Tag: racing

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?




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!



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?


QRIC executive management salaries (above)

Racing Queensland executive management salaries (below)


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?


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


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.


It’s a true story.

RQ has just 85 employees.

But 97 people have come and gone only three years.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.








Peptides Direct From Dazzling Darren Smeath – The Only Jungle Juice For the Real Racing Man – You Can Be a Great Boombino Too – All You Need is a Syringe Full of EPO – For Personal Health Use Only of Course – Just Don’t Feed Them to Your Horse


Peptides, growth hormones, and EPO are pretty dangerous drugs.

Take an overdose, and they will kill you, no worries at all.

Give them to a horse without micro dosing, and it will throw up a positive swab for sure too.

That’s why these sort of bad-arse drugs used by boys lacking self-esteem and needing faux muscles to make themselves feel good are banned from over the counter sale in Australia, totally unlawful to allow within the reach of kids, and absolutely prohibited from feeding to horses.

Don’t worry about all that rubbish though – if you want them, a local Brisbane racing man named Darren Smeath can score them for you, and he will even deliver them straight to your stable gabled door.

All you need to do is jump onto the bloke who runs Smeath Racing’s day job website  peptidesdirect.com.au, tick a few boxes correctly,  hand over your credit card details including the expiry date and CCV number, and Dazzling Dazza will get his dodgy doctors to write you a prescription for whatever gear you want. 

It’s as easy as ABC, and because the Dazzler’s business partners compound the gear away from prying eyes in their privately owned pharmacy, and then for 25 extra bucks organise a courier to leave it on the steps, you’ll be blood boosting and building artificial muscle before the thoroughbred in your home barn can say “Whinny, 1, 2, 3”.


Don’t trouble yourself worrying about being a licensed owner or trainer buying drugs that might get you handled by the QRIC if they raid your joint and find the juice on the shelf, under your bed, or concealed in the safe in stable below the straw. Dazza’s doc man’s prescription will ensure that you’re sweet, and all you need do if the Commissioner’s crew ask is say that it’s yours and that you are using it for health reasons, as prescribed by the doctor you’ve never met, whose name you don’t know, and whose consultation with you is mysteriously absent from your My Health Record.

Dazza’s been racing horses for years, and winning a race or two here and there with gallopers that win like his namesake The Great Boombino\, and he’s never struck a hurdle yet, so why would you?

Don’t let the closure of gyms and training centres put you off from taking your good gear – for health reasons only of course – because the medicos on Dazzas payroll who have never seen you, don’t know you from Adam, have no idea whether you are bullshitting them or on the up, and wouldn’t have a clue about the difference between you having a dodgy leaking heart and the bloke next door who has cancer, recommends that you stay on the gear (they call it medication) not matter what.

They don’t get paid if you don’t you see.

Save Australia from dodgy doctors being thrown onto the dole queue.

Buy peptides direct from a reputable fellow racing man now.

What’s even better news is that Dazz’s courier will drop the stuff on your porch without you needing to sign for it, so the kids can grab it on the way home from school and feed it to the horses or eat it themselves, without you suffering the imposition of having a single worry in the world.


Peptides are good.

EPO is great.

Growth hormone bleeds are cracker.

Don’t you worry about that mate.

Dazza doesn’t, and nor do the QRIC, so why should you?

Just don’t ask the big lad about micro-dosing.

Someone might be listening in on the phone, and it’s none of their bloody business.

Your drug spiked TCO2 levels and red blood cell count boosts are your own private concern, not any other buggers, and if anyone asks if you can slip the crap to Trigger, just say “How the hell would I know? Wouldn’t you have to consult a doctor or a vet to find out?”

Bugger that.

Don’t put yourself to the trouble of dealing with dodgy drug selling Yanks.

If you want the gear, then Darren Smeath is your man.

He’ll even send it to you in pre-packed syringes.

How bloody good is that?

With friends like Daz, who needs clowns like Denis Holbeck to source the sauce?

That bastard only cuts the mix by three-quarters anyway.

And you don’t get a tax receipt either.


Peptides Direct – the only true jungle juice for the real racing man.





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.

The Greatest Scandal in NSW Racing This Century is About to Explode – And What You Learn Over the Coming Weeks and Months Will Shock You to the Core – Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow – An Archie Butterfly Exclusive

And so it begins.

Does anyone remember the series of stories I published last year on the subscription site archiebutterfly.com about the Sally Snow affair?

