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Offline PoisonPen7

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« 2018-May-30, 10:54 AM Reply #1075 »
As I was saying  ;)


EDITOR’S NOTE: IN relation to any e-mails sent concerning the CURRIE STABLE INQUIRY, please be aware of the requirement for a presumption of innocence. Ben and his father Mark are facing a seemingly endless list of charges to which they have pleaded not guilty. Regardless of what the court of public opinion thinks, their guilt or innocence will eventually be decided by the appropriate Appeals Body. Have your say on fallout from the Currie Inquiry but be mindful of the message above. And on another topic it is the right of Ben Currie to engage the best racing legal lawyer in the business if he thinks that will give him an edge. Please refrain from being judgmental of JIM MURDOCH, himself a licensed trainer and well-known identity in the thoroughbred industry. I would be the last to fly a flag for the gun lawyer but Jim is entitled to represent who he likes (be it the control body or stakeholders - that seems to be a problem with some stakeholders who want to have a Whinge - unfortunately we cannot accommodate your views). He has found loopholes that have caused embarrassment for QRIC cases in the past. Most think he faces a mission impossible on this occasion. But time will tell!

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« 2018-Jun-06, 09:47 AM Reply #1076 »
It's a full load this week the whingers have been busy.....some more Curry and other issues ..Stu Peters  who has an excellent memory for political appointees is able to recall the names of all Racing Ministers from both sides of politics back to Sir Gordon Chalk........the said memory retention Mr broadly  in agreement with the SM editorial claiming current minister Stirling Hinchcliffe as "a dud" .....when he hasn't had a lot of time to make an impression..... bad or worse than the others time will tell......all opinions are subjective......great selection of cartoons by John wonder he was later than usual in putting this issue to bed.



STU PETERS, a regular contributor from the DOWNS, makes some interesting and less than complimentary observations about Racing Ministers in Queensland over the past 40 years:

‘THE more things change in Queensland racing – the more they stay the same.

‘The first official Racing Minister I can find for Queensland was the controversial Russ Hinze in the era from 1980 to 1987. Prior to that there was no allocated portfolio and racing fell under the responsibilities of the Treasurer (before Hinze it was Sir Gordon Chalk).

But haven't we had some doozies as Racing Minister since big Russ including the likes of Jim Randle, Gilbert Alison, Bob Gibbs, Russell Cooper, Merri Rose, Robert Schwarten, Andrew Fraser, Judy Spence (as part of the Sport portfolio), Phil Reeves (as part of the Sport portfolio), Steve Dickson, Bill Byrne, Grace Grace and the latest Sterling Hinchliffe

Imagine feeding some of those – what a waste of space and taxpayer (racing industry) money. Many wouldn’t know the difference between racing and pacing and when it comes to betting six to four and four to six.

I read with interest The Sunday Mail Editorial headlined: ‘A Bad Bet for Racing’ and largely agree with the sentiments expressed that our current Minister Sterling Hinchliffe ‘is a dud’.

I would respectfully suggest though that the author got it wrong when he asserted that Hinchliffe runs second worst to Victorian Martin Pakula. Only a brave man would compare anything in Queensland racing to the success story that is Victoria regardless of their recent doping scandal.

Don’t throw too many stones there until you see what happens in the wake of the Currie Inquiry. Even if they escape major penalties courtesy of a shrewd lawyer who might be able to manipulate a loophole in the Rules which has happened before, win or lose for QRIC this is a major embarrassment for racing in Queensland.

That aside I absolutely agree with the opening comments in the Editorial which I will reproduce in case you missed it:

“THOROUGHBRED, greyhound and harness racing in Queensland is at the cross roads.

The unpalatable route will consign Queensland racing to an amateurish, boorish second-rate operation.

Cynics in the southern states are already laughing at the Eagle Farm debacle and our lack of prizemoney and infrastructure vision.”

When you label current Racing Minister Hinchliffe a 'dud' – so were many of his predecessors, particularly Steve Dickson, Grace Grace, Mary Rose and arguably Russell Cooper.

Let’s face it – big Russ spent far too much on state-of-the-art new tracks and facilities, many of which inevitably became white elephants. But at least he understood the industry.

Just look at the joke it is today with the much-publicized redevelopment of Eagle Farm a prime example of why any Government worth its salt would have either installed an Administrator (virtually sacking the directors) at the Brisbane Racing Club or appointed a Board of Racing Queensland that had some idea of how to run one of the biggest industries in the State.

The greyhound industry remains treated like a second-rate citizen when it has overtaken harness racing in turnover and popularity. The political influence King Kevin Seymour, regardless of what party rules Government, continues to ensure that the ‘red hots’, which are going down the gurgler faster than an out-of-control roller coaster, continues to piggy back the gallops and dogs.

And the least said about the Currie Inquiry, which continues to steal the limelight from the Winter Carnival, the better except that many stakeholders fear a smart lawyer will find a loophole in the Rules of Racing and integrity in the thoroughbred industry in Queensland will become an even bigger joke than it is a present – if that’s at all possible.

The Sunday Mail, now that it doesn’t have to worry about offending Tatt’s (UBET or whatever you want to call them, was 100 per cent correct in highlighting the extraordinarily bad decision (overseen by the LNP Government and the Board of Little Kevvie Dixon) to strike a product agreement in 2014 that was arguably the worst in Australian racing history. The real reasons that saw two high profile RQ Board members resign in protest at lack of consultation (claiming privately that a much better deal could have been done) still have not been published. Perhaps The Sunday Mail would like to set the record straight on that now that the dust must have settled on a legal action taken against a certain Racing Editor over what he wrote way back when concerning one of the parties involved.

The Editorial points to the Government defending how well racing is going through the recent $15 million prizemoney announcement for country racing. But it is a drop in the ocean for an industry that employs thousands of people and generates billions of dollars in wagering turnover. And compare it to the tens of millions being thrown at Racing NSW courtesy of the urgings of CEO Peter V’landys or the major prizemoney boost announced by Racing Victoria only last week.

Forget about the bread and butter races in Queensland which are falling further behind the metropolitan and provincial levels in the major southern states, when it comes to the big races the Sunshine State isn’t even in the hunt.

Of course the Government and Racing Queensland will throw up the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast with ‘throw up’ being an appropriate phrase considering the tens of millions of taxpayer and industry money that is being ploughed into a private company owned by one of the richest men in the country on the basis of what it does for a tourist industry on the tourist strip at the height of the tourist season. What utter garbage!

One grey area many are not sure whether to agree with The Sunday Mail on is the Point of Consumption Tax. Comparisons are being made between the new levy against corporate bookies being proposed at 15 per cent in Queensland compared to eight per cent in NSW and Victoria. Are the stakeholders, especially the punters, being played for mugs on this issue as is being suggested? Or are the Government and the punters being played by the greedy corporates who make absurd profits (most of which end up off-shore) and are permitted to close down accounts of successful punters without justifiable reason.

At the end of the day Queensland racing does not attract anywhere near as much turnover as Victoria and NSW. Regardless, these parasite corporates should be made to pay as much as possible. If they don’t like it then leave the punters to bet with the TAB which does plough the majority of its profits back to Government and the racing industry.

When you start seeing clubs like the BRC (through their mainstream racing spin doctors, including the one in The Sunday Mail) fighting for an eight per cent Point of Consumption tax you have to question just who is in bed with the corporate bookmakers and why.



OSCAR DIMANTINA of BRISBANE, a regular racegoer at the WINTER CARNIVAL, for more years than he can remember is disgusted at the current attitude of the BRC and RQ:

‘CAN one assume that the Brisbane Racing Club, in keeping with its decision to reduce the number of races on Stradbroke day, will also have cheaper admission and charge less for food and drink?

Who’s kidding who?

What a farce – do the powers-that-be at the BRC and those running Racing Queensland really believe that by reducing the Stradbroke day card to eight races a later start will ensure a better surface for the biggest race meeting of the year?

The club’s chief ‘rocket scientist’, Matthew Rudolph, says it will give the Doomben track longer to dry out from the morning dew. What would he do at Flemington during the Spring Carnival if it rained heavily as it so often does, install lights and run the big races as a twilight or night fixture?   

Here’s hoping those showers predicted for Brisbane on Wednesday and Thursday don’t flow on later into the week or that the exaggerated morning dew doesn’t stick around too long on Saturday. If that were to occur can we expect the number of races to be reduced to five or six or the track rating to be in the SOFT or even HEAVY range?

Why not just run the Group One events or better still did one of the geniuses who make the important decisions concerning racing in the Sunshine State not consider moving Stradbroke Day to the Sunshine Coast where the track isn’t A1 but at least it’s not B2 after the workload endured by Doomben during the Eagle Farm debacle?

Of course not! That would have made some sense racing wise even if it cost the BRC in corporate revenue and ensured that Brisbane was once again the laughing stock of racing throughout the nation.

Let’s face it when it comes to governance, administration, integrity – all the things that matter – racing in Queensland runs a long last. But when it comes to stupidity, free-loading and lack of confidence from the punting public they are the nation’s pace-setters.



LGHR compiled this WHINGE from numerous emails sent to us concerning the bully-boy tactics being adopted by a group the cynics call the Curriazzi:

COMPARISONS can be cheap and in this case rather comical but they’re a group who operate in racing circles in Queensland and have been likened to the much maligned Paparazzi.

The Currieazzi are supposedly loyal fans and supporters of trainer Ben Currie, his under siege stable and a prominent racing family on the Downs (the Nolan’s) who have apparently become rather disjointed in the wake of arguably the worst controversy in Queensland racing since the Fine Cotton affair.

Rightly or wrongly, the Currieazzi are being accused of adopting intimidating and bully-boy tactics against any individual or racing website that dares to be critical of ‘their man or his stable’. They should keep their opinions on the job being done by QRIC and the racing ‘coppers’ to themselves and immediately halt their disguised but disgraceful comments on social media concerning the lifestyle choices of some QRIC heavies.

Attempts have been made to silence any website – like letsgohorseracing or – that has dared to provide a platform for racing folk (stakeholders or punters) to have their say about the on-going Currie stable inquiry.

We at letsgohorseracing have continued to remind our contributors and readers that the Currie’s are entitled to ‘presumption of innocence’ pending the hearing of charges, handing down of verdicts by QRIC and ultimately, if required, any appeals to QCAT.

The rumor mill has been in overdrive for so long that it was inevitable QRIC would investigate allegations, many of which were emanating from rival trainers. This has resulted in a seemingly endless list of charges being laid against Ben (the trainer) and Mark (his father and de facto stable foreman). Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett has publicly stated that the Currie Inquiry has far from reached its conclusion.

Ben now faces 31 charges and has vehemently declared his innocence from the day rival trainers started alleging that racing in south-east Queensland was a far from level playing field. Since he engaged gun racing lawyer Jim Murdoch, Currie has had a win of sorts in his bid for a stay of proceedings. But that only occurred after many of his horses were transferred to rival trainers.

The way some of these horses performed at a Toowoomba meeting on Sunday – when the majority blew like gales in the betting – has not helped his cause in the eyes of many critics. To say that some had ‘lost a leg’ would be an understatement. Perhaps the change of environment has upset some or that Ben is simply a far superior trainer.

Some racing websites no longer provide a platform for comments on the Currie Inquiry. They have probably received the same threats and intimidation that we have from alleged members of the Currieazzi.

It has also been suggested by these boofheads purporting to be protecting the interests of Queensland’s most successful trainer that they have managed to silence the critical websites. Dream on  :censored: s, all we at LGHR have tried to do is level the playing field so that Ben and his dad are afforded their rights pending the outcome of hearings and appeals.

But if you want to believe the latest little gem floating around racing circles – and said to emanate from the Currieazzi itself, Ben has sought to do a behind-the-scenes deal with QRIC Commissioner to get the matter done and dusted sooner rather than later.

If the stories are correct – and who are we at LGHR to doubt the reliability of the Currieazzi – Ben is prepared to take a 12-month sabbatical from racing (to sew his oats like most young blokes his age and do a backpack around Europe). Problem is QRIC had in mind a five to 10-year absence instead.

Intimidation said to be emanating from the Currieazzi isn’t the only topic of discussion when the Winter Carnival should be attracting all the headlines. A couple of prominent trainers have got a bee under their bonnet over an inquiry that has become the focus of QRIC attention and a major embarrassment for racing in Queensland – taking some of the heat out of the Eagle Farm and Doomben track debacle.

One prominent trainer is said to have given young Ben some career advice recently that went something like this: ‘We would have copped you having a bit of an edge with one or two of your winners but you wanted the lot. You wanted to shit in our faces and at the same time be a smug little c…t’.

Then there was another trainer with a terrific strike rate, whose horses for some strange reason seem to have lost a leg in recent times, accusing two of his colleagues of ‘dogging Ben Currie to QRIC’. One took it a step further and went to the stewards with a resultant hefty fine being imposed.

And as if the unproven Currie allegations from stakeholders had not done enough damage the same momentum is building against another top trainer from a different jurisdiction in south-east Queensland. But his case isn’t being helped by a stable hand mouthing off whenever he gets drunk about being the ‘watch dog’ while certain things happen behind closed stable gates.

The Currie Inquiry has taken its toll on racing – not only on the Downs but in south-east Queensland – at a time when the Winter Carnival should be dominating the headlines. There are owners who refuse to allow their horses to race at Toowoomba. We had one prominent trainer contact us in the past few days complaining that race meetings had been transferred to Clifford Park in the wake of a decision to try and protect Doomben.

Closer to home the Inquiry has sadly had its effect on one of the best respected and known racing families on the Downs – the Nolan’s (Mark Currie is married to the daughter of Paul Nolan snr). Those close to the action say the fallout from the Currie controversy has seen some bad blood develop between certain family members (one a veterinarian and other close relatives who don’t even speak any more). A notable absence from the highly successful function (A Night with the Nolans) run by the BRC recently with Peter Moody guest speaker was the absence of Ben Currie.   

The Currieazzi has accused QRIC of undertaking a witch-hunt and persecuting the Currie stable. If contributions to the Wednesday Whinge (the majority of which we are not publishing for legal reasons) are any indication their belief is in the minority.

A general lack of confidence in QCAT is also unfair and unfortunately for those who are asking us to publish their thoughts we are not prepared to do this. Let the proceedings see out their course, give those responsible for hearing appeals the benefit of the doubt that they deserve. Not all of them know little about racing and should be confined to disputes involving barking dogs and over-hanging trees. In fact we at LGHR have been quite impressed by the handling of the stay of proceedings application by presiding senior member of QCAT Joanne Browne, who showed she is certainly familiar with racing affairs.

This whole business has got a long way to play out yet and the best thing the Currieazzi can do is return to the kennels, stop acting like a bunch of bully-boy dogs and take a half dozen distemper tablets.     



DICK SEYMOUR, Palm Cove, QLD (Retiree, former owner and punter who restricts  betting to Victoria and Hong Kong only these days but still  retains an avid  interest in  racing all over which he describes as ‘once the greatest game of all.’

‘THERE is nothing in the Stewards’ Reports that I have read, but a person in the know tells me the stewards are putting the skids under the visiting Brisbane jockeys that regularly ride at North Queensland meetings.

Apparently concerns (or complaints) about them ‘working together’ were originally exposed on Facebook and Stewards at Townsville allegedly followed it up by interviewing three southern jocks after a recent Cluden meeting.

There have been several instances of doubtful riding tactics by the ‘big three’ of late and a complaint to Stewards by a trainer that one of the trio totally ignored riding instructions at a Townsville meeting in recent weeks.

Well, at least the Stewards are now aware of what a lot of punters have been saying (or at least suspected) for a long time.

I am told also the jockeys’ defense is that air fares are sky high and owners don’t sling anymore!





ONE would hope that the stories of a former high profile Australia steward returning to run racing in Queensland are way off the mark. If that’s the future then why pension off ‘old Al’ – the end result would be no different.

The rumour mill gained momentum on this topic when news filtered through about a former well regarded Queensland, now Victorian-based steward, heading off to Hong Kong for a ‘holiday’ or should that read ‘interview’.

Perhaps speculation would cease if the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission revealed the identity of the four applicants for the job of Chief Steward when Allan Reardon rides into the sunset.

LGHR understands the list does not include Reid Sanders who recently completed a stint with Tasmanian Racing. Our spies suggest the nominees are the current Chief Stipe for a major Asian racing centre and perhaps even a high profile steward from Hong Kong, along with a well-known steward who has officiated for many years in provincial centres in Australia and the story goes that ‘old Al’ has reapplied to continue his tenure – GOD help us! 




ONE of the biggest flops of the weekend was the heavily-backed long odds-on favourite ADOYNE ROAD making her comeback at the Gold Coast.

Adoyne Road was being hailed a Golden Slipper prospect after her brilliant Doomben debut win in December when trainer Tony Sears revealed she would miss the Magic Millions Classic.

All sorts of stories about the filly surfaced since that big win but she defied the gossip and returned to racing last Saturday albeit in disappointing fashion.

Sears was at a lost to explain the performance when questioned by stewards at the Gold Coast except to suggest that the filly may have choked down as she had returned to the enclosure making an abnormal noise before recovering quickly. It was nothing like that which some of those who took the shorts were making.




IT came as a surprise to many that Hong Kong stewards didn't take a tougher stance following Kamikaze tactics that arguably saw the chances of a favorite destroyed at Sha Tin last Sunday.

Punters who follow Hong Kong racing closely were gob-smacked by the tactics adopted by Tommy Berry on Gino Severini when he served it up to Joe Moreira on the heavily-backed Go Beauty Go in the sixth. Both were quickly beaten when the pressure was applied in the straight.

We had a couple of emails to the Whinge suggesting the incident had gone unnoticed but far from it here is what the Stewards’ Report read:

WHEN questioned, T Berry (GINO SEVERINI) stated that he was instructed to ride the horse positively in the early stages and obtain a forward position. He said it was explained to him that GINO SEVERINI is one-paced and that with an anticipated lack of speed in the race the horse may be disadvantaged by being ridden back in the field. He said in accordance with his instructions he rode GINO SEVERINI along for a considerable distance in the early stages to obtain a forward position. He said he had to continue to ride GINO SEVERINI along approaching and passing the 1300 Metres to clear RACING LUCK to his inside. He said passing the 1200 Metres he was aware that he provided RACING LUCK with just enough clearance and therefore he was reluctant to immediately take hold of his mount as he did not want to place RACING LUCK in an awkward position behind GINO SEVERINI. He added this resulted in GINO SEVERINI racing slightly in advance of GO BEAUTY GO. He said in the middle stages GO BEAUTY GO, after initially racing slightly behind GINO SEVERINI, was allowed to improve its position to be racing on terms with his mount after the 900 Metres. He added GINO SEVERINI and GO BEAUTY GO subsequently raced on terms until rounding the Home Turn at which time GINO SEVERINI came under pressure and then weakened in the Straight. Mr M J Freedman, the trainer of GINO SEVERINI, confirmed that his instructions were to ride that horse positively. He said he anticipated that only GO BEAUTY GO would show pace and that stepping up in distance today provided GINO SEVERINI with the opportunity to obtain a forward position and sit outside the anticipated leader of the race GO BEAUTY GO. After having considered all the evidence, the Stewards reprimanded T Berry and informed him that whilst they accepted that he had to make some use of GINO SEVERINI to cross RACING LUCK after the 1200 Metres, there was an opportunity for him to steady the tempo gradually and sit off GO BEAUTY GO rather than continue to race directly to that horse’s outside in the middle stages which resulted in the race being run at a fast tempo. T Berry was advised to ensure that he rides his mounts in such a manner to provide them with the best opportunity to finish off their races.



OUR old mate ‘The Bantam’ has been thumping his chest bragging of an ‘exclusive’ on his Press Room program on Radio TAB concerning the Eagle Farm track.

A great supporter of all things BRC – and anyone who can help him climb the ladder in racing or harness racing (the latter a little difficult in recent times) – Davey had new Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell as a guest interview.

Parnell announced ‘an end of year’ return to racing at the much maligned and doubted new Eagle Farm track.

As one contributor to the WHINGE commented: ‘That’s terrific news but Mr Parnell failed to tell us the END OF WHICH YEAR he was referring to.’



MEANWHILE, back at the SUNSHINE COAST last Friday stewards adjourned an inquiry into the ride of Damian Browne on the favorite Fighting Teo which was beaten almost 10 lengths.

Browne has been questioned over an alleged lack of vigour on the Kevin Kemp-trained horse. Stewards advise in their report on the race that connections advised a change of tactics with Fighting Teo to be ridden more forward from its wide barrier but the horse settled in the second half of the field.

Nathan Exelby reported for The Sunday Mail that Browne said the horse never felt comfortable in the run and feared it would lose its action had he let it down.

