This is an extract from yesterday’s Stewards report at Mackay.
It’s wrong from the get go.
The Clerk of the Scales at Mackay yesterday was not a person named Ms A. WARE.
It was a woman named Amanda WARRY.
Central Queensland Chief Steward Josh Adams should know this, for he has been working with Amanda at Mackay race meetings for some time now. Every second Steward’s report though he gets her name wrong, which says a lot about his attention to detail and respect for his staff, doesn’t it?
His decision to stand Amanda Warry down from duties yesterday does too.
Amanda had a couple of bucks on her mates horse who was running at the meeting, and I mean literally a couple of dollars, no more than ten.
The bet wasn’t placed on-course.
It couldn’t have been, because there was no on-course tote and no bookies.
It was a TAB ticket, and she had it in her pocket.
Amanda Warry is not a crook.
She is, genuine, salt of the earth animal lover who works part-time a couple of days a month as the Clerk of the Scales at Ooralea Racecourse, and spend the rest of her time volunteering as the adoption co-ordinator at the local Mackay Animal Rescue Shelter.
In other words, the exact type of person we want in racing. Someone deeply committed to animal welfare, and her local community, and a person prepared to put in her own time for nothing just to make the world a better place.
And for a bet worth a couple of lousy bucks Josh Adams does this to her.
There are jockeys pulling up horses every meeting in Central Queensland.
It’s well known in punting circles that a cartel of southern riders are running their own race-fixing ring, flying in and out of CQ racecourses on hit and run missions to line their own pockets, at the expense of honest racing participants and innocent punters.
There are huge questions over the swabbing procedures at certain CQ race meetings, with rumours flying around that in the absence of a stand-alone swab official at these meetings, some of the swabs are being switched.
Jockeys are belting the living hell out of horses with whips, and some are even smashing them over the head and neck, causing them clearly visible pain.
What does Chief Steward Josh Adams do about all of this?
Nil, zip, nada.
But he grabs an honest casual employee of the club who works on the scales, stands her down and publicly stains her name by publishing it and the details of what he has done in the official Stewards Report.
It’s a disgrace.
Well I’ve got some bad news for Adams.
He’s ballsed the whole thing up.
Is anyone surprised?
Although he hasn’t actually detailed the rule under which he purported to stand Amanda Warry down, this is it.
Now there are three things you need to understand.
NUMBER ONE is that if a person acting in an official capacity as a Clerk of the Scales has a pecuniary interest on the result of a race, then the person is not permitted to act in that position IN RELATION TO THAT RACE.
The rule does not say an official should be removed from their duties for the entire meeting, like Amanda Warry was. It simply says that they cannot act in relation to the race in which they have a pecuniary interest.
That is point one.
NUMBER TWO is the issue of having a pecuniary interest in a race.
What does it mean?
The term pecuniary interest is not defined in the Rules of Racing.
It is however defined in many pieces of various Australian legislation, and this is the definition:
The term pecuniary interest is defined as an interest that a person has in a matter because of a reasonable likelihood or expectation of appreciable financial gain or loss to the person.
So, for a person to have a pecuniary interest, there must be a likelihood or expectation that they will make appreciable financial gain (or loss).
A five or ten dollar bet on a race certainly won’t result in an appreciable – significant or important – loss to the person who placed it, or to anyone else.
And how does a small flutter equate to the likelihood or expectation of appreciable gain?
It doesn’t, and it can’t.
I have said it before, and I will restate my position – the Chief Steward in Central Queensland does not understand the rules.
NUMBER THREE is that there is no rule of racing, law, policy or anything else that prohibits a Clerk of the Scales from having a bet.
The only prohibition on a Scales Clerk having a flutter is when their punt is of such magnitude that it creates a likelihood of appreciable gain or loss, as discussed above.
Let’s then go back to the legislative definitions of pecuniary interest, and have a look at what is not one.
A person does not have a pecuniary interest in the matter of the interest is so remote or insignificant that it could not reasonably have been regarded as likely to influence any decision the person might have in relation to the matter.
Does the regional Chief Steward truly believe – or expect anyone else to believe – that a nickel and dime bet that a long-serving race club official placed on their friend’s horse in a race creates an interest so direct and significant that it would be likely to influence that person’s decision in relation to the race?
Let’s personalise it.
Does Josh Adams really think that the sweet volunteer animal welfare coordinator Amanda Warry – who for years has worked a couple of half days a month at the Mackay Races, so that she can earn some money to fund her saving abandoned animals lives – would hook the weights and/or scales just so that she could collect twenty or thirty dollars max on a bet?
Is this bloke serious?
That’s a stupid question, isn’t it.
Actions speak louder than words.
Inactions do too.
Josh Adams ones scream.
This is my advice to the Chief.
Give this poor. good woman a break mate, and go and find the people who are actually doing the wrong thing.
Just don’t look in a mirror.