Government and a new control Board in operation.

There was much back-slapping and rejoicing the removal of Bob ‘All things bad for Racing’ Bentley and forelock tugging (what they could find) of the new RQ Chairman with nods of approval for the great job he is doing and how much brighter the future looks for the Sport of Kings in Queensland. It was a bit too much finger down the throat stuff for me and I headed out the back for a breath of fresh air and to my regret more bloody flies. Imagine what it will be like come Summer. Although it was one of those who was on the wall of the lady jockeys' room and tipped me off about the best story of the day.

The anointed one eventually spoke to the masses – all 800 of them (it was hardly a vintage Kilcoy crowd) – promising that this race meeting would become an annual affair and get bigger and better. The crowd went wild. I reckon if it had been like the old days the goat riders would have been throwing their hats in the air and their ladies would have been tossing their briefs onto the podium (a la a Tom Jones concert). After all he is a handsome little devil that new RQ Chairman.

Nothing much had changed at Kilcoy. It was still the same goat track with little chance for those runners that got back in the field. The only thing different was a new generation of flies – it and Esk battle for the title of ‘fly capital’ of the tracks in south-east Queensland.

In the stewards’ room chairman Ian Brown (they tell me he has the nickname of Perry Mason) was getting a first-hand glimpse of racing bush style since he returned from the north where he had discovered the love of his life (an old friend of mine, the beautiful Bree, so I am told). Oh what a lucky man you are Mr Brown – hope you’re not one of  Mrs Browns’ Boys (a TV show I discovered in Ireland that has fortunately now arrived Down Under).

But back to the stewards where news had apparently not filtered through about a major cat fight in the lady jockeys’ room. That’s a bit surprising as it involved one who was formerly very close to them. She wasn’t however involved when another told a fellow rider that the only reason she survived in the industry was because she was bedding down a top young trainer. It really spiced up the day at Kilcoy.

More interesting than the raffle that the stewards were conducting (the closest got a slab of pure blonde beer) to guess how many steak burgers the Bookies’ Supervisor big Ray See would devour during the afternoon.

I’ve seen Ray in eating mode on one of our many visits to Kilcoy but the young steward who nominated double figures had to be kidding. What does he think big Ray is ‘a pig?’ I use that term in no demeaning manner but to steal a famous line for the day another big man of racing in Queensland, Russ Hinze, put away 18 junkets cooked by the CWA ladies for an official bash at a race meeting in country Queensland. When a groveling official come up to Russ and asked if he would like another junket, the big fellow roared at him: What do you think I am – a fucking pig.’ 

Even the racing wasn’t without incident at Kilcoy – they narrowly escaped a false start in the second then had to declare the third a no-race after jockeys complained that this one was a false start. Perry sent Della to check out the stalls. She reported it seemed they hadn’t been oiled in 10 years and the ‘no race’ flag was raised.

Just another drama averted but by the end of the day most agreed they would meet at the same place at the same time next year and do it all again. You wouldn’t miss it for quids!

Isn’t it amazing what a change of Government and a new control body can do?’- Godfrey Smith (now firmly domiciled back in Brisbane and ready to rumble).

EDITOR’S NOTE: Wonderful to have you back Gody. I couldn’t have written that report better myself. Here’s hoping when we revive your columns that the new RQ Chairman doesn’t threaten to sue you like the old one did. We can’t wait to hear about your travels and exploits in racing and whatever from all parts of the world if your Kilcoy essay is a taste of what is to come. Humor aside, one important person you didn’t mention in your report who has done so much to ensure the revival of Kilcoy racing – through his political and racing influence – has been Con Searle and he deserves a huge pat on the back. He is one of the nicest guys you would ever meet. Racing needs more hard workers with the passion, dedication and enormous heart and generosity of Con Searle.   

 

BIG RICHIE COPS BOTH BARRELS OVER HONG KONG BAGGING BUT LET’S NOT FORGET THE GOOD HE DOES

‘THE large lad with the big mouth from TVN, Richie Callander, has been copping it left, right and centre since he decided to attack the highly respected boss of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.

There are times when he should learn to control his opinions on subjects he knows nothing about. Some fatherly advice seems long overdue.

