I Hate to Break the Bad News to the QRIC – But TCO2 Isn’t a Substance – Heather Warland’s Been Done Like a Dinner

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You can have a litre of milk, or a litre bottle of Jim Beam, or pay for petrol by the litre, but it’s the milk, bourbon and petroleum gasoline that are the substances not the litre.

A litre is just a measure.

TCO2 is too.

It measures the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood, nothing more, nothing less.

You can’t breach the Australian Harness Racing Rules by your horse racing when not free of TCO2 above the prescribed threshold. You only breach it by the TCO2 reading showing that you have used alkalinising agents, they being the actual prohibited substance.

It is pretty hard to breach AHR.190(1) when, by the QRIC’s own published reckoning, your reading is under the threshold too.

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And a prohibited substance is not a drug.

Not unless you call the bicarb that you put with dough when baking bread a narcotic, which most people don’t, including those who create and enforce the drug schedules in this Wide Brown Land.

So given that Heather Warland’s horse

  • was not alleged to have had alkalinising substances in its blood
  • recorded a TCO2 level above 35.0 and below 36.0

how did she found guilty of a breach of rule 190(1) for presenting her horse to race when it had a prohibited substance in its system that caused it to return a TCO2 level reading at or above 36.0 millimoles per litre in plasm?

How did the Egyptians build the pyramids, or the ancient Poms move the rocks to create Stonehenge?

Who knows.

All I know is that Heather’s been robbed.

Big time.

They Built a Bridge For Sir Leo Hielscher – Lester Grimmett Deserves Ten Times Better – So Let’s Give Him a Cup

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It was a lovely gesture yesterday by the Ipswich Turf Club to name a race after Queensland’s greatest ever handicapper Lester Grimmett, who recently retired after 50 years of sterling service to the game, but Lester deserves better.

Much like movie goers, we in racing tend to focus our attention on the actors in the play, rather than the folk who wrote it. That’s why everyone knows the top horses, jockeys and trainers of each era, but almost none outside the beltway remember the great officials.

That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Diligent men and women doing their jobs proficiently, and making sure the days racing starts and ends the way its supposed to, and leaving the drama for the in-between.

It’s only when you get a bad administrator like Bob Bentley that you know who he is. The good ones are remembered by the race that is named after them. Races like the W.S. Cox Plate, the P.J. O’Shea, the Sir Byrne Hart Stakes, the L.K.S. Mackinnon, the Theo Marks, the John F. Feehan and the Colin Stephen Quality, and a whole lot more.

That’s how the great back room servants are racing should be remembered too. It’s the way they’d want to be.

Lester Grimmett is a humble man, and would be deeply touched by the Ipswich club’s gesture, but what he truly deserves as recognition for his extraordinarily excellent service to Queensland racing is a Group Race named after him. He wouldn’t cop it though. You can’t mess with the names of Group races, and the newly created ones are all run at set weights or WFA.

It has to be a black type race though to befit the stature of the man, and I know just the one.

The Queensland Cup.

The Lester Grimmett Queensland Cup.

This time-honoured race is a quality handicap, just like Lester was a quality handicapper, and it was once one of the features of Winter Carnival. But due to a number of different factors it has dropped away in stature in recent years, and is badly in need of reno and a refresh.

So let’s make it great again.

Vow and Declare proved with its Tatts Cup win last year on the way to the Big One that there’s a market for Cup qualifying staying races in the winter, and the old Queensland Cup over  two miles fits the bill perfectly. It’s at Lester’s beloved Eagle Farm, the runners carry handicapped weights and measures, it’s steeped in history, and it’s long standing name really doesn’t mean much at a time when people are fast forgetting to remember that it exists.

We can change that.

There should be a few bucks leftover in the bank from all the features races Covid-19 cancelled, so we can up the prizemoney from $200 000 to $350k, and make sure it’s programmed exactly right. Build it and they will come, and they will.

They built in a bridge in honour of Sir Leo Hielscher, and a remarkable public servant who was quite invisible to those he served will now be remembered forever, or at least for as long as cross rivers by bride.

Racing is a bit more important than government I would have thought, so if we were the them and us types what we really would be doing to honour one of our very best is building a 20 metre tall statue of Lester Grimmett.

