This is race 6 at the Marburg trots on Monday afternoon.
It was the hottest race run in the Lockyer Valley for years.
Racing’s a funny game though.
The horse they set it up for didn’t win.
The wrong horse did.
That’s why the fraud charges laid against Ben Currie will never stick.
To pull a fraud you have pull it off.
But in horse racing it doesn’t matter what you do, or how hot you do or don’t work, unless you shoot the whole field bar yours as they fly from the barriers, you can never be assured of the right result.
They tried yesterday at Marburg though.
Ryan Veivers was on the favourite At West Point, drawn in barrier 3.
It blew from 13-8 on out to 6/4 ($1.60 to $2.45).
In fact it was the only horse in the race that blew in the market.
Lachie Manzelmann was on the 1, Voloroso Hanover.
He works for Veivers brother-in law Pete McMullen and his wife Chantal Turpin.
Taleah McMullen is another sister-in-law of Ryan Veivers.
She drove the 7, Elm’s Creek.
Paul Diebert is no relation, nor is Justin Elkins.
They drove the 6 Ale Ale Kai, and the 2 Live Atom.
Here is how it unfolded.
The mobile barrier releases.
Manzelmann hunts the pole marker out off the arm.
Veivers flies the favourite across, and pressures him.
Same old, same old.
And then it all goes crazy.
The kid won’t surrender the rail.
Ryan Veivers won’t take no for an answer.
They go at each other like maniacs, and run a 15.9 second lead time.
Remember Ben Johnson’s doped up win in the 100m at the 1988 Olympics that year, the one where he picked up the best runners in the world and carried them, and took a sixth of a tenth off the Olympic record by running 9.79 for the half furlong?
That’s a 15.9 second lead time.
You can’t run them unless you’re stoked on steroids.
These pacers weren’t roided up.
I’m not so sure about their drivers though.
By the time they’d run 450m and reached the post with two laps to go the pair were half the length of the straight in front of the field, maybe more.
It was madness, or maybe that’s what they wanted you to think.
Only one horse in the past two years has run a lead time faster than 16 seconds.
That was pacer trained by Lola Weidemann called Dancing Manolos.
It ran the same 15.9 first bit, but then Lola put the brakes on and crawled through the first two quarters in 33.5 and 32.8. You could walk faster, but that was the idea, because it conserved enough strength in her horse that it could run its last two splits in 31.1 and 29.6, and win the race.
Veivers and Manzelmann weren’t having any of that.
They kept going at each other.
Veivers could have dropped the favourite onto the fence behind the leader at any time, but for reasons that you can only guess, he refused to, and kept it in the death.
Mazelmann could have eased and let Veivers cross over to the fence, and had the gun run in the slipstream on its back, but he didn’t want to either.
In fact he was so keen to hold the fave out that to save ground, he deliberately steered his horse inside the marker pegs on the turns at least three times.
Under harness racing rule 66(h) Veivers horse should have been disqualified from the race for this, and he should have been charged under rule 163(1)(c)(i) for deliberately steering it there.
Veivers should also have been charged under rule 163(1)(c)(ii) for hitting the marker poles – he did it several times – and also under 163(2) for not restraining the horse and straightening its line when it went inside the markers.
That would defeat the point though, wouldn’t it?
The point being to get the favourite beat.
They went the first three quarters in 28.8, 30.3, and 29.7.
That equates to a mile rate of 1.55.6.
The track record at Marburg is 1.56.8.
This was suicide.
It was meant to be.
Meanwhile, back at the farm, some funny things were going on too.
Justin Elkins could have crossed the 2 Live Atom over at the start when the leaders started going crazy, but for some reason he elected to ease back but stay one off the fence.
For a few seconds it looked like he was going to pop into the spot 4 back the fence, and for a couple of them he almost did.
Given the drag race going on up front, it would have been wise, but before he even got to the rail Elkins came out again and positioned his horse in the breeze without any cover, which to be totally blunt is something that only an incompetent moron or a brazen cheat would do.
