Dalboy

Elephant in the room!!

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I can’t be the only person thinking enough is enough. I am sick of this industry thinking that cheating is ok. Time after time we have heard of trainers being warned, and the ones that are caught, a weak slap on the wrist. From milking shaking, blue magic, Operation Inca and what ever they are using now. When does it get to a point were some serious decisions are made, I have contacted Gary Woodham, Mike Gober, the Racing minister and animal welfare and nobody seems to care about what is going on. Personally I hate cheats, they are no better than thieves and rapists, and in no industry should it be allowed. Surely I can’t be the only one concerned that if nothing is done, there won’t be a industry for the future. Australia seem to have a zero tolerance for this, when are we going to grow a backbone and do the same.  I would love some feedback on this?

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Whose cheating ? How ?

All I see is well backed horses either breaking,  locking wheels , or getting in other strife. To me that's thing that shows out more, possibly more than usual.

Take Rydemonts Son run yesterday, at Cambridge  seemed to shoot along the inside of a breaking runner , then all of a sudden lose momentum as going by. Haven't yet read stipes report.

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3 hours ago, Dalboy said:

I am sick of this industry thinking that cheating is ok. Time after time we have heard of trainers being warned, and the ones that are caught, a weak slap on the wrist

Innocent until proven guilty , as in Law. It's a gambling industry and Cheats will be about to look for that 'Financial Gain'

Horses are swabbed, and investigations made. McGrath (a high profile trainer) was recently DQed for an extended period. so they're catching some.

Race fixing (match fixing) is a Criminal offence ,so as you said 'No better than thieves" so Police are involved and a Court date is made.

but you need evidence. Phone and betting records are great for that. Don't be too harsh on NZ harness trainers/drivers , mostly Great horseman and good racing.

They're trying hard to weed out the Bad eggs like Jesse Alford still trying an old milkshake routine. So they're catching some still .should get more than a wristslap I would think.

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Reading the article on stuff this morning I think the industry is well aware, and catching and proving is the real issue. But agree that the cheats need to be banned for life, then maybe they will think twice. They are in effect stealing from many stakeholders including the poor old mug punters like myself. The article mentioned many names that have been involved in dodgy dealings over the years, but not about Mark Purdons digressions which I am not overly familiar with, so not sure about that one.

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44 minutes ago, Palliser said:

Reading the article on stuff this morning I think the industry is well aware, and catching and proving is the real issue. But agree that the cheats need to be banned for life, then maybe they will think twice. They are in effect stealing from many stakeholders including the poor old mug punters like myself. The article mentioned many names that have been involved in dodgy dealings over the years, but not about Mark Purdons digressions which I am not overly familiar with, so not sure about that one.

Most trainers try to do their best for their horse and owners etc ,treating injuries , adding supplements to their feed etc etc.....to get the best results for all concerned including themselves .

Most  top athletes are the same.

Unfortunately at times the with holding times are gambled with ,mistakes made , and they break the rules and often caught and punished along with owners etc who lose 'winning' stakes etc.

Then there are those who take this a step further and regularly engage in dishonest behaviour ....regular cheating.

These are the ones who bring the Industry and everyone down.

Many top trainers ,since racing began have faced charges of breaking regulations etc ............if they had decades of building a reputation of excellence ,a rare  'rule break' such as above should not attract a life ban......repeated offending with dishonesty ,fraud etc YES !

I reminded of a quote .....paraphrased a bit......attributed to Harness great Maurice Holmes............all trainers horses should be tested regularly and any that have not been given 'something' should be disqualified , because it shows they not trying !

Mug punters such as you describe yourself surely understand what you are betting into.....some horses are out there to make up the numbers , on a vacation or recovering from a setback and not fully fit ! Who is the mug again ? Don't blame MP !

 

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3 hours ago, tasman man said:

Most trainers try to do their best for their horse and owners etc ,treating injuries , adding supplements to their feed etc etc.....to get the best results for all concerned including themselves .

Most  top athletes are the same.

Unfortunately at times the with holding times are gambled with ,mistakes made , and they break the rules and often caught and punished along with owners etc who lose 'winning' stakes etc.

Then there are those who take this a step further and regularly engage in dishonest behaviour ....regular cheating.

These are the ones who bring the Industry and everyone down.

