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 (re-named) feature ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ 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 that we are running this week is a letter from former Racing Queensland Chairman Bob Bentley keen to set the record straight on claims that his Board was responsible for the massive debt the new Kevin Dixon Board has posted for the last financial year.





RACING Minister Stephen Dickson has been quick to address concerns that country Queensland will not have a voice when the new umbrella body for the three codes is appointed.

Mr Dickson told letsgohorseracing yesterday: ‘The input of country racing representatives is very important to the racing industry more broadly and it is the Government’s expectation that a country racing representative will play a key role in the future governance arrangements for the sector.

‘However, the Government has not designed a process that quarantines or assigns specific positions to specific groups.

‘An independent recruitment process will be instituted. Nominations will be called for and different sector stakeholders, including country racing groups, will have the opportunity to nominate suitable people to be a part of the future arrangements.’

It seems the ball is now in the court of country racing to come up with a high profile Board nominee who will meet the criteria and get through the qualification process. From what the Minister says if the person with the right credentials makes the short-list the country will not be overlooked.



TWO former chairmen of the Gold Coast Turf Club have more than a passing interest it seems in the outcome of a celebrity boxing bout on the under-card of a big fight night at the Gold Coast Casino in December.

Daniel Meers, a budding young racing scribe from the Gold Coast Bulletin has been pitted against a much older rival in Gold Coast Turf Club CEO Grant Sheather.

Insiders are talking about Meers being prepared for the fight by an old bulldog in Bill Millican, who loved nothing more than a stoush during his days playing rugby league for North Queensland.

Another former GCTC chairman Andrew Eggleston has jumped into the Sheather corner and organized some coaching for the one-time Golden Gloves schoolboy champion. Rumor has it Eggleston has put Sheather on a major bonus if he knocks Meers out.

Having witnessed Millican before he traded his six pack for a beer gut one would hope he doesn’t teach Daniel too many of his old tricks – like haymakers from behind or short upper-cuts to the orchestras which highlighted his Foley Shield career.



WE have received numerous e-mails from older racing enthusiasts asking how safe it will be to venture to the Brisbane races on Melbourne Cup Day.

Some offered horror stories from the past but are prepared to make a comeback with undertakings that security has been beefed up in recent years.

One e-mailer asked:

‘Can I safely head to Doomben for Cup day knowing I won’t be spewed on during the afternoon, propositioned in the men’s toiled or assaulted trying to get a cab after the last?’

Another queried:

‘Is there any guarantee I will be able to hear the Cup or will the lunatic in charge of a microphone who likes the sound of his own voice even drown out Australia’s biggest race.’

If you want the Cup day atmosphere then take your chances. If you aren’t prepared to do that, then watch it in the security and comfort of your own home, even if it means having to watch the boring coverage on Seven which will be more social than racing.



WE received a couple of e-mails asking if the Jim Murdoch who spoke out against Bob Bentley at the annual meeting of gambling group Tatts in Brisbane last week was the lawyer used on many occasions by Racing Queensland when the former Chairman was in charge.

Yes they are one in the same. Murdoch reportedly hasn’t had the same respect for Bentley since he tried to shut down the Deagon gallops training complex and convert it into a harness and greyhound facility.

Murdoch is a long-time owner-trainer based at Deagon where he has real estate interests. He led the opposition to the proposed changes and won out with the help of the LNP Government in having the former Board’s plans buried.

Although he was in the RQ legal team during the Daubney-Rafter inquiry and was widely used by the control body as an outside lawyer, Murdoch spoke out as an investor’s representative at the Tatts AGM.

He criticized Bentley for presiding over two years of ‘disunity, discontent and division’ as chairman of RQ. With Tatts relocating to Brisbane next year he said the group should not be dogged by ‘matters of controversy’ and urged Bentley to do the company ‘a great service’ by stepping down as a non-executive director.

Bentley, who told letsgohorseracing that Murdoch was entitled to his opinion but the least of his worries, received 96.3 per cent of the vote when he was returned as a director of the Tatts Group Board.   



GOOD to see an old mate in John Lyons called on to oversee the establishment of a Racing Museum for North Queensland.

Lyons is a legend in the north and a great racing man with the business background to get the long overdue project up and running as soon as possible.

John is looking for memorabilia from historical events in North Queensland racing.

