Category: The Gallops

The Truth About the Whip Rule is Really Just the Lie

No-one says it openly, so I will.

There is a fundamental problem with the whip rule.

It is not the rule.

It is the people running the industry and the Stewards that they employ.

It is the secret they are all leeping.

Here it is.

For a horse to win a protest on whip grounds, the Stewards must find that the winner was advantaged by its rider’s rule breaching use of the whip.

But to admit that a horse was advantaged, it means that the authorities are conceding that hitting a racehorse with a whip makes it go faster, or longer. or both.

And that concession would blow the bullshit story that whips are only used for safety reasons straight out of the water.

In other words, it would prove everything that the Animal Activists have been saying, and for some reason the folk running racing won’t allow that.

Dinosaurs, that’s what they are.

Dangers to the longevity of the sport and to themselves.

These authorities around the nation have convinced themselves in their blinkered brains that admitting that the main purpose of the whip is to make a horse go harder will imperil the future of our sport.

In fact the opposite is true.

Denial of this self-evident truth will do more to harm racing than admitting the obvious ever will or could. It just destroys racing’s credibility, and blackens the integrity of tour great sport.

It doesn’t matter what I think or say though. The Principal Racing Authorities have united in their dishonestly deceitful stand on the winning advantages bestowed by flogging a horse to the finish, and now they’ve paid their money they are fixated on taking the ride.

I’ve been in and around racing my whole life, and I know as well as you do that beating the crap out of a horse is a huge advantage in a close finish. That’s why Ian Craig used to shout “Dittman’s lifted it over the line!”, and why Greg Hall was so widely sought after by the big money gambling owners like Packer and Lloyd Williams.

Look at the protest race in Adelaide today and tell me that the winning prospects of Classy Joe wasn’t advantaged by Jeff Maund giving it a caning.

By my rough count off the replay Maund hit the horse at least 13 strikes before the 100 metre mark, and struck it about 25 times in all. On top of that, he used the whip in consecutive strides for almost the entire last two hundred metres.

Both are flagrant and deliberate breaches of the rules.

Do you really think that the whacking French-Yankee bred stayer would have won that race without the stick treatment that Maund gave it? Not on your life. Yet just like their counterparts in NSW last week, the Stewards dismissed the protest.

This is bullshit.

Why bother pretending any more? All the authorities are doing is insulting everyone’s intelligence.

Here it is, laid plain.

If the whip was carried for safety purposes, then why have the 5 strikes to the 100 and unlimited thereafter rule? Why not just have a ‘use only in safety situation’ rule?

We all know the reason.

Either scrap the rule or enforce.

But whichever you go, just be bloody honest will you.

Willie Wow! – What Showmanship That Was

I was cursing Willie Pike on the turn in the last at Caulfield.

He’d been three-wide the trip as the Melbourne jocks continued their day-long crusade to show him whose tough tyke’s town this really was, then he got shuffled back by the wide running but going nowhere pack in front, then he just seemed to sit as they went around the final bend, and I was sitting here thinking who does he think he’s riding?


If so he’d stuffed that up, because the Gauch went at the top of the straight on the champ in the 2001 Guineas, and we wheeled here Willie was still sitting on Showmanship, and looking for the world like he was waiting for a check.

“You bloody idiot!” I screamed at the TV, causing the whole Kuranda Recreation Centre crowd to turn as one and look me like I was the idiot, and a raving one too.

Then suddenly Pike hooked Showmanhip out, gave it a couple of digs to get it going, and WHOOSHKA!

This is one serious horse.

This is one top-flight jockey.

Look out Melbourne, here the West Aussies come!

Some Poor Idiots Just Know Nothing About Horse Racing


I was talking to this clown tonight who spent hours trying to convince me that the 2004 Australian Guineas winner, and later successful sire, Reset would have won a Melbourne Cup.

Victoria is currently in lock down, so the only thing I can guess is that the poor misguided fool couldn’t get down to the Chemist to pick up his meds.

What other reason would there be for a bloke who claims to know racing to assert that a colt out of a mare like Assertive Lass, who was by the Angus Armanasco trained super sprinter Zeditave, and couldn’t get further than 1600m running down a well, could possibly run a solid two miles?

None, that’s the answer, and the truth of the matter is written in the story of the prematurely retired Reset’s later record as a sire, which reads winners over more than a mile and a half sweet Fanny Adams.

Her dad George only ever got as far as a mile too.

There are some people who should just stick to what they are good at.

Pulling beers, and themselves.

With all due respect.


This is a Very Weird Race

What you are looking at is race 6 at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.

This is a real weird race, one that shows us that the old fashioned stewarding methods of examining the betting records by poring over the Betfair backs and lays is deader than the long gone dodo.

Badoosh is the one in the pink in front, and the gun young Kiwi Jason Collett, who came to Sydney as a no-one apprentice and carved his own path to the top, is the rider. It opened up as favourite but has blown out the door, $2.50 to $3.80.

