Tag: harness

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.


Want to See the Best Drive in the World? – Watch This – And This Kid Can’t Get a Metro License? – The QRIC Would Have to be Kidding, Wouldn’t They? (Updated)

Angus Garrard is the greatest young talent to take the reins on a Queensland harness racing track in the 21st century, and unlike some of his predecessors, he’s as clean as a whistle too.

The kid is only sixteen, and still at school for another year and a half, and for ill-stated reasons the racing authorities – QRIC – won’t grant him a license to drive at the main meetings on Saturday nights, yet the double he drove last night at Redcliffe made him the number 1 junior driver in Queensland ahead of much older young reinspeople who have been driving for years.

The double put at number seven on the all-comers ladder for the season too, ahead of a host of top-class drivers who have been steering winners around paceways for years.

This kid is a phenom, and I reckon that pound for pound Angus Garrard is the greatest sportsperson under the age of 18 in the whole of Queensland, and that he would give the number 1 spot across the nation a fair nudge too.

His spot at number 7 in the State clearly shows that young Garrard is up there with the best, and can hold his own against anybody, and do better than most of them too.

His night last night in the 3rd race at Redcliffe behind Billboard Bonnie (at top) proves it beyond any doubt.

You could go to harness racing racing meetings anywhere in the world for twenty years, and you might be lucky enough to see a drive as good as this one, but you will never see one better, and that’s coming from someone who has being going to the trots and following the sport assiduously for half a century.

So why can’t the wonder kid get a metropolitan drivers license?

Who knows?

The QRIC Licensing and Registration Manager Nicole Elliott – who started out her racing integrity career just 4 years ago as the microchip and ear brand checker at the dogs on a Thursday night – didn’t say when why when she knocked backed Angus Garrard’s application for a metro drivers license, and her colleague Kane Ashby, the horse jockey turned desk jockey who is the QRIC Internal Reviewer, didn’t say either.

I was talking the other day about the Angus issue to a mate of mine who has been one of Australia’s best drivers for about four decades, and he reckoned that a driver had to hold a B-Class license – that’s the license the kid holds; it allows you to drive at any meeting other than a metropolitan fixture – for at least 12 months before they could be promoted to the A-Grade, pretty much the equivalent of going off your P’s onto an open car driver’s license.

He was wrong though.

There is no such rule, either in the licensing provisions of the Australian Harness Racing Rules, or in the local rules. There is no policy about how long a driver must hold a B-Grade license before they can be upgraded to an A-category one either.

All that the rules say is that a person can’t hold an A-Grade license until they are least sixteen, which Angus Garrard is.

Here’s the question.

If this kid who has driven 75 winners eight months into the extended season, and barring mishaps is a certainty to top the ton, can’t hold an A-Grade license, then how can anyone who is below him on the State Premiership ladder hold one either?

It doesn’t make any sense.

Then again, not much that the QRIC does in Queensland does.

Imagine if Athletics Australia had told Cathy Freeman that she couldn’t compete in the top grade at the 1990 Commonwealth Games at age 16, or Swimming Australia had put the kibosh on Tracey Wickham going up and down in the 400 and 800 freestyle in Canada in 1978.

We’d be short a whole lot of “Gold, Gold, Gold for Australia!” medals wouldn’t we?

So why the hell are a bunch of people who wouldn’t know a champion reinsman if he drove right over them holding Angus Garrard back from his destiny to become one of the all-time greats of the game?

I guess we’ll find out at QCAT, won’t we.

What a crying shame it is that the poor kid has to resort to that, just to get a fair go.

Oh well, such is life.

Angus Garrard will be here long after those who knocked back his license are gone and forgotten.

Don’t you worry about that.

Update – Angus Garrard has finally been granted a license to drive at metropolitan meetings, and will begin his city career in early June,

According to the records we have been able to access, at sixteen years and nine months of age he will be the youngest reinsman since 1968 to drive at Albion Park on a Saturday night.

We predict with confidence that he will win next year’s open driver’s title.

