THE WEDNESDAY WHINGE has a new look but won’t be dispensing with the theme and focus on the THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY side of what is happening in racing. The Whinge will continue to provide an opportunity for The Cynics to Have Their Say. Thanks again for your support for the most read column on this website and one of the most read on racing websites in the country. Our popularity continues to grow despite the bagging it cops from some high profile officials, especially in Queensland, who cannot cope with constructive criticism of any kind. We encourage supporters – and critics – to continue to contribute but plan to restrict the Whinge to less than 10 of the best items each week. Our message to those who continually bag us is simple: IF YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT YOU READ, THEN DON’T REVISIT THE WHINGE.



GLEN TOMLINSON of ADELAIDE sent this email following the weekend election turmoil: 

‘IF the corporate bookmakers thought South Australia’s new Point of Consumption tax legislation presented a headache for them, then the worst is yet to come.

Senator Nick Xenaphon, the greatest crusader against the on-line gambling companies plundering profits from racing in this country, looms as an even bigger headache for them in the wake of Saturday’s election result.

Xenaphon is being hailed a ‘king maker’ with his Party in an even more powerful position if Malcolm Turnbull and the LNP cannot form a majority Government. He has already announced that one of his demands will focus on gambling.

That is good and bad news for the racing industry. On the positive side, Xenaphon is determined to rein in the power of the corporate bookmakers. But from a negative perspective he is extremely anti-gambling which should have the alarm bells ringing for the three codes of racing and sports betting.

This could all have been avoided had the various State Governments, in conjunction with Racing Australia and the respective control bodies, had the foresight to force legislation through that would have diminished the power that the North Territory has enabled corporate bookmakers to possess in this country whereby the profits they plunder head off-shore and the rules they adopt are answerable to no-one but themselves.

Maybe with a few concessions and a gentle push from the Xenaphon Party, Australia will at long last see stronger legislation and increased taxes force some of these corporates to  declare operating in Australia ‘unprofitable’ and better still the emergence of a powerful National Tote that will provide competition and resistance to those that do survive.’




‘THE Winter Carnival has come and gone for another year in Queensland and what a forgettable event it was.

The much anticipated wait for the reopening of Eagle Farm went belly-up for the powers-that-be, despite the fact that the Brisbane Racing Club seems to be unable to grasp the enormity of the problem.

There is no need for me to repeat what is being said and written – even to a muffled degree by some of the weak-kneed apologists for racing in Queensland in the local mainstream media.

But on the subject of the carnival it was left to seemingly the only local turf writer with any courage of his convictions to sum up what most racegoers and punters believe. Here is what Brad Davidson wrote in a column in the Gold Coast Bulletin this week:

THE Queensland Winter Carnival officially came to an end at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday and it begs the question whether the event is once again too long.

Racing Queensland reverted back to the old 12-week format this year after shortening the carnival to nine weeks last year to make it more appealing.

The carnival dragged on this year and any event that officially kicks off in mid-April and finishes in the first week of July is always going to be too long.

Some will argue that the ‘real carnival’ only goes for five weeks courtesy of the Brisbane Winter Carnival in May and early June.

But I still think the Doomben Cup and BTC Cup should be held on the same day and we could trim back a meeting or two either side of the Brisbane carnival. In a modern world where sporting events are becoming shorter to attract more interest, it just seems strange that we are going the other way.

Davidson is spot-on in the eyes of most who follow racing in Queensland with an objective eye. RQ is listening to a couple of identities closely linked to the BRC who have an agenda. One of them, a former high profile media figure, was hellbent on reversing what the previous Board did in reducing the size of the carnival.

Here’s how myself and my friends, who have been carnival regulars for decades, marked this year’s event. Toowoomba Cup and Weetwood Day as a primary Saturday, is a standing joke. It just does not rate and should be run on either a Friday night or a Sunday until it proves it is up to Saturday carnival standard.

Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast get pass marks. The track at the Gold Coast is not up to carnival standard, not to mention Magic Millions when there are big fields and some horses have no hope. The Sunshine Coast is an outstanding track – probably the best in Queensland at present.

Ipswich might draw a crowd of 20,000–plus but the track and the fields attracted (this year in particular) were not of carnival standard. I dare not suggest it should be a Sunday meeting when that many people are turning up on a regular basis.

Super Saturdays should be the go at Eagle Farm and Doomben rather than drag the Brisbane carnival out for as long as it is now. Winter in Brisbane should be just that – about five big days of racing. The rest are little more than glorified Saturday meetings.

And as for Eagle Farm – here’s hoping that in six months it will be the track that the ‘experts’ are predicting – one of the best in the country. In the meantime it should be closed for racing and track experts from outside the state should be consulted on the best ways of making the grass grow without tearing it up every time a meeting is run on it. But most of all it needs to be a level playing field, not one where the rail is a no-go zone or protected by a false rail (like this Wednesday) out in the middle of the track.’     



ONE of QUEENSLAND’S most successful punters, who is based on the DARLING DOWNS and prefers to remain nameless, sent this email after he told us of his plans at the start of the Queensland carnival:

‘IF there’s a favorite that looks like a good thing on a south-east Queensland track my advice is head for Betfair and back it to get beaten. That’s what I have been doing all carnival and I’m a long way in front.

That’s the moral of the story after I decided to put my punting bank where my big mouth was at the start of the carnival. At first I had planned just to lay the specials nominated by the big media tipsters like Nathan Exelby.

I started out doing that with a good deal of success but soon realized that all I had to do was lay the shortest priced favorites on the big days that if you did any amount of form looked good things. Inevitably most got beaten. In fact I would say eight out of 10 bit the dust.

I am not suggesting anything untoward in this. It’s just a statistical fact that form doesn’t measure up at the major meetings in south-east Queensland and the best formula for winning is to lay these favorites on Betfair. I can guarantee you will win on most days.

Two of the shortest priced losers and biggest tips from last Saturday’s Caloundra Cup meeting are prime examples. If someone had suggested that Maurus or Outraged would have finished out of a place in their respective races you would have had them certified.

It’s history now that the odds-on Maurus failed to run out the trip in the Caloundra Cup and the heavily-backed Outraged could not reproduce his certainty beaten effort from Ipswich the start before.

All I can say to those who are scoffing at what I have suggested is – winners can laugh and losers can please themselves.’



BILL GOLLAN, President of the Sandgate and Districts Chamber of Commerce, has been kind enough to provide some extra information on the reasons for the Deagon community race day being scrapped this year.

Here is what Bill had to say:

‘THE Brisbane Racing Club insisted that they handled all ticketing last year. The financial dispute is over what the Chamber believes is owed from ticket sales and other issues. This large sum of money is for the local community.

The Chamber has tried in good faith to resolve the issue on various occasions for the good of the future of the race day.

The BRC originally offered a per ticket cost this year of $5.When the Chamber asked what that included, a Revised blank quote was sent with a massive set fee.

As the BRC has exclusive rights to Deagon, it was not possible to use another supplier. The Chamber executive was not prepared to expose the community to that financial risk.

Hope this sets the record straight.’

IN the wake of last week’s comment on the Deagon issue, we have received several emails supporting the suggestion that Queensland Events should contributed toward the cost through the State Government and there were others who agreed that perhaps the trainers with large real estate interests at Deagon should take the hat around and throw something back in the bin from what they have received courtesy of this boutique training centre over the years.




‘IT might be drawing a long bow in the eyes of some but I want to compare a situation that occurred involving a beloved family pet dog and the live baiting greyhound controversy.

Let me say at the outset that I am a long-time greyhound racing follower and have many friends involved in the sport who I am sure would never contemplate the cruelty of live baiting to win a race.

