The Systemic Failures of the Queensland Racing Bureaucracy Never Get Fixed -Why Take Responsibility When You Can Blame a Wide-Eyed Kid Instead?


Call me an idiot if you will, but I can’t make head or tail of this Stewards Report from the races in my Dad’s home town of Charleville today.

How could apprentice Dan McGillivray possibly have managed to claim his full 4 kilogram allowance in races 1 and 5 on horses handicapped at 56.5kg and 59.0kg, but not have been able to on horses in race 2 and 4 whose book weights were 60.5kg and 57.5kg?

Unless the kid can put on and take off two kilos in between races it’s physically impossible, which means just one thing.

The Stewards have stuffed their official report up royally.

It was actually in races 1 and 4 that the youngster couldn’t claim his full 4 kilos, not two and four.


Whose fault was it though?

Was it that of the inexperienced newcomer having just his eighth career ride, and whose weight is officially declared on the Racing Queensland records as being 54kg?

I don’t think so.

McGillvray is an apprentice jockey who has only been race riding for 4 weeks. He doesn’t book his own rides, and he is not the one who should have been reprimanded for taking mounts on horses that he couldn’t possibly have ridden at anything less than his officially declared weight of 54kg.

Any one or more, or indeed all, of the following people should have been:

  1. The kid’s master Craig Smith;
  2. McGillivray’s jockey manager if he has one;
  3. His registered trainer at the RQ apprentices school;
  4. The staff at RQ responsible for accepting and processing declarations of riders for race meetings;
  5. QRIC Stewards themselves.

What sort of circus are we running up here in Queensland when all these different cogs in the racing machine fail to do their jobs properly and completely miss the fact that 4 kilo claiming apprentice who weights 54kg has been declared to ride horses that after he took his full allowance were supposed to carry 53.5kg and 52.5kg?

It’s physically and mathematically impossible for Dan McGillivray to have been able to this, but no-one takes any responsibility and pulls it up until the poor young bloke goes to weigh-in for the first and they all suddenly realise he’s too heavy to make the claim-reduced weight.

It wasn’t just McGillivray either.

For reasons of their own the Stewards have failed to mention this, but 4 kilo claiming apprentice Kate Patch was permitted to be declared as the jockey of a horse in race 4 weighted at 56kg, which meant that she was supposed to ride it at 52kg.

Given that this kid’s official weight is 55kg, that would have been impossible, and so it was, for she only claimed one of her four kilograms and rode the horse 3 kilos over the weight it should rightly have been carrying.

Why didn’t the stipes report on that? It wouldn’t have been anything to do with the fact that there is an acute shortage of jockeys in Queensland at the moment would it, or that in the face of racing writers like John Lingard and I constantly raising the issue, the officials are trying to cover it up?

Nah, perish the thought, and be fair to our QRIC boys.┬áThe Stewards were just too busy poring over apprentice McGillivray’s exemplary riding record so they could take the kid jockeys antecedents into account when determining his sentence for everyone else’s failures.

It takes a long time to study a career sheet spanning just seven rides you know.

Pass me the calculator and we can do the math together.

What’s 56 minus 4 come to again?

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