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Those of us of a certain vintage well remember a once young film star named Tori Welles, who for a brief few years was the shooting star of her genre, before she made the ill-judged decision to take a role in Ice Cream Man, a horror flick that turned out to be one of the greatest lemons made in the entire history of cinema. 

It was all downhill for Tori from there, and her star crashed to earth. She released a few more films – The Return of Tori Wells, and the Real Tory Wells among them – but it was all over after Ice Cream Man, and she vanished back into the world of everyday nobodies from whence she came, and today few people know her name.

Tori’s story was a classic tale of the star whose success went to their head, and left them believing that they were somehow above collaborating with their peers of listening to the sage advice provided by others. As her ego swelled well beyond her ability, Tori became a law unto herself, doing what she wanted, when she wanted, and everyone else could go to hell, and that single factor proved the genesis of her downfall. 

Hers is a cautionary tale about the dangers of deciding to run your own race and leaving your proven successful team behind. It’s a salient lesson delivering a message that Racing Victoria should well heed, but that the Tori in them will not allow them to heed.

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Just as Tori did at the apex of her career, her racing namesakes have decided in the afterglow of another hugely successful Spring Carnival have decided to do at theirs, unilaterally deciding to abandon the long-time practice of national coordination of race time scheduling and simply declaring that they will run their races at 30 minute intervals, and the rest of the wide brown land can go and get stuffed.

It’s a golly in the eye of every race club, punter and sportsfan north of the Murray River and West of the 141st longitude, but just like the fleeting superstar Tori in the 1990’s, the 21st century Victorian racing administrators simply don’t care. They’ve decided that it’s their way or the highway, and damn your eyes if you don’t like it.

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But I’ve got 2 pieces of rather bad news for the Vic Tori Arses.

The first is an old aphorism that the big-headed bangers from Bomber-land seem to have forgotten: those that do not learn from herstory are doomed to repeat the mistakes of Tori’s past.

And the second is that the Hume Highway runs both ways, North and South, and it’s just as easy to jump in the north lane headed to Randwick or Eagle Farm as it is to jump in the south to Sandown, regardless of whether you’re headed to the hillside or to the parks.

So it’s all well and good to thumb your nose at the rugby league playing states when there’s no footy on and the group racing’s all your own, but when the northern punter has the option of watching the Bronco’s v Roosters on a Saturday arvo, and the Autumn Carnival and The Championships start in Sydney, and suddenly the AJC decide to schedule their Group One’s at the same time as the 5th in Caulfield – a BM 85 for mares – then lean on Sky to flick your race to Sky2 and refuse to repeat it, then you’re going to find yourselves in a mad world of pain smart-arses.

All of a sudden your turnover’s going to be cut into pieces as the punters flock in droves to punt on the quality nags running around for millions in the Emerald City, and by the time you wake up and switch the timing of your jump the Adelaide and Brisbane carnivals are going to be upon you, and guess what? Those two clubs are going to collude to do to you what you so thoughtlessly did to everyone else, and by the time spring racing rolls around again punters are going to be scratching their heads and asking themselves ‘Flemington? Where the hell’s that?’

Of course like Tori herself you cocky Vic Tori Arses will smugly believe that your winter near-bankrupting was just a seasonal blip and that you’ll make it all back and more again as the spring rolls around and the international superstars roll into town. 

But guess what again? Money talks and bullsh*t walks, and the racing authorities everywhere except Victoria, flush with the turnover windfall earned by playing you at your own game, may just decide that they’ll run their own Spring Carnival, with prizemoney double that which you have on offer, with free entry and acceptance fees, and appearance money for selected stars.

Guess which airport the foreign raiders will be landing at when that happens fellas? I’ll give you a tip – it won’t be Tullamarine.

Tori’s last feature film was called ‘Screws the Stars’. It was named after her ego and her hubris. Have a good think about that Racing Vic Tori Arse administrators – there just might be a wee little lesson hiding within.

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