The Stradbroke Handicap, Brisbane's signature race, is one of two Group One events reinstated in Racing Queensland's revised list of 26 winter black-type races.

MARK OBERHARDT reports for AAP that racing in Queensland has continued during the coronavirus pandemic with no crowds and strict biosecurity.

The state has been divided into five regions with city standard racing continuing in metro north, based in Brisbane, and metro south, centred on the Gold Coast.

It also led to the scrapping of the traditional winter carnival which led to an outcry from breeders, trainers and some race clubs.

They wanted RQ to provide black-type racing and pointed out NSW, South Australia and Victoria was running feature race meetings for reduced prize money.

The RQ board has held meetings with key industry figures in the past week and on Friday issued a statement outlining the new feature race program which will provide limited black-type racing over a six-week period throughout May and June.

RQ said the existing restrictions limiting jockeys, trainers and other licensed personnel to their designated racing zones would remain in place but RQ would allow conditional horse movement between zones for the purposes of racing.

The Stradbroke Handicap will head the Metro North feature races and will be held at Eagle Farm on June 6.

The Group One J J Atkins will also be held that day while the Group Two Dane Ripper Stakes and The Roses will be staged the following week.

The feature races will have prize money cuts with the Stradbroke lopped from $1.5 million to $350,000 and the J J Atkins from $1 million to $350,000.

In the Metro South West region, the Gold Coast will host the Group Three Gold Coast Guineas and Ken Russell Memorial on May 16.

RQ chairman Steve Wilson said the selected features had been developed following industry consultation with clubs, trainers, breeders and owners and would include QTIS bonuses for eligible Queensland horses.

"These are tough times and we must make a collective sacrifice. By programming selected features, we are able to provide enhanced opportunities for our Queensland participants," Wilson said.

"We all know any prize money cuts hurt - these are the salaries and wages that sustain our industry - but we are committed to providing our participants with hope as they navigate the social, economic and health challenges during this turbulent period."

Brisbane Racing Club chairman Neville Bell said the announcement had been made possible because the industry had worked together to enforce strict biosecurity measures.

"This is welcome news for Queensland's racing industry because two weeks ago, like every sport, we were facing the prospect of not being able to hold our feature races," Bell said.

"Now, BRC members and the wider Queensland racing community can look forward to the likes of the Stradbroke being run which will be a highlight during these times."



PUNTERS are entitled to answers about RACE 5 at the ROCKHAMPTON TAB meeting held at CALLAGHAN PARK last Tuesday.

ARCHIE BUTTERFLY suggests that this race was a disgrace, and the actions and inactions of the QRIC Stewards is even more disgraceful.

The second favorite in the race Captain Tom was all but tailed off throughout the race, and its rider Brad Pengelly appeared to make no attempt whatsoever at any stage to try to improve the horse’s position in running, or to pressure it to produce something in the run.

Captain Tom was vetted after its atrocious performance in finishing last, more than thirty lengths astern of the winner and heavily backed favorite Van Winkel, but the vet could find no abnormalities whatsoever.

Second favorites don’t get beaten over 30 lengths unless something is seriously wrong.

The first step in the process of elimination to get to the bottom of the matter is the vet check; the second, and blindingly obvious, step is to swab the horse to make sure that it hadn’t been hit with a go-slow by dopers.

In fact, swabbing the horse is an absolutely fundamental measure that any even 1/10th competent Chairman of Stewards would insist it be performed.

Not QRIC’s man Josh Adams though.

The Chairman didn’t even bother to order Captain Tom be swabbed.


Adams didn’t even put a bar on the horse that would require a vet clearance and a satisfactory trial before it was allowed to race again.

What the hell is going on here?

I would strong suggest the rides of Sonja Wiseman on the third-placed Celosia and Nigel Seymour on the fourth placed Heygeronimo would have been questioned by most stewards intent on ensuring integrity and protecting the punters.

There is no need for me to bang on about these two rides, and I won’t insult your intelligence by even attempting to do so. Just watch the replay and all will become clear.

How the hell can anyone bet with confidence on Queensland racing when this sort of nonsense is going on, and the Stewards are simply turning a blind eye?

I have a very, very bad feeling about this race, and that inevitably leads me to having grave concerns about the present state of integrity in racing in this State right now.

To be totally honest, I feel sick.

Watch the replay.

You will too.




DAVID ATTENBOROUGH, the CEO of the TAB, is a Coronavirus hero.

He just put 700 people out of work, and drastically reduced the earnings of at least 2,000 more who he has partially stood down by slashing their paid hours.

Dave didn’t want to do it, but he had to, for everyone’s benefit.

Like a true leader in a time of crisis, Dave took his share of the pain too.

Twenty percent off his salary, without even being asked.

That’s a pay cut of $800 000, the whole of hapless Raelene Castle from Rugby Australia’s entire salary.

What a gesture.

What a man.

How the hell is he going to survive the lockdown on just $3.2 million a year?

It’s only $60 000 a week.

I’m starting a Go Fund Me campaign to keep food on the poor bugger’s family table.



GAMBLING heavyweight Tabcorp’s more than 1500 workers in Queensland have been either stood down or moved to a four day week.

NEWS LTD reports that it comes as the company tries to deal with the coronavirus-led shutdowns of hotels, clubs, TAB agencies and sport events.

Tabcorp, which employs 5000 staff nationally, said 700 workers — mostly from TAB agencies and licenced venues — had been stood down until June 30 and would continue to have access to their accrued leave entitlements. It could not say how many of its 1500 workers in Queensland would be stood down.

Other full-time workers will take at least one day of leave a week until June 30 and the company will cut the number of technology contractors by 40 per cent.

In a statement, chief executive David Attenborough yesterday said the company was exploring its eligibility for the federal government’s $130 billion JobKeeper wage subsidies.

Under the program, is expected to be approved by Parliament this week, the government will pay $1500 a fortnight for each worker.

Tabcorp did not provide any financial forecasts on Tuesday, but companies with annual turnovers of $1 billion or more who want access to JobKeeper payments must show their revenue has slumped more than 50 per cent as a result of the pandemic.

“This continues to be a very challenging time for our people, businesses, partners and the community,” Mr Attenborough said.

“Our focus is on retaining jobs for the long term.

“We are committed to working proactively and collaboratively with all our stakeholders so that we can collectively emerge from the COVID-19 period as strongly as possible.”

Mr Attenborough is taking a 20 per cent cut to his fixed pay until the end of the financial year, while chair Paula Dwyer and other board members are taking 10 per cent cuts to their fees.

The company said it could not reliably quantify how the pandemic would affect its earnings.

It said its lotteries and Keno division and its wagering and media digital unit continued to operate, with thoroughbred, harness and greyhound race meetings continuing in Australia, except in Tasmania.

“Tabcorp is seeking to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the group’s businesses and

financial position by reducing operating and capital expenditure and reviewing various

commercial arrangements,” Mr Attenborough said.

Tabcorp has cut its capital spending program from a forecast $160 million to $120 million.

The company is also receiving “liquidity support” through a six-month deferred settlement of state payroll, Keno and lotteries taxes, which normally total more than $40 million a month.




(EDITOR’S NOTE: WE are a racing website but we feel strongly enough about what has happened to run this story & the one below it with all due respects to the millions of wonderful people who are practicing Catholics. WE agree that in this case GEORGE PELL was entitled to be given the benefit of the doubt. We also understand how victims of perverted Priests and the Catholic Church are questioning our legal system, who wouldn’t?  The cloud hangs over what ‘GEORGE’ has turned a blind eye to in the past. In the eyes of the court of public opinion in that area he will always be ‘guilty’.)   

I admire Jesus as much as I admire any man, outside of my father.

Jesus, like Dad, was a good man.

He treated others like he wanted to be treated himself.

The man from Nazareth called it love.

My old man from Geebung didn’t call it anything.

He didn’t have to.

Decency and doing the right thing go without saying.

Pope Francis came to the job with the hopes and dreams of (converted) Catholics like me fluttery softly like butterfly’s (pun unintended) wings in his palm.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio came to the papacy as the Great White Hope for people like me, the man of God – nay, his representative on earth – who would right the wrongs committed for centuries by men who preached the words of the carpenter, but spoke with forked tongues.

He was going clean out the church, expel all the sinners, wash everything clean and do it like Jesus would have done.

But it was all a lie.

It always is.

Institutions come before children.

George Pell was Jesus, reincarnate.

And I’m the Queen of Sheba.

You f… c…Francis.

Don’t forgive him Lord, for he knows full well what he’s doing, and what he’s done.

Hang a millstone around his neck, and drown him in the sea.

Nah, you’ve got better plans for the prick than that.

God bless you, God.

You and your son are blokes from Geebung, just like my Dad and me.





  1. “My name is David Ridsdale. I was born in 1966. I am currently 48 years of age.

I grew up one of nine children in a large Catholic family in Ballarat. As others have expressed, my family was a key member of the community. Both my parents are from large families and there are around 50 grandchildren on my father’s side of the family.

The religion of my parents was an all invasive force in our lives, with every aspect centered on the Catholic community. My mother was secretary of St Alipius Parish
School and was involved in the school for over 50 years. My parents remain committed members of St Alipius Parish. My grandparents lived opposite the Redan Church and my grandmother was like a mother to all the priests who resided there.

As a young child, I enjoyed the liturgy and believed what the church taught. The church taught me that priests were something more than human with a direct link to God.
They were incapable of sin. In my experience, the church had narrow parameters of sexuality and gender and to fall outside those boundaries was a sin. The church dictated
the boundaries of right and wrong, and the congregation’s relationship to the clergy was one of submission rather than supplication.

My uncle, my father’s oldest brother, is Gerald Ridsdale. He was a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Ballarat. Gerald was treated like a shining light on my father’s side of the family, particularly by my father’s mother. I believe he represented the pinnacle of her
Catholic achievement.

Gerald first sexually abused me on one of the school holidays when I was 11 years old and in Grade 6. We were in a car on a parishioner’s farm near Edenhope where he was
teaching me to drive. He stopped the car, undid my pants and began to pull my penis out to play with it. My naivety was so great at that point that I genuinely had no idea
what was happening. I thought he had broken my penis when this white stuff came out, as my ignorance of my body was so great.

After this, Gerald took every opportunity to initiate sexual interaction with me. He mainly abused me during school holidays or on weekends. Initially it was masturbation and then kissing and then oral sex. I remember the first time we were in the bush somewhere and he tried to make me perform oral sex and I gagged. He used
to get angry if I couldn’t perform the way he wanted. He never fully anally penetrated me, despite trying many times.

When I was 25, my former partner and I were expecting our second child. I began having terrible feelings and dreams. My main fear was that I would turn into my uncle.
I started feeling I was being abused all over again. It all became too much and we decided something had to be done as it was negatively impacting my growing family.
I did not know what to do. I was terrified of ringing the police, I was terrified to go public.

I decided to ring George Pell. And I will only refer to him as George Pell.

I have known George since I was born. He was a family friend. He used to attend church services and activities when he was an assistant parish priest at St Alipius. We continued to see him even when he was headmaster at St Aquinas Teachers’ College and school. Pell as an avid swimmer and I would often see him at either Eureka Stockade or YMCA pools. I have called him George from since I was a child. I never recall calling him Father.

I chose to phone George that day for one reason: he was the only human being in the church who I believed was still a friend and that I could trust.

At 9am on 2 February 1993 I rang George from my home in Bentleigh. My partner at the time was sitting in the room when I made the call. I told George I had been abused by Gerald.

His first reaction was, ‘Oh, right’. There was no shock. His tone then became terse relatively quickly and I could sense anger in his voice. I started to get a sense he was
insinuating things about my story and I felt like I’d done something wrong. I had been clear to George I was concerned about my grandmother and was seeking a private process that could assist me as the pain and distress was overwhelming.

George then began to talk of my growing family and my need to take care of their needs. He mentioned things such as, I may soon have to buy a car or a house for my family. I do remember with clarity the last three lines we spoke together:

Me: ‘Excuse me, George, what the fuck are you talking about?’

George said, ‘I want to know what it will take to keep you quiet’.

My response was, ‘Fuck you George, and everything you stand for’.

I hung up the phone.



THE Hong Kong Jockey Club’s late switch to simulcast Saturday’s Doncaster Mile meeting from Royal Randwick has provided Australian racing with an unexpected windfall of A$1 million [HK$4.67 million].

TIM BIDDINGTON reports for the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST that the slot opened up after the Dubai World Cup card was cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Jockey Club wasted no time in getting approval to broadcast and bet on the first day of “The Championships” from Sydney.

While the Australian Turf Club could not have planned for it, the extra money will certainly be welcomed at a time when prize money is being cut around the nation and race clubs are feeling the pinch, with no one allowed on track and sponsorship drying up.

But the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has not stopped people from betting, with many still looking to be entertained while stuck at home. Racing is one of the few sports in the world able to push on in the crisis.

A total of HK$232 million was invested on Saturday’s seven-race card and the race average of HK$33.2 million was the highest of the season.

In comparison, November’s Singapore Cup meeting averaged HK$31.6 million a race, the Arima Kinen card in Japan averaged HK$29.1 million and Japan Cup day averaged HK$27.4 million.

The Jockey Club also simulcast the Osaka Hai from Japan during Sunday’s Sha Tin meeting and it had HK$37.47 million in turnover, but it is worth noting that those one-off races held during Hong Kong cards typically do much better than standalone cards from overseas.

“The results over the weekend were amazing if you look at the financial side,” Jockey Club chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said.

“[On Saturday] our simulcast of Australian races saw a turnover increase of 35 per cent. Without going too much into commercial detail, practically, it gave around A$1 million as a royalty.

