THE WEDNESDAY WHINGE is back for 2017 and won’t be dispensing with its theme which allows contributors to have their say on the THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY side of what is happening in racing. Thanks again for your support for the most read column on this website. Popularity of the Whinge continues to grow despite the bagging it cops from some high profile racing identities, who cannot cope with criticism of any kind and are too used to the spin doctor treatment they have received for too long from many in the mainstream media. We encourage the critics to continue to contribute and will provide a platform for them to air their grievances provided they remain balanced and constructive and do not border on defamation.



BARRY CARSON, who hails from country Queensland, sent a similar email last year and his anger hasn’t abated in the 12 months that has since elapsed:

‘THE greatest racing show on Australian soil comes to the Gold Coast again this week – if you are to believe the mainstream media propaganda – when Magic Millions hosts the richest race meeting in the country.

My mates and I have enjoyed racing horses in various parts of Queensland for years but when the careers of the ones we currently have are over there will be no more.

We aren’t millionaires. It’s a hobby for us that we hope still provides some return to enable us to continue our costly indulgence. But racing in this state is no longer a level playing field.

From the time that Racing Queensland allowed Magic Millions Day to become the primary race meeting each January there was a restriction of trade for those who cannot afford to buy at these sales and subsequently participate for the stakes that have now risen to an excessive level.

One would have thought that as the TAB (Tattersall’s, UBET or whatever it is called) relies on the investments of every day punters that the percentage returned to racing should be available to all owners to compete for – not on this occasion just those privileged to have the resources to fork out big money at a restricted sale.

That’s right – a sale where the buyers of the yearlings are enticed by the carrot at the end of the Magic Millions rainbow. No problems if the company is putting up the big bikkies but that isn’t the case when it’s coming out of industry funds as well.

We will take some convincing that it is not a restriction of trade that on this day of the year if we do not race a Magic Millions horse (or the winner of a qualifying race) then we cannot start at the primary meeting in Queensland.

And when the powers-that-be take it a step further and make this the richest meeting in the country, then there’s a good argument that racing in Queensland is no longer a level playing field.

The fact that this restricted race day has become the richest race meeting in the country is an absolute insult to Melbourne Cup and Stradbroke days, even if the MM propaganda merchants in the racing media portray it as coming of age.

It’s an even bigger joke when Racing Queensland battles for financial survival – losing tens of millions in recent years – and clubs have been forced to take a prizemoney haircut while the industry agrees to a long-term finance deal with MM that is outrageous and absurd.

Good luck to Gerry Harvey and his MM crew for convincing the former LNP Government and RQ Board of Kevin Dixon (the Bob Bentley Board bent over backwards for them as well) to help fulfil the Millions dream.

But when we are told RQ has suffered multi-million dollar losses in recent years, how can they justify this handout to a sales-related race meeting regardless of the crap about the advantage it is to the tourist industry on the Gold Coast at peak season.

One has to ask how any Government can justify the millions set aside to keep the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast. The original deal back in 2010 set aside nearly $16 million. The new seven-year partnership puts a sales related race day into the world’s Top 10.

When the latest massive handout to ‘Genial Gerry and the Racing Pacemakers’ was announced, then RQ Chairman Kevin Dixon (remember him – apparently he’s found his way unsurprisingly onto the Toowoomba Turf Club committee these days) described it as ‘a monumental day for Queensland racing’. Within a few months there was a new Government, the Boards running the three codes were sacked in the wake of the greyhound scandal and State Parliament was told that RQ was broke.

Then came the announcement of $18 million in prizemoney cuts from April of last year. But still the Magic Millions show rolls on. Makes a lot of sense doesn’t it?

And after Saturday’s big day on the Coast the racing media spin doctors will deliver all the good news and chances are – that once again – UBET will not release the official turnover on the individual races on the day so that these can be scrutinized. But we will be assured it was a history-making red-letter day for racing in Queensland.’

