By Hans Ebert
“This is another fine mess you’ve got us into”. It was a running gag in nearly every Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy movie. But the genius of comedy and the crux of much of its appeal is that beneath the laughter and lightness lies a message, a reality check that can instantly bring us back to earth.
And so it is with the Australian racing industry which has been in free fall for some time. What has sped things up at an alarming rate have been the number of Laurels and Hardys in racing in Victoria, who have contributed to a laundry list of integrity issues mixed with embarrassing bumbling, face-saving U-turns, accusations of bullying, politics, pettiness, extreme vindictiveness right across the spectrum of every group that makes up racing. The flagrant disrespect for rules coupled with a directionless executive and rabid self-serving agendas by those at the very top of the tree, has fuelled an almost weekly outbreak of lawlessness in Victorian racing. The mess doesn’t need more airing here. This is for those being paid the big bucks to put their house in order. Or, as has been reported, for Victoria’s Minister of Racing Martin Pakula, below, to step in, bring all the warring factions together, and read these highly paid executives the riot act. But how will this change anything? Really.
We’re not talking here about a headmaster lecturing the Dead Poets Society or The Young Rascals. These are supposedly shrewd, mature businessmen in their fifties and sixties, who have either been recruited into the racing industry, or have pursued a career in it for, perhaps, equal parts passion for the sport, and the financial opportunities to be had. How well are they at doing their job? Is it almost a part-time gig before retirement? Or even a hobby? Who knows. But when questions and doubts like these are raised, especially in today’s nanu-second social media world, the problem doesn’t go away. It multiplies. One thing’s for certain: their actions speak loudly demonstrating an ineptitude that keeps racing in the bottom end of sports and entertainment from which position it will struggle to create it’s own raison d’etre.
By Keyser Soze
TIME TO END THE HYPOCRISY
The past week has seen some of the most blatant hypocrisy and disingenuous commentary about the turmoil which Victorian racing has created by its own stained hands, and which has inflicted long lasting damage to its fragile image. Commentary by the very sections of the racing media who have deliberately spectated, and at times tacitly provided a forum for some of the instigators to vent their vituperative, vindictive and damaging personal attacks on the Victorian racing industry and some of its senior officials.
These chameleons (Jokers? Penguins?)have suddenly converted, at a minute before midnight, to assuming the role of “protectors” of the image of Victorian racing with such calls to arms as “Racing must rise above it all” – echoing the bleeding obvious to what RacingB*tch has been publicly stating since its inception: Australian racing is a dysfunctional and a conflicted mess dominated by polarizing individuals, motivated by self-interest and greed. If Australian racing had been around in ancient times, it would have shared billing with some of the barbaric games at the Colosseum in ancient Rome.
What rankles is the blatant cynical “Eureka Moment” of some of these commentators, many who find it difficult to communicate outside their 140 character comfort zone. They are the very same ones on the radio programs and newspaper columns and social media who have given cylinder loads of oxygen to the high profile and lesser light trainers and their cheer squads to trash the Victorian racing industry, the governing body and its senior management and Integrity department. Suddenly, they wish to be seen as visionaries? Suddenly they see that they’ve been backing the wrong horses? Suddenly they furiously back peddle to be patron saints of the little people?
By Keyser Soze
RIDE GUIDE RIDES OFF INTO THE SUNSET…
Try as hard as they might to “spin” their way out of it, those associated with the Ride Guide have a public relations disaster on their hands. Individually and collectively, its creator Chris Symons, their sponsorship brokerage company Unscriptd, and the Jockeys Association appear to have botched their process of negotiating an outcome which would have benefitted the entire racing community – the Governing Bodies Racing NSW and Racing Victoria, wagering operators including the tote operator Tabcorp and the corporate bookmaking sector, Owners and Trainers ( Remember them?), and last but certainly not the least – the Punter, who ultimately puts the food on the tables of every stakeholder in Australian racing.
Ultimately, the NSW and Victorian Stewards made the only sensible and rational decision available to them and banned the Ride Guide from becoming a reality. For once, they acted swiftly. For the Ride Guide to ever become a reality it would need major open heart surgery. It would also require Symons, Unscriptd, the Jockeys Association and it’s “man for all causes” in Des O’Keefe to acknowledge their arrogance in not properly consulting the Owners and Trainers Bodies. Duh. And double Duh, Einsteins.
Take the Owners and Trainers out of the equation and there would be no racing industry. And there would be several hundred Jockeys- Australia wide- joining the Centrelink dole queues and registering for the welfare handout that is the dole.
Read the blog below from respected and outspoken American music blogger Bob Lefsetz.
Simply change the music industry to the Australian horse racing industry.
Apple’s Tim Cook can be any of the racing administrators involved in the Ride Guide farce.
Music fans can be punters, and Katy Perry and her team can be the circus behind the flawed Ride Guide concept that has no concept, but pretends it does.
One hopes that all those overthinking this “Ride Guide” thing to death, when it has always had more holes in it than a slab of blue cheese, reads the blog below, have the penny finally drop, return to Fawlty Towers, and try to do some work that might even benefit those who keep horse racing alive: Owners, punters, racing fans and whatever we’re called. Peasants? The little people?