The NSW Harness Racing 20% Cuts to Prize Money Laid Bare – HRNSW Have a Whole Lot of Questions to Answer – Why Get Old Waiting – Let’s Go and Find the Answers For Ourselves


This graph above shows what Peter V’Landys had done for owners of horses in New South Wales Racing.

Everyone in the game believes he should be knighted, except the Victorians, and that’s because they are elitist snobs from the landed gentry. who who are in total denial of thge humiliating truth that not only can they not only win a match against him, but can’t even crack his line to score a point.

A grubby little Greek wog from the Gong, and he’s done the establishment like a dinner and eaten them for dessert too. It’s all because he’s a genius. The Michael Jordan of sports administration, Phar Lap and Winx  in an all fitting suit, untucked shirt and indescribable tie, come to earth in human form.

It’s not fair to compare any other racing administrator to V’Landys – it would be like trying to line up Phil Duke at 5/8th against King Wally Lewis.

So you can’t expect Harness Racing NSW to have doubled prize money since 2012 like V’Landys has, but you can expect that they would have given stakes inflation a fair nudge.

You’d be bloody disappointed if you did though.

This is prize money picture for NSW Harness Racing below.

The 2020 figure reflects the so-called Coronavirus essential 20% cuts to purses, announced without consultation by HRNSW just a few days ago.

Queensland, Victoria, West Australia – they’ve all been hit with the Coronavirus too, but outside a downgrade of their carnivals, they haven’t cut any prizemoney.

So why have NSW?

This stinks.

Over the days to come we’ll sniff it out.


It’s Hard to Keep Your Faith in Harness Racing When Things Like This Happen – What Are You Backing in the Next?


Reinswoman Sofia Arvidsson – dead set, how good is Matt Craven going?

Wanna a see a very suss looking race? Just to see how coincidence can intersect with reality and create false impressions?

No, I’m not talking about how far the talented young trainer Matt Craven punches above his weight.

I’m referring to Race 6 at Terang tonight.

Watch it and weep, when you get the replay.*

There are six starters in the race after the scratchings, but according to the betting market it is really just a two horse race.

Crime Writer drawn the cherry is the 2-1 on ($1.50) favourite, and so it should be for the now 4-year-old competed at the elite level all the way through the juvenile and 3yo ranks. and has the notched of good  horses like Major Exclusive, Brevity, Always Fast, Out to Play, Fourbigmen, Struve and even the multiple Group 1 winning Kiwi colt Jesse Duke in his belt.

That’s good enough form to win a New Rating (NR) 68 to 79 race every day of the year, and although Crime Writer had a setback at the end of his Derby season, he’s had two starts back and won the most recent in a breeze. He looks the bet of the century.

One man’s bird is another man’s bunny in a punters world though, and plenty of non-believers have piled into the horse drawn on Crime Writer’s back, Im Shadow Boxer.

The logic is of course that the Boxer will sit on Crime Writer’s back, and if the fave goes too fast or gets tanked he might rush by, or if he goes too slow the Boxer might be able to crouch and ping him.

Both are not unreasonable assumptions, but things would have to really fall the sprint lane’s way for the dream to come true. Nevertheless they hoe in, and at the jump the pair go off at $1.55 and $2.50 respectively, with none of the other four under double figures, and only the mid-drawn pacers Yankee Lincoln at $12 and Onthecrestofawave at $19 even given a sixth of a show.

It’s a tough life the punt.

Crime Writer comes out of the gate like a crab, and within 100 metres his inside wheel starts wobbling like a jelly shake, and everyone bar the caller knows that he’s punctured a tyre or buckled a wheel.

Driver Sofia Arvidsson – who is, apropos of nothing but an old man’s dreams, the second most beautiful woman in harness racing, a short half head behind Kima – immediately knows that there is a problem too, and pulls Crime Writer up immediately.

The favourite is gonzo, and they haven’t even gone a furlong.

Things haven’t gone quite to plan for Im Shadow Boxer at the start; far from in fact. He’s missed out on the sweet seat, and he’s copped a bit of a prat from Crime Writer as the wheel goes, but all’s not lost, for he didn’t gallop and rising star young gun driver James Herbertson manages to pop into the one-one sit before another half-furlong passes.

