Category: Crime

Tony Sears Gets Hauled in to the Station For a Wee Chat – About All the Wrong Things

Tony Sears to start new partnership |

Tony Sears future in racing’s so bright, he gotta wear shades

Our spies on the Tabletop Mountain at Toowoomba tell us that trainer Tony Sears – who was on a golden run and training winners at a 30% strike rate until he received a recent visit from the Major Crimes Squad, and since then has been going like a busted arse –  had another visit from the plainclothes boys in blue yesterday.


It was a bit friendlier this time they say.

No vans full of joint Federal/State joint taskforce coppers carrying guns, tasers, warrants and battering rams.

Just a couple of nice officers waving handcuffs in the air and asking politely if trainer Sears would care to set aside the rest of his commitments for the day – which had only recently begun – and accompany them to the station to have a chat about wide ranging topics that included Ben Currie, Ben Currie and Ben Currie instead.

When a man has the prospect of spending a day talking about the Tornado offered to them by a handcuff waving detective, what else could you expect him to do other than to say “You beaut Bluey, just let me go and grab the burner phones so I can drop them in the acid barrel on the way out”?

I personally don’t know why the coppers would waste their precious time and out scarce taxpayer money wasting time talking about Boom-Boom Currie. He’s really pretty boring really, unless like me you enjoy rabbiting on about basketball, birds, footy, poetry, evolution, language, the history of the Weetwood, philosophy, and and science. Outside of that Currie doesn’t know sh*t from clay.

If I were the coppers entertaining Tony Sears for the better part of the day, I would be changing the subject to all things Singapore.

I’d be asking Sears about his bi-monthly or tri-monthly visits to the island nation, and his millionaire Asian owners who just love winning races at Gatton, because the Spring Carnival clearly lacks the same prestige.

If it were me I’d be asking Tony for their names and numbers, and enquiring what these owners did for a living, and for who.

I’d probably ask him about the flights and the accommodation he takes and uses on his travels, and who pays for them, and why.

Most of all though, I’d be wanting him to tell me all about the betting agents working out of Singapore, and the Commission agents too, and how much they can get on good things for, and whether these large amounts spread across Asian exchanges and into Europe have any appreciable impact on the Australian betting markets, or on the betting records that our erstwhile but a tad naive Stewards study when trying to work out whether a race was hot.

That’s just me though.

What would I know?

It’s probably a whole lot more fun talking about Ben Currie.

At least the coppers have a slight idea what they’re talking about there.

They probably couldn’t point you to Singapore on a map.

Silly buggers.


More Charges Expected in Mass USA Doping Cases – More Expected to be Charged – Be Afraid Aussie Buyers – Be Very Afraid

Since the indictment of more than two dozen trainers, assistants, veterinarians, and pharmacists in connection with a horse doping ring this March, rumors have swirled that more names could be forthcoming in connection with the federal investigation.

Speaking at a status conference for the case on Tuesday morning, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Adams told U.S. District Judge Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil that a superseding indictment could be around the corner, but did not provide details as to the timing.

“We are looking seriously at superseding indictments,” said Adams. “For the moment, and I made this point at least to some defense counsel previously, the nature of what we’re looking at is largely in the same kind of criminal conduct as what is in the current indictment.”

“We’re looking at expanding timeframes for certain of the conspiracies. We’re looking at potentially adding different statutory charges with respect to certain of the defendants. What I do not anticipate for the moment is that those superseding indictments, if and when they come, would require the production of some substantial large set of materials not already produced to date or already in the queue of things we expect to produce.”

A superseding indictment is one which replaces an existing indictment, and could add charges against already-named defendants and/or could name new defendants.

Vyskocil reminded Adams that the court would not hold things up while the government finishes its investigation. Adams said he understood and that he would not ask to hold up the proceedings for that reason.

The charges on the current indictments, which names former top trainers Jorge Navarro and Jason Servis, among others, focus on drug adulteration, misbranding, and conspiracy. The indictments claim a network of horsemen, veterinarians and pharmacy reps sold, distributed and used drugs in racehorses for the purpose of performance enhancement.

Other than a potential superseding indictment, there are not likely to be many updates in the case until late fall. Currently, attorneys are going through the discovery process, meaning each side is requesting and providing requested evidence in the case. Adams said he believes his office will be able to provide the last of the discovery material requested by defendants by the end of September.

