Archie’s Observations About a Great Saturday Night of Racing at the Menangle Theatre of Harness Racing Dreams


Archie. Moses and the Colt at Menangle – After Some Mincer Nicked My C31 Cap

1 – A Case of Mistaken Identity

Fix up the photos on your Media Wall of Fame Menanglers.

That ain’t Marshall Dobson’s picture on your wall my friends, at least not a photo of any Marshall Dobson that I’ve ever seen.

This bloke in the picture whoever he may be is far too handsome to be our MD.


2 – Slave Drivers Still Exist

Employ more than one poor lady to work the counter at the fast food bar downstairs, and give the chef a kitchen hand to give him some help too.

The queues were seventeen deep all night, and the poor damn pair put on to cater for them were rushed off their no-doubt sorely aching feet.

This was a night featuring four Group 1 events and five heats of two more. Of course there was going to be a half-decent crowd in attendance.

What on earth were the management thinking putting on just two staff to feed them?

3 – Healthy Choices? Who?

Get rid of all that fatty deep-fried food on the menu and move into the 21st century.

The days of peas and sliced bits of sizzle steak and a whole lot of other gluggy MSG ridden rubbish fare sitting in bain maries for six hours are long gone, and so are hotboxes full of overcooked frozen chicken snitzels and battered flake and yellow chips soaked in tubs of cheap canola oil.

This is the 21st century harness hombres, and we know a bit more about heart disease and diabetes and blocked arteries than we did back in the days when Paleface Adios was running 1.57 miles rates around half-mile tracks pulling slow clunky carts.

These days people want tasty options that aren’t going to drop them dead in their tracks before they are 50. Things like sushi, and flash salads, and low-carb teriyaki chicken wraps and rice paper rolls and all that jazz.

Get with the program and get with the times, before the Health Board comes down on you like the proverbial ton of bricks.

4 – Tote Windows Aren’t Wishing Wells

Put on more than one tote window in the public area too.

Betting funds racing, so stimulate it,

No-one other than Kennett-era brainwashed Victorians wants to bet on Tabcorp’s stupid old 20th century manufactured self-service tote boxes, and no-one wants to stand six-deep in a queue to put a bet on with an over-worked real person either.

There was just one tote window operating across the whole of the public access area on one of the biggest nights of the NSW trotting year. What a bloody joke.

Wake to yourselves Menanglers, it’s just not good enough.

5 – The More Barns the Better 

Retention barns are good, no retention barns are bad.

The purpose of building retention barns is so that you can make runners in big races enter them 72 hours before start time, for the express purpose of trying to make sure that the contestants in those races aren’t doped up to the eyeballs.

Not having enough of them to put all the runners in Group 1 races is simply a joke.

So is using them to house the runners in the pair of G1’s worth $100 000 each, but not having enough space to put the runners in the two $200 000 G1’s into them as well.

The answer’s pretty bloody simple –  build some more.

6 – Old Fashioned Virtues are for Old Fuddy Duddies

The ties that bind us aren’t made for the trots.

Owners of horses running in the major races at Menangle were required to wear a jacket and tie to the track if they wanted to collect their trophies.

What is this, the 1960’s or something?

No-one wears ties anymore fellas, not outside of the public service anyway.

Get with the times.

Ditch the ties.

7 – Proper Training and Prompt Bar Service Aren’t

Train your bar staff properly too.

There were a minimum of 5 staff working the bar in the public area last night, but at any given moment only two of them were serving thirsty punters beers. The other 3 were either standing there aimlessly counting crows, or wandering around carrying water bottles or picking up plastic cups like chooks with their heads cut off.

Meanwhile the people paying their wages were standing seven deep at the bar waiting up to six minutes to get served a schooner.

That’s not good enough Neville.

Fix it.

8 – Bowlers, Beauties and Cross Blokes Who Can’t Be Found

Luke McCarthy’s missus is a damn good sort, but she doesn’t look like a one-time top horse trainer to me, particularly given that by the look of her lovely daughters they would have been wee babes in her arms when she was supposedly working 50 odd horses each morning.