Many top trainers ,since racing began have faced charges of breaking regulations etc ............if they had decades of building a reputation of excellence ,a rare  'rule break' such as above should not attract a life ban......repeated offending with dishonesty ,fraud etc YES !

I reminded of a quote .....paraphrased a bit......attributed to Harness great Maurice Holmes............all trainers horses should be tested regularly and any that have not been given 'something' should be disqualified , because it shows they not trying !

Mug punters such as you describe yourself surely understand what you are betting into.....some horses are out there to make up the numbers , on a vacation or recovering from a setback and not fully fit ! Who is the mug again ? Don't blame MP !

 

I'm not blaming MP, just wondered if he had ever been naughty .. as I said was unsure. It was more my reference to how widespread it is. And I don't buy this supplement mistake stuff you are quoting, they are professionals. I call myself a mug punter for betting on harness, which I don't do anymore, like a lot of people now, which ultimately hurts the industry  And you are missing the point, minor or major digressions just don't do it, it drives a bigger and bigger wedge between them and the stakeholders who invest their money

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I love Harness Racing, always have always will.

Watching last night though, Alex Park small shit fields that just  don't inspire anyone to bet.

Addington and and all those features.

All the time in the world for for Hayden (and wife Amanda) but I scratch my head about why Mark and Nat still so involved driving ?? Bit weird to say the least.

Dalgety's win the Derby with the renowned drunk aboard , especially after Cran's drug record and his weird departure from the training ranks last year, still can't fathom what was going on there.

What is happening with Inca ??

Just leaves a sour taste in my mouth and leaves me a bit bewildered.

Breaks my heat really

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All the time in the world for for Hayden (and wife Amanda) but I scratch my head about why Mark and Nat still so involved driving ?? Bit weird to say the least.

This may give you a clue why Cullen Racing don't mind putting them on.

 

Mark  120 drives 29 1st 29 2nd 13 3rd stakes $1 089 283.  UDR 4120.

Nat    51-14-11-7. $558229 UDR 04401

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Harness racing trying to polish its tarnished image by clamping down on cheats

Martin Van Beynen05:00, Apr 10 2021
 
Canterbury is harness racing's most active area. The local industry employs about 1700 people and injects about $200m into the Canterbury/West Coast economy.
JOSEPH JOHNSON/STUFF
Canterbury is harness racing's most active area. The local industry employs about 1700 people and injects about $200m into the Canterbury/West Coast economy.

They could be two old men discussing great horses over a beer in the members lounge at Addington Raceway.

Don Bates, in his 70s, is quietly spoken and retiring, Warwick Gendall, approaching 80, is confident and talkative.

In fact the setting is more formal. Gendall, a retired High Court judge, is chairing a panel of the Judicial Control Authority (JCA) – a tribunal that adjudicates charges laid by racing's investigation and prosecution arm, the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU).

Bates has been brought in to read a statement about the impact of frauds committed by young trainer Mitchell Kerr, who the panel has found guilty of selling a non-existent horse, over-selling shares in horses and charging owners for insurance not taken out.

Gendall will go on to talk about integrity, the privilege of holding a licence, the profession of training horses and the responsibilities that entails.
 

The bespectacled Bates, a former chartered accountant who has bred standardbred horses and been part of the harness racing scene in the South Island for more than 50 years, says he regards Kerr as a friend. He lent him money and gave him horses to train.

Kerr, in the grip of a $1 million gambling addiction, cheated him of about $30,000, but worse for Bates was being robbed of the enjoyment of racing. His trust in trainers was in tatters, and he felt unwelcome at the races because of flak towards him over informing the RIU instead of keeping it in-house.

Christchurch reinsman Mitchell Kerr is waiting to hear if the Judicial Control Authority will ban him for life.
JOHN HAWKINS/STUFF
Christchurch reinsman Mitchell Kerr is waiting to hear if the Judicial Control Authority will ban him for life.

Bates was not the only one hurting. In an industry based on integrity and its participants upholding certain standards to retain continued public confidence, Kerr's misdeeds are damaging.

The young trainer, who has handed in his licence, is waiting to learn if the JCA will ban him for life.

Every industry has its bad apples, but harness racing appears to have more corrosive problems, most of which appear to be centred in Canterbury.

