Tag: queensland

EXCLUSIVE – The Great Rock and Roll Racing Queensland Rider Ripoff – The $20 Million Elephant in the RQ Room – Why Don’t They Tell You This in the Mainstream Media? – And More Importantly, When are Our Jocks Going to Get Paid?

 

 

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Racing Queensland owes the jockeys of the State of Queensland tens of millions of dollars in unpaid employer superannuation contributions.

Roughly $20 million to be precise.

The last of the series of legal battles that Queensland;s Principal Racing Authority fought to try to avoid their legal obligations to the people who make racing tick ended on the 3rd of July 2020, when the High Court of Australia refused RQ leave to appeal and threw its application into the gutter on its head, with costs.

I will explain the case in more detail later on –  it’s a comedy of poor legal advice and errors – but first things first, lets get the money paid and sorted.

To get a basic picture of the pickle that Racing Queensland has placed itself firmly in, we will use some very rough but fact based maths to calculate an approximate guesstimation of the size of the due and payable debt.

There are about 11 000 races run in QLD each year, and the jockeys fee on average during the period of the non-payments is $200 a head.

That’s $2.2 million.

For the sake of ease we will call the super contribution 10 percent because its a simple number to use for the maths, and only about half a percent overs at worst.

So that’s $220 000 a year in super on the riding fees alone.

Roughly $100 million a year is paid in thoroughbred racing prizemoney.

The jockeys are entitled to 5% of it, which works out at about $5 million.

Ten percent of $5 million for the super is $500 000.

500k plus 220k = $720 000 a year.

That’s how much Racing Queensland have ripped off from the jocks each year by not paying the super contributions on their earnings that they should have been paying.

Of course on top of that there is also the super on barrier trial and trackwork riding fees, but I don’t have those numbers at hand to work out the sums. Let’s call it 60 grand, and with swings and roundabouts round the back pay bill up to $800 000 a year.

It is not quite known at the moment what the exact period of non-payment of the super has been.

The court cases have been fought over a near million dollar unpaid assessment the ATO made on a selection of jockeys between 2009 and 2019, but that was a just a test case to establish that Racing Queensland did in fact owe the money, which the superior courts have found they do.

Working off the court judgements, it is reasonable to identify the actual period of the RQ rort beginning in 2020, and running all the way up until now. That’s 20 years.

20 years x $800 000 a year = $16 million.

And we have even started calculating the compound interest that would have been earned if the super had been paid. It is going to add up to many, many millions of dollars.

The long and short of it is that Racing Queensland owe riders in this State $20 million – or more correctly, it owes the Australian Taxation Office more than $20 million which when received will be distributed to the jockeys superannuation accounts – and this money must be paid.

No ifs, no buts, the last avenue of appeal has been exhausted and RQ’s ridiculous claims thrown out of court with more than a million dollars in costs awarded in favour of the taxman.

So how are they going to pay?

And when?

Every jockey in the State and their managers and masters should be asking these questions right now.

This is your money, and you have been robbed. Wilfully and deliberately robbed, in breach of the law.

If you stole twenty bucks out of Racing Queensland’s till, they’d have you charged by the police and thrown out of racing, so why should you allow RQ to pick your pocket and not be screaming about it?

Just have a think about what happened to the Gill family, and others. The Gills not only lost the light of their lives when Desiree went down in a race fall at the end of 2013, they lost one of their bread winners too.

Her super, like everyone else’s, hadn’t been paid by Racing Queensland. If it had it would have passed on through her estate to the family, and their life as they worked their way through the darkness would have been so much easier with the buffer of that money, but instead they got nothing in the way of this super and struggled.

It’s not proper and its not right. In fact its cruel. They and the families of other brave riders that we have lost should be the very first ones repaid what their loved one was owed, and that deserve a huge apology too. Everyone in racing does, but none has been forthcoming, and neither has any money.

It’s time this was fixed.

The court says Racing Queensland must pay, so pay they must, right now without any further delay, and if it hurts the budget, well so be it.

The millions of dollars spent fighting futile cases through the courts in a hopeless attempt to justify and defend their rorts did too.

There is no racing without riders.

It’s about time the little people got put first.

Let’s do it!

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A Tale of Two Principal Racing Authorities – A Little Story About Uneven Scales, and the 10 Grand a Week Good Life – If You Can Get It

As a result of the restructure of the State’s racing administration in the wake of the live baiting scandal, Queensland is now in the quite unique situation of having two Principal Racing Authorities, the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) and Racing Queensland (RQ).

The QRIC employs 159 people.

Racing Queensland employs just 85.