But all men and women are equal above and below the turf.

So let’s just call our 2-mile race the Lester.

He’d like that.

And he deserves it too.

 

This is a Magnificent Ride

It’s a nothing race this, a BM72 over 2200 on a wet Wednesday at Warwick Farm.

But from time to time you pearls in among swine.

Not that I’m saying that any of the horses or jockeys in this race were swine – I was just mangling a phrase for effect – but golly goodness me, wasn’t Tommy Berry’s ride on Space is Deep in the royal blue and cap with red V an absolute pearl?

Watch and enjoy.

It’s Not What a Bikini Shows – It’s What it Doesn’t – And Therein Lies Your Problem With Lazarus, The Duddest Root of the 21st Century

We have been telling you for some time now that the reports that we’ve been receiving about the super pacer turned stallion Lazarus from breeders in the USA are very, very different than the positive PR tales being spun by those with vested interests in the now second-year stallion’s stud success.

It is widely known that Lazarus suffered crippling virulence problems in his first Australian breeding season that left the owners of many high class mares bereft of a foal for the year. These have been explained away by his local owner Club Menangle with all manner of tall tales, predominantly centred around supposed heat stress issues that the horse suffered during his transport to Australia.

Really?

Do the owners of $4 million stallions stick them in cattle class on the bottom floor of the cargo section where the air is all hot and sticky, and their man is going to sweat like a pig do they? That’s news to me. My mates horses – good and bad – always travel in climate controlled, air conditioned transports when they are moving by air.

If it is true – price 1 million to 1 – any breeder whose mare didn’t conceive to Laz last year should sue Club Menangle for negligence, and the authorities should move in on them on suspicion pf animal welfare abuse too.

Puh-lease.

Lazarus shoots 2 blanks out of every 3 shots because he’s a dud. That’s the cold hard truth, and it doesn’t matter how much spin Club Menangle, their US partners Taylor Made and Deo Volente, or NZ bloodstock agent John Curtin bowl at you, that’s the cold, limp truth.

Lazarus served a full book of mares in his first US season they claim, even though he actually served only 136.

From those 136 broodies, he produced just 36 registered foals.

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That’s just over 1 in 4.

In other words, shocking.

In Sweet Lou’s first year he serviced 140 mares, and produced 97 foals.

That’s two out of three.

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Always B Miki did even better.

He serviced the same number of mares (140), and returned 111 registered foals.

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I could go on and on, and show you every top sire in the stud book, but to save boring you just take my word for it – none of them fire at under 50 percent, and the number shooting that wide are few, and hard to find.

Broodmare owners are being totally and utterly misled about Lazarus’ fertility.

We’re being told he’s a gun sire, when the facts and figures are crystal clear that he’s not.

Sure, the few he does leave might look like good types, but they might not too. The only people telling us that are those that own a slice of him, either through rights or residual trailing fees or syndicate shares or payments. Can you believe them? Are you that silly?

The numbers published in this story demonstrate beyond debate that Lazarus’ first year problems at stud were not just a Southern Hemisphere thing as we were all told. He was having the same dysfunction issues in the USA. They – all of them, Yirribee and Club Menangle included – just lied to breeders to cover it up.

I raised this months ago, but a couple of well-informed readers and breeders quite rightly pointed out that the foal registrations for the season were not complete.

Well they are now.

A wise man recently told me that statistics are like bikinis.

What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.

100 US mares out of 136 who went barren last season after a date with Laz.

That’s some hell of a bikini, isn’t it?

Don’t worry about going for a swim.

You’ve already been taken for a bath.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Missive From the Glitter Strip Canal – The Doc on Artificial Insemination and Inbreeding

Paul Messara on Twitter: "Dr Geoff Chapman and Miracle Mal many ...

My Dear Geebung

One of the genetic problems with AI (artificial insemination), is that the strongest sperm from one ejaculate, doesn’t necessarily fertilise the egg, because it is used many times, which would not occur in the normal state.

As you would appreciate, with a normal service, where the strongest sperm wins the swimming race, this helps sustain the Laws of Natural Selection, thereby improving the herd.

(Editor’s note: The only thing I appreciate about sperm is ejaculating it)

Of course that doesn’t always occur, as we have seen with defective animals, but that is probably due to some other factor in the mare or the environment.

