Jenny - Clean

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.


DANNY MORRISON of MELBOURNE sends a timely warning to PETER MOODY:

‘MY friends and I have been long-time followers of racing in this country and have had an absolute gutful of this bashing of Racing Victoria by one-time top trainer Peter Moody.

We were once great fans of ‘Moods’ but his incredible dummy spit over a penalty that was more than fair in the circumstances has greatly disappointed not only us – but many others in racing.

In his latest rant and rave – and the media and guest speaking appearances are to blame for providing him with an endless platform to air his on-going grievances – Moody accuses Racing Victoria of gross incompetence in the handling of cobalt charges against trainers.

There are some who believe that compared to those currently fighting disqualifications, like Danny O’Brien and Mark Kavanagh, that Moody got off light with his 12-month suspension, suspended to six.

It is easy to understand how bitter and twisted a trainer could become after losing his place at the top of the national spotlight especially after being on such a terrific high during those heady days when he steered the career of unbeaten champion mare Black Caviar and gained international recognition.

Moody chose to walk away from a training career and was given the opportunity – in the light of fresh information regarding cobalt testing – to appeal his penalty which is all but up. He rejected that on the basis that legal fees had already cost he and his family ‘the guts of half a million dollars’.

That’s a lot of money in anyone’s terms but for a trainer as successful as he has been and considering the amount he and his wife have invested in racing stock, one would have through if he felt that badly why not go the whole hog and get the crap off his chest instead of running around the country using speaking engagement as a platform to bag those he considers to blame for his downfall?

With all due respects, Moody isn’t the first top trainer to receive a stint on the sideline and the majority in the past have returned to doing what they do best and put that setback behind them. Instead we have him using the media to tell us: “I have lost everything. I have lost my business, my way of making a living, my reputation — everything.”

While you are wining and dining your away around the country, attending every big meeting from Darwin to Warnambool and Birdsville in between (and one would assume being paid to do it), spare a thought mate for those blokes who are made redundant without any prospect of work to provide for their families. You are on ‘sweet street’ compared to them my friend so stop feeling sorry for yourself and trying to find someone to blame for your predicament.

It’s obvious to all of us that you really want to get back into training but like some of the others confronted with this cobalt problem aren’t prepared to do so until it is wiped from the rule books through some testing or laboratory technicality.

Trouble is under some of the stewards who have operated in this country in the past, stakeholders have had it too good for too long. They cannot cope with the tougher stance adopted by some. There is even a story doing the rounds that one top trainer told of a Chief Steward of the past for one of the major states apologising to him for the return of a positive swab. So much for protection of the punters and the level playing field that racing is supposed to be.

Moody even gave the racing media a blast in his latest tirade at officialdom when he suggested: “They (Racing Victoria) came out in the papers and you blokes printed it, believing all they said was gospel and now we found out it was not.”

He has steadfastly maintained his innocence throughout this Cobalt drama and my friends and I have no reason to disbelieve him. But where ‘Moods’ loses us is when he maintains: “They couldn’t charge me with cheating, so they then charged me with being incompetent.”

Why would RV want to do that? He was a Box Office hit for racing in Victoria, not only during the days of Black Caviar but for the majority of his career. He was great with the racing public, terrific with the media and the punters loved backing his horses.

Pete, you were found guilty of ‘unintentionally administering Lidari with excessive levels of cobalt in the Turnbull Stakes in 2014.’ Please stop and consider the wording of that with the emphasis being on ‘unintentionally’. No-one was out to get you. You were the victim of an inadvertent use of a prohibited drug by a stable staffer. Nothing more, nothing less – so might I suggest it’s time to get on with life and get back to what you do best – training horses.

If your reaction to the events being played out at the appeals hearing by VCAT are any indication, one wonders what will happen if O’Brien and Kavanagh escape on a legal technicality. Can we then expect even more toys to be thrown out of the Moody cot?'


THE cobalt saga in Melbourne continues to hog the headlines and of course fill the pockets of lawyers.

The flimsy arguments being bandied, are to the rank and file, inconsequential to the rule that governs race day treatment.

