MORAL OF THE EVEREST STORY – THERE ARE THINGS MONEY CAN’T BUY! 

By TERRY BUTTS of the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER

 THERE are some things money cannot buy.

And try as it might, a $10 million purse for a race with the unlikely tag of The Everest (aka Elitist) at Randwick last Saturday failed to attract one single overseas contender.

But the Sydney racing hierarchy and mainstream racing media all raved about a world event.

Please!

They also skited about the crowd of 33,000.

Three times that number will cram into Flemington to celebrate the Melbourne Cup in a few weeks – and that race will be watched again by millions worldwide.

It’s the ‘real race’ that stops a nation – a race that carries just a third of the prizemoney as last Saturday’s Randwick sprint that some might say is a race restricted to the rich and famous.

And the Melbourne Cup will be contested by elite stayers from Europe, New Zealand and Japan.

Put simply – Sydney has its Harbour Bridge – but Melbourne has its Cup.

And that’s the way it will always be – in spite of the continuing ravenous envy and greed of the New South Welshman (aka cockroaches) as they try to rival or outdo Melbourne and its Cup Carnival.

 

THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN AT SALES LIKE THE MAGIC MILLIONS?

TALKING of the elite there is a great story in the UK’s Racing Post headlined Bloodstock figures go public with claims of malpractice in the sales ring.

One breeder claims he went to the UK yearling sales with two fillies in 1999.

“I was approached with offers by sundry people – one who was willing to bid 250,000 pounds for her if I accepted 150,000 pounds. The other 100,000 was to be shared with him”.

Apparently it is common practise in the UK. And it’s called luck money. Here it might be called a ‘kick back’.

But it wouldn’t happen here...would it?

Read more at www.racingpost.com/news/bloodstockmalpractice.

 

SECRET PLAN FOR EAGLE FARM FITS THE BILL FOR LNP ASSET SALES

IS there a secret plan to sell Eagle Farm racetrack and when will the mainstream racing media get off their backsides and ask some questions of the Brisbane Racing Club, Racing Queensland and the Government about this?

More importantly, is it an acceptable plan for Tim the Toolman Nicholls and his band of LNP ‘goat riders’ in a no-holds-barred bid to win the upcoming State Election when asset sales will be declared vital to save the state and the sale of Eagle Farm and Albion Park will fit the bill to help boost the racing and harness racing industries.   

ARCHIE BUTTERFLY, in his must-read blog, itsnotnormalisit, has made not an outlandish but a creditable allegation that has also been heard by letsgohorseracing. Only on Friday we were contacted by a high profile racing identity who told us:

Are you aware that the Government has instructed Racing Queensland to conduct a probity inquiry into the sale of Eagle Farm?

Here is part of what is written today at itsnotnormalisit:

WHY do you think the track at Eagle Farm hasn’t been ripped up and relaid yet, even though the Monteith Report declared that by now it should have been?

Why do you think all these apartments and shops and childcare centres are being erected around the Eagle Farm acecourse? Do you imagine that they are for the current Ascot/Hendra/Hamilton population who are already well serviced by such businesses? Or for the new one that will move into the secretly master planned development that the plotters intend to build on what they hope WAS the Eagle Farm course.

Why do you think that access to membership of the Brisbane Racing Club was shut off for so long, and only reinstituted once it became too late for any new member to run for a position on the board that has the power to sell the track?

Why do you think the tunnel to the new infield stables runs all the way to Nudgee Road? Just because it’s convenient? Or because if the land around them is sold the trainers, jockeys and horses can still access them?

Why do you imagine stables were built on the inside of the track anyway? It has been a massive failure at every other track at which they’ve tried it, so why on earth would anyone think it won’t be here? Would it be because there isn’t going to be a track there at all do you reckon?

Why do trainers think they built them for you in the first place? Because they love you? Really? Or because once you move your stables there you are stuck, and can’t say or do a goddamn thing if they do sell the track?

Why do you think all the board members of the BRC – each of whom have been hand picked by Nifty Nev and his co-conspirators, and have never faced a contested election – all just happen to be real estate salesman, property developers, financiers and bankers?

Why do you think Nifty Nev, a real estate salesman and property developer himself who played a lead role in developing the corridor between Narangba and Caboolture, became the BRC Chairman in the first place?

Why do you think Jeff Kennett – the scumbag Premier who sold off all the Victorian state assets, and handed up the state industrial system to John Howard (that ones for the young union officials who don’t know their history) –  was shouting out loud about decisions at Eagle Farm being handed over to the Brisbane Racing Club?

Why do you think the Courier-Mail printed it?

Let me tell you the answer to all of the rhetorical questions that I have posed to you above.

The Government and the BRC have a secret plan to sell Eagle Farm.

