THE X-FACTOR THAT BYPASSED “DASHING DES”
We have heard of so many conspiracy theories surrounding the life and times of Danny Nikolic and his compulsive obsession with taking on the “racing police”, and in recent times the “community police”, that we thought we might add our own fantasy into the mix. We reckon Nikolic, being the “too clever by half” pint sized rascal that he is, could have done a deal with a US Television production company and sold them a sub-plot to what could become the mother of all soapies. Think about it. It has sooo many sub-plots, it could keep the Screen Writers Guild, the Actors Guild equity and anyone employed by production companies in gainful employment for a very, very long time. This makes the Sopranos look and sound like choir boys.
“Bring me the head of Dan The Manic. He’s giving us wiseguys a bad image.”
Sadly, for Australian racing and its battered image, it is not the case. The latest instalment in the Nikolic saga, is so farcical it is pathetic. And regrettably, someone whom we regarded as a pretty smart operator now appears to have become part of the problem with Victorian racing’s image rather than part of the solution.
“Whaaaat? Another knob to take out?”
We used to call him “Dashing Des”, but Des O’Keefe is more ‘Birdie Dum Dum” Des, after the high farce played out in the Danny Nikolic appeal in Victoria this week. We don’t know “Birdie Dum Dum” personally, but reading the reports in the Herald-Sun newspaper of his “outing” of a “mysterious Racing Victoria official (whatever that means), as having told him in a phone call that “the industry would be better off without Danny Nikolic in it”, we’re kinda convinced that O’Keefe has put himself into a very untenable position.
Des “Birdie Dum Dum” and “Birdie Num Num” O’Keefe?
To make the exercise even more farcical, “Birdie Dum Dum” asked that the media pack and assorted sticky beaks be removed from the room before he could whisper the name of the “mysterious Racing Victoria official” to the Appeals Board and the legal team for Nikolic and Racing Victoria. And to preserve the anonymity of this mysterious official, it was agreed to refer to him as “Mr X”. So, at least we know the gender of this mysterious official. Or do we? The fallout was predictably instant with the racing rumour mill putting itself into instant overdrive to unravel the identity of Mr X.
Fuck me! Mr X????
It’s reminiscent of the kind of embarrassing and pathetic storylines from “D” grade soap- and horse operas- a kinda combination of childish kindergarten play room games, that Australian racing and Victorian racing seems so adept at playing when it is confronted by some of the most serious allegations and real life challenges to its authority or lack of it. It’s Bugsy Malone time with kids trying to be tough grown ups but crapping in their pants deep down. Give us a fucking break.
It merely confirms what we have been saying for some time now that the entire racing industry – that the behaviour of the governing body, its management and participants is reminiscent of a primitive and anarchic environment where tribal warfare has broken out with no regard to the greater good of the racing industry. It is guerrilla warfare at its best. And to be blunt, there needs to be serious and deliberate “culling” of some of the pathetic individuals involved in dragging racing into serious, and possibly, permanent disrepute. Forget- if we- Dannny Nikolic. He is a very bit player in a much greater virus plaguing horse racing in Oz and with the lunatics having taken over the asylum and not knowing what the hell to do with it.
Frankly, if the Herald-Sun report is accurate, it is staggering to think that “Birdie Dum Dum” O’Keefe would have repeated a private conversation in such a hostile and litigious environment. If “Mr X” had made the comments alleged to have been made, were they his own private observations or those of the organization that he was either an employee or a representative? If they were his own private views and he was in no position to influence the direction or outcome of Racing Victoria policy, then common sense, you think would have dictated that “Birde Dum Dum” would have observed “In- house rules”and kept his trap shut? Perhaps we have read O’Keefe wrong. He just might be better at playing the sympathy card on behalf of his constituent jockeys. He has certainly been successful at doing that. He just might be batting out of his crease when it comes to the tactical nous required to keep one’s head above water in the predatory environment of racing politics.
“Birdie Dum Dum” O’Keefe has a love fest with his wascally wabbits.
One can only think out aloud as to how tenable “Birdie Dum Dum’s” position is. We can only guess with a great degree of certainty that there are many in the Victorian racing industry who share “Mr X’s’ “ opinion about Danny Nikolic’s position in the industry. We would go further and speculate with a fair degree of certainty that many, many members of the Victorian Jockeys Association, which The Birdie Man represents share this opinion of their fellow jockey. We wonder aloud what “Birdie Dum Dum’s” own view of Danny Nikolic is, and whether “the industry would be better off without him”?
“Yes, YESSSSSSS, GODDAMIT! I AM MR. X!”
In the meantime we await the next episode of this sad, sorry and pathetic chapter in the history of Victorian racing.
“Frankly, Des, you suck.”
V’LANDYS BIZARRE NEIGHBOURLY CONNECTION!
Extraordinary and bizarre revelations that one of Peter “The Not So Great” V’Landys’ neighbours involved in their highly publicized legal spat over a second storey redevelopment, which V’Landys claims would have a “devastating effect on the iconic and panoramic views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge” which he enjoys from his home is actually an employee of Racing NSW.
