Nowhere was it more apparent that Tattsbet, which is the “home TAB” for each of Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania, needs to be swallowed up by one of the two big TABs based in New South Wales or Victoria than an event that happened last week. The Angle Park greyhound meeting in South Australia was staged last Wednesday afternoon and amazingly after the final race had been run and won there was no live ticket on any of the Daily Double, Treble or Quadrella conducted on the meeting. If that scenario unfolded on one of Tattsbet’s little “results only” race meetings that their pathetic service to punters encompasses, we could fully understand, but when that situation unfolds on a busy Wednesday afternoon of racing there is something wrong with the system. For the record the pools that all had to jackpot from that Angle Park meeting were Daily Double $174, Treble $374 and Quadrella $856.

The other alternative to Tattsbet being swallowed up by one of the two bigger fish in the ocean would obviously be to have one national pool for all TABs – and I’ve explained here before how simple that is to invoke provided you had a betting act, so I won’t bore readers with a repeat of that one.

Just to clarify my comment about the “pathetic service” dished out by Tattsbet to readers who are domiciled in a State where they operate, they have a “results only service” on numerous meetings during the week, like say entire greyhound meetings from New Zealand whereby their radio station, RadioTAB, doesn’t broadcast even 20-second greyhound races, which kind of takes the industry back to the 1970’s when my bride used to read the race results out – “on the hour every hour” – for radio station 4MB in Maryborough. Tattsbet and RadioTAB are a disgraceful part of the Australian racing industry unfortunately and such innovations of genius like no broadcast of races lead them to where they are today – half way between a rock and a hard place. For the record, the morning races that RadioTAB doesn’t bother broadcasting as they are too busy with some other inane rot, are broadcast live, as they should be, by Racing Central in New South Wales and I can’t comment on what Victoria does with these races – I just know Tattsbet and RadioTAB’s service to punters interested in betting on those meetings, is deplorable. Who in their right mind in 2013 would bet in a race if you can’t hear the race being broadcast? I would have reasonably thought that broadcasting races just happens to be a “core business” of TABs.

On the subject of RadioTAB, Murray Baker wouldn’t have steered any listener of that racing station into backing It’s A Dundeel last Saturday as he certainly wasn’t very upbeat about his horse’s chances at 1600 metres. In fact he suggested his horse would be better after he got out past 1600. Luckily I’ve been listening to New Zealand trainers talk down their horses for about the last 30 years, so I totally ignored the radio interview discussion and sent the following race preview of the Group 1 Randwick Guineas out to Saturday Morning Mail clients at 9am. It read:




Blinkers go on for the first time today, which may help, as he appeared to drop the bit at the 600 metres in the Pierro race of 2/3/13 when he was resuming from 17 weeks off. Has won five of eight career starts and is being headed towards the BMW, so should be in the finish here.


Not sighted when beaten 13 lengths by Pierro on a heavy 9 here on 2/3/13, so I couldn’t have him getting into the placings here.


Battled away in the Pierro race of 2/3/13 on a heavy 9 track 14 days ago and it’s possible that that run equated to a gutbuster, so I’d look for something to beat him today even though I don’t mind him long term as a horse.


Has won four of four racing anti-clockwise in Victoria, so his only negative is that this is his debut run in the clockwise direction.


Ran a better race when second to Alma’s Fury here on 23/2/13 but is yet to run in the first two in five good track runs, so prefers rain affected going by his CV. Blinkers go on for the first time today. Again as per Sacred Falls Neil Davis told me he’s limited on his NZ form. Hasn’t won past 1400 and this is 1600.


Only run back from 14 weeks off was a lacklustre fifth beaten 3.25 lengths to Rebel Dane when backed from $3.60 to $2.80 favourite late. Had won six of six in New Zealand before coming to Waller last run, so may bounce back today with blinkers going on for the first time today, but my NZ man Neil Davis said he’s only limited in his opinion.


Suffered his only career defeat when beaten a short head by Pierro at Rosehill on 2/3/13 and is the horse to beat here off that terrific effort, albeit I have no opinion of the stable. His negative is that he had to try to chase down Pierro on a heavy track last start so was that a gutbuster?




Only win in the last 12 months was by a wart at $1.65 in the Listed Dulcify Quality at Rosehill on 29/9/12, so no.


A major flop when seventh, beaten 7.5 lengths at 100/1 to Pierro when resuming from 18 weeks off on 2/3/13, so not likely.






A Maiden who is no hope. Blinkers go on for the first time today.

Additional comments: I’d back It’s A Dundeel each way with blinkers on for the first time, as he’ll run the 1600 strongly whereas some of these short priced horses may well have had a gutbuster last start which we won’t know until after the race.


Talking of ignoring what you hear in radio interviews – unless Justracing is being interviewed – which is about a million to one and drifting, it’s also a good idea to ignore what you read in racing publications. Journalist Shane O’Cass (Sportsman) and jockey Peter Robl talked up the chances of bar plated 2YO Assail in the Sweet Embrace Stakes at Warwick Farm last Saturday when Shane wrote “But a sizzling trial win at Rosehill earlier this month suggests the daughter of Charge Forward is ready to burst back into Slipper calculations tomorrow”, adding a leg up from Robl who said “she travelled really well (in that trial)” and another positive statement from Robl namely “she galloped very well last Monday and is in top order coming into Saturday”. Yeah sure Pierre, that’s why she wore bar plates. So she was as good as gold obviously – except for her feet. What a shame the one thing that a racehorse needs is four good feet. I just shake my head at the rot that gets written and spoken in racing media. In fact the more I listen to them and the more I read, the more I think many of these so-called “experts” have absolutely no idea. Every “expert” tipster knew Assail had a gear change of bar plates on but that didn’t stop them tipping her last Saturday. The week before they all wanted to tip Wall Street even though he hadn’t won since Rod Laver won the Grand Slam.