Yes, the product VAM will increase the cobalt reading of a horse quite alarmingly- albeit temporarily.

There has been no suggestion VAM was used anyway, but the bottom line is that it’s illegal to use it (and all other similar products) on race day. That simple. So, really what is the defence argument?

The biggest mistake for the trainers involved was getting caught.

They did, squealed like a stuck pig and so began the most costly legal racing inquiry ever to hit Melbourne.

For the sake of the game, justice – not sympathy – must prevail.

To blame the stewards is quite frankly ridiculous.



BARRY ANDERSON of MELBOURNE retaliates to the Victorian bashers:

‘THE anti-Melbourne sentiment is sky high as we head to the spring, so let’s see if the Sydneysiders can deliver on the ‘big’ stage.

We’ve read all about the first years at Goldophin being a ‘character-building’ experience for John O’Shea and how he trained five winners on Epsom day at Randwick last year.

His fans in the racing media claim he has been dogged by bad luck in Melbourne blaming the flop of one-time stable star Exosphere there on a biased track at Flemington last spring and drawing the wrong part of the straight in this year’s Lightning. Untimely injuries, bad barrier draws and trouble in running have been used at excuses for the failure of other Godolphin stable headliners south of Sydney.

Matt Stewart suggested in a column in the Herald Sun this week that there had been a perception that the Blue Army, under O’Shea, was winning the preliminaries but not the grand finals.

The spring in Melbourne – not in Sydney – will determine if O’Shea has turned the corner. This is when he can silence the interstate critics who dare to suggest that Lee Freedman or Peter Moody are ‘secret’ options to take over his plum job.

Astern is a hot favorite for the Caulfield Guineas and just about every expert in the racing media – even those with a parochial view in Melbourne – are in agreement that Sydney has the better three-year-olds this season.

That being the case the pressure is on O’Shea for Astern to reproduce his giant-killing performance from last Saturday’s Golden Rose when he ventures south of the border. It’s time for him to deliver and not rely on a bag of excuses if he emerges from Melbourne without a spring in his step.’




‘I’M a little confused by the timing of an item in Peter Cameron’s TRAPS column in The Sunday Mail last Sunday headlined ‘$1.4mn Blitz on Brissie’s Gallops’.

Cameron, in his inimitable style (please bring back Bart Sinclair), suggests that a Sydney punter’s $1.5 million winning blitz on Brisbane gallops ‘has thrust Queensland racing back under national scrutiny.’

Read on and you will discover he is referring to not something that happened recently but these are events from May which makes me question how it has taken up until now to thrust Queensland racing back under national scrutiny.

Cameron is referring to a plunge linked to controversial NSW punter Eddie Hayson which landed almost $100,000 on the David Van Dyke-trained winner Brazen at the Sunshine Coast in May.

His comments are also related to the slick commission agents allegedly operating on behalf of a big Sydney punter (not Hayson) who were ‘milking the system’ and forced UBET to temporarily close betting at a number of race meetings, including Ipswich and Mackay.

The point I am making here is that this is hardly fresh news and if it has taken the new Queensland Racing Integrity Commission this long to open an investigation into what happened in May might we suggest the horse has well and truly bolted and their lines of communication are obviously operating by snail mail.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I think you missed the point of the Peter Cameron article and that was to highlight that UBET has become a takeover target for interstate TABs because of the turnover and integrity problems confronting racing in Queensland. As for the ‘bring back Bart Sinclair’ comment, I’ll refer to my late mum’s advice: You say it best when you say nothing at all.




‘I felt I had to write this Whinge in response to all of those who claim our stewards at the gallops are sitting on their hands at times.

Football betting has been in the news amid stories about plunges on games during the season that were on the nose being investigated and talk that former top gallops steward Ray Murrihy will be involved.

We keep getting told that Sport Betting is luring punters away from the three racing codes in alarming numbers because of a lack of confidence added to the fact that there are really only two options and they prefer to take the shorter odds on that choice.

Having watched the elimination NRL final between the Broncos and the Gold Coast last Friday night I wonder if a steward of Mr Murrihy’s experience would have felt some of the decisions met the level playing field requirement.

