Jenny - Clean

WHAT MAKES ZAAKI VULNERABLE – THE BOG TRACK OR PRESSURE?

PUNTERS have arguably next to no confidence in the integrity of racing in Queensland and want to know if Chief Steward Peter Chadwick will speak to jockeys prior to Saturday’s Group 1 Doomben Cup with a warning that ‘team riding’ will not be tolerated.

Their concerns have been prompted by a report that Paul Snowden, co-trainer of the import Heutor has questioned whether one of the four runners from the Chris Waller stable might go forward and put pressure on the hot favourite Zaaki.

Waller has four runners in the Cup – Polly Grey which loves the wet and finished a close second to Zaaki in the Hollindale at the Gold Coast on a Heavy 8; last year’s Queensland Derby winner Kukeracha which ran a closing third in the Hollindale; Kolding, which has been struggling to regain his best form on bottomless tracks; and Great House, which ran second in the Gosford Cup and likes the wet.

One would assume the only one of those four that could serve it up to Zaaki would be Polly Grey which led and bolted in on a Heavy 8 in the Group 3 JRA Plate at Randwick last month but there was nothing in that field of the quality of Zaaki. It would seem suicidal tactics to engage in an early battle for the lead but by the same token can rivals afford to let the favorite enjoy a leisurely time in front?

We’re not for one moment suggesting anything untoward from Team Waller or that at any stage the stable has engaged in team riding with multiple runners in races.

But if Polly Grey were to engage in a mid-race or before the turn battle up front with Zaaki leaving the favorite vulnerable to her stablemate Kukeracha to run over the top and win, it wouldn’t be a good look from a punting perspective.

Zaaki was overhauled by Think It Over charging down the outside of the track on a Heavy 10 in Queen Elizabeth at Randwick over the Doomben Cup distance and one could argue that whilst not in the same class as Zaaki, Polly Grey has better credentials if the track becomes bottomless with rain during the day and does have a two kilo pull in the weights.

Paul Snowden told The Courier-Mail: “Any horse is beatable. You’d like to see a bit of pressure put on him because that is all this is lacking.

“Whether one of Chris’s (Waller) goes forward or if it was dry I think Maximal might have gone forward.”

Fresh from clinching the Doomben 10,000 with Everest-bound Mazu, Snowden has declared last year’s Cup winner Zaaki as beatable but wants to see someone serve it up to James McDonald to ensure the Annabel Neasham-trained star doesn’t get it all his own way.

Neasham has already voiced her concerns over Zaaki’s vulnerability on a bottomless track and there is more heavy rain predicted for Brisbane on Saturday with some local trainers tipping the big meeting might transferred to Wednesday.

One wouldn’t expect rival riders to give Zaaki the stroll in the park he enjoyed in the All Star Mile. But week-in, week-out punters see Waller do amazing things with his horses from winning big races, to saddling up ‘good things’ that lose a leg, and winning features in upsets like he did in the Melbourne Cup.

Good luck to him when he gang tackles the Doomben Cup and assumes the role of giant-killer but to reassure punters here’s hoping ‘Pete the Plodder’ has a fireside chat with all riders before the big race to ensure a level playing field. No doubt after this attempt at a wake-up call he’ll do next to nothing!

 

IT BECOMES A MAJOR PROBLEM WHEN YOU CAN’T CONTROL OBJECTIVE CRITICS IN THE RACING MEDIA

RACING in Queensland needs an outspoken media critic like national broadcaster Ray Hadley – someone that those running the show can’t control like their ‘spin doctors’ in the Murdoch Media and on Radio TAB.

It’s easy to play ‘bully boy’ with websites or social media that dare to criticize and to take legal action to limit their ability to speak out like has happened with Archie Butterfly.

But Hadley doesn’t take kindly to threats and at present he has the Brisbane Racing Club running for cover over the stable eviction order placed on trainer Danny Bougoure, son of a legend of racing in Queensland.

Of course on this whole issue Racing Queensland is hiding under a rock and Racing Minister Grace Grace is nowhere to be seen – probably fearing that if she gets involved it might affect her nose in the trough annual visit to the Farm for Stradbroke day.

Hadley can be unrelenting as RQ CEO Brendan Parnell, the bloke paid well over a half a million dollars annually, found out when he allegedly tried to seal a deal involving the Albion Park Harness Racing Club to replace Josh Fleming as the SKY caller at Eagle Farm with David Fowler, the one-time Chairman of Australia’s worst performing major trots venue.

Whenever the outspoken and objective 4BC Morning Show Host sees a perceived injustice he tries to protect the victim as has been the case with Danny Bougoure. As Archie Butterfly wrote on his subscriber-only site, www.peterprofit.com, “He’s like a rabid dog savaging a bone.

‘Hadley was at it again (on Wedneday) attacking Bougoure’s landlords’s (the BRC) from all sides, in particular, the reindeer Matt Rudolph.

‘Rudolph should have manned up and fronted Hadley’s show during the week, or the CEO Tony Partridge should have anyway. But no doing so they have dug themselves a huge hole, and made an enemy of one of the most powerful broadcasters in the nation, which is not really the sort of person you want throwing bombs at you while you are hiding in your bunker, because Hadley doesn’t often miss.

‘The whole thing can still be fixed if the Eagle Farm management eat a bit of humble pie and reverse the eviction decision, and then bowl up on radio to say ‘sorry, we got this one wrong.’

‘What are the odds?

‘We’ll have to wait and see.

‘Only one thing is for sure.

‘This is not what Queensland Racing needs coming into the Carnival.’

EDITOR’S NOTE: Problem for the Brisbane Racing Club is that for too long (the days of the old QTC) they have been able to control what has been written in the mainstream racing media. They can’t cop criticism and never could but rarely got any, especially when Bart Sinclair, who works for them in retirement, was Racing Editor. One just hopes that the rumors (and that’s all they are), which we can’t repeat for legal reasons, are incorrect about why stables have been taken from Bougoure at Eagle Farm.

 

BRC CANNOT ALLOW ‘ANY TRAINER WITH HORSES THAT ARE NOT OF A METRO STANDARD TO OCCUPY STABLES AT THEIR WORLD CLASS TRAINING FACILITY’

THE controversy that has erupted over the eviction of Group 1 winning trainer Danny Bougoure from his in-field stables at Eagle Farm which has raised a couple of interesting questions from our readers.

The main one they want answered is: ‘Where does the Trainers’ Association stand on this issue? Are they backing Bougoure or the decision of the Brisbane Racing Club?’

Here is an email we received from a long-standing racing follower in Brisbane:

‘The BRC as the landlord is entitled to make what decisions it sees fit when it comes to tenants. But it does seem that on this occasion the once highly successful Danny Bougoure is being hung out to dry.

When there was talk of some high profile trainers being booted out of Deagon to make way for a state-of-the-art harness and greyhound centre being proposed by the then Racing Queensland Board some years back all hell broke loose. It became a political crap fight on the eve of an election and a change of Government saw the project dumped.

Why are some of those – high profile in the Trainers’ Association and based at Deagon – conspicuous by their silence in the Bougoure case. Surely Pat Duff, who no doubt was close to Danny’s late dad Doug and Jim Murdoch, a legal eagle with so much racing expertise, not getting involved in this eviction (or that at least seems to be the case)?

Perhaps there is something that we, as the racing public aren’t aware of. What we do know is that the BRC were quick to offer stables to a former Hong Kong jailbird when he took to training in Brisbane but are now keen to show the door to a trainer who made headlines for racing in Queensland winning Doomben 10,000’s and in Hong Kong with his star sprinter Falvelon.’

We at LGHR were surprised to see the BRC ‘spin doctors’ in the Murdoch Media publicise this controversy but the reason soon became evident with the story containing the following warning to anyone who dares to criticize:

Trenton Ackers wrote in The Courier-Mail today:

The matter has turned ugly in recent times with BRC officials targeted for social media and verbal abuse by some who have taken umbrage at the decision.

In a strongly-worded statement provided to News Corp on Wednesday afternoon, the BRC said: “BRC has a job to do as the metropolitan racing club and our employees should be able to perform their jobs without fear of personal attacks. BRC will not tolerate the abuse of its staff.

“BRC is considering its legal position.”

BRC vice-chairman Richard Morrison told News Corp it was unfair that the club’s general manager of racing and partnerships, Matt Rudolph, had been singled out for savage ‘personal criticism’.”

“Matt Rudolph is an outstanding racing administrator, he has a difficult job making difficult decisions which are not always the popular decisions,” Morrison said.

“Personal criticism of Matt over this matter is grossly unfair.”

They explained the reasons for not renewing Bougoure’s lease.

“In regards to the decision, Danny Bougoure has trained three winners at BRC venues since August 2020,” the BRC statement said.

“Falvelon Lodge occupies 20 stables, almost five per cent of the $30 million infield training facility BRC funded and built.

“BRC simply cannot allow any trainer, regardless of their or their family’s tenure in the industry, to continue to occupy stables at BRC’s world class training facility with horses that are not of a metro standard.”

Then there was this clanger:

The BRC has invested more than $30 million on the infield stables and insist there is no monetary advantage to them whoever trains there, as boxes are rented on a daily rate regardless of how successful a trainer may be.

If that’s the case, why are they throwing Bougoure out albeit with the offer of alternative stabling off-course (to train at Doomben) or at Deagon?

 

HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE LGHR WEDNESDAY WHINGE

PLENTY of angst from this VICTORIAN punter after the defeat of the favorite in a CASTERTON HURDLE:

‘FOR some time now my mates and I have gone to our local watering hole in Victoria on a Sunday, enjoyed lunch and then had a punt – we find it easier than betting on the tougher Saturday meetings when some of us have other sporting commitments with our kids.

It’s jumping season now so we don’t mind investing our hard-earned believing that a reliable favorite will always give you a good run for your money barring any accidents or falls.

Sunday was no exception and we dipped in for a good win on the early favorite Tolemac in the opening Maiden Hurdle at Casterton. Sadly we were attacked mercilessly in front by a $51 roughie named Bosskid which dropped out like it got hit in the head with a mallet and was retired from the race.

Tolemac battled on bravely but the relentless pressure applied by Bosskid took its toll when Hey Happy, the second favorite that had enjoyed the run of the race, emerged from the ruck and ran our fancy down.

Now we don’t mind doing our money fair and square but whether we are accused of talking through our pockets or not, Tolemac would have won had this bolter not attacked him in front.

Here’s what the Stewards at Casterton reported: BOSSKID: Raced keenly through the early and middle stages. Retired from the event near the 500m and failed to negotiate the final two obstacles. Rider Selim Agbal reported the gelding overraced which was detrimental to its performance. The performance will be referred to the Jumps Review Panel. A post‑race veterinary examination revealed a slow recovery.

With all due respects to the rider Agbal he should have added that the over-racing of Bosskid was also determental to the chances of Tolemac and those who backed him – not to mention setting the race up for Hey Happy.’