Long-time colleague Peter Cameron wishes he had taken a photograph of ‘The Phantom’ looking more like Norman Gunston when he turned up on Townsville Cup day many moons ago after a big night at the Calcutta when he staggered out of his lift home and landed in a rose bush. Now that would make one magnificent memorabilia item!



SOME alarming figures are doing the rounds in the racing industry in the wake of the assurances last week from RQ Chairman Kevin Dixon that the QTIS Scheme is not under threat.

These statistics, which are still being drawn up by a prominent breeder, suggest that:

TOTAL payouts from QTIS have decreased from $10.87 million in 2009 to $8.01 million in 2011.

THE net cost to Racing Queensland has dropped from almost $8.15 million in 2009 to just over $7.06 million in 2011.

AND the total revenue received from pay-ups for QTIS has dipped alarmingly from over $2.72 million in 2009 to $948,000 in 2011.

Those figures are by no means official but if anywhere near right don’t paint a bright future for QTIS and explain why some major breeders are not on the same wave-link as RQ Chairman Kevin Dixon on this issue.



ON the subject of swab inquiries in Queensland, trainers advised of irregularities in a first swab and sitting on knife’s edge awaiting the fate of the second test have adopted a saying.

Looking for a lucky break a la ‘Doing a Bradbury’ – the Olympic gold medalist who came for last to win when the rest of the field fell over in the final – ‘Doing a Gollan’ has become the catch-cry of concerned trainers.

They are of course referring to the positive that wasn’t a positive for top trainer Tony Gollan before another test caught up with him and he suffered a hefty fine at a stewards’ inquiry earlier this week in Brisbane.



HUNDREDS of racing journalists from throughout the world who for more than a decade have enjoyed an annual junket to the Hong Kong International were greeted with some bad news last week.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club has changed the terms of the media package offered to media wishing to cover the big week of racing. This year they are only offering accommodation and those wishing to attend have to pay their own air fares.

What has become recognized as the ‘best racing media junket in the world’ has obviously suffered because Cathay Pacific are no longer the major sponsors being replaced this year by Longines.

As they say all good things come to an end and the HKJC can expect a major decline in media numbers who normally combine their annual holidays with covering the big event in December from all parts of the world.



RACING Queensland stewards are being accused of a lack of foresight involving the late scratching of a horse at the Townsville meeting yesterday which arguably cost the industry tens of thousands of dollars in turnover. 

Almost three months ago a horse named Panecillo finished second to French Lesson in a Class 1 at Cluden.  Panecillo then won two of his next three starts and was ruling favorite for the Class 3 Plate at Cluden yesterday.

It just also happened to be the last leg of the TAB quadrella, treble and double.

But at noon yesterday, the Tolga-trained gelding was a late scratching, by order of stewards.


Because stewards had just completed an inquiry into a swab taken from French Lesson which won the race on August 21. They found trainer Glen Baker guilty and disqualified the horse which then saw Panecillo promoted to first place.

And the ‘win’ made him ineligible to start in a Class 3 Plate.

The questions being asked at Cluden yesterday were why did it take so long for the stewards to conduct this inquiry and why did it happen on the day of the race meeting at which Panecillo was not only engaged but a ruling off-course favorite.

In earlier days (when the experienced Patrick Cooper was in charge in Townsville) the panel would have opened the inquiry before the first race and adjourned until after the last to hand down their decision.

That way the horse would have started, the owner and trainer would have been much happier and the punters would not have been messed about like they were with the late scratching of a favorite – not to mention the loss of much needed TAB turnover.

It would be interesting to know if Panecillo actually made it to the track for his engagement yesterday because if the connections were forewarned about the late scratching but the punters weren’t questions should be asked. 



THERE were plenty of ‘dumb and dumber’ jokes doing the rounds after the stewards’ report on the Tony Gollan swab fine contained the word ‘endogenous’ not once, but twice in the same sentence.

For those who missed it, the report read: In issuing the charge the Stewards could not be satisfied on the available evidence that the detected levels of TESTOSTERONE in the sample was of endogenous origin as a result of endogenous activity.

After several e-mails from readers confused by the use and the wording of the report we looked up the meaning of ‘endogenous’ which reads: ‘Substances that originate from within an organism, tissue or cell.’

An ignorant nark who doesn’t appreciate how smart some of the RQ stewards really are e-mailed a tongue-in-cheek suggestion that ‘endogenous’ was ‘a word that inquiry Chairman Daniel Aurisch had discovered while playing scrabble with colleague ‘Perry Mason.’  