Let me say that I am not a Titans’ supporter – although I must admit supporting any team that plays the Broncos – but I felt some of the decisions from the match referees were bordering on almost being incompetent or one-sided.

I watched a disallowed try early that could have made a lot of difference to the result. Then I saw a Broncos player look like he ‘kicked out’ at the body of a Titans’ rival during the process of a try being scored by Brisbane yet nothing happened about it. The penalty count was very one-sided, as it always seems to be when the Broncos play, and in my opinion almost every contentious decision went the way of Wayne Bennett’s boys.

My final comment is this: God help the Cowboys this weekend – they have next to no hope not only of beating an in-form Broncos side but the start they appear to get from the referees. If this one-sided refereeing continues the Broncos are a certainty to qualify for the Grand Final – now there’s a tip you can bet on!’



BRIAN CHARLES of BRISBANE sent this email:  

‘THE baptism of fire has begun for new Racing Queensland CEO, Dr Eliot Forbes, but early signs suggest he is handling it well.

Ipswich Turf Club officials were angered by what they considered a ‘snub’ when every major club in the south-east bar them was represented on a new Thoroughbred Advisory Group to meet with RQ.

Dr Forbes reacted quickly to correct the situation and met Ipswich officials to tell them they would be included which was really the only possible outcome unless you were living in the era of Bentley and Dickson when some clubs had perceived start with the control body.

This does not overcome the problem where major clubs outside the south-east feel disenfranchised despite the fact that there apparently has been a similar body formed to give them a voice with RQ as well.

The sniping and jealousies that exist are not however confined to a country versus city situation. As one club cynic commented: “How could anyone with half a brain at RQ include a representative from Toowoomba without one from Ipswich. To pinch a phrase from a former Racing Minister when it comes to running racing the boys from Bundamba are a furlong in front of their counterparts on the Downs.”

A prominent identity from the north wrote:

‘It is notable that all parties on this Advisory Panel are Brisbane or SEQ based. I could be wrong but I have not seen any of the names from the country area.

We have two from the Breeders' Association, both based in the SEQ area. Why not have one from SEQ and one from the CQ area if you really do need two?

Two metro trainers – I would have thought one was enough. Maybe John Manzelman may have been able to give a country view.

There are also three SEQ club managers and two Brisbane club managers.

The ATA, who have only 10 or so metro trainers (I believe) on their books and who have reportedly labeled country trainers as ‘not professional’ is represented while the QTA president could not even get a run with this many on the panel.

If the new CEO and Board believe they have covered all regions with this panel we are in real trouble as they may not know about the clubs and industry participants that operate outside SEQ.’



AND this one on the same topic – a statement by JON KRAUSE, the SHADOW RACING MINISTER in QUEENSLAND:

‘THE racing industry has stalled under the incompetent Palaszczuk Labor Government in what’s another kick in the guts for regional communities across the state.

Racing Queensland appointed members last week to its three industry advisory panels, but alarmingly there is not one representative on any panel who hails north of Bundaberg or west of Toowoomba.

Sorry Rockhampton, Mackay, Longreach, Townsville, Mt Isa, Cairns, Roma and every race club in between, you aren’t that important according to the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

The appointment of these “industry advisory panels” highlights the fact that Labor’s new governance model already isn’t working.

What’s even more alarming is Minister Grace Grace was unaware the appointments had even been made when a media outlet contacted her about them.

Furthermore, one of the state’s major turf clubs wasn’t even consulted on the appointments or wasn’t even advised the process was occurring.

It just goes to show how south-east centric this Labor government is.

The Palaszczuk Labor Government must have a very different definition to “consulting” than the rest of the world.

Minister Grace Grace is giving racing communities across the state lip-service and hollow promises in the hope people don’t join the dots.

It has become clear recently Minister Grace Grace is under pressure around the Cabinet table to perform.

And now it looks like racing has been put on the scrapheap while she concentrates on keeping her job and her union mates happy.

The Liberal National Party left racing with a bright future, following a historic new wagering deal which increased prize money and promised key racing infrastructure improvements across the state.

