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Sports Talk / The Pride of the League
« Last post by Authorized on 26 minutes ago »
Qld Gallops / North Queensland Racing
« Last post by arthur on 1 hour ago »
And . .

'Have Horse Will Travel', John Manelmann (the " - " key won't work) nailed 3 @ Mount Garnet Amateurs Day One

And . .

Deserves every success  :no1:

N.Q, Racing would be lost without him
Qld Gallops / Jimmy Cook A Character
« Last post by Arsenal on 3 hours ago »

Jimmy Cook - wild tales you can believe!
BY Bruce Clark - @snowyclark

1 day ago Horse Racing

That's Jimmy Cook (and mate Typhoon Monaco: Pic Aquanita)

The late satirist John Clarke once famously described Prince Charles as “having a head like the FA Cup”. You know-  long face, prominent ears – well just like the handles on the old FA Cup.

He could have easily been describing W J (for) Jimmy Cook.  That’s Jimmy under the Aquanita bucket hat in the photo. Can you see what Clarke meant?

Of course you know Prince Charles, but unless you followed Queensland racing in the 80’s and 90’s you’ve probably never heard of Jim.

But Jim represents what makes Australian racing far more interesting, colourful, edgy and earthy – more Damon Runyon and anything but how you’d describe Charles.

Put Cook down as a jockey first – well mostly – when he wasn’t rubbed out, which was often. Throw in strapper and track rider, cook (not chef), tyre changer, truck driver, cotton picker, abattoir worker, or just Jim of all trades. Survivor! Sleeping in car for weeks on end!

But it all starts with racing.

Any bloke who starts his conversation about his past with “I got 12 months for trying and 12 months for holding” has got a story, or many stories to tell – and all of them true. You can’t make these up!

And Jim starts telling them to And telling them, and telling them.

And after an hour of them over the phone he rings back again: ‘I forgot the one about the day at Gatton”. The next morning the phone rings again “I thought of another one – the day I got off one using the excuse of parallax error.” Stay tuned.

The script for the stories in his movie would be dismissed for being too fictitious – but they are not.

Jimmy has been rubbed out more times than a school kid’s maths homework in an exercise book but he can’t break free from his love of the game. “I don’t know a lot, but I know racing. It’s all I’ve known since I was 15.”

Cook is now 55, he’s 52kg but had his last race ride in 2010 (Impeding at Eagle Farm). He misses it but is loving the opportunity that Robert Smerdon and Aquanita Racing has given him to work from their stables. But when he starts telling his stories, they are well told, seemingly not too embellished because they are rich enough already.

Here’s a snapshot. And these are not said with any hint of boast, just as a bloke would tell a mate a yarn.
“I got 12 months for trying on one, 12 months for holding one. I got six months three times. There was a stretch there I got three months in a row every August for four years”
“I had five rides at Ipswich one day and ended up in the steward’s room for every ride. Lucky I didn’t have a full book. Got three months.
“I was looking in trouble at Eagle Farm one day so told the stewards I had $200 of me own on the horse .The stewards asked ‘did you think that impaired your judgement'? I said ‘I wouldn’t have thought so’”.
“I appealed a nine meeting careless riding suspension one day and ended up with 12 months, that one went pear shaped.”
“I rode one at Gatton one day and was coming back and the punters along the fence were singing ‘three blind mice’ and I started singing with them. Next thing I was before the stewards, it was like a scene from Homicide, I was there for three or four hours.”
“I reckon I was the first jockey to ever ride in the first race on a Saturday at Randwick (Himalaya Vain) and win the last race at Eagle Farm (Unique Memento for Kelso Wood)

So you’ve got the idea about W J Cook.  Old school yes, bit of a rogue, for sure, fearless horseman from a different era.

Jimmy would catch the (Greyhound) bus to the races in western Queensland – or drive a truck. When you say to the races, that could be like driving 1000km to Nocundra for one ride then drive the 18 hour round trip to Caloundra to cop time.

“Stewards pinged me and asked if I knew where the crown of the track was at Caloundra and why I didn’t ride to it. I asked them if they knew where Nocundra was, I’d just come from there,” he said.

He rode the winner at Nocundra (Never Give In – he remembers its name) and copped a six months suspension reduced to three for his Sunshine Coast ride that day.