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



THE article published in The Courier Mail and written by Bart Sinclair on October 28 has again forced my hand to reply to a statement by (RQL chairman) Kevin Dixon that the loss for the year ended 30th June was as a staggering $13.891 million and was the result of decisions made by the former Board.

And to add insult to injury, Mr Dixon expects the industry to believe that a confidential letter to the Racing Minister on this issue went missing in action and fell off the back of a truck and Bart Sinclair just happened to be there to catch it.

The actual financial position was set out very clearly in my letter to your website on September 10.

For the sake of good order and for the record I will repeat the figures and some comment so there can be no chance that a fair-minded person could be mistaken as to the finances of RQL at the 31st March 2012.


YEAR TO DATE SURPLUS -- $4,300,000


CASH ON HAND 31st March 2012 -- $13,047,000

NET ASSETS AS AT 30th June 2010 -- $96,912,000

[Revaluation to take place June 2012

[RQL assets have increased by $75milion since 2003]

FUNDING GRANTS HELD [cash] -- $ 5,800,000

[Third cushion track for Gold Coast Turf Club to be commenced June 2012]


Now returning to the financial report, the forecast deficit for the year was estimated to be $2.2 million and was predicated on a continuation of control, no change to policy direction, full payment of scheduled program of races for all codes and the full recovery of corporate and on course bookmakers fielding and race fees currently outstanding.

The subsequent decision in late March to accept the resignations of key executive staff following the election would have increased the deficit by $1.2 million.

The former directors had resolved at the previously scheduled budget review meeting to meet the forecast deficit from reserves and make the necessary adjustments to the 2012/2013 budget.

The 2012 /2013 budget was formulated on the restructure of administration function following the clause in the amalgamation legislation that there were to be no redundancies or dismissals of staff during the first two years of amalgamation of the three codes.

The above figures are correct and Kevin Dixon was invited to comment and offered a full and unedited right of reply, but failed to do so not withstanding several requests from your website.

The only reply received is a spin on the poor result by the Bart Sinclair article and a media campaign in support of the actions of the current Board of RQL.

Although an inconvenient truth, the financial figures are what they are and no amount of spin will shift the responsibility.

The current Board of Kevin Dixon changed the system and the organizational structure, and in doing so, has created the loss that appears in the article.

It stands to reason that massive grants to some favored clubs, handouts to bookmakers and a monumental change in industry structure come at a cost.

The Dixon Board made the changes. The previous Board had already given the forecasted position in the March accounts for the year ending June 2011 of a loss of $2.2 million to be funded from reserves.

The former Board stands by the financial position of RQL at the 31st March 2012 as previously stated and confirmed in the minutes of RQL.

The Sinclair article makes comment that work place health and safety issues were neglected by the previous Board. Not so. The issues referred to were highlighted in the handover report to the new Board and were in the process of being funded though the Industry Infrastructure Plan now changed and partly abandoned. 

The changes and magnified loss are the responsibility of the Dixon Board. The have the mandate to make change as they see fit. Only history can judge the results of changes made to how the industry operates. But playing the blame game, as is currently the case, is not transparent and the excuses are not feasible.’ – Bob Bentley, former RQL Chairman.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Kevin Dixon Board threatened us with legal action last time we printed figures received from the former Board. Our legal advice was that we published same in the interests of the public and the industry. We do so again but cannot understand why the current Board does not want these published. If they are incorrect wouldn’t Mr Dixon and his colleagues present a far more convincing argument if they proved that rather than trying to stop them from being published? By not doing that and getting their mates in the mainstream racing media to put a slant on their explanation of the financial woes facing Racing Queensland has some in the industry questioning whether the new Board is trying to divert attention away from what has happened to the money that the Bentley regime claim was there when they left. We call on the Racing Minister – in fairness to all – rather than play politics, to instruct the Dixon Board to provide a transparent report on RQ finances including proof of what or wasn’t left in the bin when the remaining members of the Bentley Board resigned after the State Election. Sadly, many in the industry regard Bart Sinclair as little more than a ‘spin doctor’ for the new powers that be in racing in Queensland and what he writes as Turf Editor in The Courier-Mail as little more than political propaganda. His days of serving the former Queensland Turf Club and now the Board of Kevin Dixon, along with his years of criticism of Bob Bentley, are in the eyes of many being rewarded by the Testimonial Dinner being organized to coincide with his retirement by the Brisbane Racing Club.    


