As I’ve been exclusively writing here for many years “the biggest problem racing has is racing itself”.

And so it came to pass that two of the three codes of the industry – thoroughbreds and harness – are unfortunately in the general public spotlight again as we kick off 2015. It may well be a new year but in reality nothing much changes as put simply, there’s always going to be one or more people out there who will try to rort the system. It’s simply a fact of life that “wherever there is money there is corruption”. And “corruption” and “cheaters” have been around all three codes of racing for as long as the industry has been going.

Racing Queensland are of the opinion that they have been on top of the cobalt problem for a long time. They may well have submitted 290 samples during 2014, but apart from that they have done absolutely nought on the matter and now they are frantically using the media and/or Media Releases to let the Queensland industry think they are right on to this matter.

How amazing is it that the proverbial hits the fan in Victoria with a few Spring Carnival horses having elevated cobalt levels and suddenly Racing Queensland is getting its cobalt results back “at the end of next week” according to a RadioTAB interview this morning. What impeccable timing. About the same odds as a human missing getting on a plane by one lousy minute, then that exact same plane subsequently crashes half an hour later and kills everyone on board.

Racing Queensland are of the opinion that they have been waiting to get a threshold, but all that proves is that Racing Queensland is asleep at the wheel. Racing Queensland needs to understand that there is no law whatsoever about being an innovator in the racing industry. In the general scheme of things what relevance is setting a threshold? Step one should be to get the A part of the samples tested and get the results back and await a threshold if need be, but if they say they had nine out of the 290 that were “outliers” as per yesterday’s story, that is a worrying 3.10%. Wouldn’t it therefore stand out like a beacon in Moreton Bay on a cloudy night that Racing Queensland should have immediately become far more pro-active to the point where we could have said nothing to licensees – given they’d been warned previously – and simply done hundreds more tests that could have been sent away for checking cobalt levels.

If HRNSW has 800-odd results that they can issue and publicly display in December 2014 – and that’s from just their harness code, why can’t Racing Queensland now have the results readily available and be displayed on their website of say 600 horses across the thoroughbred and harness codes?

As an industry, primarily for the sake of “integrity”, we need to have that entire list of “290” thoroughbreds and standardbreds that Wade Birch wrote about in the September 2014 edition of Pace Magazine publicly displayed via a Media Release – just like Harness Racing New South Wales did in December when their list of just standardbreds totalled over 800 as per the thread below, which I also put up here yesterday.

So how many subsequent swabs has Racing Queensland conducted for cobalt since they first knew that they had a potential serious problem via nine of 290 samples initially being “outliers”? Racing Queensland Integrity boss Wade Birch said on RadioTAB this morning (possibly a replay of an interview from yesterday morning) that they will have results hopefully “by the end of next week.” Results for what? The B sample of the 290 – or others that were taken and sent away – or exactly what samples? There’s always plenty of what I’d call “smoke and mirrors” stuff happening at Racing Queensland. In fact I’m still waiting on an answer to two emails requesting the names of the Racing Queensland accredited media that got invited to the Magic Millions $10million race day release. It seems as though I may as well talk to the gum tree over in the back paddock on that one, as I’d get a more intelligent response from the tree, as Racing Queensland won’t answer my two emails on the subject. How ignorant is that?

So I for one am always an extremely suspicious person by nature and I want to be able to see in black and white on a similar PDF file that HRNSW displayed publicly (above) which trainers horses have been swabbed.

Racing Queensland Cadet Handicapper Sam Watson has advised the website that the scaled weights for Caloundra tomorrow are: Race 1 + 3kg, Race 2 + 0.50kg, Race 5 + 0.50kg, Race 7 – 0.50kg and Race 8 + 2kgs.

Caloundra was rain affected earlier this week when acceptances were taken and the Weather Bureau was forecasting more rain but that particular entity wouldn’t know if you were up them unless you coughed – and we’ve had fine and hot weather both yesterday and today which will see the Sunshine Coast track get back to a good 4 or thereabouts in the morning if the track can miss any further rain and tomorrow is due to be another pretty much fine and hot day, so hopefully the meeting can be run on a good track.

The apprentice jockey weights for the Caloundra meeting tomorrow should be:



Cassandra Schmidt

54 claims 3kgs

Geoffrey Goold

54 claims 2kgs

Luke Tarrant

50 claims 1.5kgs

Beau Appo

49 claims 3kgs

Rikki Jamieson

50 claims 2kgs

Travis Wolfgram

54 claims 2kgs

Matthew McGuren

55 claims 2kgs

James Orman

52 claims 3kgs

Luke Dittman

55 claims 3kgs

Alysha Collett

50 claims 2kgs


Today on following quite a few emails on the topic from non-harness racing people I’ve put up the exact text that was written in the three Pace Magazines on the cobalt issue. On there’s a couple of harness stories including the story of the Queensland trainer headed to Tamworth to defend his Golden Guitar crown, whilst on Matt Nicholls looks at Flemington.

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