Already, the office has provided some 90 gigabytes’ worth of data to all defendants in three different volumes, and has fielded 20 additional individual requests. That data includes the results of 30 different search warrants, intercepted phone calls and text messages, geolocation information for various devices, email accounts, file transfer accounts, inventory lists, shipping records, veterinary records, drug promotional and marketing material, and much more. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is still extracting data from devices like cell phones and tablets seized from defendants at the time of their arrests.

Adams mentioned that labs inside and outside the United States had been asked to conduct testing on samples related to the case, although it was not immediately clear whether that referred to samples of substances seized in searches of pharmacies or biological samples from horses, or both. Those results were not all known to the federal government as of yet, and some defense attorneys expressed a desire to work out some sort of split sampling process where possible, acknowledging there was a finite amount of some samples available to test.

After the government produces requested evidence, it is sent to a coordinating discovery attorney for organization and distribution. One defense attorney pointed out that it generally takes the coordinating discovery attorney roughly a month to process large document releases before they are given over to defense counsel, so a late September target for discovery completion means they will get a look at the last of the evidence in early November.

Vyskocil scheduled a status conference for Nov. 19. Most participants on the call agreed it would be impractical to set a trial date or motion schedule until the defense has seen all the government’s evidence against their clients.

Source: The Paulick Report, USA

How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? – Highway Robbery – Part 1 – The Hook – an Archie Butterfly Exclusive

Do you remember when you were little and you believed in dreams?

It was Santa who put the toys in your stocking, and the Easter Bunny who set the eggs for the hunt, and the tooth fairy who left a dollar under your pillow when one fell out.

The world was wide back then, and you looked forward at the future and all you could see were straight lines and stars.

Then one day you got a bit older, and started to ask yourself questions about these fairies and fat men and bunnies, and before you knew it you were realising that it was all just fantasy, and fluff and white lies, and then you asked your Mum and she admitted it, and you smiled and shrugged and felt old and smart, and from that moment on you knew that life was glittered with tiny little lies.

I believed James McDonald when he got done a few years back for having a thousand bucks on his winning ride Astern.

I believed him when he said that he’d made an error of judgement.

I believed him when he said it wasn’t that bad because he had bet on his own horse not another in the race.

I believed him when he said that all he had on the horse was the single thousand.

Well sort of, anyway.

I like J-Mac, and I love his skill as rider and admire the way he can float in the saddle of a horse like MJ soaring through air on his way to the hoop.

When I was living in New Zealand I had seen McDonald as 15-year-old kid riding at the bush track at Waipukurau just up the road from our farm, and I’d rushed home to ring all my mates back in Australia that I’d just seen God, in the flesh, right in front of my eyes.

I backed him and backed him and backed him, that season and the next, and won nearly enough to buy another farm (of course I later knocked that on the head, and knocked the one I had off too – easy come, easy go; if you live and buy by the punt you can’t really complain when you lose by it and still wake up breathing, can you?).

I wanted to believe J-Mac, so I did.

I cast aside all my doubts about why he’d get a shady racecourse dodger to put on his bet, or why the dodger had won $125 000 yet J-Mac only four, or why the dodger was willing to get warned off rather than hand over his betting records, or how when another horse looked like running past him it suddenly veered sideways left and ran to the outside fence, or why the Group 1 winner J-Mac stood up in the irons and celebrated like he’d won the Cup as they passed the post in a lowly $48 000 affair.

I believed because I wanted to believe.

But I was kidding myself.

Leopards are leopards.

They don’t suddenly step out of the nest one day as snow white turtle doves, fly into the forest, grow legs, spots, a tail and teeth, maul a gazelle and eat it, wipe the blood from their paws and faces, then run off to the tree again and turn back into a dove and fly up to the nest.

Leopards don’t change their spots, and crooked jockeys who associate with shady characters and bet large sums on horses don’t either.

There is no Santa Claus, or Easter Bunny, or Tooth Fairy.

Our parents lied.

I don’t believe J-Mac anymore.

This is the Stewards report into J-Mac’s ride on the favourite Keen Power in the 3rd race at Randwick a fortnight ago.


This is J-Mac’s ride, the last part of it anyway.

Before this point he’d begun with them from barrier 10, jagged the fave back to near last in preference to looking for a spot, run up into a traffic jam on the turn, and sat there like a stunned mullet instead of following the others out wide.

On a track on which the inside was clearly off, one of the world’s finest jockeys goes inside instead of out.

Look at his eyes.

Look at his eyes.

Can you see anyone else’s?