The main focus of RQ’s work is administrative, and prior to the Coronavirus the predominance of its staff worked out of a single office at Deagon.

The QRIC’s focus on the other hand is operational, meaning that its staff work from locations around Queensland, and are widely spread and dispersed.

It would be fair to say that due to its size and spread, the complexity of the work it performs, and the acute interest in its activities by the media, managing the QRIC would be a considerably more difficult exercise that managing Racing Queensland.

So why is it that RQ CEO Brendan Parnell gets paid $120 000 a year more than the QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett?

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QRIC executive management salaries (above)

Racing Queensland executive management salaries (below)

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Why is it that seven managers at Racing Queensland – including the Sales Manager, the Special Projects Manager (whatever they do), the Construction Manager, the PR Manager, and the HR Manager – are paid more than $200 000 a year, but no-one other than the Commissioner is at the QRIC?

This is not a spruik for a pay rise for Ross Barnett, or for any of his staff.

It’s simply a legitimate question about why Racing Queensland’s leaders see fit to pay themselves so much.

Given the slash and burn approach taken to abolishing rich Winter Carnival races that owners have paid big money to nominate their horses for in the expectation of racing for big returns, and the general across the board cuts to stakes purses, it would be very interesting to know if Racing Queensland’s executives have borne their share of the COVID-19 pain by accepting a temporary pay cut themselves.

Other sports administrators and leaders in codes like Rugby League, Union, Cricket, Soccer and the AFL have, and the players in these sports have too. Their leaders are leading by example.

What odds will you bet me about the same sacrifice having being made by the top brass at Racing Queensland.

Or that they haven’t?

Anyone willing to frame a market?

No?

I guess no-one is that silly.

More than half a million bucks a year for Pins Parnell hey?

Ten grand a week.

It’s a good life if you can get it.

Don’t you worry about that.

Numbers Don’t Lie – And Racing Queensland’s Are Appalling – There is a Cancer in the Deagon Bunker – For the Good of Racing, It Must Be Excised

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Why is that Racing Queensland has a 3 year average employee separation rate of 38%?

Or a three year aggregate rate of 117%?

An employee separation rate means the number of employees that quit or get sacked from a company each year.

What these numbers mean is that more than of RQ’s employees on average exit the building each year, never to return.

In the space of 3 years, more employees have left Racing Queensland than actually work there.

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It’s a true story.

RQ has just 85 employees.

But 97 people have come and gone only three years.

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No organisation other than cold-call sales companies whose employees are paid on commission only turn over that number of staff.

In fact extensive research by the HR Nicholls Society, a leading employer association, shows that the average staff turnover rate across all industries was only 18 percent.

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Racing Queensland’s turnover is more than double that figure, and remember here we are talking about a State Government department that pays public service wages and offers excellent conditions, including a 36.5 hour week, over time, flexitime, RDO’s, and superannuation contributions well in excess of the standard minimum 9.5% that other employers pay.

Given all these goodies, you’d expect people to be crawling over broken glass to get in the door, and chaining themselves to the desk to keep their jobs; but instead they are leaving in droves, and there is no sign of the outward tide receding.

It doesn’t make sense on paper. Why would so many people be walking out the door?

There can be only one reason, and that is this.

Racing Queensland has a serious management problem.

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That’s speculation of course, because I don’t work there, but I ran public sector unions here and abroad for twenty years, and understand the dynamics of government workplaces better than most.

That I am correct in pointing the finger at Racing Queensland’s management is borne out by the numbers of ex-gratia payments and court ordered settlements made by Racing Queensland over the past two financial years since Brendan Parnell took over the reins as CEO of the organisation.

An ex-gratia payment is what we used to call piss-off money in the union trade, meaning that it is a cash payment of salary or wages that an employee is not entitled to, paid to them as part of exit deal to settle an employment dispute.

An ex-gratia payment can sometimes also be a golden handshake bestowed on a departing employee as a reward for their sterling service, but as this type of payment is totally prohibited in the public sector, in this case it can’t be that.

A court-ordered settlement is a payment that the Queensland Industrial Commission or the Federal Court (Employment Division) order an employer to make in relation to an unfair dismissal or adverse action case brought by a former employee.

Racing Queensland have made 12 of these types of payment over the past 2 reported financial years.

The total paid was more than half a million dollars.

That’s about $40 grand a head, and it doesn’t include the former CEO Eliot Forbes payout of around half a million dollars, because that’s recorded separately in the books.

Those numbers are outrageous.

In the previous two years Racing Queensland had only paid out only $89 000 in these types of exit payments.