Hence it is the prime reason artificial insemination is outlawed in Thoroughbreds.

If it wasn’t, all the thoroughbreds running around would be by Star Kingdom or Danehill. Then all their recessive genes would become Dominant, from the inbreeding, and we would have many defective animals (eg. weak sesamoids in the Star Kingdom line), and they would all break down.

It is also the explanation for a particular stallion line fizzling out after 3-4 generations, because of their recessive defective genes (no one is perfect!) becoming dominant.

It is also capable of considerable rorting – use your imagination there. Apparently this happens a bit in the cattle and sheep business.

Now with gene testing they may be able to obviate this, but what would the testing cost? Probably more than the animal is worth.

In cattle and others, it doesn’t matter much, because all you’re trying to improve is butterfat in the milk or whatever, and we’re not dealing in seconds over 1600 metres.

Having said that, the Thoroughbred overall has done pretty well, as there is only a couple of seconds difference between most of them over say 1600 metres. Unfortunately, that is a difference of 1-24 metres, which separates the stars from the also rans.

It also explains the bell curve, and how you can get a good horse from “OUT of the WEST” by “CHRIST KNOWS WHO” for not much money.

Keep swinging,
GAC

(Editor’s note: Euchre player extraordinaire, doctor of dreams, scrumbase innovator, early adopter of head gear – which is why Doc still has all his considerable number of marbles – and a pretty fair horse trainer too. We won’t mention his goal kicking on windy days).

That’s a Bit Harsh

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Jockey Taylor Marshall got called into the Stewards room after race 5 at Ipswich yesterday afternoon for a please explain about his front running ride on the favourite Ready to Chase.

It seemed somewhat over an over reaction.

After all, this is a horse who had lead or sat outside the leader in a fast pace at its previous two starts and kicked on well at a one bat sort of pace, and Marshall had ridden the horse both times. He obviously figured that if he could get a bit of start on the field by riding a mini Cyril on Vo style race it might be able to whack away long enough to pinch it, which seemed pretty fair logic if you’ve watched its replays.

It proved sound too, because the fave was in front everywhere except the post and only got cut down by the winner in the last couple of bounds. You can’t turn a sows ear into a silk purse as they say, but young Marshall certainly tried his best.

You’d have to wonder what would have happened if he’d ridden the horse against its usual front-running pattern and it had been been beaten from coming from the back. Would he have been called in for an explanation then?

Probably.

Sometimes you just can’t win.

Still and all it was a bit harsh I reckon.

What do you think?

I’ve Got an Unpeaceful, Queasy Feeling About Certain Goings On at Doomben Yesterday Afternoon – It Would Be Good if Chief Steward Chadwick Explained a Few Things to Us All I Reckon

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Isn’t this most peculiar?

Queensland’s Chief Racing Steward Peter Chadwick has been to fewer midweek race meetings since being appointed to his role than Maggie has gone nights without a shag in the past 25 years, but for reasons unknown, today he decides to bowl up at Doomben.

But even though he is the boss, he doesn’t chair the meeting.

An underling named Neil Boyle does.

If you’ve read this site for a while you would have read many stories that we’ve written about the former shifty jockey turned dodgy trainer turned lily white painted Steward Mr Neil Boyle, and not too many of them were professionally flattering.

Which gives you cause to scratch your head and think hello, why is Chief Steward Chadwick handing the reins to Boyle, when its he himself who is paid big bucks to be the Big Lebowski in the Queensland stewarding ranks, not a former very average hoop and mentor who sits two rungs below him on the ladder.

This is weird.

What the hell is going on?

We find out by the end of race 5 what’s going on.

Robbie Fradd and Toby Edmonds are.

Or Robbie definitely, and Toby $1.85.

There is no proof of anything, for you can’t demonstrate that a world class jockey has just twice ridden like a mug against mugs because he was riding his horse dead, but if you’ve spent your life in and around the tracks and the punt you don’t need the legal standard of proof, because you know.

Not that I’m saying that the legal standard of proof required in occupational matters isn’t there, because I’m the belief that on the balance of probabilities it certainly is.

Fradd might be too good for the half-baked locals to spot, but he is not too good for you and me punters.