As a result, confidence was high, certainty was assured and the industry had a long term plan for growth.

It has taken the Palaszczuk Labor Government only 18 months to destroy this and shatter confidence.

Minister Grace doesn’t seem to understand there is more to being the Racing Minister than just turning up at racetracks to hand out trophies for the cameras.

Country racing must also be given a voice.’ 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Racing Minister Grace Grace or Racing Queensland are welcome to a right of reply to the above. It was my understanding that RQ had established a separate  COUNTRY RACING ADVISORY PANEL as well but I cannot find any record of same in Media Releases or on the RQ website.




‘THE suicidal tactics adopted by two apprentices in the staying race through the wet at Doomben last Saturday was another black eye for Brisbane racing.

But full marks to acting Chief Steward on the day, Daniel Aurisch, for immediately opening an inquiry, something some punters believe has been lacking in the policing of Queensland racing under the leadership of Alan Reardon.

Of course there was the immediate reaction from the apologists of everything that is wrong with what happens on the track in Brisbane that these were apprentices. They were but one could hardly call them inexperienced. Bridget Grylls has ridden plenty of winners and Josh Oliver is considered one of the most promising in the ranks of young jockeys.

As Aurisch told the Sunday Mail: “You expect a standard from apprentices riding in the metropolitan area. It’s a punting sport and punters expect to have a chance (to win).”

Someone should email that specific quote to Reardon and remind him that if he intends to continue in a job he was supposedly retiring from a year ago then he should follow that advice.

Trevor Whittington, who has taken over the training of that ‘cat’, Black Jag, from the ‘champ’ Chris Waller told the media: “I don’t think it was malicious.” Well that’s reassuring indeed.

The bottom line is these were two bad rides that need to have some sort of penalty imposed as a deterrent to other young riders. At the end of the day Black Jag pulled up lame and Ranked with the thumps – symptoms that any punter who was brave enough to back either could well have been suffering from as well.’




‘WHAT a class act Joao Moreira is – not only as a jockey but as a person.

The ‘magic man’ from Hong Kong couldn’t have cared less when questioned and criticized about his losing sequence in Sydney racing.

These dills who question Moreira’s ability as a jockey obviously know next to nothing about racing. He is one of the best riders the world has seen.

No punters anywhere are more demanding or critical of a jockey than those in Hong Kong where they love him. There are stories of punters there cashing in their superannuation to back him at cramped odds to win the Sha Tin Jockey Challenge which he does most weeks.

Asked whether the criticism of his record in Sydney had offended him, Moreira replied: “No, because that’s their job. I think the way the guy wrote it down the other day on the news was a bit rough but sometimes they just write what they think and may understand us wrongly. As I always say, I love Australia and I will have that in my mind and heart forever.”

By the way, while many of his international high flying riding colleagues pour their millions into mansions, luxury itmes like big boats and even private jets, Moreira ploughs his massive earnings into orphanages back in his home country in South America. That’s the sort of bloke he is.’   




TERRY BUTTS reports in ‘SILKS & SADDLES’ for the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER that the worst kept rumor in northern racing is that Townsville’s Turf Club chairman Kevin O’Keefe will resign at the upcoming AGM next month.

Under the club constitution only four current committee members are eligible to nominate. There is a requirement for nominees to have served two years on the committee.

Nominations closed on Tuesday and at time of writing not one had been received to replace Mr O’Keefe who has indicated a desire to step down, citing health reasons.

He was a very active if not a dominant chairman of the TTC since taking over from Alan Parry five years ago.

He was, according to former Racing Queensland CEO Darren Condon, responsible alone for the new Cluden track, rated by many jockeys as currently the best track in Queensland.

According to Condon it would never have happened without the input by O’Keefe. “He was on the worksite daily, hard hat and all, and on the phone to RQ every night with a list of demands.

“If he hadn’t there would be no new track, believe me,” said Condon.