“It shows the benefit of the global distribution of the product. It shows the power of simulcasts.”

While the Doncaster Mile card was not originally on the agenda, Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes meeting has been on the schedule all season, so it should reap a similar reward again this weekend.

Despite the heavy restrictions in place to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, the Jockey Club’s overall betting turnover has steadied in recent weeks with HK$1.386 billion invested on the 10 races from Sha Tin on Sunday, a drop of just HK$87 million on last year’s comparative meeting.

“That’s around 5-6 per cent less than last year, which is an amazing result,” Engelbrecht-Bresges said.

“We are extremely happy that we can continue racing, obviously the interest of the fans nationally in Hong Kong and internationally is very big and growing.”



AN 'EXCLUSIVE' by ARCHIE BUTTERFLY that you won't read or in the mainstream racing media where the 'spin doctors' are only interested in running propoganda from RQ & UBET. 

UBET pools on the Doncaster 2019

Since the beginning of time, or the time of its privatisation in 1999 at the very least, the Queensland TAB in all of its various incarnations has treated punters in this State like peasants, gouging our eyes out  and giving us nothing while the company’s Directors, Management and Shareholders live high on the hog off the monopoly license the Government gifted them to print money.

When you are the only show in town and you run all the TAB’s in shops and clubs and pubs north of the Tweed making money is easy, and the temptation is to just sit and there and smile as you rake it in, and never have to pay a second thought to making any more, because hundreds of millions for doing nothing is plenty for all.

Or so the clowns in charge of the brick and mortar circus thought, more fool the feckless lazy company leadership fools.

COVID-19 has exposed them for what they are.


TAB turnover has plunged by 2/3rd’s to 3/4’s in the single month since we started taking the virus seriously, and the situation is getting no better by the week, but worse. Just look at this.

The Win/Place on the T.J. Smith last year was $270 000.

Take off the two hundred thousand.

Yesterday’s Win/Place pool was just $70 grand.

The same pools on the Doncaster last year were $360 000.

Twelve months later they were $110 000.

UBET pools on the Doncaster 2020

The TAB is rooted, absolutely and utterly rooted, and its done it all to itself.

In the name of cost efficiencies management sacked all the phone bet staff. Now there’s no-one to answer account holders calls and take their bets.

In the name of amalgamation and integration no money was spent on IT, and as a result the TAB’s website is chunky and clunky and crap. Using it to put exotics and multiples on is akin to sticking needles in your eye.

Few feel the pain though, for in the name of strategic budget cuts the TAB haven’t spent more than sixpence promoting it’s unwanted online offering, preferring instead to focus its time and money on talking mugs into believing that placing their bets on a user-friendless machine rather than with a person is the pathway to punting gold.

That’s a great idea if you are company that regards all your customers as idiots, and have shops, pubs and clubs to pump your auto bet boxes into. The folk who ran Enron had the same sort of ideas. But guess what happens when all of a sudden no-one can use your magic boxes, because all the venues they stand like broken headstones is are shut down, closed and gone, gone, gone.

Yeah Tabcorp gurus, who are the idiots now?

This company that was touted by crooked or bright-eyed ignorant fools as the future of racing will be cactus by the time the Coronavirus pandemic reaches the finishing post.

All of its easy money earns have suddenly disappeared.

There are no desperately addicted housewives shovelling their family’s fortnightly wage down poker machines at 2 in the morning on pay day anymore.

Keno has become a silly name that no-one remembers, and its like it never existed at all.

Punters are flocking in droves to corporate bookmakers who offer them a good deal, and an easy online platform to place their bets on their phones. They are all wondering why they didn’t make the switch earlier, and none will return, and its only going to get worse as the anti-TAB contagion spreads so fast that before the calendar page turn to may there will be almost no TAB customers left at all.

Tabcorp are Gonski.

It’s management structure is too heavy, it’s cash flow is drying up to a trickle, its costs are out of control, and thanks to years of neglect it has no capacity to twist and turn and find a new path.

Things made of bricks and mortar always crack and fall down when they are built on sand instead of rock. If they don’t get razed to the ground first, they end up collapsing and lying sprawled in ruins. That’s where Tabcorp is heading like a bullet train right now, to hell in a hand basket.

What’s Queensland racing going to do when its gone?

TAB turnover funds the whole game. Who pays for racing when there is none?

We all know the answer.

Governments that have near bankrupted their people by giving cash handouts to counter COVID by the bucket load are going to find themselves more desperate for cash than the bookie who has laid the winning favorite for a hundred thousand, but only has 50 bucks sitting in their bag.

These Governments run by people who don’t have a clue about racing and gambling not a jot of interest in learning will gouge the eyes out of the corporate bookies like crows swooping on a dead roo by the side of a lonely outback road.

Point of Consumption taxes will double, race field fees will triple, State taxes will be increased by a multiple of four. The lust to replace lost reserves with easy revenue will overcome them, and under the strain of their businesses becoming uneconomic the corporates will fold up their millions, and form a conga line as like ants one by one they go marching out the door and disappear into the haze.

You think I’m being alarmist?

Look at those decimated TAB pools again, and tell me an alternative tale.

Racing is at the crossroads.

How the hell are going to survive?



ARCHIE BUTTERFLY takes his weekly look back at SATURDAY racing & effects of the Coronavirus:

Are Hayes/Hayes/Dabernig the Worst Trainers in the World?

ON numbers, you would have to say so.

David Hayes and his boys have the best private training facilities of anyone in Australia, and each year the trio’s rich list owners gift them the best young and imported horseflesh that big money can buy.

Why, and for what you have to wonder?

The high-priced Hayes/Hayes/Dabernig combination have trained just one – 1 – winner from their past 80 starters, and three from their last 100.

What wonderful winners they were too – just take a look:

  • King’s Princess in a 2200m Maiden at Sale
  • Mi Keri in a 2400m BM66 at Albury
  • Yulong Wall in a 2455m Maiden at Geelong

What an impressive list of recent achievements it is.


There are some deluded folk out there who still claim that these silver-spooned toffs out at Euroa are one of the best in the game.

What, with this sort of success rate?

I guess there are grown men and women who believe in the Easter Bunny too.


Covid-19 Cowboys Like Robert Heathcote Deserve a Decent Spray – So Here Mate, Have One

SO Robert Heathcote says on one hand that he doesn’t agree with the zone racing introduced by Racing Queensland to keep the sport going in the face of the COVID-19 threat, but on the other hand believes that the south-east Zone should include Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and Toowoomba, all tracks that just happen to be in the areas that he races his stable’s horses.

Now isn’t that a surprise?

The man that many around the traps are starting to call Cowboy – and not just because of all his underpaid Indians – has always been about Robert Heathcote first, second and third, and COVID-19’s not changed that.

Don’t worry that people are dying in droves around the world and if the virus spreads through racing stables many of us will die too.

Forget all about the fact that racing is the only sport still going in this country, and is under assault by high-profile and highly-influential pundits like Peter Fitzsimons.

Turn a blind eye to the industry leaders’ efforts to mitigate risks and put in place measures to ensure racing operates within the Rules, and does its best to keep everyone in the game safe.

In the world of Cowboy Rob, none of that matters. Only he does.

Well sorry mate, no you don’t.

If the Cowboy keeps carrying on like a pork chop the QRIC should charge the self-serving, selfish fool with bringing the game into disrepute.

No-one would shed a tear, except the foreign labor-hire stable workers on restricted visas who after months and years are still waiting for their super to be paid, so they can draw down on it and put food in their family’s mouths.

Go and take on an apprentice instead of mouthing off Mr Heathcote.

You just might find that giving something back to the sport you take so much from makes you feel better than sucking the marrow from its veins.


A Zoning Anomaly That Needs an Easy, Urgent Fix

UNLIKE the Cowboy, the 20-odd small-time trainers working out of Oakey do have a right to feel a little aggrieved about the zoning; not because they are against the zoning idea – to a trainer, they support it – but also simply because they are the unwitting victims of a boundary drafting inequity.

It’s only a 25 kilometre drive from Oakey to Toowoomba, and you can easy do it in half an hour driving a horse truck or towing a float. For most Oakey trainers Clifford Park is the epicentre of their existence, the big smoke where they and their charges go to chase the racing dream.

Or used to anyway.

Under the newly introduced zone system they are cast into having to travel 325km to race in Roma, 385km to have a bash in Bundy, or a ridiculous 600km to charge around at Charleville.

It’s crazy stuff, and totally at odds with the idea of restricting travel to contain the risks of catching and spreading the Coronavirus.

No-one is to blame. Decisions have had to be made in haste and on the hop, and in this pressure cooker it’s easy to make the odd oversight or error. The trick is recognising it when it is raised, accepting that in these rapidly moving times nothing can be set in stone, and addressing the issue by fixing it.

I’m hoping Racing Queensland will now that they’ve read this and seen the problem.

If you are from Oakey jump on the phone and give them a reminder, just in case.


Baylee Nothdurft

I have been wrapping this kid for a year now, and I just can’t stop.

It’s impossible to; Nothdurft is such a great jockey that praise and accolades stick to him like glitter to glue.

Each legs of his Niedorp, Get Stuck In, Macewan treble at Doomben on Saturday were picture perfect steers, pretty to watch, and but for a short half head the kid’s magnificent ride on The Move would have given him four.

I don’t know how long Nothdurft will last in Brisbane. It’s a wonderful living he’s earning dominating the senior ranks while he’s really still just a boy, on paper at least; but brilliant sportsmen live for the challenge, and just as it was for outstanding apprentices before him like Moore, Sellwood, Dittman, Duffy, Boss, Rodd and Purton, the big-time down south or overseas surely awaits.

Nothdurft will hold his own against the elite jockeys, and that and bit more too, don’t you worry about that.

This kid’s the goods, the real deal.

Let’s enjoy watching the little master’s weekly exhibitions while we can.


Zoe White’s Six-Month Suspension Just Ain’t Right in My Book

WHAT can you say?

She did the wrong thing; but I’m not sure that the Stewards did the right thing either.

The kid’s just 21. She wants to go home to Rockhampton to be with her parents during the pandemic, just like our 20-year-old came to Kuranda to be with Maggie and me. It’s normal, and natural, and it feels right and it is.

The QRIC didn’t agree.

They insisted that if she wanted to continue to ply her trade as an apprentice jockey, then Zoe had to remain in the newly formed region in which her master was based, which for White meant Ipswich – 700km south-west of her family, and her real home – because that’s where trainer Beau Gorman who holds her indentures lives.

It seems horribly unfair, but in a way Zoe White is a victim of circumstances of her own making, for she has been in trouble on and off with the Stewards for some time now, and is on her fifth master in just three years with Gorman.

Given this unimpressive history, when White deliberately defied the Stewards ruling to stay where she was, or to self-isolate for 14 days if she didn’t, and then turned up at trackwork at Callaghan Park, they were in normal circumstances entitled to throw the book and the sink at her both to send White a personal lesson about her responsibilities, and simultaneously as a demonstration of how seriously the QRIC were taking the COVID-19 risk minimisation measures, and how everyone in the industry must too.

That sounds fair enough, and any other times the right thing to do.

But this is a kid who wants to be with her Mum and Dad, and needs to earn a living too.

Yes Zoe White should be penalised for not-self isolating.

That was stupid of her, and totally wrong; but a suspension of twice the self-isolation period – a month – would have served the same purpose, and have been plenty.

By giving her six months though, the QRIC is basically saying ‘if you won’t ride in the Ipswich zone Ms White, then you won’t ride anywhere at all’.

In my book, that’s just not right.


Eric the Eel Slips into Sydney and Damn Near Steals a Derby


Who would have thought that the Eel could have gone so far, so quick? From a win in a Class 3 in Brisbane to 3rd in an AJC Derby in just three starts. What a wonderful achievement by trainer Stuart Kendrick, and a great thrill for the owners, but you have to feel sorry for Eric’s regular jockey James Orman though, don’t you?

Jimmy would almost certainly have been on board if it weren’t for the border closures, and instead of tasting Group 1 placed success and a riding commission of nearly five grand, instead he had to make do with a second in a Class 3 at Doomben and 320 bucks.

That’s racing. It’s a funny old game alright, but you wouldn’t miss a minute of it for quids.


Double Digit Dan Does It Again

WELL my old mate Double Digit Dan, the undisputed heavyweight king of the long-priced sting, has done it again, for I think the fifth or sixth week running.

Last week he tipped and backed Miss Benefica at top odds of about 40-1, and backed it up with by naming Miss Ex Factor one out and backing it accordingly at about 20’s.

That was just a warm-up though.

It’s finals time now – the Championships – the month in which roughie-backing flukers fall by the wayside, double figure delighters get done like dinners, and only the astute and daring survive.

Cometh the hour, cometh Double Digit Dan, the greatest innate judge of an under and over ever known to man.

Twelve bets, six wins.

Ententes in the Carbine Club – $17

Gracie Belle in the Country Championship – $21

King’s Legacy in the Sires Produce – $20

Nature Strip in the T.J. Smith – $4

Nettoyer in the Doncaster – $41

Salsamor in the last in Melbourne – $8

All bar three of them one out, including the Doncaster.

Unbelievable, but totally true!

You’d curse him up and down Queen Street if only our man Dan wasn’t such a good bloke and a mighty generous soul. He loves his trouble and strife too, so I’d speculate that Mrs Double Digit Dan is in for one hell of a treat.


The Oaks is All Over Before It Starts

HOW on earth is any filly going to beat Colette in the AJC Oaks?

There is one simple answer. They aren’t.

If you’ve backed James Cummings little Godolphin girl pre-post at the good odds, go and grab a mask and start heading for the queue. The Oaks is as good as over right now.


