NEWS CORP AND SELECTIVE MEMORY RECALL.
As many know, especially recently, we have upped our “reportage” of various NewsCorp racing reporters in Oz and, largely, their constant fawning- some might dismiss it as absolute drivel- over that visionary and the Dirty Harry of NSW Racing- Lord Peter V’Lundies.
So, imagine our surprise when- out of the blue- we get hit with an AUD$5k bill for, apparently, using 15 of their photographs without consent- and found on Google Search.
Nothing against Copyright Claims at all, but it’s highly suss to hear from News Corp’s NetPix Sales Director that this problem was only recently brought to his attention by- quelle supris- one of their racing writers.
So, using commonsense, if these photographs have been used FIFTEEN times with NO problems and NOW- suddenly- there is an AUD$5k problem- it will make even the simplest simpleton, go, Duh.
Hell, even Lord Peter V’Lundies would get his knickers in a twist over such a transparent game of schoolboy politics.
The usual practice would be for any content owner to stay on top of any copyright infringement problems, point these out and have the offending work removed.
But to not know what was going on with your own content and to then decide to play bully boy tactics?
Uh uh. It doesn’t wash, boys, and could very well backfire.
Look what happened in the UK to News Corp’s Rebekah Brookes with her bullying and everything that has come out in the wash?
Look what Wendi Deng did to News Corp’s Big Poobah Rupert Murdoch.
No one likes bullies.
IS AUSTRALIA NEXT ON ANIMAL RIGHTS GROUPS’ HIT LIST?
It’s hardly surprising that the US Animal Rights groups are using classical guerrilla warfare tactics on US thoroughbred racing.
After all, from the White House and Pentagon right down the food chain to the increasingly war weary families in the US of A, they have first hand experience of being on the losing side- repeatedly from wars that they have deliberately bounced the ball on with no hope of winning.
The Animal Rights groups, particularly in the US, have declared war on horse racing and if recent events are any indication – they are starting to win some of the preliminary skirmishes.
The successful overt operation placing animal rights activists as stable staff in a leading US stable and outing a prominent trainer for breaching drug rules and using illegal equipment on horses should send the loudest possible sirens blowing in every racing nation in the world.
For too long, Racing administrators have been woefully dismissive of Animal Rights activists.
They have underestimated the agendas and motivation of these lobbyists and well-organized groups. Animal Rights groups are no longer fringe groups. They were to start off with, but thanks to the failure of racing administrators to tackle them head on and address the misinformation and bankruptcy of many of their arguments, they have been allowed sufficient oxygen to claim the moral high ground and gain respectability through the hearts and minds of the communities among which they operate in.
It is pathetic to see governing bodies and racing administrators buckle at the knees- and with the indecent haste that typifies them- engage in an orgy of apologetic behaviour seeking redemption for the rules of racing- or lack of them- to deal with “cruelty” to horses.
Equally, it is mind-numbing to be confronted with the revelations that trainers and jockeys are actually engaging in behaviour with their horses that they train and ride that belonged to the era of prohibition.
Don’t these pariahs realize that the world has changed? That the eyes and ears of the communities they live in are firmly focussed on how they ply their trades and professions?
Let’s not beat around the bush: It’s about drugs, illegal battery-operated devices, the extreme use of whips in races and any implement that is perceived to inflict pain and elicit discipline in horses.
The drugs issue is a perfect example of where administrators have failed the racing industry.
Under their very noses, they have failed to draw a line in the sand between therapeutic drugs and those sinister performance drugs which have tarnished the reputation of horse racing since its inception.
Even the simplest of minds would understand- with a modest degree of public education- that if it weren’t for therapeutics, society would basically fail to function.
Life expectancy would fast track back to the days of the bubonic plague and almost certainly earlier.
Yet, we still have racing administrators abrogating their responsibilities by continually failing to stand up and be counted when it comes to exposing the premeditated, carefully strategized self-serving agendas of these so called guardians of Animal Rights.
Ironically, one of the most vocal and active Animal Rights groups in the land of the Yankee Doodle Dandy is PETA, the group which, very cleverly and strategically, flaunts some of the best known actors and actresses to get their messages across- no matter vague they might be- and damn those who don’t pray at the altar of St PETA.
PETA is as scary and powerful in Hollywood as Scientology and has some very interesting financial backers.
As for these very same advocates of women’s rights and all things politically correct, they have, without even blinking some of their surgically restricted eyes, shed their garments with Usain Bolt like speed in the name of focussing attention on the plight of cruelty to animals.
These are the same “Hollyweed” phonies who have rooms full of therapeutics, steroids, performance enhancing illegal substances and “recreational” drugs to get them by the day to day drudgeries and fake existences that is their choice.
Ironic, isn’t it, that they are almost mute when it requires them to come out of their closets and take a stand on the cocktails of insidious, addictive drugs and substances that are destroying the societies that we are living in. And yet, they will go to the ends of the earth to promote their own cause celebres’.
Why? Because it’s fashionable- and needed to keep images intact and safe inside what is a VERY big closet that includes ten- year marriage deals in exchange for stardom. It’s all showbiz, baby.
RACING NSW HAS VETERINARIANS UP IN ARMS.