No, and you won’t in the pictures to follow either, and that’s because J-Mac is the only one looking.

The other ones have already done their jobs.

What James Mcdonald is looking for is Brenton Avdulla, and he’s spotted him.


Avdulla has just miraculously extricated his mount from a pocket on the turn by simply steering it up inside the amateur rider with no ability Nash Rawiller, a man with a very clean slate, and he didn’t even have to jostle.

Hugh Bowman on the horse in green with the yellow hoops has kindly looked after his no-hoping galloper’s welfare by easing back to allow Avdulla the space to come through underneath the timid Rawiller.

It was very nice of him you would have to agree.

Suspend your disbelief, I will show you all this in the next story.

Avdulla surges toward the lead.

McDonald watches.


Why is J-Mac looking to his left, when he is steering the favourite in to his right?

Are you that silly you don’t know?

He’s measuring the distance, working out when Avdulla is far enough in front that he come out and chase him and make it look like he’s serious, without actually having a hope in Hades of ever catching catch.

J-Mac is one of the best jockeys in the world remember.

Kieren Fallon was once too.


J-Mac goes back to the inside, where no jockey all day wanted to be.

There is a gap in front of him that you could drive a truck through.

But McDonald steers the favourite in behind another runner, and up its rump.

And then he looks at Avdulla again.


J-Mac keeps steering the favourite in.

All the while he’s looking.

Looking, looking, looking.

At Brenton Avdulla.


Safely tucked in an up behing the horse in the black and white, McDonald pauses for a stride or two to reassess the distance between he and Avdulla.

Still he’s looking.

He’s always looking.

Billy Slater used to too, that’s why he never dropped a ball.

Slater could calculate the physics of where to catch it, where to run, and how fast he needed to do it to split the gap.

It’s why he was such a brilliant player.

James McDonald can do it too, in the blink of an eyelid, just like Billy.

It’s why he is such a great jockey.

But James isn’t calculating how, where and how fast he needs to go to win.

He’s working out what he needs to do to lose.

With honour of course, and so it appears the opposite of what is so.


Eventually J-Mac decides he’s left it long enough, and pulls out into the gap that has been there forever and goes.

He does it slowly though.

Then, finally, he sits down and rides.

For a couple of strides at least.

The bird has flown you see.

And the Eagle has shit.

When the Eagle Shits "Pay Day" Men's T-Shirt | Spreadshirt

There is no Santa Claus.

I suspect that there is a race fixing ring in Sydney though, and it’s run from the top, and through the cream.

It break my heart to say this.

But I suspect that James McDonald just might be a cheat.

to be continued …….



How Do You Mend a Broken Heart – Highway Robbery – Part 2 – The Stewards Know it Too – But Don’t Get Blinded by the Sun Bouncing Off the Snow – an Archie Butterfly Exclusive

I suspect that jockey James McDonald is cheat.

The Stewards do too.

They are all over him like a rash.

The sudden stipes focus on McDonald is no accident, or coincidence.

It’s all about snow.

And mobile phones, and gambling, and double dealing, and ducking for cover, and throwing wolves dressed as lambs to the lions.

When you’re out of the trenches and running, and the bullets are flying, it’s every man for himself and may the best man win.

“Look out for Number One. If you don’t, no one else will” the Brain famously said.

“If a man is dumb, someone is going to get the best of him, so why not you? If you don’t, you’re as dumb as he is.”

This is about is two competing teams, and who are going to be the last men left standing.

It won’t be James McDonald.

Don’t you worry about that.

This is the Stewards report from Randwick today.


This is what J-Mac did on Threeood.

How did he ever imagine that he would get away with it?

Who does McDonald owe?

And why on earth does he think he’s not going to have to pay?


They come round the turn, and J-Mac is back near last on the $2.90 favourite.

Look familiar?

It should, because it is.

Guess who is up front, getting away with murder?


Do you reckon J-Mac is going to come to the outside when he should?

Is the Pope a Jew?


McDonald steers the fave away from clear air, and back in behind them.

Right up the pack’s arse.

Strange tactic isn’t it?

He stays there too.

That was the 400 mark you saw above.


This one is the 300.

The one below is the 200.

J-Mac is still there, doing nothing.

Or doing a whole lot, if you know what I mean.

I don’t suspect that J-Mac is a cheat anymore.

I know he is.


We are past the 150 pole now.

He’s still there.

J-Mac doesn’t want to go.


Because he knows if he does, his horse will beat Avdulla’s.