EDITOR’S NOTE: ONE of my spies in the Deagon bunker assures me that the commercial in confidence deal that was done by the Dixon Board with Magic Millions, means that the industry finances half the cost of the richest race day in Australia for the next seven years. How rich is that when RQ is millions in the red, has forced prizemoney cuts on clubs but still manages a handout to a company and race meeting that is restricted and sales related, not to mention run by one of the richest men in the country? Of course the parasitic breeders and corporate bookies will endorse the day, stakeholders won’t dare speak out about it and those in the media who raise questions about how the industry can afford this outrageous amount over such a long period will be declared dinosaurs and spoil-sports.    



IT has to be the racing ‘stuff up’ of the decade – former top cop  and Racing Integrity Commissioner, Jim O’Sullivan, in a feature story in The Courier-Mail fingering the wrong bloke for the Fine Cotton ring-in.

O’Sullivan writes: ‘Just before the Fitzgerald Inquiry started, I became aware that the well-known criminal Hector Hapeta of Fine Cotton ring-in fame was running a prostitution racket at Kippa-Ring with the notorious cop, Harry Burgess.’

Let’s take a deep breath right there. Hector Hapeta had nothing to do with the Fine Cotton ring-in. ‘Diamond Jim’ got his H’s mixed up. It was actually another Kiwi Hayden Haitana who in fact was found to be the master-mind of the greatest scandal in Australian racing at the Eagle Farm track where O’Sullivan once served as a director of the Queensland Turf Club.

Rather than publish some of the emails that the Whinge received on this topic, we felt it was a good opportunity to alert our readers to a must-read article on the topic by our old mate Archie Butterfly on his blog: It’s Not Normal – Life Doesn’t Have To Be Like This’. If you aren’t a regular reader, our tip is bookmark the site. In this day and age of too much spineless journalism Archie doesn’t mind going for the throat of those who need to be exposed.

I am sure he won’t mind us reproducing extracts from his article on the O’Sullivan faux pas in the leading fish and chips wrapper which is headlined:

Goodness, gracious me! – The Commissioner and The Clowns at The Courier-Mail Completely Balls Up Their Half-Baked Heroic Claims of Crooked Cop Corruption Busting by Fingering the Wrong Fush and Chups Chomping Cuzzy Bro – How Embarrassment! It’s a Bloody Ring-in!

Archie writes: Well f*ck me dead if I’m alive, if this isn’t the biggest balls-up so far this year I’m buggered if I know what is.

See that story at the top? (Included is the section where Jim O’Sullivan describes Hector Hapeta ‘of fine Cotton fame’).

That’s the first ever story account given by ‘Diamond Jim’ O’Sullivan, the lead investigator in the Fitzgerald Inquiry. It’s published prominently in the Courier-Mail (on Tuesday), as part of a series the paper is running during the quiet Queensland extended holiday period commemorating the exposure of the ‘truth’ about police corruption in the state 30 years ago at the Fitzgerald Inquiry, which is rather humorous for reasons that I am about to explain.

First though let me tell you a little about Diamond Jim. He was the head cop in the secret squad of supposedly sensational detectives charged with investigating their own before and during the Fitzgerald Inquiry, the fella charged with uncovering corruption and given unprecedented resources to enable him to do so, the copper who was meant to be the fount of all knowledge when it came to crooks in corruption, the go to man on evidence and facts about crooks and crooked cops.

Later he became the Commissioner of Police, the man with the golden hand who would shepherd Queensland into a post-Fitzgerald future free of police corruption, a world where criminals weren’t protected by even greater criminals dressed in blue uniforms, and brown paper bags were used only by children to carry their lunches to school, not by corrupt publicans, bookies and property developers carrying slings in untraceable used banknotes to the offices of senior plods and politicians.

Oh yeah sportsfans, Diamond Jim was the man who was supposed to finally end The Joke, but instead by his own hand this morning O’Sullivan has become The Joke, and right now early-rising and reading Queenslanders are scratching their heads all across the State and wondering if all this time the Joke has actually been on us.

See that part of the story ringed in red above?