Browne spent a fair bit of his day in the Stewards’ Room last Friday at the Sunny Coast. After the third he was asked to comment on the performance of The Administrator. He said it was disappointing but could offer no tangible explanation.

After the fourth Browne was asked to explain his tactics on Peppi La Few which he said were to settle with cover midfield but he was caught wide in the back straight and rode vigorously to obtain a position outside the leader.

Just one of those bad days at the office for Browne and the biggest losers were the punters. One of those who sent an email to the Whinge confirming this posed the question: ‘How long is it since one of these top jockeys was given time over a ride? It seems the stewards keep their kill shit rolling with the lesser names in the riding ranks’.



BEST BETS is a popular publication but those running the show or controlling its website need to get their act together.

For the second successive weekend subscribers late on Saturday could not access form (racebooks etc) for the Sunday racing. The problem was even worse last weekend when the BEST BETS site was down from sometime on Saturday until after the races had started on Sunday.

One subscriber who contacted LGHR said: “I wrote them a letter of protest but they didn’t even acknowledge there had been a problem. If I don’t pay my subscription fee I don’t get the product. They don’t provide the product I have paid for two weeks in a row and it’s just tough cheddar.

“My understanding is that Racing Victoria has something to do with the publication Best Bets and it’s time they stepped in and gave those running the show a stiff upper-cut. It’s fine for the talking heads, like the unbearable Jason Richardson, to wank on about how wonderful Best Bets and its tipsters like David Gately are (no argument here) but perhaps instead of allocating investment in corporate bookmakers for shows like Get On they should spend something upgrading the Best Bets website to ensure the customers are not only happy but also get what they paid for.”



INTERESTING story published in the British newspapers in the past week:             

A 13-YEAR-old boy with a gambling addiction managed to blow $A106,000 on betting websites after stealing his dad’s credit card.

The teenager, from Lancashire, got hooked after seeing adverts for online bookmakers while watching a football match at Wembley, reports The Sun.

He used his mobile phone to take pictures of his company director dad’s business credit cards and set up a betting account in his parent’s identity.

The youngster, who has not been identified, began placing hundreds of bets a week on football matches and horses — and some stakes were as much as $A5300 a time.

He told the Sunday Mirror: “I had no idea that ­gambling could be an addiction like smoking, drinking or drugs. It seemed like fun and I thought I would make money too.

“It was just far too easy. I just had to put in dad’s name, ­address, date of birth and card details and checked a box saying I was 18 — it took literally seconds to register and start gambling.”

The debts went unnoticed at first as his dad’s groundworks firm turns over $52,840 a month but a call from the bank six months later uncovered the fraud.

When confronted by his parents the boy immediately confessed to the deceit, which by this point stood at more than $A35,000.

He was sent for psychotherapy and they assumed he had learned his lesson.

But several months later he went on a week-long gambling binge and ran up debts of a further $106,000.

His parents have said they will never be able to trust him again and they’ve been forced to take out loans to pay off the debts.

Their son, now 15, said: “I am sorry for what I have done. I feel like I’ve ruined everything and our lives will never be the same again.”

The family decided to share their experience to warn others about the dangers of online gambling — no matter what age they are.

It comes as new Government figures reveal 25,000 children aged 11-16 are addicted to gambling, while MPs are calling for tighter advertising regulations to prevent child gambling.

The number of 16-year-olds addicted to betting has risen by a third in the last three years, according to Government regulator the Gambling Commission.


Giddy Up :beer:
« Last Edit: 2018-Jun-06, 09:50 AM by Arsenal »

Offline Spudda028

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« 2018-Jun-06, 09:55 AM Reply #1077 »
No mention of the Ubet outage on Sat and the paltry compensation of a $10 bonus bet? Is John falling asleep at the wheel?

Offline arthur

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« 2018-Jun-06, 10:31 AM Reply #1078 »
At least one omission from list of Qld racing ministers . .

Tim Mulherin

Some, perhaps unkindly, may say . . understandable

Online fours

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« 2018-Jun-06, 11:29 AM Reply #1079 »

"I am told also the jockeys’ defense is that air fares are sky high and owners don’t sling anymore!"

Is not this 'excuse' from the jockeys an admission that they are benefitting from pre determined race outcomes they do their best to ensure happen?

Might explain a real danger being taken out by a jockey....... also reported recently.


Offline arthur

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« 2018-Jun-06, 01:08 PM Reply #1080 »
they are benefitting from pre determined race outcomes

One wag up this way . .

"You can't tie up a race here any more . . . the jockeys are too crooked"  :whistle:

Offline PoisonPen7

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« 2018-Jun-06, 03:16 PM Reply #1081 »
I've gone 180 degrees Arsenal.

This bloke publishes some of the most interesting stuff you will encounter on the web regarding Australian racing content. I hadn't really looked before.

It is doing my head in.

With the Whinges, he appears to be not only making them up, but telling us that he is making it up before he writes


LGHR compiled this WHINGE from numerous emails sent to us concerning the bully-boy tactics being adopted by a group the cynics call the Curriazzi:


I actually had to read his definition of Currieazzi (I thought it was a bunch of photographers chasing Ben Currie)

and this bit....

One prominent trainer is said to have given young Ben some career advice recently that went something like this: ‘We would have copped you having a bit of an edge with one or two of your winners but you wanted the lot. You wanted to shit in our faces and at the same time be a smug little c…t’.

WTF is going on up there!! Here I was thinking it was so quiet living at Main Beach for two months   :lol:    :lol:

Going to have to back read previous issues when I finish with this one.   emthup

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Jun-13, 09:18 AM Reply #1082 »
No surprise that the lead story is devoted to comments on the OAM awarded to former CM racing editor Bart Sinclair......whose connections to dubious characters is once again brought to the surface by those who knew him.... worked with him ....or read allegations about him.........a lengthy series on Terry Bailey's departure and stewarding issues in general...... not much about Ben Currie which is a bonus ...there'll be more about that after the stewards inquiry gets going next week.and some good cartoons which help to break up the reading matter.

NOT surprisingly the awarding of an Order of Australia Medal to prominent Brisbane racing media identity Bart Sinclair attracted its share of criticism.
There are enough voices out there wanting to be heard on this subject that I should adopt the advice of my dear old mum who told me: ‘You say it best when you say nothing at all John.’

But I can’t resist the opportunity to give the biggest imposter of a Racing Editor I ever worked for a solid workout. (And by the way there were some mighty fine bosses during my years as a turf scribe, like Keith Noud, Jim Anderson and Max Presnell).
Sadly, throughout his career as a high profile turf journalist and commentator, Sinclair has been rewarded (even in retirement) for his loyalty in promoting and protecting some of the biggest  :censored:  to grace the turf and political landscape in Queensland.

It came as no surprise that those still around with political influence, especially survivors of the goat rooting club of the corrupt old days of Sir Joh, would kick up and nominate their long-time media 'mate' for this award.

Those long-time followers of racing in Queensland who only got to know of Sinclair through his writings in the mainstream print or appearances on radio and TV witnessed only a sanitized version.

Many others (like me) who knew him personally through an involvement with racing or the media became more aware of his ‘not so publicized’ trackside associates and activities not to mention his steely determination to get his message across on behalf of racing and political mates.

Working with ‘our Bart’ in the racing media was easy if you adopted the ‘suck-up and survive mentality’ – which many of today’s troops did and continue to do even though he is no longer there. Morning Nathan!

But attempting to cover horse racing without fear or favor in Queensland under his Racing Editorship became a mission impossible for those scribes who dared to disagree with him, his disciples in the industry or his political attitude to racing in which one could argue the ‘mum and dad’ punters rarely got a say.
That is why his Order of Australia Medal for services to racing, awarded in this week’s Queen’s Birthday Honours, has been frowned upon by some and treated as a total joke by others.
Here are some of the emails that we received in the wake of the Award announcement (including one that actually prompted us not to ignore this totally, which we start with):

‘I guess we can expect a bucketing from LGHR for one of the finest men in racing in Queensland in Bart Sinclair. Your dislike for him is well documented and it will fall on deaf ears. This was some positive (not fake) news that you and your grubby mate (Peter) Bredhauer can choke on.’

On the minus side there were many others (including politicians, officials, lawyers and industry stakeholders) who question what checks were done before this Award was sanctioned.

Here’s what they had to say (and to ensure they can still enjoy their day at the races free of intimidation we have withheld their identities): 

'I THOUGHT they did background checks before awarding OAM’s. They obviously didn’t bother checking Bart’s alleged (I’ll use that word loosely) links to a few unsavory characters including SP ‘king-pin’ George Freeman as highlighted in a story by Archie Butterfly on his website,’
‘ANYONE who has read the first edition of The Gambling Man by Kevin Perkins will be shaking their head in amazement at the awarding of an OAM to Bart Sinclair. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of this version. You’ll be gob-smacked.’

‘I TUNED into racing radio on Monday morning to hear The Bantam doing one of his regular arse licks, this time to Bart Sinclair over the awarding of an OAM. And then a mate from the station told me that all he was really trying to do was stir the pot with certain people. More the reason most of us can’t wait for Fowler to be replaced under the Tatt’s merger by the best caller in Queensland (SKY’S Josh Fleming). As one of his long-time followers said – that will enable him to head off to Adelaide and operate a pie floater van at the gates to Morphettville Racetrack.’
‘I NEARLY choked on my corn flakes when I read The Courier-Mail report about their former Racing Editor receiving an Order of Australia Medal. What services to racing? Those who know Bart well claim he spent more time dashing between the jockeys’ room and the bookies’ ring than writing stories. Where were those great stewards back then – some were accompanying him to a free night out at the Lions’ homes games at the Gabba I am told. ’

‘That OAM should stand for Order of Australian Maggots’. What’s next elevation for little Barton to the Racing Hall of Fame where his photograph can hang alongside another ring-in (not Fine Cotton) but The Bantam (for services to harness racing)? Only in Queensland!’

‘OAM for services to racing goes to Bart Sinclair – little wonder there is little respect for these Australia Day and Queen’s Birthday Honors. In my opinion all this guy did was spend his career as a turf writer promoting himself and his racing and political mates – from on-the-nose SP bookies to helping the old hacks at the QTC run racing until Bob Gibbs removed that privilege. Then he was rewarded with a job for the BRC (old QTC) when he retired from race writing. Now some of his loyal mates in the LNP (who probably owed him a favor or two for something political he wrote way back when Joh and his corrupt bunch were running the State) have made sure he gets nominated for a belated OAM.’
EMAILS to the WHINGE certainly suggest that the attitude to integrity in racing that has been adopted by some States over the years has been hard to follow from a punters’ perspective.
Victoria was arguably hell-bent on forcing out a Chairman of Stewards who was doing too good a job while in Queensland there were those who seemed determined to retain the services of a Chief Steward who had lost the confidence of punters.
It’s all a bit Irish but at the end of the day ‘politics’ sadly continue to decide the fate of many good people in racing – from stewards to administrators and even control bodies.
It is rather ironic how there has been some shifting in the saddles for horses on the Chief Stewards’ Merry-Go-Around in recent times.
Terry Bailey leaves Melbourne to fill the shoes of Peter Chadwick who is moving from Singapore to take over from Allan Reardon who is heading to what many have described as a well overdue retirement.
Ironically circumstances could well have been different but for racing politics when the Government changed in Queensland some years ago.
LETSGOHORSERACING was at the coalface of a situation when a new Racing Queensland chairman (who shall remain nameless) made what could arguably be described as one of the most mystifying decisions involving integrity.
This was long before the much-maligned Queensland Racing Integrity Commission was even mooted. An approach was made – quite confidentially and secret – which would have involved a major changing of the guard in integrity in Queensland.
A new Board had just been appointed and there was a new Chairman with a refreshing approach – or so we were told – and the boss of a prominent south-east Queensland TAB club organized a meeting to discuss a proposal that would have turned the stewarding of racing in Queensland on its head.
RV Chairman of Stewards Terry Bailey, his Integrity Boss Dale Brown and chief stable fence jumper on the panel, Kane Ashby, were keen to relocate to Queensland in a package deal. At the time RQ was looking for a new Chief Steward – confidence in what was happening on the track was at one of its many all-time lows.
The RQ Chairman in Waiting sounded genuinely interested – the money being asked for the trio wasn’t unreachable – and all appeared to be set for negotiations to take place between the parties.
But overnight something happened. All of a sudden the new powers-that-be didn’t want Bailey and co. There was a changing of the guard but it started a sequence of failed Chief Stewards which subsequently led to Allan Reardon returning from the Bailey panel and becoming the boss again in Brisbane.
Had things been different Bailey may well have returned to his home State of Queensland and cleaned up the mess that we have been left with today where there is little punter confidence in the product being provided or the policing of it – not to mention how badly turnover has dropped (while it is convenient to blame that on the closure of Eagle Farm rather than the real reasons). And that’s without a mention of how badly integrity has deteriorated to at the ‘red hots’.
MOST high profile stewards would arguably not have survived the job for half the time that Terry Bailey has, given the pressure and stress that finally wore him down.
It comes as no surprise that Bailey made his share of enemies and detractors over the past two decades during which he insists ‘looking the other way’ was not an option.
There will be those – spearheaded by some prominent trainers and jockeys (past and present) who will rejoice in his departure but one has to question where racing in Victoria might be today without the contribution that Bailey made.
We at LETSGOHORSERACING have never wavered in our insistence that Bailey is the best steward in the land and that is not intended to reflect on the job that Ray Murrihy did before his retirement as boss of the Racing NSW panel.
Bailey made enemies of some influential individuals – officials, owners and licensees – during his tenure in Victoria. It was inevitable that this would eventually take its toll.
One of the country’s most successful owners, Lloyd Williams, has blamed a lack of high-level support from Racing Victoria executives for the departure of Bailey. One suspects it eventually wore him down not that he will dwell on that issue but rather look forward to the next chapter of his career as Chairman of Stewards in Singapore.
Bailey’s only public comment has been that he does not regret refusing the ‘look the other way’ regardless of how high profile the person breaching the Rules of Racing was. He took on the best and was a class act. The same can’t be said for trainer Danny O’Brien, understandably still bitter from the fallout the cobalt crisis caused his stable.
Rather than win back many supporters that he and a couple of other high profile identities lost forever because of their personal attacks on Bailey during that drawn out inquiry, O’Brien couldn’t help himself. When news broke of the Chief Steward’s resignation, he took a farewell swipe tweeting: “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out champ. #4corners”, with the hashtag reportedly a reference to the ABC current affairs program.( Danny is all class)
Another who no doubt will be dining out on the Bailey departure from Victoria will be an old sparring partner in Danny Nikolic – although some might say ‘Danny Who’ these days. At least Bailey has a promising career to look forward to.
Lloyd Williams expressed the views of many trainers, owners and a lot of punters and members of the racing public – big and small – when he said: “Having had a lifetime of experience in racing, I have been disappointed in the fact that the Chief Steward has had very, very little support from the powers that be.
“That hasn’t happened and if you don’t support the people who are in your management positions, why should they stay. I think they have worn him down.”
Williams described Bailey as “uncompromising” in his role, but said: “If you want to be the custodian of integrity, you need to be uncompromising. If they (Racing Victoria) don’t take care of integrity, they won’t have a sport left.”
One wonders where confidence in racing in Victoria would be today had it not been for Bailey’s unwavering focus on administering the Rules of Racing and ensuring that all participants and customers can compete on a level playing field.
What a pity the same can no longer be said for an old stamping ground of some good Chief Stewards like Murrihy, Bailey and Steve Railton in Queensland. But things are set to change in the north with Peter Chadwick, whose position Bailey will take in Singapore, accepting the role of Chairman of Stewards for QRIC. 
It was inevitable that the incredible pressure, the threats against him and his family, the unrelenting criticism for simply doing his job and the fallout from some very controversial situations would eventually take its toll. Bailey became a scapegoat.
It is little wonder that Bailey’s reign as RVL Chief Steward, where he was never far from the headlines during a time of significant upheaval in Victorian racing, lasted as long as it did.
He was in charge during the long-running and messy cobalt saga that dragged on through a number of judicial hearings across several years and split a number of participants in the industry on the matter.
He was also at the helm during the Aquanita Racing scandal which came to light on Turnbull Stakes Day last year, and led to the suspension of a number of high-profile racing identities, including leading trainer Robert Smerdon.
Bailey was involved in a bitter feud with jockey Danny Nikolic, with Nikolic deemed “not a fit and proper person” to ride in this state after verbally abusing the steward.
He revealed receiving death threats during his time in the role, and in 2015, gunshots were fired into the exterior of his Melbourne home in what remains an unresolved police incident.
Can you imagine going to work and confronting this sort of drama every day of your life? Good luck to Racing Victoria in the search for a replacement for Bailey. Regardless of what the critics might say they have a might big pair of shoes to fill IF integrity is to remain at its current level in what is regarded as the leading racing state in the nation.
DAVID JACKSON of BRISBANE makes an interesting assessment of the STEWARDING situation in QUEENSLAND:
‘I am just your run-of-the-mill punter – a nobody when it comes to importance in racing – but I believe my views represent those of many who are still prepared to invest their hard-earned on racing in Queensland week-in, week-out.
Not since the days of Ray Murrihy have my mates and I had any confidence in a Chief Steward or his panel overseeing race meetings in the Sunshine State.
Steve Railton looked the goods but that infamous Count Gaffa Inquiry seemed to take its early toll on his confidence when Mick Dittman was in the ‘hot seat’ but escaped largely through the apparent inefficiency of two members of the panel who failed to give their boss the backing he deserved.
Interestingly, I have friends in Toowoomba who tell me that almost two decades down the track the gentleman who owned Count Gaffa and vowed he would never race a horse in Queensland again is back and has an involvement with another stable now that has been in the news in recent months. Since the days when the Count was a good money-spinner he has hit a hurdle as well and even spent some time paying the price for a major misdemeanor as a bank officer when he ‘borrowed’ a couple of million to feed his unsuccessful punting habits.
But back to my original Whinge and when Railton was shown the door the stewarding situation – in the opinion of many – took a major downhill turn. Allan Reardon followed in Steve’s footsteps then we had the extremely unpopular but in my opinion talented Reid Sanders followed by rank failures (again just my opinion) in Jamie Dart and Wade Birch not to mention the unsuccessful return to Chief Stewarding of Reardon who arguably should have been pensioned off long ago.
Here’s hoping with the arrival of the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission, as maligned as it has been, that lessons are learned from our past mistakes with some of these Chief Stewards who have failed to regain the lost confidence of a legion of punters who gave up in despair betting on racing in Queensland.
With all due respects – and I hope those responsible at QRIC like Commissioner Barnett who have done their best in more recent times to clean the joint up – there is a need for a complete reshuffle in the stewarding ranks. By that I certainly do not mean a rearranging of the deck chairs on the good ship RQ Titanic.
Now that old Al is about to enjoy his retirement might I suggest that they let the new Chairman of Stewards Peter Chadwick loose on some of the smarties who I believe have been taking advantage of this ‘feet under the chair let’s enjoy the afternoon out’ mentality that seems to now exist with policing on some race days.
There needs to be a new Chairman of Stewards appointed in the trouble-spot of Toowoomba (rightly or wrongly punters have lost confidence in the one that is currently based there). And the bloke who is supposedly in charge in the north is under plenty of fire for the job he is doing. Has he got a clue?
My understanding is that Martin Knibbs, a respected and experienced steward, is considering his future in Queensland after again getting to the short list for a big job and missing out. Chadwick needs to find an important role for him to ensure a steward of Knibbs’ calibre isn’t lost to Queensland. Daniel Aurisch is another whose career needs to be consolidated locally.
It wouldn’t hurt to have a chat with Terry Bailey about what he would do to improve the situation in Queensland before he heads to Singapore.
The lack of confidence at the trots continues to be a problem that no-one wants to address. Something needs to happen there before that code is non-existent.
It’s a changing of the guard in Queensland. Things can hardly get any worse. The time has come for those responsible to start regaining punter confidence before it is lost forever.’
BITS AND PIECES that we selected to run from dozens of emails received in the past week – apologies to those who missed out for a myriad of reasons, largely legal:
'THE Channel 7 news in BRISBANE last Saturday night declared the crowd at the Stradbroke a record 12,000.
I was in attendance on the day and pleased to report that there were many thousands in attendance but I doubt it was anywhere near 12,000.
As a regular racegoer to carnival and major meetings in Brisbane over the years it most certainly was not a ‘record’ as the uninformed Seven declared. Perhaps it was a record Stradbroke crowd for Doomben.
We would forgive them for forgetting Gunsynd Day – it was a long time ago. But Black Caviar was in more recent times and there would have been easily double the number that attended Saturday’s Stradbroke.
There were no dramas with the track. It played ‘rain affected’ but we didn’t need to be continually reminded how fair and great it was by Bernadette ‘I’ve now got a job with SKY forever thanks to my friends at RQ’ Cooper. When are they going to spare us her dribble and awful tips and consign her to the back of a horse interviewing winning jockeys on big days?
As for carnival crowds Ipswich Cup Day will again blow the Brisbane Racing Club and its much more highly funded marketing machine out of the water when 20,000 plus turn up (yet again) next Saturday. It comes down to who knows how to attract crowds and who doesn’t. Simple as that!’
‘LET me confess at the outset that I am a great fan of Ben Currie and what he has achieved as a trainer. I am reliably informed that one of his chief critics has been colleague Robbie Heathcote.
Well on Saturday I watched as the Heathcote-trained Hopfgarten score an upset win in the Listed Wayne Wilson. In my opinion this was a form reversal compared to its previous tiring sixth under similar conditions.
Yet Robbie is the first to talk about a level playing field in racing.
Not a question was asked by the stewards of the improvement. One wonders if that would have been the case had the trainer of Hopfgarten been Ben Currie which just convinces me that this whole Inquiry involving his stable has been a witch-hunt’.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Robbie Heathcote did explain to SKY that Hopfgarten was going from 1200m to a mile at its previous start and he had encountered problems finding suitable races for the horse. At the same time he conceded Hopfgarten was no longer the topliner he once promised to be.
‘DID a prominent committeeman of the Toowoomba Turf Club set a good example when he was observed helping the Ben Currie stable out during trackwork last Thursday morning?
Gee, Currie may be short of staff but it raised a few eye-brows and also questions as to whether this well-known racing man on the Downs is a licensed stable hand or strapper.
We thought of asking the Club Chairman how he feels about one of his committee working with a stable that is under siege with stewards not to mention the trainer facing over 30 charges. But it was suggested that would be a waste of time as the Chairman apparently has an ownership interest in a horse trained by Ben Currie.
Is it my imagination or are most of the Currie-trained winners restricted to his home track of Toowoomba these days where the competition isn’t as tough?
With two meetings at Clifford Park this week the corporate bookmakers won't be too keen to go up with early markets – you can find them well ahead for the southern venues but strangely not Toowoomba. Perhaps they’re sick of losing on heavily backed runners.’
‘HAVE you noticed how horses formerly trained by Robert Smerdon are struggling to reproduce their best for new stables?
The latest was Ability at Flemington on Saturday which blew like a gale in the betting and beat only two home down the straight behind Rocket Tommy.
There are those who will say that new trainers, like Henry Dwyer (in the case of Ability) are on a belting to nothing trying to bring Smerdon horses back to their best when some had already reached their mark.’
 Giddy Up :beer:

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« 2018-Jun-20, 09:29 AM Reply #1083 »
Most of the contributions follow the wash up of the announcement of the appointment of Peter Chadwick to be chief steward at QRIC.......some whingers obviously relish the chance to turn the issue into kick Reardon up the clapper giving outgoing chief Alan Reardon some uppercuts even went so far as  to describe him as" Harry Hopman the non playing captain"   quite clever but very unkind ......the critics fail to acknowledge that if it wasn't for Reardon going public about the appointment process  we the oft quoted (and probably politically incorrect term in today's pc correct society)  "The man in the street" would have been none the wiser...... so instead of criticizing Reardon  IMO we should be thankful he brought the issue to the racing industry's attention...not that I expect anything will be done by those with the authority to look into it and reassure us that the appointment passes all scrutiny .....that being said I personally have no argument or axe to grind against Peter Chadwick fact I think he presented very well when interviewed on Radio TAB a week or so ago.....but we haven't been given all relevant information in the Media Releases by QRIC and there are a number of questions that remain unanswered....Safari Mick the lone voice questions the process ....pity I also didn't take the opportunity to raise some  with the WW. while the issue is still that's all from me the rest is from LGHR.

MOST of the e-mails to the WHINGE in the past few days have focused on the bad blood between retiring Chief Steward Alan Reardon and his bosses at the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission, especially Chairman Ross Barnett. Here is our take on what has occurred, including contributions from readers that we hope gets their general message across: 

CRITICISM of the effectiveness of the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission is regarded by many in the industry as a ‘bit rich’ coming from a Chief Steward who has arguably overseen a massive deterioration in punting confidence in the local product.
It was only after a Labor Government bit the bullet and some say turned up the heat on what was happening on and off the track that there was some light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s hard to find too many punters who believe that panels operating under Chief Stewards of the ilk of Alan Reardon, Wade Birch and Jamie Dart were tough enough to regain integrity respectability for Queensland.
Nathan Exelby, writing in The Verdict in The Sunday Mail and again in his Monday Mail column in The Courier Mail has highlighted a rift between stewards and the official ‘racing police’ arm of QRIC.
‘Retiring stipe’s gripe at job choice process,’ roared the headline on Sunday with out-going Chief Steward Reardon launching a scathing, some might say out-of-character attack on the appointment process for his replacement. The on Monday: ‘Reardon’s rocket exposes QRIC split’.
As one cynic suggested in an email to the Whinge: “What has awoken old Al from the slumber he has been in for the past two years since returning to the job he failed at before Bentley and Mason showed him the door? His response to what many claim has been happening on and off the track has had the effectiveness of a pop-gun and now he wants to fire a bazooka at the system because he can no longer milk it dry before riding off into retirement with his saddle bags full of cash”.

And another, much closer to the action at the Integrity bunker: ‘Reardon now wants to use his spin doctor mates in the racing media to highlight the bitterness and bad blood between the racing coppers at QRIC and some of the stewards on his panel. What you won’t read about is how some of his colleagues can’t wait for him to go complaining confidentially about his lack of interest on race days. Some secretly labelled him Harry Hopman, the non-playing captain of the team.’

Our spy in the Integrity Bunker also suggests we should delve into ‘who spilt the beans’ on Peter Chadwick over his two per cent interest in the ownership of a horse and pose the question: ‘Could it have been two Chief Stewards who held the job that Peter Chadwick will now fill?’
Now one of these couldn’t be Reardon when you read his comments to The Sunday Mail: “This is not sour grapes on my part. I was always 100-1 to get the job again, but I feel for my colleagues who applied for the position in good faith and never had a chance.
‘I am unhappy about the process. There is no integrity in the decision. We should change our name from the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission to Queensland Racing Commission because there’s no integrity.
I don’t know of any steward who has ever raced a horse. The decision is flawed.’

Another contributor to the Whinge wrote:
 “Reardon has to be kidding when he suggests that they should remove the word ‘Integrity’ from the name of QRIC. How many scalps did he claim as Chief Steward? Was it that squeaky clean? One could argue that it wasn’t until QRIC got involved that they investigated complaints that racing wasn’t a level playing field because of certain rumors relating to one particular stable.’

Exelby was correct when he wrote in the Monday Mail:
‘To say morale has been low in the stewarding ranks would be an understatement.
‘Reardon’s explosive spray was the culmination of two years of frustration and by no means a reflection of just his own sentiments.
‘It’s just that with his contract set to expire at the end of the month he had less to lose than his colleagues.’
Apart from his protest at the appointment process for the Chief Steward’s job for which he had reapplied and missed out, Reardon failed to highlight why morale is low and what has caused this frustration in the stewards’ ranks that Exelby refers to.
Suggestion is the ‘old guard’ of stewards feel like the poor cousins in the turbocharged integrity arm that was born out of the MacSporran Greyhound inquiry. Like it or not, heads had to roll in the wake of the live baiting fiasco and the same should apply to the ‘red hots’ in Queensland where to suggest punters have no confidence in the product would be an ‘understatement’.

One contributor to the Whinge made some interesting observations on this contentious issue:
‘The ‘red hots’ are still piggy-backing on the gallops and politics dictates that the rorts will continue regardless of how serious QRIC gets about cleaning the joint up. How can they deserve new multi-million dollar facilities and grandstands when no-one wants to attend and the punters prefer to bet on the dogs these days?
‘Dig a little deeper into the blow-up by Reardon and you might discover political motives as well. One has to ask does Alan have close connections with a high profile political and racing identity who is said to be joined at the hip with a former leading Liberal on the Sunshine Coast?
‘Jockeys and fellow stewards also tell how before most city race meetings Reardon sits down for a half hour fireside chat (some might call it career advice) from an old mate from the racing media. Interestingly, the campaign has now been started by the ‘spin doctors’ to ensure controversy continues to ride shotgun with QRIC.
‘Reardon returned to a high paid stewarding role in Queensland and worked under a couple of dud Chief Stipes before taking over his old job. He was given a year-long extension and now he wants to keep going when many (including some of his colleagues) believe he should be pensioned off.
One could suggest the latest attack on QRIC is designed to again turn up the heat on Commissioner Ross Barnett and to make the job difficult for incumbent Chief Steward Peter Chadwick (whose Singapore record is impeccable).     
What needs to happen is for Barnett and Chadwick to rissole the disillusioned ones and restructure the stewarding ranks starting with the transfer of some Chief Stewards from regions where there is a cloud hanging over their performance.’

In conclusion several questions need to be answered:
WHY is there increasing support from some circles with media influence to retain the services of Alan Reardon when the majority of stakeholders and the racing or punting public at large believes he is past his ‘use-by’ date as Chief Steward and there is an overdue need to have a no-nonsense replacement brought in who has no problems working with QRIC to put a broom through the joint?

WHY did a former Racing Queensland Chairman turn his back on the opportunity to bring Racing Victoria Chief Steward Terry Bailey and Head of Integrity Dale Brown north in a package deal some years ago when all that has happened since has been a deterioration of punter confidence in the Queensland product?
WHY were some at Racing Victoria secretly admitting they were ‘glad to see him go’ when RQ made Reardon an offer he couldn’t refuse that some describe as a retirement package to train the younger brigade?

WHY did at least two former Chief Stewards reject a proposal from a former high profile RQ administrator to employ security guards for all runners in major feature races in Queensland following the successful lead implemented interstate and overseas? Would this not have ensured greater punter confidence and justified the cost?
A CONTRIBUTOR who calls himself ‘SAFARI MICK’ has emerged in more recent times weighing into the debate on several issues. Here’s what he had to say about the QUEENSLAND RACING INTEGRITY COMMISSION:

‘(QRIC) Commissioner (Ross) Barnett appears slow to understand the industry he supervises?
After being in the position for a few years it is again apparent that Commissioner Barnett has learned little of the racing industry including that ‘the minions’ can smell out political spin and bullshit. Most days they'd be awake well before the Commissioner.
His recent ‘nothing to see here’ Press Release dated June 15th regarding the newly appointed (RQ) Chief Steward’s ‘perceived conflict of interest’ is ample evidence of that fact and the lack of regard he has for participants.

Sir, Mr (Peter) Chadwick's conflict of interest is not perceived. It is real and was well known within the industry prior to the interview.
‘The perceived conflict of interest’ will occur if the new Chief Steward fails to exclude himself from any objection, or serious inquiry, in which the Hawkes stable, and/or his fellow owners of the horses concerned (the plural was used deliberately), are involved! And that will then become another issue for you to spin, Sir!
Does the Commissioner really expect the industry to believe that there had been disclosure of ownership prior to the interview, because that's not what well positioned sources, or ‘the minions’, are saying?
Does the Commissioner seriously consider the industry should take confidence from the appointee’s judgment in this instance?
And why hasn't the Commissioner told the full story regarding its efforts to attract international applicants to the position of Chief Steward?
Were there other candidates than four current QRIC Stewards and Mr Chadwick who the industry knows came to the interview knowing that he was being replaced by RVL's Terry Bailey who had long been head hunted insistently by Mr Chadwick's current employer (the Singapore Turf Club)? 
Mr Chadwick needed the job. Can the industry be satisfied the interview panel fully examined or understood the reasons behind Mr Bailey being sought to take his position?
Commissioner, the position failed to attract a broader response due to a range a factors which include the following.
You, and ‘the plodders’, appearing to hold the view that participants are the great unwashed, ‘the minions’, and all hiding from previously undiscovered indiscretions; the QRIC model, where little communication is alleged to occur between ‘the plodders’, who seemingly don't trust their mothers, and the Stewards; and the salary available.   
Sir, be advised that most participants are hard-working law-abiding folk just doing their best whilst at the same time keeping yourself and ‘the plodders’ in the comfort to which you no doubt feel entitled!
Spin again puts the Commissioner in a poor light with the now infamous Currie affair? Surely, one shouldn't lay charges against participants if the evidence gathered does not support such charges?
And such charges might also be particularized, shouldn't they?
But if the QRIC investigators had the evidence on May 28th when the charges were laid, why couldn't copies be provided to Currie and (his lawyer) Mr (Jim) Murdoch within the following fortnight (almost three weeks)?
Have ‘the plodders’ afforded Currie procedural fairness?  No doubt Murdoch QC will find out?
Sir, one could be excused for thinking the urge to shout from the rooftops ‘QRIC gets Currie’ was overwhelming, or became politically necessary, even if somewhat premature!
Sadly, confidence within the industry in the State continues to wane. Is that any wonder?’
‘AS a long-time follower of the Sport of Kings both in England where I resided for many years and now in Australia, I have read with interest from various States their take on the Point of Consumption Tax.
Forget it!
The only way you will get a reasonable tax revenue return from Corporate Bookmakers is a turnover tax.
They are a mob of parasites who have destroyed racing in England and Ireland and are now out here doing the same to Australia.
How lucky are they that the Federal and State politicians haven't got a clue as to what they are doing and the billions of dollars that they are taking out of this country every year?
If it wasn't for the cashed-up oil Sheiks and well-heeled owners from France and Ireland there would be no horse racing left in England
Have a look at the current Royal Ascot card and see for yourself the number of overseas-owned horses
Whoever that bloke Exelby is writing for your local paper up there hasn't got a clue.
From his writings and the editorial comments I have read it seems to me they are pushing the wheelbarrow for Ladbrokes. For whatever reason I don’t know.
The greatest money gatherers in the world are Jewish. Their motto was to take a percentage of turnover. It has stood the test of time.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Well said Charles – plenty can answer your question concerning the Murdoch Media determination to support Ladbrokes. Perhaps it has something to do with a multi-million dollar annual contract sponsoring form guides in their newspapers. Then again that would be cash for comment and we all know that ‘honourable’ Rupert wouldn’t allow that sort of thing to happen.
ALBERT WILLIAMS, a regular contributor to the WHINGE, reminisces about how popular the daily newspapers used to be and how woeful what’s left are today:
‘WHEN my dear old dad was alive he used to subscribe to The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail and would spend hours of his retirement days reading these from back (he loved the sport) to front.
Going back even further he would arrive home from work with his copy of The Telegraph and would wait on Saturday’s for the Pink Sports Edition usually grabbing his copy outside the races when he was one of the last to leave the track.
The first sign he was going downhill after a couple of months in a nursing home was his reluctance to read the The Courier-Mail that I made sure was delivered to his bed each morning.
I am not sure if his life had reached the stage where he could no longer be bothered but I suspect – from comments he made when he was still a regular reader – that the standard of the newspaper and its coverage had lost his interest.
Dad was never a fan of Rupert Murdoch and the way he monopolized the newspaper industry in this country. That dislike grew through the Super League years. Asked what side he supported in the new-look NRL, dad would reply: ‘Any that looks like beating the Broncos’.
Back in the days of The Telegraph he loved reading the racing news and columns of the late Keith Noud. In more recent times he always got a laugh out of ‘The Ear’ by Mark ‘Obe’ Oberhardt. And he wouldn’t miss the Letters to the Editorsection.
But as he grew older and the Murdoch domination of the mainstream media intensified, he got very bitter. “We only get one side of the story nowadays – the one Rupert wants us to read. Whatever happened to Freedom of the Press? Half of these columnists just express the views of Murdoch. I’m not going to have that rammed down my throat every day,” dad would say.
A regular racegoer, one of his pet hates was the kow-towing to the old guard QTC by the new Kid on the Block in the Racing Editor’s ranks in Bart Sinclair. “He should be employed by the QTC as their PR man. Bloke’s like Fred ‘Frog’ Fraser wouldn’t have survived writing critical articles that expressed how the punters were thinking. But that’s what the punters wanted to read not this arse lick stuff.”
Dad might have been going downhill fast in the years leading up to his passing but he certainly wasn’t stupid and nothing angered him more than what he saw as a complete disregard for the punting public by the mainstream racing media. “Some of these blokes just want to write stories to suit their racing officials and politician mates. They don’t give a stuff about us poor old punters,” dad would complain.
One thing that annoyed him the most was the unbalanced reporting when it came to politics especially. He would blow up at the Editorials leading up to elections but celebrate more often than not when the vote came in. “Poor old Rupert and his rags. They’re the kiss of death when it comes to elections. Whoever they try to influence the public to vote for always seems to get beaten.”
A few year have passed since his death and I am kind of glad that dad isn’t around to see just how bad a state the Murdoch media racing coverage in Queensland has deteriorated to – not to mention the blatant bias (some might call it cash for comment) in some of the stories and editorials.
We watched in disbelief as Queensland Newspapers refused to criticize the ‘dud’ TAB deals that were done by the Government of the day and its puppet Racing Queensland Boards all because Tattersall’s were funding for millions the form guides in the Murdoch Media.
Since that cosy little arrangement ended it is open slather and the TAB gets its fair share of criticism but the ‘protection’ banner seems to have been hand-balled to Ladbrokes who now sponsor the Murdoch Form Guides to the tune of more millions every year.
Ladbrokes is just one of a multitude of parasite corporate bookmakers making tens of millions in profit annually and ploughing very little back into the Australian racing industry. But because some of those profits are going into the fat, greedy pockets of Murdoch then all of a sudden they are the ‘good guys’.
Hiding behind an argument that a Point of Consumption Tax will destroy the financial viability of racing (to be objective perhaps it will), readers of the Murdoch publications are being browbeaten with story after story of woe.
As my old dad would say: ‘How much of this is designed to help the racing industry or is it a veiled campaign to help one of the biggest advertisers with News Limited make more millions?’
Forget about a Code of Ethics when it comes to newspapers, the mainstream media and journalism – Murdoch and his mates burnt that long ago.
Thank God for those websites who at least try to keep the bastards honest.’
Giddy Up :beer:

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« 2018-Jun-27, 09:08 AM Reply #1084 »
A mixed bag this week headed by complaints agin Ladbrokes and an update on Cecilia Mannion's long running dispute with the BRC over disturbance to her property but no progress on movement of the unsightly shed housing the barrier stalls in front of her back yard obscuring her views...being relocated .....Cecilia is one feisty lady but expecting the BRC to meet her expenses to travel to the next residents' meeting is wishful thinking ...a fat chance of that happening...other issues with some cartoons thrown in to break the monotony and brighten up a dismal looking day in BrisVegas.....rain fell on the Sunny Coast yesty and more is forecast which will affect the going at Caloundra for their big meeting on Saturday.

CORPORATE bookmaking giant LADBROKES have come under fire from contributors to the WEDNESDAY WHINGE in the past week.
The latest criticism could not have come at a worse time for the corporates when they are embroiled in the controversy over the Point of Consumption Tax.
Many in racing believe that the Tax, proposed to be introduced at a high 15 per cent in Queensland, is not fair to the bookmakers but also will have a flow-on detrimental effect on the racing industry.
News Corp entered a multi-million dollar wagering partnership with Ladbrokes from February which has seen the corporate betting agency sponsor Form Guides in their publications in Queensland, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania.
Many punters regard the corporate bookmakers who seem to be allowed to operate under their own rules and as they like in this country as a bunch of parasites. Complaints about accounts of punters being closed because they are too successful have been widespread.
What the majority of the racing and punting public now fear is that because of the sweetheart deal News Corp has with Ladbrokes that there will be even less critical reporting of this on-going problem.           
Because of this websites like LETSGOHORSERACING which provide a platform for punters to HAVE THEIR SAY are being inundated with complaints about the corporates and the latest we have received and are happy to publish coincidentally relates to their buddies at LADBROKES.
The gripe was sent to us by a highly-respected, big betting, former bookmaker who these days likes to have a punt. Those who know him will immediately recognize who but he has asked that his identity be with-held if possible because ‘I still have a couple of corporates I can get on with’.
Here’s what he had to say: 
‘ANOTHER big betting company restricts the punter.
Sometime ago they closed me down from betting on multiples (quadrellas & trifectas etc) and now their promotional items which are usually limited to $20 and they pick what to bet on.
I have a few longer range (ie football premierships etc) bets, so I guess they can’t close my account until these are finalized.
What most people do not know is that the corporates all limit their payouts on multiples.
TABs, you would think, would advertise this fact. But say the limit is $100,000 and the dividend was $20,000 and you got it 10 times the payout should be $200,000 but all you get is $100,000. There is no rebate of your stake. There should be a rebate of stake on losing bets. If you can’t win then surely you can’t lose.
Once they used to pass multiples on to TABs and get a percentage but discovered this was far more lucrative to keep but only with the limiting for protection. The sooner we move to the Hong Kong wagering model the better.
I am not a former bookie crying as I gave it away before it degenerated to what it is now (and I did well out of over the years). I could see the writing on the wall and do better (as you can see) than bookmaking having zero expenses and tax free.
Here is the LADBROKES MESSAGE to CLIENTS recently that he refers to:
For your records; Following a recent review of your account, we can no longer offer you Promotional markets. This includes but is not limited to Early Payout, Bet Blast & Enhanced Odds.