The old Justracing chestnut of “don’t bet in a race that has one or more first starters” came home to roost yet again in Race 5 at the Gold Coast last Saturday afternoon when first starter Tinto ran down the short priced favourite Going Going Gone near the line to win racing away. After her previous win on 23/2/13 at Eagle Farm I advised my Brisbane Sectional Times clients to lay the filly Going Going Gone on Betfair to get beaten at her next start, as she’s “unbeaten but starting ridiculously short and is limited to my eye”. Earlier in a sectional breakup comparison of Going Going Gone’s race with another race, it was noted by me that “the 2YO’s were all pathetic this day”. As at today, at their very next start since that statement was written, second placed Grey Countess has gone over at $3.50 and now race winner Going Going Gone has got beaten at $3.00.

I also had to have a laugh yesterday at Warrnambool when – for those that missed it – the start of Race 1 was held up after all the horses were placed away in the barriers, as a jockey that wasn’t riding in the race had gone out onto the course proper “to walk the track”. Hello – there’s a race about to start Einstein – and you could get hit by several horses. No wonder most jockeys don’t have a clue how fast they are going – as they even wander out onto the track when there’s a race about to run where they are walking. Again – I just shake my head.

I also have an update for those readers who emailed the website about the story yesterday regarding Schweiz running that sizzling 1.07.30 at Longreach last Saturday. They wanted to know what horse held the track record previously and that horse was Catchit which ran 1.08.36 for jockey Cameron Dixon and Barcaldine based trainer Todd Austin. From memory Catchit started out with Deagon based Pat Duff in Brisbane before going to Todd Austin and after Todd Austin the horse saw out his racing days with Blackall based trainer Kevin Birse and of course Birse is a former Toowoomba based jockey in his younger days. Catchit ran the track record when winning the Longreach RSL Diggers Cup on 24/4/10.

So from racing in the last six days we’ve learnt:

1. By simply ignoring what trainers and jockeys say during interviews for newspapers or for racing radio or television stations, you won’t miss backing It’s A Dundeel and you won’t get talked into backing Assail.

2. Either Tattsbet 1) needs to be swallowed up by one of the two bigger rivals, or 2) we need a national TAB pool, so that Wednesday afternoon greyhound meetings in Australian capital cities don’t jackpot.

3. Don’t bet in races which have one or more first starters in them as you don’t know whether the first starter is a slug or Vain reincarnated.

4. If you want Australia’s most accurate summation of a horse’s ability. Justracing’s three State Sectional Times reports will tell you the facts. I don’t deal in the drivel that some trainers and jockeys go on with – just facts.

5. You’ll go broke following the tips of radio and television and print media “experts”. There is no such person as an “expert” at tipping racehorses – due to the number of variables involved – and they should never be introduced as “ form experts” and all this allied drivel. I will happily publicly state that I absolutely dread putting up even one or two race previews a week, as I hate to think that my public thoughts can lead people to lose their money, but if I put just one or two race previews up a week naturally the biggest number of times that I can be wrong is once or twice. Some of these other people have no idea and try to tip eight winners on an eight race card, plus they tip their $100 Quadrella’s thoughts, which give you 25% of this dividend and all this allied rot. I mean if you can’t tip one winner then how the hell can you tip four – one in each leg of a Quadrella?



In exclusive and breaking news, I can advise that an extremely reliable police contact has told me that a senior South-East Queensland jockey had her car stolen last Sunday night and that car was then used in “quite a few jobs” in Toowoomba during last Sunday night and early yesterday morning. The thief or thieves broke into the jockey’s place of abode whilst she slept and thankfully didn’t harm her as they obviously merely wanted her car. Police have located the car which will be returned to its owner later in the week when extensive forensic testing is done on it.

Today on www.brisbaneracing.com.au there’s a “What’s In A Name” article which will hopefully give readers a giggle, as we are all a long time dead. On www.sydneyracing.com.au David Clarkson reports in with some of his trademark great photography from the first two days of the Cheltenham festival, whilst on www.melbourneracing.com.au Matt Nicholls photographs a kid who rode his first winner yesterday at Armidale on their big Cup day and the apprentice has already picked up bad habits from watching senior riders like Brenton Avdulla. If the kid does this caper at his first race win imagine what he’ll be doing by his 20th winner – probably standing up in the saddle like a Cossack rider. I don’t think this sort of behaviour paints a good impression to owners and trainers watching as it’s a finicky industry at the best of time. It’s great that the youngster is happy when winning but there are other ways to show that. Why don’t they teach the kids basic commonsense at apprentices school so that this sort of crap doesn’t happen? If my grandson won his first race and did this I would refuse to put his photo up on my website and would take him aside and talk to him about the facts of life.

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