HAVE RACE FIXING CHARGES HIT A ROAD BLOCK?
Remember the raft of race fixing allegations that very nearly hijacked the 2012 Victorian Spring Racing Carnival?
The deafening silence was broken, albeit temporarily last week, when Sal Mineo, sorry, Big Sal Perna, released his report into Race Fixing which concluded that “there was no evidence of systemic corruption” in Victorian racing.
But, according to Fairfax investigative reporter Nick McKenzie, that may not be the case.
(Source: Metal Sucks)
We were referred to the podcast of a radio interview with Shane Anderson on the misleadingly named Radio Sports National last week. McKenzie’s take on it was quite categoric – systemic corruption was alive and kicking, with small cliques of punters with underworld type connections in constant and continuous contact and collusion with jockeys and betting with inside information on the outcome of races. Whilst he wouldn’t name the jockey or jockeys involved (for legal reasons), it would not be too difficult to work out that one of the usual suspects, who has a long and colourful history of being “on the other side” when it comes to corrupt practices in racing and with a very long association with the criminal underworld, was again the prime subject of speculation.
(Source: Neuro Anthropology)
At this point in time, it appears that the only race fixing investigation which may result in charges being laid is the race won by Smoking Aces at Cranbourne.
While Victorian Police and Racing Victoria stewards have separately questioned connections of horses in several races conducted over the past 12-18 months or so, unless there is a dramatic development involving new and conclusive evidence, the chances of charges being laid appear to be remote.
(Source: Cartoon Stock)
The bottom line with race fixing investigations is that they are bloody difficult to prove unless there is reliable whistleblower with rolled gold evidence. Even telephone intercepts can be successfully contested unless they are indisputably explicit and with bomb proof identification of those involved. The money trail involving betting exchanges, corporate or rails bookmakers has been proven to be equally vulnerable as a solid source of evidence in a court of law.
However, there is little doubt that resources both at a stewards and law enforcement agency level is critical if race fixing or match fixing or corruption in racing or any other sport for that matter is to be successfully challenged.
Nick McKenzie is right; corruption in racing and sports has virtually had a free ride with absolutely no dedicated properly resourced watchdog or law enforcement agency, with appropriate prescribed legislation and penalties or information sharing to tackle such an insidious form of corruption.
Thankfully the NSW State Government has acted swiftly and decisively with legislation and penalties sending a clear message and deterrent to those within and outside the racing industry and in other sports that such forms of corruption will not be tolerated.
(Source: Soul Journaler)
IS SINGO STILL SULKING OVER GAI’S MARBLE BLUE?
We thought they’d kissed and made up after Singo’s public dummy spit with Gai Waterhouse after Australia’s number one lady in racing selected a wide barrier draw for More Joyous in last year’s Cox Plate.
Singo was ropable and played it out in public, but apparently a full scale reconciliation still has some distance to travel.
While Singo has placed his horses with different trainers, Gai Waterhouse and Clarry Conners have always trained the bulk of his horses, and with spectacular success.
Recently, we have noticed the familiar blue and white Strawberry Hill Stud colours of Singo on a few horses trained by Peter Moody in Melbourne. Interestingly Singo has transferred Later Gator from Gai’s stables to Peter Moody as well. And in Sydney another of Singo’s team All Enfield has been transferred from Gai’s stables to Clarry Conners.
Singo is an excitable character to put it mildly. His dummy spits are as colourful as his character. His unconventional approach to just about anything he in involved with and his fearless approach to breaking convention have made him many, many millions, several times over. He is still travelling in first class financially despite having to settle with a conga line of wives after several failed marriages.
(Source: Whimsical Art)
In racing, there is little doubt that Gai Waterhouse and Clarry Conners have been good for Singleton and no doubt he has to them. John Singleton would not be the easiest owner to have in your stable. If he were in Hong Kong he would have just about gone through the entire trainers roster by now. But then again so have many of the eccentric wealthy Chinese owners and their feng shui masters!
(Source: Apple Daily)
NO LEAKS YET FROM NEW TVN BOARD
So, at long last, TVN has a new Board. Four representing NSW – John “the messiah” Messara and his erstwhile CEO Peter “the not so great” V’Landys representing Racing NSW, Laurie Macri and Darren Pearce representing the ATC; while Victoria is represented by Mike Symons, Bob Scarborough and Peter Fekete representing the three Melbourne metropolitan race clubs along with Bernard “the plodder” Saundry, below, representing Racing Victoria. An independent Chairman and Chief Executive of the “new” TVN are yet to be appointed.
(Source: The Age)
On paper, the composition of the Board is heavily weighted in favour of NSW. Take Mike Symons out of the equation and the Victorians look vulnerable when they will inevitably face up to Messara and V’Landys on contentious issues, of which there will be plenty.
(Source: Illawarra Mercury)
It has all the hallmarks of being unworkable in the longer term, unless Macri, a well respected businessman and ATC Board member and Pearce can stand up to Messara and V’Landys.
If NSW gets its way and appoints a Chairman of their choice, it will make things even more difficult. And the choice of CEO will be crucial given the hidden agendas of some of the Board members, which we have spelt out previously.
What we can expect, if the recent past is any guide, is a carefully manipulated series of leaks to the Sydney tabloids and broadsheets designed with the sole purpose of destabilizing the TVN Board.
(Source: Lib UMN)
From a NSW perspective and for the betterment of Australian racing, TVN must not be hijacked by the sectional vested interests. It must be independent, in word and deed. Racing IP, its vision and media rights are one of the last frontiers that racing has got in its well spent arsenal. It has bequeathed so much of its assets literally for “twenty pieces of silver”, to the likes of the Tab pari-mutuels and corporate bookmakers, it has zilch left that is worth anything except for its IP and vision and media rights.
(Source: Pink Spider)
The so-called industry stakeholders and shareholder clubs in NSW and Victoria have a clear and mandatory obligation to ensure that the TVN Board is not railroaded into “gifting” these rights and assets to racing’s pari-mutuel partner as they did with the outrageously generous arrangement that saw “cartoon racing” rights in NSW generously gifted for perpetuity to the NSW Tab for a mere pittance.
GOSFORD FARCE A BLIGHT ON NSW RACING
(Source: Faith Writers)
Racing NSW’s failure to act decisively and cancel the recent Gosford race meeting in the morning when the NSW heatwave delivered temperatures in excess of 40 degrees simply beggars belief.
NSW trainers, owners, stablehands and jockeys were treated with contempt by the decision to hold off cancelling the meeting until well into the afternoon.
The first act in this farce was to put back the race meeting in the forlorn hope that weather conditions would improve and enable it to proceed.
In the meantime horses, trainers, stablehands, jockeys and owners attending the race meeting were forced to travel to Gosford to compete in conditions which were not only a major and significant health risk, but plainly inhumane.
The decision to cancel the race meeting should have and could have been made earlier and spare the angst, the potential risk to the health of human and horse alike, and the cost of getting there and back only to be told the inevitable – that the race meeting was cancelled.
Owners, trainers and jockeys whom we have spoken with are livid with the delay in calling the meeting off. Surely their representative associations should be making the appropriate noises to make sure a repeat of this farce is not allowed to happen again?
(Source: Mob Avatar)