The Commissioner in Wonderland – The QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett Explains to Racenet Exactly Why He Should Be Sacked


If you haven’t read Ben Dorrie’s outstanding couple of articles on racing integrity in Queensland that were published this morning on Racenet then I urge you to do so, for they are highly instructive and illustrate clearly some of the problems in racing in this State that I have been banging on about on this site for months, and my previous sites for years.

I am just sitting here with my jaw wide open after reading the interview with Ross Barnett in which the QRIC Commissioner replies to the criticisms that are being levelled against his organisation and its management of racing integrity.

If you have never read a man pen a paean to his own incompetence before, and explain by his own hand why he is utterly unsuitable to hold his senior role, you have now.

Here are just a few of the things Barnett said in this morning’s interview with Dorries, with my scathing comments contained underneath.

Am I being harsh?


Is it warranted?


Should Barnett be sacked first thing in the morning?


Will he set his mates in blue onto me again for penning such criticisms?


Do I care?

To some extent.

But if the truth hurts, then you gotta cop the pain.

The Commission is not presently considering publishing TCO2 results. This information should remain confidential as an integrity measure as we believe publishing these results could provide unscrupulous trainers with free information about how far they ‘push the envelope’ before breaching the TCO2 threshold. 

The offence thresholds for TCO2 are vigorously enforced and we also identify those pushing the envelope’ and ensure that information is considered in our race day sampling strategy.

What a absolute and utter load of absolute codswallop.

The New Zealand Harness Racing Integrity Unit have been publishing the TCO2 levels of every horse tested every week for a year now, and it has had a huge effect on reducing drug cheating in racing and helping catch the crooks.

It’s obvious isn’t it? If you put the spotlight on trainers whose horses keep throwing up levels just under the threshold, those trainers are going to think twice before keeping on doing whatever flavour of milkshaking or peptiding that they’ve been doing, aren’t they?

And to suggest that publishing TCO2 results would provide the cheats with free information about how far they ‘push the envelope’ is simply fairies at the bottom of the garden stuff.  What are we, in Wonderland or something?

Does Ross Barnett not realise that trainers who cheat ALREADY KNOW how close they are pushing their horses TCO2 levels up to the threshold?

Could it be possible that Barnett is not aware that there are vets, so-called chiropractors, and human and sports scientists involved in the whole sh*t-show?

How on earth does the QRIC Commissioner imagine that the cheats keep getting away without throwing positive swabs if they don’t know how high with a degree of precision exactly how high they are pushing the levels up, and doing it with professionally guided scientific precision?

This is just crazy.

With a man who displays this level of ignorance in charge of the show, what hope does any honest racing participant have at all?

The Commission has a strong emphasis on pre-race and post-race testing of participants and animals throughout Queensland including mandatory testing of all winning animals across the three codes of racing. Testing has not been suspended at any time.

Well how does the Commissioner explain the zero pre-race testing at the past two Toowoomba race meetings that we wrote about just this morning?

Let’s be totally honest here, and call a spade a spade.

Everyone in the industry – including Ross Barnett – knows that the Sears Racing team is one of the main outfits that the finger is being pointed at for cheating.

I am not saying for a second that Tony and Maddy Sears are cheats – I’m just saying out loud what everyone else is saying in whispers or in private behind Commissioner Barnett’s closed office door.

That being the case, the obvious way to address it is to test the Sears horses at the Toowoomba track where the training team win most of their races.

Is it happening?


Why not?

Who knows.

Don’t bother asking Ross Barnett though.

The Commissioner doesn’t appear to have a clue.

The trainers caught red-handed treating horses on race days across the state are a matter of public record and demonstrate the Commission’s commitment to ensuring trainers play by the rules. 

A couple of no-name desperado country trainers with brains the size of gnats have been sprung tubing as a result of their own stupidity.

Not a single top-twenty trainer has been caught red-handed on a race day, not even the QRIC’s public enemy numero uno Ben Currie.

It’s not the desperates from the bush who win a dozen races a year if they are lucky that people are complaining about Commissioner.