Only now it’s not so secret.

A leading Brisbane barrister has been approached to head a probity committee that will investigate and deal with all the issues that may arise when after the upcoming election -not before, definitely not before – the Government announces that the State finances are dire, and if we want new schools and hospitals we will have to sell the farm.

Eagle Farm.

This barrister bears the same name as the Chairman of Racing Queensland, although to the best of my knowledge they are not related.

This barrister has done the Government’s bidding before in Racing Commissions of Inquiry and in jack ups about floods, and no doubt he will do it again and probably be rewarded by being appointed a judge or the head of some farce like the CCC.

This barrister shares the same name as one of the greats of Australian cricket, although in the bowler with the swinging pendant and aluminium bat’s case it is his middle name rather than his first.

Why isn’t Nathan Exelby telling you this?

Why isn’t Bart Sinclair?

Why aren’t any of the mainstream media racing reporters?

   

 

WOULD A CHAUTAUQUA WIN IN THE EVEREST BE A FORM REVERSAL? 

‘I had a dream,’ declared Racing NSW supremo Peter V’landys to his ‘mates’ in the Sydney racing media and they were quick to gesticulate, grovel and declare him a genius.

What V’landys really meant was that he had pinched the idea from the Pegasus World Cup concept in America in another desperate Sydney attempt to upstage the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

The Everest, worth $10 million, will be the richest race of its kind in the world – worth nearly two Melbourne Cups in terms of stakes. Rather than the best stayers it has targeted the best sprinters.

Unfortunately, whereas the ‘program it and they will come approach’ that applies to the Melbourne Cup where international contestants fly in from all parts of the world has succeeded, The Everest has failed to attract one overseas starter, unless you count Brave Smash, the former Japanese sprinter now raced in Australian interests and trained by Darren Weir.

V’landys is a hero in the eyes of the NSW racing fraternity and its parochial racing media. He has achieved plenty for that State but in the eyes of stakeholders and the racing public from across the country he has lost many friends because of his desperate attempts to see Sydney overtake Melbourne as the racing ‘capital’ and ‘pacesetter’.

That will never happen as long as the little man’s bum points to the ground no matter how much money they convince the Government of the day in NSW to throw at thoroughbred racing. Nothing will overtake the iconic Spring Carnival and the Melbourne Cup might not be the best thoroughbred race on the calendar but it will always be the iconic spectacle that stops the nation.

The volatile V’landys continues to have a ‘dig’ at his Victorian counterparts and has wasted no expense advertising The Everest nationally and leaving no stone unturned in attracting arguably one of the best field of sprinters ever seen for a race in this country. Sadly, the line-up that will face the starter on Saturday would have been no different had they been racing for $1 million rather than $10 million.

Here’s hoping that the Sydneysiders turn out for the big occasion. They continue to be upstaged by the Melburnians, who regardless of the weather, turn out in tens of thousands for the big Spring Carnival races. Even last Saturday more were there to see the champion Sydney mare Winx demolish her rivals at Flemington than have been prepared to attend when she races in Sydney.    

Because of the timing of The Everest – Caulfield Guineas Day – there has been no love lost between V’Landys (a la Racing NSW) and their counterparts in Victoria but don’t expect to see things change.

The Everest, despite being copied from a concept in America, is headlined by the leading turf scribes in Sydney spearheaded by Racing NSW ‘spin doctor’ Ray ‘Razor’ Thomas as the brainchild of V’landys.

It features 12 horses running for individuals or companies that have purchased the ‘slots’ for $600,000 each to compete for the next three years. Owners include Chinese billionaire Yuesheng Zhang, breeding and racing businesses such as Coolmore and Aquis Farm, Tabcorp and The Star Entertainment Group. 

Each are either running horses they own or have struck deals with connections of top-line sprinters to use their 'slots'. Yuesheng Zhang, for example, has agreement with Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign's 15 owners for it to race in his name. The horse will carry their advertising and The Star has invited high rollers from Asia to Sydney for the race.

"There has been plenty of publicity and it has people talking about racing," says V'Landys. "And I think competition is good for everyone. You have to try things. You have to be innovative."

Therein lies a key element. In a marketplace cluttered with sports, having racing being the focus of wider attention has been welcomed by an industry that has plenty who bet on it but struggles to recapture its glory days when it was embraced by the wider public.

The cynics are saying the flags will be flying at half-mast at Randwick on Saturday because ‘champion trainer’ Chris Waller doesn’t have a starter in The Everest.

The battlers will be cheering for She Will Reign because of the huge syndicate that race the Golden Slipper winner who hardly identify with the ‘rich and famous’ or millionaires of the Sport of Kings.

From a form perspective She Will Reign has to be a nemesis for the might of the David Hayes stable which has three runners in the very hard to beat Vega Magic, Redkirk Warrior and Tulip.

