Denis Holbeck (left), pictured with horse trainer Nathan Schofield, who to date has been charged with no rule breach or offence
It so it begins.
Late last week the QRIC began issuing charges against a raft of thoroughbred and harness racing identities – many of them very well known names – for sllegedly purchasing unregulated performance enhancing substances from a man named Denis Gordon Holbeck, a well-know harness racing identity that I first met as a young teenager at the Albion Park trots, when he was hanging around with a group of never-er do wells , criminals and race cheats including the housebreaker Kent Acworth, the race fixer Fatty Jones, the long dead drug supplier Robert Sharkey, and a host of other miscreants.\
Leopards don’t change their spots, not unless they try real hard, and it seems Denis has never wanted to.
Denis Holbeck and a fellow former harness racing identity named David Litzow, his assistant, were arrested last year and charged with fraud related offences of enabling and facilitating the administration of unregistered horse supplements.
It is believed the charges resulted from a police investigation during which Holbeck’s phones and internet service were tapped, and a listening device was covertly planted in his home and office. During the raid police seized Holbeck’s phones, computers, other electric devices and all of his hard copy files.
The phone taps and the seized material are understood to have revealed the names, contact details, and records of purchases of Holbeck’s full client list.
It is this long list of names that are as we speak receiving letters from the QRIC advising them of the charges issued against them, and summonsing them to appear before the Stewards to explain their defences.
It is unlikely many of the recipients will have one.
When these charges are made public by the QRIC in the next few days the fallout will send shockwaves throughout the two-code racing industry.
There will be a lot of people sleeping most unsoundly in their beds tonight, and listening out intently for the post man.
Watch this space.