It’s Only a Virus – Who Cares?

This quite handy filly named Tupelo Rose, which is owned by a pair of yanks named Gordon Banks and Marc Hanover, real sharp operators but harness racing crazies* and real nice blokes, gets sent down to the Lisa Miles stables in Victoria from Kevin Pizzuto’s NSW barn.

It starts first up for 15 weeks at Ballarat on the 13th of July, on a lowly NR55 to 66 pace, steps out at $5 from the 2 draw, and goes like a one-legged broken rocking horse, finishing last beaten almost 150 metres.

No-one can find anything wrong with it after the run, but two and a bit weeks later the new trainer Miles advises that blood tests have shown it had a virus.

Bewdy Lisa, can we have a copy of the tests?

That’s an imaginary question.

You’d have to actually ask it to get an answer.

Lisa Miles also tells the Stewards that the filly has been pissed off from her stables, and that Tupelo Rose has gone back to New South Wales.

Sorry? You sent a horse with a virus across the border to NSW? What type of virus did it have Lisa?


Huh? Did it have AIDS?

Dunno, just said a virus.

Equine Influenza?




Hendra Virus?



Dunno. Maybe. Might just have a cold.

Oh, no worries. Okay.

Now the imaginary conversation above did not happen, or at least as far as we know, but a horse with a virus did cross the border from Victoria to NSW at sometime in the last 17 days AFTER it had been diagnosed as having a virus.

And the Victorian and NSW Stewards have just stood mute and done nothing about it.


Horse should be in isolation for at least a couple of weeks while they are being for a virus, and recover.

You don’t whack a sick horse on a float and send it to another state so that it might infect other horses, not at this particular moment in history, not at any time.

What was Lisa Miles thinking?

What the hell are these Stewards doing?

They are potentially putting other stables at risk.

They are potentially putting participants at risk.

They are actually putting out sport at risk.

This is bullshit. It’s just not on.

All I can do is sit here shaking my head.


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