Allow me to let you in on a little not-so-secret: Hector ‘The Protector’ Hapeta was never of Fine-Cotton fame as O’Sullivan so self-assuredly claims.

In fact Big Hec – who weighed in at over 130kg in his prime – wasn’t a racing man at all, and had absolutely no involvement in the famous 1984 ring-in at Eagle Farm racetrack.

Nil, zip, nada. Not a single bit.

As much as it pains me to correct a copper, punters – particularly a big chief plod copper – it’s my melancholy duty at all times as a journalist to school the public up on the truth wherever I can. So cop the exclusive tip readers and start running down to the newsagent to demand a refund on your copy of this morning’s Courier-Mail, for the former boss-dog copper turned author, and the soon to be former boss-dog sub-editor turned dole-queue conga-line member responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the words inked on tomorrow’s vege peel wrapper have, like the connections who posed Bold Personality as Fine Cotton all those years ago, led the punters astray.

Sound the siren sportsfans – there’s been a ring in!

It wasn’t the harry horse dealing Hector Hapeta who was infamous for his involvement in the Fine Cotton crime. Oh no, it was a different overweight Kiwi with an alliterative name starting with H altogether, a bloke named Hayden Haitana, who had as much do with the sale of hammer as Hector the Protector had to do with the botched paint job on the substitute nag.

That is, none at bloody all.


It’s a simple mistake for a man to make isn’t it?

After all these bloody Maori’s all look and sound the same anyway, and if the copper in charge of cleaning up the Queensland Police force and the clown in charge of keeping the content clean at the Courier-Mail both mistake Mr Asia for Mickey Mouse’s Fantasia what’s the bloody harm in that?

The lead investigator in the greatest corruption inquiry ever held in the Pineapple Land doesn’t even know the priors of one of the absolutely pivotal figures in the whole wicked web of corruption based around crooked coppers crimes.


Lost for words, I can merely repeat those of Effie, a wog lassie who knows a Hector from a Hayden every day of the week:

“How embarrassment”.



GLEN MELON of MELBOURNE weighs into the debate concerning 

‘MOST of us who follow racing will find something wrong with the SKY Channel coverage. That is why we welcomed two years ago the arrival of a rival broadcaster in, linked to the Seven Network. has encountered problems as well during its fledgling years which were not unexpected but the measure of any successful venture in the broadcasting industry is ratings.

Unfortunately, in the case of the station refuses to come under the scrutiny of ratings. As Patrick Bartley wrote for Fairfax Media: ‘It doesn’t matter the size or scope of a firm, it could be a panel-beating business in the outer suburbs or a multinational company at the top end of town, all sorts of business want to be associated with racing, perhaps with racing broadcaster

‘However, there is a slight snag: you see the station doesn’t have any audit process to count their viewers. So when a firm asks for a breakdown on daily or even hourly figures – which all other stations supply – the sales department, outside of visiting every living room in the State, cannot give any sort of guide.

‘With RV shouldering the heavy financial burden of this station, you would think extra advertising income would come in handy – if only they could come up with some evidence of viewership.’

In a nutshell what this means is that the propaganda that is a strong as the Big Bash can be taken with a grain of salt.

Racing Victoria – albeit the industry in the State – shoulders the heavy financial burden of this station and should be demanding answers and a more transparent accounting system.

It was a brave and welcome decision when Victorian racing turned its back on the NSW-dominated SKY Channel and decided to go it alone, guaranteeing better coverage for its racing.

Some in senior positions at Racing Victoria are reportedly bragging that the new broadcaster is reaching figures that are trouncing SKY. But if it is not the resounding success being claimed then the industry (which is basically the stakeholders in this venture) deserves to know. If it’s good enough for arch rival SKY to be scrutinized daily, then it should be for as well.’ 



DAVID McALISTER of SYDNEY also has his say about the race broadcasters:

‘I just want to have my bleat about both SKY &

Why can’t they both just provide us with the live coverage of the races without all this supposed ‘expert’ commentary and in-house comedy?

