Tag: australian

Lot Number 1 – Australian Pacing Gold – A Colt From Old Regret, Out of Bettorbobwillhaveplenty Soonsunshine (by Betting Line)


Wasn’t it nice of my mate Clip Clop Kev to post a couple of caps celebrating my second favourite pacer up to Frank Lodge, my humble farm and standardbred rehoming facility up here in the tropical North Quueensland rainforest?

I’ll have to catch up with him for brekky again next time I’m down in Brisbane, and shout him bacon and eggs to thank him.

With his joint Dreamworld shut down because of the virus and the borders closed to bring his horses back from Menangle, I hear the poor bugger is doing it a bit tough at the moment, although they tell me he’s spending his time in COVID-19 isolation reflecting on the old days, back when the Harness Sales and Series he set up was flying higher than a Blackhawk, and the whole trot world was happy.

It’s a shame that a bunch of haters and wreckers came along and ruined the joint, but the beauty of the market economy is that where one company fails, another with a customer-centric focus always comes along to fill the void, and take its place.

I hear Bet 365 has framed a market about the chances of the APG sale happening in 2021, and another one about it offering more than 150 lots.

$40 is the current price I’m told, but you’d be a mug to take it.

The good oil is that pretty soon the price will be blowing out like a gale, and I always prefer to recommend you bet with local Australian managed and run bookies anyway, so the money flows fairly through the home economy, rather than into the pockets of a select few.

Can Boofhead Bob Marshall prove me and the bookies wrong by pulling a Lazarus and reviving the APG’s sudden, sharply declining fortunes?


It’s about the same odds as Destreos winning the 2022 Inter-Dominion.

Don’t you worry about that.


Archie at the Miracle Mile, Menangle 2020. Sadly ours didn’t win it, but we’re looking to claim Destreos for the big one in 2022.


How to Win Friends, Influence People and Lose a Million Dollars in Sales, in One Easy Email – Big Bob the Boofhead From the Soon to be Defunct Australian Pacing Gold Gives the Punters in a Master Class in How Not to Manage a Company

Angry Young Men and Hypocrisy on Steroids – How to Win Friends and Influence People, Australian Pacing Gold Style – Methinks the APG Has a Death Wish, and Wants Their Fast-Sinking Ship to Sink a Whole Lot Faster




I read with interest your tweets extolling the virtues of Nutrien Equine.  With this level of energy and rhetoric, you should be on the Nutrien payroll as some sort of a Marketing Executive or perhaps at least receiving a spotter’s commission for drumming up business, if you aren’t already.

What does concern me however are the inaccuracies in some of your comments which could be interpreted as a deliberate attempt to mislead and manipulate the marketplace.

Can I quote from one recent tweet of yours [attached] and address some of the assertions:

No up front entry fees.  All costs come out of proceeds.

  • Since your father is the proprietor of Benstead Stud, you may not realise that, for the past three years at least, no ‘entry fees’ for any Bensteadowned yearling have been paid ‘up front’ – they were all paid out of proceeds.
  • Are you also suggesting that Nutrien will not require any payment for Cataloguing if there are NO proceeds – I.e. the yearling is not sold?

No commission on passed in lots.

  • This is great for those who don’t really want to sell in the first place.
  • Perhaps you should mention however that if you want to be in the Nutrien race series, you still have to pay the full 10% Commission on your reserve + $3000 Sustaining fee on Sales day.
  • You might also mention that if your yearling is passed-in at an APG sale in 2021 and you want to be part of the Race series, it is 10% Commission up to a MAXIMUM of $3300 which includes the free $700 sales day first instalment for the Race Series.

The prize money is underwritten & every extra cent will go into race series.

