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.