 

POLY TRACK AT SUNSHINE COAST A GRAVEYARD FOR THE PUNTERS

THIS punter who still bets on racing in Queensland is not a fan of the Poly Track at the Sunshine Coast:

‘We keep hearing how the new Poly Track at the Sunshine Coast has been the saviour of racing in south-east Queensland during the big wet.

What a load of garbage. Whenever a meeting is transferred onto that surface it attracts a stack of scratchings, punters aren’t interesting in betting on the Poly and it continues to throw up rough results.

You only have to look at the opening race of the meeting there on Sunday. Winston Blue was the despised outsider in the five-horse field and somehow it managed to win. The $1.6 favorite Velvet Lady never looked like winning and fell into third place.

Winston Blue had not looked like winning at four starts this campaign for a last, a 10th, a 10th and an 8th and in those four starts the best it had done was beaten two home.

Not only do punters ask the question, how did it win? But they are entitled to ask how the odds-on favourite Velvet Lady got beaten. She had won on the Beaumont track then at Scone before beating one home at Randwick but that was in the Group 1 ATC Oaks on a Heavy 10 when she drew of the track. This was a Class 3 against walkers at the Sunshine Coast.

The sooner they get back to racing on the turf at Corbould Park the better. The Poly track should only be used as a last resort. It would be interesting to see the turnover on this surface where punters have next to no hope of winning.’

 

MAJOR NSW MEETINGS HOME OF SLAUGHTER JOBS & FORM REVERSALS

HERE’S another punter letting off steam about Saturday’s major meeting in NSW:

‘WHAT is it about the major meetings run in NSW each Saturday? They blamed the bottomless tracks for the form reversals and poor performances of some favored runners for weeks but even when the surfaces improved to some degree and they moved out of town it was the same old story.

You can always count on one of the top jocks enduring more than their share of bad luck on a beaten favorite. On Saturday at Scone it was Rachel’s King turn on the heavily-backed $1.6 chance Andermat in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes when she managed to get caught three deep without cover and finish fourth. What price this supposed good thing comes out next start and bolts in?

It wouldn’t be a Saturday without one of Waller’s strongly fancied runners not only getting beaten but performing like it had lost a leg. This week it was Sacrimony which ran 7th and of course there were the usual explanations from the stable’s book of excuses.

The inclusion of Hi-Way’s might be applauded by the trainers with horses eligible but the statistics of favorites saluting must be woeful. Not only did the solidly backed favorite The Dramatist never get sighted when 8th at Scone but stablemate Steplee won at $12 with trainer Rod Northam admitting in an interview after the race that he didn’t think there was much between the pair.’   

 

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY SIDE OF WEEKEND RACING

THE GOOD

THE early decision to move the Doomben 10,000 meeting to Eagle Farm even though some questions have been raised about how safe the visibility was in some races.

GOOD to see SKY using the talents of Ryan Phelan who has laps on some of their race days hosts. Ryan has copped more than his share of bumps in the road not only during his media career but also from life in general.

 OUR old mate Larry the Loser is on the mend after suffering a heart attack. He gave the punt away for a year and was on the comeback trail when the health scare floored him. A couple of stents in the heart and Larry promises to be back attacking the punt in the near future.

THE BAD

Stewards not bothering to question the massive form reversal for Swiss Exile to win the Group 2 Spirit of Boom Classic at Doomben after being beaten when long odds-on in a Two-Year-Old Maiden at the Sunshine Coast.

HOW many more excuses came we keep making for the Tony Gollan-trained Palladas? He has become such a nightmare for punters that for sure when he does win it will be an upset.

The GREENS announcing a policy to shut down racing and use a betting levy to cover the transition in the lead-up to the Federal Election. Fortunately they will never govern in their own right and hopefully no party will be forced to jump into bed with these drop-kicks to form Government.  

THE UGLY

RIDES for Rachel King on Andermat in the Listed Luskin Star at Scone and Damien Oliver on Alegron in the SA Derby where once again bookies proved they have crystal balls electing to risk the favorite from the time betting opened.  

THE Maher-Eustace stable normally make smart decisions but telling Linda Meech to ride Ice Pick Nick with a ‘sit’ at Flemington on Saturday proved to be downright dumb. When questioned after Ice Pick Nick raced below market expectations Meech explained that she was instructed to settle with cover behind the leading horses as the gelding was having its first start over 1400 metres, However, given how the race unfolded and with the slow tempo, she advised that the gelding would have been better suited being allowed to lead.

 

IS THERE ONE SET OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS RULES FOR MURDOCH MEDIA HEAVIES & ANOTHER FOR THE REST OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC?

RACING should be commended for embracing Australia’s first transgender jockey and in these times of political correctness if anyone in the industry were to speak out of line about him they would be hauled before the stewards and action would be taken against them.

It seems however that the same rules don’t apply to high profile identities of the Murdoch Media like the Labor-hating far from objective SKY News commentator Paul Murray who reportedly stepped over the line when he made some terribly offensive remarks at a Brisbane Hotel this week.

Why hasn’t Murray – a ‘spin doctor’ throughout the election campaign for his good mate ‘Scomo’ – been stood down or even sacked over this tirade? His alleged comments about transgender people when he ridiculed swimmer Lisa Thomas, who made history as the first known transgender athlete to win a US college swimming championship, were over the top.

“A sheila with a penis swam faster than a bunch of women without a penis; who has a girlfriend with a vagina; but he is a lesbian,” Murray said. “Welcome to 2022 people. Welcome to 2022. That’s their game and that’s the way that they play.”

Here is the full report from theguardian.com which you won’t read in any Murdoch Media publications but featured on Media Watch on the ABC this week:

SKY News presenter Paul Murray unleashed a foul-mouthed tirade against Labor off air, calling the Opposition leader “fucking Albo”, and directing his audience to vote for the Coalition.

An audio recording from the Eaton’s Hill Hotel in Brisbane on Tuesday night has the Sky After Dark host making offensive remarks about senior Labor figures and demeaning comments about trans people, while Defence Minister, Peter Dutton, waited to be interviewed. It is not known if Dutton heard the remarks and he has been contacted for comment.

Murray was warming-up the audience ahead of Sky’s Paul Murray’s Live Pub Test, imploring them to vote for the Liberal and National candidates, rather than minor parties, to ensure a Coalition election victory.

During the 10-minute monologue Murray mocked former Treasurer Wayne Swan, the President of the ALP, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, West Australian Premier Mark McGowan and Sky News commentator and regular guest Nicholas Reece, Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne City Council.

Murray laughed at Swan for coming to the defence of Albanese, when he accused the media of “disgusting” gotcha journalism. “And again, what about Wayne Swan the other day, screaming and moaning because of course ‘the press has been mean to Albo, too mean to Albo’”, Murray said.

He called the Opposition leader “fucking Albo” when relating a story about two Labor leaders Albanese and McGowan owning poodles; and he said Shadow Foreign Affairs spokesperson Penny Wong looked like a “mean girl”.

“Have you heard about how Mark McGowan has a poodle like fucking Albo?” he said.

“We got mean girl Penny Wong pretending to be nice but still looking like a mean girl.

“We got Albo promising to own 40% of people’s houses. How good is that idea? Albo Bank? Fair dinkum.”

He appealed to the crowd to ensure everyone votes LNP, because it is “your job” and “our job” to “build a buffer against the joke in Victoria”.

“We’re going to build a buffer against the teals in Sydney,” he said. “We’re going to build a buffer against the bullshit that might be playing in places like Western Australia”.

Murray also talked about transgender people and appeared to ridicule trans swimmer Lia Thomas, who made history as the first known transgender athlete to win a US college swimming championship.

“A sheila with a penis swam faster than a bunch of women without a penis; who has a girlfriend with a vagina; but he is a lesbian,” Murray said. “Welcome to 2022 people, welcome to 2022. That’s their game and that’s the way that they play.”

About Palaszczuk and her Labor team, he says: “Honestly, as I said before the election and I repeat now, flush … them, Domestos [bleach] and flush again, when it comes to that mob.”

Murray asks the audience to yell out which regular guests they like and which they don’t. They say they like Bronwyn Bishop, Mark Latham and Matt Canavan but they don’t like regular Labor guests Nicholas Reece, and Stephen Conroy. Murray laughs and says Reece is like a “blow-up clown doll”, meaning he gets knocked down and always comes back for more, adding “he thinks he’s doing God’s work”.

LGHR was asked to publish the above piece by a fan of Tyler Leslight, the young jockey believed to be Australia's first ever transgender rider to win an official TAB-listed race who recently went public on the enormous struggles he suffered trying to forge a career in the saddle.

Leslight, 22, made history in Mackay recently when he rode Fire King to victory in the 1,200 metre sprint on Tuesday. In video of the duo crossing the finish line the young jockey, who transitioned from female to male, appeared overwhelmed with the emotion of the win.

The contributor, who suggested Murray should be sacked for his transgender comments and said he wasn’t a fit person to grace the TV screens in this country, wrote:

‘This right wing, foul-mouthed individual needs to be hauled into gear and told to abide by the same political correctness that exists for the rest of us in Australia. He is out of control and obviously thinks he can get away with it because he has the endorsement of ‘Scomo’ and the crew.

“He and his Tory mates on Sky continue to accuse the ABC of being biased towards Labor when they are the same but batting for the other side. It is sheer hypocrisy – people that live in glass houses – so much for objectiveness of the media, then again we are talking about Murdoch.

“Interestingly, in latest betting on the outcome of the Federal Election we have seen the Coalition firm from $4 to $3.2 and Labor ease to $1.35. One wonders how much influence on the result the Murdoch Media will have. If it is anything like the latest Queensland election the answer will be ‘zero’.’

FOR the record LGHR believes the Coalition will defy the odds and win the Federal Election not because the majority have any time for Morrison but they want to eventually see Peter Dutton who would make a far better and respected PM replace ‘Scomo’ and also very few have any confidence in Albanese doing the job.      

 

GREYHOUNDS CONTINUE TO MAKE HARNESS LOOK 2ND RATE IN QLD

RACING Minister Grace Grace boasted to State Parliament recently about the massive economic contribution that racing was making to the Queensland economy.

Whilst all three codes recorded what she called ‘dramatic increases’ what Ms Grace forgot to tell The House was how or why harness racing continues to lag so far behind the other two codes.

While greyhound racing’s contribution has risen by a whopping 116 per cent and the gallops by 49 per cent, harness racing showed an increase of only 30 per cent. This highlights how far the trots are lagging behind the dogs, as anyone who follows the three codes knows because of a lack of punter confidence in the integrity of the sport.

HERE’S a transcript of what Racing Minister Grace had to say in Parliament:    

THE Palaszczuk government recognizes the important economic contribution of Queensland’s
racing industry. The new independent Size and Scope of the Queensland Racing Industry report, produced by IER, demonstrates just how valuable that contribution is.

Since the election of the Palaszczuk government in 2015, the economic contribution of Queensland’s racing industry has soared 60 per cent to a record $1.9 billion—a truly great outcome.