It’s never lead in its life this horse, not until this race anyway, and what a masterstroke Kiwi Collett’s decision to take it to the front proved to be, for it got there, kicked a mile ahead like the Cyril and Vo show, and never looked like getting beaten. I guess it is a bit hard to when your rivals allow you to set a pace slower than a snail and then ramp it up and get them all off the bit.

All bar Glyn Schofield’s mount the third favourite Cisco Bay that is.

Cisco was never off the bit.

You’d have to be put on it first wouldn’t you?

No, it was just an animal welfare job. A bloke who has ridden 18 Group 1 winners and won near on $65 million in stakes looking after a horse’s welfare by not allowing it to run too fast, just in case strenuous exertion might cause it to have a heart attack.

It’s better that the punters who backed it did.

After all, the RSPCA doesn’t give a bugger about humans.

It was a great ride though by Glyn wasn’t it?

They all rode well in this race.

Well, one of them anyway.




They Built a Bridge For Sir Leo Hielscher – Lester Grimmett Deserves Ten Times Better – So Let’s Give Him a Cup


It was a lovely gesture yesterday by the Ipswich Turf Club to name a race after Queensland’s greatest ever handicapper Lester Grimmett, who recently retired after 50 years of sterling service to the game, but Lester deserves better.

Much like movie goers, we in racing tend to focus our attention on the actors in the play, rather than the folk who wrote it. That’s why everyone knows the top horses, jockeys and trainers of each era, but almost none outside the beltway remember the great officials.

That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Diligent men and women doing their jobs proficiently, and making sure the days racing starts and ends the way its supposed to, and leaving the drama for the in-between.

It’s only when you get a bad administrator like Bob Bentley that you know who he is. The good ones are remembered by the race that is named after them. Races like the W.S. Cox Plate, the P.J. O’Shea, the Sir Byrne Hart Stakes, the L.K.S. Mackinnon, the Theo Marks, the John F. Feehan and the Colin Stephen Quality, and a whole lot more.

That’s how the great back room servants are racing should be remembered too. It’s the way they’d want to be.

Lester Grimmett is a humble man, and would be deeply touched by the Ipswich club’s gesture, but what he truly deserves as recognition for his extraordinarily excellent service to Queensland racing is a Group Race named after him. He wouldn’t cop it though. You can’t mess with the names of Group races, and the newly created ones are all run at set weights or WFA.

It has to be a black type race though to befit the stature of the man, and I know just the one.

The Queensland Cup.

The Lester Grimmett Queensland Cup.

This time-honoured race is a quality handicap, just like Lester was a quality handicapper, and it was once one of the features of Winter Carnival. But due to a number of different factors it has dropped away in stature in recent years, and is badly in need of reno and a refresh.

So let’s make it great again.

Vow and Declare proved with its Tatts Cup win last year on the way to the Big One that there’s a market for Cup qualifying staying races in the winter, and the old Queensland Cup over  two miles fits the bill perfectly. It’s at Lester’s beloved Eagle Farm, the runners carry handicapped weights and measures, it’s steeped in history, and it’s long standing name really doesn’t mean much at a time when people are fast forgetting to remember that it exists.

We can change that.

There should be a few bucks leftover in the bank from all the features races Covid-19 cancelled, so we can up the prizemoney from $200 000 to $350k, and make sure it’s programmed exactly right. Build it and they will come, and they will.

They built in a bridge in honour of Sir Leo Hielscher, and a remarkable public servant who was quite invisible to those he served will now be remembered forever, or at least for as long as cross rivers by bride.

Racing is a bit more important than government I would have thought, so if we were the them and us types what we really would be doing to honour one of our very best is building a 20 metre tall statue of Lester Grimmett.

But all men and women are equal above and below the turf.

So let’s just call our 2-mile race the Lester.

He’d like that.

And he deserves it too.


This is a Magnificent Ride

It’s a nothing race this, a BM72 over 2200 on a wet Wednesday at Warwick Farm.

But from time to time you pearls in among swine.

Not that I’m saying that any of the horses or jockeys in this race were swine – I was just mangling a phrase for effect – but golly goodness me, wasn’t Tommy Berry’s ride on Space is Deep in the royal blue and cap with red V an absolute pearl?

Watch and enjoy.

A Missive From the Glitter Strip Canal – The Doc on Artificial Insemination and Inbreeding

Paul Messara on Twitter: "Dr Geoff Chapman and Miracle Mal many ...

My Dear Geebung

One of the genetic problems with AI (artificial insemination), is that the strongest sperm from one ejaculate, doesn’t necessarily fertilise the egg, because it is used many times, which would not occur in the normal state.

As you would appreciate, with a normal service, where the strongest sperm wins the swimming race, this helps sustain the Laws of Natural Selection, thereby improving the herd.

(Editor’s note: The only thing I appreciate about sperm is ejaculating it)

Of course that doesn’t always occur, as we have seen with defective animals, but that is probably due to some other factor in the mare or the environment.

Hence it is the prime reason artificial insemination is outlawed in Thoroughbreds.