Here’s how one Hong Kong media outlet responded to Big Richie’s criticism of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and its high profile CEO:

‘It’s tough to stomach fat boy Richie Callander at the best of times.

When he starts gibbering and dribbling about things that are way over his rotund head, it all becomes farcical and one has to roll dem eyes and wonder exactly what his talents are?

Sorry, but being Kenny Callander’s son isn’t good enough. This apple did fall far – very far – from the tree. In fact, it fell way to the far left and then rolled into some giant abyss.

Watching the snippet where TVN’s Great Gibberer has a choreographed rant about   Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, the highly respected and super-successful CEO of the HKJC, borders on the manic and an almost bovine sense of intelligence.

Firstly, don’t be so boorish and childish and flatulent that you cannot even get the man’s name right. That’s just plain rude and even racist.

After all, we are living in a global village made up of Kunta Kintes, Barack Obamas, John Smiths, Richie Callanders, Chris Wallers, Jimmy Cassidys and even a Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.

After a little cock-eyed spray about how, if EB cared so much about the 11-year-old Good Ba Ba, the former champion Hong Kong miler, and now being sent to OZ by his fung shui-obsessed Chinese owner to attempt a comeback, he should purchase the horse – huh? The Gibberer hit a new low.

For reasons known only to him, apparently the gentleman’s name who he couldn’t get his gob aaround and correctly pronounce ‘Is only famous to himself.’ Whaaat? Has Richie Callander ever me ‘EB’? We doubt it. Then again, with all those coming from near and far bearing gits to kis his ring and ass, why would ‘EB’ bother with the porky Callander Boy?

Next came the most baffling piece of gibbering: How Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges ‘only’ looks after two racetracks, both in close proximity and ‘could never run the OZ racing industry.’

Richie, Richie, you poor confused and befuddled gibberer, why on earth would he fucking want to run any racing club in Oz or even the Oz racing industry? When compared to the tracks and venues at Happy Valley and Sha Tin, most tracks in Oz resemble shanty towns and, for the most part, are run by village idiots and their village elders.

Then think about the turnover at Sha Tin on any weekend for a 10-race meeting – over HK$1 billion, which is around AUS$150 million. That’s a MILLION which is more – much more than the scraps of nearly every corporate bookmaker and TAB Corp combined – for probably an entire season. And you wonder why corporate are bowing and making mooing sounds to have Hong Kong punters as clients.” They’re fucking cash-rich and cashed-up – and with newbies to the sport embracing the tech savvy innovations provided.

And Gibbering Richie then think of the football wagering, which like horse racing, is a monopoly of the HKJC.

Think about the attendance at both tracks and which keeps going up even in this down economy AND the number of staff the HKJC hires…oh, and that Hong Kong is a stone’s throw away from that rather important market to every industry in the world called China which currently owns America, lock, stock and smoking barrel.

Then think about why Brett Prebble, Ty Angland, Zac Purton, Tim Clarke and trainer David Hall remain in Hong Kong and why Craig Williams, Steven King, Danny Nikolic, Darren Gauci and so many others rode in Hong Kong for so long. It’s not a nickel and dime game in the city and beats the hell outta travelling for  hours for a penny ante riding fee, half of which goes to George Harrison Taxman.

Think about all of this, mate. But wait: Thinking is not exactly your strong suit. Is it Richie?’Brian Jones, Melbourne with thanks to the item from the Hong Kong Racing Bitch.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Most of us have an opinion of all things racing. Our mouths can get us into trouble. The difference with Richie is that he is talking into a camera and tens of thousands are often listening when his mouth goes into over-drive. It’s a crying shame that he is so decisive and that he has copped this spray over ill-informed comments on Hong Kong racing on the very same week he should be dining out on the wonderful job he has done for Children’s Hospitals charities. The big fella looked totally exhausted near the finish of his 4tracks4kids walk on Monday. It raised over a quarter of a million dollars for charity and was largely his brainchild. Let’s cut the big fella some slack and try to remember at times like this that he has a heart to match his big mouth.   

 

PRAISE FOR VICTORIAN STEWARDS IN OLIVER SUSPENSION FOR SLOWING THE PACE                 

‘FULL marks to the Racing Victoria stewards for suspending Damien Oliver for slowing the pace badly once he got to the front on Elite Elle in the Champagne Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

It’s a pity we didn’t see this happen more often. This stance should be adopted by stewards in other jurisdictions as well.

