Tag: betting

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 …….



Rob Waterhouse Launched His New Website – and Smashes the Gambling Laws into a Million Little Pieces


It is illegal under NSW law for a person or company to advertise any offer or inducement designed to encourage another person to open a betting account.

An inducement includes the offer of odds boosted prices.

This is not a grey area.

It is black and white.

The laws are published clearly on both the NSW Government and NSW Office of Liquor and Gaming (OLG) websites, are detailed in numerous OLG publications that have been widely disseminated, and are very known to all corporate bookmakers.


Offers of additional (boosted) odds or increased winnings to punters as an incentive to open an account with a betting provider are defined as an inducement under the laws, particularly in circumstances where the offer of the boosted odds are for a limited period (for example, they expire at the end of the day), or offered in a limited quantity (e.g. 5 bet boosts per day).

It is lawful for a wagering provider (e.g. a Bookmaker) to offer existing customers such boosted odds offers.

It is utterly unlawful for a bookmaker to offer these inducements as a means of attracting new customers.


Yesterday the oft-controversial Robert (Rob or Robbie) Waterhouse launched a new corporate bookmaking agency, the eponymous RobWaterhouse.com.

It is difficult to conceive that there is anyone in the racing or gambling industries that knows the wagering and betting laws better than Rob Waterhouse, who has worked exclusively in these industries for all of his life.

Furthermore, Rob Waterhouse is a third generation bookmaker (his son Tom is the 4th – more of him later), is married to one of Australia’s leading racehorse trainers (Gai), and has spent more time in and out of courts and tribunals over the past 35 years than any other bookmaker in the country.

This is what Rob Waterhouse published on Twitter from his own account held in his name yesterday.

rob tom

By any reasonable interpretation, Rob Waterhouse has broken the law.

Smashed it into a million little pieces.

The maximum fine for each instance of breaching the law is $110 000 for a company or corporation, and $11 000 for an individual person.

The 2002 High Court case of Dow Jones v Gutnick determined the common law principles of law regarding publication of online material, and these laws have  become entrenched since, and not form part of the law.

The important principle as it applies to this matter is that an online publication (for example, a tweet) is deemed to be published each time that it is downloaded by a reader or used (clicked on, accessed or read).

What this means is that each time a person clicks on the Rob Waterhouse tweet offering prospective clients an inducement of five boosts to open an account with robwaterhouse.com, it is a separate publication, and therefore may be deemed to constitute a stand-alone breach of the law.

That Tweet may prove to be a very expensive exercise for Rob Waterhouse and his business partners Betmakers and his son Tom, and turn out to be the most expensive betting advertisement in history.

I’m Not a Vet, Jockey, Steward, Pull-Up Merchant or Nobbler, But …… Have You Seen the First Race at Toowoomba Yesterday?

Race one at Toowoomba yesterday, a 3-year-old Maiden Plate run over the unusual distance of 870 metres,  was one of the strangest races I have seen for quite a while, a really, really queer one.

There were four horses in the betting.

The topweight Calculated Risk, trained by Craig Smith at Roma, was steady in the market at $5.50, as was Boof Currie’s runner Persian King, which started at $6.50.

Tony and Maddysen Sears first-starter Serratalli blew like a gale, from an opening quote of around $3.50 all the way out to $8.50 by the jump.

All the money came for the debutante Crosby Road. It was backed as if there was no tomorrow, firming from a top price of $2.40 into $1.75, or 6-4 on in the old scale.

The plunge punters obviously didn’t know that just prior to the race, Crosby Road’s trainer Shaun Dwyer Jr had approached the Stewards and told them that he’d noticed his horse had some unexpected swelling on its off-side rump.


There could be any number of explanations for swelling in such a spot. One of them is that a nobbler had hit the fave with a go-slow to stop it from winning, for the off-side rump is where you’d be likely to give a horse an intra-muscular injection if it was tied up and you wanted to hit and quickly run.

The on-course vet Dr Gemma Silvestri of the QRIC inspected the horse and cleared it to start. As most pre-race vet examinations ultimately prove to be, it wasn’t a particularly brilliant decision.

Crosby Road led until the top of the straight in the short course scamper, and then punctured like a pricked balloon. Another inspection by Dr Silvestri found no obvious abnormalities, other than that the horse was displaying a particularly poor post-rate recovery rate.

I would have thought that if a horse was sweating like a pig and puffing like a chimney after running at 3/4 speed for just 500 metres, then that in itself would be an anomaly, but I’m not a vet, just a horse owner and lover, so what would I know?

Baylee Nothdurft got stuck out wide on Currie’s horse and couldn’t get in. No jockey in Toowoomba is going to let a cheeky little local kid who’s gone to the big smoke and is killing them get in from barrier ten over 870 metres. Anyone who backed it was mad.

In-form city jockey Matthew McGillivray gave the toppie the perfect run, sitting fifth just off the pace on the rail behind the leader, and as top riders do pulled it out at the top of the straight and went bang, and it won.

