How do I dispel thee?
Let me count the ways.
(1) The amended Stewards Report wasn’t put up until 4 days after the race, and not until after I’d lodged a formal complaint to the Racing Integrity Commission
(2) The original report said that Atomic Miss Betty has briefly locked wheels with rival runner Courageous Call in the early part of the straight. The amended report says the pair locked wheels momentarily.
Neither are true. Atomic Miss Betty didn’t lock wheels with any other runner at all. It’s the only thing that Greg Sugars and I agree on, other than that harness racing’s a cracker of a sport, and the still images and video of the race prove us both right.
(3) Sugars declared a couple of days ago that there was no Stewards inquiry held into his drive on Miss Atomic Betty (from here on for the sake of brevity we’ll simply call her Betty).
The amended Stewards Report says that there was, and details at some length the findings of the inquiry that may or may not have ever happened depending on whose story you believe, and both cannot possibly be simultaneously true.
(4) The newly fictionalised version of the Stewards Report states that Sugars told the stipes that ‘it had not previously been uncommon’ for Betty to hang in, and that the stewards accepted this element of Sugars story.
They obviously didn’t bother to watch Betty’s last dozen runs for she hasn’t hung in any of them, and it’s reflected in the Steward’s Reports from those races.
Here’s Betty’s start prior to the suspect race in question, and in it she had almost exactly the same passage that she did in race 7 on the 24th of December, and after a few metres of quick wrestling Sugars didn’t seem to have too many problems getting her to the outside in that race.
(5) In the new report Sugars – who by his own account wasn’t actually there – says that he’s tried significant remedial gear changes, and the direct inference is that had put some new gear on that night in an attempt to address the problem that Betty doesn’t actually have, and that it didn’t work.
What’s even funnier is that there were no gear changes advised for Betty in the Warragul race at all. The remedial strategy must have been prayers.
(6) According to Sugars and his Steward mates the leading driver INTENDED to pull Betty 3-wide on to Magical Delight’s back at the 600 metre mark, but because it was pulling and hanging so hard he couldn’t get the mare to leave the 2 wide lane.
And Santa Claus is an Ethiopian marathon runner and his elves are all 7 foot tall and play rotation in the forwards for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
(7) Sugars tried again at the 300 metre mark to get on Magical Delight’s back but Betty got locked on one rein and wouldn’t hook three wide no matter how hard the master reinsman tried to make her move out into clear running.
The picture shows you are yanking back with both reins, not that your mare’s locked up on one, and it shows that you aren’t making any effort at all to pull her out, only to jag her back.
(8) The Stewards are told a cock and bull story by a man who wasn’t there at an inquiry that didn’t happen and accept it lock, crock and joking barrel.
Betty continued to be extremely erratic after the race according to Gregory, and caused him all sorts of trouble.
Funny thing is that the second that they crossed the line Sugars suddenly had no problems getting his ‘erratic, hanging in’ horse to the outside of other runners, and for a horse who a bunch of bullsh*t artists reckon threw a front off shoe gee it ran past the rest of them quick, even though it was covering three times the ground.
(9) Did we mention that Betty cast a shoe?
The vet missed it, the punters missed it, the caller missed it, the raceday stewards missed it, everyone missed it.
He told the Stewards it was true, and he told them at the inquiry that didn’t happen and that he swears he didn’t attend, so it has to be true.
(10) The Stewards placed Betty on her last chance to race truly.
Which is strange because her connections had never been warned about her racing untruly before, and you sort of have to be before you are placed on your last chance.
(11) And anyway, Betty’s trainer Roscoe Sugars, Gregory’s old man, says that the horse is clean-gaited and 100% sound.
Betty’s crackerjack by all reports.
She just doesn’t really want to win another race before she’s sold, because she’ll go up in class and prospective new owners might be put off by the prospect of winning a race or two less in the lower grades, and that just won’t do at all.
So Betty hangs in and pulls and refuses to go wide, just because she can and because she doesn’t like Greg Sugars and wants out of his care as soon as she can bloody disappear.
Smart girl that Betty. She doesn’t like liars.
But I wonder how she’d pull her disappearing act off if they’d fitted a lugging pole?