“Heh, heh, can I spank you, little boy?”

And it has come to pass that the punt-drunk Blake Shinn has been slapped with a 15 month suspension and with his comrade-in-arms and fellow jockey Peter Robl who seemed to just be going along for the ride slapped with a 12 month suspension for betting.

Hot on the heels of this comes news of top Queensland jockey Daniel Griffin, who is riding at the top of his game and with three and four winners almost expected of him at every meeting on the Gold Coast, also being charged for the same crime and which goes against the rules of racing. He’s had his computer confiscated to have it “forensically examined”. Where will all this madness end?

Wait: It doesn’t end: Another Queensland jockey- Lyle Finlay- was hit this week with a $1000 fine and a three month suspension for walking into a TAB outlet in a hotel. And wait for this: He has been asked to attend Gamblers Anonymous before being allowed to ride again.

Huh? Riding in races and attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings? Isn’t this a fricken oxymoron?

We are certainly not condoning what Shinn, Robl or anyone else has done. But does the punishment- especially that handed down to young Shinn by “The Headmaster”- Raymond “Can I spank you?” Murrihy – fit the crime?

Did he bet on another horse in a race and pull up one of his that could have won the race? Not as far as we know.

Their main crime- to us- was acting like Dumb And Dumber and betting like two goof balls who had smoked one too many spliffs- and inhaled.

Shinn and Robl go Up In Smoke

When one bets $10,000 on a horse at Muswelbrook to win at 1.60- and which Shinn did- we have to wonder if Shinn, especially, knew he was breaking a law or, like any addict, simply needed a fix and didn’t care about the money nor the consequences?

We are not Oprah nor that doofus Dr Phil, but Blake Shinn needs counseling more than 15 months in the wilderness. Any addiction affects the mind, and no matter how stupid his and Robl’s actions might seem, gambling, then losing, then “chasing”, thinking of “what if?” and waiting for the next day to start again with “a new slate” are mental issues. It is why people go to Gamblers Anonymous. It is a sickness.

As for jockeys having bets on a sport in which they participate, honestly, it’s 2010 and why don’t those who have been voted in to run and manage this once Sport Of Kings get their little heads outta the sand, smell the roses and see if these current anti-betting and antiquated rules can be somewhat “altered” or “modified.”

These cases are not going to stop jockeys gambling. It is only going to make them more careful and more “creative” in the ways they go about it.

In New Zealand, jockeys can bet on their own rides and which is logical- and upfront- as any jockey anywhere in the world who risks life and limb in this sport does the same.

In New Zealand, they do this without guilt and without wearing a false moustache and raincoat to enter the closest TAB or have Deep Throat make their bets.

Why and how and what are the results of what New Zealand is doing and no one else is? We have no idea, but we would love to know.

As we keep saying and will keep saying, racing clubs tend to act like lemmings and follow a monkey-see, monkey-do “policy” and which means there is no real “policy” in place- only Stop signs and road blocks.

It amazes us that despite all the hype about attracting new race goers and doing things differently and where all rules in every industry have been forced to change due to the demands of consumers, horse racing puts the cart before the horse- the punters- before putting their respective houses in order.

Punters are not all mugs. They have brains and often we think that racing clubs would benefit from listening to them from time to time.

One cannot be “customercentric” or “cater” to “them”, if clubs keep talking to themselves and doing whatever the hell they please.

Do this and there will come the time when punters will give horse racing the Johnny Cash one- finger salute and leave for greener pastures.



When the Japan Cup ended in major controversy on Sunday with superstar filly Buena Vista storming passed the post a decisive winner only to be disqualified for interference to Rose Kingdom, it was another nail in the coffin of the racing industry.

The on-off result showed how stewards are no longer relevant to the sport and just how pissed off punters are becoming. If not for being polite Japanese, in a place like Mauritius they would have burnt down the grandstands and the stewards would have felt the full wrath of restless natives who would have been chanting, “Off with their heads!”

At Tokyo racecourse that Sunday, odds-on favourite Buena Vista was a spectacular winner. The horse, ridden by Belgian ace Christophe Soumillon, powered down the straight from well back to score by over three lengths. The jockey punched the air after the post before parading his mount in front of the stands and throwing his whip into the crowd after another stunning performance from the most popular horse in Japan.
And then came the announcement of the stewards’ inquiry into interference inside the final furlong. Although she bore in slightly on Rose Kingdom, the latter’s rider- Yutaka Take, a fine actor at the best of times- “did a Brando” before driving his mount to snatch second by a nose from Japanese Guineas winner Victoire Pisa.