IF you are involved or just an enthusiast of horse racing this is a story that is a ‘must read’ about the threat that some of these fruit loop animal activist groups pose to the sport. It was well written by KAISER SOZE for the Hong Kong-based RACINGB’TCH website:  

IMAGINE if you were a dog, a cat, a chicken, a cow, and even a horse. Would you entrust your welfare to a group like PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) – the animal activist lobby group known for its “loud hailer” approach to animal welfare issues, or to any of the other activist groups? Would you?

PETA, a rag bag collection of political activists well versed in demagoguery and at using the media, “celebrities” of the fake and wannabe kind, and a sprinkling of starry eyed, but naïve bleeding hearts, is well known for its belligerence in prosecuting its own agenda. Its success as an activist organization in the US has been massively boosted by the use of “celebrities” and glamour – a very intelligent manipulation of the psychology of “guilt by association” at its most distractive best.

But, unlike the best known animal welfare lobby group – the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), which undertakes much of the mainstream heavy lifting on animal welfare issues, PETA’s language on such issues is provocative and highly emotive and agenda-driven, targeting industries who, using their own words “abuse animals for human entertainment”.

So what about the shameful acts of cruelty inflicted on animals, day in day out, in the wider community? Just this week, the Melbourne Herald Sun reported some of the most horrific statistics compiled by the RSPCA for the financial year recently concluded in the greater Melbourne area. The statistics revealed a shocking tally of over 12,000 animal cruelty cases reported and identified by the RSPCA.

The public silence by groups like PETA on such horrific documented acts of animal cruelty has been deafening. Yet these same groups have taken enthusiastically to a well-crafted campaign targeting the Australian horse racing industry with a single agenda of its wholesale ultimate destruction.

Is it any wonder that the hypocrisy of animal activist groups in cherry picking issues and fights with industries that go weak at the knees when confronted by them is starting to be increasingly exposed as little more than humbug and bullying?

The Australian racing industry has had ample warning that the animal activist lobby is coming after it. Yet, its response, deeply entrenched in its DNA, is reactive. When was the last time Racing got proactive – on any one issue? Racing is adept at crawling under the nearest rock when confronted or challenged on anything. Its leadership is continually intimidated – internally and externally. It is incapable of articulating some of its greatest strengths, choosing instead to succumb to the bluster and blatant intimidation by interest groups and individuals preying on its weaknesses.

Racing has been a soft target for animal activists whose narcissistic behavior and well organized communication strategies have gifted them opportunities to demonize racing and the many participants whose dedication to the welfare of their horses and to any members of the animals kingdom is REAL, unlike many of the animal activist groups and individuals who “milk” the issues for little more than ego driven photo opportunities and seeing their names in neon lights.

Interestingly, the selective agendas of the animal activist groups against horse racing can be starkly demonstrated by their deliberate reluctance to apply the same scrutiny to equestrian sport. Dressage, endurance and every part of equestrian sport is as challenging as horse racing. It has the same, if not more, taxing impact on a horse’s muscular skeletal system. Yet, the activists choose not to go anywhere near the equestrian world. Why? Imagine the public outcry if the animal activists dared to encroach on the many pony and riding clubs which have a special place in every Australian rural community and across every demographic?

And the silence has been equally deafening on the two Olympians participating just a few weeks ago in Rio in equestrian events who were disqualified on grounds of cruelty to the horses they were riding. But then, denigrating the Olympics is heresy, isn’t it? And the animal libbers know when to overtake and look the other way, don’t they? That’s how hypocrisy “works”.

Whilst it is easy for organizations like PETA and their impressively titled Campaign Managers and Associate Directors to finger point at racing with meaningless and vacuous throwaway lines such as “Cruelty should have no place in 21st century entertainment whether it be the track, the zoo, the circus or the rodeo”, the bottom line is that if they are really serious about addressing animal cruelty in a holistic way, then they should address the horror that is documented in the RSPCA statistics on animal cruelty. It is an indictment on these animal activist groups that animal cruelty is being administered on such a systemic level in Australian society.

When and if Racing wakes up from its slumber and exposes the moral bankruptcy of these groups and individuals, it may restore the respect which the industry as a whole, and all those associated with it deserves.


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.


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