Terms & Conditions

5. Access to and use of our betting platforms
5.2 We may, in our absolute discretion, change the content (including betting products or elements of the betting product) of our Betting Platforms at any time (provided such changes do not affect games and/or bets already in progress).

We appreciate your understanding in this matter.
My reply to them was:
Thank you. What a great big company you are. When I was very young and living in England, my grandfather would take me to the betting shop Ladbrokes and I was in awe at what a great big operation it was. Now you have stopped me betting on multiples (trifectas and quadrellas) and your promotion markets (which are limited) and you select.
I am sure all employees, managers and the company must be very proud of the product you supply to your customers and sleep well at night.
I will forward a copy to the appropriate authorities and maybe Australia might move a little quicker to the Hong Kong wagering model and your business will cease and your employees will be jobless.
Thank you LADBROKES – I think you should change your name to SADBROKES or GUTLESSBROKES.’
ANOTHER contributor to the WHINGE, who is a former high profile racing administrator in south-east Queensland and remains heavily involved in the racing and breeding side of the industry, has also fallen out with LADBROKES recently.
Here’s what he had to say (we’ve also with-held his name because he does have an association with other corporates some of whom he says leave Ladbrokes for dead when it comes to conducting business):
‘I would consider myself a loyal client of Ladbrokes for some time but not anymore.
I placed a bet of $200 at $6 on a horse that won at a provincial TAB meeting recently. When they didn’t reduce the price substantially I tried for another $200 but they blocked the bet.
When I contacted Ladbrokes to ask why their response was: You should be aware that we have a thoroughbred betting limit of $1,000 now. I told them that I thought for a betting agency of their size that was pretty ordinary – apart from the fact that I had been having a pretty lean run with them on the punt for the past 12 months.
Their attitude has consequently cost them a regular client. I told them to close my account immediately. My only hope is that this has nothing to do with a former associate who is now working for Ladbrokes and knows that I back horses from a certain stable. One would hope he hasn’t told them not to let me on.’
‘BEING a proud regular at the SUNSHINE COAST races I thought the advertising and promotion of the Winter Carnival last weekend was a bit rich.
The general theme seemed to be that the Tattersall’s Tiara meeting at Doomben was the last major of the carnival. Most know it was the last Group 1 but our big day of the winter is still to come.
Considering the sterling job that the Corbould Park track has done during the absence of Eagle Farm and the problems with the over-use of Doomben, the SCTC deserved better treatment.
To overlook Sunshine Coast Cup Day as a major part of the Carnival was simply not good enough and a lack of respect for what is growing in popularity as one of the major meetings of the winter.
That’s my upper-cut for whoever was responsible for that one-sided advertising slant that seems to think the Carnivals starts and ends in Brisbane.
WE received this inquiry from a REGULAR PUNTER on the TOOWOOMBA gallops:
‘CAN someone explain how a horse called Whitman managed to win at Toowoomba last Saturday night?
Whitman debuted at $31 about 10 days earlier and was always with the tail-enders before finishing 8thof 10 beaten almost 12 lengths. The form from BEST BETS read: ‘Couldn’t get close’.
The Ben Currie-trained three-year-old stepped up in trip at its second start at Clifford Park last Saturday and ran a $13 chance. It raced on the pace and won. Go figure!’
EDITOR’S NOTE: Here is what the Toowoomba stewards reported after inquiring into the ‘seemingly’ improved performance:
WHITMAN – When questioned by Stewards in relation to the seemingly improved performance of the gelding, Trainer Mr. B. Currie advised that prior to the horse’s first start it had jumped out well, and he had expected a forward showing, however he had been disappointed with its  performance on that occasion. He went on to say that following its first run the gelding had improved in its trackwork, and as it now had some race experience he had expected an improvement on its first race start. He added that he was however surprised that the gelding had won today. Stewards noted the explanation.
'I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read how Alan Reardon was applying for the job of Chief Steward in Victoria left vacant by Terry Bailey’s move to Singapore.
Having spoken to a friend of mine who is close to the action in Melbourne his response did not surprise me: ‘One million to one and drifting,” he said.
Reardon has the credentials to apply with experience in three States at the highest level of panels, including Victoria, but there are those who do not feel he is tough enough.
It’s going to be interesting to see where they recruit a new Chief Stipe from though. Those available in the other States of Australia hardly fit the bill. It would make more sense to elevate Bailey’s deputy to the job.
Perhaps they will look further afield to Hong Kong where Kim Kelly is said to still have quite a few years of his contract to complete but Steve Railton might be an option.
There are those who are saying that the powers-that-be in Victoria - after such a traumatic integrity era - might just be looking for someone who won’t rock the boat too much. Now that would be a shame!’
WE promised to keep you informed as the battle continues between residents and the Brisbane Racing Club over a number of issues involving the drawn out redevelopment of Eagle Farm.
Whilst the majority is being appeased with an agreement to have the dust (fallout from the work being carried out) removed from their homes and swimming pools, there are those like Cecilia Mannion and her close neighbors who remain far from happy.
The view from their homes has been blocked by an unsightly shed that houses the barrier stalls that was relocated by the BRC although Ms Mannion says an official tried to tell her that it was always there. She has aerial surveillance of the track which proves that is incorrect.
Her complaints – that the shed has devalued the dream home she built largely due to her love for horse racing which she grew up with – have fallen largely on deaf ears and the buck has been passed from the politicians (Racing Minister Sterling Hinchliffe and Local MP Tim Nicholls) to Racing Queensland and the Brisbane Racing Club (who are ultimately responsible).
Here is a copy of a letter that a frustrated and angry (but far from retreating) Ms Mannion recently wrote to the CEO of the BRC:
Dear Dave Whimpey

The BRC officially opened its $37 million Eagle Farm infield and stable development at the end of July 2017.  Your email today states the BRC is commencing works on Eagle Farm infield, Monday 25 June 2018 to remove soil and the process will take 21 days. 

Why are you removing soil from the Eagle Farm infield nearly 12 months after the official opening? Where did the soil come from? When did the BRC become aware soil needed to be removed? Was this project put out to tender, and if so when?
What is the Scope of Works for this project and what is the name of the company carrying out this work?

The BRC and Racing Queensland declared the Eagle Farm track remediation project would be completed by April 2018 with agreed cleaning support delivered in the following weeks.  It is apparent this work will not commence before September 2018 and I have not received a response from the BRC or Racing Queensland regarding my claim for expenses incurred due to the remediation work. What is your projected date for this work?

What date do you expect racing to return to Eagle Farm?

I do not live in Brisbane and ask that you provide me with a written response or pay for my travel costs so that I can attend the 26 June meeting.

Cecilia Mannion
THIS is what she received in response: 
Hi Cecilia
At our last residents’ meeting we did inform the residents that more testing needed to be done on the dirt pile before we could move.
With that now completed, the BRC can get on at significant and material cost to have it removed. The dirt came from many areas as part of our 20 hectare master planned zones. We have water trucks throughout the entire process for dust suppression. I realize it’s frustrating for you and us, but the residents will be most happy to see it finally gone.
We have a finance and governance committee and we answer to our shareholders on this process (tendering and the like you refer to) and stand by it.
The house clean is up to the residents. We stated this can be now or at the end but it is a one off goodwill gesture without any admission of liability as the project has been fully compliant. I thank RQ for this contribution and most residents while frustrated actually really appreciated the gesture.
Warm regards,
To which Cecilia Mannion replied:
I do not live in Brisbane and have not attended any of the three residents’ meetings held since 2014 or received copies of the minutes. I became aware of the meetings when advised by Mr Timothy Nicholls’ office in April 2018. 
Soil testing is the first step in construction planning. It is extremely concerning the BRC moved soil before it was tested (understanding your soil prior to commencement helps make better decisions leading to a successful construction project).
This is the correspondence I received from Racing Queensland 14/5/18 and it doesn’t correlate with what you say in your last paragraph.
I will contact Paul McDonnell for an update on my application and to get the names of the house and pool cleaner.
Cecilia Mannion
PS: Cecilia has been told that Paul McDonnell no longer works for RQ.
CALLS continue through emails to this website for QRIC to take a closer look at racing in North and Central Queensland.
There were complaints about several jockeys and their handling of fancied runners at TAB meetings in Townsville and Rockhampton in particular but that seems to have gone off the boil.
Now the focus of the emails we are receiving relate to a specific stable and alleged illegal treatment of starters. One, in particular, that won at a northern venue in the past 10 days was said to be almost uncontrollable on the way to the barriers and in the run. But nothing was reported by stewards.
AN interesting story emerged overnight by PETER RYAN reporting for FAIRFAX MEDIA:
THE VRC has disputed allegations made in a statement of claim lodged in the Federal Court that their former racing manager, Martin Talty, was dismissed because he raised governance concerns with the VRC CEO about how last year's final Melbourne Cup field was assembled.
The statement of claim, lodged with the Federal Court by Maurice and Blackburn on June 8, alleges that his dismissal occurred because Talty told Neil Wilson in early February he believed the VRC chair, Amanda Elliott, should have removed herself from VRC Board decisions on Derby Day that finalised the Melbourne Cup field.
Elliott was in a syndicate that owned Melbourne Cup runner Libran, which had qualified for the Melbourne Cup, and eventually finished eighth in the race.
In a statement provided to Fairfax Media, the VRC has denied Talty's dismissal was related to concerns raised in the statement of claim.
"The Victoria Racing Club is confident it acted appropriately regarding these matters.
"Martin Talty’s dismissal was not related to matters outlined in his statement of claim regarding the Melbourne Cup field.
"The Victoria Racing Club will not be providing any further comment at this time."
The VRC Board has the discretionary power to eliminate horses from the final field of 24 under certain circumstances and meets on Derby Day to finalize the field ahead of the barrier draw later that night.
No horses which had qualified from the field were eliminated at the board meeting on Derby Day with connections of the Murray Baker-trained horse Jon Snow deciding not to pay a final acceptance after the horse failed a veterinary examination in the lead-up to Derby Day.
In late February, after the VRC released a new strategic plan, Talty was dismissed with a media release declaring the club wanted to go in a new direction.
Talty, a former journalist with Fairfax Media , was the racing manager in Dubai and responsible for the development of the Dubai World Cup Series before joining the VRC.
He is seeking damages relating to his dismissal with a hearing set down for July 17 with Johnson Winter and Slattery appointed to represent the VRC.
CORPORATE bookmakers are set to offer more promotions for punters on Sydney and NSW meetings after the recent race fields fee and point of consumption tax hikes, which have left NSW the least-taxed racing product in the country.
Big bookmaking firms are ready to abandon Victorian racing. Crownbet only offered bonus bet promotions on Randwick races last Saturday, and that is set to become the norm.
Racing Victoria has completely underestimated the effect of its race fields fee hike and reportedly failed to model it before going to market.
Bookmakers have run the numbers on the 2017 Victoria race meeting program and, of 517 meetings, 508 show an increase in product fees under the new system and a significant majority would have double-figure increases in fees payable.
Bookmakers are privately considering scaling back advertising deals with Racing Victoria’s media arm,, as a protest but will promote the state where they are best advantaged by the tax system, that is, NSW.
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys confirmed that there would not be an increase in NSW race fields fees – which are less than other states as they are on turnover only – to allow bookmakers to adjust to the new point of consumption tax starting in 2019.
Racing NSW can sit back and watch the situation develop. Racing NSW already has the most-discussed race of the spring in The Everest and could be set for a boost in race fields fees collected as a result of promotions that will drive punters to bet on Sydney races.
Provincial and country meetings are certain to be included in the promotions as bookmakers make their point.
THE Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) has granted Toowoomba Trainer Mark Currie a stay of proceedings after an independent Internal Review confirmed the stewards’ original decision to disqualify him for two years.
Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) stewards found Mr Currie guilty last month of 16 charges relating to race day treatment.
Mr Currie is a partner with his son Ben in Toowoomba racing stable - Currie Racing.
Today’s stay of proceedings, opposed by the Commission will stand until the final outcome of the QCAT proceedings.
DISGRACED horse trainer John Nikolic is fighting for life in a Fiji hospital after being ¬arrested in connection to a massive seizure of drugs and guns.
The HERALD-SUN reports that family members are rushing to the bedside of Nikolic, the brother of jockey Danny Nikolic, who was banned from attending racecourses and attending Melbourne’s casino after a scandal-filled decade.
It is understood Nikolic attempted self-harm in custody and is on life support but family members would not comment on his condition.
On Thursday Fijian police announced the arrest of four men and the seizure of $20 million worth of cocaine and ¬ecstasy from a yacht that had sailed from Bora Bora in French Polynesia to Denarau, Fiji.
Police allegedly found 15kg of cocaine and ecstasy, $20,000 cash, guns and ammunition.
“I applaud the collaboration and efforts of our officers in successfully intercepting illicit drugs, undeclared currency and weapons,” Fijian customs chief Visvanath Das said.
Police commissioner Rusiate Tudravu said the arrests were a warning to foreign drug-smugglers: “This should send a strong warning to others that we have a close eye on our borders.”
A spokeswoman for the Foreign Affairs department confirmed consular staff were assisting the Nikolic family.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is providing consular assistance, in accordance with the Consular Services Charter, to an Australian detained in Fiji. Owing to our privacy obligations we will not provide further comment.”
In 2015 John Nikolic was banned from training after admitting doping a horse.
In 2014 his house was raided by police investigating the 2011 murder of trainer Les Samba. Mr Samba’s daughter Victoria was formerly married to Danny Nikolic.
His house on the Gold Coast was raided by police in April 2011 in connection with Mr Samba’s shooting.
John has never been charged over the matter.
Giddy Up :beer:

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« 2018-Jul-04, 09:03 AM Reply #1085 »
Quite some heat and moral support for stewards in the opening contributions with criticism of the QCAT process following Ian Hanger QC adopting the not blameworthy defence in upholding  Grant Dixon's appeal against his penalty  for his unplaced drive on  Baron Jujon at Albion Park contributor  advocates for the RAD board system in Victoria as a better model than QCAT ......which is a something like the Racing Appeals Board we once had in Qld which I called it "The Cardigan Club" which isn't meant to be complimentary  ..maybe the new Integrity Council in Victoria which replaces the RAD Board might be a better option although the NSW system seems to be well accepted with the two levels of appeal....and Archie is in strife again facing  more charges and is off the air waves temporarily while the outstanding matters are dealt with.




THE major topic that contributors wanted to talk about this week was how difficult it is becoming for stewards to convince the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal that running and handling charges and penalties imposed should be sustained.

Respected QCAT Member, Ian Hanger, whilst setting aside suspensions imposed on leading harness driver Grant Dixon, issued some advice to the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission and its stewards’ panels.

“Mere errors of judgment in the running of the race should not be penalized unless the conduct can be described as blameworthy,” Mr Hanger warned.

“It would be more appropriate to call as a witness an independent expert who is not associated with the decision-making process.”

Mr Hanger’s comments and another embarrassing upheld appeal, whether conveniently or mischievously described by the mainstream racing media as ‘the miserable strike rate of QRIC’, is viewed far differently and with some dismay by punters and the racing public in general.

HERE are some of the WHINGES that LGHR has received since the Dixon decision was handed down and Ian Hanger made his observations and suggestions to QRIC:



‘THERE is an urgent need to restructure or even dismantle the current system of appeals in the gallops and harness codes in Queensland.

Of course the licensees will not agree with this observation but if they want punters to continue to bet with confidence it is arguably the only answer.

It has become virtually impossible for stewards to substantiate charges relating to the running and handling of horses at the gallops and trots.

One could suggest that stewards in Queensland are now impotent and that a good lawyer has gelded them when it relates to finding loopholes in the Rules of Racing.

No longer can a respected steward, with years of experience watching races, rely on his judgment to suggest that a race ride or harness drive was questionable.

It seems that all a jockey or reinsman has to do these days is blame it on the horse and that is good enough for QCAT to give him or her the benefit of the doubt.

Racing in Queensland is already a joke – on and off the track. This latest embarrassment simply means that punters will continue to steer away from betting on the local product in droves.’




‘THE latest decision and opinion expressed by QCAT which gives every jockey and driver the opportunity to simply blame the horse for charges imposed arguably makes a mockery of the appeals system.

Punters regard racing justice as a dirty word in Queensland these days and one can only suspect so do the hard working stewards who are finding it impossible to sustain charges when it comes to the handling of horses. Little wonder there is less and less action at the station. There is no point!

Denial of natural justice became a common catch phrase when smart lawyers started to get involved in the appeal process. Most would agree there is an argument against the stewards being judge, jury and for the want of a better word, executioner.

That is why the charge ‘Failing to Allow a Horse to Run on Its Merits’ became impossible to sustain. Stewards virtually required the jockey/driver, trainer or even the horse to admit it didn’t try and that certainly wasn’t going to happen.

So they relied more heavily on another rule: ‘Failing to Position a Horse to Give it Every Opportunity’. This was countered with the argument that problems during a race beyond the control of a jockey or driver or even the horse’s racing pattern or behavior were to blame. It has become all too hard for the racing police.

Queensland punters, in particular, have become sick and tired of seeing well backed horses or even favorites that drift alarmingly in price either missing the start, getting blocked for a run, or sitting wide and having to do too much work. Slaughter jobs have become common-place with inquiries, when they are held, largely resulting in a Stewards’ Report of ‘explanation noted’.

From a punters’ perspective it doesn’t make you too confident or keen when it comes to having a bet in Queensland. That is why most of us are heading interstate to bet these days where the licensees don’t seem to enjoy the same protection under the Appeals System.’



‘THE time has come for Queensland to follow the lead of Victoria and restructure its appeals system.

The new Victorian model seems to work a lot better with serious charges laid by stewards but then decided upon by a Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board Judge with an extensive knowledge of racing.

What’s the point of having the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal hear appeals if, on occasions, the Member responsible knows little about racing or harness racing. He or she then simply relies on points of law and a smart lawyer, with due respects, can swing the tide in favor of an arguably ‘guilty’ client.

There’s a vast difference between QCAT hearing arguments over barking dogs or disputes concerning trees overhanging neighboring properties than an intricate matter such as a horse on a running and handling where stewards saw it was ridden or driven differently but the jockey or driver suggests it was the horse’s behavior that contributed to the problem.

In Victoria stewards lay charges on serious offences relating to running and handling etc then the case is heard by a QCAT Judge with the offending party allowed to give his defense with the help of a lawyer before the decision is handled down.

The only time stewards adjudicate is when it comes to charges laid relating to careless riding or driving and penalties imposed can still be appealed to QCAT.

This seems a much fairer system – especially with a Judge well versed in racing hearing the serious charges rather than a QCAT Member who may not be experienced in racing or harness racing. It’s a specialized field where one could argue simple matters of law have to be considered differently to normal criminal or civil proceedings.’



‘PERCY THE PUNTER’ weighs in on the appeal by top jockey DAMIEN BROWNE:

‘THE cynics are already suggesting that the Grant Dixon victory before QCAT has set the scene for Damien Browne to escape his two month running and handling suspension.

Browne has blamed the horse – similarly in a sense to what Dixon did – and one could argue that the precedent has been set. He’s certainly odds-on to have the two month reduced which won’t sit well with those punters who backed his mount.

Then we have the situation involving the case of Ben Currie and his father Mark. But this is a whole different scenario, especially where Ben is concerned – largely because these are charges that don’t relate to running and handling.

But there are still legal technicalities and no doubt a smart lawyer like Jim Murdoch, who knows the loopholes of racing law, will find an escape on some for young Ben. Regardless of the outcome, it will divide the racing industry.’



LEN COURTNEY of BRISBANE has his say on the GRANT DIXON appeal decision:

‘ANOTHER Houdini for the Dixon stable and to most who have followed harness racing in Queensland over the years it comes as no surprise.

Few of us have forgotten how a number of prominent trots trainers had serious penalties for a string of positive swabs overturned on a legal technicality – not necessarily because they weren’t guilty but because the ‘secondary’ swabs weren’t sent for testing to an ‘accredited’ laboratory (even though where these went was regarded by many experts just as efficient as the first one).