When it comes to form and opinion on the chances in races I don’t mind if this is expressed by recognized experts. But there are too many dills having their say.

SKY Channel seems to have wall-to-wall ‘experts’ in every state. One would love to know what this must cost. And the broadcaster will never be accused of male domination. There must be more women employed at SKY than ever before and it seems every one of them is an 'expert'.

Now I have a high respect for the knowledge of Caroline Searcy on breeding; newcomer Lizzie Jelfs (poached from on starters in the parade ring and Priscilla Schmidt, a good judge when it comes to form, unlike her counterpart in the north in Bernadette Cooper, who struggles to tip a winner and should be restricted to interviews on horseback on the track on big days.

Then we have the bunch from where Get On is their answer to The Footy Show where a small dose of Jason Richardson and Matty Campbell goes a long way and when it comes to tipping winners Clint Hutchison makes motor mouth David Gately look second rate.

Now I saved my best for last, Sam Hyland might win the annual awards for making the most ‘stuff-ups’ but why don’t they follow what most who watch racing on TV want and restrict him – like Bernadette Cooper – to horseback duties. Neither is up to the task of a hosting role. Sam expressed his expert opinion on a protest hearing in the Koroit Cup at Warrnambool on Sunday and sent social media into overdrive. He might have come up with the same decision as the stewards but that doesn’t mean it was right – the second horse should have won the race but for being the meat in the sandwich of two stablemates from the leading stable – but that’s another story.

But every story has a happy ending and I am pleased to report that MB, Mute Button – Matthew Browning – after years of driving racing audiences mad with his incessant rants and raves while hosting on SKY Channel has move on to greener pastures. I am told on reliable authority that he has joined the cabin crew staff with Qantas.’




EDGAR JOHNSON of MELBOURNE sinks the boot into Racing NSW:

‘THE dust hadn’t settled on the end of year propaganda about NSW regaining its premier state status when Sydney racing was again the butt of national jokes last weekend.

Field sizes for the Friday night meeting at Canterbury then the major fixture at Warwick Farm on Saturday were nothing short of highly embarrassing for Racing NSW.

When asked by Ray Thomas of the Sydney Telegraph in his end-of-year endorsement of the wonderful job being done by the maestro, Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys blamed poor field sizes on the export of horses to Asia.

That’s absolute garbage. Perhaps a more acceptable excuse would have been the number of horses heading to the country’s richest race day at the Gold Coast a week later.

It was left to Brad Davidson, a breath of fresh air in the race writing ranks in Sydney, to pose the question in the Telegraph: WHERE are all the horses?

Davidson, who isn’t likely to find a second gig at SKY Channel, if he keeps up this sort of objective turf journalism, went on to report:

‘That’s the question Racing NSW could be forgiven for asking after just 71 horses lined up in nine races at Warwick Farm on Saturday.

Yes, there were 22 scratchings due to the wet track but field sizes were low when acceptances were taken on Wednesday when the track was in the good range.

Prizemoney is $100,000 per race in Sydney on Saturdays, so why the small fields still? Too much summer racing? Perhaps, but take out the Highway race on Saturday and just 15 provincial, seven country and one interstate horse raced at Warwick Farm.

It’s bloody tough to win a Sydney Saturday race normally but Saturday was different. Most fields lacked depth and enjoying a healthy share of the $100,000 in prizemoney was a certainty in some races even if you ran last. It begs the question: why aren’t more interstate trainers and NSW stables racing in Sydney?

Whatever the reason, Racing NSW deserves more bang for its buck on summer Saturdays.’

Yes, Racing in NSW does warrant a better response in field sizes for the big prizemoney on offer. Just makes you wonder if the domination of the major stables – especially Waller – is starting to have a nasty impact on Sydney racing.’



RATHER than ‘name names’ and risk the opportunity for certain individuals to waste valuable industry funds on attempting to take legal action against us, we are adopting a new approach this year.

