The rorting just never ends at Albion Park does it?
This is Race 8 last Saturday night on the 20th of January 2018.
There are five horses to watch.
The leader is Sammy Kriden, an even money ($2) shot trained by Jack Butler – who has featured prominently in our series of race fixing stories – and driven by Grant Dixon’s former long-time stable foreman and stable driver Trent Moffat.
The horse in the death seat is Bring It On Lefty, driven by Isobel Ross, granddaughter of Albion Park employee Don Ross, the long time Clerk of the Course at Albion Park. It is trained by Cristina Monte, the sister-in-law of Stephen Cini who trains the horse on the leaders back Midnight Prowler.
Midnight Prowler is driven by Hayden Barnes, a former employee of Chantal Turpin, the sister-in law of his friend Narissa McMullen and of the driver of the horse racing behind him three back on the fence Jazzy Artist.
That driver is Danielle McMullen, a young member of the famous harness racing clan who works in the office at Albion Park and was last year suspended for 3 months for naming a pig running in a charity race after a female QRIC steward.
The horse out the back in the familiar white with dark brown check colors sported by Clip Clop’s Victoria Derby hope The Colt is Corporal Luna. It of course is trained by Moses, our old mate Grant Dixon.
Grant Dixon also trains Major Moment, and it along with Bring it on Lefty and Sammy Kriden are the absolute keys to this race. Major Moment is the horse in the one-one trail and it is driven by veteran reinsman Peter Greig, whose vast experience as a driver makes what you are about to see just so much worse.
Here is what happens in short.
The even money favorite Sammy Kriden leads.
Isobel Ross on Bring it on Lefty attacks it mercilessly when there is no reason for her to do so other than one – to get the favorite beaten and set the race up for one from behind.
Ross runs suicidal sectional times of 27.6 and 28.1 seconds in the 1st and 3rd quarters that can’t possibly have any result other than to tank her own horse and gas the favorite on her inside.
Moffat refuses to hand up the lead and keeps on kicking up the rail inside Ross, and in the process he burns so much petrol that Blind Frederick can see that it will have nothing left in the sprint home and must certainly fade out at the finish.
So does Bring it on Lefty.
They run last and third last respectively.
But its the horse that runs second last that is the key.
Watch it – it is 4th in the 1-1 as the film starts rolling and is wearing these colors:
Did you just see what I saw?
Major Moment’s driver has just deliberately pulled it out of the 1-1 and into the 3 wide position, but he hasn’t done it to hook around and challenge for the lead because the horse is going backwards at the time.
He’s done for another reason completely.
Well three in fact.
- To let the even money favorites stablemate the second favorite Lexus on the Beach – who has used no petrol in the run, and has just been sitting back smoking his pipe while the leaders have gone mad up front – through without having to hook wide.
- To allow the Dixon runner Corporal Luna through to follow Lexus on the Beach without going wide either.
- To block Chris Petroff’s drive Nui Toc Tien – the third favorite in the orange, and the only other winning hope given the way the race has been run – and ensure that horse has to go extremely wide around the turn so that it is hugely disadvantaged by covering a stack of extra ground.
Oh my goodness!
This race is so red hot that it sizzles.
Now there is no doubt that Peter Greig would have told the stewards that his horse had hung if they had called him in for an explanation – it didn’t hang, don’t you worry about that, just look at the final 200m; and it wasn’t as far gone at the 400m as Greig would have you believe either because look at the last 100m – but in one of the most highly unusual actions by a Chief Steward this century Greig was never asked a single thing about his drive by the stipes in charge.
A driver hooks three wide for no reason at all and lets his stablemate and the 2nd favorite through, and deliberately blocks the 3rd favorite and pushes it wide, and the people whose job is to keep the sport clean and ensure that harness racing’s integrity is preserved don’t ask a single f*cking question.
Every single one of them should be sacked on the spot.
This is an absolute outrage.
The stewards do call Isobel Ross in to explain her drive, but strangely – curiously? incompetently? corruptly? – didn’t call Moffatt in to explain his, instead calling trainer Jack Butler in to give an explanation for his horse’s run.
Why the f*ck any experienced trot watcher would need to ask why Sammy’s a Kriden ran last is anyone’s guess. It’s pretty bloody obvious isn’t it?
What they should have been asking him is why his driver didn’t hand up the lead when Ross kept attacking him but they didn’t, not even when Butler pretty much gave his boy up by blurted out that his horse doesn’t perform well when it can’t lead on its own and bowl along in front.
Common sense would dictate that once you had heard the trainer say that you would call the driver in and say ‘Well Trent, please explain’, but did the stewards take that blindingly obvious step?
What do you reckon?
Ha, ha, ha. Come in spinner, and goodbye mug favorite punters bucks.
Common sense would also dictate that Isobel Ross would cop a decent lag for not giving her horse every (any) possible chance to win the race, but the stewards simply accepted one of the greatest bullsh*t excuses you have ever heard in your life, and said ‘Dearie, dearie Izzy that was a bit silly’ and then gave her some parently advice on tactics.
And Peter Greig – the former champion driver who inexplicably hooked his horse out wide for no logical reason at all, and in doing so demonstrably affected the result of the race – was not called in at all.
If this is as good as it gets at a time when 10 harness racing figures are facing criminal charges of race fixing then why bother at all?
We might as well shut the Albion Park doors and lock ’em forever, and all go home.
In your arse.
What an absolute disgrace.