Under Parnell’s leadership – if that is the right word – that number has multiplied by greater than 500%.

And this is scarce racing money don’t forget, not lollies.

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There is something very, very wrong with our Principal Racing Authority.

In fact I would take it a step further, and say that this organisation is sick.

Just compare the QRIC staff turnover numbers and you can see it clearly.

Now I have been as critical of the QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett in the past about racing matters, and perhaps even more, but I have never said that Barnett is anything but a brilliant public service CEO and a top class people manager, and it’s borne out here.

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See that?

The QRIC  has almost double the number of staff that Racing Queensland does, yet it’s annual turnover rate is only 5.5% over two years, and only 3.78% in the last 12 months.

Compare those numbers to Racing Queensland’s.

Average – 5.5% v 38%

Last 12 months – 3.78% v 28.9%

I’m sure that Ross Barnett is doing plenty of things right.

Just as I’m certain that Brendan Parnell must be doing a whole lot wrong.

Numbers don’t lie, only people do.

There is a cancer in the Deagon bunker.

For the good of racing, it must be excised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Do You Go To My Lovely Horses? – Where Did You Go?

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What you see above is a list of mares purchased at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale held in May 2017.

Seventeen mares were bought for under $2000 at that sale, each of them purportedly for breeding purposes, but if you believe that you believe in fairies.

Eleven of the seventeen were purchased by a company called Killara Thoroughbreds, which is one of the trading names of an entity called the Grange Country Estate Unit Trust. This unit trust also trades as Running Creek Beef, a cattle station further to the South-West in the famous thoroughbred breeding area near Glenlogan Stud, and the Killara Homestead, a working farm just outside of Beaudesert.

A couple named Rod and Deb Richardson run Killara Thoroughbreds.

Rod Richardson is or was a business partner of his near-neighbour Peter Dean, the prolific bargain basement buyer of tried racehorses that we wrote about last week.

It was Richardson who teamed up with Dean in 2017 to send 79 tried racehorses to Vietnam, ostensibly for the purpose of the horses racing at a privately owned track near Ho Chin Min city (Hanoi).

If you believe that, you believe in fairies.

We thought it might be instructive to try to trace where the dozen hopeless horses that Killara Thoroughbreds purchased for a few dimes at the Magic Millions sale ended up.

Sadly, due to the deficiencies that exist in the racehorse registration system, we didn’t get too far.

Even more sadly, when you find that 25 percent of the slow horses that Killara took home from Gerry Harvey’s highly reputable sale ended up officially dead within a couple of years, your natural suspicion about the fate of most of the others makes you so sick in the guts that you stop looking.

Here are the ones that Killara Thoroughbreds bought.

And remember, the hammer fell in the year 2017.

——————————————————————–

Izajazzar – retired in 2008.

Duorosa – retired in 2009

Pride of Rawbelle – DEAD

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Miss Tuesday – Retired, never raced

Saints and Angels – Retired in 2016

Gala Royale – Raced twice at Beaudesert after the sale for two 9th placings, with average losing margin 27.85 lengths

Centauraine – DEAD

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Unnamed – Unknown

Amalfi Scape – Bought for $1500, sold the very next week on bloodstockauction.com.au to for $5000. That sounds dodgy doesn’t it? The mare never raced again.

Cassie’s Dream – retired in 2009

Si Alla Vita – Retired early 2017, before the sale

Eraser – DEAD

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Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

I hope not.

It makes you want to chunder.

Confusion Reigns in Queensland Racing – Situation Normal

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I’m confused.

This is what AAP reported on the 1st of April.

The zones have been amalgamated and contracted, but they still exist, and there are three of them – the Greater SEQ region, the Central and North Coast region, and the Greater Western region (see below).

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So in the interests of fairness – as defined by Racing Queensland; a definition with which many jockeys disagree – all jockey and trainer premierships should remain suspended, and in the absence of any notification of the restart of the count, we can only presume that they are.

Never presume my grandma used to say, adding that if you do it’s 7-4 on that you will get it wrong.

She was right of course.

When Covid-19 caused the racing State to be split and the metro premiership count was frozen, Baylee Nothdurft was on top with 52 1/2 wins, 5 ahead of Robbie Fradd.

Down below is the Jockeys Premiership ladder as published on the Racing Queensland website last night.

Here’s my question.

How did Baylee Nothdurft ride 13 winners when he was in the freezer?

How did Robbie Fradd ride 6?

Has the count stopped, or has it not?

I’m confused.

So are RQ obviously.

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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.