In the wake of the 4 Corners expose they have been caught up in the anger and disgust that has engulfed greyhound racing. It has gutted them but there has been little they could do about it. Those doing the right thing were dragged down by those who weren’t.

This week I watched in horror as police left a pet dog to die by the roadside after it had been struck by a car in Burpengary north of Brisbane. Footage of the coppers deserting this badly injured pet was unfortunately, for them, caught on a dash-cam.

Not much difference some might say to the video of possums and piglets being strapped to a lure a torn apart by greyhounds being blooded. It was more horrific for sure but an unacceptable practice for any animal loving person and one would have thought for the RSPCA.

But that august body, which we rely on to protect innocent animals and pets, seems to be ready to accept the police version of events – that they believed the Labrador was dead and had contacted the Council to dispose of the body. Did a reporter check with Council on the timeline to ensure that version of the story was right – as police would do if they were in an investigation involving a member of the public.

Either the coppers are awfully dumb when it comes to determining if a dog is dead or not or we are being treated like mushrooms by the Police in this whole affair. One might ask why the police involved were in such a hurry to depart the scene that footage shows them backing their vehicle into another. Regardless of the damage caused should they not have stopped and checked and is that not leaving the scene of an accident?

This wasn’t as bad as the live baiting but in the eyes of many it was a disgusting case of couldn’t care less by a couple of coppers on a cold night who deserve more than a tap on the knuckles.’



MARK YOUNG of MELBOURNE sent this contribution:

‘FOR a guy who spends a good deal of his spare time on Twitter criticizing others, might I suggest that Lee Freedman needs to hone his own communication skills?

My suggestion is that Freedman should look in the mirror rather than blame owner Bruno Micalizzi for failing to notify the stable that he was moving topliner Malaguerra.

I don’t know either party but haven’t been a fan of Freedman since he threatened to scratch Makybe Diva from her third Melbourne Cup if the track didn’t suit him then indicated at the presentation she would have started regardless.

Owner Micalizzi blamed a communication breakdown for moving Malageurra from the Freedman stable. He was quoted as saying: “I actually phoned him numerous times, and I never used to get a call. I sent him messages relating to other things, and would never get an answer. I sent the office an email. Communication is most important, and I wasn't getting the answers to questions I was asking.”

To be fair I should add that Freedman was quick to challenge Micalizzi’s version of events. “Freedman Racing was not going to offer any comment on the removal of Malaguerra from our stable but some commentary in the media has inflamed the ugly side of social media and engendered some wild misconceptions. We defend our high standards of training and communication and totally refute any claims otherwise. Whilst our standards are high the very occasional lapse would be no different in any business.”

I am the first to admit that the Freedman’s did a wonderful job taking Malageurra from the restricted ranks to Group 1 winner. But his last comment about the ‘occasional lapse’ gives the impression that there may have been a breakdown in communications with the owner.   

Lee also refers to ‘many sinking the boot’ in the wake of the Malaguerra stable switch, I am not one of those – simply wishing to point out that if you have the time to criticize or comment on Twitter as Freedman so often does, then you should get your own house in order first.’ 



RON MOORE of BRISBANE sent this email, giving LGHR an unwarranted touch-up:

LETSGOHORSERACING in recent years seems to have been joined at the hip with JUSTRACING but you have been conspicuous by your silence on their recent dust-up with the Brisbane Racing Club.

What’s going on? Are you deserting your mate like the rest of the racing media in his hour of need after he was turfed out of the Eagle Farm enclosure for no apparent reason on Stradbroke Day?

I am a great fan of Phil – not so much yours, but that’s another story. He has pioneered racing websites in this country and deserves much better treatment. He at least warrants an explanation for this disgraceful treatment by the BRC on its biggest day of the year.

My mail is that he won’t get much support from his colleagues in the Racing Media Association because they don’t want to rock the BRC boat or upset one of their long-standing members in Bart Sinclair who is a consultant to the club. How would you like to be going into battle with these blokes beside you?