We are seeing these dramatic increases across all three codes. Thoroughbred racing has risen from $959 million to $1.43 billion—an increase of 49 per cent. Harness racing has risen from $142 million to $184 million—an increase of 30 per cent. Finally, greyhound racing has risen from $113 million to a whopping $245 million—an increase of 116 per cent.

We know that racing is the lifeblood of many rural and remote communities. These racing events are often the largest or second largest events in town. They support thousands of local jobs—14,000 in the last financial year alone.

I am proud to report that nearly half of our record $1.9 billion economic contribution directly benefits regional economies in Queensland. Labor is still supporting the National Party in this state!

That support includes $145 million for the Toowoomba, Darling Downs and Maranoa region, where the industry is supporting 1,145 jobs; $41.2 million for the Wide Bay-Burnett, supporting 332 jobs; and $26.4 million for Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday, supporting 216 jobs.

With close to 30 race meetings held across the state every single week, with total annual attendance of more than 675,000, it is clear that racing is thriving in Queensland.

Thanks to this Government, 35 per cent of revenue from the State’s Point-of-Consumption Tax goes directly back into racing.

I probably have to thank the Member for Mermaid Beach (Ray Stevens) for his contribution to that as well. I know that he is a very keen punter!

This report shows that the industry has performed incredibly well, despite the challenges of the pandemic. Supporting this industry is a critical part of the state’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

What better way to support this important industry than by attending one of the many events coming up during Stradbroke season and the TAB Queensland Racing Carnival, which is now off and running.

Staged over 10 action-packed weekends—

Mr Stevens interjected.

Ms GRACE: I will be there with you, Member for Mermaid Beach—and with more than $21 million in prize money on offer, including eight Group 1 features, the electrifying TAB Queensland Racing Carnival is the place to race this winter.

I wish good luck to all those involved over the coming weeks. The Premier and I look forward to seeing you trackside during Stradbroke season.

The Premier owes racing in Brisbane a big thank you – that was where she met her new beau.

Of one thing you can always be sure come Winter Carnival or Magic Millions time there will always be a host of political free-loaders at the track with their noses in the trough.

 

MAJOR PARTIES MISSING IN ACTION BUT TIME TO PLACE GREENS LAST

DURING the lead-up to next Saturday’s Federal Election neither major party seems to have promised much to the racing industry considering the tens of millions it contributes to revenue every year.

There’s no photographic evidence to suggest that ‘Scomo’ or ‘Albo’ even go to the races or take an interest in our biggest event the Melbourne Cup. All we do know is that both of them are keen rugby league fans following the ‘Sharks’ and ‘Rabbits’ respectively.

We at LGHR won’t be as arrogant as the Murdoch Media and tell you not to vote Labor – although one wonders if they are protecting the interests here of the general public or what their boss has been promised.

But what we will suggest is that if you are a racing stakeholder, a punter, or simply a lover of the gallops, trots or dogs that you place the grubby Greens last when you vote.

In their absurd policy the Green have promised to:

SHUT down the racing of horses and greyhounds, and end the export of greyhounds for commercial purposes, including for breeding and racing.

We commend the Greens for their determination to enact strong national laws to end animal cruelty and protect the welfare of animals but the answer is not to shut down a racing industry which employs so many and contributes so much to the economy.

Their plan is to appoint a Task Force to oversee the complete shutdown of Horse Racing and to introduce a levy of one percent on betting turnover to finance the transition. (How do they expect there to be any betting if they close racing down)?

The Greens are simply a bunch of ignorant, ill-informed dickheads. Put them LAST on any ballot paper you sight.

  

THOSE BEATEN HOT FAVORITES AT SUNNY COAST JUST GROW A LEG

THE win by promising colt Swiss Exile in the Spirit of Boom Classic at Eagle Farm on Saturday again highlighted why punters are reluctant to back short priced favorites at Sunshine Coast meetings.

Swiss Exile turned in a form reversal in the Group 2 after being beaten at $1.6 in a lowly Two-Year-Old Colts & Geldings Maiden at Corbould Park when resuming.

It was entitled to be that price after Listed and Group 3 placings at Eagle Farm and Doomben in December but was made look second rate by Chayse ‘n’ Artie which had started favorite and run a distant third in a Gold Coast Two-Year-Old Maiden on debut.

This is what the QRIC Stewards reported:

SWISS EXILE – Bumped at the start. Over-raced in the early stages when being restrained to obtain cover. Approaching the 700m, when continuing to over-race, had to be eased to avoid the heels of ULTIMATE OUTCOME which shifted in when not fully clear. K Wilson-Taylor, rider of ULTIMATE OUTCOME, was reprimanded under AR131(a) for careless riding in this incident.

Here’s what the Stewards reported on Saturday at Doomben and not a question asked about this major form reversal:

SWISS EXILE – Trainer A. Neasham was fined $200 under the provisions of LR67 for the late declaration of rider.   

We are not sorting Nesaham out for special attention – she’s a great trainer but Swiss Exile is one of many favorites beaten at the Sunshine Coast in recent months that looked good things. This colt then found his best form in a far tougher G2 race to a Maiden and ‘they’ didn’t forget to back him from attractive double figure odds into $8 landing some big bets. Surely ‘Pete the Plodder’ and his crew should have at least asked the question if they are doing their jobs and protecting the interests of the punters who took the shorts at the Sunny Coast.

 

WHAT STAGE DO STEWARDS CONSIDER VISIBILITY ASPECT OF RACING?

MUCH has been made by the ‘spin doctors’ in the mainstream racing media of the Racing Queensland-Brisbane Racing Club masterstroke in making the early call to move the 10,000 meeting from Doomben to Eagle Farm.

But little has been mentioned of the ‘elephant in the room’ – regardless of how well a track drains at what stage when the rain continues to fall and visibility worsens do stewards start to consider the safety aspect of racing?

Champion jockey Jamie Kah highlighted how bad it was after winning from back in the field on the heavily-backed Sydneysider Diamil in the Listed Members’ Cup.

“I couldn’t see a thing. Hopefully I rode it well because I didn’t know where I was going,” Kah told Trenton Akers of The Sunday Mail.

With insurance companies looking at any loophole these days, one wonders if a jockey suffered a major injury in a fall while stewards allowed a meeting to continue, would they dodge a payout arguing that poor visibility contributed.

No-one wants to see these big meetings lost and full marks for the move to the Farm but are QRIC and its stewards leaving themselves – not to mention RQ and the club involved – open to legal action by pandering to the TAB and race clubs by taking risks racing in these conditions. And should the Jockeys’ Association be more proactive in protecting their members?

 

IT WOULDN’T BE A SATURDAY WITHOUT A BEATEN WALLER HOT FAV

IT wouldn’t be a weekend of racing when Chris Waller didn’t saddle up a heavily backed favourite that performed like a mule, or a second stringer that beat home its more fancied stablemate or one of his winners didn’t turn in a form reversal.

Saturday was no different:

Last start winner Sacrimony, backed as if unbeatable, lost a leg when 7th to roughie Redoute’s Image at Scone. Stewards inquired into the poor run and reported: When questioned B Avdulla stated that as advised to Stewards, he was instructed to ride the gelding in a more prominent position. He said that Sacrimony began extremely well and enjoyed a comfortable run behind the leader. He said, however, that he was at a loss to explain the disappointing manner in which Sacrimony responded to his riding in the straight. He said the only thought he could offer is that the gelding may perform at its best when ridden conservatively when fresh. A post-race veterinary examination revealed no abnormalities. Stewards will follow up on the post-race condition of Sacrimony in the days subsequent.

(So there you have it, another inexplicable performance from a Waller favorite and rather than order the horse to trial before racing again, it’s just put down as one of those racing mysteries that costs punters plenty).

Then at Eagle Farm we had Yonkers beating home more fancied stablemates Our Intrigue (narrowly) and favourite Djukon in the G2 Chairman’s Handicap at Eale Farm. Stewards reports that rider T. Berry commented that the gelding pulled hard in the early and middle stages and failed to run on over the concluding stages and was disappointing. We have to concede that the win by Yonkers came as no surprise (it has been racing in better company in Melbourne). Nor did the success of stablemate Ranch Hand surprise us (it was one of our specials in the LGHR LATE MAIL at good odds dropping sharply in class from Group 1 & 2 company to a Class 3 Plate). Forget the run of the Heathcote-trained favorite Startantes – it never travelled in the conditions.
 

TWO SLAUGHTER JOBS OF SATURDAY RACING IN SCONE & ADELAIDE?

THE slaughter jobs of Saturday racing:

ANOTHER hot favorite that looked a good thing sits three wide and gets beaten in Sydney.

The James Cummings-trained Andermatt, looking anything but a Stradbroke hope, had no luck in running when fourth at $1.6 to Flying Crazy in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes at Scone on Saturday.

Punters who have a whinge to LGHR have described the ride of Rachael King as a ‘slaughter job’. The Stewards report read:

ANDERMATT: Raced wide and without cover for the majority of the event. When questioned, R King stated that Andermatt, which was attempting 1300m for the first time, was left racing wide and without cover approaching the first turn and after racing keenly in that position was not able to quicken as expected in the straight and was one-paced to the line. Stable representative D Beadman concurred with R King in that the gelding travelled too keenly when racing without cover.

ANOTHER Godolphin favourite Alegron had no luck in the G1 South Australian Derby. Depending on whether you backed the horse or not, it wasn’t one of Damien Oliver’s better rides.

Alegron should have finished much closer to winner Jungle Magnate but going forward the lightly-raced Detonator Jack was the run of the race for the Maher-Eustace stable.

The SA Stewards’ Report on the Derby read:

ALEGRON (D. Oliver) – Held up for clear running from the 500m until the 300m. A post-race veterinary examination revealed no visible abnormalities.

 

 

ANOTHER ‘DOG ACT’ FROM OWNER THE RACING PUBLIC LOVE TO HATE?

WHY does controversy continue to ride shotgun with arguably the most successful owner in Australian racing?

Brae Sokolski is a divisive character – not unlike ‘Scomo’ – the difference being late on election night millions of Aussie will be hoping he says ‘it’s not my job’ for the final time – because it isn’t!

Sokolski is making headlines in racing again – some might say for all the wrong reasons. He is a senior partner in the ownership group that dropped a bombshell overnight announcing that Melbourne Cup winning mare Verry Elleegant will be taken from the stables of Chris Waller and moved to Chantillly-based Francis-Henri Graffard to be aimed at the Prix de L’arc de Triomphe.

Now LGHR would be the last to lose any sleep over Waller losing a horse – he has been accused of taking many from other stables, especially those of battlers, largely because the owners believe he can improve them lengths.

This is about loyalty and history shows that Sokolski has none. Remember when he sacked Linda Meech days before the Victoria Derby without telling her and his only explanation was that this was the right of any owner to do as he choose.