Yeah Good, Former King of the Brisbane Rails Ring – The Smartest Man in the Room Ain’t Necessarily the One With the Holes in His Singlet and the App

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So I cop the above message on this brand new, whizz bang third party Yeah Good app that my daughter insists on installing on my supposedly smart phone, which is actually pretty dumb because it doesn’t crouch and roll when you drop it like any phone with half a brain would, and as a result gets so many breaks and fractures that you have no choice other than to ring the mobile vet on your missus’s healthy phone, and tell him to bring a large vial.

The message is of course from the former King of the Brisbane Rails Ring, who is currently making a comeback to the track as an expert clocker, jump out analyst, trot trial expert and professional harness racing punter come layer.

None of this a surprise.

The King’s time has always been on the clock; he doesn’t mind jumping out of trench when the Turks, Wogs and Huns get close; they say at his age the pound of prunes (only just of date) that he gallops down every morning for brekky provide him with very good understanding of the trots; he’s always loved a bet; and we wont talk about the laying here in case certain people are reading, other than to say that if a man is too tight to spring the 4 bucks for a new Chesty Bonds, then he should at least shout her indoors a teabag to darn the damn thing before he goes out.

Anyway, the King says I’m wrong about Kevin Kent being an SP Bookie, and have it totally arse up about Kent’s SP bookie mate Joe Cerutti ever living at Camp Hill.

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Now Otto, the supposed smart money would say that the King might know a little bit about the SP trade, in the same way that spin bowlers like Shane Warne are likely to know a thing or two about hard pitches, bouncing balls and cracks in the green.

But the smart money lives in the moment. If a dollar is there to be grabbed, or a bullet to be ducked, then the smarties grab or duck it.

The former King of the Brisbane Ring has always been on the smarter side of the punting IQ divide. That’s why he got to wear the crown and ponce around like the Old King Cole on cold, windy wooden betting stands, in the same way that Charlie HRH sits up high on the throne every morning, afternoon and night.

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It’s a lofty, elevated rare air that genius’s like the King imagine that they breathe, but it’s not the same O2 ingested by the smartest men in the room.

That’s probably because those blokes are too clever to mingle with the peasants and catch the Coronavirus.

Nah, we use the Yeah Good app instead.

And research our stories before we write them.

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We’re Tough on Drugs up Here in Queensland, Punters – Don’t You Worry About That

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In March 2015, greyhound trainer Anthony Hoyland was fined $1000 after one of his winning charges threw positive to Benzydamine, a banned in competition anti-inflammatory analgesic that some in the dog business reckon helps a super-fit though over-worked dog keep on trucking through its gears, without feeling any pain.

Ten months later, in January 2016, another A. Hoyland trained greyhound winner threw a positive swab, this time to Cobalt.

In the same year the famous gallops trainer Peter Moody would be suspended for 6 months for exactly the same offence, and the premiership winning harness reinsman Neale Scott – who had no priors in a 40 year career – copped 18 months on the sidelines (later reduced to 9 on appeal) when a horse he trained and drove at a picnic race day at Deagon threw positive to the big C too.

Anthony Hoyland must have been blessed by the bishop when he was a baby.

How else could you explain him only being outed for 12 weeks?

That Bishop must have been bloody Holy, for the gifts of his blessing of the Hoyland child live on all these years later.

In November last year a dog of Anthony Hoyland’s named Codrington Park threw a positive swab to the drug Dexthmesaone after winning a race at Albion Park.

Dexmethasone is nominally an anti-inflammatory drug, but that’s only part of the story, because it’s also one of most widely used pep-pills in cancer treatment. The medical staff use it to give chemo patients and final stage cancer victims a kick to combat the fatigue and the other drugs.

I know – I nursed my Mum and Dad full-time through cancer for almost a decade, and they were given it heaps. It worked wonders too. Mum would drop a pill and go from being almost a total invalid, to getting up and wanting to go to the pokies withing hours.

It’s not coke or meth, but it’s damn good gear that Dexamethasone.

Last year a galloper trained by a smalltimer called Col Thurston swabbed positive to the drug in a lowly race at Gilgandra.

Col was a cleanskin, but the stipes suspended him for three months.

Just six months ago a winner prepared by a Perth trot trainer named Aden De Campo threw up a positive to Dexamethasone.

De Campo had 2 priors; he copped six months.

Anthony Hoyland has two priors too.

Last Friday the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission Stewards handed down Hoyland’s punishment for positive swab strike three, Dexamethasone.

It was a suspended sentence.

Hoyland won’t spend a single day on the sidelines.

We’re tough on Drugs up here in Queensland, punters.

