There was a huge turnout at the Annual Meeting of Racing Queensland held at Eagle Farm at 3.30 on a Tuesday afternoon in late November, when most people are still at work or picking up the kids from school. Absolutely massive.
Just look at the roll-up.
Thirteen public servants from Racing Queensland, including the titular head of the outfit Brendan ‘Pins’ Parnell, all of his management team and a couple of the office girls.
Chairman of the Bored Steve ‘Whirlwind’ Wilson and every member of his Bored.
A representative from the Department of Local Government, Racing Multicultural Affairs, just in case any brown people or Asians turned up.
(Unfortunately the Racing Minister Pounds Stirling Hinchliffe couldn’t make it, for he was real busy ironing the bag of fruit he was wearing to the Pokie Lobby’s piss up that night and running some Brylcream through his hair. The poor bugger was so flat out like a lizard drinking that he forgot to even ask Whirlwind or the departmental rep to pass on his apologies).
Oh, and three members of the public turned up too.
Christine from the Greyhound Breeders Owners Trainers Association; Wayne Dossetto from the long inactive and trackless Gold Coast Harness Racing Club; and prominent Deagon racing identity Greg Blanchard, a passionate advocate for improving the lot of apprentice jockeys by making racing an attractive and rewarding career for young aspiring riders.
Like I said, it was huge.
So ginormous in fact that it’s said to have left Albion Park Chairman David ‘Chooky’ Fowler and his recently vanished CEO sidekick Damien ‘Red Hots’ Raedler – neither of whom were there but both of whom had an alibi: “It was held after 3:00pm Your Honour!” – scratching their heads and wondering what they had to do to get a crowd that size through the gates at the Creek.
Sadly, the pair never quite worked it out, and now that Red Hots has left him on Pat Malone young Chooky hasn’t still, and was last seen at the Hammo in the company of a poker named Genghis Khan seeking a rapid lighting bolt of inspiration, or a Hulbert Jr. sized major jackpot at least.
Pins and the Whirlwind are all over it though – don’t you worry about that – and the mail is that the pair charged with running Queensland racing while the Minister’s charging his glass with the Pokie men spent the 15 minutes left over from the half hour they’d allowed to bluster, bullshit and baffle the punters into confusion working on high-level strategies to make the Annual Meeting even bigger and better next year.
I’m told that the preliminary plan is to hire a couple of buses and bring all the staff to the big show, and to pick the QRIC people on the way.
The Strategy and Development Managers from each of the three codes have come up with a ripper of an idea too. They’re each going to bring a mate along so that Pins can report a 100% increase in attendance at the 2021, and nail one of his bonus determining KPI’s cold.
With genius’s like this running racing, and such a massive public interest in how hundreds of millions of dollars are spent, who needs a Minister who cares anyway?