He might not be too good for them either when you think about it, them being people who are paid to spot such things, if you know what I mean.

Perhaps Peter Chadwick can clear the air by explaining a few things.

(a) Why he just so happened to do what normal Chief Stewards do and attend the races yesterday, when 9 times out of 10 on a Wednesday he doesn’t bother;

(b) Why he didn’t chair the meeting;

(c) What his past and present relationship, if any, with jockey Robbie Fradd is;

(d) Why Robbie Fradd wasn’t charged over the incident in which he almost put Luke Tarrant down;

(e) How Fradd escaped a running and handling charge, or two.

They are pretty important questions, because beaten short priced favourites carry a fair heap of money that Joe Public has invested in good faith, and jockeys nearly being thrown hard head first to the ground from 500 kilogram beasts travelling at 50 km an hour are serious matters too.

There is a real unpeaceful, queasy feeling among racing people about what went on at Doomben yesterday afternoon.

Integrity demands an antacid.

C’mon Chief Steward Chadwick.

Do please properly explain.

 

But Wait, There’s More – Robbie Fradd Rides the Double on Get Faves Beat Day at Doomben, And Almost Kills a Young Punk Too – And What Does the Chief Steward Say? – Giddy Up!

Robbie Fradd’s ride on the maiden earlier was bad.

This one puts it in the shade.

It’s race 5 at Doomben yesterday.

Fradd’s on the one drawn 2 in the blue and white, the same colours as the one that he rode like a bush cowboy before.

This time his mount jumps, but clearly against his will, because he immediately slams on the brakes.

It’s like a comedy movie.

The best jockey in the state pretends that he’s been jammed up by the ones inside and outside of him, and checks as if he’s been forced to, when he was actually about a neck in front of both of them and holding his ground when he braked.

ATCH

ATCH1

Then a hundred or so metres later Fradd pretends he’s been checked again, and jams the stop pedal to the metal, even though there is actually nothing causing him any interference except fresh air.

So quick does Robbie Fradd choke the fave, that he almost puts Luke Tarrant down head first into the ground.

ATCH12

ATCH123

How Tarrant stayed up is both an unsolvable mystery and monument to how good a bloody jockey he could be if he kicked the gear and decided to walk a straight line. His plight’s a tragedy, but sadly no-one can arrest his career suicide except himself, and the kids so young that its near impossible. I weep for him, and I mean that, but I don’t and can’t condone his behaviour.

Tarrant’s a tragedy.

Fradd’s just no good.

Watch the video and see what he does after that.

He’d dead set have to be kidding wouldn’t he?

So would Chief Steward Peter Chadwick, who made a rare appearance at a midweek meeting yesterday, perhaps not by coincidence either, but hey I’m just a deeply cynical soul so don’t listen to me.

Just read the Stewards Report instead.

Do you see any reference to Robbie Fradd almost putting Luke Tarrant down and into a wheelchair for life, other than a one liner blaming Luke not Fradd?

No, me either.

Wasn’t Chadwick the Chief Steward in Singapore at the same time that Robbie Fradd was riding there too?

Funny that.

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Welcome to the Clothes Optional APG Integrity Discotheque – Cover Charge? – The Truth

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The APG mixed sales are up by 33.

It wouldn’t be hard.

There were just 121 entries last year, as opposed to 195 this time; and last year they only only sold about 60 horses.

Turnover is up too apparently.

Now that’s a surprise isn’t it?

When you sell 50 percent more horses one year than you did the last, you do tend to gross a little bit more in the way of sales.

It’s a shame that the average price per lot crashed through the floor, but never mind, what Dean Baring doesn’t tell you is what you don’t know, isn’t it?

There is one thing you do need to keep in mind though.

Last year most people bought and sold in the Harness Racing Australia run classified section the Trading Ring, but it was closed down just before Xmas, probably to give the APG a free kick is my guess.

So the increase in numbers is really nothing but a hook job.

But hey, we are talking about Dean Baring, David Boydell and their mates here, and this is the red hots.

So what the hell else could you expect?

Integrity?

Is that a tittie bar in the US?

Editor’s note – If you look closely at Deen’s disco dancers in the video below, it seems the music scene in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the mid 2000’s was a boys club like APG too.