McDonald doesn’t want that.


We are well inside the hundred now.

J-Mac awakens from his long slumber, and hooks the fave out.

It is far too late to catch Avdulla on the leader, just as the great jockey with the clock and distance calculator inside his head knew it would be.

D’uh stupid.

That’s why he waited so long.


The fave steams home under double wraps.

It gets beaten by as far as you’d expect, but should have won by panels.

Sadly for whoever the Brain is, Avdulla does too.


That’s racing, and the reason that Ben Currie’s fraud charges are a crock, and bound to collapse in a heap.

You can fix races, but there’s always some bloke that you left out of the fix who is trying.

Maybe anyway.

Wasn’t it weird how Jason Collett was able to push out under Hughie Bowman so easily on the eventual winner.

Why, it was just like Avdulla did on Nash in that Highway Handicap two weeks ago, and do you know the funny thing?

A Gerry Harvey owned horse was involved in both.

I’m sure it’s a mere coincidence.

The only thing for certain is that James McDonald has just thrown away his whole bright glittering career.

Did you know that his missus works as a tipster for the corporate bookmaker Beteasy?

Funny that.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow,

Or swing the spotlight away to melt the snow anyway.

Everywhere you look you see bright lights and stars.

Never let them blind you.

Murder games ... | Life and style | The Guardian


How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? – Highway Robbery – Part 4 – The Brain – an Archie Butterfly Exclusive

Born in New York City in 1882, Arnold Rothstein was a businessman and kingpin of New York’s Jewish mob. He’s also legendary for trying to fix the 1919 World Series in what’s known as the Chicago Black Sox Scandal. One thing that stands out about Rothstein, a.k.a. Big Al, is that he wasn’t just a brutal mob boss, but rather someone who understood the intricacies of business and ran the mob like a corporation.

“[He] had the most remarkable brain. He understood business instinctively, and I’m sure that if he’d been a legitimate financier he would have been just as rush as he became with his gambling and other rackets he ran,”

said Meyer Lansky, a.k.a. the Mob’s Accountant.

Thanks to his business acumen and mathematical brain, Rothstein accumulated a fortune worth an estimated $10 million, or approximately $140 million in when adjusted for inflation.

But long before he became New York’s richest and most important crime figure, Rothstein was a high school dropout trying to make his way through gambling. That being said, let’s discuss Rothstein’s backstory, his gambling abilities, rise in the crime world, underground casinos, and demise – including how he was shot after a high stakes poker game.

Unlike many mob kingpins, who started out on the streets, Arnold Rothstein was raised in an upper middle class family in Manhattan. His father, Abraham, was a successful merchant whose honest reputation earned him the nickname “Abe the Just.”

Arnold veered from this path early on since he got poor grades and was more interested in gambling as a child. Math was the only school subject that Rothstein excelled in, and it served him well in betting.

In a piece called Arnold Rothstein and the 1919 World Series Fix by Victoria Vanderveer, he was asked when he became a gambler.

“I always gambled. I can’t remember when I didn’t,” Rothstein responded. “Maybe I gambled just to show my father he couldn’t tell me what to do, but I don’t think so. I think I gambled because I loved the excitement.”

Arnold resisted his father’s authority and resented the attention his parents gave to his older brother, Harry, who was studying to become a rabbi. This is one reason why Arnold refused to stop shooting dice after his father caught him and scolded him for it.

After dropping out of high school, Rothstein didn’t have the bankroll to pursue his true passion of gambling.

This forced him to take up a career as a cigar salesman. But as Leo Katcher describes in a biography on Rothstein called The Big Bank Roll, Arnold never lost sight of his true goal.

“The cigar salesman made a good living. He lived frugally, did not dissipate,” writes Katcher. “Each week the roll in his pocket grew a little thicker. He knew he could never attain his ultimate aim by simple economies, but these could start him on his way. He didn’t like long range projects. He was essentially a short term, quick turnover man.”

Eventually, Rothstein sold enough cigars and saved enough money to accumulate a $2,000 bankroll. Worth over $28,000 today, Arnold felt that he had enough to become a professional gambler and quit his salesman job.

It didn’t take Rothstein long to experience success in his new career as a professional gambler. He was willing to bet on anything as long as he felt like the odds were in his favor.

Rothstein’s ability to quickly calculate odds and work through complicated math made him a fortune. And like a shark smelling blood in the water, Rothstein would take advantage of any weak minded gamblers he came across.

