I’ve told you a tortured tale about harness racing trainer/Drivers Trista and Grant Dixon’s treachery already this morning, but now I am going to tell you an even bigger tale of deception, deceit and utter contempt for the harness racing sport practiced by the very people privileged to have been issued a licence to run it.
Trista and Grant Dixon were both on the list that were sent Clip Clop Kev’s ‘Here’s a dead set giveaway that I’m in on the joke too’ email about not talking on phones because QRIC were listening.
Harness racing’s ‘benefactor’ is in on it too.
He knows that drivers are hooking horses and rigging races. It’s more obvious than the nose on Pinocchio’s face. There can be no other explanation for his email otherwise.
It gets worse, much worse.
Both Dixon horses are owned by a man named Greg Mitchell.
Everyone and her dog knows that Mitchell is Kevin Seymour’s young protege, and his man. The pair are friends, colleagues, business associates and partners.
Mitchell is the President of the Yatala Harness Racing Club, which he founded along with Clip Clop Seymour.
Seymour – via his companies KS6 and KS10 – is the outright 100% owner of the Yatala Harness Racing Club.
Between them he and Mitchell own the majority of the horses in the Dixon stable.
Some – including me – say that Mitchell is in fact a front for Seymour, and owns a number of horses on his behalf, or has been given or helped to buy them as a reward for services rendered, particularly those rendered during the short lived period that he was the Harness Racing industry’s representative on the Racing Queensland board.
Dixon, Dixon, Seymour, Mitchell.
Each are up to their armpits in the mire, and the mud sticks.
Racing Queensland must find a way to take over the Albion Park Harness Racing Club and administer the club until a new home for harness racing is secured and built.
The Yatala Harness Racing Club must never be allowed a licence to race.
Each of those party to the terrible events of race 8 this evening must be banished from the sport forever, and each of those in positions of power in harness racing who are directly associated with those involved in this wholesale rort must be barred from ever holding a position in the sport again.
The time for pandering to the egos of those with the deepest pockets and the most influence is over. They must be treated just like anyone else, and dealt to twice as harshly.
There is no other option.
The future of harness racing is hanging on the edge of a string, and if something is not done immediately to prove to the principal control body and the public that there is a will to change the licence for the Albion Park Harness Racing Club (APHRC) is going to be withdrawn and the sport will die.
I am never going to tell you how, but Archie knows things that most others don’t, probably because those who tell him know that I will never give them up for doing so.
All it takes is Ministerial intervention and the stroke of a pen and it’s all over.
That pen is poised and sitting on a certain person’s desk ready to go.
The political reality is that the Government want Albion Park sold.
The racing reality is that future infrastructure funding for the construction of new stand-alone harness and greyhound racing tracks are totally dependent on the sale.
Kevin Seymour does not own a single pebble on the Albion Park complex, and neither does the club, yet Seymour and his jacked up substance-free lawsuits and his political donations and his UBET shares and his circles of influence and, most of all, his gargantuan eyes wide shut ego have impeded the sale of the falling down facility for decades.
This one man is holding back the future of the racing industry and he is doing it because he can’t let go of the past. It’s all tied up with his slow march to mortality, and in a way I feel for him but I don’t really because to satiate himself and fill his own needs he’s denying the hopes and dreams of tens of thousands of others.
He is a smart man Seymour, and has a wealth of resources at his disposal, including the best lawyers that money can buy, and for decades people have been intimidated by his perceived might and assumed that he’s the smartest and most powerful man in the room, and as such will always win.
It’s a terribly narrow and constricting view of life isn’t it?
But what if another smart man comes along and rides into town on a donkey carrying all of his material possessions in a small cloth bag?
A man who cares nothing for possessions and doesn’t want anymore? A man who can’t be bought or bribed, simply because he has no interest in the medium of exchange, and treats money as cabbage designed merely so that humans can have a bet?
A man who doesn’t like to travel, and doesn’t want a flash house or a fancy car? A man who due to the limitations of a disease that was injected into him by predators and can’t be cured doesn’t like socialising, even though he is gregarious by nature, and is not interested in attending corporate tents or boxes or big events because crowds cause him to have anxiety attacks and queues set off his ADHD? A man who neither has interest in food other than as sustenance, nor drink other than as a means to stay hydrated and get drunk?