It’s the trainers who have made an art form of it, and are kicking goals all over town.

I don’t accept the premise that much of the industry lacks confidence in the Commission, although I know we have a vocal cohort of knockers and some people have never accepted the independent model, particularly the idea of the industry not being in control of its own integrity matters. 


Doesn’t Ross Barnett read his own annual reports? The ones he signs off on?

This is what they say.


I don’t think so mate, I don’t think so one little bit.


The secondment of the Police Racing Crime Squad to the Commission gives the honest industry participants added confidence that where race fixing, fraud, serious animal cruelty or other criminal matters occur in the industry they will be investigated promptly and thoroughly.


How many successful prosecutions have there been?

What happened to all those harness racing folk who had their names publicly blackened, their reputations blackened, and their careers destroyed?

How many of that dozen or so were found guilty?

Two, and only because they were either silly enough to believe the racing coppers threats that they were going to jail, or they couldn’t afford the legal fees to defend the charges, and so cut a deal to nod to things they didn’t do.

All the rest were thrown out of court.

How many greyhound trainers who were wrongfully scrubbed from the sport on the misplaced suspicion that they were involved in live baiting have had their sentences overturned?


I ran three appeal cases on my own that got convictions overturned, and there were plenty of others who were silly enough to pay lawyers tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to get exactly the same result.

What are the chances of Ben Currie’s fraud charges holding up?


How did the outrageous abuse of power prosecutions against me for writing about corruption in racing go?

All five charges thrown out of court without a yelp.

It’s a bit hard to successfully prosecute someone on serious charges that never should have been laid, for offences that they didn’t commit isn’t it? Especially after you throw the book at them, have six armed cops raid their house, throw them in jail, and force them to spend over a hundred grand in legal fees, in the hope that you will scare/oppress/batter them into submission, and they respond by giving you the middle finger and telling you to get f**ked.

I’m an honest industry participant whose wife’s horse is about to run in and win a Group 1 at Eagle Farm, and I have no confidence whatsoever that the Police Racing Squad or their mates at the Hendra CIB are doing a bloody thing except terrorising innocent and their families, and wasting a fortune in public money on prosecutions brought for ulterior purposes.

In fact I’m very surprised that I didn’t have my door kicked in by the Tactical Response Group after a bomb threat was made at Eagle Farm yesterday, even though I live 2000 kilometres away and was snoring in bed until just before the start of the 4th race (check the betting sheets if you don’t believe me Mr Barnett – everyone knows that I bet on every race on a Saturday when I’m awake).

To enhance our investigations capability we have also employed a betting analyst with extensive commercial wagering industry experience.  The Commission is constantly re-evaluating and altering our sampling and analytical strategy and millions of dollars has been spent on new testing equipment to give us new capabilities to increase the risk of detection for the cheats.

Absolute and utter tripe.

The QRIC would not have the faintest idea how to read a betting sheet, and they don’t.

The days of people outside of the brain-dead greyhound dopers laying dead horses on Betfair are long gone. What does Barnett think racing people and punters are? Stupid?

The answer is of course is yes, but the only stupid one on this issue is him.

I’ve been writing about the modern methods employed by racing crooks for eons now. They bet on the exotic options – First 4’s, Trifectas, Quadrellas – and their bets are centred around the right horse in or the non-trying favourite out. Its been going on right in front of the QRIC’s eyes for years.

The old saying goes that there are none so blind as those that can’t see, but I’d add to that by saying that those who don’t have a clue about racing and punting, and those who are too arrogant to accept their shortcomings and address them are the blindest of all.

Queensland Racing Industry participants have an obligation to race within the rules. Those in the industry must take more responsibility for their own actions.

This one sums the whole thing up perfectly, and says it all.

Those naughty criminals out there in society should just start taking responsibility for their actions and stop committing crimes.

Isn’t that the product of a great policing mind?

It’s easy to see now why Katarina Carroll is the Police Commissioner, not Ross Barnett, isn’t it?

I wonder who the next QRIC Commissioner will be?



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