This is unsurprising in one respect. Canterbury is harness racing's most active area. The local industry employs about 1700 people and injects about $200m into the Canterbury/West Coast economy.

That still doesn’t fully explain why harness racing in Canterbury seems to have a monopoly on scandals.

A longtime industry insider, who did not want to be named, says cheating has always been a problem in the industry but can't remember a time like the last few years. He suggests it's because everyone is struggling.

Canterbury plagued by scandal?

Canterbury is certainly no stranger to racing scandals. In the 1990s an epidemic of milk shaking – dosing horses with sodium bicarbonate (to inhibit the uptake of lactic acid) – plagued the industry and the blue magic saga, where horses were doped with propantheline bromide (used to increase blood flow to the muscles), rolled out on the flat plains of Canterbury in 2004.

The 2018 police investigation into race fixing – Operation Inca – centred on trainers, punters and drivers in Canterbury and prosecutions remain before the courts.

Trainer-driver Nigel McGrath was once a poster boy for the industry.
KAVINDA HERATH/STUFF
Trainer-driver Nigel McGrath was once a poster boy for the industry.

Last year one of harness racing’s young champions, Woodend-based Matt Anderson, was found guilty of assaulting and strangling his partner after a judge-alone trial at the Christchurch District Court.

Anderson received an automatic two-year ban from racecourses as a result, but that did not dissuade Ken Spicer, the former chair of Harness Racing New Zealand, from exploring an exemption so Anderson could get a training licence.

Small transgressions can make big impressions. In January Blair Orange, New Zealand’s top harness racing driver, and Woodend trainer and driver Bob Butt failed pre-race alcohol tests. Butt was two-and-a-half times over the permissible limit.

The two most recent cases of doping have also occurred in Canterbury.

In March last year, Nigel McGrath, one of harness racing's star trainers, was caught trying to tube a horse with sodium bicarbonate, three hours before the horse was due to race. He was thrown out of the industry for eight years.

Matt Anderson was banned from racecourses after his criminal convictions.
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/STUFF
Matt Anderson was banned from racecourses after his criminal convictions.

In late February, RIU investigators, who were monitoring young Woodend trainer Jesse James Alford, allegedly watched him inject two horses in the neck and observed a failed attempt to tube another.

His case is yet to be heard by the JCA.

Alford has been a trainer for only two seasons. In 39 starts he has had eight firsts, six seconds and five thirds – a phenomenal record.

Rebuilding a tarnished image

While Canterbury harness racing works to rebuild its image, major changes in New Zealand racing have occurred.

They are designed to help stem a long decline for which there are many reasons including the pressure on traditional leisure pursuits by changing lifestyles and demographics.

With less money gambled on harness racing, prize money has decreased, owners get lower returns and fields are smaller. The squeeze on the industry has been exacerbated by New Zealanders increasingly gambling with offshore operators who often pay more on the same race.

Harness racing gets most of its funds from allocations made from the profits of betting at the TAB. For the last 10 years that allocation has been sitting around the $40 million mark, not nearly enough to keep the industry healthy.

The Racing Industry Act, which came into force in August 2020, takes the responsibility for putting on events away from the TAB and devolving the functions to the racing codes. The TAB, now TAB NZ, a statutory entity, is being set up to be solely a betting agency.

The Act also establishes a new integrity system, run by the Racing Integrity Board, which has yet to be established.

Zero tolerance policy

Harness Racing NZ has also changed its crew at the helm. New chief executive Gary Woodham, a former general manager of TAB’s customer and channel section, started in January, and former school principal John Coulam took over as the chairman of the Harness Racing NZ board in November last year.

They have promised to put integrity and zero tolerance of rule breaking at the forefront of their approach. Both own harness racing horses. Woodham owns top-shelf horses while Coulam has more grassroots interests.

Coulam, who spent 17 years as principal of Marion Catholic School in Hamilton and is now education manager for the Catholic diocese of Hamilton, says he became hooked on harness racing when, as a 16-year-old, he went to the 1975 Inter-dominions at Alexandra Park to watch Young Quinn win.

