Category: The Gallops

Like a Camel Through the Eye of a Needle – Or Down It’s Nose Anyway – Need a Boost? –


This is the gear that real men use.

Bicarb and Brown Sugar are for wimps.

ITPP is the gear.

Gee, look what it does.

Gives your camel more oxygen in the blood.

Reduces lactic acid.

Increases maximum energy capacity.

Improves stamina.

All the things a a real good doper needs.

Best of all though, if you it right, it never swabs.


The answer is in numbers, not words.





Whack, whack, whack.

With a pick.

You can’t spike them on race day though. The vets look for needle marks.

So you have to use a drench.

It’s lucky ITPP comes in powdered form that you can fizz up and stick down the horses throat though, isn’t it?

The only other thing you need is a twitch.


Sorry Ross and the QRIC.

I had that one arse up.

Lots of trainers are.

Just ask Daryl Hansen and his mate John Zielke.



Salt Water Dreaming


Yes he has.

Daryl Hansen has robbed the banks of punters.

QRIC’… had made the matter out to be “much larger than it is” he insisted …. “I have not cheated.”

“I have been charged with a very minute breach of the racing rules – what I have done is purchase saline drenches from an unlicensed person,” Hansen told Racenet.

“I have bought them for years and years. There is no prohibited substances in them, there is no performance enhancing substance in them. They are given after gallops – two days pre-race”.

“I have not cheated.”

That is totally and utterly untrue.

Or most of it, anyway.

Hansen did buy saline drenches from Denis Holbeck.

So did John Zielke.

But it wasn’t all they bought.

Remember me telling you about the traffic lights when I gave you the drench recipe last week?

Well I got one thing wrong.

The go light wasn’t green.

It was clear.

All clear.

It was the saline drench.

The one you hit the horse with 2 hours before the race to stimulate the action of the drugs you had given it before, and to flush them out.

I wonder if Zielke and Hansen had been hearing funny noises on their phones in the months before they were charged, or experiencing strange things like MMS messages taking a while to send, or phone numbers they rang giving off messages that the recipient of the call was unavailable, or that their phone was disconnected?

I wonder when they called again straight away if their calls went straight through?

I wonder if anyone else in their family or household had the same problems with their phones?

I wonder if I doubt it?

I wonder if they ever saw a van with blacked out windows parked down the road from their houses or stables, right in between the spot where they made their calls and sent their messages from, and where the local phone tower that picks up and transmits the calls is?

I wonder if they are that dumb that they truly believe the misinformation that has been deliberately spread about what the coppers do and don’t know?

It was only salt and water they say.

My guess is that if they tell that story at the CCC secret hearings they might be called to soon – if they haven’t been already – then they might be seeing plenty of salt and water, and putting it with their porridge too.


Archie’s As Mad as a Snake, and Crazier Still – But it Doesn’t Mean He’s Stupid – Ain’t IT the Truth PePe? – Top Me Up, Will You?


Gee it’s a funny thing to do to reinstitute 12-year-old charges against a warned off for life former harness racing identity who only got out of jail after serving a long stint for traficking ice, isn’t it?

Do you really reckon that Rod Weightman – a one time harness racing trainer/driver from Mildura in Victoria, and a bloke up to his neck in the Blue Magic saga – would turn up to a Steward’s inquiry?

There is less chance than that than there is of me pulling a shag with Rihanna (although Maggie is adamant I could – love is blind).

So why have the Steward’s started the inquiry again, and set it for an indeterminate date to be fixed?

That’s a lot simpler than you might think.

It’s so that they get the warrants sweetheart.

It hasn’t been a joint Federal/State taskforce breaking down stable doors because they are looking for bicarb drenches amigo.

Do you realise that the contents of the ‘top ups’ being administered by Aquanita’s drench man Greg Nelligan were never tested or analysed, because they were never found while the gear was in them?

Are you that silly that you really believe that they were made up of bicarb and tripart paste?

What the hell would that do on its own?

You can’t top up bicarb.

It doesn’t work like that.

Something else does though.

I suspect that Rod Weightman might be able to tell you exactly what it is, too.

But Rod doesn’t talk.

I don’t either, but I do write stories, and although I am crazy enough not to have any fear or care about life or death, that’s only because I got sexually abused at school, and have been dead already for a long time.

It doesn’t mean I’m stupid.

Does iIT PePe?

Top me up, will you?



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.


The QRIC Hit Ben Currie With Another Positive Swab -18 Months After it (Allegedy) Happened – 10 Months After the Chief Steward Knew About it – And on the Same Day Currie Won His Appeal – Come Off the Grass


In a manoeuvre that only a hopelessly naive innocent or an idiot could possibly believe was sheer coincidence, on the same day that Ben Currie’s 27 month disqualification was cut to 12 months by QCAT, the trainer’s legal representatives received notification of another positive swab.

One from a race 19 months ago on the 5th of December 2018.

A positive swab that by its own reckoning the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission has known about since at least the 23rd of August 2019.


Come off the grass.

Why would the QRIC sit on a confirmed positive swab taken from a horse trained by Ben Currie for more than 10 months, and do nothing?