The other story I am hearing – which I think is close to the mark – is that some of the things that Phil has written on justracing over the year and especially in recent times have got up the nose of certain powerful people.

I am told that one of those – who just happens to be in a high profile positions with a major club – also has a link with a web or blog site which consistently allows its close-knit group of like-minded contributors to criticize justracing and letsgohorseracing – sometimes to the degree of defamation.

Now the guy I am referring to writes under an alias which is a bit rich when he also serves in an official capacity with a major club. One would have thought that (1) this represents a conflict of interest and (2) he would have the courage to voice his criticisms under his own name rather than hide behind an alias.

But, as Phil would say, back to the state of play and I await with interest your response to what appears a lack of support for your supposed mate.’

EDITOR’S NOTE: THE first I was aware that Phil had encountered a problem was when I read what he wrote on his website. I doubt he needs my help to fight his battles but for the record I think it is an utter disgrace that some people in racing in Queensland at the BRC cannot cope with the constructive criticism and advice that he pens on a regular basis. They could learn something from him and it wouldn’t cost them six figure consultancy fees. If I was Phil I wouldn’t be losing any sleep over it or holding my breath waiting for support from the majority of his racing media colleagues – some of whom aren’t worth feeding. As I learned a long time ago that’s racing in Queensland.                 




ALBERT WILLIAMS, of REDCLIFFE, a regular contributor on all things racing in Queensland, dips his ink in the political and media trough this week:

‘AFTER the self-indulgent rap that Rupert Murdoch wrote about The Courier-Mail recently, I would like to comment on their inability when it comes to tipping election results.

Once again Queensland Newspapers – and News Limited in general throughout the country – was left with egg on its face when the ‘good thing’ they declared in the days leading up to Saturday’s election proved to be anything but that.

The same thing happened before the last State election when they declared Lawrence the Loser and his group of ‘supposed certainties’ over the line only to see the biggest boilover since Polly put the Kettle on.

Not only are they poor judges of election results, but News Limited back it up with research and survey results claiming this will be the outcome. The ones they are using are so bad one would hope they never got paid.

Not for one moment are we suggesting that Rupert wanted to see the LNP success at state or federal level because there might have been some flow on benefit for his companies, but the moral of the story is that when his media outlets urge readers to vote one way, they simply vote the opposite.’




PERCY HUNTER, of BRISBANE, who describes himself as at-home racing follower who has given up on SKY Channel:

‘JUST when you thought it was safe to say the situation couldn’t get any worse SKY Channel saved their worst for last with Saturday’s coverage of the Sunshine Coast’s biggest race meeting of the year.

Coverage is an overstatement of what the race broadcaster provided which was an insult to one of the big days of the Winter Carnival not to mention another slap in the face for the clubs that have supported them in the north and also the punting public.

At the end of almost every race there was a quick transfer across to the talking heads hosting the wall-to-wall coverage of the second rate NSW meeting from Newcastle. The same has occurred most days of the carnival in Queensland – second rate treatment by a second rate broadcaster in SKY.

But last Saturday was even worse. There were no high profile identities from the south helping with the coverage. That was left to Bernadette Cooper to perform trackside, rather than on her trusty steed which is fortunate as there was no time for interviews after each race.

While the major clubs in Queensland allow SKY Channel to continue to walk all over them and treat the at-home and in-club racing public like crap this is going to continue to happen.

It needs the strength of a Neville Bell from the BRC to take the bull by the horns and challenge the authority and contract strength of SKY by permitting to cover meetings from Queensland on a Saturday.

Until that happens SKY will continue to walk roughshod over racing in Queensland and you might note I didn’t even bother mentioning the need for the Board of RQ to get involved in this – if they actually know it is happening.’  


DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in the above e-mails should not be interpreted as those of JOHN LINGARD, the owner-editor 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.