The run of the odds-on favourite was really odd, but the ride on the horse that nobody wanted to back Serratalli was even more strange.

That filly jumped with them from barrier 6, but her rider Michael Cahill seemed to immediately put on the brakes after they’d gone just 20 metres, and jagged the $3.50 to $8.50 shot out to last.

Cahill was later to tell the Stewards that Serratalli failed to muster speed early, and they duly accepted his explanation, but gee, I’m not so sure. It looked to me as if Cahill just decided not to show any urgency, and took her back to last himself; but I’m not a jockey just a long-time form student and race analyst, so what would I know?

The same applies to my opinion that Michael Cahill was forgetful when he told the Stewards that he had some difficulty securing clear running rounding the home turn, and in the early stages of the home straight.

What Cahill forgot to add was that he couldn’t get any clear running because he kept steering the filly inside and up other horse’s arses, rather than taking her to the middle or outside of the track where there was clear running room; or that by doing so he ensured that Serratalli had a chequered, stop-start run that prevented the young galloper from gaining any uninterrupted momentum.

Brisbane’s top-ten jockey wasn’t wrong when he added that the filly ran home well when she got clear running, it was just a shame that this didn’t happen until about 70 metres from the line when she was still a couple of lengths off them, and a million to one.

The race day Steward – with ten more races to run on the program, and no overtime for late finishes in the budget – were clearly too busy to waste any time examining the betting sheets on a 3YO maiden, and let the matter rest.

I’m not a Steward, just a punter and member of the public who is fast losing confidence in the integrity of Queensland racing, so what would I know?

But gee that race looked red-hot to me.

Take a look for yourself, and see what you reckon.






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


blunderTwo horse were scratched at the barrier in the last race at Cairns on Saturday afternoon.

What you see above is the scale of deductions applied to bets placed on other horses in the race as a result of the two horses being late scratched. As is obvious, it’s pretty savage.

It’s even more savage when you compare it to the deductions applied by the various bookies, which were as follows:

Neds – 12 cents win/12 cents place

Ladbrokes – 12 cents win/12 cents place

Beteasy- 18 cents win/17 cents place

Top Sport – 15 cents win/13 cents place

Mad Bookie – 14 cents win/19 cents place

UBET – 21 cents win/21 cents place

To put this into perspective, if you had backed the first placed horse in the race to win a hundred dollars, this is what you would have received after deductions.

$88 – Ned and Ladbrokes

$86 – Mad Bookie

$85 – Top Sport

$82 – Beteasy

$79 – UBET

$77 – On-Course Bookmakers

It gets even worse if you had backed the second placed horse to win a hundred dollars the place. Here are your returns there.

$88 – Neds and Ladbrokes

$87 – Top Sport

$83 – Bet Easy

$81 – Mad Bookie

$79 – UBET

$67 – On-Course Bookmakers

The racing authorities and their sage Dominic Beirne can spin it any which way they like, but when you are getting paid $21 less in the $100 from one bookie than you are from the other then there is really only one way to describe it.

Wholesale theft.

To be continued….

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?





Did Ben Looker Hook Her? – No, the Dead Horse Was a Gelding

The Stewards didn’t miss Ben Looker’s ride aboard Husson’s Pride in the fourth race at the Gold Coast yesterday.

It was pretty hard to.

You don’t often see a jockey steer his mount away from a yawning gap and up into other runners arses approaching the furlong, and then when left with no other option but to shoot the gap after the arses that he is steering his steed come together and bump, suddenly stop riding as if his horse has broken down, when it hasn’t.

That’s exactly what Ben Looker did yesterday.


Ben Looks at the gap to his inside but doesn’t like what he sees
So he steers his mount Husson’s Pride to the outside rather than in
But oh, oh, he cops a squeeze and has to check
The horses he was trying to hide behind suddenly come together, so he now as no option but to take the wide open run that he ignored before
Once into the gap though instead of kicking his mount up he hits the skids
All the other jockeys are going hell for leather, but Ben Looker’s standing up in the irons. One problem – there is still 100m to go

It was disgraceful.

The Stewards response was too.

Jockey Looker told them that he was of the view that the gelding was not responding to his riding at the point that the gap appeared, and said that he felt there was no need to continue to pressure it as he was of the opinion that the horse had come to the end of its run.

What a load of rubbish. I didn’t know Looker’s middle name was Pinocchio, or Prince Andrew. This wasn’t a mistake, it was a hook job. Looker rode this horse dead, and then wilfully and deliberately attempted to mislead the officials about his patent lack of effort, and failure to try.

The stipes didn’t believe Looker, and handed him a month on the sidelines. It should have been a season or two, or maybe even life.

There can be no public confidence in the integrity of racing while we let riders get away with murder, and only cop a shoplifter’s sentence.

Chief Steward Chadwick – here’s looking at you kid.