“Look out for Number One. If you don’t, no one else will.” Rothstein said. “If a man is dumb, someone is going to get the best of him, so why not you? If you don’t, you’re as dumb as he is.”

The HBO show Boardwalk Empire portrays Rothstein as a patient man who was willing to wait as long as it took to find a favorable opportunity.

“I’ve made my living, Mr. [Nucky] Thompson, in large part as a gambler,” Rothstein said. “Some days I make 20 bets. Some days I make none. Weeks, sometimes months in fact, when I make no bets at all because there simply is no play. So I wait, plan, marshal my resources and when I finally see an opportunity and there is a bet to make, I bet it all.”

Through his combination of patience and mathematical abilities, Rothstein soon became a millionaire through gambling.

He carried large amounts of cash with him so that he could cover any favorable bets that arose. Said to always have at least $20,000 cash on him, Rothstein earned the nickname The Big Bankroll.

By age 28, Rothstein moved to Manhattan’s Tenderloin district, which was known for brothels, underground gambling, and corrupt officials.

Rothstein fit right in and quickly opened an underground casino in the Tenderloin. The high end casino was a big success, generating over $10,000 a day in the 1910s.

This allowed Arnold to continue investing in more casinos and brothels. He also bought a large stake in a racetrack at Havre de Grace, Maryland, where he’s believed to have fixed races and gained insider information.

Through a wide network of informants that he paid very well, Rothstein received tips on horses and races that the average bettor didn’t have access to.

While never convicted, Rothstein is believed to have orchestrated the infamous Black Sox Scandal of 1919, where Chicago White Sox players were paid to throw the World Series.

When the heavily favored White Sox lost to the Cincinnati Reds 5 games to 3, speculation became rampant that the mob boss fixed the Series.

One version of the story suggests that former bantam boxing champion Abe Attell acted as a middleman between Rothstein and the White Sox players.

Another version claimed that gambler Joseph Sullivan approached Rothstein about a scheme to fix the World Series. Arnold quickly rejected the offer, but later reconsidered after hearing Attell’s proposal.

As writer Michael Alexander concludes, Rothstein thought that he could work with both Sullivan and Attell while still covering his own involvement.

Whatever the case, Rothstein, now known as The Fixer, was called to testify before a grand jury in Chicago. Arnold assumed the identity of an innocent businessman, chastising the courtroom for viewing him with prejudice.

“Gentleman, what kind of courtesy is this? What kind of city is this?” Rothstein questioned. “I came here voluntarily and what happens? A gang of thugs bar my path with cameras as though I was a notorious person, a criminal even.”

Aside from lecturing the grand jury, Rothstein also said that he had nothing to do with the Black Sox Scandal.

“The whole thing started when Attell and some other cheap gamblers decided to frame the Series and make a killing,” Arnold told the courtroom. “The world knows I was asked in on the deal and my friends know how I turned it down flat. I don’t doubt that Attell used my name to put it over. That’s been done by smarter men than Abe. But I was not in on it, would not have gone into it under any circumstances and did not bet a cent on the Series after I found out what was under way.”

It helped Rothstein’s cause when signed confessions by White Sox players Eddie “Knuckles” Cicotte, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, and Claude “Lefty” Williams disappeared.

Katcher writes that the prosecution tried to get the players to repeat their confessions on the stand, only to have them plead the Fifth Amendment.

With no confessions, the state didn’t have enough to indict Rothstein, and they were forced to deny that he had any involvement with the scandal.

Arnold did admit that he won less than $100,000 from betting on the Reds, but Katcher claims that the sum was actually $350,000.

In addition to being accused of fixing horse races at his Maryland track, Rothstein is also believed to have cheated at the 1921 Travers Stakes.

Owner of a racehorse named Sporting Blood, Rothstein allegedly paid trainer Sam Hildreth to help him drive up Sporting Blood’s odds.

Hildreth entered a champion horse named Grey Lag, which pushed Sporting Blood’s odds up to 3 1. Based on additional information that the horse with the second best odds was off her feed, Rothstein bet $150,000 on Sporting Blood to win.

Grey Lag was scratched from the race shortly after this, and Sporting Blood went on to win, earning Rothstein a $450,000 profit. Much like the Black Sox Scandal, nobody could prove that Rothstein did anything wrong.

Fletcher, Bobby, Bold Glance, and How it Rolls – Do You Reckon it Might Be Time to Call For a Certain Bookie/Punter Combo’s Betting Sheets and Accounts Too? – Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Bold Glance was a horse that would have won a race at Eagle Farm almost a decade ago, if only its jockey hadn’t hooked it.