For those who don’t, or who didn’t read it, I wrote that the reasons for the sacking of Sally Snow from her role as the senior odds-setter for the TAB were far, far more deeper and more serious than most people realised, and that when the lid was lifted off the scandal the repercussions would resonate wide and far across racing in NSW, and – to a slightly lesser extent – Victoria, and perhaps even Queensland.

In the series of articles I suggested that some very well-known names in racing – some of the biggest – would be embroiled in the scandal, and that they would include Group 1 winning jockeys, nationally known trainers, and at least one infamous bookmaker whose name was known across the land.

None of this was supposition. I don’t make up fairy tales, I don’t have the imagination, and in racing you don’t need to, for the truths in the game we love are always much, much stranger than fiction.

Coronavirus delayed the long running, and even more long ranging, cross border investigation into matters related to Sally Snow’s dismissal by Tabcorp after the NSW Stewards warned her off racecourses for refusing to produce and hand over her private mobile phones (yes, phones).

There were very good personal reasons for Sally Snow’s decision not to hand over the devices, even though she knew full well that it would mean the end of her career as a corporate bookmaking behemoth’s front woman. These reason’s weren’t related to her individual privacy, but rather to an intense desire not to holiday in Long Bay.

Racing NSW probe link between Sally Snow and Unibet bookmaker

Sadly for Sally (above) though, the investigators already had them. Not the physical phones, but the mirrors, and all the contacts contained on them, and all the texts, calls and mistakenly believed to be encrypted messages made to and from them. The joint police task force had been all over her and her friends for more than 12 months, even though neither she nor they knew it. The cops only asked the Stewards to use their powers to request the phones to make a good thing of it, and to test her hand.

They got the result they expected, and all it was cost Snow her job and her reputation, and confirm to the investigators that their conclusions were 100 percent correct and firming.

A month or two later Sally Snow’s husband Nathan was stopped at customs and detained by border control officers when returning an overseas trip. Nathan Snow’s phones and devices were seized, including those that it is believed were registered in another person’s name.

Around the same time the NSW Stewards demanded that prominent and oft controversial racing identity Steve Fletcher hand his private telephones over to them.

Fletcher complied with the direction, but almost immediately – for reasons that will become abundantly clear over the coming months – lodged an application to the Supreme Court of NSW seeking to restrain the Stewards from accessing or using any information on the phones other than that related directly to the Sally Snow inquiry.

His court application also sought a direction that Stewards provide him with the specific details of the inquiry, and the details of which aspects of it they wished to access limited information from his phone for.


The NSW Stewards didn’t fall for that trick.

They fought the case.

In April last year Fletcher won.


The Supreme Court ordered that only specific information contained on Fletcher’s phone could be accessed by the racing officials, and then only in circumstances whereby Fletcher was advised why.


The Stewards immediately lodged an appeal of the decision with the NSW Supreme Court of Appeal.

In February of this year the Court of Appeal handed down its decision.

This time the Stewards won.

By unanimous decision of the three appeal judges, the Racing NSW Stewards were now permitted to access all of the information on Fletcher’s phones, without telling him why.


The die was cast, and the wave of summonses to appear before the Stewards on rule breach charges, and the consequent and/or concurrent flood of police arrests were about to commence.

Then the coronavirus hit, and everything went into abeyance.

But none of it went away.

Last week the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

Today jockey Adam Hyeronimus has been charged with multiple betting offences.

Look closely at the rule breach charges that the rider has been hit with.

Hyeronimus has not charged with placing bets himself, but rather with having beneficial interests in bets placed on his behalf.

You can take one guess as to who placed the bets on the jockeys beneficial behalf, and why.

This is Steve Fletcher (below).

His picture is only published in this story because he’s handsome.

Supreme Court grants Racing NSW right to inspect phone of pro ...

The person who (allegedly) placed the bets is not the principal of the large scale race-fixing and price manipulation operation that is soon to become a front page headline across the country, and unleash a storm that will reverberate across the racing land.

Here is a tip, and it’s a very strong one indeed.

To find a clue as to who the soon to be named alleged principal of what the Stewards will allege to be a highly crook, race hook cartel may be, one would be well advised to take a close look at the trainer or training partnership that Adam Hyeronimus has been most closely associated with throughout his career.

And then ask yourself who that trainer, or member of the training partnership, may share a bed with.