It wouldn’t be a big race in Sydney without the presence of the ‘First Lady of Racing’ in Gai Waterhouse and she has an undeniable chance with English. Victoria’s champion trainer Darren Weir will be represented by Brave Smash which is expected to improve at big odds with the addition of blinkers.

The father-and-son combination of Peter and Paul Snowden have the speedy Redzel and popular trainer Kris Lees quiet tip and stable newcomer Clearly Innocent with the riding pin-up boy Hugh Bowman in the saddle.

From a punting perspective the two hopes that are hardest to assess are Chautauqua and Deploy. Originally a hot favourite to win The Everest, Chautauqua has lost some admirers getting too far out of his ground and steaming home at two runs since a spell. Some of the form ‘experts’ insist if he gets too far back again he will struggle to win. But there are those who say Team Hawkes have targeted the one race and that we will see a different Chautauqua in The Everest with his customary barnstorming finish overpowering the opposition. If the track is rain-affected that would explain such an improvement. If it is not many will regard a Chautauqua win as a form reversal but the stewards and the media will no doubt describe it as a terrific training performance.

As for the in-form Deploy well trainer Gerald Ryan on any given day seems to be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Many are still trying to fathom the form reversal and amazing win of Trapeze Artist in the Golden Rose for which the stablemate Menari was a hot favourite. Like Waller, Ryan seems to do as he likes in Sydney racing but at least if Deploy wins it won’t be a major form reversal.

She Will Reign is already a fairytale story of the Australian turf. A win in The Everest would cap that for her syndicate of battlers who picked her up at a bargain price. Victory for them would add a semblance of reality to a bizarre concept which otherwise seems designed for only those who can afford to race for what is an absurd amount of sweepstakes.             

 

DOES BEN CURRIE DESERVE THE MAULING DISHED OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

LGHR COMMENT

LET’S be clear at the outset – LETSGOHORSERACING is in no way suggesting anything untoward is happening behind the scenes at the Ben Currie stable in Toowoomba where the young trainer is enjoying one of the hottest winning streaks in the country.

But for some time we have been receiving ‘whinges’ in the form of emails, texts and phone calls making some wild and unsubstantiated allegations. To date we have chosen to ignore these but after Currie’s huge winning haul of six winners and a second from seven races at Clifford Park last Saturday night social media has gone bezerk.

And it wasn’t all good news for the ‘golden boy’ of Darling Downs racing. One prominent local trainer even suggested on Twitter that his horses were getting some help and that nothing was being done about it. The Tweet has since been removed but it is something that the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission should be investigating – even if it means hauling in the trainer who made the claim and asking him to substantiate what otherwise amounts to defamation.

Currie was born into a prominent and successful racing family in Toowoomba and had plenty of experience to call on from Paul Nolan senior – his grandfather we believe – right through to his dad, a successful trainer in his own right and his locally based training rellies, Michael and Paul Nolan jnr. Ben was reportedly thrown into the deep end or training spotlight whilst studying journalism when his father was disqualified.

Young Ben made a fist of his new challenge and formed some powerful alliances in south-east Queensland and especially in Victoria (another story) with some very prominent and colourful identities in all sorts of fields of business.

In any case such has been the wave of success that Currie has enjoyed in the last couple of years that he has also made plenty of enemies within the industry and call it ‘tall poppy syndrome’ if you like, the situation has started to reach a stage where QRIC needs to provide some clarity to the situation. If they don’t the wild rumours of what is supposedly happening behind the scenes, the mad speculation of start because of an ownership involvement with certain people, some in the political arena, and the reason for Currie being able to improve horses that come into his care by literally lengths within a short time will continue to be pumped out on social media. It isn’t a good look for he or the industry as a whole.

When Currie took eight runners to Clifford Park for the seven-race twilight card last Saturday and went home with six winners and a second the ‘hate mail’ sky-rocketed to a new level. Perhaps the one suggestion in all of the emails that were published on various websites was the one that QRIC should employ Security Guards for a month-long 24/7 surveillance of the Currie stable. It sounds outlandish but it would certainly silence the critics if he continued to enjoy the same level of success.

Letsgohorseracing has reliable intelligence that the suggestion of using security guards in a similar manner was made in the past by people in authority at Racing Queensland when stables were enjoying a considerable run of success (this included one in Brisbane and another on the Sunshine Coast) but the Chief Stewards of the day would not entertain the proposals. We are told that this was before the establishment of QRIC and involved Chief Stipes Wade Birch and Allan Reardon. Perhaps the latter might like to tell us why he rejected this suggestion when to anyone who knows how the racing rumour mill works would feel it could only provide more transparency.               

