RACE 1 –U BET BAND 5 / BAND 3 PACE (C6+) 2138m MS


SECTIONALS:  Mile Rate:  1.53.7     Lead Time:  35.4

                        First Quarter:  28.6   Second Quarter:  30.5         Third Quarter:  28.6       Fourth Quarter:  28.0

A pre race blood sample was taken from AMAJORJO.

APPLAUSE (NZ) (I Ross) held up rounding the home turn before obtaining the sprint lane however, ran on only fairly.

MAX RICHTER (NZ) (T Dixon) gave ground leaving the 400m.  When questioned about the performance driver T Dixon stated that given the early speed in the race and that the horse was obliged to race outside the leader throughout she was not overly disappointed in the performance.  A post race veterinary examination failed to reveal no abnormalities. 

Stewards questioned P McMullen (AMAJORJO) regarding the tactics adopted on that horse when he elected to hand up the lead on AMAJORJO to FEEL THE COURAGE (N McMullen) approaching the 1400m.  Mr. McMullen stated that given the lead time of 35.4 seconds and the subsequent work he was required to do to obtain the lead in the first instance he was of the opinion that AMAJORJO, over tonight’s distance of 2138m, would be better suited driven with cover for the remainder of the event.  Mr. McMullen added that approaching the home turn he elected to shift out, off the pegs, as he did not believe FEEL THE COURAGE was taking him into the race however, was disappointed with the horse’s inability to finish the race off as expected.  Given the early sectionals, Stewards noted the explanation tendered by Mr. McMullen. Nonetheless, he was reminded that Stewards expected the same tactics to be adopted in similar circumstances.

These stewards would dead set have to be kidding wouldn’t they?

They don’t ask Isobel Ross and Trista Dixon who drove the horses drawn 1 and 2 on the mobile gate why they showed absolutely no initiative at the start and restrained their horses despite it being obvious even to Blind Freddie that they would end up in unfavourable positions pocketed on the inside 3-4 back if they didn’t kick up out of the barrier and hold a prominent position.

They don’t ask Darrell Graham, the driver of the early leader Montana Falcon, why he was attempting to break the world pacing record for a 2138m event while he was in front, or why he decided after all that effort to hand up the lead to Amajorjo.

They don’t ask Peter McMullen why tried to emulate Graham in his world record attempt when he attacked Montana Falcon and found the lead, nor do they ask him why he stayed on the fence in the vital part of the race between the 300m and 200m marks, or why when he finally hooked his horse from behind his stable mate the leader’s heels he quite deliberately unbalanced it for 50m and prevented Amajorjo from gaining full momentum at the time that the race favourite so desperately needed it.

They don’t ask Hayden Barnes why he suddenly took off at the 700m mark and gave the eventual winner such a soft cart into the race, nor do they ask Barnes why he stoked his horse up so hard that for 200m it went like Usain Bolt before falling in a hole, when 99.9 times out of a hundred drivers in Barnes situation would have eased their horses up and around the field to a spot three-wide outside the leaders and with enough gas left in the tank to mount a spirited challenge in the home straight.

The stewards did go out of their way to note that Applause – the horse whose driver they didn’t question about her extremely dubious tactics at the start, and which had won just 2 of its past 40 starts – was held up and didn’t make much ground when presented with the sprint lane.

I hate to tell the geniuses in charge of racing’s laws and integrity that horses who start from barrier one and are heavily restrained at the start tend to become held up, primarily because they usually end up 5 back on the fence, and that horses who have a winning strike rate of less than 5% over the past couple of years usually don’t make much ground in any race that they contest, and if they are deemed to have run on fairly it’s usually quite a wrap.

The brain surgeons wearing the badges marked STUPID STEWARD also saw fit to mention that a moderately performed restricted class pacer called Max Richter punctured like a pricked balloon in the final 400m after sitting in the death during a race run in sub-Interdominion time.

Really fellas? Who would have expected that? They just don’t make them like Pure Steel anymore do they?The idiots even had the poor exhausted horse vetted after the race. Perhaps they suspected concussion.

They did inquire into Peter McMullen’s atrocious tactics in handing up the lead to his stablemate Feel The Courage, and told him that they he expected he would drive the horse equally as poorly in future races, or else. Go figure.

Not a single soul though asked what the f*ck these experienced and highly talented drivers were doing running this ordinary class race at such high speed that their horses entered the record books for competing in the second fastest 2138m race ever run on the Albion Park track. Not a question was even whispered asking for an explanation about who race was run so quickly when at no time did there appear to be any necessary pressure put on the leader, or any real resistance put up by the various leaders when another runner wanted to cross them for the lead.

The second fastest 2138m race run at Albion Park ever, in the entire history of the sport. Think about that, and remember some of the myriad of great horses who have raced at the modern Creek over the years. Changeover, Popular Arm, Elsu, Gammalite, San Simeon, Yulestar, Blackie, Lenny, Hector, and so many more champions.

A class 6 horse ran faster than all of them.

And the QRIC stewards didn’t pause for a moment to ask why.

When I come to think of it, they didn’t ask any questions about the guaranteed $50 000 Trifecta pool either, or any about the $10 000 Trifecta jackpot pool that was thrown on top, making it in actual fact a $60 000 guaranteed pool.

$60 000 set in stone for a race at a meeting where the average trifecta pool prior to me beginning to publish articles about the issue was just three thousand odd dollars.

And the money is stumped up by UBET, whose largest individual non-family shareholder is the very same bloke who holds the position of Benevolent Absolute Dictator at the harness racing club that the money is being stumped up too.

Then somebody – identity presently unknown, but I’ll find out don’t you worry about that, in fact I reckon that I already know – is organising the races with the big pools to be fixed, and raking in the dough.

How the f*ck can this sh*t be kosher?

It can’t, and it has to change, and that’s why I bowled into the Albion Park Harness Racing Club office yesterday arvo and said g’day to the girls, grabbed a membership form, filled it in and slung ’em my 2 buck fee as we had a good old chin wag and a laugh.

I’m f*cked if I know who the bloke in the corner going through the accounts who was ducking his head down and studiously avoiding me was – well, maybe I do, but I’m not saying right now – but it doesn’t matter, because Archie’s on a mission.

I chuck plenty of sh*t at people when it’s deserved, and I make no apologies for it. Business, societies, associations, charities, clubs and unions should be straight, and free of any form of corruption, conflict of interest, nepotism or personal gain and if you disagree with that notion then in my view you’re just a corrupt c*ckhead yourself and don’t bother trying to argue the toss because my position on the matter is set in stone.

Yep, I call a dodger a dodger and a grub a grub and like Mel and Kim say that’s just the way it is, but I’m not a king hit and run merchant and I’m not a rabbit puncher, so when I say the Albion Park Harness Racing Club is f*cked I don’t mean forever, I just mean right here right now, and I want to make it better.

So I’m going to roll up my sleeves, whack a bit of brylcream in my hair, and stand up and do what needs to be done.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

And I can do it twice in 60 minutes.

With qualifications like these I’m really left with no choice at all if I’m serious about stopping the rot, and no choice is a good choice and I’m in.

Archie’s running for the board of the bloody Albion Park Club sportsfans.



Together we can make this sport great again.

We can harness ideas and incubate ideas and come up with a crackerjack cure for the cancer that has riddled harness racing.

Can we give Australia the trots?

Yes we can!