A man who fears nothing because he has been subjected to things that most haven’t, who isn’t scared of physical pain because he was felt the worst of it before, and can’t be intimidated by threats or by violence? A man who wasted half his life living in the prison created by his abusers and who escaped and is never going back?
A smart man, a real smart man, but one that few pick as smart because he is not like them and they do not understand him? A man who doesn’t give a f*ck about anything, other than the things that he does? A man who hungers and thirsts for a just world, and despises those who prefer it to be unjust, as long as the injustice is in their favor.
Most of all though, a man who loves harness racing and doesn’t want to see the sport taken to the grave by a megalomaniac con-man with deeper than the ocean pockets and a river blacker than the sea floor running through his soul,
How does a man like Seymour deal with such a person who is so utterly different than he in every way imaginable bar one that he cannot comprehend or understand him, or work out what the hell to do other than to keep doing what he has always done, even though he knows that with this man it will not work?
He knows it will not work because although this strange beast who has walked through his door and pushed his way onto his stage is nothing like him in almost every respect, Seymour can see clearly in the man’s eyes that they share one common trait.
They both like to win, but their goals are diametrically opposed, for one wants to hold onto a past cloaked in swirling clouds of corruption, whilst the other is concerned with the future and implementing the changes necessary to ensure that the sport survives, thrives and prospers, and only once can win.
And so they dance, locked in a crazy secret waltz to the edge of the precipice that they both know that only one of them can survive, the smarter one, the one with the greater will and the absolute determination to succeed.
When the waltz finally ends only one man will be left standing.
Will it be Archie or will it be Kevin?
Who will prove the smarter and tougher f the two?
The rich man with everything whose measure of a man’s worth is how much he owns, and for whom love is nothing more than an abstract concept and a contract ?
Or the poor man who measures success not by material possessions at all, but rather by how much he is surrounded by love?
I will give you a tip.
It will be the man who has read the Art of War and memorised it word for word. The man who has spent months prior to entering the battle studying his opponent and searching for his weakness, and who has been working according to a meticulously planned, but highly adaptable, strategy since the dance began, and is attacking rather than reactively defending his ground.
The winner will be the man who has found a way to bring the other’s castle walls crashing down around him by implementing a tactic that the other was too cock proud to ever contemplate, and never saw.
It will be the man who was worked out that just as a licence to race can be given by Caesar, so too can it be taken away. The man who knows that without a licence to race the other man’s kingdom will immediately be swept into the sea, and that his power will be no more.
That man is me sportsfans.
All those fancy lawyers, all those flash accountants, all the expensively priced QC’s, all the PR firms, all the so-called experts, the Bantam, Flathead, ZZ O’Reilly, Darryl Graham’s missus – all of them missed one simple thing.
Race clubs are licensed.
Licences can be given, and licences can be taken away.
In accordance with the Racing Act 2002 the licences for racing clubs, including the Albion Park Harness Racing Club, are issued for 12 month periods, and must be renewed each year.
Section 118 of the Racing Act affords Racing Queensland the power to suspend a racing club’s licence if:
(a) a ground exists to suspend or cancel the Licence; and
(b) the circumstances are so extraordinary that it is imperative to suspend the Licence immediately to ensure –
(i) the public interest is not affected in an adverse and material way; or
(ii) the conduct of racing by the Club is not jeopardised in a material way
Examples of grounds for immediate suspension of a club’s licence include allegations or charges of a criminal nature which require RQ to exercise a duty of care to participants or animals or to safeguard the integrity of the Queensland racing industry or to ensure the safety and welfare of other participants or the public who may be at risk.
Clearly there have been allegations of a criminal nature made against some board members of the Albion Park club, including:
- allegations that club Chairman David Fowler had prior knowledge of fixed races and placed wagers either himself or through others on these races; and
- allegations that club Treasurer Kevin Seymour had, at the very least, prior knowledge of the fact that races are being fixed.
Although not in and of itself sufficient evidence to launch a prosecution, Kevin Seymour’s email sent to a group of people including the Dixon’s advising them to watch their tongues on the phone can only be read one way, and that it is that it is highly self-incriminatory.
