IS THERE ANOTHER GORDON GECKO OUT THERE?
It appears that the murky high end of finance and banking on Wall Street does not have a monopoly in its ability to keep spawning modern day “Gordon Geckos”.
The equally murky world of Australian horse racing has continued to produce its own conga line of “Aussie Gordon Geckos” over time, but this little tale makes other “greed is good” reality stories in racing pale into insignificance.
It centres around a very high profile “racing industry participant”, whom we understand had a steely determination not to be excluded from the proceeds of a very significant sale of a very well known racehorse. And he succeeded.
He demanded and received a very, very tidy six figure sum of money for the substantial role he played in this particular horse’s rise to fame, and as it turns out, fortune.
Such was the determination of this individual that he demanded- and was paid- the money in cash.
Only problem is that not all the horse’s original owners are happy campers in relation to the deal, and are keen to take the matter further. The fat lady may not have sung her very familiar song just yet.
WILL THE TRACKS STAND UP FOR THE SYDNEY CARNIVAL?
We’re one week into the Autumn Carnival proper and the Championships and, not surprisingly, the continuing controversy around the condition of Sydney’s two premier tracks – Randwick and Rosehill keeps rearing its very ugly ahead – at the most inopportune time.
It’s the very last thing racing in NSW needs at a time when bucket loads of advertising and marketing dollars are being thrown at getting the turnstiles, clicking, the wagering cash registers clicking and media headlines for the right reasons.
If the condition of the Randwick track last Saturday is not addressed before the Championships get underway in three weeks, then Sydney’s Autumn Carnival will get the headlines – but the wrong ones and for all the wrong reasons.
The simple truth is that it is completely unacceptable to present a track with such a obvious track bias where the rail was a complete “no go zone”, and jockeys demonstrated an almost indecent haste to get to the middle of the track to search for a better surface.
The rumblings among trainers, jockeys, punters- and a very representative cross section of the “50,000 participants” that Lord V’Lundies would gladly give his tight tight Jockey briefs to support- kept getting louder as the day progressed and well into the post race discussions.
Know what? There can be no excuses.
The condition of Randwick has been on the table for many months-if not years- and, again, exposes the lop-sided priorities of spending on infrastructure against the obscene and over-the-top allocations for prize money for the sole purpose of sticking it up the Victorians.
A pathetic and childish response from an organization that should know better, and which keeps losing respect with every flawed decision that it makes based on self interest, ego and lust for absolute power.
Let’s just hope that Sydney’s notorious Autumn weather gods decide to smile generously on what is shaping up as one of the most exciting- in terms of horse flesh- that will grace the controversial racing surfaces of both Randwick and Rosehill.
What the Autumn Carnival Championships don’t need is for a repeat of the storms and non-stop rain which in the recent past has decimated Sydney Autumn carnivals.
Considering the concerns of both trainers and jockeys about the condition of both Randwick and Rosehill, a prolonged wet spell is what Sydney does not need.
SYDNEY RIDING ROSTER AT AN ALL TIME HIGH
There is no doubt the jockey roster in Sydney is the best it has been for a very long time.
Hugh Bowman, James McDonald, Kerrin McEvoy, Nash Rawiller, Jimmy Cassidy, Tommy Berry, Glyn Schofield are clearly Sydney’s “A-List”, and what an A-List it is. Unquestionably the best in Australia and let’s face it,many lengths in front of what Melbourne has to offer.
The back ups are equally strong and undoubtedly keeps the A-List on its game.
Consider the names Blake Shinn, below, who would be in the A-List if he can keep out of the stewards room, Tim Clark, Brenton Avdulla, Christian Reith and the underrated Jason Collett.
Many of these jockeys are no strangers to the Group One honour roll, and, no doubt, will figure in these races over the next six weeks or so.
It adds another exciting dimension to the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
TIM MARTIN GIVES IT AWAY- WHILE THE LOWLIFES CONTINUE.
Tim Martin’s decision to vacate his 30 box stable at Rosehill is yet another chilling example of just how much more difficult it is becoming to run a viable training business in Australia these days.
When a trainer like Tim Martin decides to call time on his training career at Rosehill it just demonstrates just how much more difficult it must be for trainers who are in the middle to lower tier of the training ranks to make a living and put food on the table for their families and staff.
The profession of a racehorse trainer increasingly mirrors the Darwinian theory of evolution where the survival of the fittest applies.
Trainers and jockeys are only as good as their winning strike rates – end of story.
Those with the best strike rates and the highest degree of success thrive and prosper and survive.
Racing these days cannot and does not burden itself with those who struggle to grace the winners stalls on a regular basis, week in week out. And racing is not alone in this regard.
While success has many fathers, failure is an orphan.
It is the reality of life and while there is sympathy for those who struggle to make a success of their chosen profession or field of endeavour, it’s the way it must be.
Sadly, what is also becoming increasingly obvious is the increasingly common practices among some of the top trainers and jockeys to “neck” horses and rides from their fellow trainers and jockeys.
It is the type of immoral and unethical behaviour that tarnishes the names of many in these professions who refuse to stoop to the lowest levels of parasitic and cannibalistic behaviour of the some of the lowlifes that regrettably can be found among the upper echelons of these professions.
There is little doubt that Australian racing is well on the highway that European and American racing has chosen to be part of.
What is indisputable is that the Australian racing landscape in a decade from now will be almost unrecognizable to what it is today.
OUR PRAYERS AND THOUGHTS ARE WITH YOU, NATHAN.
The one certainty in life is its uncertainty.
The viral encephalitis that has afflicted Nathan Berry has left many of us in racing stunned.
Nathan, who married the girl of his dreams- Whitney Schofield- daughter of Glyn and sister of Chad just such a short time ago in early February was starting to make himself a name as a good jockey in his own right alongside twin brother Tommy.
He achieved a career highlight winning the Magic Millions Two Year Old Classic on Unencumbered with whom he developed a wonderful winning association and who is one of the early favourites for the Golden Slipper for which Nathan had a firm booking.
Currently on a riding contract in Singapore, Nathan was due to return to Sydney this Saturday to ride Unencumbered in his final lead up race to the Slipper – the Todman Slipper Trial.
That was until he suffered a series of seizures in Singapore and was diagnosed and hospitalized with viral encephalitis.
His condition has deteriorated to the extent that twin brother Tommy and father-in-law Glyn Schofield have forfeited their riding engagements on the first day of the Rosehill carnival this Saturday to catch a rushed flight to Singapore to be at Nathan’s bedside.
Get well soon, Nathan.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.