The image above is the front page of the monthly Race Magazine, the Racing Queensland publication that serves both as entertaining reading for gallops fans and as vital information for industry participants in the form of the upcoming racing calendar for the State. Race Magazine lists a huge amount of important information about upcoming races and meetings, and also includes essential contacts for owners, trainers, jockeys and their managers.
Note the date on this particular edition.
Lock it in Eddie.
Now look at this contact list.
It’s the one published by Racing Queensland in the same April edition of the magazine.
Do you see what I see?
Here, I’ll make it easier for you.
Aaron Kennedy and Stathi Katsidis.
Two of the most exhilarating young riding talents of their generation, comets that blazed like Halleys across the sky and then burned out in a blaze of drugs, depression and a marked absence of support services available to racing industry participants, and died far too young leaving a cavernous hole in their family’s hearts and the racing industry a whole lot poorer for their passing.
Aaron Kennedy died on 19/3/2007.
Beware the Ides of March. Beware the number 19 too.
Stathi Katsidis passed away on the 19th of October 2010.
Both of the great jockeys had been lying in cold graves for more than 6 years before this edition of the Race Magazine was published by the control body in charge of the sport in the State of Queensland. Can you imagine the distress that their inclusion in the list of active jockeys caused their managers, family and friends?
Racing Queensland will, I am sure, pass it off as just a simple error, and no doubt it is, because no-one would be so callous as to publish these things deliberately.
But it’s an error that should never have been made, and there is no excuse other than lack of knowledge, checking and care.
No bank in the world would employ a branch manager who couldn’t count. It would be ridiculous wouldn’t it? So why do we have people in charge of racing in Queensland at all levels who don’t know seem to know a single thing about racing?
It’s a question that I can’t answer.
It’s a question we shouldn’t have to ask.