Age journalist Patrick Bartley stands accused of making an anti-Semitic comment to a Melbourne Racing executive at a Spring Racing Carnival luncheon.
Page 13: The Age racing writer accused of anti-Semitic rant at Spring Carnival luncheon
Alice Coster, Herald Sun
October 13, 2017 9:30pm
THE Age racing writer Patrick Bartley stands accused of making an anti-Semitic comment to a Melbourne Racing executive at a Spring Racing Carnival luncheon.
Bartley appears to have put his weights up with a rant in front of MRC racing general manager Jake Norton after downing several frothies at the race luncheon at St Kilda’s The Stokehouse.
Norton, who is no stranger to Bartley’s verbals, says he was gobsmacked by the two-minute rant that flowed as freely as the beer.
He was prepared to cop the swearing, but when Bartley allegedly started spewing comments about Norton and his “Yid mates at Caulfield”, the MRC exec took exception and complained to The Age.
Bartley is also understood to have had another verbal showdown with incoming Melbourne Racing Club chief executive Josh Blanksby.
Bartley has been in a long-running dispute with the club and was banned from the Caulfield Cup meeting two years ago after a series of articles in which he criticised the state of the track and the way the club went about things.
However, the ban was lifted the same day after other racing journalists discussed a ban on covering the meeting. But to say Fairfax have been slow out of the stalls on the matter is an understatement.
Age editor Alex Lavelle, Bartley and sports editor Chloe Saltau went to Caulfield on Wednesday to have a meeting with Norton, Blanksby and other MRC executives.
After the meeting, Lavelle assured the MRC that Bartley would not be allowed to attend upcoming Caulfield race meetings under a Fairfax directive.
But Bartley on Friday night told Page 13 it was all business as usual, refuting the alleged racist claims.
“I deny all that, that’s wrong,” Bartley told Page 13. “It’s all been wound up. It’s yesterday’s news. It’s over, I’m looking forward to a great Cup carnival.”
This was news to Lavelle who on Friday night told Page 13 that Fairfax had decided Bartley would not attend Saturday’s Caulfield Guineas.
Lavelle said he did not wish to comment on whether Bartley had been suspended or stood down saying it was an “internal matter”.
“It’s not that he has been barred or not allowed to attend, we have just decided he won’t do the Caulfield Guineas,” Lavelle said.
The editor said it was not yet determined if Bartley would be put in the sin bin for future Caulfield meets.
Unhappy with the feeble Fairfax action, the MRC on Thursday issued a formal complaint to Racing Victoria, saying Bartley contravened its code of conduct.
Norton did not want to comment when called by Page 13, but is understood to be deeply concerned by the alleged racist taunt.
It’s understood Blanksby is outraged a member of his staff was abused and has told Page 13 the MRC will be pursuing the matter.
It’s odds-on that we have not heard the last of this one.