The jockey Bobby El-Issa. a supremely talented rider whose fundamental dishonesty cost him his career – was banished from the racing game for two years for what he did that day.

Steve Fletcher, the professional gambler and/or bowler to the stars, was allegedly the man who paid El-Issa to do it.

Or allegedly the go-between at the very least.

Fletcher punts on today.

But I don’t know for how much longer.

Here is an abridged report of what happened at Eagle Farm that dark day, as reported in papers at the time.

It’s a little more sophisticated now, but it happens still.

Still waters run deep.

Crooked water ways run even deeper.

The probe uncovered that over almost three months from December 8, 2010, to the meeting on February 26, 2011 Fletcher’s top 10 “lay” bets in Queensland racing were on El-Issa rides.

In other words, on each of those 10 occasions, Fletcher backed El-Issa mounts to lose.

Every time, he risked more money than he did when laying horses piloted by other jockeys.

And, as it transpired, all of the 10 horses did lose.

Of El-Issa’s eight rides on February 26, Fletcher backed five of them to lose.

Across all 10 bets, Fletcher’s liabilities the amount he would have owed Betfair clients had his bets failed was $302,857.56.

His combined profit on the bets was $39,780.25.

Stewards, however, say the Bold Glance race was the only one to show evidence of improper riding tactics by El-Issa.

Yesterday, an inquiry concluded a month-long investigation in which Racing Queensland’s modern surveillance capacities rose to the fore.

The state’s control body for thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing contracts an off-course analysis unit which has real-time access to price fluctuations across the totes, corporate bookies and Betfair.

The unit relays betting anomalies immediately, and maintains an ongoing database tracking suspicious trends. Additionally, a Memorandum of Understanding between Racing Queensland and Betfair ensures a level of co-operation when information is sought on the activities of certain account-holders.

Phone records also are often subsumed into evidence.

Birch established that El-Issa and Fletcher were in regular phone contact from December to February, although no consistent pattern emerged in the scheduling of the calls.

The pair’s communication, mostly initiated by El-Issa, was mainly in the form of text messages.

The content remains unknown.

There have been rumours of fixed races in south Queensland for six months. But Birch and Racing Queensland integrity director Jamie Orchard are adamant the El-Issa-Fletcher affair is not the thin edge of a corruption wedge.

“I don’t think any chief steward can sit here and say everything (in racing) is (always) lily-white,” Birch told The Courier-Mail.


Sears Stable Raids Send Shockwaves Through the Racing Industry

Father and daughter duo dominating in Qld

There are not so many smiles at the Sears place right now

This morning’s coordinated police raids on the Toowoomba home, Clifford Park stables and Charlton pre-training property of trainers Tony and Maddy Sears has sent shockwaves through the Queensland racing industry.

Not because the raids were a surprise – Blind Freddie could see that coming after the recent uproar by certain ‘lily-white’ Brisbane trainers that lead to the widely publicised meeting at Eagle Farm with the QRIC – but because they were conducted not by Stewards of the QRIC Integrity Investigation Team, but rather by up to 12 armed police rumoured to be a mixture of local and federal cops working on what appears to be a joint taskforce investigation.

At this stage we are unable to confirm or deny the involvement of the Feds, but there is strong mail coming through suggesting that any possible Commonwealth Police involvement is inextricably linked to the wholesale race fixing and doping arrests across America earlier this years that sent ripples around the world.

Some sources suggest that the FBI phone taps and raids uncovered evidence of cross-Pacific links between the dopers, including a number of Australian purchases of many of the unregistered and illegal substances being manufactured and sold by crooked pharmacists and vets in the United States, including the near 50 arrested and charged by the US Federal authorities during their investigations. This information of course was passed on to and shared with the Australian Federal Police, who are believed to have been, and still be, conducted covert investigations and surveillance operations on the local buyers, particularly in the NSW and Victorian harness racing industries.

Whether this broader investigation is related to today’s raids at Toowoomba is merely conjecture at this stage, however what we do know at this is stage is this.