After about 20 minutes and to a rumble to the bungle, the numbers on the tote board opposite the colossal Tokyo grandstand were reversed, revealing to a crowd of more than 106,000 that their darling Buena Vista had become the first “winner” to be disqualified in the history of the race.

Rose Kingdom, the Japanese Derby runner-up, trained by Kojiro Hashiguchi and the mount of the Japanese legend that is Take, is a three-year-old son of the 2004 Japanese Derby winner King Kamehameha.

Sent off 7.8 fourth favourite after making the frame without winning in all three colts’ Classics, it is he who will go down in the record books as the 30th winner of the Japan Cup. The horse was only second best.

Ironically- and perhaps even conveniently- the horses involved in this racing mess carried the same silks. They are both owned by the Sunday Racing Syndicate- and they were the only winners of this race. Why?

They have a champion filly which has more than paid her way and now they have a colt that can add “Japan Cup Winner” to its CV- an impressive credit for future stud fees. Plus, a Japanese jockey- and a local legend- won the race. Money talks, perhaps? Soumillon took the wise decision to keep his own counsel. “It is better to say nothing,” he said. Ryan Moore, who rode fourth-placed Jaguar Mail, offered a much stronger view. “It’s the wrong decision,” he said. “They want a champion and now they haven’t got one. It is such a shame for the race.”

More and more, we are seeing technology showing the foibles and mistakes of referees and umpires in sports. One only needs to watch cricket, baseball, basketball and football- and tennis- to see just how much human error – and even human bias- is involved today.

With horse racing, the role and roles of Stewards and The Chief Stipendiary Steward are “out-dated models.” One cannot have stiff upper-lip school teachers with closed mindsets in charge of sports- and sporting results- and where millions of dollars are wagered.

What many racing clubs fail to understand is that they are answerable to only one group of people: Yes, despite thinking they are god-like, racing stewards are eventually answerable to the public- to the punter and to the money which they gamble and which- rather ironically- keeps racing clubs in business and these highly-paid stewards with a job.

One day- and it will be sooner rather than later- racing clubs, stewards, they will all be held accountable and answerable to a “People’s Enquiry”.

In cricket, in tennis, in football, we have seen umpires and referees removed and sacked.In football we have seen referees run for the hills, or being shown the red card themselves.

The event’s of this year’s Japan Cup have not ended and we are betting that there will be some serious repercussions over the stewards enquiry and which will be felt the world over. Already, we are feeling the tremors.…………………………


We love Perth. We love the laid back ‘feel’ of the city, we love the people, the cafes and bars, it has musos far better than many in Sydney and Melbourne who are not getting the right breaks and which music festivals like One Movement are trying to put right and also put Perth on the map as a destination.

As we have been saying, racing and entertainment- and which includes music- must come together if both industries are to succeed in attracting new racegoers.

With this in mind, we hope that OneMovement can, next year, work together to give visitors to Perth something no racing jurisdiction has done to date- and we are at the end of 2010: Bring music- great new music- and racing together- along with the fans and followers of both.

Wanna make this happen? Count us in and- we’re willing to bet, two of the biggest concert promoters in Oz- Michael Chugg and Michael Gudinski will join this movement along with David Chitty. Come on, Chuggie, let’s do it, mate!

Last weekend, at Ascot in Perth, there was the International Jockeys Challenge and the Winterbottom Stakes and which attracted world class riders such as Gerard Mosse, Olivier Delouze, Michael Walker, Darren Gauci and Joao Moreira. Some of us were there and we enjoyed every minute of it. There was some great racing. The problem is, like comedian Rodney Dangerfield, racing in Perth does not get the respect it deserves.

Ask Sydney and Melbourne jocks about top-notch WA jocks like Paul Harvey, Troy Turner, William Pike, Daniel Staeck etc and they’ll fob them off as “B graders”. Sure, some are, but there are B-graders everywhere in the world.

When William Pike won The Winterbottom at over 40’s on nine-year-old Hadabeclorka and beating the great Gerard Mosse in the process into second place on King Kool Kat, we cheered the young rider on.

hada wins

When Singapore’s Moreira, who had ridden a four-timer the night before at Kranji before jetting off for Perth, won the second of the Jockeys Challenge races on 33 to 1 outsider Naku Penda and with “The Parrot” coming second again, we realized just what a good jockey the Brazilian is.

Again, like Perth, racing in Singapore along with many who ride there- like Moreira- are pretty much ignored as being truly “world class”. Perception can sometimes be a green-eyed monster.

As for our Saturday in Ascot, Daniel Staeck won a race, so did Paul Harvey, so did Peter Hall, and Steve Parnham. The now-Victoria-based and “late-blossoming” Kiwi rider Michael Walker got one home and this was a race meeting which deserved to have been seen and marketed to the world.