It’s like when he drove the truck to Middlemount, it was missing a gear, and was rolling backwards towards a drop. “We got the horses out and I won the Cup,” he said.

Bell, Betoota, Burra, Charleville, Chinchilla, Cloncurry, Jundah, Miles, Kumbia, Noorama all feature on Cooks winning track list. He never rode a winner at Collarenabri, but nor did he had he at Flemington and Moonee Valley – where he also rode – one time each.

“I was no superstar, I only rode 14 winners in town but I knew what to do. You’d get 3-1 with me or evens if you put (Mick) Dittman on but we did the same job,” Cook said.

That is too say W J Cook was a good judge and a fearless “money” jockey in an era when it was ‘get your own’. If he was drawn 16 and on the pea, there wasn’t disrespect for those inside him, but he found the fence quicker than most others.

Former Queensland Chief Steward Ray Murrihy remembers Cook well.

“There were two Jimmy’s, the day the money was on and the day it wasn’t” Murrihy told

“One thing about Jimmy was there was never any animosity, at the end of the day, you closed your book and Jimmy accepted whatever happened.

“It takes you back to a different generation, there was nothing you’d dislike about Jim, that’s the way he knew the game, he played it on his terms and you took him on or you didn’t.

“In the matrix of racing, they were better days in lots of regards, it’s so sanitised now, you wonder if the likes of a Jimmy Cook would survive,” Murrihy said.

But Cook has survived, stretches, poverty, odd jobs, ill health. A broken leg and injured hip from a Toowoomba barrier jump out mishap seven years ago ended any thoughts of a rekindled career. Not that he hasn’t thought about it - almost every day.

“I sat at home for seven years not doing much and struggling but always wanted to get back into it,” Cook said.

And he is still passionate about the sport and the horse today. And riding – if he could make a comeback, Racing New South Wales scuppered that when he applied not so long ago, he would do it tomorrow. (Something to do with his record I believe).

“I’m no threat to anyone, I’ve still got the desire and I’m not frightened. I ride the pony every morning here at Aquanita and a gallop here or there but if I die tomorrow without riding in a race again, I’d have missed something, it just wouldn’t be the same,” Cook said.

Cook’s first step back came when Kris Lees gave him a job at Newcastle.

“I slept in my car for six weeks before I found accommodation there but Kris was terrific to me, to give me a chance,” Cook said.

But when any chance of riding was eliminated in New South Wales, Cook was on the move again, and found his way to Aquanita. Again he slept in his car before getting a job he cherishes today.

“I’ve done everything in my life, I was cotton chipping back in Queensland, it was 50 degrees and I was miles from a water bag and all I was thinking about was horses.

“I’ve lived on watermelons and biscuits, I’ve changed tyres, worked in an abattoir constantly on the go but cooking was always a regular gig,” Cook said.

The two big stretches in the Cook CV come from the horses Thunder Rolls and Candy Rock.

It was Candy Rock first – November 25, 1992, $4 out to $7 (or 3-1 to 6-1 in the then odds).

He finished  seventh, beaten 2.1 lengths. An inquiry was opened.

“I reckoned I mistook the furlong poles,” Cook said.

“It wasn’t looking good so I thought  I’d better do something here. I said I backed it, had $200 on him. I had to pay the punter for the day off work then they fined him $500 and I had to pay his fine as well, it just got worse and worse,” Cook said.

It did, the late Keith Mahoney rode Candy Rock next start at Eagle Farm. “He came from last on the home turn and run going away,” Cook said.

Thunder Rolls was another 12 month stint for Cook.

This was 1994. Cook rode him in a maiden when the betting was a little soft: 9-4 out to 3-1. Stewards weren’t impressed but it became a showcase trial in Queensland with rules subsequently re-written after an appeal upheld the original verdict.

There are countless other stories like the day Cook was about to ride a “good thing” at Gatton when he was asked to look at the horse that was sporting a black eye. “I was told if I win on this I’d end up with the same.” You can guess the result.

Or when he was warned by stewards as to an awareness of what might be going on in a race. “If I was you I’d be getting in my car and going home I was told,” Cook said.

And if you want to know how Jimmy beat one wrap citing Parallax vision as a defence for his tactics you need to understand what that is.

“Parallax is a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight, and is measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two lines. The term is derived from the Greek word (parallaxis), meaning "alternation".