‘I can’t quite understand why stewards would want to cite the Victorian Bookmakers’ Association president for publicly voicing concerns over allegations they should be well aware are all too true.

Lynton Hsu didn’t really reveal anything new to the Herald Sun. He simply raised the suggestion that some high profile punters with connections to the right jockeys were benefiting from alleged race fixing.

Confronted by the stewards to back up his allegations Mr Hsu was forced into defensive mode and quickly gave assurances that he was not being critical of integrity but more so highlighting the need for assistance from police in combating what many believe is happening behind the scenes.

‘Don’t shoot the messenger’ is what I would like to say to Terry Bailey and his panel. You are doing a good job. This guy supports you.

“Officials should stop worrying about upholding the image of racing in Victoria during the spring carnival and get on with the job of tracking down and forcing some of these low life’s out of the industry.” – Simon Wade, Melbourne.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is the story referred to in the HERALD SUN that quoted LYNTON HSU and also an extract from last Saturday’s RACING VICTORIA STEWARDS’ REPORT

VICTORIA'S bookmakers fear race fixing so much they will not take bets on certain races because of those involved, their association leader says.

Lynton Hsu told the Herald Sun there was deep concern about big well-connected punters they suspect were benefiting from fixing.

The president of the Victorian Bookmakers Association said members looked for the involvement of certain individuals or combinations in races.

"You look at these patterns before you look at the genuine form," Mr Hsu said.

"There are discernible patterns that occur when certain groups of jockeys, trainers and owners (are together). You have to look at whether this race is worth placing bets on."

Mr Hsu said it was time Victoria started treating race corruption as a serious crime and jailed those found to be involved, as happens in Hong Kong.

His comments follow a succession of racing corruption allegations that have surfaced in recent months.

Among them are allegations top jockey Danny Nikolic was involved in fixing a race at Cranbourne and that fellow hoop Damien Oliver used a third party to place a $10,000 bet on a horse that beat his mount at Moonee Valley.

Mr Hsu said certain punters were regarded with extreme scepticism by bookies. He said many of the most suspect punters did not bet under their own names and used commission agents, also known as "bowlers".

"There's no doubt in my mind there are very large syndicates or individuals with access to large portions of money on behalf of unknown individuals who clearly have miraculous form assessment capabilities or they are getting information from wherever," Mr Hsu said.

"They are success rates that test the realms of plausibility."

He said a recent major race at a city track was regarded as suspicious by bookies.

In that race, he said, an avalanche of late money for a horse that went on to beat the favourite, combined with the involvement of one key player, rang alarm bells.

Mr Hsu said the stench of corruption was scaring away the average punter.

"It's D-Day now. It's time to deal with these issues and root out those individuals who seek to corrupt."

Mr Hsu said he did not care if he was dismissed as a sore loser.

"They can say what they want. I've worked as a banker and an investment banker for 23 years. I can tell you right now, I've seen lots of thieves in my industry and lots of thieves in this industry," he said.

And the RV Stewards’ Report:

MR Lyndon Hsu, Victorian Bookmakers’ Association President was interviewed today about his comments in the Herald Sun article ‘Bookies air concerns Race fixing fears’.   Mr Hsu explained he was contacted and interviewed by a Herald Sun journalist on Wednesday of this week and during the interview he outlined his concerns about recent suspicious betting patterns in races.  Mr Hsu’s concerns were based on his observations of betting patterns and he had no other direct evidence to support his views.  Mr Hsu further explained he was not critical of the integrity services department, as he just wanted to highlight in the article the need for the Stewards to have greater access to information held by law enforcement authorities.



‘EXCUSE me for being a bit confused but why would John Singleton be prepared to back More Joyous to win $1 million after he declared the top mare could not win from the draw that Gai Waterhouse selected for her in the Cox Plate.

‘Singo’ might have plenty but he doesn’t just throw his money away and that is virtually what he did on More Joyous after she was caught off the track from the draw that made him so angry.

Surely this wasn’t just a piece of publicity drummed up between Singleton and bookmaker Lloyd Merlehan to add another chapter to the drama-charged week leading up to the Cox Plate.

As it was punters and racing enthusiasts alike were sick of hearing about the lover’s tiff between Gai and Singo by the end of the week. If he was so upset that she had betrayed his support as an owner then he should have sacked her as his trainer.’ – Jack Powell, Sydney.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Perhaps the story below from the SYDNEY TELEGRAPH might help explain why John Singleton saw fit to back More Joyous:

AFTER a week of controversy, owner John Singleton has set off a nationwide betting plunge after backing his champion More Joyous to win $1 million in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

Singleton was surprised at the generous odds bookmakers were betting about More Joyous and couldn't resist investingly heavily on his super mare.