  • 8 armed plain clothes police executed search warrants on the home and stables of co-trainers Tony and Maddysen Sears
  • A large quantity of items were seized included phones, computers, files and what are believed to be surveillance cameras and recordings
  • A further 3-4 police officers executed a raid on a property linked to the Sears at Charlton, about a half hour north-west of Toowoomba
  • No arrests have been made at this stage
  • The raids DID NOT relate in any way to Ben or Mark Currie, and were not conducted at the Currie’s homes or stables (just to put that false rumour presently spreading to bed)

There is very strong mail that this police operation was neither the first nor last that will be conducted by police in the racing industry, with hot whispers that the next mass visits made by officers will be to a much higher profile father and child training combination based approximately 130km to the South-East of the Downs.

Watch this space.

Just Imagine That I Was a Drug Traficker Looking For a Money Launderer, and You Were the Smartest Scamming Punter at the Track – 15% Plus the Rebates – An Archie Butterly Fairy Tale About the Punt, Punters, Bookies, Dirty Dough. Laundries and Snow of All Different Kinds

eski's fishing - YouTube

I want to take you into the realm of imagination and fantasy for a few moments.

Just imagine that you a really good punter, a smart maths man who is good with people and very trustworthy, and a recreational coke addict and a bit of a cad as well.

A bloke bowls up to you at the track one day carrying a horse’s head, and says “G’day fella, I’m a major drug trafficker who makes a million bucks a week off a ten grand investment, and a gamble that I won’t get busted by the cops and spend twenty in the can. But I have a problem. I’m on the dole, and if anyone ever decides to take a close look there is no way in the world that on an income of $300 a week plus rent assistance I can justify my 30 inner city apartments, my flash luxury vehicles, my eating out at the best restaurants in town every night, and my taste for antiques and first class, five star world travel”.

“What I need is a dry cleaner to wash my dirty cash clean, and I hear that you are the man. So here is a proposal for you. The take out on the tote is about 15 cents in the dollar, and if you back them at the right time you can get the corporate bookies to bet you at about the same percentage too, and with the plan I am about to put to you they will never cut you off –  the corporates that is – because overall you will lose a little bit with all of them. Not a lot, but when it comes to the turnover numbers I’m about to suggest to you, it will add up to a very tidy profit for them, and they will walk over broken glass to keep your business, even though the ones I don’t already have in my pocket, and because we won’t be triggering their built in hot one alarms, none of them will have a clue what’s going on. They will just assume that you are a lovable loser, and you might even get a whole of VIP benefits like trips to Hong Kong and Royal Ascot, and corporate tents for Africa at events like the Grand Final and The Cup thrown in too”.

“So this is what I want you to do. I want you to wash my black million bucks a week and make it snow white. I’m prepared to cop the 15% knock on the dough and get it back as a lily white $850k. It’s a whole lot easier than trying to slip through the probity process to get a casino license over here in Australia, and in the long run probably a whole lot cheaper than paying Chinese punt junkies to fly over and pump cash through the $5 a push pokies 24/7, 365 days a year and a 366 on leap years too”.

“This is how I want you to do it. Back every horse in a race to win the same amount. Say you’re pumping a hundred large through all the outlets on a Saturday arvo metro race. Back every starter to win $85 000, which is my 100k less the TAB or bookie’s 15%. Then give me back the 85 large, along with a winning ticket for the same amount, or a loan repayment or court ordered settlement – say for defamation damages or something like that – and anything you can make for yourself over the top for you is cream”.

“You’re a real clever dodger – I saw how you manipulated the dogs pool that night to pull off the super small pool best tote price manipulation sting – so I don’t need to tell you this, but because it’s my money and I’m the big man in town I’m going to anyway”.

“What you do is funnel half of the 100k per race through the TAB. You do half of that in your own name, backing as many losers as you do winners, and cop the 4% to 8% rebate on turnover that blokes who load up 25k on  race every race five days a week do, and what you can make their is yours. Remember we are turning over a million a week, so that’s 40 to 80 grand a week less expenses straight into your sky rocket, without risking even a cent of your own”.

“As long as I get my 850 clean for every milliano I lay out, I’m sweet and Bob’s your uncle. You have to do the bowler betting and bank accounts end, and all organise sending all the cheques and online transfers to my spaghetti string of companies in Malta, Gibraltar, Switzerland, PNG, Tonga and the Isle of Man, and they have to be in numbers adding up to under 10 grand per shift, just to ensure that the authorities don’t get interested”.

“Here’s the cream though. On top of your 40 to 80 ton, you also get to keep anything that you shave on the odds by getting your inside people at the TAB and the corporates in senior market setting and trading roles to fiddle with them, and you can keep the bet backs whenever you want to lay them too. All I want is the 850 G a week, and not to get busted, and the rest of it’s all yours”.

