Nifty Neville Bell at the Kranji races on 2 April 2017 (centre) with his wife Mary Bell (Burney) our left.. The Chairman of the Royal Western India Turf Club Vivek Jain is seated front far right. We will tell you more about the BRC and that particular club in an article to follow later in the week.
On 2 April 2017 – just 2 weeks after the Eagle Farm racetrack was declared an abject bloody disaster, and only 6 weeks out from the start of the ultimately doomed Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival – a race meeting was conducted by the Singapore Turf Club and held at the Kranji racecourse.
Race 7 on the program was the Brisbane Racing Club Trophy (Class 4) Handicap run over the distance of 1200 meters and carrying $60 000 in prize money.
As the name suggests the race was sponsored by our very own Brisbane Racing Club, and our club supplied the trophy.
Nifty Neville Bell, the Chairman of the Brisbane Racing Club that own and operate the desperately struggling Eagle Farm racecourse, abandoned the once in a lifetime rescue effort to get his (and our) race club right for our once a year Winter Carnival and jumped on a plane to Singapore to go and present the trophy.
He was accompanied on the trip by his wife Mary, formerly Mary Burney, a lawyer and glass-ceiling breaker who in 1999 became the first woman ever elected as a member of the board of the Melbourne Racing Club.
(Neville Bell has been the Chairman of the BRC for 4 years. In that time not a single woman has held a Director’s position on the the club board, and none will be elected at the upcoming AGM of the club).
Neville and Mary Bell’s trip to Singapore to present a trophy right in the middle of the greatest crisis facing the Brisbane Racing Club in its’ 150 year history was organised and fully paid for by the BRC.
Not one current Director of the club raised an objection to approval of payment for Nifty Nev and Glass Ceiling Breaker Mary’s flights, accommodation and expenses for the Singapore Trip, despite the desperate crisis the club was facing.
Why does the Brisbane Racing Club sponsor a race in Singapore, when only a tiny handful of washed up gallopers from the small island nation have ever raced in Queensland? Why was it so important that Nifty Nev had to abandon his post during the Brisbane Racing equivalent of the Dunkirk invasion and take off to Singapore to present a silly bloody trophy to the winner of an ordinary everyday Class 4 race?
That’s a very good question.
When I questioned BRC Chairman Nifty Neville Bell about the relationship between the Brisbane and Singapore race clubs during a meeting we had last Friday at the Coffee Club in Sandgate – arranged at his volition; I’d never met the bloke before and hadn’t sought to – he told me that the BRC has a sister club relationship with the Singapore Turf Club.
This of course is true – Nifty Nev should know, because he and his mates established the relationship – but it does not explain exactly why the BRC has formed such a relationship with the Singapore Turf Club when our club does not have one with other far more important international racing organisations such as the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
More importantly, Nifty’s reply doesn’t explain why he deemed it so important to abandon the club that he chairs in its hour of need to fly to Singapore to present a trophy to the winner of a nondescript race, or why the BRC Committee felt compelled to pay the full expenses for he and his wife to do so.
I can explain it though, and I will in just a second.
To be fair to Nifty though first I need to explain the context and reason for my asking him about Singapore, because during our meeting I played the role of the dumb arse half-smart d*ckhead I knew that he imagined me to be and as a result poor old Nifty wouldn’t until know have a clue about how much I’d actually pieced together about his trip, the BRC track disaster, and the full extent of the rorts being run by the board of the BRC.
After all, I’d only agreed to the meeting on the basis that Nifty explained to me exactly why the club that I’d been supporting for more than 4 decades – since I was 4 years old – and that my family had been involved with since its inception was blocking me from becoming a simple ordinary full member, and I kicked off our meeting with that exact question, because it was important to me.
Four generations of my family rest in the walls of the columbarium at St Augustine’s church just 100m down Racecourse Road from the Eagle Farm track, and they are there because they were racing people and had been involved in the racing industry forever, not only by way of their hands on roles in the Queensland Turf Club, but also with clubs in Killarney, Warwick, Toowoomba, Clermont and Cairns.