Six winners on the card for Currie set a new training record in Queensland for a TAB meeting – and certainly those who have achieved it in the past (Bruce McLachlan, Toby Edmonds, Alan Bailey and Gillian Heinrich) were not as young or inexperienced as him.

The huge haul started with the most dominant of wins by Island Sunset, with the latest addition to the Currie stable bolting in to break her Maiden status at start No 18. One irate lady, who critics are claiming is a rival trainer, expressed her disbelief to punters.com when she wrote:

‘He only had Maiden horse that won 1600m race for one week. Ask him how many times he worked it? You cannot improve a horse naturally by 10 lengths in one week. It is impossible and I tell you that he is raising eyebrows in Queensland racing.’

Currie has now trained 18 winners at Clifford Park this season for at a strike rate of 36 per cent after claiming 74 winners at 31.6% last season. That prompted this whinge:

‘If it sounds too good to be true, it generally is. Just remember Lance Armstrong never got caught cheating or failed a swab, he got dobbed in by his mates.’

Much has been made in the ‘Whinges’ to LGHR about Currie’s record with positive swabs – in what most would consider a short time and of the links his stable has, both to political and business identities from Queensland to Victoria.

One email stated: ‘Do you remember when Currie won with a promising horse at carnival time at the Sunshine Coast last year. The owner (I think he was a gentleman of Italian origin) got involved in the SKY interview after the race telling how he bought the horse because it was Lot No 911 and then it was discovered that this guy wasn’t even listed in the ownership. The Keystone Cops initiated some inquiry – don’t even know what happened there or what happened to the horse. But I do remember an interview shortly after on 4TAB that the Racing Minister did where she told of Currie tipping her the horse and how he was such a great young trainer for the industry in Queensland. Are you aware that the syndicate head of some horses in his stable is a Member of Parliament who is involved in the Government’s Racing Sub Committee? Are owners in his stable employees of the Ministerial office of Kate Jones? What links does the trainer have with certain much publicised businessmen in Victoria? It’s all very interesting and the questions should be asked by QRIC.’

Another emailer, who supports the success of Currie but then gives him a verbal backhander was this one, who wrote to punters.com:

‘I can see both sides to the argument here. Obviously he can train, and seems like a good young kid with work ethic to match when I’ve heard him interviewed. But four positives in last two years, shouldn’t he be suspended? Like Angland on Saturday a $4,000 fine for breaking the rules in winning a Group 1, no suspension? The whole steward, suspension system is a farce. Look at the difference in penalties for Damien Oliver compared to James McDonald, just no consistency.

Another of the critics suggested:

And for some reason he has a lot of horses for only four or five starts, then they just disappear.

And this one:

Can someone explain to me how a horse after 17 starts and had not got closer than four lengths of the winner in them in very weak maidens comes out and wins by just under six lengths?

The reply, from a fan: ‘Very good trainer, very good at placing horses. Simple as that! Trainers differ in levels of ability. That’s why there're great trainers and some that are considered hobby trainers. Way too much hate. I wonder if it's because they're sh*t trainers themselves under an alias.’

Which prompted this response: ‘I challenge the stewards to place a security guard in his stables for one month to see if his results stay the same. Best strike rate in the world. Is he getting away with something? Best friend is chief steward.’

LGHR offers ‘right of reply’ to the Chief Steward in Toowoomba as we are told that is far from correct and that the ‘man in the hot seat’ is becoming increasingly frustrated by the mounting controversy in his backyard.   

Some of the emails we have received are suggesting that the RQ stewards are also frustrated with the Currie situation. If what we are hearing is correct then perhaps there needs to be some questions asked of them by Commissioner Barnett of QRIC.

There was this email to LGHR:

‘Are you aware that stewards visited a leading stable enjoying considerable success recently and discovered oxygen tanks and refrigerators full of blood? When they reported this to QRIC the answer was that ‘nothing illegal’ was happening. It was all part of a successful training process being adopted by the trainer in question.’

Then there was this one:

‘Is a veteran steward telling any licensee that complains about the success of a certain stable that an inquiry involving the trainer in question was halted by someone higher up at RQ a couple of years back for supposed legal reasons? (There was more detail in this email involving certain discovery and a rental car etc which LGHR is not prepared to publish for legal reasons).

Even the ‘red hots’ have been dragged into the Currie whinges with this one:

‘I see where the steward they say could become Head of Integrity (Ian Brown) is now in charge of the trots. With what we are reading is going on there at present that he seems to be doing next to nothing about, perhaps they need a re-think on whether he’s the right fit for that job. The Integrity Boss (Dayle Brown) has just resigned in Victoria. Now an appointment of a guy with his experience would make sense. But things that make sense just don’t seem to happen in racing in Queensland.’  