Melanie Dive, V’Landys’ neighbour, who together with her husband Steven successfully appealed in the NSW land and Environment Court to proceed with the redevelopment, has been revealed as a employee in the Accounts and Finance Department of Racing NSW. In other words, Melanie Dive is employed by Peter “The Not So Great” V’Landys, the Chief Executive of Racing NSW- an unusual arrangement to say the least, given they are what would be commonly described as next door neighbours.
But not as unusual as the fact that as Employer and Employee in the same organization, they are opposing litigants before the NSW Land and Environment Court, vigorously contesting a judgment and obviously in serious conflict over a civil matter that they both believe to be of the highest importance.
It raises some serious and very obvious questions. How long can Melanie Dive and The Not So Great One work under the same roof and for the same organization in what clearly will be a hostile environment? And what about the impact on staff morale and staff interaction and relationships. It would be naive to believe that in such a hostile environment divided loyalties and factions would not surface. Inevitably a resolution will need to be achieved, and knowing the combative nature of The Not So Great One, we can only predict one outcome.
There is another important question, and it relates directly to when Melanie Dive was employed by Racing NSW. Was she employed before or after she moved into Elgin Street Woolwich and became V’Landys’ neighbour; and how sensitive a position does she occupy in Racing NSW’ Finance and Accounting Department?
ANOTHER BLOW TO JOCKEYS IMAGE
If ever there was evidence that self fulfilling prophecies become a reality, then the battered image and standing of Australian jockeys is evidence enough. As if the plethora of race fixing and illegal betting allegations, implicit threats and an avalanche of dodgy rides is not enough, comes the public outing of one of Sydney racing’s worst kept secrets.
It concerns the events at an Eastern Suburbs watering hole involving jockeys Brenton Avdulla and serial “bad boy” Daniel Ganderton. Both are talented jockeys, but when it comes to “grey matter”, maybe the good Lord just passed them by. According to reports in the press and from what we have gleaned these two “pint sized wascals” were at the watering hole around 11 pm on a Thursday and were captured on CCTV entering a disabled toilet with two other persons including a female. To our knowledge none of the four were physically disabled. Their pitstop in the toilet was timed over around 13 minutes. Now it does not take an Einstein to work out what transpired in the toilet. And despite there being no evidence of any form of argy bargy, the fallout from these events resulted in Racing NSW Stewards headed by Ray Murrihy handing out a $5000 fine to Avdulla and a two month suspension to Ganderton finding them guilty of conduct prejudicial to the image of racing.
“Hello, I’m no Einstein.”
At face value, the events seem pretty innocuous, but nevertheless we understand someone “dobbed” them in and the female concerned, we are told, was employed in the Integrity section of Racing NSW and had her employment terminated. It was interesting to read Brent Zerafa’s take on it in the Daily Telegraph over the weekend. Under the headline “Toilet Stop costs Avdulla $5000”, Zerafa asks “how is this incident prejudicial to the image of racing”? Ahhhh, questions, questions.
The answer from Brent is simple. First and foremost Avdulla and Ganderton are licensed persons, and as such are subjected to the Rules of Racing. Their two friends including the female were not licensed persons. Are you with us? Importantly the CCTV footage and the information surrounding the information was provided to Racing NSW Stewards. Imagine the fallout if Ray Murrihy and his Stewards Panel chose to ignore the incident which was formally lodged with them and impose no penalty? Murrihy and his Panel would have been on a hiding to nothing, let alone having to defend their decision to let the incident slip neatly into the gloves of Adam Gilchrist.
To put things into perspective, there is very little of Mother Teresa in any of us, but surely if your urges get the better of you, surely you can do better than choosing a disabled loo in a public place? And particularly when you an easily identifiable person?
Quite frankly, the NSW Jockeys Association and their national body must be completely oblivious to the fact that the racing community has overwhelmingly had a bellyful of the antics of these “pint sized rascals”. Their addiction to attracting the media headlines for all the long reasons has evaporated the excellent work that their representative bodies have done for them. It is now time for the Australian Jockeys Association and their state counterparts in NSW and Victoria to publicly distance themselves from the small minority, which they keep reminding us ad nauseum, are tarnishing the image of the brave men and women who risk their lives each day and night when they jump aboard a racehorse. And then there is the real beauty of horses. Now, watch the video below and see where goons like Danny Nikolic and Boys and Girls Gone Wild fit into this picture.
In relation to the incident at the Eastern Suburbs watering hole, perhaps the NSW Jockeys Association could lodge a claim for a special “Room Allowance” to encourage them away from toilets in public places when they can “feel a whatever moment coming on”. And sure, we are often hit with these moments but don’t ever recall diving into a loo for the disabled as opposed to a disabled loo for relief everything time the horny back toad attacks us in the crotch. And now, here’s Pharell for all the girls standing in line waiting for the bathroom and how Everybody Nose.
RYAN “SMILEY” MOORE TO RIDE CUP FANCY
The internationalization of this year’s Melbourne Cup took another turn this week with the announcement that the UK’s leading jockey Ryan Moore has been booked by Luka Cumani to ride early favourite for the two miler, Mount Athos. It comes on the heels of last week’s news that Mikhail Barzelona has been booked to ride the the Andre Fabre trained Brigantin in this year’s Melbourne Cup.
With many more internationals either already in quarantine or about to enter quarantine for the trip down under, more of the world’s best jockeys are expected to ride at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.