The same applies to Verry Elleegant but it was Waller (and to a lesser degree the disgraced Darren Weir) who transitioned the champion mare into Australia’s reigning Horse of the Year. Waller, playing Mr Nice Guy, said he ‘respects the owners’ wishes’ but one suspects Sir Cryalot shed the odd tear when the news sunk in.

There was also the drama with Incentivise after Sokolski bought into the ownership which saw original trainer Steve Tregea sell his share and behind-the-scenes Peter Moody was at the centre of some sort of issue over whether the Melbourne Cup hope would be taken from his stable.

It just seems to happen whenever Sokolski is around but he continues to enjoy big race winners. We won’t be as unkind to the bloke as our colleague Archie Butterfly was on his site www.peterprofit.com but needless to say we won’t be fawning at his feet like many in the mainstream racing media.

Archie wrote in part:

‘BRAE Sokolski imagines himself to be the smartest man in racing, and given his incredible record of success since emerging out of nowhere six years ago to become the most successful owner in Australia, you can understand why.

The thing is though when you have untold tens of millions to spend on buying already good horses, what Sokolski and his partner Ozzie Kheir have achieved is not quite as hard as it seems. It requires a bit of luck, and the pair have had that in spades.

Money talks and battlers walk.

It doesn’t make Sokolski the genius he sees himself though, as evidenced by his latest stunt in taking Australia’s best mare Verry Elleegant off the trainer who turned her into a superstar on a second’s notice, and sending her directly over to France to chase The Arc. It was a dog act.

Verry Elleegant will be seven by the time the Arc is run. Do you know how many seven-year-olds have won the race? One, a stallion named Matrico in 1932.

Brae Sokolski is about to change the history of the greatest race on the planet. Jesus is coming back to Earth on Monday too. Was Brae a carpenter do you reckon? Get another quote!’       

 

THE WEDNESDAY WHINGE – WE TRY TO GET ACROSS YOUR MESSAGE

THE BLAME FOR THE EMBARRASSING STANDARD OF STEWARDING IN QUEENSLAND RESTS WITH SOME OF OUR OFFICIALS OF YESTERYEAR

FOR those of us who have been involved in racing outside the Queensland metropolitan area for more years than we care to remember the current embarrassing and incompetent standard of integrity comes as no surprise.

Some of these panels officiating at meetings from Central to North and Western Queensland aren’t fit to police racing in ‘Peanutsville’. But the buck stops at the top and it’s up to the Chief Steward or Integrity Commission to upgrade the herd.

The latest revelations from Archie Butterfly on his site peterprofit.com and backed by letsgohorseracing (we don’t read or hear anything about it from the mainstream media) are just the tip of the iceberg with the whip rules being continually flaunted and a host of other anomalies such as jockeys riding while under suspension.

Sadly, the responsibility doesn’t entirely rest with these stewards, who arguably have limited ability to do the jobs they have. This raises a couple of alarming questions about whether those with the influence to ensure first class integrity in Queensland racing have wanted the best over the years.  

Remember the days when stewards like Alan Cooper (father of Patrick) and Glen Bailey (father of Terry) were no-nonsense, highly-respected Chief Stewards in Townsville and Rockhampton?

They ruled with iron fists and would not have tolerated the incompetence that is occurring on and off the track with integrity these days. Strangely, officialdom ensured that neither of their sons was to follow in dad’s footsteps in Queensland.

Alan Cooper, not only the best steward the north has seen, but one of the best in the State, was rail-roaded north when he couldn’t see eye-to-eye with a panel in Brisbane some members of which oversaw the embarrassing Fine Cotton ring-in affair and almost let it happen without detection.

Cooper ran a tough ship in North Queensland but was respected by trainers and jockeys for the methods he adopted. He never got the profile he deserved from the racing media because he dared to haul into line a high profile scribe from Brisbane who was used to simply having the run of the jockeys’ room on race days. When this bloke tried the same on a visit to Townsville he was told the same freedom did not apply in the north.

Patrick Cooper would always face the huge task of working as Chief Steward in North Queensland in the shadow of his dad. He was hung out to dry simply because he took action against a jockey that a certain bookmaker with links to the Integrity hierarchy of the day was not happy about. Cooper jnr was shown the door eventually and wound up stacking groceries in a supermarket. He has more ability in his little toe than some of these stewards now operating outside the metropolitan area but it seems his papers have been marked ‘never to be re-employed by RQ’.

Terry Bailey, son of the late Glen Bailey who was the Chief Stipe at the gallops and trots in Central Queensland, was not as unfortunate as Patrick Cooper. He became one of the most high profile stewards in the country and eventually wound up in charge of integrity in Singapore and is now one of the First Lieutenants of another former Queensland stipe in Kim Kelly in Hong Kong.

Sadly, Bailey was keen to return to Queensland as Chief Steward when the opportunity arose and he was keen to leave behind the controversy of the cobalt inquiries in Racing Victoria and his much-publicised battles with jockey Danny Nikolic. The reasons the Sunshine State turned its back on him is a story on its own.

It was largely political at the time when those running RQ at the highest level were convinced not to appoint Bailey by sources they were too close to – like trainers who had horses for them and media figures who had become too accustomed to running messages from the jockeys room to the bookies ring under the blind eye of previous stewards’ panel.

Bailey arguably would have put a broom for all the things that continue to happen on the track today and certainly would not have tolerated second rate stewards on any of his panels. But the powers-that-be of the time didn’t want him for some strange reason (we can only assume why) and the end result meant that after he had been long gone to higher paying jobs overseas those responsible for the appointments of stewards who followed him wound up with a Chief Stipe today in Peter Chadwick that seems to be surrounded by panels that seem to perform even worse that he does.

Punters, many of whom no longer have the confidence to bet on racing in Queensland, believe that until QRIC bites the bullet and brings Bailey back racing in the Sunshine State will continue to have an almighty smell about it.

 

BOUQUETS TO RQ NO SURPRISE FROM THEIR ‘SPIN DOCTORS’ BUT WILL RAIL OUT SO FAR REWARD MEDIOCRITY AT GROUP 1 MEETING?

IT comes as no surprise that the ‘spin doctors’ of Racing Queensland and the Brisbane Racing Club are singing their praises for making an early call on the Doomben 10,000 meeting.

We at LGHR are not going to criticize them for that if it means saving one of the major meetings of the Carnival that would otherwise be lost to the big wet.

But perhaps there were a couple of other options that should have been looked at though.

With a revised forecast of less rain than was originally expected before the end of the week in Brisbane should thought have been given to transferring the 10,000 to Sunday?

The other downside is that while the rail would have been in the ‘true’ position at Doomben reports suggest it will be seven metres out at Eagle Farm. That is hardly ideal for a Group 1 feature meeting.

The BRC are obviously protecting the Farm track for successive weeks of Carnival racing but will it mean that those horses contesting the 10,000 meeting will find it more difficult to come from back in the field?

If it is then allowed the rail out so far could simply reward mediocrity and not give every runner their chance of winning.

 

REFRESHING TO LEARN THAT MAHER-EUSTACE HOPE TO DEFY ODDS & CHALLENGE DOMINATION OF WALLER DESPITE HIS STABLE NUMBERS

FOR those of us who dare to suggest that champion trainer Chris Waller has too much domination and heaven forbid start in Sydney racing, it was refreshing to learn that the Ciaron Maher-David Eustace stable have set what some believe is a ‘mission impossible’ goal.

They want to overhaul the big lead Waller has in the national trainers’ premiership and have admitted that’s their next mountain to conquer – which is good news for punters.

Speaking on RSN this week, Eustace was quite frank and open about the quest to chase down Australia’s training giant.

“Catching Chris has been the goal since the start of this season. I think we can still do it. Everything would have to stay right but trying to close the gap is the sort of thing you want to be involved in and it really drives us,” he said.

“Putting a challenge against yourself makes more sense if you challenge yourself against another stable. It’s a team sport, you have your staff, your team, around you, and it’s a very clear thing you can work towards.”

At this stage Waller has a 16 win lead over Maher-Eustace in the national training premiership. But it’s important to note that WALLER has TRAINED 262 WINNERS from 600 MORE RUNNERS.

There are arguments that stable numbers should be capped but we all know that won’t happen with restraint of trade and all that other crap in what would be a legal minefield.

As Matt Stewart, Racing Editor of RSN wrote:

‘AT what point do the wins become less special for the marauding Maher/Eustace stable? In Edmund Hillary terms, they’ve climbed Everest so many times, seen so many epic sunrises, that surely there is risk of physical and mental burnout?

Maher is 40, Eustace in his early 30s. They have youth on their side. Maher, particularly, pops up anywhere and everywhere and never seems tired; last week, every night right through to the early hours, at the Bool, to Saturday Morphettville where that tight black leather jacket alone said, “Youth and vitality.”

On track and at night, at The Bool, Adelaide and everywhere else, Maher has run amok. They are young men with an old man’s record. On his own, and then with Eustace, Maher has won 25 Group One races. He’s won six Grand Annuals and a couple of Jericho’s.

The Melbourne Cup and expansion, perhaps globally, are the only un-ticked boxes left for the biggest domestic-run stable in Australian history. NSW is next, with a new property soon to be up and running near Berri. Overseas is their last possible frontier, and that will happen it’s just a matter of when and where. Maybe Newmarket, maybe somewhere half-way like Dubai.'

You don’t see much of Waller at Warrnambool or with a runner in the Jericho. Perhaps it's too down-market for him and he prefers to plunder the Group 1’s from Adelaide to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Waller and Maher-Eustace both emerge from big weeks winning feature races but there is little time to celebrate with a host of big race goals on their doorsteps.

 

MAHER-EUSTACE SUCCESS WITH GROUP SECOND-STRING WINNER HIGHLIGHTED BUT HOW ABOUT SOME STATS ON WALLER FAVORITES?

ONE of our contributors took us to task this week for not highlighting the second-string upset winner for the Maher-Eustace stable in a Group 1 in Adelaide like we do when Waller has a lesser-fancied stablemate beat one of his favorites.

Our critic was referring to the Robert Sangster Stakes last Saturday when Maher-Eustace had three runners in the $500,000 sprint. The roughie of the trio Snapdancer at $17 scored a boilover win from stablemate Away Game $7.50 with Bella Nipotino running fifth at $9.

It’s fair to say the win by Snapdancer was a form reversal but she had won her two previous starts on Magic Millions Day at the Gold Coast then in the Group 3 Triscay at Randwick before finishing 15th in the Newmarket when the stable felt the mare failed to handle the Flemington straight.

Let us just say this – the Maher-Eustace favorites are far more consistent than Waller’s. Very few weeks go by when his stable doesn’t have a second-string upstaging a better fancied runner.

Saturday was another example when Blondeau at $13 won the Listed Takeover Target at Gosford while stablemate Oscar Zulu ($21 to $4.6 FAV) ran eighth. In fairness we should add it didn’t have much luck in the straight.