Don’t you worry about that.

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Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden – Race 7 at Beaudesert on Sunday – Part 1 – Ouch!

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I personally thought the short distance that Fair Fella galloped after dumping Jason Taylor was well and truly long enough, and well and truly cause to scratch it from Race 7 at Beaudesert.

I also know that nine of ten footy players who get pulled off the field because they are concussed and in Disneyland claim that they are okay to play on, and that if Jason Taylor was stood down from injury in that race he would have lost around a thousand dollar in riding fees and prize purse commissions.

I’m not a vet, so while I can question Dr Gemma Silvetri’s decision to allow Fair Fella to run, I can’t with any authority criticise it.

I can say however that proofs are often found in puddings, and tell you that in an 1100 metre scamper around a tight front-runners track, the 13-4 shot that had won its past 3 starts by an average of three lengths led early but was gone at the 600, and that it dropped out to finish seven and a half lengths behind the winner.

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I can’t speak as a vet, and I can’t speak as jockey Jason Taylor either, because I wasn’t the bloke who got hurled off Fair Fella and hit the deck hard, he was.

I can however speak as a footy player who has been concussed, for  back in my junior days I was handed a ticket to Dreamworld a few times. It tends to happen to little, skinny fullbacks who tackle front-rowers who’ve broken through on the burst ball and all, chest high, and hang on like grim death if they can’t trip them, just to make sure the fat, tall bastards can’t put the Sonny Bill down touching the turf.

Let me tell you, it f*cking hurts your head when a kid twice your age who has hair on his nuts at 13 body slams the back of your skull into the turf at full speed, and assure you that the ticket holder tends not to think too clearly for quite a while either, like until at least around lunchtime Monday.

I can also tell you through personal research, and by quoting all and any expert scientific research findings, that people with concussion are the least most qualified in the world to diagnose their own conditions, and make an assessment of their current concussed capacity.

So asking a jockey who has just suffered a trauma that may cause concussion whether he’s right to ride is like asking a bloke in a coma whether he’d like one or two sugars with his tea, or whether he’d like to drink it while he signed a resuscitate or do not resuscitate health directive.

In other words, it is both blindingly stupid, and irresponsibly negligent.

So why did the Stewards allow Jason Taylor to self-assess his condition after Fair Fella threw him behind the gates?

I’m not for a minute saying Taylor was concussed, just that he could have been, and that fact triggers certain duties of care and responsibilities upon the racing officials responsible for running the meeting and the organisations they represent, those outfits being Racing Queensland and the QRIC.

It was good enough to have the horse inspected by a vet.

Why wasn’t it good enough to have the jockey inspected by the on-course doctor?

Head injuries are becoming a huge issue in sport these days, and when they full-flow the damages bills are going to start running in the hundreds of millions.

The folk who run racing in Queensland need to wake up to themselves and their responsibility to people as well as horses, before the lawsuits start drowning them too.

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The Scales of Justice Show Archie Was Spot On – Correct Weight on All Placings – Butterfly First, the Critics Last

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The author at work, deep in thought about squatters, jumbucks, tucker bags, troopers, ghosts, grey hairs, QRIC Commissioners and incompetent Queensland racing officials

This afternoon while I was camped by a billabong in the Barron Gorge, under the shade of a Coolibah tree and bereft of internet coverage to watch the races on while Maggie and the girls proved their sheer idiocy by climbing up a sheer mountain on the other side, I wrote a story about how Racing Queensland and QRIC’s independent failures had damaged public confidence in racing, and how the two bodies that run racing north of the Tweed had let us all down.

The story was about a half-head loser being officially declared the winner of race 4 at Emerald yesterday in error, and how the farce had resulted from a (tragi) comedy of errors by the joint yet severable Queensland Principal Racing Authorities.

In the story, I said this:

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Numerous funding applications had been made to Racing Queensland for the repair or replacement of basic equipment such as barriers, rails, scales, jockey rooms and photo finish equipment (bold emphasis mine).

I wasn’t making it up.

Despite the commonly held opinion of subjects who have been sprung doing something wrong by my stories and want to deflect and cover up their sins for all they can, I never make stuff up.

My articles are researched, fact checked, and  – allowing for the reasonable margin of error that applies to any writer’s work – 99.9 percent of the time spot on the mark.

This one was too, for guess what happened just a couple of hours after I’d written and published the story?

The scales at the very next race meeting held in Queensland failed, and the Beaudesert club had to put its card back an hour while someone raced over from the closest race track and replaced them with theirs.

You couldn’t make it up if you tried.

I don’t.

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