I’m eighth generation Australian, and my people from Ireland, Scotland and England helped to build the racing industry in this great state of ours. Who the f*ck were these Johnny come lately areseholes who had come from nowhere and done nothing to try and and stop me from being a member of the club that my great, great, GREAT grandfather had helped to build? I genuinely wanted to know, and was passionate about finding out.
I had upset the Committee members Nifty Nev told me. They had unanimously determined that I would not be allowed to become a member of the club. If I backed off from criticising the board, and ‘behaved myself’ for 10 or 12 months they might consider letting me in. In the meantime I should consider applying for a season pass – without voting or membership rights – he told me.
F*ck you Nev I told him. You and your mates can go to f*cking hell. A season pass? My people helped build this goddamn club that you and your filthy greedy property developer, banker, real estate and all round rorter spiv mates are stealing everything that’s not tied down and trying to rip off everything that is. You want me to disrespect my ancestors and the ancestors of the good people who are the back bone of the modern racing industry by jumping into bed with you and your crooked mates?
Who the f*ck do you think you are, and what the f*ck do you think I am? A piece of sh*t who’d sell out 150 plus years of history and lie down with my lips closed while I watch you and your thieving spiv mates tear the whole bloody joint down?
I don’t want to be your mate, or your little boy Nifty. My great grandfather was a punter, and he gave his life for this great country that I love more than life itself. I ain’t spitting on his grave just so I can wear a suit and tie in 40 degree heat and drink Bollinger with you and your wanker mates.
I’m here to save racing before you bastards all rip the guts and the assets out if it and wreck it, and I’m going to do it too mate, and I can’t be bought off no matter how much you offer or how much more you are willing to pay. I can’t be scared off either.
My great grandad marched from Warwick to Brisbane in 1915 to enlist in the army, and left his wife and unborn child behind and went to the Western Front to fight for his country. He got shot in the head and shipped unconscious to a hospital bed in London, and when he awoke from his coma like Gilly in the State of Origin he ripped out his tubes and raced back to the front to fight with his mates for what was right.
Anzac Day 1918 he lost his life defending Villers Brettoneux alongside his mates, and his sacrifice helped win the war. He’s one of just 2000 blokes who were buried in the cemetery they took the Unknown Soldier from, and so it’s a 2000-1 chance that the bloke in that unmarked grave at the War Memorial in Canberra is him.
And you want me to sell him down the river?
So back to Singapore and Nifty Nev’s important all-expenses paid trip to attend a race meeting there and present a trophy while the Eagle Farm course was dying.
Race 4 on the Kranji program on that day was a Class 4 (Course C) Speacial Conditions Handicap run over 1400 meters and also carrying $60 000 in prize money.
The equal top weight in that race, carrying the number 2 saddle cloth, was a horse named Red Claw, prepared by the (briefly) former Brisbane trainer Daniel Meagher, son of John and brother of Chris and formerly a member of the family training partnership based at Eagle Farm racecourse.
The owner of the horse was Kilto Park Thoroughbreds.
The owner of Kilto Park Thoroughbreds is Neville Dickson Bell.
Neville Dickson Bell is Nifty Nev, the Chairman of the BRC.
In the middle of a catastrophe Nifty Nev went to Singapore on an all expenses paid trip by the BRC to watch his own f*cking horse race, and ticked up the costs to the poor bloody members who just weeks later watched their premier racing carnival fall into a heavy track in brilliant sunshine hole and get destroyed.
He’s a crook is Neville Bell.
A dumb as f*ck one to boot. The smarties never get caught.
A crook who disrespected me, and in the process disrespected my father and his father and the man they both never got the chance to know because he lay down his life for the Wide Brown Land to make it a better place for all of us.
Neville Bell has disrespected my family, and he has disrespected you.
And now he’s going down.
The truth about Nifty Nev and his myriad of racing rorts is about to be told, and it’s a f*cking tawdry tale and don’t you worry about that.
Like sands through the hour glass, or through his neighbor Southern Pacific Sands window at Ningi, so these are the days of our lives. Our Nifty Nev’s anyway.
These are the last days of Nifty Nev’s days as Chairman of the BRC.
You can take that cheque to Bank Negara Malaysia and cash it right now sportsfans.
Stick it right in your Red Claw even.
See that sand track out there at Eagle Farm?
It’s name is Neville.