(Source: Simon Free)
Remember the front page headlines last year alleging race fixing was alive and well and thriving in Victorian horse racing?
The soap opera that was race fixing and the “Smoking Aces” race fix saga left a trail of destruction engulfing Victorian racing and the reputations of many jockeys, professional punters, racehorse owners, form analysts, jockey managers and trainers.
Few in the “racing participants” category escaped as rumour and innuendo sped through racing like a tsunami, with the brand and integrity of racing trashed and in tatters.
But, true to its form, when the blow torch is applied to the commonly held perception that racing and corruption are Siamese twins, it draws a blank on the other side.
(Source: The Stranded)
And so it is with the Smoking Aces saga, when Victoria Police this week announced that, on advice from the Office of Public Prosecutions, no charges would be laid arising out of their investigations into this particular race at Cranbourne in April 2011, as well as two other races which were the subject of race fixing allegations.
(Source: Dans Papers)
The Victoria Police decision should spell the end of this dark chapter in Victorian Racing.
Clearly the advice of the Office of Public Prosecutions was based on the very strong doubts that on the brief evidence, it would have been extremely difficult to successfully prosecute charges – a telling conclusion to an orgy of innuendo and rumour about race fixing which has severely damaged the image of Victorian racing.
But the Victoria Police decision not to issue charges will not shake the public and racing community perception about racing.
It still has the odour of corruption – an odour that even the best deodorant won’t fix. What does not help is the Inspector Clousseau type response from Victorian stewards.
As far as the “racing police” are concerned they are going to keep probing the races, convinced that they can find the “needle in the haystack”.
(Source: Jeffreyhill Typepad)
What the decision makers in Racing Victoria’s ivory towers should be concentrating on is being more alert in their reading of races and in their intelligence gathering and surveillance, and be proactive in these areas rather than be dependant on Victoria Police investigations into unrelated matters yielding “information of interest” in the area of the integrity of racing.
(Source: Ivory Tower)
THE SPIN DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK, DAMIEN.
(Source: Herald Sun)
Victorian readers of the News Limited weekend rag – the Sunday Herald Sun- were greeted with a front page headline – “I’m Really Sorry”, the face of an anguished Damien Oliver accompanying a story by Matt Stewart about Damien’s regret about his $10,000 betting indiscretion which earned him an enforced “holiday” from racing.
(Source: Deviant Art)
It was an over the top sycophantic advertorial which again and unnecessarily resurrected the many unanswered questions surrounding this major scandal involving one of racing’s best known and high profile figures.
(Source: SOD Ahead)
Whoever was advising Damien, and we are led to believe, Jockeys Association spin doctors played a role in the Sunday Herald Sun “exclusive”; made an error of judgment.
(Source: Top News)
Not for one moment do we question Damien’s contriteness or remorse. He is a very proud person whose name has been forever tarnished by his moment of stupidity. But to resurrect the demons of the past, and do it through a newspaper and the pen of a racing journalist who is regarded as a kind of fawning “village idiot”, is a very flawed strategy.
In situations such as Damien’s, you just have to bite the bullet and front the electronic media, and be put through the “griller” and let the viewers decide how genuinely remorseful you are. Simple as that.
From the feedback we have received, the Sunday Herald Sun story has been universally labelled as nothing more than spin aka bullshit.
(Source: Images – Amazon)
The widely held perception is that jockeys have always and will continue to bet. To believe otherwise is to be delusional in the extreme.
If anything, recent events have red lighted jockeys that they have to be smarter if they are continue to run the gauntlet. And let’s face it, there are plenty who will.
(Source: Tuscaloosa News)
ENJOY THE HOLIDAY, DANNY?
(Source: Herald Sun)
Which ever way you look at it, Shamexpress’ UK racing campaign was a monumental flop.
(Source: The Age)
His flukish win in the Newmarket Handicap, where he carried the minimum weight and beat Aeronautical, a horse who had not won for eons, was greeted by a prolonged yawn by racing purists and handicappers alike.
It was a sub-standard Newmarket. Black Caviar and Hay List would have been embarrassed. But then again we’ve been spoilt by these superstars in recent times.
Still, the enthusiastic band of connections of Shamexpress rolled the dice with a trip to Royal Ascot and then continued on to the July Handicap at Newmarket.
Shamexpress ran down the track at both his UK starts and no one was really surprised. Craig Newitt dumped Shamexpress and did not return for the July Handicap ride. He was smart.
(Source: Herald Sun)
Trainer Danny O’Brien refused to pull the pin and stayed on. If nothing else it’s been a terrific holiday for “Danny Boy” and his glamorous better half.
“We have had a great time and been very well looked after, but he probably needs to find another three or four lengths to win a top class Group 1 over here”, O’Brien was quoted in Racenet.
Spot on, “Danny Boy”. The three or four lengths might be a tad conservative though, mate. Add another three or four and you might be in the ballpark. But glad you enjoyed the trip. Afternoon tea with the Queen would have been an experience for you and your missus, even though you looked like a right royal “punce” in your “topper and tails” unlike Mike De Kock, who despite his ample girth, looked much more comfortable in his Royal Ascot gear than you, mate.
Guess you just have to get back to boring old Flemington and plan another assault on the “old dart” and get the monkey off your back.
What’s it been now Danny, three unsuccessful Ascot visits?
This was simply another brilliant piece of racing journalism.