Perth is a hop, skip and a jump away from Singapore and Hong Kong and some form of “co-mingling” between these three racing jurisdictions can only help bring a new type of entertainment to the next and new generation of possible racegoers.



Happily we got it wrong along with most of Hong Kong when we thought that Greg Cheyne might pull the pin on Hong Kong. But,the South African jock took pains to moan to the press about how “disappointed” he was in these rumours and which appeared in a “publication”.

We are the only “publication” that has written ticky boo about Cheyne- and supported him- many times- and asked his fellow countrymen to help him with some rides on which he can win. Tony Millard did just that and Cheyne had a much-needed winner on Sunday. We are happy for him- but no one likes a whinger.Or a Mona.

So, enough of Greg Cheyne. We are saving our kudos and support for guys like Tye Angland and also hope that the extremely promising Victorian apprentice Jake Noonan, who is in Hongkers to ride work on his Dad’s horse, Ortensia, is made to feel welcome and gets to know some of the trainers and jockeys working out there.

We have seen Noonan ride, he’s only 18 and he can be something very special. Plus, we hear that he’s not a whinger.Or a Mona.



The Magic Stallion ran rampant last week and with his NAP and NB saluting whereas Chloe, though not at her peak, still managed to snag a few quinellas. Tonight, she goes in supremely confident where the Magic Stallion is bucking and neighing and ready- he says- for another bagful of winners. Do we care? Nah.

Our NAP is a boxed quinella and tierce in Race 5- 1,2,6,9 and with 1 to win and a 1 and 2 QP.


RACE 1: 5-4-12-2
RACE 2: 1-8-12-3
RACE 3: 4-5-2-12
RACE 4: 12-8-3-10
RACE 5: 2-1-9-10
RACE 6: 10-2-7-4
RACE 7: 3-7-4-8
RACE 8: 6-10-5-8

NAP: Race 7: 3
NB: Race 5: 2


RACE 1: 12-9-4-3
RACE 2: 12-1-9-6
RACE 3: 4-5-10-12
RACE 4: 6-3-5-9
RACE 5: 1-10-9-5
RACE 6: 8-2-3-9
RACE 7: 12-9-7-3
RACE 8: 8-7-6-5

NAP: Race 4: 6
NB: Race 7: 12



Just when we get to know who she is, she has to leave. Yes, jockey Katie Hercock- and who can forget that name?- is, sadly, not having her license renewed by the powers-that-be at the MJC. Why?

No one knows except that Miss Hercock is said to be a hard worker and anyone with any sense doesn’t think she should go….

NOT Katie Hercock and NOT Peter Leyshan.


Also having his license pulled on him in Macau is jockey Ricky Choi. When riding in Hong Kong, for years, he was known as Vicky Choi.

During one off-season he went to the States and was told that he had a girl’s name. Startled by this news, “Vicky” became Ricky, he rode like a new man after this name change, put it all down to good fung shui and was then banished to ride in Macau where he has done very well for himself.

But, say our sources, those usual powers-that-be at the MJC have been on his case for around two months- he probably won a race that he wasn’t supposed to have- and is now on his bike.

Vicky Choi: All man


And then there is jockey Brent Stanley- and now, former jockey Brent Stanley, who rode to great success before being nutted on something one of the MJC hierarchy thought to be a dodgy ride and so took their wrath out on him and, yes, refused to renew his license.

Off he went to ride in Malaysia and which ended in more drama and Stanley is now back in Melbourne as Assistant Trainer to John Sadler.

We still have no idea what Brent Stanley is doing in this photo, but we’ll take the one in the middle.

Meanwhile, his wife Paris has, apparently, hit the jackpot with a unique gift baskets  business she started in Macau. In fact, she is doing so well with the business she can probably soon purchase the MJC….



For the Jockeys International Challenge Night and when Hong Kong racing will be playing hosts to the world, the HKJC has pulled out all stops to hire a DJ.

Who is it? Paul Oakenfeld? Fatboy Slim? David Guetta? Nah. Sparing no costs, they are bringing to Happy Valley infamous local pseudo model Chrissie Chau, best known for her breasts, to be the DJ for the evening. Chrissie Chau? A DJ?????

We then wept quietly when we read the PR bumpf which accompanied this announcement:“Hear DJ Chrissie Play All The Hits! The evening’s excitement will reach a crescendo when model-artist-DJ Chrissie Chow hits the turntables and gets everyone out on the dance floor with her Championship sounds! Beautiful music, beautiful company! Wednesday nights don’t get any happier than this!”

Now, if Caspar Fownes were to dance to Chrissie Chau’s throbbing beats, things just might not get “any happier than this”.

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