Methinks the trainer’s license might better have been issued in the name A. Bowler.

Craig Cross was hard to find on course too.

He certainly wasn’t visible at any of the presentations for the races they claim that he trained the winner of.

Methinks his license should have been issued in the name of A. Nutha-Bowler.

9 – Half-Starved Urchins From Heaven

Kima Frenning is even more beautiful in the flesh than she is on tele, but the poor dear’s trainer must be starving her. She looks like she weighs about 45 kilos wringing wet.

Someone call in the welfare Stewards to give her a half-decent feed.

10 – Horses Who Badly Need Spells

While you are at it, can someone give King Kev Seymour AM a call and tell him that its time he gave the Colt a spell?

Poor old Colt Thirty One is running around on legs that are more tired than a Goodyear yard, and his abysmal run to finish second last beaten out of sight in the Schweppes Sprint last night after getting a soft run three back on the fence showed it.

If Queensland’s favourite ear plug wearing son starts again without having spent six weeks or more sucking on sweet grass in a paddock there should be a Royal Commission convened into how to run a horse into the ground into thirteen straight starts across three States and a Tasman Sea easy steps.

11 – Drivers Who Fall Asleep at the Wheel

Someone should swab the all the drivers outside the first two home in the Colt’s race.

What the hell were these bunch of geese thinking letting the leader My Field Marshal run second and third splits of 29.7 and 28.1 in the final qualifier for the Miracle Mile where there horses had to run 1-2 to make the cut?

It was madness, and the only result they were ever going to get was the one they did, which was the leader and the horse on its back running 1-2, although in reverse order.

You idiots.

12 – Queenslanders Who Overcome Adversity

Congratulations to Queensland trainer Wayne Graham and driver Lenny Cain for winning the consolation to the Ladyship Mile with Justalittle Torque.

Both have been to hell and back courtesy of the QRIC and its copper mates in recent years – Lenny personally after being wrongly branded a cheat, and Wayne vicariously via his son Shane being tarred with the same brush – so it was great to see them jam a big in your face to the persecutors by taking out a race on the big NSW night.

13 – The Good Doctor, Grant Dixon and the Derby

Good on Queenslanders Grant Dixon and Dr John Mammino.

Their wonderful little colt General Jujon is the real deal, and after winning his heat of the NSW Derby in the fastest of the three run I reckon they are a better than excellent chance of bringing next week’s final trophy back up north of the Tweed.

14 – A Brickbat to Braid Dead Drivers

Brickbats to Gregory Sugars.

His madness in pushing Maajida up hard in the first 600m of the NSW Oaks to hold out the desperately driven Dr Susan was suicidal and cost both horses any hope of winning the blue riband classic. Horses aren’t freight trains, especially little three-year-old fillies.

God only knows what was going on in Sugars brain, or indeed if he has one at all.

15 – Sour Grapes Taste Better Than Bitter Blood Fused Fruit

At the risk of sounding like a sour grape, can anyone on the harness racing earth explain to me how alleged trainer Craig Cross could take a seven year old mare from New Zealand who’d had 58 starts over 4 seasons for just 5 wins – 1 of them on the grass – and earned on average just $10 000 a year prizemoney, and turn it into a pacer who could sit 3-wife for 600m before working like the devil to lead and run splits of 26.4, 27.4. 28.3 and 27.6 for an overall mile rate of 1.49.6 in getting beaten just a nose in a $200 000 Group 1 classic in Australia?

It simply beggars belief, but that’s exactly what Cross has done with Bettor Enforce, the mare who beat home New Zealand’s champion 2 and 3-year-old fillies of the past two seasons Princess Tiffany and Belle of Montana in the Ladyship Mile at Menangle last night.

If that’s not a flashing red sign (pardon the pun) that something is not quite right in the state of NSW harness racing, then I don’t know what is.

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