This is interesting given the projections for the sale by Nutrien themselves:

  • If there are 300 yearlings with an 80% clearance rate at average $30K each, that works out at a total COMMISSION = $720K.
  • Of that $720K, Nutrien indicates that 30% will be dedicated to the race series = $216K
  • Add to that the SUSTAINING fees – let us presume that 200 of the graduates sustain = $600K
  • So . . . for the Race Series, on Nutrien’s projected numbers, the money available for the Race Series will be = $816K
  • The remainder, $504K, will be to cover Sales expenses and PROFIT.
  • But . . . the Prizemoney for the Series totals just over $400K??

Please tell me how that equates to ‘every extra cent’ going into the race series?  You told me in June last year that the new Company would be prepared to sustain a LOSS in the first few years to get the sales off the ground.  Well, that ain’t happening!

NOT PUT IN THE BANK where it can’t assist the industry.

The CAPITAL letters are yours from the Tweet – obviously you are SHOUTING this out as loud as possible.  This is all part of your belief that APG is hoarding money which it should be spending.

Craig, I wrote to you in early March this year to point out APG’s financial commitments to its three ‘live’ race series.  I quote from that email:

At present we have horses signed up for Series 29, 30 and 31.

Series 29 for 3yo – APG has guaranteed prizemoney of around $850K  [Racing in May 21 at Melton]
Series 30 for 2yo and 3yo – APG has guaranteed prizemoney of around $1950K  [2yo racing in May 21 at Melton]
Series 31 for 2yo, 3yo and 4yo – APG has guaranteed prizemoney of around $2400K [2yo racing in 2022 at Menangle]

So, at the moment – APG has promised its paid-up subscribers around $5.2 Million going forward. I imagine that anyone who has paid up for one of those Series will expect that APG can guarantee that prizemoney.

I know that you might find it uncomfortable to think that this money is not available NOW to the industry at large – it belongs to those who have sustained their yearlings in anticipation of these race series.  And . . . I would suggest that the safest place for that money is NOT being given away NOW, NOT invested in the volatile share market – the best place for it is IN THE BANK.  That’s just good governance.

No smoke and mirrors.

I left this until last.  It’s my favourite.

I understand that angry young men might want to pester their parents or parents-in-law and clients to pursue a particular vision.  Such young men might think a single sale of yearlings for the entire country is in the best interests of the industry;  they might think that it is great for harness racing for a multi-national company to profit from an industry ravaged by years of drought and the current pestilence;  they might think that they are doing the industry a favour.

And you know what . . . they are entitled to think all these things.  But thinking them doesn’t necessarily make them true.

Please don’t accuse APG of ‘smoke and mirrors’.  Such a statement, given the contents of your tweet, is hypocrisy on steroids – and I don’t need a blood or hair test to see that – it is bloated and obvious.

Robert Marshall


Australian Pacing Gold

Editor’s note: Benstead Standardbreds is one of Australia’s largest breeders and sellers of harness racing horses. At the most recent APG sale in Sydney, Benstead had a draft of 28 yearlings. Something tells me that the draft number that Benstead sends to next year’s APG sale  – if it were still to exist by then, which, judging by the way Robert Marshall speaks to and treats his major customers, is unlikely – will be zero.

Author’s disclosure: I am a member of the Winning Circle fractional ownership harness racing syndicate based in New York and New Jersey. We own at least one former Aussie pacer bred by Benstead Standardbreds. We also own ex-Australian pacers bred by other studs, that were originally purchased at various APG sales.

I have not met either Craig Judd or Robert Marshall.

If you want to become involved in US harness racing the Winning Circle is brilliant, and caters to investors of all sizes large and small. Matt and Charles who run the syndicate are wonderful guys and do a great job. I recommend the Winning Circle to anyone.


Q&A With the Greatest Trot Trainer Ever to Walk the Earth – And One of the Nicest Blokes You’d Ever Hope to Meet Too


Your author (2nd from right), with Mrs Barry Purdon (aka Katrina the Beautiful, far left), Trot writer and analyst extraordinaire Mick Guerin (2nd from left, hugging Katrina, the lucky bugger) and a couple of other VIP’s in NZ harness racing, collecting Belle of Montana’s trophy after she won her first Group 1

1: Best horse who have ever been associated or worked with:


He was a Champion, he had truck loads of attitude.

