Sadly – and to me shockingly – I have also uncovered evidence that strongly suggests, but does not definitively prove, that former Steward and lauded racing integrity official Reid Sanders – who just weeks ago was appointed as the Head of Racing Integrity in Tasmania – is also either corrupt or in the alternative hugely incompetent.
I very much doubt the latter, which leaves me with no alternative but to believe the former, and when I put what I now know together with the evidence Sanders himself gave to the Queensland Racing Commission of Inquiry the picture starts to become very ugly, very ugly indeed.
The epicentre of the assertions I have just made is Race 1 at Albion Park on the 22nd of July 2017.
It is of course a jackpot race with a guaranteed trifecta pool, and a huge one too because the jackpot was $25 000 and the guaranteed pool was a hundred large.
As always, the favorite and the horse they wanted beaten was the number 1 runner, but this time it was different because the criminal cartel of race fixing drivers didn’t even have to bother trying to knock this fave out.
It was already knocked out.
They’d doped it.
The horses owner/trainer was a recently convicted drug cheat. It was her first offence. It wasn’t her common law husband’s though – he was a drug cheat who had been convicted on multiple occasions.
David Farquharson had presided over a hearing in which the husband was convicted of 7 separate and unique offences of doping horses who all won races, including lucrative feature series heats, semis and finals worth many tens of thousands of dollars.
Farquharson found that it wasn’t the husband’s fault, it was all due to the feed. The scientific evidence backing this claim was very slim, and given subsequent lead cases relating to cobalt the tests conducted would certainly have been both unreliable and legally unsound.
It was no coincidence that a month later Farquharson presided over another case involving the husband of the trainer of the doped favorite in the $100 000 jackpot race at Albion Park on the 2nd of July.
No, it wasn’t a coincidence at all, it was a set up.
This time the case involved drenching with ‘Milkshakes’ to dramatically increase the horse’s TCO2 (Total Carbon Dioxide Concentration) in its blood, and by doing so dramatically improve the horse’s endurance and performance.
It is the horse equivalent to the drugs Lance Armstrong took for so many years when he was cheating in professional cycling, and has the same effect on pacers as it does on bike riders: it allows them to run through the normal pain barriers experienced by other horses and people. The ones that slow them down and cause them to lose races.
The term ‘Milkshake’ is used because additives are mixed in with the illegal drugs administered to improve performance and when shaken up in a bottle or jug the blended concoction froths and gives the appearance of a vanilla milkshake fresh off the mixing machine.
This is all bad, but there are 3 very important things to learn and remember.
One is that ‘Milkshakes’ are administered via a stomach drench, which despite the fancy name is simply a section of common garden hose or PVC tube that is forced down a horses nose into its stomach by two people, one holding the horse’s head and, the other pouring the liquid mix of drugs into the end of the tube so that it travels through it and directly into the horse’s stomach.
Two is that this somewhat barbaric method of administering the dope is used because it has instant effect, which means that if you do it in the hour after the pre-race dope testing by stewards – if of course there is any – but before your horse goes out onto the track for its race, it works.
Three is the one I haven’t told you yet.
When the trainer of the favorite carrying the number 1 saddle cloth in this $100 000 race got busted along with her husband for doping in 2016 they had been sprung with stomach tubing and other equipment inside and outside their horses stable at the Goulburn Paceway just hours before it was due to compete in a race.
Remember what I just told you above – you need two people to administer a milkshake to a horse. They were both up to their necks in it, and as guilty as sin.
Both the trainer and her husband, who was the licensed stablehand for the horse, and the only other member of the stable staff present on track that evening, were charged with 3 offences.
They did a deal with Stewards whereby the trainer copped a 4 months suspension, but with time already served on stand down was back racing within a matter of weeks.
Her husband took the rap for the lot, and the stewards let him even though it was blatantly obvious that he could not have acted alone.
He received a 20 month suspension.
Given his prior history – fresh form at that – he should have been warned off for life.
The Steward’s boss in charge of proceedings found that he had no prior history for the offence with which he was charged, and this mitigated against a longer sentence. He must have been f*cking kidding, the husband had form a mile long. He was a crook, a fraudster, a doper, a criminal and a thief.
The trainer’s name is Camilleri.
Her husband’s name is Stuart Hunter, the former ace Queensland trainer/driver turned drug cheat and criminal. He is closely connected to Clip Clop Kevin Seymour and to Albion Park Harness Racing Club Executive Damian Raedler. The pair traveled together to the US in 2008 at Clip Clop’s imprimatur and at club expense so they could investigate a concept Clip Clop had devised for what was effectively an early version of The Everest.
The name of the steward in charge of the NSW investigation and sentencing of Camilleri and Hunter?
I bet you’ve already guessed.
Back to the race with the $100 000 guaranteed trifecta pool on the 22nd of May.
The favorite, trained and owned by the convicted drug cheat. almost certainly as a front for her criminal doping and race fixing mastermind husband Hunter, does no work out of the gate, gets a soft trip in the gun position on the leaders back over the shorty distance of the mile, but punctures like a pricked balloon at the 400m mark and steadily falls back through the field to run second last beaten 27m.