What other construction can be inferred from this missive other than that Seymour is warning recipients of his email not to talk on the telephone about race rorting, and to be vigilant about being subjects of surveillance by QRIC?
If Seymour did not know or suspect that some or all of the recipients of his email were involved in untoward activities, why would he have sent them this email?
The surveillance powers that he is referring to are powers that the police have had for decades in a more restricted form, that the CCC has had for a number of years, and that the AFP and Federal Government intelligence agencies have held for an extended period. All citizens are bound by and subject to these laws on a daily basis.
So firstly, why did Seymour feel the necessity to remind selected industry licencees and participants that QRIC had these powers, and in particular why did he issue the warning at almost the exact moment QRIC began monitoring ad intercepting the telephones, social media accounts and computers of those suspected of wrongdoing in the industry?
(Clip Clop forgot about social media – or more correctly, was probably ignorant of it – and hoist himself on his own petard by not realising that the emails were being monitored too).
Secondly and equally importantly, how did he know that the phones were off?
There is but one way he could have isn’t there sportsfans?
Someone told him. Someone on the inside. Someone from either QRIC – a steward, maybe Davd Farquharson – or the Queensland Police Service, which given that we are talking about a central figure and person of interest in the Fitzgerald Inquiry raises a number of extremely troubling concerns.
Thirdly – and this is the key – why did Seymour willfully and deliberately act in a manner that was highly likely to prejudice the QRIC covert investigation of corruption in the sport, and are his actions under law what they appear to be to the layperson, which is an informed action intended to aid or abet licencees to hide their unlawful activities, and thus a clear attempt to pervert the course of justice.
In light of ten subsequent arrests of industry participants – may of them such as Bart Cockburn, Matthew Neilson and Marshall Dobson closely associated with Seymour – and the ongoing role as employees of the club of licensees and partners of licencees suspected of involvement in match fixing, it would appear extremely difficult even for Seymour’s $5000 an hour barristers to construct a credible case that the public interest is not affected in an adverse and material way by the ongoing match-fixing scandal.
The simple fact is that it is, and all you need do is go down to any TAB or racetrack and have a chat to the people who actually own and fund the sport – no not Seymour, and not Fowler, and not any of the people who run the club: I’m talking about the punters – and you will be left in no doubt whatsoever that what I say is true.
Equally it is most difficult to argue a position that the conduct of racing by the Club is not jeopardised in a material way by the race-fixing scandal, particularly given both the flagrant conflicts of interests of a number of board members who either own or have owned pacers trained by persons that have been arrested, or their business associations with and personal interests related to these persons.
Additionally, the APHRC foolishly – and quite unbelievably – employs a number of current licencees or their direct family members in positions that afford them direct access to files, records, confidential personal information, and correspondence from regulatory and investigative bodies such as Racing Queensland and QRIC.
A number of these employees – Danielle McMullen and Tony Turpin being two of the most prominent, but they are not the only ones – are suspected of either being directly involved or involved by association in race-fixing, and information we have received suggests that at least 2 employees of the APHRC have been for some time, and continue to be, targets of QRIC surveillance.
This creates an unworkable and absolutely untenable situation, for many of these APHRC staff members have demonstrable personable and professional relationships with a number of the licencees who are currently suspended from the sport while they are on bail awaiting the hearing of their criminal charges.
Given this set of circumstances it is impossible for QRIC or anyone else to have any confidence in the security of information sent to or received from the APHRC, and coupled with the clear prima facie suggestion inherent in his email that Kevin Seymour had some knowledge of untoward conduct by at a bare minimum some of the recipients of his email – and that on the same prima facie basis he actively sought to interfere in the QRIC investigation into corruption in the sport by tipping off several people who were, or were likely to be, targets of the investigation – the integrity of the sport under the management and control of the Albion Park HRC is utterly and irreparably compromised.
There is only one solution to this god awful mess; the APHRC’s licence to conduct harness racing meetings must be suspended immediately, and Racing Queensland must take control of the sport and appoint an interim board or body to administer it until QRIC’s investigations and the subsequent prosecution process is concluded.
There is no other way.
And it’s all Kevin Seymour’s fault.
It always was really.