Nature Strips Them

I declared Nature Strip the best sprinter in the land a long time ago, and I’ve been consistent about my claim ever since, even after the superstar was beaten by the dud track in the Lightning.

Forget all his indiscretions of the past, they’re gone now. Nature Strip has become the superstar that he always promised to be.

It’s a shame he’s going to have to miss the World Sprint in Dubai and the Royal Ascot races this year, because they would have been gimmes, but Nature Strip’s a gelding and he’s got a trainer with skills of Da Vinci and the patience of Job, so there’s always next year. The upside is that we all get to a share a little bit more of Nature Strip’s greatness at home.

And if you watching horses run as fast as the wind, isn’t that a wonderful thing?


I’m Totally Lost

BARCALDINE was supposed to be racing on Saturday but the meeting was abandoned, and nobody really seems to know why, or nobody is telling at least.

Charleville was scheduled to race on 25 April and 23 May, but that club’s meetings have been transferred to Dalby. Again no explanation has been given and racing people all seem to be in the dark.

A bit more information from Racing Queensland would be greatly appreciated by all.




BOOMAKER BetEasy is being pursued for close to $1.2 million in unpaid winnings after it paid punter Renee Bell just $250,000 following a monster parlay win in May 2018.

DAMIEN RACTLIFFE reports for FAIRFAX MEDIA that in Supreme Court documents filed on Wednesday, Bell claims BetEasy, formerly CrownBet, was deceptive and misleading when it accepted $500 worth of multi-bets with a potential return of $1,443,695.90 before claiming it had a maximum payout limit of $250,000.

Potential turned into reality for Bell when she successfully tipped horses Jaminzah ($16), Marcel From Madrid ($9), Praguematist ($4.80) and Miss Iano ($9.50) to win their respective races around Australia on Saturday, May 19, 2018 as well as West Coast to beat Richmond ($1.92) on Sunday, May 20.

The $100 five-leg all-up returned $1,260,748.80, while Bell’s other four $100 bets all used the same horses and football match, but with different combinations of three horses to place and one to win.

Those four winning parlays returned another $182,447.10.

However, BetEasy paid out just $250,000 for Bell’s first successful bet plus her $100 stake and cancelled the other four bets, refunding her $400.

According to the bookmaker’s terms and conditions, “the maximum payout for a multi-bet for a racing/sports or a combination of both is $250,000.”

“It is your responsibility to ensure you stake accordingly to the limits,” BetEasy’s website says.

In the Supreme Court claim, lawyers for Bell argue that BetEasy accepted the bets without “warning given by [BetEasy] that such maximum payout limits applied”.

“To the contrary, [BetEasy] accepted the full amount of the plaintiff’s stake for each bet without any deduction or limitation and recorded the plaintiff’s bet as returning the full amount of potential winnings,” the statement of claim reads.

“[BetEasy] ought to have paid out to the plaintiff the amount of $1,443,695.90 in respect of the bets, but only paid the amount of $250,000, and the plaintiff claims the difference of $1,193,195.90 as a debt.”

All four horses in Bell’s bets were either part-owned or bred by relatives.

Miss Iano was the first to salute with a comfortable two-length win at Doomben at big odds, before the Chris Waller-trained Jaminzah won by a neck in his Flemington race.

Half-an-hour later, Marcel From Madrid claimed a group 3 win at her second career start at Morphettville before Praguematist won at Wodonga, breaking a 13-month drought.

Bell then faced a nervous sleep as all five multi-bets hinged on West Coast beating Richmond on the Sunday, which the Eagles eventually did, defeating the Tigers by 47 points to land the $1.4 million collect.

Alternative to the $1,193,195.90 payout plus interest, Bell is seeking damages under the Australian Consumer Law.

The Age has contacted BetEasy for comment.



THE Queensland Racing Integrity Commission Chairman ROSS BARNETT has defended accusations from prominent Downs racing identity JOHN WATT that there was one rule for apprentice Zoe White and another for top trainer Mark Currie.

Watt, whose feelings about Currie Racing have been well documented, sent this email:

‘GEEZ, Zoe White, six months disqualification for ignoring a QRIC directive in relation to Coronavirus restrictions. 

QRIC didn't screw around with her. 

Mark Currie defies RQ, QRIC and TTC directive, has owners at trackwork putting the whole industry and community at risk and gets nothing but a warning. 

Let’s not forget, Mark Currie is currently training on a two-year suspended sentence, so an explanation from QRIC for the rest of the industry participants would be appreciated as this has set an interesting precedent.

Actually, an explanation as how Mark Currie is even training after his 'movie career' would be most welcomed by all in the industry.

Amazing how when the eyes are off, due to current circumstances, the stable finds four winners in the day. When did this last happen?

Mark Currie has a new nickname on the Downs - Looter:)

Currie has to have photos of Barnett and a goat? 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Others share your opinion about consistency John but sailing a bit close to the breeze with the last comment. In fact, in trying circumstances, we feel the Commissioner and the majority of his stewards (barring those at the ‘red hots’) are doing a terrific job. The only ‘goat riders’ in the industry in Queensland are those in the LNP and their supporters who want to eliminate QRIC and return to the ‘bad old Russ Hinze days’ when it was ‘anything goes’ – not that much has changed at the trots.


HERE is the QRIC response to the above criticism and we thank them for it. Unlike Racing Queensland who simply block anyone that criticizes them from Media Releases and simply makes ‘exclusives’ to their spin doctors in the mainstream racing media, QRIC treats all the media fairly and alike:

THE QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett said all breaches of restrictions are treated individually and on their merits.

“In the case of Ms White she contravened a clear and unambiguous direction designed to enforce the zonal restrictions implemented to protect the entire racing industry and by which all other racing participants willingly abide.    

“The incident involving a Toowoomba Trainer occurred very soon after the announcement of restrictions on public attendance at races and track work. Two part-owners, one in town from Western Queensland, made an impromptu decision to attend track work to see their horse gallop. They were not invited by the Trainer and arrived unannounced. The matter was reported to Stewards who conducted an immediate investigation. The two part-owners acknowledged the incident and did not realise the new rules prevented their attendance. They were reminded of their obligations. The trainer acknowledged the oversight and received a warning. I considered this an appropriate outcome in the circumstances.”  

Commissioner Barnett said all matters involving breaches of the Rules of Racing committed by Currie Racing have been exhaustively investigated and penalties handed out to a range of people are a matter of public record. A number of charges remain to be concluded. The inference that anyone has received any form of preferential treatment over any reported breach is misguided.         




THE Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Stewards have today disqualified apprentice jockey Zoe White for six months after she defied a Steward’s direction to stand down from riding.

In a Stewards Inquiry held via telephone today Ms White was handed the strong penalty after she attended track-work in Rockhampton yesterday despite being directed to stand down from riding and to self-quarantine for fourteen days.

The stand down order came after Ms White rode track work and nominated to ride in Central Zone 6 earlier this week in contravention to the new Covid-19 zoning rules requiring her to ride in Brisbane Metro South West Zone 2, which is the same region as her Master.

Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said the actions of this apprentice jockey to place the industry and the community at risk were very serious and would not be tolerated.

“The zoning rules have been put in place to protect the health and safety of racing industry participants and the public in unprecedented times,” he said.

“The adoption of designated racing regions to further support the Queensland Government’s direction to stay local, reduce non-essential travel and to limit the spread of COVID-19 are non-negotiable.

 “These new rules are currently protecting the livelihoods of thousands of people in the racing industry, to flout them shows a total disregard for the difficult situation everyone is currently facing.

“Six months disqualification is an appropriate penalty and a lesson for every racing participant to abide by these directions at all times.”

Ms White’s disqualification commences today until 2 October 2020.



THINGS have certainly degenerated into a ‘very personal’ crap fight between two of our good mates at LGHR in ex-bookie GARY GORRIE and controversial columnist ARCHIE BUTTERFLY.

Archie responds to the latest attack from Gary. Both accept if you hand it out you have to cop it back but perhaps it’s time now fellas to take a step back and call a truce.

Here’s a partially edited version of the Butterfly’s reply:

FORMER bookie, hotelier and all-round bullshit artist, Gary 'The Patong Beach Kid' Gorrie, had a huge crack at me on letsgohorseracing today, and good on him too. We live in a democracy and in my book every citizen is free to slag another citizen all they like, as long as they are not vulgar about it.

There is one condition of entry however.

If you give it, you have to be able to take a double dose back. 

There's also a little trick to the stone throwing game, and that is to make sure your aim is true, and never, ever chuck a rock from inside a glass house. When it shatters it takes you ages to clean up the mess.

My retort to the Patong Beach Kid's wildly directed spray this morning.

  1. Don't Let the Truth Get in the Way of a Good Story, or Free Medical Care and Some Tax Concessions.

You haven't lived in Moranbah since 2005 Gary. 

Did your mother never wash your mouth out with soap when you told porkies as a kid? Or do just like the taste of the stuff when it comes on a rope?

In March 2014 the Mackay Daily Mercury quite accurately reported that the Patong Beach Kid was living in Thailand, and making just the occasional trip back to Australia. What they didn't report were the unsubstantiated rumors doing the rounds in racing at the time that one of the purposes of the Kid's flying visits was to bring in some FIFO sheilas to replace the ones with sore backs from servicing 27 miners in a 20 hour shift run out of a motel in the Moranbah area.

A year later when writing a glowing review for a Phuket restaurant with a tittie bar out the back, the boy from Patong Beach was claiming that he lived at the Gold Coast, where he had actually resided a couple of years before after moving down there so he could team up with Kilcoy Con Searle and whinge loud enough about punters backing winners with them (heaven forbid! that's not supposed to happen!) that the pair could get the minimum bet lowered to $500, a figure that very reliable sources say the Kid adopted as his maximum instead, and stuck to like glue.

Now you can't be living continuously in Moranbah for 15 years when you're waking up most morning looking out the window at a beach in Thailand or at the Goldie can you? 

Me thinks the Patong Beach Kid can't lie straight in bed either.

 2 COVID-19

The Kid proves the truth of the sentence above by claiming that I was somehow doing cartwheels about country racing tracks closing down due to COVID-19.

Now that is the greatest load of deliberately spread bullshit that I have ever heard in my life, and you only have to read back over my published pieces in recent weeks to know it.

I have never expressed any glee whatsoever about the prospect of racing being shut down by the Coronavirus, not in the country, not anywhere. Quite to the contrary; I have been, am and remain an avid supporter of keeping racing going, as long as it can be done so in compliance with the strictures introduced by Scomo to prevent the spread of the goddamn bastard of a virus. What I did say is that IF it can't be run safely without putting any Australian at risk, then racing must stop, full stop.  

As Hugh Bowman said about Winx, they are only horses. Some things, like people's health, are far more important.

I note for posterity's sake however that the Patong Beach Kid's favorite race club at Moranbah - the one that he reckons is the most popular per capita in Queensland - pulled the plug on racing almost the second that the ban on public attendances was imposed. So much for their love of the sport, hey?

  1. Yakapiri Dreaming

To deflect attention from his rather un-PC attraction to women from poverty stricken 3rd World countries, Mr Gorrie - whose mother should have named him Arthur, and left him on the stairs - is calling himself the Yakapiri Kid.

Lets set aside for a second the fact that the big kabana's Aussie house is actually in Phuket, and run with Gaz's fairytale instead.

For those of not familiar with the arsehole of a joint, Yakapiri - Aboriginal name Sandals: I'm told the Kid wears socks with his - is famous for nothing other than its markets that feature a great range of homemade biscuits and cakes to have with your tea or coffee, plenty of parking and room for the kids to run around outside as well as a playground and kids’ corner.

  1. The Cardinal Sinner

Speaking of confession, the bloke with the predilection for much younger Asian birds who barely speak English doesn't like me slagging off his convicted pedophile religious hero George Pell.

Gee I wonder why?

Enough said.

  1. Mr 220 Percent

It's a bit rich that a one-time satchel swinger famous for his 220 percent markets put up at country meetings with no tote - a man who wouldn't bet evens about a 5-2 shot if a snake bit him on the arse, and turns purple if any punter tries to have any more than 500 to 200 on it - deigns to have a go at his one-time colleague, the King of the Brisbane Rails Ring, about the markets that bookie who was never afraid to take a bet used to frame.

As the King himself said this morning, if Gorrie really did have a mole inside the royal Eagle Farm rails ring palace walls - price one million to one - then what the hell is he complaining about giving that he would have been holding it like a baby clutching to its mum's tit and laying the crap out of every other runner at two points under?


Next thing you know the Patong Beach Kid will be telling us that he moved to Thailand to escape the never-ending knocks on his door from hot Aussie birds desperately wanting to shag him.

  1. Archie and the Two Dicks

Our man the Kid claims that I have dual penii and presumably thinks it’s funny.

I wish I did son, I wish I did, then I could interchange the reserve for the one I do have, and it wouldn't get so bloody red and raw all the time from Maggie's persistent demands that we get the heart rate up seven times a day in a wide range of positions to keep the weight off and the cholesterol at bay. 

Sadly though I don't, and the joke's on Gaz.

In the English language words that end in IS can't have a plural with a double I. 

Only words ending in US can.

Which makes the Patong Beach Kid an ANII I guess.

  1. My Masterplan For the Trots

Newsflash Gaz - blokes trying to reform moribund, money bleeding organisations from the outside in because the free seafood platter lovers with the vested interests won't risk their apple cart upturned by allowing him into the tent carrying a membership  card tend not to go around advertising their master plans. Not if they want them to work anyway.

Mine has, so here it is, and it’s now out in the wide open for the whole world to see.