The fixers of course land the trifecta bonanza, but although related that’s another story and I will tell it later, but for now you need to know something very, very important.
The convicted dopers horse that started favorite was not pre-race tested for drugs.
As a horse connected to known dopers it should absolutely have been tested, it is simple common sense, particularly when the Steward in charge of the Albion Park meeting that night was very, very familiar with the priors and MO of the favorites connections.
You know already who the steward in charge that night was don’t you sportsfans?
All together now – REID SANDERS!
You wouldn’t read about it would you. But you just have, and it is true.
After the favorite had gone like a broken camel – and taken the vast majority of unwitting jackpot punters trifecta investments with it – Reid Sanders ordered or advised his boss on the night Chief Steward Larry Wilson to order the Vet to inspect the horse who had just put in an absolutely inexplicable run. Well if you don’t believe in horse dopers and corrupt racing officials, and do believe in Bet Fairies it’s inexplicable anyway, but I reckon I can work out the cause of the shocking run pretty quickly, and given his knowledge of the horse’s connections horrible history I reckon Reid Sanders could too. In fact I’m sure of it.
So here’s the million dollar burning issue, the answer to which will determine whether ‘Colonel’ Reid Sanders is one of the ring leaders of the whole circus skim the punter and the public scam, or simply an absolute moron and incompetent imbecile lacking the wits even to wield a shovel and a broom in the stables and clean out the trotters sh*t.
When the vet came back and advised Sanders and co that he could find no abnormalities with the soundly beaten favorite why didn’t Sanders – who knew the connections criminal form intimately, and knew that Hunter had been sprung at Albion Park just two years before doping horses to win seven rich races, and had been caught by the use of post-race swabs that detected his use of ‘milkshakes’ just before the races – either do or tell his acting boss to do what you, me, the bloke with the guide dog standing at the entrance to the course, the barman, the lady selling fish and chips out of the hot box, the little kid doing cartwheels on the grass, and every other man and his dog would do?
Why didn’t he order or cause to be ordered a post race swab of the favorite?
Why didn’t he demand or tell Wilson the acting Chief Steward to demand that blood and urine samples of the inexplicably thrashed favorite be taken, and a saliva sample too just for good measure?
Why didn’t he use his powers or get his boss to use his powers to order an immediate search of the stabling area where the horse had been kept before the race, and a search of the connections car, and their person, and any other damn place they could have hidden the gear to see if his integrity officials could locate a hose or tube or empty vial?
Why, why, why.
I’m absolutely certain that I know the answer, and I don’t like it one little bit. In fact I like my conclusions about as much as I like corrupt coppers or politicians or government officials or racing stewards who knowingly allow serious crimes to be committed under their watch and innocent people get hurt. Which mean I don’t them one little bit, and hate them a whole lot more.
I’m certain I’m right though because there is just no credible alternative explanation for Sanders gross failures of duty and responsibility to his job and to our sport.
Reid Sanders is one of them.
The Colonel’s not finger lickin’ good, he’s just red f*cking hot.
Integrity my arse.
Reid Sanders is corrupt.
The Colonel’s a crook.
And that means that harness racing is f*cked, absolutely and utterly f*cked, for if the guards will not protect us, then who will protect us from the guards.
A bad tree bears no good fruit a great man named Jesus once said.
But the trots are an absolute cracker a not so great man named Archie says every day.
We don’t need to give up and turn our backs on this great sport and simply walk away. If we do the bastards who have so defouled the sport through their corruption or well-intentioned but criminal acts win, and they just don’t deserve to and we can’t let them.
What we need to do is cut down the bad tree and grow a new one.
Clean all of the dirty, tainted and downright rotten current crop out.
Sack the crooked stewards and prosecute them for their crimes.
Ban the race fixers and the dopers for life, and prosecute them too.
Shut down the current clubs, clean out their boards and management and – dare I say it – sack those paid staff members who have such close connections to the criminal race fixing cartels – and in some cases are actually members of it – that it is impossible to objectively be able to trust them ever again.
London was burnt down by criminals, and so was Rome as well.
Both rose from the ashes to become bigger, brighter, bolder and stronger, and today are among the greatest cities in the modern world.
Harness racing can be great again too, but not unless we tear down the crumbling facades and smash them into a million pieces.
We can recycle them, and use the newly formed old pieces to build the entrance to the new track.
We’ll call it the Archie De Triomphe.
I’ll get Maggie to paint the history of the Sunshine Sprint across it’s surface as a reminder that harness racing in Queensland didn’t really begin in 1983.
The Rooster can serve penance for his sins by returning to his roots and becoming the course caller, a job that we will indenture him to for life.
Chris Barsby can pick up the empty glasses in the bar.
Clip Clop can work the gate, and Kay can sell the books.
Farquharson and Sanders can muck out the boxes, by hand, but only under the strict supervision of staff from the Community Probation Service.
I’ll just keep on keeping on doing what I do best.
Exposing the crooks, and keeping every bastard honest.
Clean is good.
That’s why everyone has to take a bath sometime.
And so say all of us.