My name is Archie Butterfly and I am a freelance investigative journalist who writes for the website www.itsnotnormalisit.com (‘Its Not Normal). This website attracts in excess of 70 000 readers per week, the vast majority of its audience being drawn from the racing industry.
In recent months I have written extensively on the topic of corruption in Queensland harness racing, and my stories have to a substantive degree played a role in the arrests of 10 harness racing participants on criminal charges including match fixing and money laundering, and a series of contemporaneous articles I wrote about the running of the Darrel Alexander Memorial Trot (Group 2) at Albion Park on Saturday 16 December 2017 led to the immediate 12 month disqualification for corruption handed down to leading Queensland reinsperson Trista Dixon on 22 December 2017.
I am afraid to say that corruption in racing is not limited to Queensland, and draw your attention to the drive of reinsperson Greg Sugars on a horse named Miss Atomic Betty in Race 7 at WarragulHarness on Sunday 24 December 2017.
I further draw your attention to the subsequent stewards report of the race, and in particular to the highly contentious official stewards findings into Greg Sugars drive in the race.
There is no doubt whatsoever in my view that on any reasonable assessment of the running of the race Greg Sugars deliberately failed to give his horse any opportunity to win. In fact I will go further and state without equivocation that the drive by Mr Sugars was one of the most blatant and clearly obvious examples of a driver ‘stopping’ a horse in the recent history of harness racing.
My absolute concerns with Mr Sugars drive are detailed at length in an article published this morning on the Its Not Normal website.
This article can be read at
and I request that you read the article so that you understand the full extent of the extreme concerns that I seek to draw to your attention regarding Greg Sugars drive in the race.
Of equal if not greater concern is the Steward’s Report into the running of the race, for remarkably the panel have found no issue with Mr Sugars drive on Miss Atomic Betty, and indeed have made quite erroneous findings that the pacer ‘pulled hard’, ‘locked wheels with Courageous Call’, and ‘was unable to obtain clear racing room over the concluding stages’ of the race.
None of these things is true, and that your stewards panel made such findings raises serious questions about the probity of those officiating at the Warragul meeting, and casts great doubt upon the integrity of the harness racing industry as a whole.
I respectfully request that the Office of the Commissioner for Racing Integrity fully investigates this matter outlined above and detailed in the relevant published story, and advises me of the outcome of this complaint.
Please note that this email will be published on the Its Not Normal website, as will your response unless requested and agreed otherwise,as it is my very firm view that transparency and openness is integral to the maintenance of integrity of racing.
I am available to discuss this matter further with investigators from your office if desired, and may be contacted in the first instance at this email address.
Archibald Jeebung (‘Archie’) Butterly