Ho ho ho, the plungers who have backed the Boxer are thinking.

The favourite is out, he’s got two and a half seconds in speed on Onthecrestofawave on their best times, and Yankee Lincoln is first up for ten months and is bound to be only three-quarters fit.

The Boxer’s a certainty.

No he wasn’t.

Rather than doing what even the dumbest Indian would do and taking off around them to the lead, or in a worst case scenario the death, after Crime Writer retires from the race, Herberston decides instead to have a snooze.

He sits, and sits, and sits, and sits, and sits until he can sit no more without getting arrested, but by the time he goes wide from the back the leaders have turned the crawl into a sprint, and unless he can run a 54.4 second last half – which he can’t – the race is over. Dead, buried and cremated, just like the two faves tickets.

Despite the 2’s on fave being knocked out and the 6-4 shot only running third, some smart cookie gets the trifecta 20 times, and an even smarter bicky muncher nails the First 4 for four units.

I wish I knew what they knew.

I’m not suggesting that the race was red hot, nothing of the sort. I’m just saying is that when things like this happen, you struggle to keep the faith, that’s all.

What are you backing in the next?

* For some reason the replays and results for Terang are not going up in real time on the harness.org.au website tonight. I will post the replay of the race when it does.

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/

EXCLUSIVE – Boom, Boom, Boom – Archie’s Sister, Her Mates, Horse Racing, and a Whole Lot of Peptides – Part 9 – Spot the Difference – If You Can


EXCLUSIVE – Boom, Boom, Boom – Archie’s Sister, Her Mates, Horse Racing, and a Whole Lot of Peptides – Part 8 – The Therapeutic Goods Administration Agency and the Federal Court are Not Amused

What you see below does not pertain to the company Peptides Direct.

One would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to form a view that the activities and business practices of the that firm and the company Peptides Clinics Pty Ltd do not appear materially dissimilar.

The fundamental question is this.

Why are any licensed horse racing company or individuals in the throroughbred industry involved or associated in any way with a company whose primary business activity is the promotion, sale and distribution of unregulated growth hormones, PED’s, EPO and peptides?

I guess that’s one for the relevant health and racing authorities to determine.


$10 million penalty ordered against Peptide Clinics Pty Ltd for advertising breaches

23 July 2019

Today the Federal Court ordered that Peptide Clinics Australia (Peptide Clinics Pty Ltd) pay $10 million to the Commonwealth for breaches of the mandatory rules for advertising of medicines, including the ban on advertising prescription-only medicines to the public.

The substantial penalties imposed reflect the very real dangers to public health and safety and the appalling conduct of Peptide Clinics. This was particularly due to the clinic giving the impression that medical practitioners were involved in the business, misleading consumers to think that those practitioners were acting in their best interests.

The Court accepted the Secretary’s submission that Peptide Clinics deliberately and recklessly pursued its own financial self-interest at the expense of its legal obligations and the interests of public health.

The court proceedings were commenced to address a range of contraventions of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act), the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code 2015 and the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No 2) 2018 (the Advertising Codes). The contraventions included advertising Schedule 4 substances on the website and on social media channels, advertisements using the word “peptides”, advertising prohibited and restricted representations, and more.

The Court found Peptide Clinics contravened the Act and the Advertising Codes each day the advertisements appeared on the website and on social media channels.

The website advertising peptides also included references to inappropriate and misleading uses, such as for anxiety, anti-ageing, body building, tanning, weight loss, premature ejaculation, hair loss and insomnia relief. The TGA advises that interfaces that allow consumers to review and self-select prescription-only medicines for subsequent prescribing and supply, and websites that promote general classes of prescription-only medicines, will generally be considered in contravention of the Act.

The significant financial penalties serve as a reminder to businesses that prescription-only medicines cannot be advertised to the public without significant consequences. This includes being issued with infringement notices, being charged with criminal offences or having civil court proceedings commenced against them.

Please report non-compliant advertisements to the TGA, such as those promoting unapproved therapeutic goods that claim to be image enhancing. The TGA will investigate and take action.