On the assumption that because Gaz can't count any numbers under 150 percent, and doesn't know two dicks from a double-sized arsehole, I fear that he might not be able to read or comprehend complex strategies very well either.

So I will lay out the master plan for the Patong Beach Kid in just a couple of pairs of words.

New CEO.

Scott Steele.

There you go Gary, that's that question answered.


  1. Naked Hippy Chicks in Cheesecloth Dresses

Of course Maggie knows what I'm thinking when I see one.

She's thinking it too you clown!

Why do you think we have a king-sized bed with a mirror on the roof above it, a bondage rack in the cellar, and a 25 year old joyous marriage? It's not because Maggie's sitting at home watching Days of Our Lives while she does her knitting son.

PS - Free tip: the Cheesecloth is great for straining your cannabutter for the hash cookies, and the Hippy chick looks better without it on.

  1. Archie's a Pothead

See above.

  1. Nimbin

Well I must admit after the winning streak filled the vault so damn full that I had to offload some, Northern NSW was my first choice of retirement manor, but I was thinking Byron rather than Nimbin because the micro-bikini wearing babes down there shave their legs (that and a bit more).

But the bloody probation officer pointed out the condition of the order that says I have to stay in Queensland until the fat lady sings, so Kuranda it was.

There are worse places in the world.

Hot hippies don't wear cheesecloth dresses with nothing underneath in Moranbah.

Not unless they're working out of the Kid’s motel anyway.

Have I missed anything?

Nah I don't think so.

Over to you Patong Beach Kid.

Try again.

Love, hippies, herbs, nude sheilas, threesomes, cheesecloth, DP, love and joy from Nungbay*, home of free love, green fields and platypi.

ARCHIE B: Pants, Pot and Punt Consultant, and Activist Against the Importation of 3rd World Sex Slaves, man. 

(*Nungbay: That's what the indigenous folk who traditionally own the joint have always called it. Nice friendly folk they are too, as long as you don't upset their guests enough to make ‘em start pointing bones).




Blood is Always Thicker Than Water - But Sometimes Feathers are Thicker Than Steele


THIS week the State's number four race caller and super-consistent loss-making Albion Park Harness Racing Chairman David Fowler announced that he had appointed well-known and widely-respected racing and licensed club identity Scott Steele to the role of Executive Manager (CEO) of the Creek.

Steele's appointment has been roundly applauded by the industry, which is ecstatic that a person under 50 with a proven record of drive and achievement, and a demonstrated passion for the game, has been given the opportunity to undo the financial disaster that Chairman Bantam and his long-time sidekick, the recently departed Damian 'Red Hots' Raedler, have created, and have a crack at pulling harness racing away from the edge of the abyss.

Apparently there's a bit of a sub-plot to it all though, for Steele is the younger brother of the equally well-respected and recently elected Albion Park Board member Brad Steele, a strident critic of the club who ran on a change platform, and who by all reports is no friend of Fowler's at all.

The well-informed conspiracy theory that's floating around is that Fowler believes that the appointment of his brother to the top job will neutralise Brad Steele and his fellow Board member and financial literate Greg Mitchell's probe into the club's financial and operational management over the past half-decade, but if that theory is correct then the Bantam is about 27 lengths wide of the mark.

The Steele boys are consummate professionals, and neither chap will allow their familial ties to get in the way of doing the jobs that they have been elected or appointed to do, nor - after many years of success in their respective fields - will either of them countenance being associated with annual accounts that read in the red. 

That's great news for harness racing, but the wise men say that the path to finally returning the trots to profit may not quite be the pleasant tune that the Chairman is naively hoping to hear.

Blood is thicker than water for sure, but the Bantam's not a footy man, and the toff squatter from Clayfield thinks Dolphin Oval is some joint from Muriel's Wedding down the back end of Porpoise Spit, which proves just one thing.

Sometimes Feathers can be thicker than Steele(s).

Don't you worry about that!


Bouquets to Racing Queensland

PINS Parnell and his people are doing a great job to keep Queensland racing on track, and deserve to be congratulated by all in the industry.

The measures Racing Queensland has put in place are in my view among the best in the land, and the rapid response time by people working under pressure in a crisis condition has been absolutely outstanding.

If we lose racing it will be through no fault of RQ's, that's for sure.

Keep up the good work.


A Big Pat on the Back to the Dog Folk Too

THE greyhound industry was the quickest of the three codes to move to implement social distancing and other measures to corral the risks of Coronavirus infection, and so far it’s proven a raging success.

Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club CEO Luke Gatehouse also went out on a limb to guarantee his employees’ jobs and wages, even the casual staff, and he did it well before the Job Keeper payment was even a twinkle in Scomo's eye. 

It was a magnificent gesture by a very, very good racing administrator, and one that will ensure that he and his club are held in the highest of esteem for decades to come.

Others like Johnny Catton at Capalaba have done the same thing, thus proving to the world what people like me have always known: that live baiting was an aberration, and that greyhound people are good people – the salt of the earth in fact.

Good on them all. I wish there were more like them.


How Many QRIC Officials Raided David Micallef's Stables?

IT’S a good question.

So is the one about how many cars they travelled in, and the one about whether they practised the proper social distancing measures during the raid.

Just asking, that's all.


Was Mr Micallef From Mackay Really QRIC's Main Target?

WORD is that it wasn't David Micallef that the QRIC raiders were after, but instead a Rockhampton trainer who often pops in for a fizzy drink on his way to the Ooralea Park track, where the Beef Capital-based trainer seems to have a quite extraordinary lot of luck.

Apparently the integrity team were running to a tight budget, so they couldn't afford to follow the trainer on his journey north, and thus didn't know he was running late so missed him when they hit Micallef's barn before the hooter sounded.

As a result the QRIC raid was pretty much to no avail (pardon the pun).


The Trainer and Jockey Premiership Puzzle

I wonder how Racing Queensland is going to determine the winners of the premierships this year now that our system of racing has been turned on its head by The Killer (COVID-19).

It's a whole different ball game now that Racing Queensland have acted with speed and wisdom to try and protect the game by restricting trainers and jockeys to racing in their nominated zones, and culling Wednesday metro meetings completely. 

This new system means that each jockey only gets to ride metro once a week, that is, if the new 'Hybrid Metro' meetings being held at the Gold Coast on a Friday and Doomben on the weekend are actually metro meetings as we know them at all.

Either way, the new zoning restrictions change the premiership completely.

Ryan Maloney, Matt McGillivray and Michael Cahill sit 4th, 6th and 12th on the ladder presently, and if all wins anywhere are counted toward the title you'd probably want to bet the farm on Maloney to win it.

With 43 notches on his belt Mr Alligator Jr is currently perched fourth on the ladder behind Nothdurft (51.5 wins), Fradd (47.5) and Thornton (43), but assuming the restricted zones stay in place for the expected six months Maloney won't have to ride against any of the three again this season, or against the Jimmy Byrne’s and Orman’s or the Stewart’s R and B and Mr Du Plessis, who along with McGillivray round off the top 10 on the riding list right now.

On top of that, as the pre-eminent rider in the Gold Coast/Ipswich/Toowoomba zone Maloney should pretty much get the pick of the rides in the higher weight brackets, and for a fella like him who struggles to strip off the vital couple of kilos that would win him a title every day of the week, the 1kg rise in minimum weights is a godsend.

It would be very unfair on Nothdurft though if the system didn't make some allowance for him having to ride against six of the top 10 as opposed to Maloney only taking on three, for that means the kid vying to become the first apprentice to win the senior riders’ title since Adam was a boy would be severely disadvantaged in his history-making quest.

A similar thing applies in the country, because Premiership leader Dan Ballard is restricted to riding three times a fortnight (at Cairns or Townsville once a week, and Mt Isa every second week), as do third and fourth placed Wanderson D'Avila and Bonnie Thompson - who are in the same region - and second placed Hannah English, who is in the Downs/SEQ region and get to ride each Saturday at Roma or Charleville, and every second Sunday in Bundy.

Fourth-placed Luke Dillon however gets to ride twice a week, because he is in the Central, Central West and Central Coast zone, and they ride weekly on a Tuesday at either Rocky or Mackay, and on Saturdays at Barcy or Emerald.

That means that all things being equal Dillon is going to get about 25 to 30 more rides than his rivals, which at his brilliant strike rate of better than one in four means he will ride about six to eight more winners than his rivals possibly can, and probably a whole lot more given his status as number one rider in the region and the opportunities that will bring.

There are a whole lot of other examples I could raise as well, but I think you get the picture, and it's a puzzle.

I don't know what the answer is, but hopefully for the sake of riders like Baylee Nothdurft someone smarter than me will turn their minds to working it out.


Tommy Smith Rises in Racing Again

TOMMY Smith is probably the best known training name in the history of Australian racing bar perhaps Bart Cummings, and with 33 straight Sydney Premiership titles under his belt (34 in total) and Gai as his daughter I'd rate TJ a short half head in front of the 13 Cup King in the recognition stakes.

I don't know if the modern day Tommy Smith's middle name is John, but I hope it is, or that it starts with a J anyway, because it would make for a great story and be bit of a positive omen for the young man's seemingly brilliant path as a trainer lying ahead.

The new Tom - who is the son of trainer Fred E, and the brother of the gutsy jockey Elyce - has only been training for a fortnight, and he's taken just four horses to the races, but already the young tyro has trained his first winner. It took the old Tom Smith (TJ) months.

It gets better too, because with his second and third ever starters in the first race at Mackay on Tuesday young Tom not only landed the winner, but got to share the love with the ones he loves because it was ridden by his sister, AND he trained the 3rd placed horse as well.

What a wonderful effort by this youngster with the wonderful racing name.

May his Mackay success be the first of many for the new Tommy Smith, and may he one day call his daughter Gai. 

From what I hear about his success with the ladies, young Tommy certainly ain't.


Welcome Back Kotter

IT’S good to see the man who could have been Queensland's top cop if he was born in a different era - QRIC Commissioner Ross the Boss Barnett - is back from his mid-Coronavirus crisis vacation. 

The Integrity Investigation Team might now be able to get their overtime chits approved in advance so they can start following trainers they know are red hot, and save a few red faces by not going at the clock tower and missing their marks.


Quotes of the Week

Sergeant Pepper's out three-wide marching forward  - Queensland’s No 1 race-caller Josh Fleming at the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday.

... with avoirdupois gradually dripping off him in the Townsville wet, a return to race riding is not impossible - North Queensland trainer and media commentator Terry Butts, showing us all his broad grasp of the French language while talking about former top jockey Danny Adam (Editor's note: avoirdupois means weight).

I do try and go outside and try to get some physical work done. But physical work for me is putting a pot-plant in - Peter V'Landys, Mr Universe Contender 2020

The good thing about racing is we have a future fund. Because we have kept money in the bank we can see these losses through and then replenish what we have taken out when all is back to normal - V'Landys again, speaking for himself and NSW, and showing once more why he is the best sports administrator in the country, bar none

It is our priority to keep all of our valued team connected and engaged through this period -  Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle, the worst sports administrator in the nation bar none, promising the world

Castle read a prepared five-minute statement to her employees, then directed them to speak to their individual managers regarding their temporary job losses. Many of their questions could not be answered - Courier-Mail report of Castle's address to the 75% of staff she just sacked, proving that the word of the woman whose own austerity measure is reducing her salary to just $8,000 a week isn't worth two cents

The conduct of the two players, on the eve of our final trial match, demonstrated an unacceptable lack of respect for their teammates, their coach and club officials, our hosts in Port Macquarie and fans of the game everywhere - Canterbury Bulldogs laying out exactly why the players who shagged a schoolgirl during camp were sacked. All power to them too.

It is imperative in the current climate that we are prudent with our prizemoney distribution in order to provide an industry war chest to navigate this turbulent period - RQ Chief Pins Parnell, rebuffing calls for a reinstatement of the Winter Carnival the Minister has flagged that in these dark days of COVID-19 crisis there will be no extra dough for racing.



EX-BOOKIE and passionate country racing supporter GARRY GORRIE reminds his old sparring partner ARCHIE BUTTERFLY that he’s still waiting to hear the ‘master plan’ for saving the Albion Park ‘red hots’. Here’s his latest message:

WHILE holed up here in my Moranbah residence where i have lived since 2005 i  noticed the ‘Blowfly’s’ little barb at me so I thought I might look at his recent comments since we last crossed pens.

‘Butterfly’ takes great glee at the chance the terrible corona virus might stop country racing when the country clubs at great cost are trying to still give prizemoney out to the trainers doing it so tough.

Imagine if he managed to close the races in the country what would happen to all the horses in work, owners, trainers, feed merchants and the carnage he would get so much glee about.

Interesting though we have now gone back to almost the ‘Districts’ we had years ago when Racing was at its best and there was low cost administration in NQ run by Bill Moss and Alan Cooper. Maybe we should go back to that model, the one we have now is just full of overpaid administration doing nothing but watching their backs. I think Lucky Lingard would love this but he might need a new ‘Battery’ – sadly the old one has expired.

While you’re bored you might explain to this poor ‘Country Bumpkin’ why in 1999 Townsville had more Starters, Bookmakers, Turnover and Crowds than Doomben, Gold Coast, Toowoomba and in all my years rarely saw it have any bias like your great city tracks have. Yet it was passed over as the second Queensland track to Eagle Farm (where I note you City Slickers need another handout from the Country boys’ Mining Royalties to fix once again). 

This aside ‘Blowfly’ found time to promote Murrumbidgee Picnics, Kembla Grange, Casino and Queanbeyan. One would think instead of being the biggest ‘Dope’ in Kuranda he would have moved to Nimbin and becoming ‘King Dope’ there. Then he could promote away NSW country races all he likes.