“I said if you sit in the driver’s seat of a car travelling at 100km and sit in the passenger’s seat it seems like 120km……”

No I didn’t understand where that was going either, maybe Jimmy didn’t either but then nor did the stewards of the day. Case dismissed. Unlike most others.

Jimmy Cook is one of the most enduring characters on Australian racing.And worth a chat. We haven't exhausted half of what he told us here.

Giddy Up :beer:

Qld Gallops / The Brisbane Racing Club
« Last post by Arsenal on 3 hours ago »

IF you think the Eagle Farm track is set to ride shotgun with controversy during the upcoming Brisbane carnival, spare a thought for the story that isn’t being told behind the scenes.

This one involves the redevelopment, which you might remember saw two workmen tragically killed and claims by subcontractors that some are claiming demands a Commission of Inquiry.

For some reason those who have suffered most cannot get their side of the story told in the mainstream racing media and they claim that the Brisbane Racing Club and Racing Queensland refuse to recognise their plight.

For legal reasons we cannot publish the full details of what we have been asked to write but at the least the matter demands the attention of Racing Minister Grace Grace or her Department and most certainly an investigation by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission or even the Police.

Sadly those who have suffered most have all but given up on that – forced to reach out to sections of the media like letsgohorseracing because their calls for help to the major dailies seem to be falling on deaf ears.

There are plenty in the industry calling for something to be done behind the scenes but they too are afraid to air their views publicly. As one said: ‘What’s the point going to the politicians or the Integrity Commission? There are too many high profile toes to be stood on.

‘You only need to look at a situation which occurred recently when stewards raided a successful stable in south-east Queensland and discovered oxygen tanks and refrigerators full of blood used in the training preparation of horses. They reported it to the Integrity Commission and nothing was done. Some say this is because the stable in question has links to some heavy political people.’

LETSGOHORSERACING has been contacted by one of the highly experienced, respected and well known sub-contractors involved in the redevelopment of Eagle Farm. He has made some stunning allegations which need to be investigated.

The sub-contractor, who has been at the coalface, claims the BRC must shoulder the majority of the blame for the problems currently occurring.

He also makes serious allegations against a former NSW detective involved in the Woods Royal Commission in the 1990s who wound up in a new life in Queensland involved in the racing industry on several levels and also a former CEO for a regional council in the south-east corner who allegedly is involved with one of the major contractors in the Eagle Farm project.

Among the myriad of allegations is the suggestions that sub-contractors are owed millions of dollars for work carried out.

EDITOR’S NOTE: LGHR hopes that 4Corners or one of the major Current Affairs programs investigates these claims. That is the job that should really be done by our mainstream media in Brisbane, the Racing Minister or the Integrity Commission but it seems transparency sounds good in the eyes of all until an issue like this requires their attention. 

Giddy Up :beer:


BRISBANE Racing Club CEO and his Racing Queensland counterpart Eliot Forbes are so far out of touch with reality when it comes to the Eagle Farm track debacle that it is embarrassing.

The good ship RQ Titanic continues to sail into the Eagle Farm icebergs refusing to listen to warnings from top trainers and jockeys that the track should be closed down, repaired or ripped up rather than raced on during the carnival.

Forbes says RQ is constantly in touch and monitoring the Eagle Farm situation with the BRC. He insists the fallout from the latest trackwork disaster will not have a detrimental effect on horses coming from the carnival.

Perhaps he should talk to a key official of the BRC who hosted a visit from a leading Sydney trainer during the week. He took one look at the Eagle Farm track then contacted his stable to declare that their horses would be headed for Adelaide instead of Brisbane for the carnival.

Whether the Eagle Farm track survives Saturday’s meeting and shows some improvement on the state it was in for trackwork on Tuesday this is only a ‘band-aid’ cure. Too many shortcuts were taken in the development process. Behind the scenes the problems involving sub-contractors in an absolute financial disaster.

But RQ and the BRC plough ahead – ignoring industry concerns and refusing to show any respect for the hundreds of thousands of punters who want to bet on Brisbane racing but now are reluctant to do so because they don’t know how the track will play not to mention that it is impossible to do the form.

