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The ‘racing fixing’ being exposed at the trots has been going on for years – right under the nose of some highly experienced stewards.It took the animal liberationists to unearth the ‘live baiting’ scandal that had been going on for decades at the dogs – again right under the noses of those responsible for eradicating it.Dickhead Eliot Forbes (we won’t call him ‘Dr’ because he apparently doesn’t deserve that title) says the decision was ‘unavoidable’. ‘Nifty’ Neville Bell, just back from another jet-setting expedition off-shore, says: “The decision to call it now ensures we give the Eagle Farm track every opportunity to perform to the highest of standards which our stakeholders, members, patrons and punters deserve.” It was called ages ago by those in the racing media who call a spade a spade.And as for giving the track time to perform, haven’t we heard that all before.RQ had an opportunity to bring in some high flying stewards from interstate, headed by RV’s Terry Bailey and Dayle Brown back in the era of ‘little King Kev’ Dixon but for some strange reason he didn’t want them.The direction integrity headed back then can only be gauged by the fact that a series of Chief Stewards have subsequently been shown the door and those who have survived are rated rank failures.We have a new Government and a new Racing Minister and a whole heap of old problems confronting racing.
Gone are the days when corrupt newspaper editors and publishers could be controlled by those not wanting stories written.The Eagle Farm debacle and the inability of the Brisbane Racing Club to address a series of allegations levelled at directors and some key staff along with allegations that those running the show at Albion Park had ‘inside knowledge’ of the ‘rorts’ that are being alleged and unearthed in harness racing is becoming embarrassing.The question needs to be asked: If the stewards appointed to do the job were effective would QRIC need to seek outside help from Murrihy and Bailey? The solution: Get rid of those who are not doing their job and have been regarded as a laughing stock for so long.Those responsible for this unacceptable ‘joke of the industry nationwide’ insist it was a decision made after ‘extensive industry consultation’ – but once again there are more questions than answers.Eagle Farm has been a disaster waiting to happen despite the Dale Monteith report which should have apportioned the blame to those responsible for the original debacle and seen heads roll.
It took the exposes of a brave investigative journalist like Archie Butterfly to make a disbelieving racing world stand up and listen.