No-one wants to restrict the right of a jockey to dictate pace but it becomes downright dangerous when they rush to get to the lead then throw out the anchors. It causes chaos back in the field and destroys the chances of many runners.

The 11 meeting suspension will be a controversial one – especially in the eyes of some of Oliver’s mates in the racing media – but it was time to set an example and let jockeys know that – high profile or otherwise – these sort of tactics won’t be tolerated.’ – Noel Hanson, Melbourne.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Here is a report by MICHAEL MANLEY in the MELBOURNE HERALD SUN on the inquiry and the stewards’ report on the incident and the suspension:

RACING Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey has defended his panel's decision to suspend leading jockey Damien Oliver for 11 meetings.

Oliver will miss key rides at Flemington on Saturday, including Rekindled Interest in the Turnbull Stakes and Commanding Jewel in the Edward Manifold Stakes, after yesterday being found guilty of excessively slackening the speed on Elite Elle in the Champagne Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday.

His ban ends on Saturday week.

Oliver has appealed and his case will be heard by the Racing and Appeals Disciplinary Board on Thursday.

He is the fourth jockey found guilty of the charge, introduced two years ago.

Oliver pushed Elite Elle forward from her outside draw and tried to cross favourite Snitzerland, who had drawn barrier one.

When Oliver saw he wasn't going to cross, he took hold of his filly in an excessive manner, stewards said.

Bailey said Dwayne Dunn's mount Valid Contract and Glen Boss's mount Saturn Rock had met severe interference.

"The rule is there for his safety and the safety of the other jockeys," he said.

Oliver told the stewards the slackening of the speed was not abnormal and, had he continued pushing forward, it would have been detrimental to Elite Elle and Snitzerland's chances.

 

AND the STEWARDS’ REPORT:

RACING Victoria Stewards today concluded an inquiry in relation to a charge levelled against Damien Oliver in relation to his ride on Elite Elle at Moonee Valley on September 28 in Race 4, the TBV/Gallagher Bassett Champagne Stakes (Group 3)  1200 Metres. Damien Oliver was subsequently found guilty of breaching the provisions of AR 137(d) which reads as follows:

Any rider may be penalized if, in the opinion of the Stewards he excessively slows, reduces or checks the speed of his horse thereby causing interference, directly or indirectly, to any other horse in the race.

The particulars being that between the 1000 metres and the 900 metres Damien Oliver excessively reduced the speed of his mount which, resulted in the pace of the race slackening. This caused Saturn Rock to be checked off the heels of Hoss Amor which was following Elite Elle. Saturn Rock was then left with no option other than to shift in when not clear of Valid Contract resulting in Valid Contract and Saturn Rock both being checked severely.   

Damien Oliver had his license to ride in races suspended for a total of 11 meetings (3 city, 8 country) to commence midnight October 3 and to expire midnight October 12.

 

SHOULD THE STEWARDS HAVE QUESTIONED THE BOLD GLANCE IMPROVEMENT?  

‘I noticed that the new ‘gun’ steward of the RQ panel in Alan Reardon was in charge of the racing at Eagle Farm on Saturday and wondered why he didn’t ask about the improved showing from Bold Glance.

Bold Glance was a well backed favorite at his previous run and trainer Norm Hilton said before the race he was considering an Epsom start for the horse.

It went terrible, ran eighth and beat only one home over the Doomben mile. That’s the same trip over which the horse had been placed in a Doncaster.

Now Lucky Luna, the winner of that race, was entitled to start favorite when they clashed again at Eagle Farm on Saturday. After the claim for Rosie Myers he met Bold Glance on the same terms but never looked like beating him.

How do you follow form in Brisbane when a horse that beats one home one start comes out and makes the winner of that race look second rate the next start?