It doesn’t make any sense does it?

All the tests had been done, and the reserve sample had been confirmed by a second, independent laboratory.

The Chief Steward had been notified, and almost certainly the QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett had too.

All by the end of August.


Yet no-one did a thing until today, nearly a year later.

On the very same day that Currie won a victory in the courts that is bound to attract widespread news coverage that will cause the QRIC embarrassment.

This is a disgraceful abuse of process.

What the QRIC have done here lacks any integrity at all.

If, as I strongly suspect, this strategy was designed for the purpose of deflecting any criticism made of the QRIC in the wake of the QCAT decision by further damaging Currie, then whoever dreamed up the idea is in the wrong job.

The only one that this dirty, underhanded trick move is going to hurt is the credibility of the QRIC itself.

It’s as sure as death, taxes, a bad track at Eagle Farm, and another successful Ben Currie QCAT appeal.

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

The Ben Currie QCAT Decision Explained


In a huge blow to the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC), trainer Ben Currie has today had his period of disqualification on seven counts of presenting a horse to race with a prohibited substance in its system in breach of Austrian racing rule AR.178 reduced from 2 years and 3 months back to just 12 months.

Last year the QRIC Stewards found Currie guilty of 5 counts of race day presentation,  in relation to the horses Wicked Trilogy, Karaharaga, Eight Over, Dreamscope, and Shakira. The trainer was fined a total of $45 000 and disqualified from racing for 27 months.

Currie contested the penalties imposed in relation to the horses Eight Over, Dreamscope and Shakira.

These original penalties handed to Currie by the Stewards were:

Wicked Trilogy – $10 000 fine

Karaharaga – $20 000 fine

Shakira – $15 000 fine

Dreamscope – 12 month disqualification

Eight Over – 24 month disqualification

At internal review, the QRIC amended the sentences delivered to Currie by Stewards to the following:

Wicked Trilogy – $5 000

Karaharaga – $5 000

Shakira – 6 month disqualification

Dreamscope – 9 month disqualification

Eight Over – 12 month disqualification

The Internal Reviewer ordered that the periods of disqualification be served cumulatively (one after the other) rather than concurrently (at the same time), meaning that Currie was disqualified for a total period of 27 months.

Unlike the prison system, in racing a sentenced person cannot apply for parole or remissions on their sentence for good behaviour, so Currie was out for the full two years and a quarter.

Not any more.

The QRIC must have known it was cactus before the QCAT hearings began, for the Commission’s legal representatives tried to cut a deal with Currie that would have allowed him to serve the 9 month Dreamscope disqualification cumulative with (at the same time as) the 12 months the Toowoomba Tornado received for Eight Over, meaning that Currie would serve a total of 18 months rather than the 27 imposed at internal review.

Curries legal team of Michael O’Connor (solicitor) and Jim Murdoch QC (barrister) aren’t widely known as the dream team for nothing though, and on their advice the Tornado resisted all overtures and decided to fight on, although a decision was made by the Currie team allow the reduced $5000 fines each for Karaharaga and Wicked Trilogy to stand, and instead concentrate their appeal efforts of the three larger sentences.


In a victory for common sense, the QCAT today sat the outset set aside completely the penalty imposed after the mare Shakira had returned a positive result for Testosterone.

The tribunal found that – as Ben Currie had been saying all along – the Victorian mare had been sent to him by its owners from the stables now-disgraced trainer Robert Smerdon, as part of the mass-scale transfer of horses out of the Aquanita stables to other trainers around the country after the trainers from that racing operation were charges with an array of serious offences in early 2018.

The mare had only been in Currie’s stables for 14 days when it raced first up for the trainer and returned the positive testosterone swab. QCAT found that

  • testosterone is a substance with a long half-life that remains in a horses system for a considerable period
  • Currie had no cause to suspect that the drug may have been administered to Shakira by its previous trainer (each of the 78 findings of guilt against Smerdon that saw him warned off for life related to bicarb drenches)
  • Testosterone is not a performance enhancing drug when administered to mares
  • On the balance of probabilities it was Smerdon, not Currie or anyone associated with his stable that administered

In these circumstances QCAT determined that Currie had no culpability for the test result, and set aside all penalty.


Currie was notified on 14 December 2018 that Dreamscope had returned a positive swab for trace elements of cocaine, although the QCAT noted that there was a failing in the Queensland Racing Laboratory testing processes in so far as the actual quantity or amount of cocaine found in the horses test were not quantified.

As such, the tribunal agreed with Murdoch QC’s submissions and treated the offences as merely presentation of an unspecified trace amount of the drug caused by environmental contamination, as opposed to a large level that would suggest that the horse had actually been administered cocaine.

Taking into account the $9 000 fine issued to Currie in January 2017 after his stable runner Party Til Dawn had returned a positive swab to methamphetamine in similar circumstances after racing in Central Queensland the previous year – and noting Currie’s carelessness in not implementing a warning/advice process to his stable staff, and that previous penalty precedents issued to other trainers were of the nature of fines rather than disqualification – the QCAT set aside the 12 month disqualification and issued Currie with a $50 000 fine in its place.


