The integrity issues in harness racing just go from bad to worse, and everywhere you look there seems to be both a Dixon and a few familiar steward’s names there.
The whole thing has become well past a joke, and I’m starting to think that I might owe Robert Craddock a huge apology for criticising his suggestion in the Courier-Mail a couple of days ago that the whole harness racing industry might be fast approaching the point of no return and need to be shut down.
Sorry Crash, I allowed my love of the sport to blind me to the truth.
This is just bullsh*t, and I don’t know how the hell we are ever going to get the trots back on the straight and righteous path as long as there are Dixon’s driving and certain well-known harness racing stewards officiating at meetings.
Just take a look at this crock of sh*t of a steward’s report – from a race run the very day before Grant Dixon’s wife Trista was due to face stewards to receive her inevitable long outing mind you – and tell me that either Robert Craddock or I are wrong about the parlous and absolutely perilous state of harness racing in Queensland, or that you need any more convincing that something is very, very wrong with the game in this State.
Grant ‘Moses’ Dixon is driving the 3rd favourite Sheriff Jujon, the horse that is second last in the still images of the race below wearing the red colours with the purple sash and sleeves.
Monkseaton, the 2nd favourite, is the horse ahead of him in the Hawthorn colours of brown and gold.
Zalta the favourite is the horse at the rear of the field in the black with the prominent white star and red sleeves.
The stewards panel – chaired by Mr K Daly and including the previously suspended Mr N Torpey and the prominent Mr S Shinn – question Moses about his drive on the favourite.
Moses tells them that he was going to pull out and follow Monkseaton, but that Zalta came around him too quickly and covered his wheel, and thus forced him back in and prevented him from taking the three-wide trail.
It is the greatest bald faced lie that a man has ever told.
Just look at the still images of the race below, and keep your eye on the time in the top left corner of the picture.
You can see as clear as day in the pictures above and below that the driver of Monkseaton is about to pull out three wide and go.
First he takes a look around to see that no other horse is going ahead of him (above).
Then just literally a second later he looks behind to make sure no-one else has taken off, to ensure that he doesn’t cause any other runner interference (below).
The whole time Dixon is on his back, and Zolta – who is sitting at the tail of the field – is nowhere near the wheel of Moses’s horse.
Pictures don’t lie.
Dixon has all the time in the world to hook out onto Monseaton’s back and follow him home if he wants to.
He doesn’t want to. Not for a minute, or even a single second.
F*ck, if he hooks out Dixon might well get a great cart into the race and win the bloody thing, and that won’t do when you are trying to drive a favourite dead.
So with Zalta still nowhere near his wheel Dixon inexplicably hooks his horse back to the inside of Monkseaton as you can clearly see below.
Then the cheating bastard goes to the inside.
Dixon hooks his horse back, elects not to take the run up the rail to be three back the fence behind the horse in red and white, and ends up last one off the fence.
The favourite goes around Dixon, and being as kind as you can and saying the leading reinsman has made a mistake earlier, now is clearly the time to go.
Dixon has to pull out and jump on to Zalta’s back.
Anyone but Grant Dixon that is.
He tucks Sheriff Jujon back inside the favorite.
Then for reasons known only to himself Dixon restrains his horse so hard that it drops back two lengths and loses all balance and momentum in the process.
The fix is in.
The rest doesn’t really matter, for Dixon has breached nearly every rule in the book right here, but for the sake of completeness I will quickly recap it for you.
The fave is off and gone while Dixon is still rebalancing his horse, he put the stick on it for show but drives it one one rein, it runs home in about 31 seconds under an easy drive with the winner only going 29.2 and Bob’s apparently everyone’s Uncle, with the stewards being totally satisfied by Grant Dixon’s overtly obvious lie about the wheels.
Do we have a sport or do we not?
QRIC’s actions over the coming days will tell us the story.