He was bored so managed a comment on George Pell in a forum set aside for racing. I must add that I am sincerely sorry for what he has experienced in that sort of thing. No one deserves that, particularly the young.

Now rumour has it ‘Blowfly’s’ talented wife can read his mind. When he sees a young hippie girl in cheesecloth dress with no underwear she knows exactly what he is thinking.

Now he was to unveil his wonderful plans to show us that it is possible to make harness racing in Brisbane a wonderful sport again but according to my sources when he sat down to put pen to paper all his wife saw was a blank back of a postage stamp so I assume he is still formulating the Master Plan but has time to comment on Pell in your racing forum.

It was good to hear ‘The Jockey’s Man’ cleaned up on Sophie's Gold Class. He puts a lot of work and money into racing and deserves it. Oh how I long for the days when he would send out the Brisbane 134% market and had the skill to hide the pea over the odds. He had a ‘Leaky Tap’ though in the camp and my mate ‘The Drip’ used to drop the word to me and I would get on with ‘The Hen’ in Darwin. Even if they did not win you could always get your money back at the shorts. Those were the days.

Now ‘Blowfly’ you promised to lay out your ‘Grand Plans’ for ‘Feathers’ to follow but at the moment he is ‘Plucked’ or some word that rhymes with that and I too would become one of your ‘Disciples’. You will have convinced me of its brilliance and it will adapt to your ‘Racing Model’ for the south-east corner with no Country Racing. We await you ‘Great Messiah’. Maybe you are saving it for an Easter present for us all.

If it does not arrive I can only assume that it is true that ‘Blowflies’ have two penii because when your Mother told you not to play with it under the sheets, obviously  you did not listen because you could not become such a ‘Big Dope’ pulling one.

The YAKAPARI KID, Moranbah.



CONFUSION over owners masquerading as stable hands, some claim to circumvent the virus curfew at racetracks, has prompted NEVILLE BYRNE to return serve to the email from SKY’S MICHAEL CHARGE. Here is his latest response:

I read Michael Charge’s response with interest. I believe your use of the word ‘Masquerading’ (in the headline) is the most appropriate.

The Mackay Turf club website lists Joh Hynes as the Racing Manager -- Racing Manager: Joe Hynes.

I don’t know whether this is a full-time position, but either way I wonder if it is appropriate or ethical for him to have a stable hand’s licence.

Michael acknowledges in hindsight it might not have been wise to introduce him as the owner. It would not have even aroused my interest if he was not introduced as the owner.

Michael then goes on to say Mr Hynes was the strapper. Well he was not certainly acting in the role of the strapper when he was interviewed. How could he when he was being interviewed? The horse was being led around after the race by a male person, which I assume would have been Bill Binder. There was no female person in the vicinity of the horse, which suggests Rebecca Binder wasn’t there.

I do not have an axe to grind with Michael Charge. In fact I think he does a good job. However, I do believe the Rules in the current situation have been flouted and this was not by Michael Charge.

I also saw another interesting one at Doomben last Saturday.

Kacy Fogden had a runner in the first race. The horse had two strappers. One was the older guy who regularly straps her horses. I then thought Ms Fogden must not be there for two strappers to be with the horse. However, she was interviewed before the race.

She did have a runner in the 8th race. Maybe one of the strappers had been assigned to that horse.

I don’t know the specific Rule in Queensland, but in a couple of States the rule is one strapper for one horse.

I don’t want to beat myself up about either matter and don’t expect you to either. I have only sent this to let you know I have read, and continue to read, your column and appreciate you raising it. It might send a message people are looking. In the current situation it is so important for everyone, not just in racing, to abide by the current restrictions.’




WITH the future of RSN, the radio network funded by the racing industry in Victoria, under threat, questions are being asked about SKY Racing Radio and especially the Racing Radio arm of the TAB in Queensland.

LEO SCHLINK reports for the HERALD-SUN that RSN, the radio home of Victoria’s three racing codes, is undergoing a comprehensive review of its operations in light of the coronavirus situation.

The station, which provides a 24-hour racing and sports service, is considering financial and programming models, including a doomsday scenario in which the three codes were shutdown.

A Racing Victoria spokesperson said: “RSN, which is funded by the three codes of racing (thoroughbreds, harness and greyhounds), is undertaking a review of its operations in the context of the current crisis.”

The spokesman said RSN was “considering what financial and programming measures may be necessary to protect the long-term future of the station and the racing industry more broadly”.

“This is a prudent review for RSN to undertake as all within the racing industry consider the potential impacts of a shutdown if one was to occur.”

RV has heralded broadscale reductions in prizemoney in a bid to protect the future of thoroughbred racing, while harness racing and greyhounds have implemented a range of protective and biosecurity measures.

  • INDUSTRY broadcast insiders say that whilst SKY Racing Radio will no doubt survive in some form if racing closes, the chances of Racing Radio 4TAB, based out of Brisbane, continuing are zero with massive changes rumoured to already being discussed along with whether there is a need for a secondary race broadcaster in Brisbane sounding the likely death-knell for ‘Feathers’ Fowler with NO 1 SKY caller, Josh Fleming, a certainty to hold the job.



THE wags must have forgotten that it’s APRIL FOOL’S DAY when they took a story seriously that racing authorities in Australia are considering the running of ‘riderless trials’.

One suggested to LGHR: ‘If they took the next step and ran races without jockeys it would work well in Queensland. We wouldn’t consistently have some alleged top jockeys missing the start, sitting wide or running up rump steak on favourites.”

Another wrote: “Just imagine the stewards calling in a horse to explain why it didn’t seem to give itself every chance to win or secure the best position in a race. We would have to call on Mr Ed to translate.”

In case you missed it this APRIL FOOL’S DAY story run on PUNTERS.COM that seems to have worked on some gullible punters, here it is:

CONCERNS around the coronavirus pandemic have prompted racing authorities to trial riderless horse races in a bid to minimise exposure among participants.

With COVID-19 forcing the suspension of a number of racing jurisdictions around the world, Australian racing officials are exploring contingency plans to keep the industry afloat in the event that further restrictions are enforced by either the federal or state governments.

Key among these is to trial races without jockeys in an attempt to work around tighter restrictions and minimise interaction among the riding fraternity.

"Should we get to a point where jockey interactions become too problematic, senior figures are considering implementing a jockey-free race scenario", an industry insider told

"Time and time again we've seen riderless horses continue on in a race after their jockey has been dislodged, so if all horses are in the same boat there would be no unfair advantage to any competitors.

"We've seen it work in the greyhound code and are confident that it would hold up with thorougbreds.

"It paves the way for a very fair playing field from both a wagering and integrity standpoint."

Horses would still be saddled up and weighted according to the entry conditions of the given race.

Competitors would then be led up and loaded into the barriers by a handler prior to the starter letting the field go.

A section of the track will then be cordoned off 400m past the winning post, to corral competitors at the completion of the event.

There has reportedly been some concern among the jockey ranks that this could lead to riders being made redundant once the pandemic is resolved, however authorities insist this is not seen as a permanent resolution.

"It is acknowledged that jockeys are integral to a quality racing product and this measure is only being considered in the unique circumstances we face as a result of the global pandemic," said the insider.

"In no way, shape or form are we looking to make this change permanent - we are simply exploring ways to keep the industry going in anticipation of tighter restrictions down the track."

The first trials are set to be held behind closed doors as early as next Monday.

If successful, it is expected that the green light will be given for the idea to be implemented nation-wide in the event that a participant returns a positive test to COVID-19.





JURISDICTIONS throughout the country are doing their best to keep the industry going with Racing Australia reassuring participants that every effort is being made to continue racing during the outbreak of COVID-19.

In an open letter to about 74,000 full-time participants in all states and territories, RA Chairman Greg Nichols urged them 'don't drop your guard' amid efforts to contain the virus and enabling thoroughbred racing to continue.

But how confident are officials of major clubs that this will happen with reports of even the Cox Plate in October being postponed and soon it will include the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

Already the Queensland Winter Carnival has been cancelled which is probably a blessing in disguise with the ‘basket case’ Eagle Farm track requiring another costly upgrading and dodging another embarrassing blast from visiting trainers.    

Meanwhile, Nichols said RA had three main objectives at this time:

  • to continue racing;
  • to maintain employment for participants; and
  • to ensure that equine welfare is kept at the highest level.

Racing Australia's letter to participants:

Dear Racing Participants,

On behalf of Racing Australia's Directors, Executive Management and staff members, I wish to express our concern to all participants in thoroughbred racing who are facing critical challenges as a consequence of COVID-19.

The Australian people are experiencing an unprecedented public health and economic crisis.

The scale of the impact is unknown, however, we do know that the Federal, State and Territory Governments have acted decisively in response to the public health and economic threat.

What is indisputable is the significant effects of COVID-19 on small to medium enterprises and large corporations that have contributed to the prosperity of racing.

I am pleased to report that Racing Australia has been working closely with Principal Racing Authorities to ensure continuation of thoroughbred racing across Australia.

Our objectives are simple:

  • to keep racing going;
  • to maintain employment within our sport for the majority of our 74,000-plus full-time participants; and
  • to ensure that equine welfare is kept at the highest level.

These are proud achievements that would not have occurred without your compliance to the new protocols implemented by Australian racing.

Our responsibility is to follow the advice of the National Cabinet, the Principal Racing Authorities and medical experts to ensure thoroughbred racing stands the best chance to continue.

This means, when at work, follow the protocols put in place by your Principal Racing Authority at all times.  And when not at work, stay at home, obey social distancing and wash your hands!

This is vitally important for the ongoing viability of the industry we love and which supports so many livelihoods.

Racing Australia has engaged experts to represent our interests to governments throughout Australia. Racing Australia, working together with our advisors and the Principal Racing Authorities, has submitted an extensive analysis to the National Cabinet this past weekend.

The report highlights:

  • Australian racing's economic contribution of around $9.5 billion with 51% generated in regional Australia;
  • 28,157 racehorses ran during the 2018/19 racing season;
  • 4.2 million people attended a race meeting last year;
  • Nearly 160,000 people participate in thoroughbred racing;
  • 21,425 volunteers make racing possible;
  • $728.8 million in prizemoney was paid out last racing season;
  • Caring, exercising and maintaining a thoroughbred is a 24/7/365 commitment; and
  • A return to racing, should we be forced to close, is not simply a matter of turning on a tap. A two-month closure is effectively a six-month closure.

On behalf of Racing Australia, I sincerely hope that you all remain safe and healthy throughout these tough times and please don't drop your guard.  We need everyone to do their bit.

Greg Nichols


Racing Australia

HERE’S hoping racing survives a closure but the chances of this happening are becoming more remote by the day.  



PUNTERS were entitled to be angry at the ride of JOHN ALLEN on the favourite GRAND PROMENADE in the opening race at BENDIGO on Saturday.

They were entitled to be even angrier at the fact – that according to the official report – stewards did not even bother asking the Irishman some questions about his disgraceful display on the confidently tipped runner.

The only mention that the ride got in the Stewards’ Report, published by Chairman Rob Montgomery and his panel, was: GRAND PROMENADE: Raced three wide without cover throughout.

That’s expressing the obvious and taking social distancing in these tough virus times from the sublime to the ridiculous – they didn’t even request his presence in the room to explain the tactics.

After watching the video several times – as have many others who have questioned the ride – Allen appears to ease back from his wide draw and then for some reason (perhaps he felt the pace was too slow to win from the rear) immediately takes off three wide with no cover. He gave the favorite no chance.

This is the Irish jumps jockey who came to Australia and stayed, making an instant impact riding Group winners for leading stables and is now closely associated with the Maher-Eustace camp who saddled up Grand Promenade chasing his fifth straight win.

Allen is a better rider than his performance on the horse on Saturday and there are those who feel stewards should have at least queried what he was doing or even charged him with failing to position the horse to give it every chance of winning. Its performance in the circumstances was outstanding.

Owners of the horse include Gerry Ryan (a major sponsor of racing and owner of Melbourne Cup winners), bloodstock king John Foote and rugby league identity John Ribot. One wonders what they thought of the ride and whether Allen will be aboard when it heads to the Warrnambool Cup.  

PS: EMAILS we have received from punters question why it always seems to be the well tipped heavily backed runners throughout the country that are slaughtered.



THE racetrack curfew is becoming increasingly confusing when owners with stablehand licences are in attendance at meetings, trials and trackwork.

We have witnessed two incidents of this occurring in the past week when SKY was criticized for interviewing an owner at the Rockhampton races who it was revealed had a stablehand’s licence.

This was also the case with an Asian owner who was seen at the Gold Coast trials who also had a stablehand’s licence and under the curfew rules was entitled to be there.

One wonders what credentials are required for some individuals to receive stablehand’s licences and what they need to know about dealing with and handling of racehorses to qualify.

That aside MICHAEL CHARGE, a QUEENSLAND country host for SKY CHANNEL, has responded to comments made by NEVILLE BYRNE about the job he was doing at the ROCKHAMPTON race meeting last week. Here is his reply:

Firstly, so that Mr Neville Byrne is armed with all of the facts and info, I can confirm the following:

  • Mr Joe Hynes was at Rockhampton on Tuesday, 24th of March in the capacity as a Licensed Stable Hand for the Binder Stable
  • Mr Bill Binder was the authorised Stable Representative for his wife Rebecca, who was not in attendance at the race meeting on the day, with Mr Joe Hynes as Heyington's 'Strapper'
  • Mr Joe Hynes was the first of the (allowed) stable representatives to appear in the exclusion zone where the interview was conducted as the interview was carried out live on air.
  • All QRIC, Club and SKY agreed bio-security measures were in place with a separate microphone on a stand, used for the interview at least 1.5m away from any Jockeys and or myself. In fact extremely stringent cleaning and disinfectant measures were used for any equipment that may have come in contact with any industry participants after each use on the day.