Now we have leading driver Grant Dixon escaping two charges following drives deemed unacceptable by the stewards which had netted him suspensions of six and eight weeks. I can assure you that many punters who bet on these races are gob-smacked by the QCAT decision.

In his decision, QCAT adjudicator, Ian Hanger, wrote: “Mere errors of judgment in the running of the race should not be penalized unless the conduct can be described as blameworthy.

“Having listened to Mr Dixon, and Mr (David) Farquharson (Harness Racing Chief Steward) and considering the transcript of the Stewards’ Inquiry and decision, I am not comfortably satisfied that the conduct of Mr Dixon can be considered worthy of blame.

“I have listened to the evidence, viewed the video from each angle and searched for conduct that might be described as blameworthy on the part of Mr Dixon.

“I take into account that he is the person who knows the horse; the fact that he formed the opinion that the extra lap plus the horse’s personality had placed it at a slight disadvantage, the fact that at the end of the race its pulse was much higher than it would normally be at the end of a race and the fact that it is Mr Dixon who must make the split second decisions that are required in the course of a race.

“I am not comfortably satisfied that Mr Dixon drove in an unacceptable manner.”

One could argue that on this basis it is going to be virtually impossible for stewards to sustain convictions for running and handling at the ‘red hots’ when it comes to Appeals.

Punters will forever struggle to accept that QCAT should give reinsmen the benefit of the doubt for questionable drives settling aside the opinion of experienced stewards who watch these horses race week in week out.’






STEWARDING heavies were front and centre when the BRISBANE RACING CLUB hosted a testimonial for ALLAN REARDON, the CHIEF STEWARD bitter that he has been put out to pasture by the QUEENSLAND RACING INTEGRITY COMMISSION.

Those who made the journey north to farewell Al included Terry Bailey (from Melbourne, soon to be Singapore), Ray Murrihy, Reid Sanders and Greg Rudolph.

We’re not sure if Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett (who Reardon recently fired a few shots at) was invited. Notable absentees reportedly also included Jamie Dart and Wade Birch.

Story goes the general consensus was that Daniel Aurisch (who has been appointed caretaker Chief Steward) would have made a better choice to replace Reardon than Peter Chadwick (who comes from Singapore with a mixed report card from some close to the action).

The Reardon testimonial went off smoothly with niceties expressed between one high profile steward and a prominent media man but certainly no love lost.

LGHR reckons QRIC could do a lot worse mending fences with Reardon by offering the job of independent assessor of races the subject of appeals at QCAT (which recommended such appointment could help the stewards improve their strike rate).

As high profile Hong Kong Chief Steward Kim Kelly commented to Nathan Exelby of The Sunday Mail: ‘There is no better reader of races than Reardon’. What lost us at LGHR was Reardon’s seeming reluctance late in his career to go for the juggler on some of those trainers and jockeys who the Queensland punters have no confidence in. 



HOW good is Australia’s leading lady rider, LINDA MEECH, performing almost every race meeting in MELBOURNE?

Her win on WENNER ($7.5 to $5) at CAULFIELD on SATURDAY completed the first metropolitan double in 30 years of training for KEN KEYS (he won one race earlier with AL PASSEN at $21).

Last season Meech rode 127 winners and so far this season she has ridden the winners of 121 races, with the latest the plunged MAGNUS RUFUS at SALE on SUNDAY. Her strike rate of 18 per cent is one of the best in VICTORIA. She seems to get better with age!


RON STEWART, one of the most underrated jockeys in Queensland, deserves bouquets for his ride on RINGO’S A ROCKSTAR ($5 to $4.6) at the SUNSHINE COAST on SATURDAY.

The Norm Stephens-trained sprinter overhauled TARZAN despite proving a bit of a handful for Stewart wanting to hang out then in.

Whilst his ride won the race that of STEFANIE LACY didn’t help third placed IRISH CONSTABULARY when she went to the worse ground on the fence.



PUNTERS finally caught up with SHOGUN SUN when he dropped in class and bolted in at the SUNSHINE COAST on SATURDAY. Not surprisingly bookies took him on ($2.2 to $3.2) as the three-year-old has promised plenty and failed to deliver at times.

He was the second leg of a double for popular trainer KELLY SCHWEIDA (who won the first with favorite BLUEBROOK. The stable could well have had a treble for the day but plunged debutante RAMTASTIC refused to load at the GOLD COAST after being backed into favoritism after some eye-catching trials.




The WINTER CUP at ROSEHILL on SATUDAY was an ugly watch for those who follow fancies from the CHRIS WALLER stable.

SAYED (which refused to settle) and DOUKHAN (lost ground at start, had blood in one nostril) finished at the tail of the five-horse field and couldn’t pick their feet up.

Those who follow the money would however have finished ahead with the heavily-backed HARPER’S CHOICE ($4 to $3) gifted an easy lead and winning like a he had no opposition.


DARREN WEIR broke his own training record for Victorian metropolitan winners in a season with a month to spare at Caulfield on SATURDAY. Victory to imported stayer PACODALI was his 138th metropolitan winner in Victoria for 2017-18.

But that was where the GOOD side of the story ended for punters. PAKODALI ($11 to $8) beat the more fancied stablemate, SIXTIES GROOVE ($4.2 to $4). It was a similar fate for WEIR followers earlier in the card when HARIPOUR ($26 to $19) nosed out the terribly unlucky MANTASTIC ($3.4 to $4.2) which worked wide and should have won.


WE had a couple of complaints about the policy of SKY to transfer live coverage of delayed races from SKY 1 to SKY 2.

Punters complained that on Saturday they were quick to move the GOLD COAST to SKY 2 when it was a minute past post time but waited three minutes to get a second rate NSW race to air on the main channel.

Surely those in Queensland are accustomed to this second rate SKY treatment by now. Bring on live coverage on Network Seven. 




OUR spies in the North insist this story is correct but unfortunately we can’t find a Stewards’ Report to back it up which one would think should have been published.

We are told that one of Queensland’s most popular owners, disillusioned at what has been happening to his horses in races at TAB provincial tracks all over the State, stormed into the jockeys’ room at a meeting in a major northern centre recently and gave the hoops a gob full.

Story goes he was hauled before stewards to explain his behavior – one would have thought with all the gossip and anger doing the rounds they would have been well aware of the situation by now.

We can’t tell you the outcome – or if this actually occurred although we believe it did because there doesn’t appear to be a Stewards’ Report on the incident. Now they wouldn’t be trying to hush this up in the north, would they?   


MOST punters and quite a few ‘experts’ thought BROOK MAGIC was the ‘good thing’ of the day at ROSEHILL on Saturday.

It wasn’t a good look when the easing favorite ($2 to $2.3) was taken on in front by DIFFICULT TO GET which destroyed the chances of both.

Stewards did question Ty Angland about his tactics on DIFFICULT TO DESTROY and he explained that after firing the mare up early she refused to settle. The race went to the Melbourne visitor & ROUGHIE of the FIELD, GALA MOSHEA ($15 to $11).


EASY EDDIE was sent out FAVORITE at his previous start at RANDWICK and ran last when they blamed the HEAVY 8 conditions.

Back on a SOFT 7 on Saturday at ROSEHILL he raced on the pace in the last and proved too strong at $11.

Adding insult to injury for SYDNEY punters the well backed CHAUFFEUR raced like a mule. After coming across from his wide alley he dropped out badly with jockey COREY BROWN blaming the shifting surface for the poor performance.




OUR colleague ARCHIE BUTTERFLY has again hit a hurdle and has been, at least temporarily, forced to close his newest website

Rather than LGHR try to explain what has happened, here is Archie’s latest message, which we are sure he won’t mind us reproducing from his site:

‘THANK you to the many kind supporters who have donated to my legal defence. Your generosity and care is greatly appreciated, and I hope will assist me in getting back writing about the things that matter in racing really soon.

It's a sad day when a journalist can be cut off from telling the truth and exposing odium simply because the subjects of their stories run to the police and claim they are being harassed and that it is causing them angst.

I have been charged with five counts of stalking different, but professionally related, individuals. Each of the charges relates to one or more articles I have written about certain people accusing them of unethical or unlawful conduct.

None of the charges involves females; none involve any form of improper sexual conduct (Maggie is enough for me: I don't need to go shopping); there are no allegations of contact, physical or otherwise, other than an attempt/s to contact the subjects of stories to seek comment and/or provide a right of reply prior to publication; there are no allegations of anything at all other than what is contained in the stories.

It is worth noting that not one of the five people that I am ridiculously charged with 'stalking' has ever taken civil action against me for defamation or libel in relation to any story that I have written. There is a simple reason for this: the stories are true.

So why I am I being harassed by a certain cabal of plain-clothed police from the Hendra CIB, who seem to delight in coming to my home in packs with guns on their hips and frightening my elderly father and infant grandson as they force entry via warrant to remove my tools of trade, research files, telecommunication links to the outside world, and my wife and children's devices too?

I am not at liberty to place my opinion on the public record, but ask you to consider this.

My friend Hedley Thomas's brilliant podcast series 'The Teacher's Pet' - in which he all but openly (and in most people's view correctly) accuses a man of murder - has been downloaded by 1.2 million people and the eighth episode is about to be released.

I have accused no-one of murder or any such serious violent offence, but rather have made accusations of a range of wrongdoing by people who I firmly believe, based on evidence, have done what I have stated or suggested that I have.

My stories and those of Hedley Thomas, while worlds apart in content and probably quality (mine are better), are really of much the same vein. We are both investigative journalists who have done the hard slog and come up with certain conclusions based upon our research and subsequent hypothesis-testing and fact-checking.

However Hedley has not been charged with stalking, and I have. How does that work?

Don't think for a moment that I am suggesting that Australia's leading journalist is a stalker, for I am certainly not. I am simply stating unequivocally that I am not either.

The big difference though is that one of us works for the mainstream media and has the protection of the Murdoch Empire's legal resources and funds, and the other works for himself and has no lawyers and no funds to pay for them.

That's why I am asking you to help if you can.

If I am silenced not only does the racing public lose a unique voice writing about the things that others don't and calling it as he sees it with neither fear nor favour; that's the least of it. The real issue is that by virtue of these totally absurd charges and the impact that they are having on my work and my life I am being used as an example to deter others who may wish to speak up or about issues of extreme importance to our sport.

Meanwhile we race on in the choppy seas at Doomben week after week, or are airlifted to the even rougher waters of Ipswich, or up and down the coast to tracks that are already doing more than their share of the lifting, and no-one is standing up and telling you how, who and why.

I'd love to keep doing so, but to do that I need to be able to pay lawyers to do their business while I concentrate on ours.

That can only be achieved with your support.

Racing matters, and so do the people who love it; and we deserve a fearless, independent voice.

Love me or hate me, agree or disagree with what I write; it doesn't matter. I'm the only one telling you the other side of the story, and that voice is mine.

Please help us keep it alive by digging deep and chucking something into the hat if you can.

Thanks sportsfans.

Good luck, and have a winning day. Help spread the word!


WHILST the approach that LETSGOHORSERACING takes is often poles apart from that of the BUTTERFLY, we believe that the goal posts have now been moved providing an opportunity for the law to be manipulated where websites that dare to question or objectively criticize are concerned.

Greater powers were needed to ensure offenders involved in terrorism and pedapholeia could be brought to justice. Our country and children need and deserve to be safe. Something needs to be done to control those who basically say what they like on Facebook and Twitter regardless of the laws of defamation. There are even racing websites that allow visitors to ‘chat rooms’ posting under psuedonyms to character assassinate whoever they please yet they seem to go unnoticed while those operating ‘investigative’ blogs are under the microscope.

One could argue that under the new ‘communication device stalking law’ an investigative journalist (without the backing of one of the big media organizations in this country) who legitimately exposes what he or she believes to be illegal activity or corruption of some sort, could be arrested, charged, convicted, censored or silenced by complaints to police from those they are targeting that they are being harassed or menaced. In some cases this runs the risk of a manipulation of the legal system that protects those with the most to lose – the crooks.

Interestingly, it has been brought to our attention at LGHR that under the new Unlawful Stalking Reforms there was particular protection granted to certain parties to ensure what we have just referred to above didn’t happen.

One section of the Bill reads that prohibition on harassment does not apply where a person can show that:

IN the particular circumstances the pursuit of the course of conduct was reasonable. This exemption was included to safeguard the legitimate activities of people such as journalists, salesmen, religious activists, debt collectors, private investigators or political canvassers.

We’re not too comfortable being bundled in with some in that group. Nevertheless, the police have a job to do, on-line harassment has become a major problem and LGHR like every other website operator and blogger needs to stay within the limits of what is acceptable. Keep your contributions coming but please bear in mind that every word you write is now under the microscope not only from lawyers acting on behalf of those you might criticize but also the lawmakers in this State and country.   



INTERESTINGLY, one QUEENSLAND BLOGGER (not racing related) has already been cleared of a ‘stalking charge’ under this innocuous new law.

Here is an ABC NEWS report by PAUL ROBINSON and KRISTIAN SILVA  headlined: ‘Blogger Petros Khalesirad cleared of charges over alleged stalking of Queensland MP’ which reads:

A court has thrown out unlawful stalking charges against a self-described citizen journalist accused of harassing Labor MP Brittany Lauga.

Petros Khalesirad, a local businessman and political blogger, was accused of making derogatory posts on social media and publishing Ms Lauga's phone number and a photo of her house online.

On one occasion he referred to her as the ‘minister for trailer trash’, and asked her neighbors when she walked her dog.

In court, the Keppel MP said the posts made her anxious, and she felt as if she was under constant surveillance by Mr Khalesirad.

However, Rockhampton Magistrate Cameron Press said the weight of evidence was not strong enough to prove a stalking charge and said Mr Khalesirad had no case to answer.

"I cannot conclude that a reasonable jury even taking the evidence at its highest could find that the charge was proved beyond reasonable doubt," he said.

In court, Mr Khalesirad's lawyers argued the charges were concocted to pressure him into dropping an investigation of fraud allegations against Ms Lauga's husband.

"Democracy's an important thing in Australia under a representative government," Mr Khalesirad said outside court.

"I think we have a right to ask questions about government decisions, indeed policy decisions, about members of parliament. I think it's everyone's obligation to do that."

In a statement, Ms Lauga said she was "incredibly disappointed" by the court's verdict.

"Politics can be a nasty business, but I remain determined not to stoop to the level of those who seek to destroy my reputation," she said.



MELBOURNE’S Spring Racing Carnival has been an integral part of the city's culture for well over 100 years. Culminating in one of the world’s most prestigious horse races on the first Tuesday in November in the Melbourne Cup, the ever-vibrant city comes alive for the weeks leading up to the 'race that stops a nation'.

While the racing is obviously the focus, there is far more to the carnival than the horses and far more to the city itself. Carnival time is one of the best periods of the year to visit Melbourne and there's plenty to keep you busy when you're not trackside.

To start your day in Melbourne without a coffee would be borderline offensive in this caffeine-obsessed town. Soak up the European vibe by grabbing a seat at Degraves Espresso on Degraves St, ordering a latte and some breakfast, and make sure you've got a copy of the day's newspaper to read up on the latest form & racing news for the next race day.

Now that you've woken up properly, stroll across the Princes Bridge before taking your pick from either side of St Kilda Road. The eastern side will give you a relaxing walk through the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens while the west leads to the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia's largest art gallery and home to a wide range of exhibitions all year round.

No doubt hungry after the morning's activities, you have an almost overwhelming array of choices for lunch. Melbourne is a truly multicultural city so you'll be able to satisfy any craving. The city's Chinatown runs through the eastern end of Little Bourke Street and is the perfect place to grab some dumplings or a bowl of noodles. The surrounding area is packed with other Asian cuisine, so if Ramen, Massaman Curry or Pho is more to your liking, it won't take you long to find your ideal spot.

From there, continue north through the city centre towards the Old Melbourne Gaol on Russell Street, where you can tour the prison grounds and brush up on your knowledge of Melbourne's criminal history in the era shortly after European settlement.

If the Gaol isn’t to your liking, wander a few more blocks north towards Carlton Gardens at the top of Spring Street, where amongst the grand old trees and floral displays you'll find the stunning old Royal Exhibition building which once housed the first Federal Parliament of Australia. Just behind the Exhibition Building is the Melbourne Museum, well worth a visit for the intriguing exhibits on nature and cultural history.

Just a few blocks westwards from Carlton Gardens is Lygon Street, home to Melbourne's huge Italian community and all the magnificent pizza, pasta and gelato that you'd expect to come with it. Fill up on delicious food here before making your way back down to the southern end of the city centre, because no evening would be complete without a few drinks to cap off a day well spent.

Alongside the Yarra River, there are numerous options to sit and enjoy a refreshing beer or cocktail with a beautiful view of the city. A few local favourites include Abory Bar & Eatery, which sits on the northern bank of the river between Flinders Street Station and the water and Ponyfish Island, a tiny island haven in the middle of the river underneath the Southbank pedestrian bridge. Failing that, just head to the strip along Southbank promenade where you can find popular destinations like Ludlow and The Breslin.

And after the perfect end to your day in this wonderful city, what's left to do but head home for a well-earned rest and make sure you're in top form before heading out to the racecourse in the morning? As of May 15th, Betway has last year’s winner Rekindling as the favourite to take out the 2018 Melbourne Cup at 20/1, so don't forget to keep an eye out before the odds shorten!


AUSTRALIAN horse racing enthusiasts and in particular those who enjoy betting on horses may enjoy another form of gaming entertainment. Casino style games such as online pokies, blackjack roulette and similar games have become increasingly popular with Australian players. Choosing an Australian online casino to play at is as simple as visiting a resource such as, who provide reviews & ratings, news and other useful information.



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« 2018-Jul-11, 08:41 AM Reply #1086 »
No surprise that the Nathan Exelby exclusive revealing the details of Mark Currie's appeal to QCAT with video evidence led the contributions this week ......a compilation of the views expressed due to legal obstacles with only those that passed muster getting a run ...still some strong opinions there which are in the hanging judge category...but only one rmostly cynical view of the 4 Corners program from Monday on racing issues  ...maybe the ABC is out of bounds for some of the usual suspects always there are other issues ending with a repeat of the Zelko story previously posted on this Forum by a keen eyed news hound.......and a rumour that Ian Brown has been appointed Deputy to incoming Chief Steward Peter Chadwick at QRIC who it was reported claimed that in Singapore there's a rule that allowed him to have ownership of Royal Phoenix which QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett apparently accepted on face value...when inquiries have discovered there's NO such much for detective work.




THE CURRIE stable was catapulted back into the racing spotlight this week when The Courier-Mail exclusively obtained CCTV footage which stewards allege shows father Mark illegally administering race day treatment to horses trained by his son Ben.

Mark Currie has been disqualified for two years on 16 charges and stablehand Greg Britnell for 18 months on 15 charges. Ben, Queensland’s leading trainer for the past two seasons preparing 250 winners out of his Toowoomba stables, is facing 31 charges which are yet to be heard.

Late last month, Mark Currie was granted a Stay of Proceedings until his appeal is heard by QCAT at a date yet to be determined. That meant that documents pertaining to the case had to be filed with QCAT and The Courier-Mail was able (under Freedom of Information) to access content of the CCTV footage and transcripts from numerous inquiries that have taken place since he was first questioned in early April.

For some strange reason, all of the stewards’ inquiries have been held behind closed doors, with no access to media which means the public has been kept in the dark on important integrity issues relating to what has been described as the biggest controversy in Queensland racing since the Fine Cotton ring-in.

PLENTY of contributors to the WEDNESDAY WHINGE have wanted to HAVE THEIR SAY on this issue but we need to be mindful that appeals and charges are yet to be finalized meaning the parties involved are entitled to a presumption of innocence. However, in the public interests we have legal advice that enables us to run excerpts from some of the emails received:



‘CONGRATULATIONS to Nathan Exelby and The Courier-Mail for finding a loophole that has enabled them to publish CCTV footage and transcripts of the Mark Currie inquiry.

It’s a massive backflip on what we have come to expect from the mainstream racing media for far too long. It’s good to see at least one is now out of step with his weak kneed colleagues and is doing his job of  protecting the interests of the punting public.

The CCTV footage and transcripts are certainly very damning for Mark Currie, especially the latter where he reportedly has put his hand up. Let’s just hope he isn’t trying to take the blame entirely as the buck has to eventually stop with the trainer.’




‘IN the light of the alleged CCTV footage from the Currie stable in Toowoomba they can demand all the presumption of innocence they like, it’s not a good look for the industry in Queensland when these guys are allowed to continue to train winners and show boat themselves.

I saw where old man emu, Mark, is prepared to take the blame after apparently being caught red handed on video performing alleged race day treatment at the stables.

