TERRY Butts, the veteran racing journalist and horse trainer, has saddled up his last horse after winning the Cleveland Bay Handicap in Townsville on Saturday with Living On A Prayer.

Butts, who writes the popular column Silks & Saddles for the North Queensland Register which is reproduced on the letsgohorseracing website, has decided to hand over the training reins to his son.

During a colorful career which has spanned many decades and involved many facets of the racing industry from training to bookmaking and race-calling in various parts of the world, Butts has enjoyed more than his share of success.

He has trained most of the big Cups winners in North Queensland but this was his first Cleveland Bay winner with only his second starter in the race.

Living On A Prayer was sent to Butts by his Wagga connections and bounced back from a disappointing run in the Rockhampton Newmarket. Ridden by Kelvin Wharton he overcame a bad alley to score a gutsy Cleveland Bay win from former Brisbane sprinter and favorite, Le Cap.

It was an emotional victory with part-owners Haydyn Milne, Emma Carroll and Wagga trainer Dave Heywood dedicating the win to their late sister and niece Kellie, who passed away earlier this month.

Milne said the Townsville victory was Living On A Prayer's finest moment to date. “It's his best win,” Milne said. “I'm just glad it’s come off because we were looking down the barrel there for a while. It was a bit of a risk sending him all that way but it's come off and it's a credit to the horse.”

Living On A Prayer has spent the last six weeks with Butts who brought him back from the canvas after the out of character Rockhampton Newmarket performance. The horse will now join Gold Coast trainer John Morrisey for a short stint before heading home for another tilt at the Wagga Town Plate.

For Butts it’s the end of an era but he quits training with no unfinished business and will be happy to continue his career – in retirement – as a racing columnist with the North Queensland Register.



INFLUENTIAL broadcaster Alan Jones – in an attack on the Newman LNP Government – has told his national radio audience that there has been a cover-up of a racing scandal in Queensland.

Jones fired a broadside in the wake of the Stafford by-election result and raised a number of controversial issues which have the Government under a massive cloud but it was his comment on racing that has raised plenty of questions.

 This website has been inundated with emails and inquiry since the Jones comment piece. The major question being asked is:

 ‘Will our joke of a Racing Minister Steve Dickson or his mate the Racing Queensland Chairman Kevin Dixon provide details of the allegations being raised by Alan Jones? The stakeholders of racing in this state are sick of being treated like mushrooms and want some answers for a change.”

 Jones also attacked the mainstream media in Queensland for failing to keep the public informed on contentious issues in the north and suggested it was more interested in attacking Clive Palmer and his Party.

 He said the result of the Stafford by-election highlighted how much trouble Premier Campbell Newman and his Government were in despite their landslide win at the last election.

 Jones said people in Queensland were livid with the Government and if the same swing occurred at next year’s election as that in Stafford the LNP would lose all but one seat in Brisbane. Labor won Stafford without going to preferences.

 He highlighted a number of alleged scandals involving the LNP Government including redrafting the way the CMC operates; deals done over a second range crossing in Toowoomba; cover-ups over the Grantham floods; controversial gas and mining contracts; the appointment of a Chief Justice that the legal fraternity was totally opposed to and a private airport contract scandal on the Darling Downs.

 But it was this comment by Jones concerning racing in Queensland that has industry stakeholders asking questions:

 “There is a racing industry scandal in Queensland that has barely seen the light of day but it will.”

 Those contacting this website desperately want some answers. We are going to ask Racing Queensland for these on their behalf. But don’t hold your breath.  

It will be like the Estimates Hearing - little time devoted to answers by those in power - and the similar Government/Racing Queensland attitude to anyone who dares to criticize or question - keep them in the dark and feed them bullshit! 




CHRIS Waller has saved Sydney Saturday meetings a staggering five months this season.

CHRISTIAN NICOLUSSI reports in the SYDNEY TELEGRAPH that’s how many times Waller runners have ensured there’s been each-way betting in town.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal the average field sizes in December, January and February would have dipped to just 7.88, 7.88 and 7.36 respectively without Team Waller representation.

Less than the eight horses are required for all three place dividends to be paid.

