The more I’ve been looking at these rorted race 1’s at Albion Park with the super-sized club guaranteed pools over the past month or two, the more I’ve been firming in my suspicion that at least one and maybe more of the now QRIC-employed stewards are in on it, and now after watching the race I’m about to describe to you I’m all but totally bloody certain of it.
Just look at this damn race and then look at stewards report afterward, and see if you don’t find yourself suddenly springing to attention and asking ‘What the F*ck?’ Given what you are about to see there is no way that you couldn’t, and something is clearly very, very rotten in the Harness Racing Stewards room.
It’s race 1 at Albion Park on Saturday night the 26th of November 2016, the C6 UBET the New Tab Pace, and this nondescript race of course includes a club guaranteed trifecta pool of $100 000. This is an extraordinary amount of money to be provided as a guarantee for a trifecta pool on a race that carries just $11 000 total prize money.
A $25 000 carry-over jackpot pool is added to the $100 000 guaranteed pool, and under Wagering Rule it is added on top of the 100 large, bumping the pool for this ordinary event run in a dud time slot on the last weekend of spring up a staggering $125 000.
But Houston we have a problem. A big one, one of many. I’ll write about it in the next article.
For now though the trifecta pool has just exceeded the sum of the guaranteed pool and the jackpot and sits at $131 745, an extraordinary achievement given that the pools for each of the 6 other betting types add up to well under $20 grand in total.
The Usual Suspects dominate the race: Peter McMullen; his wife Chantal Turpin; the Dixon’s, Grant and Trista; the Grahams – Darrel, Brittany and Shane (the latter no relation to the 1st two)- and to a possible lesser extent Jack Butler and Amy Rees.
They are all there alright, but this week we won’t need to watch any of them particularly closely except Peter McMullen. He is driving number 1 Compton Street, the $4.50 favorite that from the ideal draw is undoubtedly a pillar of most pumped-up pool chasing punter’s trifecta combinations.
Isn’t it simply incredible how often the favorite or second favorite in Race 1 at the Creek on a Saturday night? It’s uncanny, and flies in the face of all known science about averages and probability.
If McMullen’s horse doesn’t run a place the trifecta dividend will be whole lot bigger than if it did, and I am guessing that the fixers will have left this horse out of the bulk of the trifectas that their betting man is putting on for them, because remember their modus operandi? Either put the favorite three back the fence in an unwinnable position, or attack it mercilessly in the lead and punctures, usually taking another favored horse in the market back with it.
There is a favored horse drawn on McMullen’s back, it is number 9 Donegal Fire, the fourth favorite. Knocking both the 1 and the 9 out of the placings will bump the trifecta dividend up even higher, and that’s exactly what they plan to do because McMullen comes out of the gate driving Compton Street hard with the whip to retain the lead and that’s what he does, and the no 8 Donegal Fire kicks through and holds its position on McMullen’s back from the draw and is now behind the leader.
It’s all worked perfectly for the race-fixers and if you are wondering why just 400m into the 2.136 kilometer journey they are all rubbing their hands with unrestrained glee the answer is simple.
Those in the race-fixing syndicate know something that we don’t right at that moment, and that something is that the favorite has been doped to stop it running on its merits, and that those involved in this match-fixing crime know that the horse won’t be dope tested because they have a man on the inside, a steward.
I suspect that the steward in the know is either Norm Torpey – who only a few months earlier had been stood down from his role as head of the QRIC Integrity Regulation Unit pending an investigation into his failure to follow up certain information provided by a member of the public, and on its completion demoted back to the ranks of race day stewards from whence he had come; or Larry Wilson, the former Acting Chief Harness Racing Steward who mysteriously went on long term leave the day that Reid Sanders was appointed to the role on a temporary one month basis with guaranteed extensions
The front runners pace first 500 odd meters in the slowest lead time of the night, then run just even time of a combined 60 seconds for the first two quarters of the race, and the favorite, despite being softened up slightly in the first quarter has had an easy second quarter and should be sitting pretty.
It’s not though and this becomes frighteningly clear for backers of the market and race leader when at the 700m mark the eventual winner Broadway Playboy comes around the field and goes straight past Compton Street as if its nailed to the wall, and from that moment forth McMullen’s wife’s pacer – who will go on to place at NSW’s leading track Menangle in just a few weeks time – is running in reverse.
Within 100 meters the whole field are passing Compton Street as if it’s been shot, and most trifecta punters are tearing out their tickets and their hair not only for losing the favorite but also because as the leader was turning into a tomato can it has taken the 4th favorite number 8 back in its wake,and ruined any chance the horse may have had of winning or running a drum.
Eventually Compton Street staggers to the winning post trailing 40 meters from the second last horse, and then it’s off to the Stewards Room for a quick please explain and as they are walking across the winners circle to see the stipes I scream out loud to anyone who might hear and tell them the favorite was juiced.
The Stewards ask the on-course vet to take a thorough look at Compton Street and no abnormalities are detected. They ask Chantal Turpin to please explain her horse’s appalling performance in the race and she is unable to.
At this juncture the stewards should be reaching for the drug-test kit and swabbing the horse. It is the reasonable, logical and eminently sensible action to take in light of the horse’s woeful run, and one that almost any stipe in the world would take without equivocation in the circumstances.
Turpin tells the stewards that she intends to ‘have some bloods done’ herself, but doesn’t say exactly when she intends to take this action, immediately or in a couple of days time when any drugs that Compton Street has been given are flushed from the horse’s system.
Extraordinarily the stewards – who have a vet and blood and saliva sampling equipment at their fingertips – elect not to swab the favorite that has just run a race exactly like a pacer that had been given a go-slow would, and simply direct that Turpin sends them a copy of the private blood analysis when it is undertaken and received.
What the f*ck?
This favorite has just moments ago run like a camel in race carrying only eleven thousand in prize money but featuring a $130 000 confected trifecta pool, and no-one including the pacer’s connections can explain why.
But rather than swab it to determine whether it has been administered a prohibited substance, the men at the coalface charged with maintaining the integrity of the sport do nothing, and allow the person most likely to have whacked the horse to conduct their own pathology tests and forensic examination at a date to be fixed somewhere, sometime.
What an absolute disgrace,
Alarm bells are ringing and orange and red lights are flashing.
The fix is in.
One or both of the senior stewards on duty that night is in on it.
I’ll bet my left nut that the blood test analysis was never received by the stewards and never followed up.
The fix is in.
This is Queensland, the fix is always in.
If harness racing is to survive as a going concern someone urgently needs to take decisive action to end the fix and restore public confidence by cleaning up the sport.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Over to you Police Commissioner-in-waiting Michael Dowie.
Your hour has approached.
Please don’t let the tens of thousands of us who love harness racing down.