AND so we have another major drama in racing in Queensland. As if the allegations of Archie Butterfly on his must-read website (itsnotnormalisit.com) about the Brisbane Racing Cub and the shenanigans that are apparently happening there haven’t made the Sunshine State the joke of Australian racing.

It all comes down to who is going to investigate these serious allegations?

In the case of the BRC and what the Butterfly has written (his latest concerning a birthday party hosted at Doomben apparently has the Chairman going ballistic), but those being dumped on for some strange reason aren’t prepared to answer the criticism (not a good look for them or those running the industry).

Therefore it is up to a higher body to investigate. QRIC says it’s not their province. For some strange reason the Labor Government doesn’t want to instruct the weak-kneed Racing Queensland Board they appointed to do their job on the issue (and keeps falling back on the Monteith Report which only involved the track problems not a number of other contentious issues that need addressing) and the LNP is in bed with the BRC and doesn’t want to rock any boats leading up to an election hoping against hope that Tim the Toolman can lead them again to the promised land.

Meanwhile, Archie Butterfly does the job that the mainstream racing media isn’t prepared to do because the stench of the ‘Maggot’ Sinclair era still permeates the scene and the Murdoch Media haven’t got the guts to ask any tough questions in fear of losing their TAB millions for second rate form guides.

Archie is starting to look like the Ernest Hemingway of the race writing scene in Queensland. Some of his exposes could certain have been published under the heading of Hemingway best-sellers like: ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’, ‘Death in the Afternoon’, ‘The Garden of Eden’, ‘A Farewell to Arms’, ‘Winner Take Nothing’ or ‘To Have and Have Not’.      

 

QRIC LAUGHING STOCK AGAIN AFTER TREATMENT OF ‘BRADY BUNCH’  

by TERRY BUTTS of the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER

QUEENSLAND Racing Integrity Commission chief, Ross Barnett, was somewhat buoyed by events last week that saw a self-confessed race fixer outed for life.

But there is no cause for QRIC to be complacent about its pre-eminence as a racing integrity unit.

Events at the Innisfail racecourse last week might cast a totally different view on how Barnett’s crew of ex-coppers and corrective service personnel operate.

Besides, the Magistrate who dealt with the ex-harness identity, Bart Cockburn, ordered a $5,000 fine with NO conviction – that itself might reflect on just how harness racing is rated in the general community.

The incident at Innisfail might reflect just how the new-look multimillion dollar QRIC is rated by most industry participants.

The ‘Brady Bunch’ of North Queensland has been involved with racing through three generations and they are held in the highest esteem. The latest to show an interest is 13-year-old Lana (pictured above), granddaughter of Wade Brady, whose brother, father, uncle and grandfather all held trainers’ licenses and raced many top horses in the past century. Lana shares the intense interest in racehorses. It’s in her DNA.

So after a 30 year respite from racing Wade last year decided to renew his trainer’s license and put into work a horse that Lana – already a proficient show rider – had been riding around her mother’s property just outside Innisfail.

Last Thursday she wanted to go with her grandad, Wade, to the Innisfail track to see and pat her mum’s horse. At the same time two QRIC stewards turned up and saw Lana holding the horse while grandad cleaned its yard.

For two years she rode and groomed the same horse at her mum’s property. She was certainly competent and confident enough to fulfil the task. But the stewards couldn’t care less. She was under age and didn’t have a license.

When asked by Wade how old she must be to get a stable hand license the steward ‘wasn’t sure’. Wade relieved her of the horse and then asked her to put some feed in a bin for the animal.

Stewards then stepped in and said she must not touch the feed either. True!

Wade was fined $200.

Just how pathetic is that?

Lana, frightened and shaken told her mum she never ever wants to go back to the racetrack. Because: “I got grandad into trouble”. 

“They came in with a big stick and knocked the incentive and motivation out of a 13-year-old,” said Wade, who is naturally disgusted, as is everyone who has heard this story.

Good news is (QRIC) hopefully won’t be around much longer – at least in its current form.
And that is straight from the horse’s mouth.

 

THIS ‘MICKEY MOUSE’ NQ DERBY IS NOTHING BUT AN ‘EMBARRASSMENT’

ANOTHER change looming on the racing radar is the ‘Mickey Mouse’ NQ Derby that was run on Saturday at Ooralea.

Racing purists shudder that the race, with the time-honoured tag of Derby – usually reserved for three-year-old colts – is run in Mackay as a race for three and four-year-olds, fillies and mares included with allowance for apprentices.

On Saturday the status of the NQ Derby slipped beyond the depths of inferiority. There were just eight runners and four of them were from the local Manzelman stable. The winner, Friskier, was beaten at the Ewan bush meeting at its previous start two weeks ago.