It’s not the trainer that I am suggesting will be alleged to be involved.

He, is not a she.

Here is another tip.

See the extract from the February 2020 Supreme Court of Appeal judgement that is published above?

To save you looking, I will print it again.


There is a highly skilled sand very experienced young racing Steward whose rapid rise to the top of his profession hit a huge speed bump when the ABC aired the infamous Four Corners report into live baiting in the greyhound industry.

That Steward’s employment was terminated by Racing Queensland in the wake of the scandal, even though it had nothing to do with him at all, and he knew nothing about the cruelty.

Sometime later, after returning from an ostensibly unsuccessful stint in a overseas racing jurisdiction, that Steward returned to Australia, and the widespread impression was that he was finished in the world of racing integrity, and unemployable in the industry.

Ever heard the adage about judging books by their covers? Or watched a boxing match and seen a fighter fall for a sucker punch?

The believed to be unemployable Steward got a job.

As a runner placing TAB bets for Steve Fletcher.

He wasn’t much good at it, but he never intended to be.

Enron alert to Steve Fletcher – there is always a smarter man in every room.

He’s usually the one pretending to be dumb.

After leaving Fletcher’s employment, the unemployable racing Steward returned to the racing industry as a Steward.

Not just any Steward either.

Wade Birch became the Deputy Chief Steward of NSW Racing.

For those who have been asking how and why, your mystery is now solved.

Birch sprints to top job | Sunshine Coast Daily

And if you believed me when I was publicly asking how and why, then you are as silly as Steve Fletcher.

Sorry for misleading you, but once I worked out what was going on, long before anyone else who wasn’t part of the covert operations did, I made a professional and ethical decision to run dead and play dumb, even though it meant writing things that I knew not to be true.

It worked too.

The man who will be named as the alleged principal contacted me out of the blue. I’d never spoken to or met him before.

He invited me to lunch, but I politely declined, telling him that I was in Northern NSW at the time on an assignment seeking to locate and interview people who had gone to the school with the demon who committed the Christchurch massacres, which was true.

The man then arranged for me to brunch with his representative in Byron Bay, a former young tyro bookie at the Gold Coast, who I knew – without the man knowing I knew – now worked as a TAB runner for Steve Fletcher.

I met the former bookie, and played dumb to him, and crazy too. In fact I dropped a pill and smoked two joints on the way to meet the bookie, just to make a good thing of it. It didn’t effect me – I was a street kid after I got raped; I learned early how to handle my drugs – but it fooled him, so much so that, deciding that I knew nothing and was merely a hit and miss merchant, he even tried to leave me with the bill.

Good luck on that one.

He had none, but now I knew for sure that what I’d worked out was 100% right.

I’m a straight, clean racing man.

I always have been, and I always will be.

I don’t talk to police, ever, so they’re safe in that respect, but I know the story and I’m not afraid to write it, and within the confines of the law I will.

Hyeronimus has been in career-best form this year.

Here is one last tip for now.

There is a leading NSW jockey who bears a striking resemblance to Adam Hyeronimus (above).

Or did until last week, when that rider died his hair peroxide blonde.

Many in the media are viewing the hair colour change as a fashion mistake, and making the jockey’s altered appearance a matter of merriment and mirth.

To those innocents I say this.

It is now what you don’t know that defines you skill as an investigative journalist, it is what you do. And sometimes witnesses find it difficult to identify a person when their appearance has drastically changed.

Fukuoka, Japan. 4th Aug, 2018. Brenton Avdulla Horse Racing ...

The war is about to begin, and there will be many casualties along the way.

The snow will be stained red with racing blood.

Put on your helmets, buckle in, and watch this space.

And remember, you heard it all here first.

You always do.

Editor’s note – The licenced racing industry participant charged alongside Adam Hyeronimus is a young man named Blake Paine. He works for the same stable as the one I have identified in this story. So does his father Neil Paine, the man in the funny suit who breached the COVID-19 restrictions by racing across the Randwick mounting yard to hug Adrian Bott after Farnan won this year’s Slipper. Neil Paine – who is not alleged to have any knowledge of matters related to this story or the charges laid against his son – got off with a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket for his serious contravention of the NSW Government health directives and the Racing NSW coronavirus protocols. The Stewards had far bigger fish to fry.




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.


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


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


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


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


Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

I hope not.

It makes you want to chunder.

Confusion Reigns in Queensland Racing – Situation Normal


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).


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.