Waller’s team of 'spin doctors' delicately avoid mentioning his form reversals, second-string winners and reports that there is an agreement he doesn’t have to front stewards’ inquiries on race days because he’s too busy and that task is left to one of his First Lieutenants which, if true, is an absolute farce.

Instead the ‘Razor Gang of Turf Scribes’ highlight the statistics showing all the records Waller is breaking with feature race winners and premiership tallies. It would be nice for them to report how many of his favorites get beaten and what that percentage is. But don’t hold your breath.

 

BUCK STOPS WITH CHIEF STIPE – IF HE CAN’T CORRECT PROBLEMS THEN QRIC COMMISSIONER SHOULD REPLACE HIM – YES MINISTER!

THERE is clearly a major problem in the QRIC ranks. The buck stops with Chief Steward Peter Chadwick. If he can’t resolve these then the new ‘Comish’ should find a suitable replacement for him – it wouldn’t be that hard.

Chadwick chose not to attend the major Carnival meeting in Queensland on Saturday at the Gold Coast and was instead swanning around overseeing the new Rockhampton card featuring The Archer.

Rion Hitchener, who we are told Chadwick regards as his First Lieutenant in the stewarding ranks, was in charge of the Hollindale Cup meeting probably because Daniel Aurisch who performed the Deputy duties at the Gold Coast on Saturday represents too much of a threat and is a far better steward than both of them.

While there was a big team of stewards at the Gold Coast and Rockhampton out in the country the ranks were so thin that QRIC could only afford to send one steward each to Longreach, Mt Isa and Goondiwindi.

For some strange reason though they had two stewards officiating at the Oakley Picnics where there were no professional jockeys, every race was a flag staff, there were no bookies and no photo finish – GO FIGURE!

In racing in Queensland stewarding there’s no punch without Judy – and the joke on Saturday was squarely at the feet of another of Chadwick’s highly-rated First Leiutenants in Paul Gillard.

He’s the steward that had a meteoric rise from the back-blocks under Steve Railton and Alan Reardon to prominence when Dr Dolittle started running RQ Racing Integrity in the Bob Bentley era. We could tell you why but that story will save for another day.

Gillard, the ‘I’ve Been Everywhere Man’ of the QRIC panel, has outdone his welcome in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Townsville and now is based in the Far North where racing at Gordonvale on Saturday was an absolute farce under his chairmanship.

GILLARD NEEDS A REFRESHER COURSE ON THE NEW WHIP RULES

Our good mate Archie Butterfly on his subscriber-only website www.peterprofit.com has covered some of what we have written about above in detail. Here’s what he had to say:

‘LACEY Morrison got ripped off blind by the stewards at Gordonvale on Saturday.

In Race 4 she was denied a protest win by the stipes failing to see Frankie Edwards whip his horse 14 times before the 100m mark, and 25 times in total.

Lacey fired in a protest against Edwards claiming that he gained an unfair advantage by breaching the whip Rules.

She was right. Edwards didn’t just breach the Rules, he smashed them, just like he smashed his horse.

Blind Freddie could see it but the Stewards’ Panel under the chairmanship of Paul Gillard couldn’t.

This is what they said:

After hearing all of the evidence and viewing the available film footage stewards could not be comfortably satisfied that jockey Edwards breached Rule 132(5) and had used his whip in a full striking manner on every occasion and therefore dismissed the objection and declared correct weight on the judge’s semaphored numbers.

Of course Frankie didn’t use his whip in a full striking manner every time, he twirled it around in the air three or four times to build up speed and force for the whack. But we didn’t count those, and if we had the pre-hundred metre mark the total hit numbers would have been a lot higher.

How the stewards could have missed Edwards’ massive whip strike breach defies rational belief.

It was not just the number of strikes. Edwards demonstrably broke a number of other whip rules as well. Here are some of them:

Rule 132(5):

A rider must not use his or her whip in an excessive, unnecessary or improper manner.

Rule 136(7)(a)(i):

The whip must not be used in consecutive strides.

Rule 136(6)(a):

A rider must not use his or her whip forward of the rider’s horse’s shoulder or in the vicinity of its head.

Rule 136(6)(b):

A rider must not use his or her whip using an action that raises the rider’s arm above shoulder heights.

Watch the video of the race in question and you will see how Morrison goes to use the whip and leans in and uses his elbow, upper arm and whip to stop her.

That’s what you call foul or improper riding – unless of course, the stewards on the day allow a jockey to get away with it.

I keep telling you there is something very wrong with the standard of Stewarding in Queensland, and I don’t say it to be a nag, I say it because it’s true.

The QRIC stewards say Edwards didn’t break the whip rule.

The evidence is right before your eyes.

What more proof could you possibly need?’

WHY WOULD YOU SEND TWO STEWARDS TO THE PICNICS & ONLY ONE EACH TO THREE PROFESSIONAL RACE MEETINGS? IT MAKES NO SENSE!

THE BUTTERFLY also reports on peterprofit.com that there were three professional race meetings held at Longreach, Mt Isa and Goondiwindi at the weekend but only one steward at each.

This poor official had to run the whole show as betting steward, the arbiter on any disputes over photo finishes, and in Mt Isa Clerk of Scales duties as well.

The two-day annual Oakley Amateur Picnic Meeting was held on Friday and Saturday – no photo finish, no bookies, no professional jockeys, every race a flag staff but there were TWO STEWARDS.

How do you send two stipes to an amateur bush bash yet only one to each of the three professional race meetings? What happens if the solo guy falls ill or suffers an injury?

There is clearly a major problem in the QRIC ranks, for this is simply crazy, and totally unacceptable in every sense of the word.

Problems start at the top and the buck stops there. It’s about time the Chief Steward started taking some responsibility for what is going on and fixed the problems. That’s what he’s highly paid for, isn’t it?

     

 SHOULD THESE HOT FAVORITES BE POSTED AS SHORT AS THEY ARE?

WHY are so many short priced favourites getting beaten at meetings on the east coast of a Saturday?

Some long-time form analysts believe the prices being posted from the start are ‘poison odds’ and that the younger, modern-day cashed-up punter is prepared to take the shorts.

Caulfield on Saturday was a classic example. Clemenceau, Uncle Bryn and It’sourtime were hot favorites that ran below market expectations – in fact the first two were considered close to good things.

It’s almost become a weekly ritual in Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne that a short priced favourite will bet beaten. And in some cases these horses are being laid for plenty on Betfair – suggesting there are some very good judges around when it comes to backing losers.

 

DOES KAH NEED A CHANGE OF SCENERY FROM HER ROOTS IN SA?

IT’S commendable that Jamie Kah has never forgotten where her meteoric rise to the top of the jockeys’ ranks began in Adelaide.

But she shouldn’t feel an obligation to make a homecoming to ride at every major Carnival meeting in the City of Churches.

Kah has been the toast of South Australian racing for a decade and capped that earlier this year winning five races on Adelaide Cup day including the feature.

But here return visits since have netted nowhere near that success and one wonders if some of the support race runners she has ridden would have attracted the same support had she not been aboard.

Remove the Carnival days and Adelaide racing is a backwater promoted by media identities with invested interests when most major meetings of the week are a lower standard that the secondary fixtures in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

As Archie Butterfly highlighted on www.peterprofit.com, from her last 15 mounts in Melbourne Jamie has ridden five winners. At the first two weeks of the SA carnival Kah has ridden just one winner from 15 rides.

Here’s hoping her luck changes when she heads to Brisbane next weekend for the Doomben 10,000 meeting. But she will be back at Morphettville to ride at the Goodwood meeting the following Saturday.

 

WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT THESE ROCKET SCIENTISTS AT RQ?

THOSE overpaid hotshots running Racing Queensland are really on the ball.

They haven’t missed the huge rain event predicted to hit Brisbane this week and are already thinking of contingency plans for the Doomben 10,000.

You wouldn’t have to be a rocket scientist to accept there is only one option if it is too wet to race at Doomben – just head across the road to the bitumen surface at Eagle Farm.

RQ CEO Brendan Parnell, earning his $500,000-plus salary package, told The Courier-Mail it was ‘too premature’ to consider moving the meeting at present.

He did not rule out the prospect however. “The forecast is big variants of rainfall,” Parnell said, with anywhere from 100mm to 200mm expected to fall around Brisbane.

“We can sit down with the (Brisbane Racing Club) and work our way through it. If the BRC and us thought that it works, if Doomben gets to a point where it is unsafe, we can (talk about it.)

“At the moment, it is the Doomben 10,000 and we’d like to keep that. It does drain well there as well.

“Forecasts are one thing, but as we saw (at the Gold Coast), it can actually turn out OK. Two days ago it was forecasted to be a lot of rain and we raced.”

It’s so reassuring for the industry to know they have such knowledgeable and foresighted folks running the sport in Queensland. It would be going backwards without them.

And on the subject of the Hollindale Cup meeting, the Gold Coast proved once again that it deserves major metropolitan Saturday status once a month which would give the two city tracks the rest they need.

Once they get the lights in with the package of the Magic Millions and the Winter Carnival, Gold Coast will arguably be as deserving of primary Saturday status as Eagle Farm and Doomben.    

 

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY OF LAST WEEKEND’S RACING

THE GOOD

RON & JUDY WANLESS, once better known for their involvement in harness racing, are now reaping the rewards of a massive investment at the gallops. Good to see the couple enjoy a return from RUSTIC STEEL, winner of the $500,000 THE COAST at Gosford.

ZAAKI will be the blockbuster drawcard of the Winter Carnival with his next mission the Doomben Cup after winning the Hollindale and taking his stakes earnings over the $7 million mark. Waller gang tackled him on Saturday and had to be content with minor placings. If he adds to his arsenal for the Doomben Cup here’s hoping on the ball Chief Stipe and his panel have a fireside chat with jockeys pre-race about the penalties for ‘team riding’ – not that we are suggesting anything untoward would ever happen.      

THE BAD

JYE McNEIL tightened his grip on the Melbourne jockeys’ premiership with a winning treble on Saturday (that’s the good side) but none of that trio were favourites. The ‘bad’ was his popular elects that were beaten – CLEMENCEAU at $1.6, UNCLE BRYN $2.3 and FLASH AAH $3.1. To make matters worse punters weren’t sure whether his ride on Uncle Bryn was a victim of circumstances or a slaughter job (the jock reported racing keen out wide without cover didn’t help). McNeil told stewards that Clemenceau was not entirely comfortable on the racing surface.

Shelby Sixtysix – Near the 100m was steadied from the heels of Constant Flight. A post-
race veterinary examination revealed the gelding to be 3/5 lame in the near-foreleg and
had a speedy cut to the off-hind pastern. Trainer Mr D Williams was told a veterinary
clearance would be required prior to the gelding’s next race start.

THE UGLY

The Chris Waller second string BLONDEAU $13 winning the Listed Takeover Target at Gosford while plunged stablemate OSCAR ZULU $21-$4.6FAV could finish only 8th. Rarely does a week go by in Sydney racing when a Waller fancied runner doesn’t get beaten by a better priced stablemate.