When the NQ Derby was first introduced as a feature on the Mackay winter carnival 30-odd years ago (in the John Millard era), it attracted a good quality fields. The winner in 1986 was In Top Swing which went on to win the Queensland Cup and defeated Hotham Handicap winner, Scarvila, in the Mt Isa Cup the same year.

Saturday’s event was a very poor reflection on those glory days in spite of the $25,000 prizemoney on offer. The club surely knows the so-called Derby must be run in the June-July period of the northern winter carnival if it is to recoup some of the lost prestige.

 

 

HERE’S AN IDEA FOR THE CORPORATES THAT WOULD WIN FRIENDS

WITH so many betting options these days we have come up with one that perhaps the corporate bookies should jump at as a sure fire winner.

How many times do we see less fancied runners from major stables winning races in which they have the favorites? It happens all the time with the Chris Waller stable in Sydney.

Nothing turns punters off more than backing a strong fancy from a top stable only to see it get beaten in an upset by a horse from the same barn that has not been performing as well.

Now here’s a suggestion for these corporates who have money to burn after years of leeching on Australian racing – sending their hundreds of millions in profits off-shore at the expense of racing in Australia.

If the corporate bookies can introduce all these fancy ‘money back’ and ‘bonus bet’ schemes for punters who win then lose on protest or don’t get a run for their money with horses left at the barriers, surely they would be interested in our suggestion.

Why not introduce a ‘bonus’ whereby if a punter backs a horse that gets beaten by the stablemate they get their money back. It’s a simple as that and makes more sense than allowing them to call their bets off half way through a race when their horses seems to be going too badly to win.

Waller has multiple runners in many races and their form is impossible to follow. On many occasions the favorite not only gets beaten but performs like a mule. The stewards ask a few questions, get the usual excuses which they accept from the ‘champion’ trainer or his plebs and the punters walk away angry. If they got their ‘hard earned’ investment back it would be a ‘win-win’ for everyone. After all the corporate bookies have a license to print money and do as they like – if you win too much they simply close down your account.

Let’s look at it up and down the east coast – how many times does the main fancy of multiple Team Williams runners get beaten by a poorer performed stablemate? It even happens with the Weir stable but that comes as no surprise considering the enormity of his runners. And in Brisbane the less said about the inconsistency of the Gollan team the better.

Come on corporates, if you want a fresh idea that would boost punter confidence and give them more incentive to back the hardest to follow leading stable in the country – that of Chris Waller – then here it is.

 

 

AFTER NEARLY A DECADE INTEGRITY BOSS LEAVING RACING VICTORIA

AFTER nearly a decade at the helm of Racing Victoria's integrity department, Dayle Brown (pictured) will stand down from his position in the coming weeks.

PATRICK BARTLEY reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that Brown, a former member of Victoria Police, is now looking for challenges outside of racing.

He oversaw the investigation into cobalt, which resulted in leading trainer Peter Moody being outed for six months. Bans against Danny O'Brien and Mark Kavanagh are still being considered by the Supreme Court.

Brown joined Racing Victoria in 2008, with extensive legal, integrity and corporate experience, having worked at Betfair, Deloitte and Harness Racing Victoria, a recognised leader in the field of integrity.

"I have opportunities to take on new challenges that I'm currently considering and with a strong team in place at Racing Victoria that have an unflinching commitment to maintaining a level playing field for all, the time is right for the next personal development," he said.

Brown has not always seen eye-to-eye with the Racing Victoria board, especially before the departure of chairman David Moodie.

Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson thanked Brown for his contribution to the integrity of the sport and Racing Victoria.

"Dayle has been such an integral member of the RV executive over the past decade and has worked tirelessly to ensure our industry has been at the forefront of technological innovations and rule changes that have provided a level playing field for all participants," Thompson said.

"During his time at Racing Victoria, Dayle has successfully restructured the integrity services department into a contemporary team which has garnered a reputation both within Australia and internationally as a global leader in developing systems to protect and enforce the highest levels of integrity."

 

 

‘KEYSTONE COPS’ FROM QRIC MAKE QLD LAUGHING STOCK OF NATION

By TERRY BUTTS - NQ REGISTER

THE Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) released its annual report last week. It might have been better if it hadn’t.

For it does nothing to enhance the reputation of a body riddled with a police culture – a body that has divided racing administration in this State with a series of calamitous decisions that have made Queensland the laughing stock of the country.

Thankfully it is likely to be QRIC’s last Annual Report.

“This annual report highlights the great work achieved by Commission staff over the past year including the first race fixing charges in the harness code under the match fixing laws enacted in Queensland in 2014,” Commissioner Ross Barnett professed.

Well, seriously, that must have been really difficult for the Keystone Cops (also known as QRIC) to track down the culprits. Harness racing has long been known as ‘thieves on wheels’ and as an industry that has sunk to the very bottom of despair – at  least in Queensland.