NSW veterinarians are the latest group of the “50,000 participants” to come under the target range of the Supreme body that controls the NSW racing industry – Racing NSW- and its fearless fighter and cleanser of all things that need sanitizing in NSW racing, its Chief Executive and visionary Peter V’lundies.
The vets are up in arms, and rightly so. V’lundies, who is arguably the best friend of Sydney’s legal fraternity, did what he always does.
He huffed and puffed and marched up his familiar litigation path to support his contentious move to separately license NSW veterinarians providing their professional services to the NSW racing industry.
The vets strongly opposed the V’lundies proposal claiming- and quite rightly- that they were already registered, licensed- call it what you like as we’re nodding off- by the Board of Veterinary Practitioners – a reputable and respected Professional Board.
Should that registration or license not be sufficient? Does racing NSW not have the power or authority to deal with a “rogue” member of the profession of the Board if the need arose? And does the record not show that you could count the number of veterinarians who have transgressed the rules of racing in a sinister, deliberate or malicious way on a couple of fingers?
And what about the situation in Victoria, the arch enemy state of our own NSW?
Victorian Chief Steward Terry Bailey was quoted in the media stating that he did not see need to replicate the V’lundies rule in bleak city.
V’lundies, Racing NSW and the Australian Racing Board won’t like that at all as, after all, Bailey has, in recent times, been one of the few racing administrators to dare to disagree with the power brokers in harbour city.
No, apparently, none of these facts and arguments matter.
It’s just another blatant example of a massive power play by both Racing NSW and their soul mate- the Australian Racing Board- to control and run the Australian racing industry.
From what we understand, the Courts ruled in favour of Racing NSW to issue licenses, but is yet to address the more fundamental issue of whether veterinarians should be required to be licensed by a governing body of a sport for which they provide professional services to some of its “50,000 participants”.
The one certainty in yet another unnecessary exercise in muscle flexing, control and power, is that Racing NSW has, again, managed to successfully alienate a very reputable and respected section of its “50,000 participants”.
And yet, the Chairman of Racing NSW, his Board and the power brokers in NSW racing remain in their characteristic mute position.
THE ATTRITION RATE ESCALATES AT THE AUTUMN CARNIVAL.
It happens during every racing carnival and when the fragility of some the magnificent and powerful champion racehorses is exposed and they succumb to the rigors of racing.
The Sydney Autumn Carnival is no different to the Melbourne Spring carnival when the attrition rate of good horses- for a multitude of reasons- intervenes and cruels the hopes and dreams of owners, trainers, stable staff, jockeys and horse lovers alike.
Sydney’s Autumn Carnival, which to date, has attracted the best Australia can offer and promises to be the best-ever Autumn carnival in Sydney, has claimed potential champion sprinter Notlistenintome, below, top two year old Fighting Sun and champion mare Appearance.
VRC Derby winner Polanski and Darley’s top rated Compliance have not even made it to Sydney. And who knows which other champions will be next?
On the same subject, it was difficult not to leave Rosehill last Saturday after the results of the Group 1 Ranvet without some very obvious and nagging questions about both It’s a Dundeel and Fiorente.
The question marks surrounding It’s A Dundeel’s two runs this campaign will quite possibly be answered comprehensively next when he lines up in the BMW. There are still many who remain unconvinced about him. His detractors- and there are many of them- point to his defeat of Atlantic Jewel last spring being more to the ride than the horse itself.
The run of Fiorente, we would like to think, might have had something to do with the slight break in his preparation from his stirring win in the Australian Cup a fortnight earlier though some felt Damien Oliver and James McDonald thought the Ranvet was a two-horse race and engaged in their version of Dueling Banjos.
Frankly, we thought Carlton Hero looked set for the race until Nash Rawiller arrived on the Roger James-trained Silent Achiever and spoiled many parties with a brilliant ride.
After all, having won one grand final, Fiorente is now heading for his second in just over a month.
The BMW will, again, provide a more accurate guide as to whether this outstanding stayer can prove- beyond doubt- that he is one of the greatest staying horses to grace the Australian turf in recent years.
VASIL’S SABBATICAL IS ONLY TEMPORARY.
Sections of Australia’s racing media have, again, managed to get it wrong when prematurely saying sayonara to the training career of our very good mate and fellow karaoke singer Tony Vasil.
Tony’s well-publicized battle with depression came to the fore recently and has forced him to put his health ahead of his professional career.
The majority of the horses under his care are being transferred after this weekend’s race meetings to Robert Smerdon, his Aquanita racing training partner and good mate.
Tony, who is undergoing treatment for his illness, will decide if and when he will return to his chosen profession as a racehorse trainer – a profession in which he has distinguished himself having trained a long line of champion racehorses and won a swag of Australia’s greatest races, including a Caulfield Cup, VRC Derby, Doncaster, Orr Stakes, Goodwood Stakes, to name just a few that spring to mind.
Tony who also won the Dubai Duty Free with his champion racehorse Elvstroem, is taking the all-important small- but steady steps in the long road to recovery and we wait with anticipation for him to be able to join us for a karaoke session at one of our many fine karaoke establishments here in Hong Kong.
Keep at it mate, we’re in your corner.