Last month, Saturday city field sizes would have averaged 6.94 without Waller’s 63 horses.

And this month the average fields have been 8.92, which drops to 7.08 without the premier trainer.

While some punters have expressed their frustrations at Waller’s Saturday saturation, the latest figures make for some damning reading.

Sadly there aren’t enough starters for each-way betting in three races on Saturday’s program on the Kensington track.

It could get worse with the usual scratchings.

Waller was embarrassed when told about his stable adding some respect to the local fields.

“But this used to happen before I started winning premierships,’’ Waller said.

“I can remember the Sydney Turf Club, God love them, were paying $1000 to start a runner in November and December, except for the last placegetter. They were trying to encourage field sizes.

“It if wasn’t me (starting the bulk of runners), it was Gai (Waterhouse), if it wasn’t Gai, it was John Hawkes. If it wasn’t John, it was Gai and John combined.’’

Waller is happy to send horses around for second, third and fourth prizemoney, rather than protect any strike rate, which has too often been used as the gauge for success by trainers and owners.

Given the huge percentage of two-year-olds in work for most metropolitan trainers, Waller suggested more races for the bubs could be programmed.

“You have to look at where the biggest pool of horses are, and if you went to the majority of Sydney trainers at the moment, at least a third of their stable — and in some cases more than half — would be rising two-year-olds,’’ Waller said.

“Should we put an emphasis on two-year-old races? Should there be more opportunities for two-year-olds?

“We have to work with the biggest pool of horses.

“If you only get four and five-horse fields, people catch on to that. We had weak staying races, so people started buying stayers from Europe and New Zealand.

“If you were to put more two-year-old races on, you might only get small fields to start with, but owners wouldn’t allow me to send a horse to the trials if they know only four or five horses were racing on the weekend.’’

Despite keeping the local scene afloat during the off-season, Waller will head into the final Saturday of the season with just eight runners.

You’ll Never looks one of Waller’s best on Saturday in the last.

Waller’s quest to better his own record of 167.5 metropolitan winners is over, with the Rosehill-based mentor still 12 short with just two meetings remaining.


THE aim of LETSGOHORSERACING when first established was a non-profit website designed to be different to the hundreds of other racing websites operating throughout the world. Nothing has changed on that front except that our emphasis has been on feedback. We listened to what you wanted and learned that racing stakeholders, punters and followers were keen to HAVE THEIR SAY. This was reflected in the response to the WEDNESDAY WHINGE which has seen the popularity of this web site (through hits) soar to incredible heights. It has also drawn detractors from within the industry - especially in Queensland - from officials who aren't used to having the job they do put under the microscope which has rarely happened for many years in the mainstream racing media. Websites like ours and justracing have got up the nose of officials at RQ and will continue to do so. Despite legal intimidation which we are told is aimed at closing us down or intimidating us into refusing to follow up controversial issues letsgohorseracing and the Wednesday Whinge are here to stay. But that means increasing costs to fight these legal threats, improve the quality of our website and to overcome that we are now accepting advertising and have decided to pursue a LETSHORSEHORSERACING LATE MAIL SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE. It's unique, it's different, it's affordable. YOU CAN SUBSCRIBE NOW.


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SILKS & SADDLES is a popular weekly column written by respected racing writer TERRY BUTTS that we run courtesy of one of Australia’s leading rural newspapers, the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER. Butts is an old-style racing journalist who shoots from the hip and takes no prisoners. He resents the 'suck-up and survive' mentality of some of the new breed of racing journalists in the print and broadcast media. 


WE will provide on a regular basis an upgraded list of the centres and holidays we believe are the best for racing folk to holiday whether they are just down the road, interstate or overseas. At times we will also provide some good racing holiday packages and tips.

LETSGOHORSERACING is owned and operated by former award-winning racing and sporting journalist JOHN LINGARD, now a form analyst on Australian and Hong Kong racing. His support base includes some key figures from the past and present in the racing industry in Australia and overseas. The ultimate aim of the web site is to inform and entertain but we are determined to fight for the rights of the punting public and make no apology for our controversial stances on certain issues even if it offends or angers the powers that be. PHONE CONTACT DETAILS: 0407 175 570 - E-MAIL address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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