I’m not sure which young Elkins may be, or whether he just had a brain fade caused by the speed and strength of the wind in his face, but what I do know is that at no stage of the race did he ever attempt to kick up and try to get onto Veivers back in the 1-1, even when the pair of hot hoons up front started coming back to the field.
What he did instead was ease, and allow the heavily backed horse on his inside Ale Ale Kai out off the fence into the 1-1, which didn’t make any sense at all, at least not in any way bar one, if you know what I mean.
I’m not quite sure if there were two teams or one working hot in this race.
Ale Ale Kai had been heavily backed, and after getting the 1-1 it should have won the race, but perhaps it was the one on its back that was the goer.
That horse was Taleah McMullen’s.
We are at the 400 metre mark now.
Money time, and the leaders are stuffed, as they were supposed to be.
See the horse in the yellow, the one whose driver is pulling it back?
The one on his inside that he’s letting out into the 1-1 is McMullen.
On the turn Elkins appears to sit up and restrain his horse again, presumably to allow McMullen out of the one-one into clear air, but the poor horse in the death that Ryan Veivers has just murdered is dropping back too fast.
So look what Elkins does.
He steers his horse sideways to let McMullen out.
The fix is in.
Veivers and Manzelmann have done their jobs on the leaders, and they are cactus.
Ale Ale Kai is the one.
Or McMullen on his back is.
Which one? Which one?
Was it a double cross, or did they have the First 4 going for a small percentage on the TAB and a bigger one going with the corporates who pay full freight on the declared dividend?
The quaddie was definitely going the organiser’s way.
Just take a look at Lachie Manzelmann’s drive on the $1.85 favourite Springfield Spirit in the second leg, race 6, if you don’t believe me.
Was it merely a coincidence that that horse was trained by the Redcliffe based trainer Ron Sallis too?
Or that Taleah McMullen won the race on the leader, an 11 year old veteran trained by another Redcliffe trainer Brett Cargill, who was sprung red handed with a needle and a syringe in his hand in a surprise raid on his stables before the races kicked off at Redcliffe on Saturday night?
Or that that particular horse ran its fastest time in over 2 years, on a track many seconds slower than all the others it had been racing on during that 24 months?
Or that Ron Sallis trained both the horse that Manzelmann used as the sacrificial goat here, and the one that young Ms McMullen drove?
Or that Ale Ale Kai was trained by Mark Rees and driven by Paul Diebert, the same combination that had the equal favourite, track record holder and expected leader Jewel of Peak in the third leg of the quaddie?
Or that Jewel of Peak was for reasons unknown pulled back at the start of that race and driven against its usual pattern, and bombed out?
Or that Diebert didn’t really seem to be trying very hard on that horse, and appeared for all money to restrain it in the straight and allow Taleah McMullen to come out from under him, cut across in front and check him, while she flew home for fourth?
Maybe I’m just seeing things.
After all, I’ve only lived off the trot punt for a few years, and been watching and studying them for half a century. What the hell would I know?
Given my inexperience, I will leave it to you to explain what Taleah McMullen did when Justin Elkins let her out in the straight.
Ale Ale Kai didn’t sprint as quickly as they all expected you see.
It had all the favours in the world given to it during the run, and it all unfolded perfectly, but he didn’t ping, and so it needed just one more little bit of help.
That’s what I reckon anyway.
It didn’t matter in the end.
In their rush to drive to the plan, no one paid any attention to the roughie trained and driven by the honest bloke that was sneaking runs up from last on the inside.
It got the split late and knocked them all off at 40-1.
The Quaddie and First 4 jackpotted.
I just fell about the floor laughing.
Racing’s a funny game isn’t it?
And ain’t karma and quaddie killers a bitch?
Editor’s note – There is no Stewards report up yet. I expect they’ve called for the betting sheets. Nah, just joking. Still, won’t it be interesting to see what our gun stipes have to say.