It is beyond redemption according to most punters – so no bouquets for QRIC there.

The general reaction is: Who cares?

The report added that the Queensland Police Service, through the Racing Crime Squad, had laid 40 charges against a total of 22 offenders over the year.

“This partnership acts as a valuable deterrent to industry participants who might otherwise engage in serious animal welfare and integrity offences.

What the report didn’t mention was the case of Mackay trainer Buddha Cochrane, a family man, who spent nine months on the sidelines – out of work – after the stewards found him guilty of cruelty – without any independent or supportive witnesses or veterinary evidence.

The new you-beaut Racing Crime Squad also charged him with cruelty, but the Magistrate threw it out for lack of evidence.

There was a similar case in Rocky the previous year – with the same result.

Cochrane has since had his license renewed. Many expected him to claim damages but...

Hardly a rap for the very expensive Crime Squad made up of ex coppers or Corrective personnel that flit around the State at massive expense to do what?

Waste very valuable time (of licensees) and money that should be utilized on far more desperately-needed projects such as prizemoney or  travelling rebates.

It is pure overkill.

And yet, according to the report, the Racing Crime Squad is set to expand from four to six members and the Commission “will expand the use of body worn cameras to allow officers to make accurate, real-time records of their fieldwork and inspections,” Commissioner Barnett said.

Yet in the next sentence he says: “It is important to remember the vast majority of licensees across the three codes are law-abiding responsible industry participants” adding that “99.6% of the 19,000-plus swabs analyzed by the QRIC’s Racing Science Centre returned negative results”.

He didn’t mention their total stuff up of the cobalt swabs however which has made Queensland the laughing stock of the country.

QRIC officers supervised 1,521 race meetings, conducted more than 955 stable and kennel inspections and carried out 96 welfare and integrity investigations during the reporting period.

QRIC under Barnett has cost the industry an estimated $27million. I don’t think we will  see another annual report with his signature – a change of  Government will ensure that.

HOOFNOTE: Your scribe is also hobby trainer. He has had two stable inspections in 10 years – until last month – and now he has had three in four weeks and after this week’s column is expecting yet another!

Funny that.

 

 

IT LOOKS LIKE A MISSION IMPOSSIBLE BUT MIRACLES DO HAPPEN

LUCA, the littlest COWBOY, lives in enemy territory, the home of the MELBOURNE STORM, but he doesn't mind declaring his allegiance for the North Queenslanders.

Most of us know what Luca is probably too young to realize - that the Cowboys face a herculian task - a mission impossible - upstaging the hot favorites, the Storm, for the NRL premiership flag on Sunday.

But in 50 years time perhaps Luca will be able to tell his kids and later, even grand kids, that he remembers the day the Cowboys caused the greatest upset in NRL grand final history.

GO THE COWS!

 

WHEN ARE THE POLITICIANS, QRIC OR THE MAINSTREAM RACING MEDIA GOING TO DO THEIR JOBS AND ASK SOME QUESTIONS?

JUSTIN DOYLE, a former high profile racing administrator and current stakeholder, makes these interesting comments about the BRISBANE RACING CLUB:

'GIVEN all the conjecture, issues, allegations and so forth concerning the BRC, I found it interesting that no one put up their hand to challenge the retiring directors.

I do acknowledge it is always difficult to attract quality people to committees at any time but is this more a case of no one wanting to be associated with the BRC?

As a member and owner i do have concerns but more related to the Eagle Farm track rather than the other issues and allegations. 

However, it is time the BRC committee address what is being raised online and regurgitated everywhere else as their continued silence is deafening.

I'm sure the AGM will be most interesting IF anyone asks the pertinent questions. Whether they are answered is another matter entirely.'

EDITOR'S NOTE: BELOW are just some of the questions posed today by ARCHIE BUTTERFLY (www.itsnotnormalisit) which should be asked by the mainstream racing media. Before stakeholders and the racing public jump to the conclusion that the Labor Government, its Racing Minister, the Racing Queensland Board & the Brisbane Racing Club have something to hide, then the QUEENSLAND RACING INTEGRITY COMMISSION needs to get off its arse and investigate. Failure to do so will only back the argument of those who want it closed down that it won't investigate the people who put it their from the Labor Government. As for the Murdoch Media well is it just protecting its multi million dollar earn (through form guides and racing propaganda) paid by the industry and the TAB? We won't even mention the LNP Opposition (who are so far out of touch or don't want to venture too far down the track here) OR ''Noddy Nathan' who heads the gutless and weak-kneed turf scribes in this state who still seem to take their marching orders from the 'old media maggot' now on a hefty retirement package with the BRC.