He placed a $100,000 wager on More Joyous with Gold Coast bookie Lloyd Merlehan at odds of $11 - so if the mare wins, he will collect $1.1 million.

Suddenly, Cox Plate betting was turned upside down. There was even more support for More Joyous and her odds tumbled into $7 while race favourite Pierro continued to ease and is now at $4.40.

The Lloyd Williams-owned Green Moon is solid at $5 and is expected to press for Cox Plate favouritism on track.

Singleton's decison to back More Joyous came after he had been very critical of trainer Gai Waterhouse for choosing selecting gate 11 for the mare at Tuesday's barrier draw.

"Gai draws barrier 11, I still don't understand why, and I was upset about that - but I've said enough on that subject," Singleton said. "Then the bookies started to get generous and they give me 10/1 about More Joyous rather than 5/1.

"I had to back her at those odds. So, I had a bet with Lloyd Merlehan, I normally bet on the football with him.

"I've backed More Joyhous to win $1 million - you just never know in this sport."

More Joyous had been one of the Cox Plate favourites before her last-start fourth in the Toorak Handicap.

"That loss has toughened her up," Waterhouse argued. "Maybe those two easy 'kills' she had in Sydney were just that, too easy."

Singleton said although he hasn't spoken to Waterhouse since the barrier draw, he has forgiven his trainer, adding "everyone makes mistakes."

But as rain fell in Melbourne during last night's Manikato Stakes meeting at Moonee Valley, suddenly Waterhouse's decision to select a wide barrier for More Joyous was starting to look like a masterstroke.

When the Cox Plate is held at 5.15pm today, there would have been 15 races run over the rain-affected course in less than 24 hours.

"The outside might be an advantage after all," Singleton said. "If it keeps raining, More Joyous's wide barrier might mean she ends up racing on the best part of the track - and Gai will be a dead-set genius."Singleton read with interest Waterhouse's very public apology to him in her exclusive The Daily Telegraph column yesterday.

"I regret the pain I've caused my dear mate, John. I'm very sorry, John," Waterhouse wrote.

Singleton said he now wants to put the drama behind him.



‘WHAT is the point of having lights at the Sunshine Coast track if the new powers that be are only prepared to conduct three night meetings this season?

Is the power bill too much for them to handle or is this just a continuation of opposing everything that was supported by the previous Board of Bob Bentley?

One has to concede that the number of night meetings conducted at Corbould Park last season was over-kill and did have a detrimental effect on fields for Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast the following Sunday.

It also led to far too much use of the despised cushion track at Caloundra. One only has to look at the field sizes being attracted at Toowoomba meetings to realize how bad that venue is travelling.

If the Sunshine Coast was racing at night on the grass as many times this season as last, Toowoomba would just about have to close down. And one thing’s for sure – the new RQ Chairman is not going to let that happen to his good mate – the TTC boss.

But back to my original point – it’s hard to justify having lighting that cost so many millions to install if these are only going to be used three times a year.’ – Brad English, Sunshine Coast.

EDITOR’S NOTE: You can hardly justify the lighting if there are only going to be three night meetings on the grass each season at the Sunshine Coast. I suspect they had to find the prize-money for Country Racing Series in the south-east from somewhere and it became available by dumping these Caloundra night meetings. One would hope that RQL conduct a ‘twilight’ meeting on Sunday, December 9, to coincide with International Day in Hong Kong. It’s an opportunity to run some of the card under lights at that meeting without it costing extra prize-money. Perhaps Toowoomba should switch some of their Saturday meetings to Friday to coincide with Moonee Valley. The club couldn’t attract any worse fields or betting interest than they are at present.



WAS the ‘tell-all’ letter from the RQ Chairman to the Racing Minister blasting the financial woes blamed on the Bentley Board secretly slipped into the pocket of the Courier-Mail Racing Editor while he was at the BRC organizing his testimonial dinner?

Sounds like a joke but that’s the story doing the rounds in the racing industry. Those associated with the previous administration say it was just another political power-play using friends in the racing media to deflect financial blame from the new Board to the old one.

The Bentley Board claims when it left the projected loss for the last financial year was in the range of $3-$4 million. According to the leaked letter the loss to be posted will be closer to $14 million.