BRC chief executive Dave Whimpey is living in dreamland with his declaration that Eagle Farm in time will be a world-class surface. That will take a minor miracle unless they rip the joint up and start again like the costly exercise that occurred in Toowoomba.

An indication of how serious the situation has reached can be gauged by what is being written in the mainstream racing media as evidenced by the comments of The Courier-Mail Racing Editor Nathan Exelby when he wrote:

Whimpey’s willingness to be the public face of the Eagle Farm debacle has been admirable and his openness in declaring where mistakes have been made and how the club is trying to fix them is refreshing.

But to describe Gollan and Munce’s comments as “embarrassing” is to vastly underestimate the toll that the long-running Eagle Farm saga has taken on them and their colleagues. It’s a mistake to think Gollan, Munce and Kelso Wood’s comments are out of step with their fellow trainers. Likewise, most jockeys hold a similar view and are sceptical of whether the track will ever live up to expectations. Add punters to that list as well.

What Exelby is warning is what the majority of the industry and stakeholders – not only in Queensland but the rest of Australia are thinking – how many more clowns do you need to make a circus.

It’s time for the Government to step in and insist that something is done, rather than sidestep the problems in the hope the track will come good. But we are talking about one of the most useless Racing Ministers seen in Grace Grace – and like the BRC and RQ she is just another feature performer in the three-ring circus that is Racing in Queensland.


Giddy Up :beer:

« Last post by westie on 3 hours ago »
Racing Talk / Restrictions on credit and bonuses
« Last post by Arsenal on 3 hours ago »
Punters lose free bets

Online gambling crackdown on credits, bonuses

PUNTERS who gamble online will be forced to bet with their own money under a major crackdown on problem gambling which will stop bookmakers offering lines of credit and bonus bets.

Federal and state governments will also work together to stop online bookies including Sportsbet, William Hill and Crownbet using free bets and inducements to entice punters to keep gambling.

Major reforms to the $1.4 billion online gambling industry, agreed to last night, include a national self-exclusion register so gamblers can block themselves from betting with all bookmakers on their phones, tablets and computers.

And online bookmakers will be forced to offer a voluntary precommitment scheme to all punters so they can set their own betting limits.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said the “practical, measured initiatives” could be in place by the end of the year to tackle the scourge of problem gambling, which is more common for online punters.

He said the betting industry realised it “needs to act more responsibly” and Responsible Wagering Australia, which represents online bookmakers, welcomed the changes.

“We welcome Minister Tudge’s announcements and are broadly supportive and look forward to working with the Minister on implementing these measures,” executive director Stephen Conroy said.

Mr Tudge said banning lines of credit – and forcing gamblers to use their own savings or credit cards – had been a goal of his since a constituent was given $80,000 in credit by a bookmaker. The man lost it all over a weekend and the bookmaker tried to seize his house to recoup the money.

Anti-gambling campaigner Tim Costello said that voluntary precommitment was a step forward but that was “about as useful as voluntary brakes in a car”.


No mention of kickbacks being outlawed......Stephen Conroy is as moron. :chair:

Giddy Up :beer:

Sports Talk / Rugby League 2017
« Last post by PoisonPen7 on 4 hours ago »
...meant to say it should have been play on....

Sent from my SM-G920I using Racehorse Talk mobile app

Sports Talk / Rugby League 2017
« Last post by PoisonPen7 on 4 hours ago »
Lol at that first penalty. Must have had a bet on first score.

Sent from my SM-G920I using Racehorse Talk mobile app

Racing Talk / How do we get people to the races?
« Last post by Dave on 5 hours ago »
I can't give you reasons to get people back to the races but I can tell you why they left in the first place, first the people who run the sport have no love or even respect for their own sport........they are there because it is where they make their living/money..........they would rather be somewhere else!! Every other sport is run by people with a passion for their sport and run it like there is no other sport on the Planet, while I don't respect their sport I have to respect the passion they show, it engenders passion in the followers of the have to start with youngsters, you can't turn people on once they are adults(even if they don't act like adults).....every other sport catches kids, makes idols out of players............we don't do anything like that!, Team sports turn Kids into you know any adult who follows a team sport who isn't a drunk? Then we try to attract drunks? isn't that punters won't go to the is that punters CAN'T go to the races! and especially they can't take their kids......hence generations are lost, never to in politics we only think of here and hell with the future generations.............wrong attitude but it will never change