THE failure of AYRTON behind ZAAKI in the Hollindale Cup at the Gold Coast was the first time the Victorian had finished out of a place in nine starts, which included six wins.

Plenty were blaming the deteriorating HEAVY track but top jockey Hugh Bowman reported that Ayrton over-raced and was on his wrong leg during the middle stages of the event which, in his opinion, was the major contributing factor for the poor performance. A post-race veterinary examination revealed that Ayrton was mildly lame in the near foreleg.

 

GLORIOUS DAYS WHEN RACING USED TO HOLD WHIP HAND IN POLITICS – HOW LONG SINCE YOU SAW SCOMO OR ALBO AT THE RACES?

WITH Michael McCormack, regrettably replaced as National Party leader, racing had a voice in Federal Parliament that contributed to the remarkable survival of the industry during COVID-19.

MAX PRESNELL reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that due to the pandemic in 2020 the turf in Australia was on shaky ground when McCormack, with a newshound background, took a hand.

Currently, the Federal Election is the major event and politicians that have made a significant contribution over the past four years should be recognised. McCormack, the minister for the Riverina and former editor of the Daily Advertiser, stands tall.

Once racing had strong support in Parliament House: Prime Minister Bob Hawke followed Andrew Peacock, who raced the mighty Leilani in partnership, with the Hon. John Brown and Peter McGauran making contributions.

Paul Keating had a turf link being the brother-in-law of Tony King, an Australian Jockey Club CEO. Keating, though, was too economically savvy to be a punter.

But none played a more important role than McCormack. Two years back this week the Kentucky Derby, that dates to 1875, took a hit but Warrnambool’s Grand Annual, that started three years earlier, went ahead because of initiatives stressed by McCormack, then deputy prime minister, and a racing enthusiast reputed to be able to recite every Melbourne Cup winner since 1861.

He also served as a director of the Murrumbidgee Turf Club from 1994 to 2003, as well as its official historian. McCormack’s territory had another highly successful Wagga Cup meeting this week, emphasising the strength of NSW country racing complemented by Saturday’s standalone meeting at Gosford, with a tantalising Gosford Cup and Takeover Over, hardly bush but a pleasing break from the Big Smoke.

According to reports, when racing could have been put on COVID pause, McCormack argued the industry was worth billions to the economy and employed more than 70,000 Australians.

Shutting down, which happened in other major world centres, would have meant owners and trainers struggling to keep horses healthy and out of the knackery. An extensive report emphasised the industry’s economic contribution, about $9.5 billion annually, with 51 per cent of that generated in regional areas, stressing it was just not matter of “turning on a tap” after a break. Thus, protocols and procedures were introduced and racing continued.

Unlike McCormack, more enthusiast Hawke “loved a punt”, according Bart Cummings in Bart, a great chronicle of the era. “Hawke got very excited if he won,” Cummings recalled. “Sadly, it didn’t happen often. He befriended Colin Hayes and I felt sorry for him, particularly around Melbourne Cup time, because Hayes’s horses didn’t win too many. [Obviously, The Master never voted No.1 for Colin Hayes].

“But as Prime Minister he was all right. He granted tax concessions to investors who want to get involved in horse racing and breeding. It did a lot of good for the sport in the country ...”

John Brown, a minister for sport, recreation and tourism in the Hawke cabinet, still gets a twinkle in his 90-year-old eyes, even more so than his exploits on a parliament house desk, when recalling the George Musson-trained Villiers – Summer Cup Randwick double in 1970 of which he had a considerable slice.

More recently, another Nationals MP, Peter McGauran, earlier an amateur jockey and Victorian stipendiary steward, now a director of the Australian Turf Club and tipped to be a future chairman (after Angela Belle McSweeney), was a member of John Howard’s cabinet, and instrumental in getting a noteworthy early release of jockey Chris Munce from a Hong Kong hoosegow.

With the coming Federal race, wise humans will be looking at form over the course and distance regarding issues, including health and education, climate change and wages. However, look for a simpler system: back a runner on his rugby league affiliation. Yes, I’ve never seen Albo at the races. Nobody’s perfect.

 

WHAT’S NEXT – A JUMPS CARNIVAL AT JERILDERIE TO RIVAL THE ‘BOOL?

SUCH has been the overwhelming success of the three-day Warrnambool Annual that the wags reckon ‘he who must be obeyed’ – Peter Vlandys – is planning a rival jumps carnival for much more money to be programmed on the same dates at Jerilderie.

Now everyone in racing knows that PVL would never try to steal the thunder from an original Victorian success story – so the Gold Cup meeting in the Southern Riverina town of just over 1,000 people will remain their big race day.

This was where Ned Kelly and his gang famously robbed the Jerilderie Bank. No-one would ever dare to accuse Racing NSW of like-minded thoughts about racing in Victoria.

Cairon Maher, at a young age a jumps training legend in the ‘Bool, declared the Grand Annual the greatest race in Australia after he won it again on Thursday with Heberite.

We wouldn’t go that far – everyone knows the Melbourne Cup is the standard-bearer despite The Everest being Australia’s highest stakes money race. But they are cheese and chalk – the ‘Bool appeals to a nation of traditional horse racing followers while The Everest is for the rich and famous and designed to bring back a lost generation of young players who, in the minds of many, aren’t there to punt or watch the thoroughbreds but to get drunk then get laid.

 

HOW DO YOU GET THE HORSES TO STRADBROKE OR A HIGH-RISE ROOFTOP?

IT brought back memories of the high profile Brisbane Racing CEO, green behind the ears when it came to the sport’s history, who asked a Winter Carnival meeting how they were going to get the starters to Stradbroke Island for the big race.

Archie Butterfly on his must-read subscriber-only website, www.peterprofit.com, posed the question in a story today headlined: ‘HOW are they going to get the HORSES up on the ROOF’.

It reads:

WHY on earth would you hold the launch of Queensland’s gala trot race at an expensive inner-city rooftop function space, when you have a number of function venues of your own at the track that you have just spent hundreds of thousands of dollars sprucing up, and hiring them out is part of your business?

It’s like running your races at Deagon instead of the Creek isn’t it, or transferring the Melbourne Cup Breakfast with the Stars to Caulfield. It’s the ultimate exercise in outsourcing.

Where the hell is the benefit to harness racing in this?

There is nothing like other peoples’ money, is there?

All care, comfort, posing and free plonk, and no responsibility at all.

It’s time that Racing Queensland cut harness racing loose, and let it fund itself.

With no assets and an average net annual loss of around $7 million, I reckon it would last about two minutes.

Who’s going to pay for the 32nd storey gala roof top launch then?

One quick question: How are they going to get the horses up on the roof?

LGHR EDITOR’S NOTE: We received an overnight email suggesting that Seymour Developments were prepared to pay for one last sponsorship – a tandem jump off the 32nd floor by the former chairman David Fowler and the APHRC CEO Scott Steele. We're sure as much money as Mr Seymour has, he can find better things to do with it!         

 

THE COAST, THE GONG, THE HUNTER & THE WANK – RACING NSW HAS IT ALL

MAJOR Saturday racing in NSW has deserted gumboot tracks in Sydney for the start of the round of stand-alone meetings promoting the major provincial tracks.

On Saturday the spotlight shines of Gosford for the $500,000 feature The Coast along with the Gold Cup and then Takeover Target. The Coast is just one of the PVL innovations which include The Gong, The Hunter and The Wank.

The South Australian carnival features the Group 1 Robert Sangster at Morphettville and the Queensland carnival hots up with the Hollindale Cup meeting at the Gold Coast where officials are praying the predicted rain will stay away until later in the weekend.

 

RQ OFFICIALS EXPECTED BUMPER NOMS FROM TOP STABLE BUT DIDN’T DO A THING WHEN THESE FAILED TO ARRIVE – DUMB & DUMBER

THE buck stops with top trainers Cairon Maher and David Eustace for missing the nomination deadline for feature races at the winter carnival but surely some of the highly paid personnel responsible for promoting Queensland Racing should have noticed.

The Brisbane Racing Club is overflowing with consultants and form experts, who many regard as nothing more than official boot-lickers, and this confirms their opinions.

Nathan Exelby was employed in a special role as a form expert for SKY and to promote Brisbane racing when he left his cushy job as Racing Editor for Queensland Newspapers to follow his racing svengali from one farm to another.

Surely Exelby's new role isn’t simply to make a weekly appearance on The Playbook – a preview show on Saturday Queensland Racing hosted by SKY. Many have an opinion of what he does best at the BRC but we at LGHR know he’s burning the midnight oil trying to find a winner for the battling punters.

Trainers Maher and Eustace are among the best in the land but with a stable of their size surely they have the back-stops required to ensure they don’t miss important entry deadlines like this that could cost the stable massive prizemoney unless they pay late entry fees. What's the point of preparing horses for big races if you forget to nominate them?

It has been a busy week for the training dynamos with the three-day Grand Annual carnival at Warrnambool but the sting is in the tail when you read a story by TRENTON AKERS in THE COURIER-MAIL which reads:

Racing Queensland officials were expecting bumper nominations from the leading stable, especially in staying features such as the Doomben Cup and Queensland Derby and were left surprised when nothing came through.’

DAH! If they were so surprised why didn’t one of the overpaid First Lieutenants of the half million dollar man, RQ CEO Brendan Parnell either get on the blower to Maher or Eustace or speak to Exelby at the BRC – isn’t that part of his job promoting the carnival?

There was a time when delegations from the major clubs in south-east Queensland would travel to Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand trying to entice horses for the Winter Carnival and enjoying a nice all-expenses-paid junket in the process. If that was done this year where was the follow-up?

With all due respects this was certainly racing’s version of ‘DUMB & DUMBER’.

 

THE WEDNESDAY WHINGE – HAVE YOUR SAY

IF you’ve got a gripe about something that’s happened in the world of racing over the past week – on or off the track – have your say on the WEDNESDAY WHINGE. Here’s this week’s offering:

DOES RACING PUBLIC PREFER WARRNAMBOOL TO THE POP-UP RACES?

CALL me a parochial Victorian if you like but nothing that Racing NSW produces in these absurdly staked pop-up races will prove more popular with the racing public than the three-day Warrnambool Carnival.

Sure races like The Everest are designed to attract different interests on and off the track (arguably paying to become a slot-holder isn’t designed for the battlers) and the wall-to-wall promotion that the NSW media provides is targeted at the younger racegoer.

It might be the richest race in Australia, ahead of the Melbourne Cup, but to the general racing public The Everest will never be as important or iconic. The positive side is it has drawn back to the track racing’s lost generation and for that PVL should take a bow.

But if you want real carnival racing – that appeals across the board from the battlers to the true horse racing lover – then carnivals like Warrnambool will always be unique and in my opinion far more popular.

 

JUST SIGN-UP WITH RUPERT-BET & GET FREE ACCESS TO RACENET

DISGRUNTLED racing followers continue to unload on the newlook Racenet since Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd gained control of the site.