With the benefit of hindsight, given the current unprecedented situation we all find ourselves in, I could/should have in fact stated that Mr Joe Hynes was in attendance and interviewed in the capacity as the horse’s Stable Hand and coincidentally also as the horse’s Owner. Potentially not how it may have come across to the viewing public as just the horse’s 'Owner' and my apologies for not clarifying this at the time.

I hope that this clears up the matter and situation for yourself, followers and Mr Byrne and helps to ease any angst or concerns raised that I myself, or SKY, would ever encourage or condone any potential breaches to current serious guidelines and measures.

So no need for Mark Ainsworth (QRIC Deputy Commissioner) to answer the query, now you are in fact armed with all of the ACTUAL facts. For the record as noted above that SKYy and all its staff including myself, take the current measures very seriously and will continue to do so in the hope that we play our part in Broadcasting and keeping racing going during this unprecedented crisis. 



WHAT steps are being taken by the police to nail these fruit loop grubs from the animal activist lobby breaking the laws of the land to bring the racing industry to its knees?

Their latest low act is a fake petition, purporting to originate from Queensland Health so surely it would not be that hard to trace the origins and charge those responsible.

Rather than LGHR rant and rave about this we have chosen to republish some of the comments of PETER GLEESON, a SKY NEWS host and columnist with NEWS LTD.

‘IT takes a rare and warped individual to use the coronavirus crisis to push a message but animal activism knows no bounds when it comes to human decency.

As Queenslanders bunker down in their homes, justifiably apprehensive about what the future holds, a cohort of animal activists have been using a fake texting scam to try to close down the racing industry.

The fraudulent text message purporting to be from Queensland Health directs people to a petition to put horse racing on hold.

“The horse racing industry think they are above and beyond the rest of the community as they continue to irresponsibly promote against social distancing with masses working at large racing stables, at racetracks in early morning trackwork and on race days,’’ the petition said.

Queensland Health confirmed the text was fraudulent “and it’s definitely not something we would send out’’.

Queensland Health said it would investigate how it happened, and prosecute those who were involved.

The zealotry and bastardry of animal activists to use the coronavirus crisis to push their agenda with false and destructive propaganda demonstrates the mindset of these people. It is also a salutary lesson to the racing industry that has been forced to pick up its act on animal welfare and wastage rates.

Yet the animal activists continue their jihad, blindly, gormlessly and recklessly trying to shut down an industry that keeps so many people in employment.

When asked to open their books up for an audit to see where their donations are actually spent, they go strangely quiet.”

They are a disgrace. Using a pandemic to bolster their cause shows they are the lowest of them all.”



IF these imbeciles cared anything for animal welfare and not just trying to make a political statement and close racing down they could learn from the message of Australian Trainers’ Association president Robbie Griffiths.

Griffiths told Michael Manley of the HERALD-SUN that animal welfare should be taken into consideration by the State and Federal Governments if they are looking at closing down the racing industry due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Bottom line there are 4,000 or more thoroughbreds who will still need to be fed and watered and looked after every day so you can’t shut the gates on stables completely, as if you did it would become an animal welfare issue. This also applies to harness, greyhound and all living animal operations,” Griffiths said.

Griffiths said the training centres acted in a similar manner to quarantine centres as human movement was controlled.

“So you can’t lock the gates on stables. The same people who are with the horses now will still be with them then. You can’t close it down. Even if they all go spelling people need to feed them.”

“Horses don’t carry the virus. Cats and dogs still need to be fed as do horses. We can’t afford for the horse’s sake to shut the doors.”

Another trainer, Natalie Young, also said even if race meetings were stopped she hoped that training centres could stay open.

“It’s not like people at home who can just take their dogs out for a walk. These horses need care and continual work,” Young said.

“We just have to hope that if the worst happens and we can’t race that the training centres can stay open. It’s not like people at home who can just take their dogs out for a walk. These horses need care and continual work.”




ARCHIE BUTTERFLY looks back on a big day of SATURDAY RACING that survived the CORONAVIRUS:

The Rosehill Track

NOT again.

Yeah, again.

What the hell was that track at Rosehill on Saturday?

Crap, that's what.

How hard is it to produce a course proper that plays fair?

If Navesh Ramdhani can't, then perhaps it’s time that he found another job, because this just isn't good enough, no not at all.


Verry Elleegant

THE only winner on the day that did it against the pronounced bias.

Sure, she didn't beat much; but gee she did it like a good horse.

Addeyab's form looks better and better by the second.

Is there anything in the world that can beat the English Stayer in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes?

I don't think so.


What Could the Kid Do?

THERE’S been a lot of conjecture about Baylee Nothdurft's ride on Snappy Reply in Race 1 at Doomben, with the inference being that he cost the horse victory by putting the whip away at about the 150 metre mark when it was a couple of lengths in front.

It's all nonsense.

It wouldn't have mattered whether Nothdurft had gone to sleep on Snappy Reply, or whether he'd flogged the crap out of it, or even if he hired a helicopter and airlifted the horse to the finishing line, Minjee would have beaten it anyway. It was going three to Snappy’s one, and five to every other runner in the race's stride.

Robert Heathcote's youngster is good, real good.

That's why it won, and it will win many more too.

Snappy Reply won't.

And it won't be Baylee Nothdurft's fault.


Hayes, Hayes, Dabernig - The Three Stooges

I have long been critical of the HHD training trio in the past – and for good reason too.

They are a bunch of silver spooned, toffee nosed private school boys who had Lindsay Park and Angaston handed to them on a silver platter, and they've stuffed it all up. 

God only knows what the gross value of the yearlings that pass through their stable doors each year is, but it's gigantic. Yet they don't train winners of anything much at all unless they do it with a horse that they've acquired from someone else. They don't win Slippers or Blue Diamonds, and their strike rate is absolutely shite.

David Hayes is the only one of the three who even has the slightest clue about what he's doing, and he's about to sail ship to Honkers for good and leave his earnest and erstwhile son, and his more useless than an anorexic cow without tits nephew to it.

They will sink like stones.

And deserve to.

How could an operation as well-resourced and supposedly professional as theirs stuff up so calamitously as they did when they presented the wrong horses to race at Bendigo on Saturday?

It beggars belief.

So does the fact that anyone still sends their horses to be trained by this trio of clowns.


Jimmy Orman is no Mug - Command'n'Conquer isn't Either

THE first time jockey Jimmy Orman laid eyes on Steve Tregea's three-year-old gelding Command’n’Conquer was when he ran second to it in a trial at Toowoomba five weeks ago.

Orman had made the long trek to Clifford Park in the dark to ride the ill-fated potential top-liner Gem of Scotland in that filly's trial on the same day, but immediately after seeing the big lug of a thing's rump staring at him when it sat three wide and won under quadruple wraps with its head on its chest Orman decided that he wanted in to Command'n'Conquer, and in he got.

Luck's a fortune in racing like in any walk of life, but you make your own, and if Orman had been one of those show ponies who ride a few winners and then lie in bed in the morning and expect the gun mounts to walk through their door, then he would never have by almost accident become the chosen rider for this superstar in the making.

Jimmy Orman is not like that though. He is one of the hardest working hoops in the business, and doesn't sleep in. He rides pretty good too, as we all saw on Saturday, and as those who watch have been seeing for years.

Command'n'Conquer is good, really, really, really good. 

So is James Orman.

Together I reckon they just might win a Group 1.

You heard it here first.


Ho Ho Ho - It's the J-Mac Show

I wax lyrical about J-Mac every week, and it is because he deserves it.

What a rider this young man truly is.

His four winners at Rosehill on Saturday paid almost 300-1 if you had multied them.

The kid’s a genius.

George Moore?



Fingers in Dykes & Hands Over Racing Writers' Eyes

IT seems that many wide-eyed racing writers are running a hundred miles an hour for cover after having written a bible's worth of ill-researched 'road to redemption' stories about the Alligator's trainer in recent times.

Never believe the bullshit web that a junkie spins you is my advice to the wet behind the ears self-said journos who wouldn't know a reformation from a small plastic cup of OJ mixed with Methadone is my advice to them all.

And I top it with a question.

How come Boom-Boom Benny Currie got sin-binned on suspicion, and DVD is allowed to train on despite near certainty?

Answer it if you can, or if you will.


Gailo Chop

THIS French son of a German has won $4.4 million and done everything that any owner could ask of their horse, so why do his connections keep running him around like he's a plough mule?

Give poor Gailo a break. 

He’s nine-years-old now, and hasn't won in two years, and on Saturday’s 10-plus length shellacking in the last at Rosehill he is not likely to either, not unless the Birdsville Cup becomes a WFA event anyway.

Continuing to race this magnificent beast when he should be chomping on lush, green grass and telling his geriatric paddock-mates tales about his glory days in the racing sun is just downright animal cruelty.

Do the right thing owners.

Retire him now.

Unlike old Gailo Chop, the former Bookie King of the Brisbane Rails Ring Lindsay Gallagher shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, not if the win of Sophie's Gold Class at Doomben is any indication anyway.

Word is that the indefatigable chaser of a point or seven over the odds cleaned up big time when his very handy and extremely well-placed mare went back to back by braining them in the first leg of the Quaddie, reportedly nailing the win bets, the quinella, the exacta, the trifecta, the first four, triple trio and the quaddie itself, as well as laying the rest of the field for plenty.

The only question that still remains about the boy from Wide Bay is how much he can take with him when one day in about half a century he clocks out as the oldest living trots punter in human history.

Whatever price the satchel swingers post, you can be sure that Lindsay Gallagher will get a couple of points over.


Trainer of the Week

Ron Quinton.

His effort to even get Royal Celebration back on the track after a break of almost a year was sensational, and his work in getting the horse back into the winner's stall was simply sensational.

Quinton was a great jockey, and he is just as good a trainer too.

Simply brilliant.


Who Needs a Boom Boom When You've Got a Boof?

BEN Currie might be in the sin bin after being sentenced to a long spell, and he might well be back soon after the Tribunal throws out the ill-evidenced DQ that he was unfairly slapped with if he really wants to, but my advice to the young fella would be to stick to the beaches and chasing waves.

After all, who needs junior causing ripples when you can have his much more taciturn old man kicking your goals?

Boof - aka Mark Currie, Boom Boom's dad and teacher - is absolutely on fire at the moment, and everything he is touching is turning to gold.

Currie senior's winning strike rate is 20%, his horses have won nearly a million bucks in prize money, he's sitting third on the provincial trainers’ premiership ladder, and he's led home the victor in six of his past 15 starters, which equates to a 40% winner to starter ratio for those of you without a calculator.

Best of all is that as the most watched, tapped and covertly followed by integrity spooks trainer in Queensland, he's obviously done it squeaky clean too.

Put that one in your pipe Commissioner and critics, and smoke it.


Metro Meetings at the Provincials

GOD only knows why Racing Victoria continues in its ill-guided quest to run metro meetings at mid-week tracks, for all it is doing is costing them a fortune and eroding punter confidence in their brand.

Mornington the previous Saturday was a debacle, and Bendigo this weekend was just as bad. Turnover was down a mile, the races were rubbish, no-one was interested and no-one cared.

Why, why, why?


Speaking of Why

WHY do they still bother running races in South Australia?

And why does anybody bother betting on them?

It's a joke, and so is Frances Nelson QC who runs it.

Shut up shop and redistribute the prize money to jurisdictions that know how to manage it properly by progressing the sport I say.


Speaking of Jokes

QUEENSLAND has the casting vote on the Racing Australia Board. 

It doesn't matter what the SA, WA, or combined Tassie, NT and ACT directors do - if Queensland aligns itself with one or the other of NSW or Victoria the combined vote carries the day.

And our rep is the ‘Whirlwind’, stockbroker Steve Wilson, who has about as much interest in racing as I do in Sydney's Gay Mardi Gras.

God help racing is all that I can say.


Has Peter V'Landys Bitten Off More Than He Can Chew?


No further explanation required.

Will the Coronavirus Kill Queensland's Country Racing Model?



Is It a Bad Thing?


At least not if you are country Queensland's great defender Gary Gorrie who actually lives in South-East Asia anyway.


The Boy They Painted Black is Back - Big Time

I am an unabashed fan of the young jockey Michael 'Mickey' Murphy, and at the same time often his greatest critic.

Unlike those who criticise me for telling the truth about the kid's faults and highlighting the inevitable path down which a continuation of his repeat mistakes is going to lead Mickey, I have no financial skin in the game. I don't cop 25% of Mick's earnings as his apprentice master, and I don't skim 12.5% off his winnings as my jockey manager’s fee, and I don't suck on the fat of the young bloke's bones either.

I just like the lad. 

I like him a lot, and don't want to see such a rare talent piss his career down the drain because no bastard is game enough to stand up and say "Oi Mickey, what a pity, you're in the big city, here's the nitty gritty" and help the kid out.

All you cop is abuse for trying to be a good guy, but do you know what? 

I couldn't give a rat’s arse what blokes who are supposed to guide and mentor young men but let them down say. All I want is to see good young men do well.

Murphy hasn't over the past year, but rivers flow forward and the past is in our behinds where it should be, and after a long self-inflicted run of outs and near-career ending rut, my mate little Mickey Murphy jockey extraordinaire is back. 

Big time.

Mick has been finding rides hard to come by recently, but he had three at Warwick on Saturday.

And he won them all.

Welcome back sunshine - we've been missing you.

Long may the winners roll.