 
 
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STUFF
In September 2018 police raided harness racing stables across the country amid allegations of race fixing and corruption as part of Operation Inca. Stuff understands much of the evidence in relation to the earlier drug charges against Matt Anderson was gathered during Operation Inca. (Video first published in September 2018)

He bought a share in his first horse in his first year of teaching and now has shares in 10 horses who are with seven different trainers, each of whom give him a different perspective on the industry.

“They are not champion horses, but racing is a great way of meeting people. I love the horses and I love the people involved. They are honest, hardworking, and it’s something different to the professional field I work in.”

On a night at the trots he bets about $20 to $30 on a race but doesn’t consider himself a punter.

He admits misdeeds in Canterbury are a bad look for the area but doesn’t believe the offending is disproportionate.

“You have to remember it’s the stronghold of harness racing. It’s got about 55 per cent of the horses.

“We are still lingering in the shadow of Inca, and we are in the dark. It may all amount to nothing, and we’ve had our brand, our reputation, dragged through the mud for years.

“Any sport has to have integrity. I work for the Catholic Church. I base everything I do around integrity and values, honesty, justice and responsibility. We need to have that instilled in our participants as well. We set the rules, and we expect the rules to be adhered to.”

He wants to combine the tough approach to cheating with a better career path for drivers and trainers, including better training and education and fair employment agreements. He worries the North Island has only nine junior drivers.

“It goes back to trainers accepting the responsibility and not everyone is picking up that responsibility. At a board level I’m asking what are we doing to make it an attractive career.”

Coulam says he didn’t seek the chairman role. When asked if his background in Catholic education was seen as a way of stiffening the moral fibre of the industry, he says he doesn’t know.

“It might be that I don’t live in Canterbury. I’m seen to be removed.”

The industry has to look closely at venues and racing dates to ensure it is getting the best crowds and the best return for owners and others. For instance Forbury Park, the main racing venue in Dunedin, is “surplus infrastructure”, he says.

Venues need investment and the racing codes need to work together to ensure their meetings do not clash. Australian events have to be in the equation too.

“There is no silver bullet sitting there for us. It’s going to be hard work.”

 

The latest Press coverage of all Harness's dirty laundry.

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1 hour ago, hsvman said:

Two of the bery best drivers going around  why wouldn’t they want them on 

Totally agree.

And to be fair , after they said they were stepping back and taking a decent break I thought they would be having a decent break.

Just haven't seen it yet.

That's all I was alluding to.

 

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If they want to clean up Harness Racing put an end to the Operation Inca nonsense. 

Kerr etc can then be dealt with

MVB articles in The Press always on a Saturday, biggest circulation day, and it is very much damaging racing across the board. No Investigative journalism required as the stories are delivered on a plate. No doubt there will be more, just a matter of time

HRNZ have to stand up and defend racing, but I doubt they will. If they think there silence will make it go away they are dreaming.

All very sad for all forms of racing

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Inca is a brazen lie 

The Organised Crime Group ( Police ) have made complete fools of themselves 

The RIU and their demented paranoid ex cops have been shown up to be the ignorant fools and evidence fabricators we know they are

There have been no convictions after well over four years of investigations

There will be no convictions directly related to Inca 

Kyle Selinger ( said to be the narc ) has proved to be an unreliable revenge seeker 

The damage to the harness code is massive 

The only people who believe in the veracity of Inca are the stupid ex cops at the RIU, the craven invertebrate media they leak to, and the failed punters who infect this site, and of course the original narc 

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“Any sport has to have integrity. I work for the Catholic Church. I base everything I do around integrity and values, honesty, justice and responsibility. We need to have that instilled in our participants as well. We set the rules, and we expect the rules to be adhered to.”

With their history....He’s kidding right.....???🙈

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On 4/12/2021 at 9:49 PM, Ohokaman said:

“Any sport has to have integrity. I work for the Catholic Church. I base everything I do around integrity and values, honesty, justice and responsibility. We need to have that instilled in our participants as well. We set the rules, and we expect the rules to be adhered to.”

With their history....He’s kidding right.....???🙈

And the thing is with rules, you have to abide by all of them even the small ones otherwise, integrity, values, honesty, justice and RESPONSIBILITY goes out the door, rules are there for a reason.

Shirk the small rules and you will shirk the big ones!