The QCAT found the significant factor in this case to be that Eight Over’s positive swab to trace elements of cocaine had been taken at a race meeting in Toowoomba on 2 February 2018, seven weeks after Currie had been notified of the Dreamscope positive swab.

This seven week gap between the notification about Dreamscope’s positive swab and the date Eight Over raced had allowed Currie sufficient time to implement, or attempt to implement, some measures to prevent environmental contamination of his stable runners by cocaine and other recreational drugs, the use of which was rife in the racing industry, the tribunal found.

Whilst acknowledging the large size and scope of the Currie Racing stable, and the large number of staff employed by it, the tribunal nevertheless determined that Currie should have taken steps to issue warning and advice to his staff about the dangers they posed of contaminating horses if they had or were using recreational drugs privately.

The tribunal further found that after notification of the Dreamscope positive swab, Currie should have made (unspecified) efforts to identify how the horse had been contaminated by the minute traces of cocaine, and investigated what measures he might have put in place to prevent it from happening again, as it did less than two months later with Wicked Trilogy.

Currie failure to do either was described by the tribunal as a degree of apathy that was sufficient to elevate his culpability from mere carelessness to one of blameworthiness sufficient to warrant a penalty higher than the usual fine.

In these circumstances the 12 month period of disqualification on this charge was confirmed.

Where to From Here?

Ben Currie’s 12 month period of disqualification began on 19 July 2019, and expires on the 18th of July 2020, meaning that provided he pays the $50 000 fine and the previous two $5000 fines, in just over a fortnight’s time the Tornado will have served his full sentence for each of these five presentation charges.

The trainer is still facing criminal charges of aggravated fraud, although based on the outline of evidence to date it is almost impossible to see those charges surviving past the committal hearing stage.

There is also the matter of the 30 month disqualification Currie is serving on charges of bringing racing into disrepute that relate to the alleged meaning of the contents of a handful of text messages that the QRIC have interpreted as relating to the use of jiggers, although the evidence is very slim on those charges too. Currie’s appeal against those disqualifications was heard by the QCAT late last year, and a decision is expected to be handed down at some stage in the near future.

In addition there are number of miscellaneous smaller penalties for guilt findings on charges that Currie denies. These are also subject to appeal, and awaiting decisions.

Put short, Ben Currie still faces a long road ahead before he can get back to the track and win that long dreamed of Group 1, but this first-up appeal result today is certainly a most encouraging sign that he may just have a far more successful preparation ahead of him than many of his multitude of critics imagined.




Can Anyone Spare the Stewards a Form Guide?


Well all I can say is that if you believe what Dale Smith told the Stewards, I’d like you to come down to Kangaroo Point because I have a Story Bridge to sell you.

The only things that I can see in Smith explanation that is true is that (a) his 100-1 pop mount Dee Cee Delight did lay off in the straight, and (b) by doing so he presented the favourite Dashing Special with the best saloon passage up the fence that you’ve ever seen in your life.

Was it the horse’s doing or Smith’s?

I dunno.

There are a lot of things I don’t know really.

Why Pat Duff and co-owner Mr R. Chang bother to keep on racing Dee Cee Delight, who had 53 starts for a single, lonely win.

Why Dale Smith told the Stewards that Dee Cee Light is better suited to wet tracks, when he has only ridden the cat three times, once on a dry surface when it ran third in a race in town, and twice in the soft when it got beaten out of sight.

Why the Stewards believed him, given that Dee Cee Delight had raced 21 times in the mud for just the one win.

Why these same Stewards just didn’t pick up a race book and check whether Smith’s tall tale was untrue.

Why a jockey of the calibre of Dale Smith is riding 100-1 shots in midweeks.

Why Pat Duff was racing the old nonnie in a race fifteen ratings point above his class, at a time when the weight scales have been temporarily compressed due to Covid-19, and any weight advantage he might have received pre-virus has disappeared.

Most of all though, I just wonder.

Wonder why anyone bets on Brisbane racing at all.

State Versus State – Mate Versus Mate – Queenslanders Do it Better Every Time – Anyone Seen Any Anywhere?


You just have to love a State of Origin battle in which the Maroons go with an 8 string team made up of a Cockroach (David Van Dyke), a Mexican (John Symons), three Kiwis (Laming, Laxon, T. Sears) and three Clydesdales (Lipp, Gollan, M Sears).

It gets even better when two of them – Sears Snr and Jr – have just been raided by the Major Crime Squad, another – Laming – is training on a stay of proceedings pending the hearing of his charges for tubing a horse on race day, and yet another – Van Dyke – is charged with doping Alligator Blood on a day that it competed in and won a $2 million race on Magic Millions day.

It’s a great advertisement for Queensland, and an even better one racing.

I’m sure you will all agree.

All we need now is Darren Weir and Jarrod McLean to make a cameo appearance in the Maroon jersey, Robert Smerdon to coach, J-Mac as the team’s integrity manager, Gerald Ryan in charge of youth development, Matt Rudolph in charge of fan relationships, George Pell as Chairman of the Board, and Damion Flower as our major sponsor, and then Bob will be everyone’s uncle.

Queenslander! Queenslander!