Talking About Pipes, Smoking and Comebacks....

A decade ago Queensland jockey Brent Evans was the hottest apprentice in town.

Then, like so many slightly too heavy hoops before and after him, the Ice got Evans.

In 2017 Evans was swabbed and returned a positive to the dreaded meth, and it appeared for all money that his riding career was all over red rover; but winners don't quit and quitters don't win.

Brent Evans has been battling around the back blocks of NSW since the QRIC scrubbed him instead of help putting him into rehab, and he's been doing it tough. But the frost has broken, and b-b-b-baby the boy is back.

Sure, it was only the Murrumbidgee Picnics that Brent took by the scruff of the neck and slayed on Saturday, but a treble is a treble in anyone's language, and the former gun kid turned troubled youngster turned reformed character rode one, and all power to him too.

The tide has turned.

Let's hope it turns into a tsunami of winners.


George Pell

BOREDOM has led to me reading the transcripts of Pell's application to the High Court for leave to appeal his conviction, and I have to tell you something that many won't like.

Pell is an absolute certainty to get off, and be released from prison the moment that the High Court judgement is handed down. 

In fact, having read the whole word for word copy of the proceedings, you would just about have to say that the Cardinal Sinner has been on the wrong end of one of the most absurd miscarriages of justice in the history of the Australian criminal law.

This is coming from me, a child sex abuse victim who knows that Pell covered a gazillion crimes up, and is a criminal for doing so. But there was no law then like there is now to brand him as such, and you can't send a bloke to jail for offences that he was guilty of, but which didn't exist.

It's a fucked up world, and people like George Pell and his Vatican forebears made it that way, and I wish them all a hot forever in hell. 

You can't be banged up for a crime when there is a reasonable doubt about you doing it though, and there is more uncertainty about Pell doing what he's been convicted of than there is about David Van Dyke being a drug cheat, which means the doubts are plenty.

The damages bill for wrongful imprisonment is going to be colossal.

The damage to society by the restoration of Pell's reputation as a man of God is going to be even greater.


Say It Ain't So Roscoe, Say It Ain't So

THE mail is that during these, the darkest days in the sport's history, the man in charge of racing integrity has gone on holidays.

It's the QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett that I'm talking about, and my excellent sources in George Street tell me that while Rome burns all around him, the boss is doing a Christine Nixon on Black Friday or Scomo in the bushfires and lounging around somewhere with 17.5% leave loading added to his bulky pay.

Surely these sources are wrong. 

No leader would possibly think it apt to take it on the lam while the palace walls are falling down all around them.

Would they?

Perhaps we will have to ask the Acting Commissioner Mark Ainsworth why exactly he is acting.

Maybe he might tell us where Ross the Boss is while he is at it.



OUTSPOKEN owner ALLAN ENDRESZ has blamed negativity publicity for costing his star galloper ALLIGATOR BLOOD a slot in the $15 million THE EVEREST.

Endresz, who has suggested the irregularity in a swab taken from Alligator Blood might have been the result of the horse being nobbled, says the TAB is no longer interested in the horse taking their Everest slot.

He claims talks with the TAB surrounding a slot deal for The Everest had advanced to the point of awaiting final contracts for a potential slot agreement.

Endresz told BEN DORRIES of popular website RACENET that the TAB decided they did not want the horse for The Everest after the negative publicity which surrounded Alligator Blood returning an irregularity to a prohibited substance after the preliminary analysis of a sample taken after one of his biggest wins.

Alligator Blood allegedly returned the irregular test to altrenogest - a substance normally used to control the reproductive cycle of mares - after the gelding's win in the $2m Gold Coast Magic Millions Guineas in January.

Endresz told Racenet that any prospect of a TAB deal for The Everest is now off the table.

"We were only waiting on the formal agreement, the written contract," Endresz. "As a consequence of all the negatives around what has happened with the swab issue, now the TAB has officially withdrawn given that our horse was tarnished with that drug issue.

"It was advanced to the point that they were preparing the contracts for signing.

"When the (swab) news hit they let it go for a while but we got news this week that they are not going to proceed with it."

A TAB source confirmed to Racenet they had talks with Alligator Blood's connections in regards to a slot for The Everest but added no agreement had been reached.

The source also said Alligator Blood was just one of the horses that had been explored as an option for the TAB slot in The Everest.

They also confirmed to Racenet that talks with Alligator Blood's connections had ceased once the positive swab issue surfaced. 

Endresz claims that after he was told the TAB would not take Alligator Blood in its slot for The Everest he then made an offer to buy the TAB's Everest slot for $1 million. He says he has not yet heard back in regard to that offer.

Endresz remains confident that he will win a battle over the positive swab issue - recently making the sensational claim that racing crooks or someone with an axe to grind against him "got" to his star horse "like they got to Phar Lap."




IF nothing else during these trying times we need a laugh which LGHR - and quite a few others - enjoyed at the expense of a great mate this week.

JEFF KELLY, a one-time high-profile walloper, left with his wonderful and long-suffering wife, Maureen, for a horse riding holiday in the Snowy Mountains – their version of City Slickers.

Maureen is a competent horse-woman while Jeff (to her dismay) is more at home riding the stool beside his bar drinking and punting and basically had to be strapped into the saddle.

The couple (pictured by the ‘pandemic paparazzi’ enjoying the first day of their riding holiday at Mt Koscuiszko) had no sooner arrived when the lockdown occurred and they had to scurry home to Queensland.

As Maureen explains on Facebook: ‘Made it back to Queensland....15 hours and 20 minutes on the road to get to the border in time. Two days riding on Mt Kosciusko was better than none (but not nearly enough)...glad to be home.’

There is a happy ending to the story (before the Animal Activist start raising the issue): Jeff’s mount survived the ordeal and no animals were injured during filming of the newest edition of The Man From Snowy River.’

PS: And for those who are concerned that Jeff’s old mate, Larry The Loser, will suffer withdrawal symptoms if there is nothing left for him to bet on during the pandemic, his New Year Resolution was to give up the punt. Larry (real name Steve) was so strong in his resolve that he even asked the five nearest pubs to where he lives to ban him for five years. Story goes he has taken up bowls.   



IT seems that horse racing – in parts of Queensland – is a disaster waiting to happen in the middle of the pandemic that threatens to shut the industry down and cost tens of thousands of jobs.

The action of some stakeholders, who don’t seem to care about the curfew warnings or the damage they can cause, has already provoked the circulation of a petition to ‘PUT HORSE RACING HOLD & STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.’

A copy of the petition was sent to LGHR by a respected racing identity from country Queensland and it purports to have the support of QLD HEALTH. Whether it does or not and whether racing on the east coast gets another reprieve for the weekend action to proceed, it is only a matter of time before the industry is sent into lockdown with so many other services that will be missed by so many.



Here are examples of emails received by LGHR on the above topic:

‘ROCKHAMPTON races yesterday and trials this morning still had owners and non-essential people turning up to be spectators.

Some trainers just either don’t understand their obligations to limit personnel attending races to only essential staff or don’t have the “balls” to advise owners to stay away.

Some of the serial offenders will be the first to cry loud and hard and have big dummy spits if the show closes down.

During such uncertain times it really exposes those who believe they are “entitled” and also the real knuckle heads in our industry.’

Ross Shannon, President, Queensland Trainers’ Association

And this one:


FURTHER to your articles about non-authorised people attending racetracks I would like to point out an incident at Rocky on Tuesday that I found intriguing.

Heyington, trained by Rebecca Binder, won Race Four.  After the race Michael Charge (from SKY) interviewed a male person who he introduced as the owner of the horse.

At the time I did not pick up the guy’s name, but checking the ownership I believe the person was J G Hynes. I did pick up the name “Joe” when he was introduced. The Binders, Mr Hynes and a Mr B Moss are the owners listed, so I think I have it right.  Either way he was introduced as the owner, which has to be against the current restrictions.

At the end of the interview Michael Charge said this person was in charge of Mackay racing and was a good bloke and doing a good job in that role. Surely that position would still not give him the right to be in attendance at the Rocky races.

What do you reckon?  Maybe Mark Ainsworth should answer the query.

Neville Byrne – Rockhampton.



HERE is the response kindly provided by the QUEENSLAND RACING INTEGRITY COMMISSION to the above concerns:

Please attribute to Queensland Racing Integrity Acting Commissioner Mark Ainsworth

ACTING Commissioner MARK AINSWORTH said the QUEENSLAND RACING INTEGRITY COMMISSION has had a number of reports of individuals attending race tracks in direct contravention to the current ban on owners and patrons due to the coronavirus.

The Commission has acted on each report, has warned all people concerned and reinforced the ban.

Racing participants must take responsibility and refuse access to anyone who should not be on site.

The continuation of racing is dependent on adhering to this advice.

QRIC is working closely with Racing Queensland to ensure racing continues in Queensland as long as is practicable.

It is extremely disappointing that some individuals are placing the industry at risk and I would call on everyone to support the industry they love.

The Queensland Branch of the Australian Trainer’s Association is assisting the Commission to spread the messages and Race Clubs are assisting with signage and surveillance.

The Commission reminds participants that all race meetings – along with trials and track work – are limited to key race-day personnel only.

If you have information that unauthorised personnel are on racecourses please report it to the Report Something portal on the QRIC website or call 1300 119 291.



IT was suggested to LGHR that a copy of this message from BILL GATES ‘should be rolled in toilet paper and sent to that s…house Gerry Harvey’ after his disgusting lack of compassion about the less fortunate in our society.

It reads:

What is the Corona/ Covid-19 Virus Really Teaching us?

 I’m a strong believer that there is a spiritual purpose behind everything that happens, whether that is what we perceive as being good or being bad.

As I meditate upon this, I want to share with you what I feel the Corona/ Covid-19 virus is really doing to us:

(1) It is reminding us that we are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, occupation, financial situation or how famous we are. This disease treats us all equally, perhaps we should to. If you don’t believe me, just ask Tom Hanks.
(2) It is reminding us that we are all connected and something that affects one person has an effect on another. It is reminding us that the false borders that we have put up have little value as this virus does not need a passport. It is reminding us, by oppressing us for a short time, of those in this world whose whole life is spent in oppression.
(3) It is reminding us of how precious our health is and how we have moved to neglect it through eating nutrient poor manufactured food and drinking water that is contaminated with chemicals upon chemicals. If we don’t look after our health, we will, of course, get sick.
(4) It is reminding us of the shortness of life and of what is most important for us to do, which is to help each other, especially those who are old or sick. Our purpose is not to buy toilet roll.
(5) It is reminding us of how materialistic our society has become and  how, when in times of difficulty, we remember that it’s the essentials that we need (food, water, medicine) as opposed to the luxuries that we sometimes unnecessarily give value to.
(6) It is reminding us of how important our family and home life is and how much we have neglected this. It is forcing us back into our houses so we can rebuild them into our home and to strengthen our family unit.
(7) It is reminding us that our true work is not our job, that is what we do, not what we were created to do. Our true work is to look after each other, to protect each other and to be of benefit to one another.
(8) It is reminding us to keep our egos in check. It is reminding us that no matter how great we think we are or how great others think we are, a virus can bring our world to a standstill.
(9) It is reminding us that the power of freewill is in our hands. We  can choose to cooperate and help each other, to share, to give, to help and to support each other or we can choose to be selfish, to hoard, to look after only our self. Indeed, it is difficulties that bring out our true colors.
(10) It is reminding us that we can be patient, or we can panic. We can either understand that this type of situation has happened many times before in history and will pass, or we can panic and see it as the end of the world and, consequently, cause ourselves more harm than good.
(11) It is reminding us that this can either be an end or a new beginning. This can be a time of reflection and understanding, where we learn from our mistakes, or it can be the start of a cycle which will continue until we finally learn the lesson we are meant to.
(12) It is reminding us that this Earth is sick. It is reminding us that we need to look at the rate of deforestation just as urgently as we look at the speed at which toilet rolls are disappearing off of shelves. We are sick because our home is sick.
(13) It is reminding us that after every difficulty, there is always ease. Life is cyclical, and this is just a phase in this great cycle. We do not need to panic; this too shall pass.
(14) Whereas many see the Corona/ Covid-19 virus as a great disaster, I prefer to see it as a great corrector.
(15) It is sent to remind us of the important lessons that we seem to have forgotten and it is up to us if we will learn them or not.



LGHR totally supports what is written below by ARCHIE BUTTERFLY about one of Australia’s richest men, GERRY HARVEY, who has shown his lack of compassion for millions of battlers who have helped him build his empire. Gerry's entitled to his opinion but so are we & this is what the BUTTERFLY had to say in response to the unbelievable above quotes from the 'great man'

CAN you possibly believe that the Queensland Government throws tens of millions of dollars at the Magic Millions company owned by this man, all so that he can prance around the Gold Coast making tens of millions more?

If the Labor Government had even an ounce of Tree of Knowledge inspired spirit they would immediately cut off all funding to the privately owned sale and its showcase marketing piece the MM race day, and instead give all the money to charities for the homeless.

A drag on the community Gerry?

What about that funding son?

And how much tax have you avoided using your complex company structures over the past four decades?

I’m not a believer in God but gee I hope I’m wrong, for if anyone deserves to go to hell in a hand basket it’s the heartless harridan Harvey.

Take a look in the mirror Geraldo.

See that bum looking back at you?

He’s the real no hoper.



TRAINERS on the GOLD COAST late today called for stewards to investigate whether a travelling foreman for a powerful Sydney stable was present at the latest trials on the tourist strip.

They claim the foreman/stable worker may also have been at the Sydney trials where a prominent Melbourne jockey rode after being seated near a passenger an interstate flight from Victoria who has returned a positive to the virus.