Here are some of the serious questions posed by ARCHIE BUTTERFLY - for the full story log into his must-read website itsnotnormalisit.

What is the relationship between the Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) that manages the Racing Infrastructure Fund, the BRC that has borrowed $12 million from it, the Chairperson of the QTC Gerard Bradley, a company named Pinnacle Investment Group Ltd, two others named Hyperion Asset Management and Flagship Investments, Racing Minister Grace Grace, Racing Queensland Chairman Steve Wilson, a company named Blue Sky Alternative Investments, and its Managing Director and Racing Queensland Board member Mark Sowerby?

Why is the Racing Integrity Commission continuing to sit on its hands and failing to investigate the serious allegations of corruption against BRC Chief Executive David Whimpey and former Racing Queensland acting chief Sam Adams that have been detailed on this site and backed with documentary evidence?

What is the relationship between the BRC  and a Singapore based company named the Thakral  Corporation?

What role does former Thakral Corporation executive and current BRC General Manager of Property and Assets Jeff Kahler play in that relationship?

Does Nifty Neville Bell really own an apartment in an exclusive Watpac or Seymour Group developed complex on the Brisbane River?

Was Thakral Corporation involved in the development as the financier?

Which company with links to the Malaya Racing Association provided the wrong sand for the disastrous Eagle Farm course proper?

Is the company really located just down the road from the homes of Brisbane Racing Club Chairman Neville Bell and Director David Dawson?

Which company supplied the inferior grade gravel for the track’s base?

And which company supplied the bark?

Was that company the real supplier, or was it just part of an elaborate ruse designed to conceal the true identity of the supplier?

What was the tender process for the supply of the sand, bark and gravel for the Eagle Farm track?

And how was the successful tender determined?

Which company supplies sand, gravel and bark to BRC Chairman Neville Bell’s Kilto Park property?

Which company supplied the 21 tonnes of fertiliser that was dumped on the track in April that burned the surface of the course and ruined the winter carnival?

What was the tender process used to obtain the 21 tonnes of nitrogen rich fertiliser?

Why has the link between Gallus Partners, the private investment bank run by BRC Director John Shepherd, and the ASF consortium that made the faux bid for a casino licence at the Southport Spit not been openly declared by either Shepherd or the BRC board of directors?

What is the real relationship between Gallus Partners and Hong Kong Tony Fung’s company Aquis, a major backer of the AFS consortium?

Given the ever-increasing financial relationship between the BRC and Aquis Farm – the former Nathan Tinkler owned Patinack Farm – why has the Gallus/Hong Kong Tony relationship not been openly declared?

What is the real relationship between Gallus Partners, Tinkler, Hong Kong Tony and Michael King, the fraudster who ran the failed MFS Investment Management Ltd company and was recently banned from managing companies for 5 years and ordered to pay $177 million to the investors he ripped off?

Why does the BRC have any relationship at all with Aquis when Michael King is employed as a consultant to the company?

Has the General Manager of the Brisbane Turf Club owned and operated Gallopers Club Scott Steele really traveled to the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas?

Who is Scott Steele traveling with?

And who is footing the bill?

Did the Directors of the Brisbane Racing Club really hold an emergency meeting yesterday out of sight at the Acacia Ridge club they recently took over?

What were they discussing?

LGHR is making no allegations but makes this plea to QRIC and the LNP Opposition to win back the confidence of the racing public and its stakeholders by investigating immediately.

   
 

RACING IN QUEENSLAND IS JUST LIKE AN EPISODE OF THE BACHELORETTE - WHO'S ROOTING WHO? 

READING the latest Infrastructure Plan, ala Field of Dreams, for racing in Queensland is akin to watching an episode of The Bachelorette and it throws up the same question: 'Who's rooting who this time around?'

MURRAY DEAN, a regular contributor to THE WHINGE, pretty much sums up the situation in this interesting email:

'I just read the latest plan. It seems that every time an election is in the offing we have a new “Master Plan “.

After reading this nonsense some major questions occurred to me. How much do these people get paid each year to formulate this rubbish?

Obviously the whole nonsense swings on selling Albion Park. Why? 

Now I will be the first to admit that Albion Park is a run-down relic of the past. Much like Eagle Farm and Doomben.

To sell the Creek and not explore the huge ramifications of re development is akin to flogging your home on Hamilton Hill and shifting to Ormeau or wherever so that you can get an extra bedroom.

You just need to be a brain dead bureaucrat to think like that. Or even just a share trader without an ounce of knowledge of the Racing Industry.

It seems to me that this mob suffer from a mentality similar to Governments. If they need more money they can  only come up with one solution . Flog an asset. That is the easy way to fix a problem in their tenure.

They haven’t got the capabilities to consider maximizing the returns on the assets they already own and which they will never acquire the standard of again.'

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