WHEN it comes to breaches of the cobalt threshold there are some stables that don’t surprise but others you simply say: ‘No way!’

With the ‘victims’ continuing to grow the Australian Trainers’ Association, backed by several prominent scientists and veterinarians, have called for an overhaul of the way Racing Australia deals with cobalt.

Racing Australia chairman Greg Nichols has confirmed that his Board will discuss all things cobalt, especially the severity of penalties to those found guilty of presentation and or administration.

In response to a call from ATA CEO Andrew Nicholl for the situation to be reviewed, Nichols told Radio Sport National in Melbourne yesterday that whilst he doesn’t believe officials have got the cobalt situation wrong, he has an ‘open mind’ on the matter. Sounds like a bit each-way but it’s a step in the right direction.

Nathan Exelby reports for The Courier-Mail today that almost 30 cases relating to breaches of the cobalt threshold are waiting to be heard in Queensland alone (13 of those are gallops cases still to be heard by stewards).

At the risk of singling out an individual, one of those on appeal is Gold Coast trainer Kelly Doughty, fighting a 12-month disqualification for an elevated cobalt reading from her horse Blue Book back in November 2017. Doughty fits into the ‘no way’ category for anyone who knows her background in racing and has watched her career as a trainer. In the opinion of LGHR she is a ‘victim of the system’.

No doubt our support for Kelly will attract the usual ‘hate mail’ that we are used to at LGHR coming from faceless and gutless wonders who contribute through false emails. We have a computer expert tracing the ‘host’ of these and already know the identity of one received this week in relation to our criticism of ‘Mecca Day’. You would be surprised if you knew his identity.

Part of what he had to say was this:

‘Your low life website is not objective, lacks integrity and basic principles. You attacked Ross Tinniswood for daring to criticise your point of new. Ross is just a very interested fan of racing and I applaud him for having the guts to oppose you trash talk. It’s a wonder you didn’t fit (Peter) Bredhauer into the story because from all reports you keep pushing his barrow. Get a new star to promote because he is a bitter old Bentley fan with a twisted agenda just like his mate Nifty (Neville Stewart).’

WE are not going into the ‘he said, we said’ dialogue of Mecca Day again – that was obviously well covered in our response to Ross Tinniswood otherwise you wouldn’t be so upset. Then again when you’re a failure at everything you have tried in racing sadly you seem to be suffering attention deficit disorder. Don’t forget we know who you are and it isn’t ‘Dicky Walton’ the name you used to bag us.

And a point on your description of Ross Tinniswood being ‘just a very interested fan of racing’ – he was a former hard working and excellent director at Doomben (only losing his role when the merger with Eagle Farm occurred). He was also a consultant to the National Party on all matters racing. Ross also has some close connections with current directors of the Brisbane Racing Club so he is a little bit more than ‘just a very interested fan of racing’. We have no problem with that – Ross is loyal to his friends, a lover of racing and a good bloke. We just don’t happen to agree on Mecca Day and that’s what Having Your Say at LGHR is all about. There’s just no room for grubs who want to attack us under assumed names because they have a political agenda of their own but don’t have the balls to stand up and express those feelings because it might dent their precious image in the eyes of the industry which already thinks they are dills, frauds and morons in any case. I am sure Ross would be the first to disassociate himself with you.          



THERE are still some spots left at the reduced rate for subscriptions to the LGHR LATE MAIL for the SPRING CARNIVAL.

For only $150 you will receive from now until the end of the big Flemington Spring fixtures, our ratings for every Saturday meeting, night racing when it resumes, Sunday racing (including the big Country Cups in Victoria) and Cup week (four meetings) from Flemington. As a bonus we will throw in Sydney and Melbourne every Saturday. If you are interested just email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or text 0407175570.

The LGHR LATE MAIL is a leisure service with no ‘get rich’ guarantees – and arguably the cheapest around. We have done comparisons with some of the ‘longer running, high profile tipsters’ and don’t believe they offer ‘value for the money they ask.’ Some even require YOU to invest on THEIR SELECTIONS then PAY THEM A PERCENTAGE IF SUCCESSFFUL, claiming to have ‘THE INSIDE OIL’ from the top stables.

Don’t waste your hard-earned on theirs. JOIN THE WINNERS – the $150 package through to the end of the SPRING CARNIVAL will cost you not much more each week than a cup of coffee.




A QUEENSLAND Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Integrity Investigations Team (IIT) track work operation at the Gold Coast Turf Club on Monday morning has resulted in five track riders testing positive in preliminary testing for prohibited substances.

The operation involved the testing of 52 people including track work riders and jockeys.

IIT staff also identified four people who were unlicensed to ride.

One licensed racing industry participant failed to provide a sample for testing and was stood down immediately and another participant who returned a preliminary positive test for cannabis was also stood down and both will appear at soon to be scheduled Steward’s inquiries.

Two licensed riders returned preliminary positive tests for opiates and two more returned positive tests for Benzodiazepine.

All preliminary tests will be sent to a laboratory for confirmation.

The trainers who have employed unlicensed track riders will also be referred to the Stewards.

Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said no notice testing could occur at any time and participants should ensure they are free of prohibited substances for the safety of animals and other participants.