If we accept what Bentley says is true – and his Board insists it is documented in Board papers – then how did the new Board inherit an extra $10 million loss. I won’t repeat where some are saying the money went for legal reasons.

There is also the matter of the $13 million in cash assets that the Bentley Board claims they left in kitty when they departed and which, rather than deny, the Dixon Board have threatened legal action against those media outlets that disclosed it.

One could ask why the new-look RQ would want to hide behind the Corporations Act and not simply disclose the figures – if the bin was left bare as the industry has been led to believe according to stakeholders.

What we have in the story in the Courier-Mail is another propaganda exercise by a mate of the RQ Chairman who jumps – and has for years jumped – at every opportunity to bag Bob Bentley but can’t say enough nice things to bolster the image of Kevin Dixon. Whatever happened to objective reporting? Well at least he’s on the way out!

As far as I am concerned – and a lot of others who know the politics of racing in Queensland – this blaming of the financial loss of RQ for the year ended June 30 is just a tactic to divert attention away from where the money left by the Bentley Board really went.’ – As I am a former director of a major Brisbane club I would ask that my name not be revealed. I still want to enjoy my day at the races without being harassed.

EDITOR’S NOTE: It was predicted by many in racing months ago that Kevin Dixon would blame a bleak financial future for racing in Queensland on Bob Bentley and would use his good mate at The Courier-Mail to get that message across. This website was one of the media outlets threatened with legal action by RQ for publishing details of the final Board meeting attended by Bob Bentley, Tony Hanmer and Wayne Milner. They insist there was $13 million in cash assets and that the projected loss was close to $10 million less than that which is being posted. The one thing that Bentley and his Board have to live with that the industry cannot accept is the ‘golden handshakes’ paid to the four loyal servants when they departed soon after the election. That aside the Dixon Board needs to come clear on what cash assets they inherited and what the projected loss for the financial year was when Bentley and his colleagues resigned. It is not good enough to hide behind threats of legal action and claims of confidentiality. They obviously didn’t apply when the letter from the RQ Chairman to the Racing Minister was leaked to The Courier-Mail. That smacks of a set of double standards.      



‘I get the impression that Bob Bentley has been saved from one hell of a flogging by the leaking of a financial statement to your website on Racing Queensland’s bank balance as it existed  at the time of the demise of his Board.

As far as I am concerned the previous Board and the present Governing Body remind me of those old characters of yesteryear ‘Stiffy & Moe.’  As the saying goes, you have to try and read between the lines to determine if there is anything humorous about the management of RQ, past and present.

The facts as I understand them prior to the recent leaked letter from RQ Chairman Kevin Dixon to Racing Minister Stephen Dickson are as follows:

According to Mr Dixon the Clayton’s balance sheet credited to Mr Bentley is:

(a)   Basically ‘a load of rubbish’ and there was no truth in the document as to RQ’s financial position at the time of the changeover. Mr Dixon was further quoted as saying -

(b)  The document was privileged and the contents were restricted to the Board members. I understand all sorts of legal threats were made over the publishing of this incorrect balance sheet that was privy to only Board members.    

(Q)  Why would something like the Bentley Balance Sheet cause RQ so much grief for the Board to threaten legal action over the publishing of something that is of no consequence but upsetting enough to take court action if such document is made available to the parties with a vested interest?

Now with this most recent restricted ‘exclusive’ run by the new RQ Board’s ‘unofficial media adviser’ at The Courier-Mail we are led to believe that Mr Dixon has been frustrated over what appears to be a ‘dry financial well’ confronting the Board of RQ.

Is it possible for letsgohorseracing to check with RQ to find out if the $3.2 million includes $1.8 million plus given to Mr Dixon’s old club to post a financial year profit and further does the nice back-hander given to Toowoomba during this period balance out the remaining outlay?

On the other hand, if the $3.2m was disbursed as claimed on safety issues why did Mr Dixon give the Brisbane Turf Club and his friend Bob Frappell at Toowoomba such big handouts – especially when Bentley had allegedly milked the system dry and had left RQ in such a bad state?