“The one thing you have to do is not stuff up, or keep your trap shut and don’t lag any bastard if you do, and after that I don’t want to know about the rest. Just because I’m a nice bloke, and because I get it for 6 mexican pesos a key, I will throw in a a dozen grams of primo coke fresh off the plane from South Africa as a sweetener too. You can snort it, or sell it, or stuff it up your boyfriend’s arse if that’s what pushed your buttons. I don’t wanna know. All I want is my clean 85 in the dirty hundred”.

“You will get rich, I will get richer, and if you don’t say yes I’m going to fly an old bloke who looks like your favourite grandfather over from Greece, Albania or Italy, and he’s going to cut off your balls, slit your throat from ear to ear, hang you upside down nude off Tom Uglys Bridge, then cut the rope and feed you to the fishes”.

“What do you reckon. Are you in?”

What would your answer be?

I know what mine is.

Yes sir, when do I start? And what do I wear to work?

It’s all just a fantasy of course.

And a bent punter’s wet dream.

Gee Archie has a vivid imagination doesn’t he?

You get that when you grow up on the track.

Just ask a certain Deputy-Chief Steward somewhere.

He will give you the drum.

Don’t you worry about that.

It’s a Long Way (Back) to the (Cop) Top, If You Don’t Want to Be on the Dole

It seems like only yesterday that the former Head of the QRIC Integrity Investigation Unit Tracey Pelling pulled up stumps at the Brekky Creek office, and decamped down to Melbourne to go and work for Sal Perna in day and pursue a career in stand-up comedy by night, but I must be getting old and losing track of time, for its actually been about a year.

My advice to Queenslanders thinking about moving south is always not to go any further than Sydney, and even then only to the eastern suburbs or the north shore, because once you get past there you are entering the badlands, and it’s bloody wet and cold in winter too.

I would have given Tracey Pelling the same advice if I’d had the opportunity, but given that I was on bail for writing racing stories at the time, and friends with Boom-Boom Benny, I didn’t judge it prudent to pick up the phone and give her a call. A comedian’s gotta live and learn by her own mistakes anyway, and a bit of sub-arctic suffering is the perfect prep for a life on the stage, because you cop plenty too there if one of your jokes misses.

Well, all cold things come to an end, and the word yesterday on the track was that Tracey Pelling’s sojourn in the city of gangsters, dopers, jigger merchants, aerial ping pong footy and freezing your arse off has come to end, and that she’s back in BrisVegas, or soon to be anyway, and we welcome her back warmly too, if you pardon the pun.

Ms Pelling escaped the cold, but of course it doesn’t mean that she hasn’t walked straight back into a cold chill, for it appears there is no desk available for her to return to work at the QRIC at, and no job on the offer either.

It’s not easy for a middle-aged gag teller who has spent her adult life working in law enforcement to find a job outside of being a mall cop or night watchperson in these dastardly COVID-19 semi recession days, and the dole doesn’t pay real much my mate Laura tells me, so what’s a lady to do except go back to the future and make an application to rejoin the thin blue line and once become a girl in blue?

So that’s what the form analyst cum commission agents say that Tracey Pelling’s done, and there mail is normally better than good.

Sadly for the stand-up comedian herself though, the QPS recruiting procedures were changed a few years back –  bloody Ross Barnett and his mates – which means that former Officer in Charge of the Racing Squad Pelling now has to go through the same application process as a smooth skinned youngster fresh from 3 years standing outside a Woolies wearing a Dunoitfromclay Security uniform and catching the occasional pokie-addicted mother of three does.

It gets worse too, for if the former mid-ranking cop can pass the psych and physical tests and win enough favour with the recruit panel that they decide to put her on, then unless the Commissioner grants special approval otherwise – which appears unlikely, given Pelling’s well-known previous allegiance to the now-boss’s rival for the top cop job –  then she will be back off to where she started all those decades ago, to a job as a general duties officer at a local station.


If she makes the cut and gets posted back to the North Queensland of her youth, I might go and get myself arrested again just I fill the time before bail court shooting the breeze with Constable Pelling about racing, and reminiscing about the good old days when her cousin Mick used to employ the full array of his considerable riding talents hiding the fact that he’d just hooked a horse for a well-known giant scale punter.

Then again, maybe not.

The CCTV camera in the cell might be on the blink, and when you’re wearing handcuffs in the dark with lesbians toting truncheons, some things can happen that just ain’t funny.