Here’s hoping he doesn’t expect us to believe any submissions from the Perry Mason of racing that his client, little Ben, was tucked away innocently in his bed while all this was going on oblivious to what was happening to the horses he trains and takes the credit for when they win.’



‘IF Ben and Mark Currie are found guilty after QRIC unearths all its evidence – despite a questionable appeals process in Queensland – then their stable should be closed down forever and they should be disqualified for life.

We’ve all no doubt watched the 4Corners report on the Aquanita scandal involving top trainer Robert Smerdon in Victoria and Integrity lessons need to be learnt from that.

There are those who believe the playing field in Queensland has been less than level for a long time. If that is found to be the case then an example needs to be made of those who have been responsible.

What concerns many trainers is that Mark Currie – despite this incriminating CCTV footage – has been granted a stay of proceedings to help his son continue to train – in fact the stable landed six winners last Friday, Saturday and Sunday (although one of those was relegated on protest at Toowoomba).’




‘THE story goes that Ben Currie and his dwindling legion of supporters are blowing up big time about the media securing the CCTV footage of his dad and a stablehand giving their horses some race day treatment.

That comes as no surprise because it makes all this cry of a witch hunt and persecution of the Currie stable look a little lame right now – doesn’t it – regardless of the outcome of the 30-odd charges still to be heard against Ben.

What really annoys me as a long-time follower of racing in south-east Queensland and a one-time punter (I will no longer bet on the local product) is that the hearings involving the Currie stable have been closed to the media.

One has to ask why this is so? Surely, in the interests of the racing and punting public, these should be open to ensure that evidence and questions being asked by stewards and the answers provided by the stable are out there for all to hear and consider.

The Currie’s claim they are not getting a fair go from QRIC. With all due respects, the punters can rightly claim the same while they are being kept in the dark with inquiries being conducted for some strange reason behind closed doors.’

EDITOR’S NOTE: WE received emails from many contributors wanting to HAVE THEIR SAY on the CURRIE STORY. Unfortunately, we were unable to publish the majority of these for legal reasons. Needless to say feelings on this issue and the on-going inquiry are still running high and very few of those wanting to express their views with us agree with the stable perception that this is a ‘witch hunt’ – in fact they support the strong stance being taken by QRIC and its stewards.



THE 4CORNERS episode ON TRACK proved a bit of an anti-climax according to most who expressed their views through the WEDNESDAY WHINGE. Here is a compilation of what most had to say hoping it expresses the message the majority wanted to get across:

THE annual bagging of the racing industry by 4CORNERS that we have come to expect was in the opinion of most viewers an absolute dud.

They didn’t tell us much more than most already knew. Whilst the Australian racing industry is going from strength to strength behind the glamorous façade all is not well.

Peter V’Landys (Racing NSW CEO) used the program as another opportunity to sink the slipper into Racing Victoria and promote his baby, The Everest. He tells us racing’s under 35’s want an event of their own and don’t want to follow what their mums and dads did (one suspects he is bagging the Melbourne Cup – another lost cause).

4CORNERS found another opportunity to suggest that racing is heading ‘Off Track’ – the name of the latest episode attacking the industry. They highlighted the Aquanita Doping Scandal as the ‘integrity issue shaking the faith of those who have dedicated their lives to the sport’.

Questions were posed about whether Racing Victoria had done enough to police the issue, whether they pussy-footed around with trainer Robert Smerdon by handing his mobile back to him early days of the inquiry; asked how the doping situation was allowed to happen for so long right under their noses and whether processes were in place to protect stakeholders and the punting public in the future.

Form analyst Ralph Horowitz, known as ‘Racetrack Ralphy’ was called on for his expert opinion and pointed out how the Smerdon team ‘were winning races through the roof’ with their horses performing beyond expectations. Perhaps a form analyst with the punter respect of Dean Lester or David Gately would have been better credentialed to comment or taken more seriously.

No program criticizing integrity practices in Victoria would have been complete without a whine from one of the ‘cobalt kids’. Danny O’Brien claimed stewards treated him differently (more unfairly) than Robert Smerdon and once again had us believe (as the appeal judge did) that a veterinarian treated their horses with cobalt without the knowledge of the trainers.

4CORNERS again threw up the old chestnut of horse welfare – everything from whip use to horses that are too old, too slow or no good ending up at the knackery. There were also questions about what happens to the 2,000 foals that don’t make it to the track. The need to trace thoroughbreds from birth to death was highlighted by V’landys as a Racing NSW initiative and it sounds a good one but expect some resistance from the breeders.

And we were told that of the more than $600 million allocated to stakes in horse racing in Australia each year almost one third is won by the top 20 trainers. Complaints that the professionals are running the battlers out of business in the country were countered by a V’landys response that ‘racing is a competitive sport. Just because you have a slow horse doesn’t mean you have to get a share of the prizemoney.’

At the end of the day nothing new – or an expose as promised by some at the ABC of that pedophile trainer who continues to enjoy the spotlight – just another reminder that a rogue element will always exist in the gambling culture.’





CRAIG WILLIAMS might not be every punter’s cup of tea but his haul of six winners on Finals Day at Flemington was outstanding.

 His career-best effort went within a short half head of seven and increased Williams’ lead in the metropolitan jockeys’ premiership.

Darren Weir, who trained three of Williams’ winners, ­described him as the hardest working jockey in racing. “He’s the only jockey who rings me on a Sunday morning. That’s how hard he works at it.”



THE intriguing battle between Joao Moreira and Zac Purton for the Hong Kong jockeys’ premiership has proved great viewing.

And it will continue for the last two meetings of the season at Happy Valley on Wednesday night then Sha Tin next Sunday.

The duo won four races each – with finishes that had the big crowd cheering for more on Sunday. Purton leads by three wins with 19 races yet to be decided.



IT’S unusual to see favorites dominate on TAB cards anywhere these days.

For the first time in seven years all eight favorites saluted at Belmont in Western Australia last Saturday – their prices ranging from $1.8 to $3.2.

And at the Sunshine Coast in Queensland it must have been a ‘full moon’ when a virtually unheard of eight favorites were successful – every race on the card. These ranged from $1.4 to $3.75.

The only difference to Perth is that in the second – a three-horse race – there were equal favorites which ran first and last.




VERY few agreed with the sentiments of outspoken trainer LEE FREEDMAN who scoffed at suggestions that rising star NATURE STIP was deserving of a slot in The Everest following his Flemington win on Saturday.

Nature Strip backed up his sensational win over 1100m at Flemington a fortnight ago with another success, this time in the Listed Creswick Series Final – but he did look to be getting tired at the finish of the 1200m journey.

In a post-race interview with's Jason Richardson, trainer Darren Weir revealed that connections were eyeing a possible start in The Everest to be run in October.

Freedman, currently training in Singapore and obviously enjoying a ‘Sling or two or three’, responded to The Everest plan for Nature Strip by tweeting: ‘That's a joke right?’

That lit up the Twitter debate with retaliation from Nick Williams and Manny Gelagotis. Williams tweeted: ‘Lee, so what is the difference between a winter race and a spring non-ratings race – plenty of money but still not a G race.’

Then there were those who simply suggested that Freedman didn’t want to see opposition like Nature Strip for his former stable’s two hopes in The Everest – Stradbroke winner Santa Ana Lane and the promising Shoals.


WE received a couple of WHINGES concerning the fine imposed on popular jockey Kathy O’Hara for misconduct at Randwick on Saturday.

Kathy was fined $1,000 ($500 of it suspended) after she said: ‘It’s a  :censored: ing joke’ when leaving a stewards’ inquiry into her ride on You Make Me Smile.

Racing NSW Acting Chief Steward Philip Dingwall told O’Hara that her comments were unacceptable and that ‘they do racing a disservice and you a greater disservice’.

The Stewards’ Report on the incident read:

K O 'Hara pleaded guilty to a charge of misconduct under AR83(a) for making an inappropriate comment as she left the Stewards room following an inquiry in this race. K O'Hara was fined the sum of $1,000. Acting under the provisions of AR196(4) Stewards stayed $500 for a period of 12 months. K O'Hara was advised that her conduct at recent inquiries had been less than satisfactory and she must conduct herself in a professional manner in similar circumstances.

Our contributors suggested stewards would be more highly regarded by the punters if they took some action concerning the form reversals from Chris Waller-trained runners especially in races where stablemates are successful and favourites fail.



NOTHING official from the QRIC bunker but we are told that IAN BROWN has been appointed Deputy to Peter Chadwick, new Chief Steward heading to Queensland from Singapore.

Brown, who has served his time as Chief Stipe in North Queensland and on the Gold Coast, beat some stewards with more experience for the job, including Martin Knibbs, who has worked in Sydney and Hong Kong. Plenty are starting to ask what Knibbs has done to hit so many hurdles when it comes to promotion at QRIC.

Where can we expect Marty to be sidelined to in future? There’s a tip he’s going to the dogs!

As for the promotion of Mrs Brown's 'boy' well some are saying it pays to be 'related' to the right people which simply isn't fair on a bloke who we at LGHR reckon does a terrific job and is a good choice.



THE win by the Ben Currie-trained APOLOBOOM at Doomben was one of the biggest form reversals of the weekend but attracted little interest from the stipes.

Apoloboom, which firmed before starting $6.5, had run 8th at the Gold Coast and 6th (to stablemate Isis Magic) at Toowoomba at its two previous starts. He had no luck when wide at his latest run but it was still a rise in class against Saturday grade horses on Saturday.

Enough said or we’ll be accused of a ‘witch hunt’ and ‘persecution’ of the Currie stable.



CHAMPION trainer DARREN WEIR was far from happy with the ride of DEAN YENDALL on the heavily-backed MOUNT KILCOY at FLEMINGTON on Saturday.

Stewards quizzed the Yendall tactics and he agreed it wasn’t one of his better rides. Yendall admitted he could have hooked Mount Kilcoy out about 50m early but with the strong headwind in the straight was not convinced he would have overhauled Mr Money Bags.

Yendall rides a lot of winners for the leading stable – especially at the provincials – but is responsible for more slaughter jobs than most.




THE ‘pub punters’’ favorite jockey, Dean Yendall, was in strife again for making an inappropriate post-race remark late last week.

Yendall was fined $200 following his win aboard Helcrimson at Bendigo last Friday. He had just unsaddled his mount when approached by's Brad Bishop for the customary interview.

After being asked how he was feeling after the win, Yendall replied that he was suffering from wrist soreness. Elaborating on the cause of the pain, Yendall told Bishop and viewers that it was due to 'too much wanking'.

Bishop, not surprisingly caught off-guard, tried his best to steer the conversation in a more PG-rated direction.

Yendall is no stranger to unsavoury post-race comments, with the Victorian hoop infamously declaring that he had ‘a raging horn’ after winning the 2016 Myer Classic.

Here are a couple of responses to his ‘wank’ comment:

‘Those who support him clearly don't know the difference between first class and second. As for those who think that Yendall is ‘hilarious’, they either have no sense of humor or respond to all levels of toilet humor which is the lowest class humor of them all.’

‘A pygmy with a matching brain.’

‘Gives the punters a good laugh. I feel like sending him the 200 for making my day.’

‘The fact that they fined him for this is absurd. Who do they think their audience is? No one watching would have been offended.’



SINGAPORE-bound Chief Steward TERRY BAILEY handed down his last suspension in Melbourne when CHRIS PARNHAM copped a 20 meetings for reckless riding on GOLDIFOX at Flemington on Saturday.

The West Australian hoop was not seen at his best, shifting out abruptly in the straight and interfering with Pedicel and Inkslinger, which almost fell.

Parnham described the incident as a brain fade but believed it should have been a careless riding charge, rather than a reckless one.



OUR spies report that the QRIC cops were out in force at Rockhampton for the two-day Newmarket and Cup Day meetings.

They were said to be ‘like bees around a honey pot’ with one visiting trainer apparently attracting considerable interest.

There was not so much attention by integrity to freezing, faraway Oak Park however where one visiting trainer earned the ‘tag’ of the ‘Ben Currie of the North’ – for all the wrong reasons.



Inside the extravagant life of the world's biggest professional gambler, known as 'The Joker' - who spends $3 billion a year betting on horse races:

THIS is probably a story that you would have expected Horse Racing Only to run given the publisher’s reported close connection to the individual written about. But we don’t mind reproducing it courtesy of the DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA (report by JOSH HANRAHAN) given the interest that ZELJKO RANOGAJEC apparently has in betting on Queensland racing.

Zeljko Ranogajec, 57, is considered the world's biggest gambler, betting $3 billion annually on horse racing
Ranogajec has been pictured only rarely and keeps business and day-to-day lifestyle extremely private
Along with wife Shelley and their daughter Emily, they left Sydney for London's most exclusive address in 2011
Now, Daily Mail Australia can give a revealing look into the extravagant lifestyle of the billionaire punter
He is the man who beats the odds - the world's biggest professional gambler.

But Australian billionaire punter Zeljko Ranogajec, a master mathematician known around the globe as 'The Joker', is also an elusive man of mystery.

Despite outlaying an estimated $3 billion on international gambling every year, including an extraordinary $800 million on the Australian horse industry, the 57-year-old is fiercely private.

The mammoth gambler is so rarely seen he is often jokingly compared to Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster or the Tasmanian Tiger.

But after flying under the radar for much of his life, Daily Mail Australia can now provide a rare insight into the extravagant world of Ranogajec, his wife Shelley and their teenage daughter Emily.

Intimate family pictures reveal a jet-set lifestyle of flying between continents, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous, and booking top seats at major events such as Wimbledon.

After growing up in Tasmania, Ranogajec (who also goes by the pseudonym 'John Wilson') moved his family to London and the luxurious residence One Hyde Park, where a single apartment sold for a world record AUD$255 million in 2014.

A RARE PHOTO of the man widely believed to be the world's biggest gambler, Zeljko Ranogajec (centre, in hat). His wife Shelley (next to him) and daughter Emily (second from left) are seen alongside him, as is his good friend David Walsh (far right) The Joker: Zeljko and Shelley married in March 1998. The professional gambler has been known to use the pseudonym 'John Wilson' to hide his identity in some business dealings.

As his wealth and gambling achievements grew, The Joker went out of his way to keep his day-to-day life private, employing tech experts to keep his business interests hidden in complex corporate mazes.

'We like to keep our dealings secretive. Nothing in writing,' he famously said of his punting in 2008 court evidence.

In 2015, Ranogajec surprisingly opened a private Twitter page, describing himself as:  'Allegedly the world's biggest punter and high stake professional gambler.' 

He listed his hometown as Australia, London and USA but as usual his identity remained hidden - behind a 'profile picture' of a $600,000 Lamborghini Aventador.

Similarly Ranogajec's wife and only child have also gone to great lengths to keep their identities secret, using pseudonyms and rarely showing their faces in photos.

But the pair's secretive social media accounts, in which they refer to themselves as 'Aussies living in London', are far more revealing, detailing the often lavish events they attend and famous people they meet.

The family left Sydney in 2011 and headed to London, where they moved into One Hyde Park - the most expensive address in the world The billionaire family's extravagant lifestyle includes having front row seats to famous acts such as Celine DionThe billionaire family's extravagant lifestyle includes having front row seats to famous acts such as Ellie Goulding Rubbing shoulders with celebrities and fine dining with world renowned chef Heston Blumenthal is also the norm


Ranogajec and his family are on the move every few weeks, travelling from Milan to Melbourne, Los Angeles to Paris and Hobart to Singapore.

When not flying between continents, the Ranogajecs appear to have a love of the ocean, seeing in 2017 in style aboard the cruise liner Ovation of the Seas.

Other cruises have been taken with Australian friends including Tasmanian art collector David Walsh and Sydney socialite Kristy Mirzikinian.

The Ranogajecs are major fans of the arts and the couple's daughter regularly appears at musicals, where she has on occasion joined the singers on stage.

The family routinely has box tickets to the Wimbledon men's final and front row seats for acts including singer Ellie Goulding as well as mixing with celebrities such as supermodel Cara DeLevigne.

There are international flights at the front end of the plane, fast cars and fine dining at Michelin star restaurants.

For the Ranogajec circle it's not unusual to have renowned chef Heston Blumenthal dine at their personal table or say a polite 'hello' to actor George Clooney, seated at the one opposite.

Charity dinners and official functions are also common, with daughter Emily arranging events for organisations including the Fred Hollows Foundation.

Through her teens Emily also enjoyed a number of lavish birthday parties, with clowns replaced by singers and performers from Australia and the United Kingdom.

In response to a story on her father last month by respected Sydney journalist Kate McClymont, the teenager went on the attack, tweeting: 'I think Kate McClymont should've done some fact checking... I thought the SMH was supposed to be a reliable source.'

McClymont's story had explained how Ranogajec, under the name John Wilson, will get even richer next month. 'Mr Wilson', who has the same birthday and address as Ranogajec, is listed as a major shareholder in Colossus Bets.

The couple's only child Emily last month hit out on Twitter at a story about her very reclusive father, claiming the facts were wrong.


The online gambling company will next month launch betting facilities at 55 racecourses across the UK, rivaling the traditional Tote and raking them in millions annually.

But in the beginning it wasn't big bets and billion dollar companies.

Ranogajec studied Commerce and Law at the University of Tasmania in the 1980s, when he teamed up with good friend and talented mathematician David Walsh to cash in at the casino.

Using maths to their advantage the gambling mates were soon winning so much through blackjack and poker they were booted off Australian tables.

The pair travelled to the United States where they continued winning, until being accused of card counting and forced home.

Ranogajec then moved his attention away from casino tables and made horse racing his main focus.

The billionaire now has a cast of experts on his books - fellow mathematicians, experienced veterinarians and data analysts - plus trackside race day observers. A high-tech set up provides minute-by-minute racing results.

His team, known as 'the Bankroll', monitors races and horses around the world and around the clock, only gambling on a race or event once it reaches a specific size in the pool.

But while the mood of most punters hinges on whether they win or lose, Ranogajec has the race won before the barriers open.

Such is the value of his business gaming companies - including Australia's own Tabcorp - guarantee him rebates from the pool, sometimes up to as much as 20 per cent.

Ranogajec explained his business model during a rare public appearance before the Federal Court in 2008.

'It's very simple... if you bet $100 and lost $5, but you get a 10 per cent rebate, you still make 5 per cent,' he told a magistrate.

'You always win. I'm telling you that, if you bet very large, it's a pari-mutuel pool, you depreciate it so far that you end up getting under fair odds.

'If you fix something at $8, you get six, but if you get a rebate that puts you into the positive.

'We're called Bankroll Punters Club, that's what we call ourselves. Customers that bet on our level number in the handful in the world.'

He also revealed his stake in the highly successful syndicate called '20.613' percent. When the Australian Tax Office started looking into the syndicate, he moved his business address to the Isle Of Man, a tax haven in the waters between England and Ireland.

The family set up home for more than a decade on Sydney's exclusive north shore, before moving over to London Not only does he love to make money off sport, but also enjoy it in person with priceless tickets to events like the Wimbledon Men's final.

Ranogajec first made news in punting circles when word spread of an individual putting an enormous amount of cash through the TAB at The Vulcan, a pub in inner-city Sydney.

Soon, the betting turnover at the venue grew to be the highest in the whole city.

That was when the Croatian-born punter decided to buy the pub himself, such was the value of the commissions being made by the hotel owners from the TAB.

Another well-known story tells of how Ranogajec went all out to win a world record $7.5 million Keno jackpot at a Sydney RSL in 1994.

Ranogajec reportedly spent days at the North Ryde club, often arriving with seven-figure cheques in hand.

Eventually he won the jackpot and despite reportedly spending more than $7.5 million in doing so is believed to have come out on top with smaller prizes won along the way.

Ranogajec and David Walsh are also believed to have been responsible for four Keno jackpots going off in the space of 18 months at a small Hobart pub, the Waggon & Horses.

Much like his efforts to win the $7.5 million, Ranogajec and Walsh reportedly left betting slips for $340,000 lying around. In one year they reportedly bet more than $64 million in cash at the pub's TAB.

Flashback: Ranogajec and Walsh reportedly won millions on Keno and horse racing at The Waggon & Horses (pictured) in Hobart duting the 1990s. In one year the two best mates reportedly bet more than $64 million in cash across the pubs TABs Empi Ranogajec and Shelley bought neighbouring properties (pictured) in Mosman for a total of $19.75 million in 2008 One of the couple's lavish homes is now being rented by radio shockjock Kyle Sandilands and his girlfriend Imogen Anthony (both pictured) for $4,000-a-week

Gambling insiders have confirmed that while horse racing is Ranogajec's major focus, sports betting is also an area of interest - as long as the pool is big enough.

Unlike his jet-setting business partner, Walsh has remained in Tasmania and is famous for his $200 million Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).

Outside of gambling one of Ranogajec and Shelley's biggest investments has been their property empire.