But to add insult to injury the stewards question the Lucky Luna run and can’t get any sort of explanation but don’t even bother asking a question of the Bold Glance camp. It doesn’t make any sense.’ – Graham Morton, Brisbane.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The stewards’ reports are like the form in Brisbane racing – hard to follow. Here is the stewards’ report from the day at Doomben when Bold Glance went like a busted backside:

K. Matheson was asked to explain the disappointing performance of BOLD GLANCE. He stated that the gelding travelled well until placed under pressure in the home straight but did not respond to his riding and proved disappointing. Trainer N. Hilton was also disappointed with today's performance and undertook to report to stewards the results of any veterinary tests he has carried out on the horse.

K. Matheson was also questioned regarding the reason FROM LONDON (M. Cahill) was able to obtain a run to his inside rounding the home turn. K. Matheson explained that he was attempting to apply pressure to BOLD GLANCE approaching the home turn when FROM LONDON shifted out and brushed his mount, which resulted in FROM LONDON improving to the outside of the heels of ROCKDALE (A. Allen). K. Matheson's explanation was noted.  

 

THE CHRIS WALLER WALTZ WITH MULTIPLE RUNNERS – EENIE, MEENIE, MINEY, MO                 

‘PUNTERS were again doing the Chris Waller waltz when the first race was run at Rosehill on Saturday.

Waller had four of the seven starters – Hoylonny, Studio, Black Jag and History No Hurdle.

Asked by TVN to choose before the race he threw his arms in the air. He should have stuck to the tactic adopted on RSN in Melbourne at day earlier when he told host Shane Anderson that Hoylonny was his pick.

Hoylonny defied a betting drift to win the race – putting up an amazing performance to defy the slow pace and come from last won score from Studio and History No Hurdle – giving Waller the trifecta.

What stunned punters the most was the big move at the track for Black Jag – considered by most the least likely of the Waller foursome. It went woefully and beat only one home.

Now either someone is getting bad information from the stable or there is a terribly bad judge providing them with that information.’ – Ben Watkins, Sydney.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I gave up trying to work out the form of the Waller multiple runners in a race a long time ago. It is virtually impossible. Hoylonny did look the one in the first on Saturday however. Stewards did question the Black Jag failure and here’s what they had to report:

When questioned regarding the disappointing performance of Black Jag, App. J Collett stated he had anticipated racing handy, however, shortly after the start, after being crossed by Tohunga, Black Jag was obliged to race one spot further back than he had intended. He added that, in his opinion, the gelding did not appreciate the rain affected track and floundered in the going. A post-race veterinary examination of Black Jag revealed the gelding to be coughing. Trainer Mr C Waller advised that Black Jag would be spelled.     

 

VALLEY NIGHTS WITHOUT DR TURF IS LIKE A MELBOURNE CUP WITHOUT BART

‘VALLEY Nights on TVN was once a ‘much watch’ due almost entirely to the following that Dr Turf had on the show.

Since he departed – or was shown the door – whoever you believe – the program is not worth watching.

Dr Turf and Terry Bailey were the perfect mix. Bailey on his own tries to be a comedian but should stick to race-calling. Jason Richardson is a good talent but fall flat in the absence of Dr Turf. The least said about the speed talking David Gateley the better. If the show hadn’t put you to sleep early, he is certain to do that.

The message for TVN from a legion of viewers who once enjoyed Valley Nights is: Bring back Dr Turf. It’s a big turn-off without him. If opening night is any guide it is going to develop into a giant bore.’ – Glen Browning, Brisbane

EDITOR’S NOTE: Terry Bailey and Jason Richardson are a good mix – not sure about Gator – great form assessor but lacks the personality for TV. The show will never be quite the same without Dr Turf but there’s about as much chance of him returning to Valley Nights as punters gaining confidence in Brisbane racing.

 

ALAN PARRY DEFENDS HIS ATTITUDE TOWARD BOB BENTLEY WHEN TTC CHAIRMAN

RETIRING Townsville Turf Club chairman Alan Parry copped a bagging in an e-mail to the Wednesday Whinge last week for his attack on former RQ Chairman Bob Bentley. Here is a response to that from Mr Parry.  

‘THERE are a couple of ill-informed comments on Wednesday last concerning myself and the Townsville Turf Club.

Firstly, let me say that the Club did receive some funding prior to 30th June last for future Legal Costs and Development Application costs from RQL.

I went to great lengths with our Auditors to ensure this funding was not included in our Revenue for the year and was treated as a Provision against future costs.