Send us your emails, rumors and gripes and we will have them edited by our lawyers. In most cases identities of contributors and individuals about whom they are writing will be omitted but as we all know in the racing industry it doesn’t take long to find out who you are referring to.



WE’RE still waiting for official notification but the rumor mill is rife that the services of a prominent member of the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission team have been terminated.

The high profile official was one of those stood down pending an internal investigation which we are told has been completed and the dominos didn’t exactly fall his way.

The industry is still waiting for the Commission to make an official announcement on the issue. Perhaps he still has some avenue of appeal. If that’s the case then why not say so or at least announce when a replacement will be appointed to this important position.

This cloak of anonymity and secrecy that QRIC operates under is a public relations disaster and does nothing to achieve the transparency that was promised when it was set up.



THERE was a race at a TAB meeting in south-east Queensland last weekend that seems to have attracted the attention of all bar the stewards. This seems to be happening on a regular basis in the north again.

Plenty of form ‘experts’ and well informed punters are suggesting that it was run to suit a heavily backed starter while a couple of those well fancied in the field got lost in transit.

The stewards certainly didn’t smell a rat and there was little or no action emanating from their bunker following the race in question. But that’s par for the course in racing in Queensland.



A prominent racing journalist from country Queensland, who prefers to remain nameless for obvious reasons, has raised some questions over media accreditation for the Magic Millions.

He tells of receiving notification from Racing Queensland that the annual accreditation he waited so long to receive would not be recognized on Magic Millions Day at the Gold Coast.

This surprised the turf scribe who remembers the days when the QTC was in charge of media accreditation and how it was taken off of them by Racing Queensland. He assumes that it is now an integrity issue and something that should be handled by the new Racing Integrity Commission in conjunction with the control body.

Alas, when it comes to Magic Millions, he was told that this was not the case and that if he wanted to cover Australia’s richest race day he would need to apply to the MM Company.

There has long been a need – for safety and security reasons – to limit the numbers in the enclosure on big race days. Pity the Brisbane Racing Club didn’t adopt that approach when notorious conman Peter Foster had unlimited entry on Stradbroke day while one of the best turf scribes in the state – Phil Purser from – was ordered out of the enclosure when he had the right credentials.

The problem that now exists is that if a private company like Magic Millions – which many believes already has too much say when it comes to decision-making in racing in Queensland – has the right to decide who gets accredited and who doesn’t, let’s hope some scribe didn’t miss out because he or she dared to be critical of Genial Gerry and his MM money making machine.



MANY of the websites have published their New Year racing wish-lists. Ours is fairly short and sweet:

  • WILL someone with some balls running racing in this country force the parasite corporate bookmakers to play by the rules or are they just going to be allowed to treat punters like crap while they plunder industry betting profits and shovel them back to off-shore parent companies?


  • WHEN will stewards put an end to the situation that is driving punters crazy in Sydney where second string runners are upstaging favorites from the stable of champion trainer Chris Waller who often has multiple runners in races? Perhaps an answer to this problem would be forcing inconsistent horses to trial on several occasions before racing again – but pigs will fly before that happens.


  • WILL the newly established Queensland Racing Integrity Commission win back the confidence of punters who continue to desert racing in droves because of a lack of confidence in the product? Form reversals are too often blamed on the state of the track, especially the new Eagle Farm which is anything but a level playing field.


  • WHEN will racing in Victoria get around to finalizing these Cobalt Inquiries which have dragged on seemingly forever and allow the industry in that state to enjoy some positive publicity for the change?


  • FINALLY how much longer is it going to take to merge the TABs in Australia which will put poor old UBET out of its misery? The latter seems to have lost out again in the latest Race Information Fee Schedule announced by RQ where officials showed an incredible lack of foresight in their Minimum Bet Limit approach blaming it on the need for new legislation. Stakeholders are starting to question how top heavy the new control body is becoming with a Victorian appointed to a top greyhound role during the week. Questions are being asked about this appointment considering the shabby treatment and dismissal of popular former RQ CEO Darren Condon along with whether this position was ever advertised.


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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