In conclusion, if Mr Dixon is trying to locate the ‘well’ from which the former three shining stars received their payout, just check to see if there is a Debit Column in the RQ financials headed ‘HUSH.’ – Bruce Lemon, Ipswich.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I am not sure where you are coming from in this one Bruce but I do know the money that the Dixon Board allocated to the BRC as soon as they got their feet under the table was reportedly ‘overdue’ and ‘funds’ that the Bentley Board had with-held. As for the allocation to Toowoomba it is my understanding that this was not a sizeable amount but helped overcome a health and safety issue that RQ agreed to help the club finance. Some of the loss incurred by the previous Board would have been due to the absurd allocation of a ‘golden handshake’ to the ‘famous four’ loyal servants of the Bentley era. 



‘MY friends and I were interested and delighted to learn that a Racing Integrity Commissioner’s role will be created as part of a Government move to have integrity separated from the control of Racing Queensland.

This is long overdue provided we get the right person for the job and not a political appointment. There is always the worry of interference as well when a body of this importance is moved under the arm of Government. There needs to be some assurances given in that direction as well.

As for the replacement of the existing appeals set-up that is also a move in the right direction with the proviso that the new Racing and Disciplinary Board attracts the right appointments.

None of the current First Level Appeals Board members should be eligible for it. There were too many political appointments when FLAB (good description of jobs for the boys and girls, which it became) was established.

The image of racing in Queensland is at an all-time low, there is no confidence among punters with what is happening on the track and turnover is on the decline.

Links are being alleged between major bookmakers and top jockeys. There are rumors of major use of prohibited substances that cannot be detected. There is little confidence in the current stewards in the metropolitan area and even less in the country.

A new broom is needed to sweep through the entire joint – integrity wise – but will those calling the shots – the current RQ Board – which no doubt has had a major input into the changes being planned in legislation – allow that to happen? Not likely!

Standby for some major political appointments – a reshuffling of the deck chairs on the Titanic – and racing integrity in Queensland to continue to hit a string of even bigger icebergs, at least that’s the opinion of a lot of people with inside knowledge of the workings of the new control body.’ – As I am a metropolitan trainer of some years standing who does the right thing I would ask that my name not be used for obvious reasons.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I was stunned to read this from a top trainer who has had your experience and enjoys such industry respect. It is a pity we can’t reveal your identity but I understand why you would not want that to occur. Like a lot of others in the industry I have major concerns about the appointment process for Integrity and the Integrity Commissioner. If two of the current members of the First Level Appeals Panel bob up on the Racing Disciplinary Board then they might as well close the joint down. One has all the wrong connections and the other has plenty of skeletons in the closet from way back. It would make fine fodder for the CMC if someone had the confidence that they would act on information received rather than hand-pass it back to RQL. I know of one former judge who would make a terrific Racing Integrity Commissioner. He is of the right political persuasion, has a terrific knowledge of racing and how the law now works in relation to racing but for me to endorse him would be the ‘kiss of death.’   



‘ON behalf of a large group of trainers outside the south-east corner we would like to protest at the lack of consultation that the State Government and Racing Queensland is providing.

We had to learn on the industry grapevine that the Racing Minister had called meetings with stake-holder groups to brief them on legislation to go before Parliament that will have a major bearing on our future.

As per usual the only trainers’ body that was invited was the ATA, yet they are by no means representative of the mainstream trainers’ group in Queensland.

We believe the snub on trainers outside the metropolitan area is political and in our opinion some high profile officials of the ATA have changed their tune from when the Bentley Board was in power.

We plan to raise this issue through our Members of Parliament and ask them to advise the Minister that we believe the ATA is being given preferential treatment, that we are being snubbed and that there is a major conflict of interest when the son of an official of the ATA apparently works for the Racing Minister’s office.

To make matters worse the ATA has very few members outside the metropolitan area yet they are seen as the mouth-piece of trainers for the entire state. Many of us do not agree with the stance that they are taking on important issues and they certainly do not represent our views.’ – Submitted on behalf of a group of concerned country trainers.

EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS situation goes back to the days when the Queensland Trainers’ Association was a strong voice in the industry. Because it was seen to be a supporter of the then QTC, the RQ Board elected only to recognize the Queensland branch of the Australian Trainers’ Association, which at the time was more sympathetic to its ideas. How times change. No sooner had the Bentley Board suggested shutting down the ‘boutique training centre’ at Deagon and transforming it into a harness and greyhound complex that pre-election the ATA jumped ship politically and now seems to be enjoying the same prominence that it once did with the old RQ Board. One cannot blame trainers for protecting their patch but surely the Government and RQ need to recognize that a far greater majority of trainers is represented in the country than those the ATA speaks on behalf of.


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.