The stewards have taken a pre-race blood sample from Polished Rocks so there is no need for them to take a post-race sample to see if the horse was hit with anything to make it go faster in between when it was tested and when it went out onto the track. They could have performed a post-race swab if they had wanted to – some would say it might be best practice – but they didn’t want to, so didn’t.
Trista Dixon’s action in removing her left leg from the sulky was a clear and demonstrable breach of the Australian Harness Racing Rules that govern the sport, and if charged and found guilty of the gross violation she would have been likely to incur a substantial fine and/or suspension, and her horse may have been disqualified from the race.
The stewards never even mentioned it at all.
They didn’t mention the interference that the second placed horse Winning in Red had suffered as it attempted to come up the inside of Exceptional Mach, or the fact that Dixon’s horse had shifted course and bored (or was steered) in closer to the inside to block the favourite’s course at the crucial stage of the race.
Instead the officials noted that Bettabe Perfect led the three wide train from the 900m mark, which has no relevance whatsoever to a steward’s report and no proper place in one; and that the rank outsider Ketut, who was drawn barrier 6 got caught wide and then did what horses of average ability who are caught wide from an outside starting barriers always do, which is to restrain back in the field to find a place. Whoopee doo.
The stewards also mentioned that $61 starter Ketut was blocked for a run in the straight, and that the 20 to 1 shot Floyd Mayweather was too. They of course neglected completely to mention Written in Red and the impediments that horse encountered when trying to secure its rightful run in the straight.
The whole thing is a damn disgrace, and someone should be looking really hard at the integrity officials who failed to note these anomalies I have just highlighted to you, or to examine the relevant drivers about their tactics and actions during the running of the richest race on an absolutely star-studded night.
Never forget that the First 4 pool on this race was a giant $130 plus thousand dollars, a dozen times the value of the prizemoney for the race. Anyone with a smidgen of knowledge and half a brain would know that a race of this nature should be identified and targeted as one that required close scrutiny.
Not the Queensland Harness Racing Stewards though.
Why would they?
The fix was in, and it was a good earn for everyone all round.
Everyone except the poor mug punter that is.