If it wasn’t, all the thoroughbreds running around would be by Star Kingdom or Danehill. Then all their recessive genes would become Dominant, from the inbreeding, and we would have many defective animals (eg. weak sesamoids in the Star Kingdom line), and they would all break down.

It is also the explanation for a particular stallion line fizzling out after 3-4 generations, because of their recessive defective genes (no one is perfect!) becoming dominant.

It is also capable of considerable rorting – use your imagination there. Apparently this happens a bit in the cattle and sheep business.

Now with gene testing they may be able to obviate this, but what would the testing cost? Probably more than the animal is worth.

In cattle and others, it doesn’t matter much, because all you’re trying to improve is butterfat in the milk or whatever, and we’re not dealing in seconds over 1600 metres.

Having said that, the Thoroughbred overall has done pretty well, as there is only a couple of seconds difference between most of them over say 1600 metres. Unfortunately, that is a difference of 1-24 metres, which separates the stars from the also rans.

It also explains the bell curve, and how you can get a good horse from “OUT of the WEST” by “CHRIST KNOWS WHO” for not much money.

Keep swinging,

(Editor’s note: Euchre player extraordinaire, doctor of dreams, scrumbase innovator, early adopter of head gear – which is why Doc still has all his considerable number of marbles – and a pretty fair horse trainer too. We won’t mention his goal kicking on windy days).

That’s a Bit Harsh


Jockey Taylor Marshall got called into the Stewards room after race 5 at Ipswich yesterday afternoon for a please explain about his front running ride on the favourite Ready to Chase.

It seemed somewhat over an over reaction.

After all, this is a horse who had lead or sat outside the leader in a fast pace at its previous two starts and kicked on well at a one bat sort of pace, and Marshall had ridden the horse both times. He obviously figured that if he could get a bit of start on the field by riding a mini Cyril on Vo style race it might be able to whack away long enough to pinch it, which seemed pretty fair logic if you’ve watched its replays.

It proved sound too, because the fave was in front everywhere except the post and only got cut down by the winner in the last couple of bounds. You can’t turn a sows ear into a silk purse as they say, but young Marshall certainly tried his best.

You’d have to wonder what would have happened if he’d ridden the horse against its usual front-running pattern and it had been been beaten from coming from the back. Would he have been called in for an explanation then?


Sometimes you just can’t win.

Still and all it was a bit harsh I reckon.

What do you think?

I’ve Got an Unpeaceful, Queasy Feeling About Certain Goings On at Doomben Yesterday Afternoon – It Would Be Good if Chief Steward Chadwick Explained a Few Things to Us All I Reckon


Isn’t this most peculiar?

Queensland’s Chief Racing Steward Peter Chadwick has been to fewer midweek race meetings since being appointed to his role than Maggie has gone nights without a shag in the past 25 years, but for reasons unknown, today he decides to bowl up at Doomben.

But even though he is the boss, he doesn’t chair the meeting.

An underling named Neil Boyle does.

If you’ve read this site for a while you would have read many stories that we’ve written about the former shifty jockey turned dodgy trainer turned lily white painted Steward Mr Neil Boyle, and not too many of them were professionally flattering.

Which gives you cause to scratch your head and think hello, why is Chief Steward Chadwick handing the reins to Boyle, when its he himself who is paid big bucks to be the Big Lebowski in the Queensland stewarding ranks, not a former very average hoop and mentor who sits two rungs below him on the ladder.

This is weird.

What the hell is going on?

We find out by the end of race 5 what’s going on.

Robbie Fradd and Toby Edmonds are.

Or Robbie definitely, and Toby $1.85.

There is no proof of anything, for you can’t demonstrate that a world class jockey has just twice ridden like a mug against mugs because he was riding his horse dead, but if you’ve spent your life in and around the tracks and the punt you don’t need the legal standard of proof, because you know.

Not that I’m saying that the legal standard of proof required in occupational matters isn’t there, because I’m the belief that on the balance of probabilities it certainly is.

Fradd might be too good for the half-baked locals to spot, but he is not too good for you and me punters.

He might not be too good for them either when you think about it, them being people who are paid to spot such things, if you know what I mean.

Perhaps Peter Chadwick can clear the air by explaining a few things.

(a) Why he just so happened to do what normal Chief Stewards do and attend the races yesterday, when 9 times out of 10 on a Wednesday he doesn’t bother;

(b) Why he didn’t chair the meeting;

(c) What his past and present relationship, if any, with jockey Robbie Fradd is;

(d) Why Robbie Fradd wasn’t charged over the incident in which he almost put Luke Tarrant down;

(e) How Fradd escaped a running and handling charge, or two.

They are pretty important questions, because beaten short priced favourites carry a fair heap of money that Joe Public has invested in good faith, and jockeys nearly being thrown hard head first to the ground from 500 kilogram beasts travelling at 50 km an hour are serious matters too.

There is a real unpeaceful, queasy feeling among racing people about what went on at Doomben yesterday afternoon.

Integrity demands an antacid.

C’mon Chief Steward Chadwick.

Do please properly explain.