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On 4/12/2021 at 5:57 PM, poundforpound said:

Inca is a brazen lie 

The Organised Crime Group ( Police ) have made complete fools of themselves 

The RIU and their demented paranoid ex cops have been shown up to be the ignorant fools and evidence fabricators we know they are

There have been no convictions after well over four years of investigations

There will be no convictions directly related to Inca 

Kyle Selinger ( said to be the narc ) has proved to be an unreliable revenge seeker 

The damage to the harness code is massive 

The only people who believe in the veracity of Inca are the stupid ex cops at the RIU, the craven invertebrate media they leak to, and the failed punters who infect this site, and of course the original narc 

Sounds like you're after your 'Pound Of Flesh" like Shylock in the Merchant of Venice Poundy? Shakespeare has nothing on you.

I would beg to differ , that harness racing is not that damaged (well Kerr did it NO favours but he's gone thankfully and hopefully) Punters DON'T CARE who Inca is? They are going to put their dollars on , from habit, addiction or just plain old fun, no matter what.

Most, like myself , are probably happy some 'Policing' is going on , It will make those involved in the industry 'very wary' and Tow the Line.? A good thing ?? i think so.

The fact they don't get convictions ?? How good is that ? fantastic . shows that things aren't that bad after-all. ! Who actually wanted trainers and drivers thrown out anyway? We actually need them to keep the harness racing game going? not a lot of new players turning up, especially with the expenses of operating these days.

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So Inca do not get any convictions. But they been going on for a bloody long time, that fact alone keeps the industry in question. By doing so nothing is cleared, the harness code remains under some sort of cloud. As PFP has pointed out at what cost in prior comments on this site. Time it was put to bed, either declare Inca a failure, or produce the evidence that is so dire to harness.😕

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There is NOT ONE conviction from Inca

The RIU though, in conjunction with their feral puppets from the Press, keep finding collateral issues to justify their absurd Ince campaign, and in doing so they contaminate the entire harness code 

The only ones enjoying this are the ex cops who thrive on this type of behaviour, the orchestration of evidence that is, and the failed punters, punters like the original narc, who want to blame the licensees because they lose their money every week.

Mitch Kerr was a failed punter too, but instead of being rubbed out for life they should’ve offered him wrap around support and therapy 

As it happens one of the RIU ex cops is also said to be an addicted gambler, that’s tragic too, but it’s not a reason to deny a person their livelihood 

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Can I give you all a bit of advice??

Before you start dishing out to all the so called bad participants within the racing industry, please ensure that you actually have "ALL" the facts. There has been a lot of claims being made on this website by people who really dont know what the real story is and it just show what a real bunch of wankers they really are. We have a claim against Don Bates. Not as rosey as he makes out.

Like " I talked to one of the owners" Name them?????

name them please but cant be bothered to back up their claims.

Claims that Mr Kerr has been charged by the Police???? Nah

Lets see the info or is this just another bit of "I know everything????"

Curre ntly there are claims of "Fraud"  that will take another 2=3 years to investigate within Christchurch area. I know this because I am currently involvedin another claim so before you get carried away with your claims on this site, MAKE CERTAIN THAT YOU ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT,

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1 hour ago, kilcoyne said:

Can I give you all a bit of advice??

Before you start dishing out to all the so called bad participants within the racing industry, please ensure that you actually have "ALL" the facts

Well that is very Funny! you put a trophy on the previous feral post which in his last 2 just above Pound4pound has given to everyone and anyone.

Let's see . feral puppets press, demented paranoid ex-cops , narcs, RUI ignorant fools , narcs, unreliable revenge seekers, failed punters who infect this site , blah blah blah, That bloke loves a stereotype !!!!  but doesn't love anybody alas. well worth a trophy from you ??  No thanks for the advice.

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18 hours ago, Pure Steel said:

Well that is very Funny! you put a trophy on the previous feral post which in his last 2 just above Pound4pound has given to everyone and anyone.

Let's see . feral puppets press, demented paranoid ex-cops , narcs, RUI ignorant fools , narcs, unreliable revenge seekers, failed punters who infect this site , blah blah blah, That bloke loves a stereotype !!!!  but doesn't love anybody alas. well worth a trophy from you ??  No thanks for the advice.

My view is that I’ll stand with the Purdons, Dunn’s, Orange and Co any day, ahead of the narcs, nillers, losers, and evidence fabricators 

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