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Got that?

If you haven’t paid an Australian Racing Club – any club, in any State – money you owe them then you can’t race. And if you try a sneaky by nominating your horse and you get sprung then you’re up for a fine for every time you do it.

Robbie Laing’s up for hundreds of fines, because that’s how many horses he has entered in races in since was entered on the Forfeit List for owing the Brisbane Racing Club $1100.

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Until he pays it he’s not allowed to race his horses anywhere in Australia at a registered track. No ifs, no buts, they’re ineligible to be entered or to take a place in the field.

So why then has Robbie Laing been allowed to have more than a hundred starters since he started being subject to the same disabilities as a disqualified person, and why are the Victorian race clubs still letting his horses start?

What’s the point in bothering having rules if the clubs and the control bodies aren’t going to apply the damn things? We might as well just tear up the rule book, just like the stewards at the Gold Coast did yesterday.

It’s not as if there is any excuse for the non-payment of the money to Racing Queensland because Robbie Laing – who owns a 50 acre agistment property in rural Clyde in Victoria worth millions – recently won the Standish Handicap (1st prize $90 000) with Lord of the Sky, the enigmatic sprinter that he and his wife own a larger part of the shares in.

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The Victoria Race Club should have actually deducted $1100 of the prizemoney from that race and forwarded it to the control board in Queensland, but I guess if they did that then they would really have been admitting that the Laing stable horses shouldn’t have been running while the trainer’s debt remains outstanding and his name continues to appear on the forfeit list.

I tell you what though the VRC has created a huge rod for its own back by allowing Robbie Laing’s horses to race at their courses, because AR.161 of the rules allows an owner of any horse that has been beaten by a Laing stable runner to lodge an objection to that runner’s participation in the race concerned, on the grounds that the trainer or owner (Laing) was on the Forfeit list, and provided that the race was run within the previous 30 days.

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And under rule AR.171 if the Lang stable runner is ruled ineligible to have run in the race – and that appears to be a no brainer, given that the Trainer’s name is lit up in lights on the Forfeit List – then it will be disqualified from the race in question and the official placings amended accordingly, which means that the connections of the beaten horse get to collect the ill accrued by Laing loot.

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If I was Arthur or Harry Mitchell from Yarraman Park Stud or any of the other part-owners of Flippant, the runner up in the Standish, I’d be getting out my pen and paper right now and lodging an objection because there’s a $63 000 difference in the prize money between first and second places, and that amount goes a long way on horse food, meat pies and training expenses.

That’d put the cat well and truly among the pigeons wouldn’t it?

And it would be about time too.

They say that cheats never prosper, but if you sit back on your arse and let them get away with it they do.

Want to borrow my pen?

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