So, whoever made that statement about these funds being used to bolster financial results, needs to be aware of the true facts and what they are talking about.

Secondly, a comment was made about my being quiet on matters pertaining to the Club and Bentley & RQL. I want to advise you of the true position.

I have an intense dislike for Mr Bentley and his ‘modus operandi’ and I found him distrustful and I couldn't bring myself to talk to him in latter times.

In the interests of keeping communications going between the Club and RQL the Club nominated Kevin O'Keefe to be spokesman for the Club in dealing with RQL & Bentley because they (Kevin & Bentley) did have some rapport with each other. Sadly, also, this was tested in the end.

I just wanted to highlight that people should be aware of the facts before going public with criticism. Little wonder some administrators don't give these sites much credibility.

As I mentioned at the Club AGM, integrity and honesty will always win out in the end.’ -

Alan Parry, former President Townsville Turf Club.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We appreciate Alan Parry setting the record straight from his point of view and that of the TTC. Unfortunately there are many in the industry becoming increasingly suspicious of the motives of the new RQ when funds are distributed to clubs that needed a boost to ensure their end of year financial record looked sounder than it really was. I know how hard the TTC committee under the direction of Alan Parry and Kevin O’Keefe worked to fight back from the brink of bankruptcy. I accept the point that some administrators don’t give websites much credibility because of ill-informed comments. The problem is that some high profile administrators are too used to the lack of objective coverage (or hard questions being asked) in the mainstream racing media and when that comfort zone is disturbed they want to question the credibility of websites that set out to provide constructive criticism which they cannot cope with. Those feelings aside with Kevin O’Keefe at the helm racing in Townsville will continue to prosper. 

 

ALLEN VOLZ SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT – HE DIDN’T RESIGN BUT DECIDED NOT TO STAND

‘I'M amazed that I continue to read about my apparent resignation from the Committee of Toowoomba Turf Club (Wednesday Whinge September 26 and previous editions).

I would have thought that any diligent correspondent would have established the facts by now as it only takes a phone call or two.

At no stage did I resign from the Committee. I merely decided against seeking re-election for another term due to very heavy commitments to my new family business.

Because of the success of the venture I have been unable to devote any time to outside interests and that included attendance at race meetings since the middle of March.

When I was elected to the Committee two years ago I believed retirement was imminent and that I would have enough time on my hands to do the position justice.

My recent business opportunity was too good to miss and so I had to make a decision which was right for both my family and Toowoomba Turf Club.

I do have views on some of the direction taken and decisions being made at Toowoomba but at the end of the day it was my time poverty outside of my business that finally influenced my decision.’ – Allen Volz, Toowomba.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Allen Volz is an old mate who has contributed greatly to Toowoomba racing over the years and played a major role with Neville Stewart in pioneering the success story that is twilight racing. I am glad he has set the record straight on this situation as many key people have been quoting him as saying he was not happy with the direction the club was heading under the chairmanship of Bob Frappell. As I suggested in an e-mail to Allen perhaps the business decision which forced his decision not to stand for re-election happened at an opportune time.

 

IT’S JUST A MYTH THAT NEWLOOK RACING QUEENSLAND DOESN’T ADVERTISE POSITIONS

‘WHO said the new-look Racing Queensland wasn’t prepared to call applications for key positions?

I noticed your website – and many in the industry – has been critical over the failure of RQ to advertise new roles now occupied by Allan Reardon and Shane Scriven.

Have you noticed the latest advertisement from RQ? They are seeking a receptionist for the Business Services Manager. Now who said they don’t advertise positions?’ – A staffer at RQ who would prefer not to be identified for obvious reasons.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks for your tongue-in-cheek e-mail from the new-look bunker. Unfortunately it makes light of a serious situation. I am not saying Allan Reardon isn’t the right man for the new Integrity role or that Shane Scriven will not make a successful Jockeys’ Advocate. But why not advertise these positions to ensure the best possible candidate is appointed. Appointments made behind closed doors without full disclosure of remuneration (it is industry money and they are entitled to know what is being spent) only leads to accusations of ‘jobs for the boys.’ Here’s hoping the CEO job at RQ is advertised but from what we are hearing it will not be.

       

 

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.

 

 

 

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