Here’s an example:

‘IT was never going to be a happy ending once Murdoch and his crew got their greedy hands on Racenet. It’s all about profit and monopolies which means someone has to pay and in this case it’s going to be the punters.

My mates and I have been betting with corporate bookies in preference to the TAB for some time because of the bonuses on offer and fortunately we haven’t been successful enough for one to close our accounts down.

With Rupert’s entry into the corporate arena we have been inundates with propaganda – piss-holed with ads – and the offere of free access to Racenet for those who sign-up with his new bookmaking company. What’s second prize?

One wonders if there isn’t some conflict of interest in one of his high profile tipsters being the manager of a leading jockey or virtually asking Racenet readers to pay for the right to tips from leading trainers.

With Murdoch and some of the other people involved don’t expect those involved with ensuring the punters get a fair go in racing to delve too deeply into this. Too many more important involved we would think.’

 

IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN ON THE SUNNY COAST – OR IN QLD RACING

THIS could only happen at the Sunshine Coast in Queensland where punters reckon anything goes these days. Here’s an example of how one of them feels:

“IT seems I am wasting my time doing the form on racing in Queensland, especially when it comes to the Sunshine Coast.

Can someone explain to me how a horse that has been placed in Listed and Group 3 company gets spanked by a youngster that had raced only once for a distant third at the Gold Coast.

The horses that I speak of are Swiss Exile ($1.6) from the Neasham barn and Chase ‘n’ Artie ($17) trained by Les Kelly. Doing the form they looked like chalk and cheese. That’s how the race panned out but not as the punters expected.

Granted Swiss Exile can be his own worst enemy but he came into a Colts & Geldings Maiden off a trial win and a stack of gear changes having sat wide and run third to the brilliant Coolangatta in the G3 Bruce McLachlan at Doomben in December.

Chase ‘n’ Artie ran favorite at his debut at the Gold Coast and ran a distance third to Sizzling Gal on a Heavy 8 track and that winner has since been beaten out of sight at Beaudesert.

Neither horse got a mention in the Stewards’ Report. Go figure!

 

THINGS MOVE SLOWLY WHEN RACING QUEENSLAND IS INVOLVED

BACK in March 2020, Racing Queensland announced that steps had been taken to ensure the redevelopment of Deagon racecourse would be well planned and include a multi-purpose State Training Centre.

RQ confirmed the appointment of a professional town planning firm and an architectural firm to commence the initial planning phase and concept master planning for Deagon.

The State Training Centre supposedly forms part of the strategic objective for RQ, to address declining residential stabling numbers in South East Queensland and provide a solution for a training environment for apprentice jockeys and stable hands.

RQ said community engagement activities would be established throughout 2020 to ensure the local community, racing industry and stakeholders had a say in the master planning process.

Stirling Hinchliffe, Racing Minister at the time, said:

“Under the RQ proposal, the State Training Centre would serve as a state-of-the-art equine precinct, supporting the heritage requirements placed on Deagon to maintain its status as a racing and sporting precinct.”

GREG BLANCHARD, a regular contributor to LGHR, and a persistent thorn in the side for all things racing in Queensland, sent us a reminder this week of what was promised:

‘They made a big noise and fanfare about this few years back .Nothing has happened. Will anything happen? The Training Centre being part of the overall projected sounded great idea.’

EDITOR’S NOTE: PERHAPS it’s time for an update from RQ CEO Brendan Parnell or more importantly the now Racing Minister Grace Grace. 

 

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY

GOOD

HOW good is the Victorian colt Illation an impressive winner at his only two starts at Pakenham and Morphettville?

Perhaps co-trainer Mick Price was being a shade ambitious suggesting the three-year-old was Cox Plate material but he was very, very, good.

WARRNAMBOOL has proved once again why it’s one of the best carnivals in the country.

GOOD to see LINDA MEECH back to her best riding a winner at Sandown on Saturday and following up with a double at the ‘Bool on Tuesday.

BAD

SYMON WILDE told RSN listeners on race morning that although his stable had a number of top chances they were expecting a pretty lean day at Warrnambool on Tuesday. He trained half the winners on the 10-race card – hate to see what the stable would have done had they expected to have a good day.

LITTLE wonder stakeholders of the three codes have little to no confidence in RQ CEO Brendan Parnell and his First Lieutenants.

Here’s a quote from Parnell: ‘Greyhound racing, most impressively, is now contributing almost a quarter of a million dollars in economic value to the State.’

Wrong ‘Pins’ – get your Abacus out mate!

$245 million is a quarter of a billion, not a quarter of a million.

How embarrassing!

UGLY

PUNTERS are used to it by now but yet another Chris Waller 2nd string saluted at Eagle Farm on Saturday when Minsk Moment proved too strong while favorite Kir Royale languished in sixth spot.

HERE’S one from Archie Butterfly on his subscriber-only website, peterprofit.com, concerning the state of the Ipswich track:

‘TRACKS don’t throw up clods like the horses were in the first race on Monday.

Not properly constructed ones that cost the best part of $26 million.

What the hell is going on here?’

  

PUNTERS ANGRY AT HAVING TO PAY FOR THE NEWLOOK RACENET

NORMALLY we wouldn’t criticize a rival – certainly not one as high profile as RACENET – but we continue to get inundated with complaints about what was once the best racing website in the country.

Since Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd bought Racenet and started charging for what the racing public and stakeholders want to read, the popularity of the site has arguably gone downhill.

Contributors who have a regular whinge to LGHR say they have tried to express their opinions elsewhere but cannot find a platform for fear of repercussions from King Rupert’s crew – quite frankly Murdoch repaid our loyalty a long time ago so we admit to despising the bloke.

Here’s an example of the views of one regular reader NEVILLE AGANOFF of CHAPEL HILL in BRISBANE (here’s hoping if you are one of the few that still subscribe to The Courier-Mail that the turbon head still delivers it:

‘I enjoyed reading the LGHR comments about Rupert Murdoch’s company buying racing media sites.

I thought similarly to you.

The racing sites I visit regularly on the internet have made me the target for twitter feeds of stories for both Racenet and Punters’ sites. I don’t mind that my interest has been sold to someone.

Up until recently, the twitter feeds with stories from these sites, went to the stories I can read on Punters and Racenet. Now, most of the feeds go to the site and it says I have to subscribe to read them.

Well, I’m not interested really. I have no interest in paying to read it.

As a racing follower for 60 years, I can tell you with absolute certainty, that there is no supply of certain winners from reading newspaper articles (now internet articles).

What is published is fodder to fill a column, apologies to the people who write the stuff, but that is reality. There is no benefit in paying Murdoch for this content.

All that the Murdoch companies are doing, is as you say, looking for a monopoly. Only then will there be any reason to pay anything for their publications.

The tips of their experts aren’t flash. Why would you put your $1 million profit on the sale of your house on someone who gives out a tip on a website, free or paid?’

 

WHY PAY FOR TIPS THAT WERE USELESS WHEN AVAILABLE FOR FREE?

And here’s another one from ROY MILTON of SYDNEY:

‘WHY would I want to pay for tips from Tony Brassel and Mark Guest on Racenet when I used to be able to get them for free on TV and most times they weren’t worth backing?

But to make matters worse under this new Murdoch-branded (greedy style) pay for tips Racenet we have Chris Waller and James Macdonald offering their opinion on runners in big races.

Should the authorities, more to the point, the stewards be allowing these high profile figures to provide tips for Racenet when the same isn’t available to the general racing and punting public?

It’s not a level playing field any more for punters – not that most of them would want the Waller tips but is Racing NSW now subservient to the greed of Murdoch as well?

It is my understanding he is involved now in a major corporate bookmaking organization which should have the conflict of interest alarm bells ringing. But it is King Rupert – and he seems to be allowed to do what his like with the companies he owns.’

 

 KAH HEADS BACK TO ADELAIDE WHERE SHE RIDES OAKS FAVORITE

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN racing – which has reached rock bottom in recent times – attracts the spotlight on Saturday with the first of four successive Carnival meetings.

For some inexplicable reason six of the nine races will be run on the much despised Parks circuit with the Group 1 Australasian Oaks on the main track. With rain forecast today the rating may be in the soft range.

Jamie Kah heads back to her home state – where she rode five winners on Adelaide Cup day – and her book of four early favorites includes My Whisper for Team Snowden in the $500,000 feature.

The Winter Carnival kicks off in Brisbane with the Queensland Guineas meeting on the much maligned Eagle Farm where despite the rain during the week the track has been irrigated and will still be posted a Good 4.

At the last Eagle Farm meeting jockeys plotted a course to the middle of the track where horses seemed to gain more momentum. For some reason the inside three to four metres is again likely to be inferior ground so most will be steering clear.

The feature $350,000 G2 Guineas was dealt an unfortunate early blow with the scratching of prepost favorite Green Belt after the Mick Price – Michael Kent jnr stable were not happy with his trackwork. This has seen the James Cumming-trained Character elevated to popular elect despite his flop in the ATC Derby on a bog Randwick track.

Racing moves away from gumshoe territory in Sydney for the annual Hawkesbury Cup where believe it or not there is the prospect of a Soft 7 track after six weeks of heavy going in Harbour City.

Art Cadeau from the Terry Robinson stable is favorite for the Gold Cup, a G3 race worth only $200,000 which is paultry by Racing NSW and PVL standards. The G3 Guineas races for the same stakes with the Team Hawkes-trained Mr Mozart a heavily-backed favorite.

Racing will be run on the Sandown Hillside track in Melbourne where the feature is the Listed Anniversary Vase worth $160,000. Regardsmaree, on the quick-back up for the in-form Nick Ryan stable after winning at Caulfield last Saturday, is the early favorite ahead of Buffalo River which prefers better than the Good 4 surface currently listed.       

It’s a public holiday in Queensland on Monday for the third successive week – to celebrate Labour Day – and Ipswich can boast a far better meeting (numerically and class wise) that Townsville and Beaudesert attracted on Easter Monday and Anzac Day. And that is despite racing at the Sunshine Coast (twilight meeting today (Friday).

 

HAVE YOUR SAY IN THE WEDNESDAY WHINGE

IF you’ve got a gripe about something that’s happened in the world of racing over the past week – on or off the track – have your say on the WEDNESDAY WHINGE. Here’s this week’s offering:

 

‘ANOTHER SO-CALLED RACE ANALYST LIVING UNDER A ROCK’? 

‘RACING and punting is very much opinion based but I am starting to wonder if some of these ‘so-called’ form experts are living under a rock.

Accuse me of talking through my pocket if you please but the post-race comments of Brent Zerafa on racing.com got right up my nose after the defeat of Bello Beau in the $1 million Showdown at Caulfield.

Zerafa suggested that the heavily-backed Tasmanian had every chance when run down near home home by the roughie Kings Consort. Did he not notice that Bello Beau was three wide with no cover throughout and arguably should have won the race.

