Yes Indeed Mono Very interesting
OF all the racing States in Australia, for some unknown reason QUEENSLAND is the hot-bed of rumor mongering and racetrack gossip – perhaps it’s the warmer climate. So we have decided to air some of these ‘stories’ in a regular 'BELIEVE IT OR NOT' column.
During the week we have received an extra large amount of e-mails on a number of contentious topics ranging from concerns over a lack of policing at last Saturday’s Eagle Farm race meeting; suggestions for Warren Williams in his new role as Racetrack Development Manager; and even a blast from the past for Queensland Racing looking back to the Daubney-Rafter Inquiry.
PUNTERS SICK OF SLAUGHTERING THEIR MONEY IN BRISBANE
THE general theme of the dozens of e-mails received after last Saturday’s racing at Eagle Farm was that punters might as well throw their form guides and speed maps out the window.
We decided to ask several experienced form analysts to look at replays of the meeting and give us their opinions. They were unanimous in the view that the stewards had ‘an off day’ and that there were a number of inquiries that could have been instituted.
Each of the analysts nominated questionable rides by senior jockeys and felt that they could easily have assumed that there weren’t too many chasers in one race. The laws of libel prevent us from going much further but anyone who knows anything about racing and looks at a replay of this meeting will know what we are talking about.
Our message to Queensland Racing Chairman Bob Bentley and his Integrity Services Manager, Jamie Orchard, is this: Racing at the Gold and Sunshine Coasts has been on the nose for some time. The big punters are already saying there is no point slaughtering their money in Brisbane as well when the stewards don’t seem interested in taking any action.
IS ‘JED CLAMPETT’ A PERMANENT FIXTURE AT THE DEAGON TRAINING CENTRE?
IT did not take long for news of the appointment of Warren Williams as Racetrack Development Manager for Queensland Racing to filter through when the e-mails started to arrive.
The majority welcomed the appointment – although one claimed it was set in stone over a year ago when Williams went on an overseas junket with key members of the Queensland Racing Board – and should have happened earlier than now.
There were many light-hearted responses to the assertion of QRL chief operations manager, Malcolm Tuttle, that: “Racing and training facilities are the heart and soul of what we are about and it is Warren’s job to make sure the heart and soul remain in good shape.”
An e-mail from Jim Atherton of Hendra asked: “Where’s the heart and soul in that goat track we’re expected to race on at Eagle Farm. Does Thomas the Tank Engine even go to the races?”
Then there was the e-mail from a Deagon trainer, who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons: He posed the following question: “Does that mean Warren Williams will take over from ‘Jed Clampett’ down here? It’s time this place was dragged out of the backblocks from when it was just a boutique training centre for a select few.”
Sorry sir, we don’t expect QR will be showing ‘old Jed’ the door but Williams has welcomed the opportunity to work with a range of track managers to provide the best tracks and Deagon will be right on his door-step.
Having said that if ‘Jed Clampett’ could produce some Beverley Hillbillies magic and discover ‘black gold’ at Deagon we’re confident Builder Bob would waste no time relocating the long-time locals – privileged or not.
RAIL-ROADED OR TORPE-DOED AT THE CAIRNS AMATEURS
ONE of our e-mail writers posed an interesting question after discovering that Brisbane-based steward Norm Torpey – he’s the one that used to be at the ‘red hots’ – was dispatched to Cairns to officiate on the panel at the Amateurs Carnival.
Jim Clifford of the Gold Coast wanted to remind the industry of a situation that was raised during the Daubney-Rafter Racing Inquiry concerning a fall-out former chief steward Steve Railton had with QR chairman Bob Bentley.
The Clifford e-mail said: “At the Racing Inquiry in April 2005 it was revealed that QR boss Bob Bentley had heated arguments at Board meetings with Mr Railton over staff cut-backs, perceived Board meddling in stewards business and Mr Railton’s visit to the Cairns Amateurs.
“These blokes at Queensland Racing have got short memories. Railton was hauled over the coals for daring to travel to Cairns for one of its biggest meetings of the year and here they are now sending a steward up there to do exactly the same thing – boost the ranks of the stewards’ panel for the Amateurs carnival. How hypocritical is that?”
HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN WHEN YOU WERE AN APPRENTICE OLIVIA?
OLIVIA Cairns won few friends in the training and riding ranks when she complained to stewards about the ride of Victorian apprentice, Adam McCabe, on her horse, Andamon, at the Cairns Amateurs.
McCabe was forced to front a running and handling inquiry. One wonders if the stewards would have taken such a serious step had the top North Queensland lady trainer not ‘dobbed’ McCabe in.
Their report on the incident reads (in part): ‘From the 200m until the 100m ANDOMAN was held up when attempting to take a narrow run to the inside of BURGUNDY PRINCE (F. Edwards). At a subsequent inquiry into apprentice McCabe's riding from the 400m to the 200m stewards found that his riding was not such as would justify a charge being laid against him under A.R. 135(b) for failing to take all reasonable and permissible measures to win or obtain the best possible place in the field. Apprentice McCabe pleaded guilty to a charge under A.R. 137(b) in that he failed to ride his mount out to the end of the race and/or approaching the end of the race.
‘A post-race veterinary examination of ANDAMON revealed that the gelding had a laceration to the off foreleg and also had blood in the offside nostril as a result of an abrasion sustained whilst being loaded into the barriers.’
McCabe admitted a ‘tactical error of judgment’ and was fined $200 for ‘not riding the horse out’ – a decision that was the source of some debate.
The young fellow took it on the chin and bounced back on the second day of the Amateurs to land a double, including the Bracelet on Fly to Win and Bay Route for the Cairns stable.
Terry Butts, a veteran North Queensland racing writer, who also trains Fly to Win, was quick to support McCabe and condemn Cairns for laying a complaint against his ride. “He’s an apprentice with limited experience. That’s precisely why he claims three kilos and that’s the risk connections take when they put a kid up.
“Olivia should be ashamed of herself. Those of us who remember Olivia’s days as an apprentice jockey were just shaking our heads,” Butts said.
‘CUNNAMULLA FELLA’ – AN ABSOLUTE KNOCKOUT AT BIRDSVILLE
THOSE who made the long trek to Birdsville have returned home talking about the ‘Cunnamulla Fella’ – and he didn’t race during the Cup carnival.
‘Cunnamulla’ – thought to be a station hand – was a knockout king in the Fred Brophy boxing tent which was packed to the rafters at the night sessions.
Brophy took a big troupe of boxers to Birdsville but ‘Cunnamulla’ proved too tough for them to handle. After watching the star of his team knocked out on night one Brophy cut his losses and signed ‘Cunnamulla’ up for the rest of the carnival.
‘Cunnamulla’ was the star of the boxing which attracted hundreds to the tent for each session and at $25 a head that wasn’t a bad earn for the Brophy boys on their long trek to the bush.
‘NO MORE FREE DRINKS’ PROVOKES BIG DUMMY SPIT
WE are told the fur has been flying between two high profile racing personalities in the south-east – one now retired and the other enjoying his new administrative role.
At the centre of their dispute is a ‘no more free drinks on race day order’ placed on the retired gent who apparently thought the trimmings of his old job would continue in retirement.
according to their ratings record they pick 4 in a race,which to chinese 4 is death.