In 2008 they bought neighbouring mansions at Balmoral Beach, a regular haunt of the family's, for $19.75 million.

One of the homes is rented by radio shockjock Kyle Sandilands and his girlfriend Imogen Anthony for $4,000 a week.

The Ranogajec family packed up and left Sydney for London in 2011, but seems to be in no doubt about where they call home.

The Joker regularly returns to Australia to visit family and friends and catch-ups with his old mate Walsh, where they surely reminisce about the old days, are common.



Giddy Up :beer:

« Last Edit: 2018-Jul-11, 08:46 AM by Arsenal »

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Jul-18, 08:30 PM Reply #1087 »
Very late putting this up thanks to NBN maintenance started last night at 11pm and supposed to finish at 6am today but not in my house service only restored thanks to Telstra guy named Prince.....not a lot some comments on voting for the most popular ...wouldn't draw too big a response IMO the golf club elections only attract a small number of voters so I can't imagine this popularity contest would be very exciting.

IF the response we received is any gauge the racing and punting public of Australia would welcome the opportunity to vote for the most popular jockey, trainer and horse each year.
There were some very tongue-in-cheek comments following the story that in Hong Kong, where the Jockey Club run an on-line poll combined with an extensive publicity campaign encouraging people to vote, Zac Purton was more popular than Joao Moreira and Pakistan Star streets ahead of Horse of the Year Beauty Generation.
It wouldn’t be as simple to run in OZ with the various States having to conduct their own polls ahead of a national final the best choice in the eyes of those who would like to see Australian racing follow the Hong Kong lead.
HERE are a couple of contributions that we chose to publish on the issue:
‘My mates and I support the suggestion by Nathan Exelby in The Courier-Mailthat the ‘most popular’ concept adopted in Hong Kong should be introduced in Australia.
Wouldn’t it be fairer to engage the racing and punting public in the decision-making process than have the Awards voted on by high profile officials and members of the mainstream racing media who always seem to have their own favorites and agendas?
The Most Popular Horse category in recent years would have been a no-brainer with Winx and Black Caviar arguably winning hands down.
One could also suggest that the men who guided their careers in Chris Waller and Peter Moody would have been voted Most Popular Trainers of those particular eras. But nowadays Darren Weir could beat them both.
When it comes to Most Popular Jockey it isn’t the two-horse race that emerged in Hong Kong with rivals the ‘Magic Man’ Moreira and ‘Aussie’ Zac Purton a furlong in front.
One would have to consider Willie Pike from Perth a genuine rival to the likes of Craig Williams, Hugh Bowman and even the ‘wonder woman’ of Australian racing, Linda Meech.
It’s all food for thought and would make for much more positive comment in racing than the usual ‘political favoritism’ claims associated with current voting system.’
ALAN THURSTON of GOLD COAST sent this email:
‘MIGHT I suggest that what Australian racing needs as much as a Most Popular Horse, Jockey or Trainer is a Most Popular Personality Award?
Peter Moody might no longer by involved in the training business but he is in demand as a keynote speaker on all things racing and one could argue would win this Award by streets. There are few more knockabout popular characters in Australian racing than Moods. 
Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne is in the same boat when it comes to popularity but her stocks are higher these days outside the racing spectrum. Michelle’s profile is set to sky-rocket even further with the release of the movie, Ride Like a Girl, early next year.
Darren Weir, the bush boy from Berriwillock, who has taken training success in this country to a new level, is a likeable larrikin who would attract a stack of votes. He features in a recent biography written by Bruce Clark – Weiry – the Rise and Rise of Darren Weir.
There are many others who possess the credentials but lack the overall appeal to be voted Australian Racing’s Most Popular Personality.
Chris Waller for instance, despite the fact that he is a Kiwi, isn’t every punter’s cup of tea. No-one questions his amazing training feats with the champion mare Winx but his penchant to cry when interviewed after most of his big wins is as un-Australian as it gets in the eyes of most hardened punters. And we haven’t mentioned the ordinary race days when those who follow his stable are blown out of the water on a regular basis by form reversals from second string runners in races where he saddles up the favorites.
There is always the ‘First Lady of Racing’ – Gai Waterhouse – but most see her as yesterday’s news these days. There are so many more women in racing attracting the spotlight like Michelle Payne, the likeable Linda Meech and the soon-to-be-retired Clare Lindop.
Meech has shown she can compete with the best of the men on the track and is currently vying for the Victorian riding premiership. Her statistics are amazing.
Michelle, on the other hand, attracts much more media spotlight – unfortunately not always positive from the day she created history winning the Melbourne Cup. There are times she shoots from the hip then has to eat her words.
Gai’s right hand man Robbie recently wrote of Payne: 
MICHELLE Payne is a great asset to racing and I like and admire her very much. I want her to be successful. However, when you are publicly vocal on an issue (as she is), you must expect debate. Michelle had a lot to say about Sandown (recently). She has publicly complained about Flemington and other tracks in the past.
May I gently point out; Michelle’s ‘walk’ doesn’t match her ‘talk’? This is her record or ‘walk’: Acceptors 138: ran 95; on good 22, dead 58, slow 8, heavy 7. Scratched 43: on good 8, dead 24, slow 5, heavy 6.
This translates to: Payne scratching on good 36% of acceptors; dead 41%, slow 62% and heavy 85%.
This is typical of all the soft track-advocating trainers. Bart Cummings was the worst.
Lee Freedman and I were asked to discuss the tracks policy on Radio RSN late 2016. I stopped his argument quickly quoting his stats:
    All   F/G   D   S/H
Ran   5534   2859   1757   918
Scratched   902   293   311   298
    14.0%   9.3%   15.0%   24.5%
In contrast to those that like good tracks, they are huge ‘scratchers’ – outrageous to me.
Gai just lets them run.
As I have said to death: Horses break down less on good tracks, punters bet more, turnover is higher, tracks stand up to racing better, and therefore costs race clubs much less. Good tracks are always much safer for jockeys. Should be an easy argument. Artificially soft tracks are the enemy of racing and its participants.
Hope Michelle thinks about it and realizes she should welcome good tracks and not scratch on soft!
THEN, of course, we cannot list jockeys in the Most Popular Personality category without mention of Hugh Bowman who lets his performance on the track do the talking but is always humble and a real gentleman when interviewed about his successes.
No doubt I have overlooked several who others will consider were ‘must includes’. There are those who might say that the training feats of Ben Currie in Queensland have been freakish but others who would put up an argument that it might not be best for me to mention.
Like everything in racing it comes down to a matter of opinion but makes for good healthy debate.’
‘I would just like to say that if you are going to have Most Popular Horse, Jockey and Trainer Award categories voted on by the public why not let the punters decide who wins the Most Popular Tipster?
This would have to be made from those whose selections are available to the punting public through the media and not by subscription or sourced privately. 
SKY Channel will no doubt be promoting some of their bus load spearheaded of course by veteran form analyst Tony Brassel who with all due respects is one of the worst in the land considering the number of venues he tips at. He’s in good company at SKY with Bernadette Cooper in Brisbane way in front of the also-rans when it comes to finding losers.
I’ve been a punter for years and seen all the supposed superstar tipsters come and go – probably the most notable being Dominic Byrne who is still called on for his form expertise even if time has passed him by these days.
Might I suggest that there are currently two media tipsters who the majority of punters believe stand head and shoulders above the rest and they are both Victorian-based in Dean Lester and David Gately.
‘Deano’ has been around for a long time and attracts a huge following on his main base at RSN out of Melbourne. ‘Gater’, the new kid on the tipping block, is building a legion of punting fans through Best Bets and, especially its popular Thursday night preview show Get On. Lester has worn the crown of tipping king for so long it is hard to believe that he is under threat from Gately.
And on the subject of Awards one contender has to be Matt Hill for his race-calling. Who would have thought that a young man with such talent could already be compared to the likes of such great callers as Bert Bryant, John Russell, Bryan Martin and the irrepressible Greg Miles? As young as he is, Matty is already one of the ‘greats’ in the eyes and ears of many horse racing fans.’
HIGHLIGHT of the weekend for many was the Hong Kong jockeys’ premiership win by Aussie Zac Purton.
Considering how Purton has to battle weight a lot more his win over the Magic Man Joao Moreira was a remarkable effort – and he virtually had the title won before Sunday’s final meeting of the season at Sha Tin.
It still played out very well for those glued to the Hong Kong coverage with Moreira making a late bid to peg back the Purton lead at his final day of riding there before moving to Japan.
THE return to form by Voodoo Lad, swooping from last on the turn to win the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes at Caulfield was arguably the performance on the weekend.
It was another training triumph for Darren Weir but continued the great association Brad Rawiller has had with Voodoo Lad, having won four races from four rides on the bay gelding.
“It was a terrific ride as he’s not easy to ride and Brad just clicks with him,” Weir said. “You’ve got to do everything properly on him. He gets him into his rhythm. His previous two rides weren’t any good as he was pulling and he was ridden too close. He’s a good horse on his day.”
Voodoo Lad took his record to four wins from five starts at Caulfield and proved Weir correct in his pre-race warning that the horse had genuine excuses at his two previous failures in Adelaide and Brisbane.
SATURDAY racing produced two outstanding prospects in Zoustyle which won brilliantly at the Sunshine Coast and outstanding Caulfield debut winner Brutal.
Trainer Tony Gollan will spell the unbeaten Zoustyle and set him for the Autumn Carnival in Sydney. His time for the 1000m at Corbould Park was only slightly inferior to the Open winner on the day – Ringo’s A Rockstar.
The five length win by the O’Reilly colt Brutal was stunning. Team Hawkes have always had a big opinion of him but have been patient and that looks set to pay dividends.
VICTORIAN visitor Al Galayel attracted the lion’s share of stewards’ attention in the sixth at Rosehill on Saturday which featured yet another major form reversal from the Chris Waller stable.
Waller had five runners in the race, of which Raqeeq was the best fancied at $6 and charged home to be beaten a short neck by stablemate Vaucluse Bay which had been beaten 10th lengths into last place at his previous run at Randwick.
Amazingly the Racing NSW stewards’ panel, under the chairmanship of Mark Van Gestel, seemed more concerned about a change of tactics on the visitor Al Galayel from the Cairon Maher stable.
Their report reads that as the field was being loaded into the barrier stewards received advice from the Maher stable representative that Al Galayel would be ridden in a more forward position with the option to lead if possible. Due to the late notice stewards were not able to notify the change of tactics to the public. The stable was fined $500 for failing to notify within 30 minutes of the race with extenuating circumstances taken into account. Al Galayel again failed to negotiate the Sydney way of racing and tired to finish fifth.
While he was going backwards Vaucluse Bay pressed on to win and ran up to the better form he was showing prior to his dismal last at Randwick. But he was able to race wide and without cover for most of the trip and stewards did not bother to seek an explanation for the major form reversal which is punters complain is common place in Sydney racing when Waller has multiple runners.
Vaucluse Bay’s previous form to the Randwick flop was good and he dropped slightly in class but rose 4kg in weight to win at Rosehill where he firmed from $15 to $10.
Waller had four other runners in the race – the best fancied Raqeeq at $6 ran 2nd, Chatelard ($10, 7th), Monasterio ($21, 9th) and Mutarakem ($8.5, 12th).
Waller also had three runners in the third on Saturday. Prepost favorite Asterius blew like a gale from $3.8 to $5 and ran last while stablemate Jolly Honour backed from $6 to $4.8 bolted in. Stewards reported that Asterius over-raced, bled from both nostrils and incurred a mandatory three month ban.
WHEN you watch the deliberate ‘dives’ taken by some of those dingoes during the soccer World Cup it makes you appreciate just how brave our jockeys are.
And now some in racing are complaining because they want another riding fee increase. Whatever they get they deserve every cent of regardless of how much they can earn in prizemoney percentages or slings.
Back to the soccer – some of these blokes are paid outrageous tens of millions of dollars in contract fees and the best they can do when beaten for the ball is to take a ‘dive’.
Watching them writhing around on the ground in ‘false’ pain made a mockery of what was otherwise a showcase world event.
Even tiny lady jockeys take more risks every day of their lives for far less money and a lot more bravery than these cowardly kings of the football castle. 
APPRENTICE Boris Thornton has received some positive publicity since moving to Queensland but his ride on the hot favorite Privlaka in the opener at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday is best forgotten.
Somehow Privlaka, $1.6 to $1.5, managed to get into a bad pocket in the five horse field and didn’t get clear until the winner Yaba Dabl Doya $8 had established a winning break. Privlaka was beaten a short head but should have bolted in.
What didn’t help Thornton on Privlaka was Tegan Harrison’s mount Fast Arrow which sat three wide outside him and kept going when they straightened. The favorite had to ease back and around that horse to make his run which cost him victory.
Stewards inquired into his tactics and advised the apprentice that he had erred in not steadying Privlaka and bringing that horse to the outside earlier. Trainer Rob Heathcote agreed but said Privlaka would be sent for a spell.
Thornton was back in the room explaining the poor performance of Tan Tat Diamond ($3.5 to $4.8) which beat only one home in the second but had a lucky escape in the eighth when he was found not guilty of a careless riding charge on Scrabble when The Overdraft and the Real Spiel were checked.
SOME punters believed Shogun Sun was beaten by his bad alley when well tried in the final race at the Sunshine Coast while others blamed the ride.
Top jockey Jim Byrne couldn’t get in or find cover and was parked four wide throughout on Shogun Sun which battled to finish 10th. That didn't stop some punters who backed the horse from bagging his ride in emails to the Whinge.
Byrne told stewards his mount was unable to sprint like he did winning at his previous start which he attributed to its 59.5kg although some might say the horrific run out wide was also to blame.
Giddy Up :beer:

Offline PoisonPen7

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« 2018-Jul-18, 10:14 PM Reply #1088 »
Chris Waller for instance, despite the fact that he is a Kiwi, isn’t every punter’s cup of tea. No-one questions his amazing training feats with the champion mare Winx but his penchant to cry when interviewed after most of his big wins is as un-Australian as it gets in the eyes of most hardened punters.

He doesn't like Chris Waller does he. Not just this week.

I would say Chris is one of the most humble, softly spoken trainers I have ever seen. Comes across when interviewed as one of the nice guys in racing.

As for the comments about crying, I can honestly say I've never seen him cry in an interview and even if he did so what?

And his training stats speak for themselves.

You could only conclude those comments are nasty "tall poppy syndrome" comments.

Offline wily ole dog

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« 2018-Jul-19, 07:26 AM Reply #1089 »
Yes, pp, in the old days hardened punters would have called the author of that article a “cat” or a “bitch”

Offline PoisonPen7

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« 2018-Jul-19, 08:24 AM Reply #1090 »
Yes, pp, in the old days hardened punters would have called the author of that article a “cat” or a “bitch”

And further down he is having another go at Waller about form reversals.

I have made a lot of money following the fitness of Waller's horses.

Most of his horses (not 100%) are gotten fit by racing. At about third or fourth up from a spell they will often improve something up to 5 lengths on their previous run as the distances get longer and they gain fitness.

It is his style - not unlike Bart.

Cannot recall people whinging about Bart's horses improving as they approach peak fitness closer to their target races.

But for some reason he (or one of his correspondents) don't see this. We live in the Age Of Big Easy Targets by social media.  Very easy to type a few words slagging off at a successful horse trainer implying he is using drugs without one skerrick of evidence.

Offline nemisis

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« 2018-Jul-20, 12:53 PM Reply #1091 »
The comments on the form reversals are fair enough.

To even a casual observer it does look like the Sydney stewards don't ask enough questions of C Waller but it could put racing in a negative light so possibly that could be the reason.

While C Waller has an obligation to himself and his owners he also has an obligation to  racing in general to appear like he is doing the right thing.

If there is a simple explanation for Vaucluse Bay's improvement  let people who put their cash down hear it through a steward's report.

On the drug issue, C Waller's quite open declaration that he uses Lasix, surely would have come as a surprise to many.

Offline PoisonPen7

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« 2018-Jul-20, 06:47 PM Reply #1092 »
The comments on the form reversals are fair enough.

I don't see any "form reversals" with Waller's horses.

I see horse getting fitter and surprising with the improvement they show as they get into the 3rd and 4th run back from a spell but rarely form reversals.

Vaucluse Bay failed 4th run back from a spell on a Soft 7 in a BM90 race (out of his depth) and improved on a Good track and back down to BM80 and an extra 200m next start. He is clearly not a BM90 horse if you go back through his form.

The stewards ordered a vet inspection after his BM90 failure which makes bullshit of your claim that "stewards don't ask enough questions of C Waller". In fact on that day he had to report back to stewards on the condition of Montivideo from his previous start. They treat Waller exactly the same as everyone else.

Your hatred of people like Waller and Peter V'Landy's clouds your judgement mate IMO.

Offline nemisis

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« 2018-Jul-20, 07:58 PM Reply #1093 »
I  carry no hatred towards anyone.

I admire what C Waller has achieved but if I was betting I wouldn't be doing a lot of form in races where he had multiple runners.......just follow the late market.
Whenever any stable attempt to manufacture a result with multiple runners it would generally mean some of the other are not running on their merits...I think that's racing first rule isn't it?

Next time Waller has 3 or 4 in a race, especially when he has the pre-post fav......put your thoughts up here....see how you go.

 V'Landys?......well I think he is a certainly no fan.

Offline PoisonPen7

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« 2018-Jul-20, 08:02 PM Reply #1094 »

 V'Landys?......well I think he is a certainly no fan.

What has he done to be categorized as a dictator? Can you give a specific example?

Offline PoisonPen7

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« 2018-Jul-20, 08:12 PM Reply #1095 »

Next time Waller has 3 or 4 in a race, especially when he has the pre-post fav......put your thoughts up here....see how you go.

Melbourne Race 8 tomorrow he has 3 runners.

Back #9 and save on #13 (and #14 the Hayes horse).

Offline nemisis

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« 2018-Jul-20, 09:02 PM Reply #1096 »
What has he done to be categorized as a dictator? Can you give a specific example?
When the broadcasting arm of your industry has to sign a contract where they can't say anything negative...well that's a start.

When you give the mainstream racing journalists a job in your broadcasting arm...well that will get them onside as well.

Try the race in Sydney tomorrow because we are talking NSW.

Offline PoisonPen7

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« 2018-Jul-20, 10:55 PM Reply #1097 »
When the broadcasting arm of your industry has to sign a contract where they can't say anything negative...well that's a start.

When you give the mainstream racing journalists a job in your broadcasting arm...well that will get them onside as well.

Try the race in Sydney tomorrow because we are talking NSW.

Hang on a second.

The "broadcasting arm" is not owned by Racing NSW nor is it restricted in what it can say.

Are you saying that journalists employed by Fairfax, Sky, AAP, News Ltd, Channel 7, etc. are being told by Peter V'Landys what to write and what not to write?

So, for example, Kerry Stokes has told Bruce Mc that he must not say anything negative about NSW racing?

Heeeeres Jackie......

Offline nemisis

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« 2018-Jul-21, 07:55 PM Reply #1098 »
Hang on a second.

The "broadcasting arm" is not owned by Racing NSW nor is it restricted in what it can say.

Are you saying that journalists employed by Fairfax, Sky, AAP, News Ltd, Channel 7, etc. are being told by Peter V'Landys what to write and what not to write?

So, for example, Kerry Stokes has told Bruce Mc that he must not say anything negative about NSW racing?

Heeeeres Jackie......

I think we've been through this before but yes, yes, don't know, yes and probably.
From my own point of view it's disappointing what's happened at Fairfax but with cuts and only a piddling racing coverage these days you can't blame them taking a gig at Sky.

There does seem to be plenty of work for tipsters there.

Finally as we are off topic I did take note of P V'Landys comment when the Aquanita scandal broke.
He described the Vic stewards as courageous for exposing the scale of the cheating.

If Peter thinks stewards have to be brave to do their jobs it might explain why all racing villains at the moment are in Victoria, Queensland and Adelaide   :bye:

Offline Arsenal

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« 2018-Jul-25, 09:12 AM Reply #1099 »
It's a full book today starting with the future of Albion Park the future of which  has been the subject of dispute between the owners RQ the APHRC and the BCC...... but by far the most interesting piece is about Monty Roberts 83.... the American horse whisperer from California  offering to fix Chautauqua for the right amount of money...... and you can't blame him for wanting his expertise with troublesome horses to be rewarded ...seeing his results fixing Pakistan Star  you would think Chautauqua would be a much  easier problem to  fix the horse has earned over $8M they're not short of a quid and without a miracle the way it's looking he'll never be a betting proposition even if he passes the mandatory two trials...... any other horse wouldn't have been given the same number of chances..... Rupert Leigh would be a mug not to get Monty on the blower and discuss terms.