2: Best horse you have ever seen live:


3: Best horse you have seen in any form:

Kingston Town

(Baz obviously never saw Winx)

4: If you could have any driver in history driving for you in most important race of your life, it would be?

Tony Herlihy

5: The best trainer you have ever seen:

Mark Purdon

(Big Ba is being modest – he sees the best trainer ever in the mirror every morning)

6: Your favourite racetrack:


7: The unluckiest or hardest to swallow defeat of your career:


Someone’s bad luck is always someone’s good luck, that’s the way it goes.You have to remember that the Trainer of the winner has worked just as hard on his horse, as you have, move on you cant re run it.

(This sort of super positive attitude is the foundation of Barry’s brilliance)

8: The race you have never won but would love to:

The Dominion

(Archie has a plan to fix that. She’s a US youngster named Summer Storm)

9: The horse we never got to see the best of:

Vic’s Vance

10: The racing win, yours or somebody elses, that gave you the most joy:

Luxury Liner – NZ Cup – He was courageous, a real Champion stayer, he never gave in.

11: Who is the person in harness racing you haven’t seen since lockdown started you are looking forward to seeing the most when we get back to the races?

Swabbing Stewards

(They’re not looking forward to seeing BP – he always throws clean. That’s because he is)

Reproduced with the presumed permission of HRNZ, who run a great show https://www.hrnz.co.nz/news/q-and-a-with-barry-purdon/

Why Racing Australia’s Scale of Deductions is Simply Wholesale Theft (Continued)

Image result for australian racing board

It also stands for absolute ridiculous bullshit

So how are these outrageous deductions calculated?

That’s a great question, but one that no-one other than Dominic Beirne’s company Intelligent Wagering Solutions (IWS) can answer.

IWS have what Beirne claims is a perpetual (forever) license to provide the Australian Racing Board (Racing Australia) with an algorithm that calculates these betting deductions. How anyone can get a contract for life is an absolute mystery, so one can only assume that Beirne has sold the license for his software to Racing Australia for some type of huge one off fee.

The algorithm – essentially a computer program that processes inputs according to set formulas, and spits out a result – is the driver of a computer program that is available only to “Race day Stewards and officers of The Australian Pricing Network”, according to information published by Beirne.

Sadly the calculation methods are not made available to the very people they effect – the punters – but hey, what would we need to know for? We’re just the mugs who fund the whole damn industry aren’t we?

Never mind though. The whole system was approved by experts, including the National Conference of Stewards (none of whom to the best of my knowledge have mathematics or IT degrees), the Australian Racing Board (ditto), a select group of unidentified professional punters (I find that hard to believe), and the Australian Bookmakers Association, which was no doubt represented by former CEO Tim Ryan, the man who along with his wife owns companies like Bettor Data, self described as one of two licensees wholesalers of Thoroughbred Racing Materials (Fields, Results, Form etc.) by Racing Australia.

There seems to be somewhat of an absence of an independent, arms length relationship between the parties that approved this bullshit system doesn’t there?

Here’s the guts of the issue.

Corporate bookmakers like Neds and Ladbrokes (interest disclosure: my mate Dean Shannon runs them), Beteasy, Top Sport and even the despicable UBET publish their scales of deductions in the terms and conditions they provide to clients.

These scales are clear, easy to read, and unambiguous in their content. Every punter can read them and knows and understands what percentage will be deducted from their bets in the event of a late scratching or scratchings.

The scales of deductions supplied by private company providers, and applied by Principal Racing Authorities around the nation – each of whom is allegedly 100% committed to integrity – are not published, and there is no way that any punter who places a bet can know what amount of their return they will lose in the event that another runner or runners is scratched.

How on earth is this fair?

How does it meet the requisite lawful disclosure requirements?

How is not deceptive conduct?

Questions, questions, questions.

I wonder if we will ever get an answer?