ONE could argue the news goes from bad to worse for racing and rugby league fans in Queensland.

With reports over the weekend that former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie is preparing to stand down as Chairman of the Australian Rugby League Commission comes the bleak prediction for those in the north that Racing NSW Chief Executive Peter V’landys is hot favorite to take over the job.

NSW racing has been the big winner under a revitalised management process put in place by V’landys in the past decade. It has resulted in a ‘prizemoney and feature race’ war with Victoria and in the SKY Channel Stakes Queensland has been a big loser.

With reports that V’landys – regarded in NSW as the nation’s premier sports administrator – is being head-hunted to take control of rugby league, the chances of Queensland hosting an NRL grand final have suddenly deteriorated.

It was bad enough with ‘back flip’ Beattie trying to wear two hats – at least he had some history with Queensland. V’landys has shown in racing (although his responsibility there is to only do his best for NSW) that he is reluctant to look at the bigger picture and the Maroons need to be scared that his parochial attitude will not apply to rugby league as well whether he is appointed to adopt a national approach or not.         

Strangely, it is rumoured to be Beatttie that is lobbying for V’landys to become his successor in February. Across the border the Murdoch Media – which has a vested interest in Rugby League through the giant Fox Sports network – is trumpeting how V’landys has delivered more than $1 billion in new revenues for the NSW racing industry.

Many in Melbourne believe it is a desperate effort to disrupt the Spring Carnival in Melbourne – the most successful festival of racing in the world – all because V’landys wants NSW to be the pace-setter of the sport in this country. In prizemoney terms it may well become that but when it comes to attracting crowds it won’t get within a bull’s roar of Victoria.

V’landys, whose mainstream racing media man did another incredible suck-up job, has been an independent Board Member of the ARLC for the past 18 months and believes he can successfully juggle both positions.

It will be interesting to see if he wins the top Rugby League role in this country whether V’landys will be prepared to ‘go to war’ with the AFL to the same degree as he has with Racing Victoria. That would be a kamikaze mission and much easier than simply ensuring that Queensland never wins the right to host an NRL Grand Final.

While Beattie is kissing V’landys arse and anointing him as his ARLC successor perhaps he could whisper in the ‘great man’s’ ear how badly Queensland has suffered at the hands of SKY Channel to whom they have remained loyal over the years.

Despite talk of Queensland switching its coverage to when the current Media Rights Talks are concluded, most believe that won’t happen. SKY has already tried to up the ante and improve its covered. Sadly, it won’t be too little too late and as soon as the new deal is done we will be back to the situation which many blame on V’landys where SKY regards the secondary NSW meeting each Saturday of more importance to the main one in Queensland.



DESPITE all the excuses when you delve deeply into the dipping turnover of the UBET arm of TABCORP it is of major concern and there are bound to be repercussions.

Turnover for the past financial year on the former UBET business, which covers Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory, was down an alarming 9.5 percent with revenues falling by 7.2 per cent.

Looking for a short-term positive, Racing Queensland revenues are safeguarded against falling UBET returns until December 2020, as part of an agreement for a top-up payment to ensure a minimum fee as part of the Deed of Understanding it struck with Tabcorp during the merger. The top-up fee paid by Tabcorp in 2018-19 to Racing Queensland was $11.8 million.

But if Tabcorp cannot reverse the trend of falling UBET revenues, or if another deal cannot be struck between RQ and the wagering provider to extend the arrangement, it leaves a huge shortfall in funding to Queensland’s racing industry after the safety net ends in December 2020.

“UBET revenues continue to be impacted by its legacy offering but the rate of decline relative to market has reduced from pre-merger levels,” TABCORP chief executive David Attenborough said. “We continue to see lots of opportunity in UBET through better product and digital growth, but we need to complete integration before these benefits emerge.”

Interesting word ‘integration’ with some analysts predicting the knife is ready to be wielded through the former UBET operation. That has to include redundancies and the swallowing up of 4TAB Racing Radio by the SKY Racing Radio network which is already being seen with many of their stable now regularly heard on 4TAB.

It could also impact on Brisbane programming staff and on-air hosts not to mention race-callers. There is already speculation that the Albion Park Harness Racing Club, of which David Fowler is Chairman, will pension off long-serving CEO-Manager or whatever he is called in Damien Raedler to create a vacancy for ‘the Bantam’. Whatever the outcome staff bloodshed is heading the way of 4TAB.

Looking at the overall picture, TABCORP has stated previously that the performance of the former UBET-branded States will improve when they are transitioned to ‘the full TAB offering’, a project that is due for completion during 2020. These include more bet types, the race simulation Trackside, and the acquisition of more digital customers.

Dragging UBET into the modern era has all but required a merger or takeover. Punters in the north complain of late Fixed Odds being posted and are still awaiting the introduction of Parlez betting, which has been available on the southern TABs since Adam was a boy. And what’s the point of betting on Hong Kong racing with the TAB in Queensland when the pools in NSW and Victorian TABs are co-mingled with the racing giant providing far better value?

Paint whatever picture you like and the future looks pretty ordinary for the UBET arm of TABCORP heading into the next decade.


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