THAT old chestnut – ‘build it and they will come’ – will never again apply to a major harness racing venue in Queensland.
Punters – big and small – have deserted the code largely due to a lack of confidence in the product which sadly has over the years lived up to its reputation as the ‘red hots’.
That is why no Government of any political persuasion or the control boards appointed to administer harness racing can afford to spend tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on what will inevitably become a ‘white elephant’.
The nights of big crowds flocking to Albion Park for the trots are long gone. Those of us who remember the halcyon days at the Creek in the late 60’s or the opening of the new multi-million dollar complex in the early 80s have watched in disbelief as the sport has degenerated to the stage where one wonders if it can ever be revived.
At the end of what The Courier-Mail described on Monday as ‘a successful winter harness racing carnival’ there remains the constant bleat that the future of Albion Park ‘remains in limbo’.
Blame – on this occasion – is being laid at the feet of the Labor Government and Racing Queensland with suggestions both bodies would support a sell-off of the venue. And why wouldn’t they?
Bob Bentley and his Board had the right idea of relocating the trots and dogs to a combined world class state-of-the-art centre to be built on the site of the Deagon gallops training complex. But that didn’t suit those with major real estate interests adjacent to the historic track. Politics dictated the fate of that proposal which was consigned to the rubbish bin when there was a change of Government.
But it didn’t resolve the problem and despite a farcical push for a new harness complex to be built at Yatala to replace Parklands, which was closed on the Gold Coast in 2013 to make way for the Commonwealth Games Athletics Village, the sport has been virtually marking time or going backwards.
Stirling Hinchliffe, who inherited the problem when he took over the Racing Minister’s portfolio, has revealed that of 40 sites identified as potential greyhound and harness venues ‘just four remain on the short list’.
As The Courier-Mail pointed out on Monday, the building of a new home for harness will take at least two years, so the empty space in front of the winning post at Albion Park, masked only by a part-time marquee and the scaffolding where officials and broadcasters are dangerously housed, will have to make do for some time yet.
Contributors to the Whinge are adamant that the establishment of multi-million dollar infrastructure or grandstand facilities for harness racing, even if it was the main venue for the sport in Queensland, would be ‘an absurd waste of money’. They say the answer is stronger policing of the sport but believe that will never happen for political reasons.
Such is the state of affairs in harness racing that the Albion Park Club’s official website says it all under the heading of ‘General Admission’: 
We offer free admission on all general race meetings. Some feature race meetings or charity events may have a small entry fee. If you are unsure if the day you are attending is a feature race meeting please contact the club on 07 3262 2577.
As one reader suggested: The general harness public, not to mention the punters of Brisbane, are so pissed off with the code that not only do they not want to take advantage of free admission to attend most race nights but the majority has also lost interest in betting on a sport where they believe only a privileged few are guaranteed of a run for their money in many races.   
Policing of the sport is another story that will be spelt out in the courts with several identities already charged. Don’t be surprised if smart lawyers get them off as seems to happen under this ridiculous QCAT Appeals System in Queensland that applies to the three codes.
LGHR decided a long time ago that it was a waste of time and space to even bother commenting on the problems confronting Queensland harness racing stewards. If some members of the mainstream racing media are too close to what is wrong and won’t do anything about it, why should we?
We also believe that regardless of what Government of any political persuasion is in power or who is running Racing Queensland, the influence of Harness King Kevin Seymour will decide what happens at the end of the day. We have the greatest respect for the contribution that Kevin and his wife Kay have made for decades but, as a successful businessman, one could argue that even he would admit a minor miracle is needed right now to ‘save the trots’ whether Albion Park is sold or not.   
WHY is it that every time stewards do their job – be it in relation to bad rides or illegal treatment of horses – some sections of the industry slam them for being too tough?
Punters generally are angry that on two successive Saturdays odds-on favorites that should have won have been beaten by slaughter jobs.
Now before the do-gooders start attacking those having a Whinge about this to LGHR and reminding them that the jockeys involved were apprentices, spare a thought for the tens of thousands of punting dollars that went down the drain.
Punters are entitled to a run for their money and in the case of Privlaka (at the Sunshine Coast) and Tumbler (at Doomben) that just didn’t happen. And on both occasions, to their credit, the apprentices involved put their hands up and admitted they made a mistake.
Stewards have been accused of inconsistency with Boris Thornton, the rider of Privlaka, escaping with a rap over the knuckles or a reprimand while they virtually threw the book at Corey Bayliss who was outed for six weeks after pleading guilty to failing to take all reasonable measures on Tumbler.   
Whether the two rides were poles apart is a matter for debate but ask any punter who follows racing and he or she will tell you both were slaughter jobs. What has got up the noses of many has been the knee-jerk reaction of top jockeys, Michael Cahill and Jim Byrne.
As one punter emailed to the WHINGE: ‘Stewards are capable of doing their jobs without any advice or interference from Cahill and Byrne, one of whom has perhaps the worst record in the country on beaten favorites. Surely it is up to the Jockeys’ Association, not individual members, to confront stewards over decisions handed down.’
Perhaps the QJA should be asking some questions or providing answers to why the Racing Queensland Training Department has reduced the presence of Jockey Advocates at TAB meetings. It’s just another example of how far behind Queensland is lagging – not just in prizemoney – but many other important aspects of the industry. 
The fact that stewards even entertained an explanation to Cahill and Byrne concerning the Bayliss suspension had one punter up in arms. ‘They should have just shown these two dudes the door and told them to mind their own business,” he wrote. “Instead they were given the opportunity to watch stewards’ footage and provided with an explanation. What’s next, do the stewards call in a deputation of jockeys or trainers before they impose a penalty on one of their colleagues to make sure it’s alright by them? What a farce!’
And as for the Michael Cahill comment: “You wouldn’t have got time in my days as an apprentice for an incident like that. You might have copped a bit of abuse from punters over the fence and not got a ride for that trainer for a while, but we didn’t get suspended,” one punter replied:
“You are so lucky Michael that punters don’t or aren’t allowed to demonstrate any more or you would be the subject to plenty of abuse for some of your rides these days.”
Perhaps Byrne got it right when he suggested there was an onus on senior riders to explain things to apprentices. “I said to Corey ‘that race is over, forget about it. Think forward. He has to put that race behind him. I think he needs to go back and probably sit down and watch a lot more videos and be more strategically minded in a race.”
That’s where it should have ended with the jocks offering their advice or the QJA intervening and doing their job rather than two premiership winners fronting stewards over action taken which quite frankly is none of their business.
DAMIEN LANE was the punters’ pin-up boy when he won four races on well backed runners at Flemington on Saturday.
Lane cost bookies plenty with his copybook performance aboard Naantali ($4 to $3.7), Visao ($4.6 to $4), Brave Song ($3.2 to $2.8) and Sixties Groove ($2 to $1.8).
The Weir-trained Sixties Groove looked the good thing of the day and delivered the goods for punters who are adamant that fancied runners perform to expectations much more in Melbourne than Sydney where they find the Waller Factor hard to follow.
PLAGUE STONE, a highly-rated youngster from the Godolphin barn, lived up to his pre-race hype with an impressive return to racing at Randwick.
Plague Stone’s debut season had been thwarted by bad luck in his previous four starts but the rising three-year-old enjoyed racing off a fast early tempo before scoring a well backed win in the Rosebud Prelude.
Trainer James Cummings believes Plague Stone is essentially a “fast sprinter” and the times out of Saturday’s race support his theory. Plague Stone ran the 1000m in a fast 56.84s, while his final 600m sectional was a brilliant 33.66s.
ONE of the best goes of the weekend was the successful plonk on ITALIA BELLA at Doomben.
As much as $7 was bet about the Stu Kendrick-trained filly which appreciated the class drop after contesting the Listed Daybreak Lover and Glasshouse Handicap.
Matt Mcillivray quickly overcame the wide alley on Italia Bella and she was never going to be beaten. It was a change of luck for the smart young rider who should have finished closer earlier in the day on the luckless Oriental Ruler to plunge winner Natch. 
RARELY is there a race meeting in Sydney when ‘champion’ trainer Chris Waller doesn’t put the punters to the sword.
Last Saturday was no exception when Ombudsman and Seahampton looked the best of good things but performed like mules.
Ombudsman, coming off an impressive Randwick win, was the $1.65 favorite in the pathetic four-horse field but was never a winning chance and beat only one home.
Stewards questioned Kerrin McEvoy concerning his ride. He said Ombudsman found it difficult to make ground when the leaders quickened from the 600m and finished the race off only fairly.
Waller said a long preparation combined with two recent starts over staying distances on rain-affected tracks were factors that did not assist the three-year-old. He plans to spell the horse.
Seahampton, which won brilliantly at Randwick at its previous start, firmed from $2.5 to $2.3 but managed to beat only one home in the race won by Irithea.
Jockey Blake Shinn told stewards the horse was disappointing from the 500m. Stable rep Charlie Duckworth said his only explanation for the flop was that the race pattern didn’t suit. Seahampton was ordered to trial to stewards’ satisfaction before starting again.
So there you have it two strongly tipped, well backed runners from the Waller stable not only failing to run up to last start wins but performing like dromedaries. Worse still, two inquiries and punters are none the wiser. It’s par for the course in the Wally World that is Sydney racing.
And it wouldn’t have been another Saturday without a lesser fancied stablemate beating one of the Waller favorites. On this occasion it was Our Malambo, specked at $18, winning the fifth while stablemate Bella Success, the $4.6 favorite, finished third.
The mainstream racing media continues to make little or no mention of the Waller situation in Sydney racing. Then again they have to keep the home fires burning with champion mare Winx ready to make her return to racing.
IF self-proclaimed world-famous horse whisperer Monty Roberts is as good as he claims then he should put his money where his mouth is.
Roberts claims that ‘for the right amount of money’ he can cure the problems threatening the career of sprint star Chautauqua.
Well, if he’s that good, then Roberts should be prepared to offer a ‘no cure, no pay’ fee to the prickly Hawkes Team who once again are doing their image little favors with the racing public due to their attitude on the Chautauqua issue.
The question punters are asking is: HOW much longer are stewards going to tolerate the barrier antics of one-time star Chautauqua?
Emailers to the Whinge are suggesting if the horse did not have the ability of Chautauqua and was with a no-name stable it would have been banned long ago.
Respectfully though the connections must be considering retirement as a looming option with the grey running out of chances.
Chautauqua now has to trial twice to the satisfaction of stewards and is likely to head back to Melbourne for a change of scenery. Even if he manages to slip through the net yet again is it fair on punters who will be asked to line up and back him on the basis that he might be in the mood to jump cleanly on a given day?
CONTROVERSY continues to ride shotgun with apprentice Mitch Aitken who was suspended for three weeks on a misconduct charge and fined $500 for failing to ride at his declared weight at Flemington on Saturday.
Aitken weighed out in a pair of lighter riding boots before changing them prior to a race which prompted this explanation from Steward in Charge Robert Cram of two specifics of the charge:
“One was of lying to stewards and one of disobeying a stewards’ directive,” Cram said.

Aitken allegedly lied to steward Corrie Waller, who asked Aitken if the boots he was wearing were the ones he had weighed out in, while he disobeyed an earlier instruction to ride in those boots he weighed out in.”
IT had to be the ugliest story of the week – a Grafton man had sex with a racehorse then claimed the filly had given her consent. 
The Daily Examiner reported that Daniel Raymond Webb-Jackson broke into stables at Grafton on January 22 and later admitted to police to committing two sexual acts with a horse.

He claimed the horse had given consent.

Webb-Jackson, 31, pleaded not guilty to committing acts of animal cruelty, based on the consent given.

On the evening of the incident, after being alerted to the man's presence by a trainer, police found Webb-Jackson crouching in the corner of a stable and arrested him following a short altercation.

The horse’s trainer said the event had significantly affected the horse in question.
“The filly went from being quiet to just being highly strung, she changed in 24 hours. We had to put her in the paddock to try and get her head right,” the trainer said.

Magistrate Kate Stafford said the sexual acts, which have been reported as allowing a horse to fellate Webb-Jackson and digital penetration, constituted acts of cruelty.

Webb-Jackson was found guilty of animal cruelty and was handed down an aggregate sentence of 10 months with a non-parole period of four months. He was also fined $700.
RIVAL trainers want to know how Lyrical Son could earn 8.5 rating points for running second at Cluden and leap-frogging other runners into the field for the Townsville Cup.
They say the situation is unheard of and highlight the fact it coincided with the release of nominations for the race with Lyrical Son’s owner Tom Hedley likely to have up to five runners in the big race.
The Cup prizemoney remains at $100,000 but there has reportedly been a reshuffle in the minor money with $3,000 now being paid for fifth placing.
Long-time followers of racing in Townsville want to know why race names like J S Love and Jim Gibbard Memorial have been dumped.
The latter was a long-time owner of the North Queensland Newspaper Company and a lover of horse racing in Townsville which he covered on a weekly basis as Editor of the Townsville Bulletin. The removal of his name from a feature race is a disgusting snub to his memory and the contribution he made to racing in the region.
AN email from a contributor in north-west Queensland highlights just how badly racing in Queensland is travelling:
‘ON the very same day that NSW announced massive increases to prizemoney all over that State, and particularly to provincial and country racing,  the Julia Creek club in north-west Queensland cancelled its annual Cup day (next Saturday), the old town’s social highlight of the year.
And it was all because the club couldn’t be guaranteed the services of an ambulance on the day.
How sad is that?
But seemingly this is the state of play in Queensland racing – a furlong behind and going nowhere!’
WORLD-FAMOUS horse whisperer Monty Roberts says he can reignite the career of cult hero Chautauqua in time for the $13 million race The Everest — but only if the Hawkes family listens to his advice and pays him accordingly.
“If they meet my demands, I will be there as soon as possible,” Roberts, 83, told ANDREW WEBSTER of FAIRFAX MEDIA from his home in California. “This kind of thing that’s happened to Chautauqua is not uncommon at all. I know why, and I know how to fix it. I’ll do it in a week. I’ve done it with Pakistan Star in Hong Kong and I can do it with."
The brilliant seven-year-old's future is in the balance after he failed to leave the stalls in a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens on Monday.
It was the fifth time in a barrier trial that the “Grey Flash” — who has collected almost $9 million in prizemoney and won three consecutive TJ Smith Stakes — has simply stood there in the stalls, refusing to budge.
Racing NSW stewards have told trainer John Hawkes and his sons, Michael and Wayne, that Chautauqua will need to complete a series of trials if he’s to take his place in The Everest (1200 metres) at Randwick on October 13.
The notoriously prickly Hawkes clan aren’t saying much at the moment. Privately, many in the racing industry believe we will never see Chautauqua race again.
At the very least, it would take a brave punter to put their money on Chautauqua, not knowing if their investment will stay in the gates with a deadpan expression that says, “Nope, not today”.
But Roberts is adamant he can resurrect Chautauqua’s career. Or, at the very least, get him out of the starting gates.
He's a legend of the equine industry, having worked with the Royal Family’s horses since 1989, once bringing the Queen Mother to tears when he tamed one of her favourite racehorses. He was parachuted into Sydney in 2013 to help trainer Gai Waterhouse with Queen Elizabeth’s horse Carlton House, who was having barrier problems.
He helped turn around the career of champion German stallion Lomitas, who was so troublesome at the gates he would throw himself on the ground “and start trying to kill people”.
And then, late last year, Hong Kong trainer Tony Cruz turned to Roberts when his champion gelding Pakistan Star — famous, like Chautauqua, for his breathtaking last-to-first victories — bizarrely stopped running mid-race.
Viral sensation Pakistan Star does things his way and the gelding was at it again in the Premier Plate when he stopped mid-race.
“I know what’s wrong with this horse [Chautauqua] just by talking over the phone,” Roberts said. “It happens with a lot of horses late in their careers. Just before Christmas, I went to Hong Kong to work with Pakistan Star. I felt guilty going there for the fee I was being paid. I didn’t know what to do. I had never seen a horse do that before in my entire career.
“I’ve worked with a lot that won’t go in and a lot that won’t go out. This was different. But an hour there and I knew what was wrong with this horse. Ray Charles could see it. Then he won $4.5 million in the next three months.
“So I can fix these kinds of things. They all have slight differences and I would need a bit of time. It’s not something that is done overnight. It’s called ‘habituation’. You use a blanket. You have to use certain things on their head; a certain set of procedures so they respond without the pain they’ve had prior to this. I’m sure they’ve whipped him a lot trying to get him out. Pakistan Star was whipped half to death, it was unbelievable. The trainer was fined for excessive whipping. It takes hours and hours of habituation to move them out of that.”
Whether the Hawkes family is prepared to pick up the phone to Roberts is another matter. John is a Hall of Fame trainer who has prepared some of the all-time Australian greats like Octagonal and Lonhro.
“I can generally get this done in a week but I need assistance from the trainer and I need the trainer to tell me everything that’s been done and be as honest as he can so I know what has failed and where I have to go to succeed,” Roberts said. “The least they could do is to talk to me. I promise you: I have learnt more in the last three years of my life than ever before. Some of these people at the racetrack have no clue what they’re doing. I’m not putting them down, I know they're doing their level best.
An hour there [in Hong Kong with Pakistan Star] and I knew what was wrong with this horse. Ray Charles could see it.
 “Gai and others have wanted me down there, but overall they try to make it as hard for me as they can. Just silly things. I was there for the Queen of England for her horse Carlton House. It was insanity. Gai put a set of starting stalls near her stables. I could put him on a 30-foot line and have him reverse himself back into the stalls on his own. Yet, when we got him to the stalls at the races, they [the barrier attendants] would grab an ear and put a blindfold on him and start a fight with him 50 metres from the stalls and he wouldn’t go in.”
Roberts also said he would want to be paid if he was called on to save Chautauqua's career.
“I’m not going to do it anymore without [a percentage],” he said. “Pakistan Star’s trainer, Tony Cruz, still hasn’t given me one sentence of support for what I did. But, in interviews with journalists, he repeats the sentences I gave him word for word. I don’t need the publicity. But I want to be paid reasonably. I can’t really tell someone how to fix their horse. But I hope these people make a deal with me to fix Chautauqua.”
JUMPS racing is under renewed fire after a fatal fall in the Mosstrooper Steeplechase at Bendigo.
LEO SCHLINK reported for the HERALD SUNthat Something To Share, a 10-year-old gelding, was euthanized after coming to grief at the second last obstacle.
King Kamada, stablemate of the winner Wells, was brought to ground by the stricken Something To Share in a horrific finish to the feature event.
The pair was among seven horses to fall at Bendigo on a program featuring six jumps races.
Something To Share’s death capped a terrible day for Stawell trainer Dane Smith, whose stable favourite Mujadale was floated from the course after suffering a tendon injury while making his steeplechase debut.
Braidon Small, who rode Something To Share, was examined by doctors and was stood down from riding.
King Kamada’s jockey Lee Horner was heavily concussed.
The first two races on the card were marred by five falls.
The five casualties — Valhalla Princess, Steel Caps, Sir Ritchie, Diamond Geyser and Beyond Thankful — all escaped serious injury.
But jockey Ross O’Sullivan suffered a suspected right collarbone fracture after falling from Diamond Geyser.
The spate of falls prompted claims Racing Victoria had jeopardised horse safety because of track conditions.
Trainer Bryce Stanaway said the track was too firm, claiming he had approached steward Rob Montgomerie two weeks ago to have the meeting shifted.
He said RV was accountable for the casualties.
“I actually put the full blame today of any horse that falls on RVL,” he said.
“They’re slipping on top of hard ground. It’s not the horses’ fault.
“We’ve got good horsemen here today, there’s good jockeys, very good trainers and good horses and this shouldn’t be happening.
“RVL, I told them two weeks ago that this meeting shouldn’t be held here.
“I spoke to Rob Montgomerie two weeks ago after a late scratching of a horse here because I reckon the track was too firm and said to him ‘This track will be unsuitable for jumpers’ and asked if they could shift the meeting somewhere else if they didn’t get rain.
“They’re more interested in just holding the meeting here.”
The track was rated a soft 5 at the start of meeting, a rating disputed by Stanaway.
Stewards upgraded the track to a good 4 after race three, prompting Stanaway to scratch Joliet Jake and King Joffer.
Steward James Hitchcock said the track conditions met the safety criteria for jumps racing.
Chasing superstars Wells and Sea King quinellaed the $100,000 Mosstrooper ahead of a return bout in next month’s Grand National Steeplechase at Ballarat.
John Allen and Darren Weir combined to land the $100,000 Brendan Drechsler Hurdle (3600m) with Bit Of A Lad. The pair also featured in Killarney Kid’s hurdle maiden victory.
 Giddy Up :beer:

« Last Edit: 2018-Jul-25, 09:14 AM by Arsenal »