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Today's Racing & News

In this week's Journal:

Editorial

By David Silver

Welcome to another week of The Last Stride.

The Last Stride has owners all over Australia and weren't the Central Queenslanders thrilled with seeing a Ben Currie horse racing in their 2yo Classic Sale Plate last Saturday.

And much to everyone's surprise, Ben Currie's Good Humour won the race. The Rocky faithful aren't backward in coming forward and the comments coming from CQ are hardly congratulatory. To say the racing fraternity are filthy is an understatement.

The situation we have in Queensland racing is an absolute travesty, it is overshadowing everything in our industry. And don't let the Ben Currie propaganda fool you, the catalyst is him.

Look at the Winter Carnival launch on 9 National News Tuesday night. Nothing positive, all tied in with "Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie".

If the authorities don't act now, they are going to see the demise of this year's winter right under their noses, it's already started.

This Friday is Good Friday.

Last year, the Toowoomba Turf Club saw an exhibition of disdained arrogance from Ben Currie working his horses on a day when the track is closed as are most in Australia.

Currie showed a total disregard for the rules along with the welfare of people he had working for him or the owners expensive thoroughbreds.

What if there was a serious accident, a horse had fallen, had to be destroyed and a rider was badly injured?

There would be no compensation, no insurance payouts for either rider or loss of animal and more than likely the Toowoomba Turf Club sued for millions.

This ignorant display by Ben Currie cost him $3k at the end of the Inquiry into his actions.

In my opinion he got off very lightly.

The transcripts make unbelievable reading with the now proven false statements made by the interviewed witnesses and the attitude on display by Ben Currie towards the Stewards holding the Inquiry.

I would love to publish what Ben Currie told me.

I wonder what is in-store this year?

If you think all the hullabaloo about racing in Queensland is "FAKE NEWS" then you should read the following article from leading Victorian Racing Editor Matt Stewart.

The racing industry in Queensland is a joke!!!

RSN Racing Editor (Melbourne), MATT STEWART, released :QUEENSLAND STATE OF CHAOS:

AS Queensland racing officials desperately search for a rule that might allow them to ban trainer Ben Currie, the calamity of the Currie saga grows.

A "rare" rule might be used to refuse Currie entries immediately, with more to come on that today.

Currie was originally hit with 31 charges last May relating to alleged illegal raceday treatments and a further seven charges were issued in February, including alleged use of a "jigger". Then followed five swab irregularities, then two more jigger charges.

Due to Queensland's multi-tiered penalty and appeals system, Currie has been able to train on as charges and angst mount.

Gazillionaire Chinese - owned Queensland based racing and breeding syndicate Aquis announced earlier this week that it would not race horses in Queensland until the Currie / integrity / legal process saga is sorted out.

David Hayes, who races top filly Fundamentalist with Aquis, has also banned itself from the Queensland winter racing carnival, citing concerns over an uneven playing field.

Hayes may have campaigned dual Australian Cup winner Harlem and a handful of others in Queensland.

"We have a situation where there is a strong likelihood a trainer has broken the rules and we still have him being able to enter and race horses," Hayes said.

"Until they get this cleaned up, and the legal issue that allows it, we're happy to stay away".

Both the president and vice president of the Queensland branch of the Australian Trainers Association yesterday stood down because of the Currie situation.

Chris Munce, the president, said he wanted to concentrate on his team of horses without being weighed down or compromised by the Currie drama and his vice-president, Jim Murdoch, followed suit because he found himself in an ethical bind - he is also Ben Currie's barrister.

Queensland ATA secretary Cameron Partington joined Racing Pulse this morning and insisted Queensland racing " isn't all doom and gloom" but "there were some very serious integrity issues."

He said the appeal process, via the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal was problematic and long-winded.

He said a group of trainers would meet with the Queensland racing minister on Thursday to explore more expedient ways to prosecute cheats.

Currie, meanwhile, is in Bali where he is best man at a mate's wedding.

END OF ARTICLE

What makes this all the more frustrating for someone in my position, reporting on this saga, is that no trainer or jockey has the courage to come out and talk. All will talk behind closed doors, whinge, squeal and complain but going on record is off the record.

Until participants stand by their convictions then this situation will go on.

Trainers and jockeys of Queensland should be banding together and making a public statement for the authorities to see, that they are no longer going to accept the current state of affairs.

It is no good whinging to yourselves when you get beaten by someone that technically shouldn't be there, do something about it.

I have an ABC presenter that has been trying for three weeks to get a leading trainer or jockey to go on record and make their feelings known. Not one licensee has the intestinal fortitude to tell the truth.

You never know, regardless of Currie Racing, one day YOU may have to face the same processes that they have over the past 13 months.

That is not fair on anyone, guilty or not.

David Silver

The Last Stride

You will also find in this issue:

Toowoomba: Trackwork

Brisbane: Trackwork and Reviews

Racing New South Wales

Racing Victoria

The Last Stride Syndicates and Information Update

Adelaide: City Trackwork and Provincials

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