Have you seen this crazy race at Greyville in South Africa last Sunday yet?
A 6-year-old gelding named Run Rhino Run – who has run last in 4 of its past 6 starts, second last in one of the other 2 runs, and eighth of thirteen in the other – changes stables, moving from the yard of leading trainer Lezanne Forbes to that of the little known Kumaran Naidoo, who has trained just 22 winners from his 489 runners in the past twelve months.
During its 6 start campaign since a spell Run Rhino Run – from here on in we will simply call him Rhino – has been running (slowly) at distances of between 1200m and 1800m, but 3 weeks after it has changed stables it lines up at its first start for new trainer Naidoo in a 3000m race at Greyville in Durban, home of the Sharks Super Rugby team, which is fitting given what happens in the race.
Rhino pings from the barrier, but is pulling like a freight train. His jockey Serino Moodley, son of the new owner, can’t hold him and after a few hundred metres Rhino takes off to the outside, ripping and tearing as he goes.
The ordinarily performed gelding continues to reef and tug against the rider for the entire journey, most of which he spends hard up against the outside rail. God knows how extra ground he has covered by racing on the far side of the flint hard track with no known or demonstrable bias, but it must surely be more than 100 metres.
Run Like Rhino heads in to the straight ahead by a country mile and just keeps on going, ultimately saluting the judge 21.25 lengths ahead of its rivals, eased down. Naidoo has managed to turn a toad into a prince in just three weeks. But how has he done it?
Elephant juice is my guess.
Better known as Etorphine, Elephant Juice is a powerful pain killing drug used to tranquilise elephants that is up to 3000 times more potent than morphine. It might knock an elephant flat on its arse, but the drug is the most powerful stimulant ever invented for race horses because when they are on this sh*t they are feeling absolutely no pain, and they will run flat out until the drug wears off, and even run head fist through a brick wall if one happens to present on the course along the way.
The problem with the juice – and the reason that even the most crooked of horse trainers usually studiously avoid it – is three fold.
Firstly it is fatal to humans if it makes contact with the skin, even in small doses, so you you are taking a huge risk administering it to your horse and have to be very bloody careful otherwise you’ll never get to collect the winnings from your plunge you’ve orchestrated on your doped up horse.
Only desperate trainers with appalling win to starter ratios of one twenty who are trying to stay in the game will risk using the juice, them or greedy rich bastards like Laurie Connell who have enough dough to pay others to put their health on the line and administer the juice to the wealthy boss’s horses so that he might land a massive plunge and make himself even richer.
The second problem is that Elephant Juice just makes horses run too fast and too hard, and improves their performance so much that even Blind Freddy can see that they’ve been whacked with it, which is not optimal for those drug cheats who wish to have any long-term future in the industry because shortly the stewards will soon be knocking.
See above for a description of the type of nasty crooks who will run the gauntlet of highly probably detection to hit horses with this sh*t. These types of character and pretty much one and the same.
The third and last problem is that there are only elephants in certain countries around the world, and not too many of them at that, so getting hold of Etorphine in large quantities isn’t easy, unless of course you train in a country that has elephants for Africa. A country like South Africa for example.
Run Like Rhino (above), and Rocket Racer (below) after their respective juiced up runs. Notice anything? They’re a bit sweaty aren’t they?
I’ve only ever seen elephant juice used once, and that was on a horse named Rocket Racer in the 1987 Perth Cup, a distance just 200m longer than the race that Rhino won with his eyeballs bulging.
That horse’s rider was a bit wiser and more experienced in grifting than the young fella who rode Rhino, and so instead of just letting his flying-as-high-as-a-kite drugged to the eyeballs horse run and win by the length of the straight he tried to restrain his mount for most of the race, but with the benefit of hindsight and post-race knowledge it’s clear to see how heavily juiced Rocket Racer is, and the similarities between it and Rhino reefing and tearing in the run are both frightening and damning.
Take a look at the video. Rocket Racer’s number 16, the horse in the yellowy-orange colors with the purple striped sleeves and cap, sitting fifth on the fence with its head on the side pulling its jockey out of the saddle for most of the trip, just like Rhino did in the Greyville race.
Isn’t it amazing that after pulling so hard in a race run over the staying journey neither of the horses stopped in the straight, or before? It might be amazing anyway, if you didn’t know that both gallopers were on the super duper juice.
I would love to have some recorded vision of Rhino after the race, because I reckon he’d be looking just like Rocket Racer.
The owner of Rocket Racer, the criminal Laurie Connell who at one stage after bribing the WA Inc Labor Government silly was a widely feted ‘billionaire’ – just like Hong Kong Tony’s a billionaire – is the bloke with the odd gait in the beige suit and the panama hat walking along behind his horse in the distressing vision below.
He knows full well that the horse is juiced to the eyeballs because he organised for it to happen and paid for the Etorphine that the needle man has clearly administered in such a mistakenly large dose that he’s OD’d the horse. Connell – who has backed Rocket Racer to win millions with bookmakers and totes across Australia – is not a bleeding hearty worried about the welfare of his horse.
Quite to the contrary, he is a criminal who knows that he is at high risk of detection for his crimes if the Rocket Racer collapses on the track, and he is trying to direct traffic as his staff the shepherd the horse off the course proper and straight into a waiting float so that it can be whisked away to a rural property far, far from the beady eyes of the media.
You don’t need me to tell you that the veteran jockey J.J. Miller – in his time the dodgiest hoop in the country – is in on the fix. His behavior, demeanor and actions on the video absolutely give it away, just like the young South African rider’s failure to even try to restrain Rhino and create a pretence that all is above board in the Greyville Race.
More fool him.
If I’d asked you yesterday how to turn a rhino into an elephant in thirty seconds with a syringe in your hand you would have looked at me as if I was mad, and run the other way.
But it’s less than 24 hours later and now you know how to turn a horse into Superman.
Oh what a difference a day makes!
Run Rhino, run!