His racing.com colleague Ben Asgari – a fair better overall judge in my opinion – was quick to point out in his port-mortem of the race how unlucky Bello Beau was.

My mates and I cannot believe that racing.com would be so disrespectful to punters by allowing Mr Zerafa to tip after the skeletons he has in his closet from his days in Sydney. Perhaps he would have seen the Showdown clearer if someone had texted him a tip.

 

‘SYDNEY RACING DEGENERATES INTO A DISGRACE DURING BIG WET’

WHAT a disgrace Sydney racing has degenerated to because of the big wet.

I appreciate there has been eight consecutive Saturdays (and a public holiday) of racing on heavy tracks.

But how long does it take some of these ‘top’ jockeys to realise that the better going is near the pie cart on the outside fence in the straight.

But the time a couple did, the weak-kneed racing media in Sydney declared them geniuses.

One wonders if when the little hobbits finally worked out the quickest way home they put each name in a hit and drew out one that would come to the extreme outside and the better going and win the race.

Just kidding!

 

‘HOW ABOUT SOME STATISTICS ON  WALLER BEATEN FAVORITES’

MY mates and I were chatting about your assertion on LGHR that the bog tracks had rewarded mediocrity during The Championships with some horses winning Group races that would not have got within panels of their classier rivals had the tracks been dry.

Point taken but you forgot to mention one constant throughout the carnival and even at Anzac Day on the Kenso – that involved Chris Waller.

Wet or dry, rarely did a Saturday meeting pass by when he didn’t have a heavily fancied favourite that performed poorly.

His ‘PR boys’ on Sky and like Ray Thomas for News Ltd continue to bombard us with statistics about Waller’s record number of winners and Black Type successes.

We’re still waiting to read or hear from one of these media gurus how many of his favourites get beaten and what the percentage of success would be for those poor punters who continue to back them.

 

‘WAS BEAUDESERT HOLIDAY MEETING ANY BETTER THAN TOWNSVILLE?’

‘AS a proud follower of North Queensland racing for more years than I can remember, I want to take LGHR to task for not pointing out that the meeting on Anzac Day at Beaudesert was not much better than the one you chose to criticize in Townsville on Easter Monday.

Sure the form might have been more familiar to punters in the metropolitan area but when Beaudesert can only attract six races, the same as Townsville, something must be wrong at both ends of the state.

You will probably say it’s because of the number of race meetings over the long weekend but I have to point out that Townsville raced on the Thursday before the Easter Monday meeting as well.          

The one thing I do agree with you on is that it is a disgrace that the metropolitan clubs refuse to race on public holidays because of leave loadings they have to pay staff. So do the less financial clubs but they grin and bear it.

It will be interesting to see how many races and what support Ipswich gets when the third successive Monday public holiday meeting is held for Labour Day.

 

‘SPORTSBET DOING THEIR BIT FOR RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING AT ‘BOOL?’

As a teetotaller and also a keen punter there are two aspects of the theft of 60 slabs of beer from the Warrnambool racecourse on the eve of their big carnival that I want to comment on.

Firstly if it had been milk would anyone care? Instead we had the WRC CEO reassuring racegoers that the club would replenish supplies in time for the annual three-day meet.

But then we had corporate bookmaker giant Sportsbet paying to replace the 60 slabs which included 20 Great Northern (good taste), 20 Carlton and 20 Carlton Dry (for the desperates).

Obviously Sportsbet want to be sure punters are ‘as pissed as monkeys’ when they go on a betting spree during the ‘Bool carnival. Now that’s responsible gambling!

 

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY from the LONG WEEKEND OF RACING

THE GOOD:

FLEMINGTON for their contribution to Anzac Day racing which made the other States look second rate.

ALEGRON emerged as a CUPS hope in the Spring with his win in the St Leger.

JYE McNEIL staking claims for his first Melbourne premiership with a winning treble on Anzac Day at Flemington.

THE Chris Waller stable launching its plunder of the Brisbane Winter Carnival with the win by the locally-owned Kukeracha in the Listed Tails Stakes at Doomben.  

THE BAD

THE ride of Tasmanian Brendon McCoull on Bello Beau, favorite for the $1 million Showdown at Caulfield on Saturday.     

THE woeful performance of heavily-backed Swats That in the VOBIS Gold Sprint at Caulfield on Saturday.

NOT one of the eight races on the Kensington track at Randwick on Anzac Day attracting more than seven runners.

THE UGLY

THE disgraceful performance of the heavily backed Chris Waller-trained favourite ROUSSEAU to finish 17 lengths last in the opener at Flemington on Anzac Day.

YET another WALLER second string Irish Sequel beating home the stable’s more fancied favorite Aleas at Randwick on Saturday. He still managed the quinella.

 

 

ONE THING THAT THE RACING ‘GOD’ CAN’T CONTROL IS THE WEATHER

PETER V’LANDYS might be the ‘God’ of all things racing in Australia but the one thing he can’t control is the weather.

A determination to keep on racing through the big wet – providing the tracks were safe – has sadly turned Sydney into a laughing stock as The Championships wound down.

Who knows how much mediocrity was rewarded in big races because horses were more suited to the bog tracks?

Eight consecutive Saturdays on heavy tracks took its toll on Sydney racing last weekend when Randwick degenerated into a farce with jockeys steering to the grandstand side looking for better going.

Things didn’t improve on Anzac Day when they raced on the Kensington track with not one of the eight races having more than seven runners which meant no third dividends were paid.

Full marks to the perseverance of all involved during The Championships – from the track staff, to the jockeys, trainers, stewards and officials – for allowing racing to proceed in very trying circumstances.

No-one – including PVL who seems to control all things racing not only in NSW before in most parts of the country barring Victoria – can control the weather.

But the ‘big wet’ has taken its toll – on the horses, the stakeholders and most of all the punters who have lost confidence in betting on bog tracks.

 

RANDWICK MEETING SHOULD HAVE BEEN TRANSFERRED ON SATURDAY

CHRIS ROOTS reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that Randwick track manager Michael Wood is looking forward to giving the course proper a break.

In its fourth meeting in four Saturdays, the course proper raced tired and the meeting probably should have been moved instead of racing with a rail out 11 metres and the winners coming down the outside fence.

“The last good track we had here [on the course proper] was January 22. Since then we have had 1200mm of rain and almost always been on heavy track,” Wood said. “I can’t believe the weather we have had and it will be good to get a break.

“We would like just to see some sun and have a couple of warm days before winter.”

Randwick isn’t scheduled to host a meeting until the end of May.

 

AMAZING WINDFALL FOR WA PUNTER CUT SHORT BY CORPORATE RULES

A West Australian punter – not sure whether to call him a genius or lucky – collected almost $700,000 from a multi bet at the weekend but it could have been more.

The punter, known as Super Multi Tips on Twitter, placed a series of successful bets (each-way, doubles, trebles, all-ups and quaddies) and during an amazing afternoon all of these saluted.

Ryan Reynolds reports for racing.com that Super Multi Tips was betting in Albany, Western Australia, and had his selections one-out in the quaddie with his $50 outlay delivering 5,000 per cent of the dividend which on Super TAB paid $9,771.60 for a $1 unit.

But because this bet was placed with a corporate bookie, the return was capped due to terms and conditions which rules that the payout cannot 'exceed the pool amount for that bet type on the nominated tote'.

That means Super Multi Tips could only collect a maximum of $104,107.57 of the Super TAB quaddie. Entain, who owns bookmaker Ladbrokes, didn't want to comment when contacted by Racing.com.

That said, had the punter placed his $50 investment directly into the Super TAB pool his win would have been significantly lower than the $104,108 he was eventually paid out.

FOR those who are wondering his bets were placed in the last four races at the ALBANY meeting in WA on Sunday: He backed Art Admirer ($7.70), Little Punga ($14.20), Baranova ($8.10) & Athlone Castle ($8.20) and tied them up in each-way, doubles, trebles, all-ups and the quaddie.

 


MANY IN RACING ARE WARNING: ‘GOD HELP RACING IF MURDOCH & HIS MILLIONAIRE MATES CONTROL THE TAB’

MANY in racing are warning: GOD help the punting public if King Rupert Murdoch and his millionaire mates get control of the major TABs in Australia.

Here are parts of an interesting story by Archie Butterfly on his subscriber-only website www.peterprofit.com that raises some interesting and concerning issues.

SALLY SNOW is warned off from racetracks around Australia (she was once a familiar figure on SKY).

We were never told quite why.

Price manipulation was the reason.

Snow was in charge of the TAB fixed price markets, and was accused of playing them to the advantage of certain people she was close to, and who her parents were said to be closed to.

Sally’s parents, Gary and Glenis Clarke were figures in the Fine Cotton ring-in. They were both warned off racetracks for their roles in putting bets on the ‘ringers’, allegedly with cash provided by the Waterhouses.

Robbie Waterhouse was also warned off tracks around Australia over Fine Cotton, as was his late dad Bill.

Rob Waterhouse is a major shareholder in Betmakers, the company that his just announced it has entered into a long-term partnership with Rupert Murdoch to launch a new Australian corporate bookmaker named NTD.

His shares were reportedly offered to him by the company at an exercise price of just 18 cents each. Less than three months later Betmakers shares are worth 78 cents. Robbie has made more than four times his money in just 12 weeks, a profit of more than $25 million.

Sally Snow has vanished off the radar, as has her bookie husband Nathan. The whisper is that they are somewhere in the background in the market trading area of Betmakers.

Matthew Tripp is a very well-known name in Australian bookmaking. His dad Alan was Melbourne’s biggest SP bookmaker for almost two decades, Tripp senior was arrested 17 times on SP charges.

The sins of the father aren’t the sins of the son, just as Sally Snow’s parents sins aren’t hers.

Matt Tripp has reportedly made at cool $15 million from the Betmakers deal with Mudoch, without spending a cent to get it.

He was granted options to buy 32 million shares in the company at 70 cents a share, but he didn’t exercise them.

Instead he decided to park his options for a couple of years, and was $15 million in return.

Money for jam.

Who says it doesn’t pay to be born the sons and daughters of racing folk with skeletons in their closet?

LGHR COMMENT: As we all know King Rupert doesn’t spend tens of millions unless there is a big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for him. He’s chosen some interesting ‘bed fellows’ for his foray into the sport and race betting business in Australia. Murdoch loves monopolies – as seen by his media manoeuvres with the help of some powerful politicians. Sadly the newspaper business he now controls is at the end of the road, no-one buys them anymore. His purchase of Australia’s biggest racing website, racenet, was an interesting investment with several top tipsters lured on board where you now have to pay to read the big news & secure tips. The question being asked is will Murdoch be good for racing or will the industry eventually pay the price due to demands from his many business arms? And is it a coincidence that the Libs, Scomo & News Ltd are doing the ‘chicken dance’ leading up to the Federal Election (courtesy of one-sided coverage from many of his newspaper columnists and SKY NEWS commentators). It poses the question ‘What has Scomo promised King Rupert if he wins’? Time will tell!      


  

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