Racing in Melbourne and Sydney was temporarily shut-down mid-meeting today (Wednesday) pending the return of tests taken from the Victorian jockey. A decision on Saturday racing will be made then and that could be as late as Friday.

The travelling foreman who brought a horse to the Gold Coast from Sydney to beat the closure of the border crossing was stabled with a well-known trainer who has concerns for staff that were in close proximity to him.

Whilst there were claims that the licensee had attended the Gold Coast trials, LGHR could not confirm this. Before there is an over-reaction and a call for a temporary closure of Queensland racing, stakeholders should give QRIC stewards time to investigate and await test results that need to be taken from the Sydney visitor.

Meanwhile, Acting Queensland Racing Intregrity Commissioner Mark Ainsworth said QRIC had dealt with a potential breach of the ban on owners and patrons due to the coronavirus at the Gold Coast trials, as soon as it became aware of it last night (Tuesday). 

“It was determined that a person who was a licensed participant but was working in a different capacity did attend the Gold Coast trials,” Acting Commissioner Ainsworth said.

“The Trainer who allowed this to happen has been told that only current and immediate staff are to be engaged in work at her stables and on a racecourse.  

“The Gold Coast Turf Club has also undertaken to increase security at the race track.

“I have also spoken with the Trainer’s Association who have undertaken to remind all participants that all race meetings – along with trials and track work – are limited to key race-day personnel only.”





AT a time when our Prime Minister was trying to save the country from the coronavirus pandemic he has received a letter of complaint concerning an alleged breach of curfew by a prominent trainer at the Clifford Park racecourse in Toowoomba.

Following complaints from fellow licensees, a former high profile Member of Parliament made the PM aware of a situation that occurred at trackwork in Toowoomba reportedly involving trainer Mark Currie.

Here is the letter that was written to the PM:     

‘IT has come to my attention that one person’s action could very well compromise the entire racing industry as was the case this morning at Toowoomba racecourse.

This will need your urgent consideration for decisive action, sooner rather than later.

A single racehorse trainer (Mark Currie) has put the entire racing industry in jeopardy this morning by parading his horses around the Toowoomba racetrack in front of owners of those racehorses as if there was no curfew imposed by Queensland Racing, Australian racing, or the Hon Prime Minister himself, without consequence from local stewards.’


As there was an assertion that stewards in Toowoomba took no action concerning the breach of curfew, LGHR asked the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission for a response.

Here is what QRIC Acting Commissioner Mark Ainsworth had to say:

‘As soon as the QRIC became aware that two racehorse owners, one of whom was visiting from Charleville visited the Toowoomba racetrack during track work being operated by a Toowoomba Trainer Stewards acted immediately.

Visiting a track is in contravention to the current ban on owners and patrons due to the coronavirus.

The Toowoomba Trainer has been warned that he must not allow any owners to attend the track during the current ban.

The Trainer has admitted that he should not have allowed access to the owners and has subsequently undertaken to contact all owners in his stable reminding them of the ban to all racetrack visitors.

The Toowoomba Turf Club has supported the QRIC actions and has reminded all local trainers that they must not allow access to anyone other than licensed participants to the track at this time.

The Turf Club has also posted signage at the Toowoomba track to reinforce the ban and has undertaken to do hourly surveillance at the track to ensure only Trainers, track workers, jockeys and licensed stable hands are onsite.

QRIC reminds participants that all race meetings – along with trials and track work – are limited to key race-day personnel only.

Access is permitted to licenced participants who have a horse or greyhound engaged at the meeting, along with essential club, QRIC and RQ staff; broadcast services; approved accredited media; and associated staff required to conduct racing activities including veterinarians and ambulance services.  

Access is not permitted to the general public in any code, nor owners or on-course wagering providers.’


SUBSEQUENT to the Toowoomba situation, which was seen to be more ignorance than disregard for the curfew rules, the subsequent issue has been raised by concerned trainers at the Gold Coast.

It reads:

‘So (trainer) Helen Page thinks it’s a great idea to bring a Chinese owner to the barrier trials yesterday – taking pictures, videos etc, then going up and watching the trial.

He could hardly speak a word of English and was terrified of getting too close to a horse so had no horse sense or experience at all.

What is wrong with these people putting our industry at risk of being shut down?’

The complaint, forwarded to LGHR, was accompanied by a photograph of the Chinese owner at the Gold Coast track.

LGHR has since learnt that our information was incorrect and we apologise for any embarrassment that it caused. The Chinese racing identity referred to in the email that we received is actually a licensed strapper who was entitled under the curfew to be at the track for the trials.

We thank IAN BROWN of the GCTC for correcting the situation and again apologize to the gentleman concerned, trainer HELEN PAGE and her stable and the club.  

SADLY it will take only one industry stakeholder to contract the virus and tens of thousands of jobs will be in jeopardy with racing facing the prospect of a shut-down.



THE above story about curfew breaches at south-east Queensland tracks is certainly not fake news but we run the following under the ‘rumour file’ fully aware that there is some substance to what is written below.


STEWARDS raided a training property at a major centre in south-east Queensland last week and allegedly discovered illegal drugs used to enhance the performance of horses.

The trainer, in whose stables they were discovered is small potatoes and has only one horse in work at present, but is said to be closely associated with a licensed person (not a trainer) with links to some prominent stakeholders.

Interesting times if the small-time trainer decides to co-operate with stewards especially as the alleged ‘provider’ of the illegal drugs has a close association with a person of interest to the authorities nationally at the moment.



IF you are to believe the rumour mile a TAB club in Queensland could soon have an administrator appointed.

Story goes the club has lost massive sponsorships and is on the verge of bankruptcy.

There are calls from those keen to sabotage the current committee for a full investigation and suggestions that racing could soon be temporarily closed at the venue.



SKY Channel has firmed to short-priced favouritism to win the media rights for racing in Queensland.

This does not sit comfortably with many industry stakeholders and punters who cannot believe that RQ would renew the SKY contract after the way it has been treated.

One hopes that that the no-nonsense Chairman of the BRC, Neville Bell, will insist on some guarantees under the new coverage agreement and not rely on former SKY ‘boy’ and now RQ CEO Brendan Parnell to gain such assurances.

Why RQ wouldn’t have split the contract among SKY, and free-to-air TV remains a mystery. If they gets similar treatment from SKY in future – and the major Saturday meeting plays second fiddle while Dad & Dave do their endless, boring previews of the second rate ‘goat rooter’ track outside Sydney, then RQ gets what it deserves.



IT’S apparently almost three days now (we wouldn’t know as we don’t read it) since there was a local racing story in the daily rag or on their website which prompted this email:

‘Could you please check out if God’s gift to racing scribes in the Sunshine State has contracted the coronavirus?

‘We know he works public service hours – nothing like the 24/7 of the racing industry he allegedly covers – but it seems like the spin doctor for RQ and the BRC might be in quarantine.’





THE footy is gone.

Basketball too.

Motor racing's engines have been turned off, PGA golf clubs have been laid down, soccer has been silenced.

The Casinos are cactus, the poker machines aren't poking, and the scratchy selling Newsagents have drawn down the blinds.

All that is left to bet on is the online lotto and the three codes of racing.

Let the peasants pick six from 45 and a powerball.

The only thing that really matters anymore is racing.

Australian racing.

The Pommies have done what Poms do and retreated to the bunkers. The French have laid down. No-one is surprised. The Irish are isolated, the Scots have fled to the Highlands, the Welsh are bunkered down under the coal, and the Kiwis have said Kio Ora and goodbye.

Poor grade horses are still running around in front of no-one in Hong Kong and Singapore, but no-one outside of those little islands cares.

Australian racing is all that is left.

We can turn rocks into diamonds if we can just keep racing.

For once in in a hundred years Racing Victoria has come up with the right idea, and has implemented it. They've isolated the 25 jockeys needed to keep TAB meetings going in the the face of the plague.

It may not be original - that 25 is based on the number of jockeys riding in Hong Kong - but it's a stroke of genius. 

COVID-19 can't be passed to humans through horses, so as long as those jocks stay fit and well and don't go near anyone who might infect them, racing can go on, provided that enough trainers and support staff can stay healthy to keep horses fit and prepared and get them to and from the track.

As much as it might hurt people like Peter V'Landys to admit and accept it, every other racing jurisdiction in the nation needs to follow Racing Victoria's lead, and follow it right now. If they don't, and their riders get sick, their industry is shot.

Forget the Everest, the Golden Eagle, the Kozzie and all that schlock: if NSW racing fiddles while Rome burns and its CEO is distracted doing his NRL job instead of doing his racing one, they are going to get caught and closed down. Queensland will too. Only the strong and the smart will survive.

Victoria and West Australia.

They will get all the product fees, and become richer than Croesus. 

The Governments in the other states will still spin in the Point of Consumption tax revenue skimmed from bets their citizens make in the still racing states, but in a time of recession if not depression, when every sector of the public state needs dollars, what's the chances of it being spun back into rebuilding racing industries that stood like startled rabbits in the headlights and did nothing?

Zero, that's what.

Queensland needs to move, and move super quick, and the answer is real simple.

The facilities required for self-isolation of the critical players needed to continue to race are already in place.

The stables at Eagle Farm are built on the infield.

The Ascot Green tower looms large over the track and is only 2/3rd's occupied.

Hotels and motels in the immediate vicinity lie vacant and dormant.

There is a supermarket just over the back straight fence, and the feed merchants are just down the road. 

It's time for a mass mobilisation of the required healthy racing participants onto the track and its surrounds. Jockeys, trainers, strappers, stewards, starters, work riders, vets, judges, barrier attendants, the lot.

Test them for the virus, and if they are ‘clean’ move those prepared to make the personal sacrifice required to save racing into these facilities, and keep them isolated there any time they are not down at the track doing their work.

Have doctors, nurses and a mobile lab on course, and test them every morning and if necessary every night. Whatever it takes to keep things going, that's all that matters. Those who can't, or won't, or aren't required miss out. It's hard and it’s not fair, but that's life, and if we can keep things afloat they can be compensated for their loss.

It can work at the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast and Toowoomba too, although under different circumstances and restraints. They can be worked out, but Brisbane takes first priority. Get it sorted out immediately and work the others out after. We need to continue to race.

The dogs and trots don't have the same on-site facilities in place, so it's likely they are screwed. They can keep racing for now, but the minute an infection hits either of the industries they are gone, and there is not much that anyone can do about it.

Nothing else matters anymore, not for now at least.

We have to keep gallops racing going.

Racing Queensland needs to move quickly.

Go you good things, go! 

Pull the whip and go right now.



DAVID BAUER makes some interesting observations re public non-attendance at race meetings Australia-wide:

‘AS the general public at this time may not attend any race meetings, these meetings unfortunately lack total atmosphere due to little or no sound, apart from the course announcer plying his trade.

As horsemen and women worldwide know full well that sometimes the horse is a little bit smarter than a few of the postilions on top, and a lot of the powers to be who run the show!

Bung some horses in a barrier trial which is devoid of any noteworthy crowds, and that horse will do what he is taught to do, and that is go for a trial, knowing full well it is for fitness, not for winning.

Now not all horses are like that. Some will act like a lot of people or the mug lairs who will always parade in public like peacocks to make out they are winners every time. But the good horses, the really good ones, are smart enough to contain their energy for race-day.

The problem herein lies, that is, the really good horse thinks because there are little or no crowds, along with the associated noises and cheers that usually come during a race, it is only a barrier trial, goes out and performs for fitness only.

It’s that odds-on pop, that every cat and his dog has bunged his hard earned on, and he goes around for a working gallop. The dilemma lies with the stewards of the day when that horse goes around like a busted a—e. Do they believe that jockey when he says he couldn’t get that horse to go, or does he give him time for not letting the horse run on his merits, or does he send that horse back to the trials to improve his manners?

This is bound to happen under the current set-up. But there is a way that might trick the horse up, if the powers that be could use a little bit of nous for a change. Surely they have recorded noises of crowds leading up to a race. They would also have recorded noises and cheering from races run previously over a distance the same as that particular race is due to be run.

By playing a separate sound system to what the course announcer is on, you just might be able to hoodwink that odds-on pop into thinking it is a race-day. Go one step further, and line up a cardboard poster crowd along the fence from about a furlong out from home. Maybe on the lawns, near the finishing post, a few strategically placed hats and streamers could pop up in the air once they hit the winning post.

I’m not saying that this will fool every horse, because we all know that there is always one horse out there that is a bit different, but it may give the mug punter sitting at home a bit of olden times atmosphere, the incentive to throw another $20 on his or her chosen horse.

We’ve lost the big crowds that used to attend the races in my younger days. Can we afford to lose that stay at home punter also, because the racing under these circumstances lacks the atmosphere to stay interested? Sometimes in unique times, you have to, and need to, think outside the square!’




‘RACING is still hanging on a shutdown which would have huge ramifications.

Clubs have been highlighted and they will struggle no doubt.

I would like to mention a group who will be effected that will have a flow-on effect on trainers.

I speak of overseas stablehands and track riders. There are many in our industry. Some big and small stables employ them.

If there is a shutdown local workers can rightfully get the dole or if they are lucky find other employment which would be so difficult in the current situation.

But overseas people on working holiday visas cannot. They will be forced to go home.

When racing starts up again these people will not be around leaving a huge gap in our industry.’



SOME interesting identities have questioned what the daily fish and chips wrapper with a dwindling circulation is doing to help in these trying times of the coronavirus. The Courier-Mail has been accused of doing nothing. As you can see below Racing Nathan hasn’t copped it too sweet (protecting his job of course).  

Thought we might share their thoughts from FACEBOOK: