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Flamingo Park - Monday 05/12/2016

Weather @08h00High Level Clouds, Extremely Hot. 15kph Westerly Headwind
Rainfall Last 24 HoursNil
Rainfall Last 7 DaysNil
Irrigation Last 24 Hours10mm
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Horse Racing Exposed: Drugs and Death

Free tips for UK and Dubai

Striker left out of International

Chaos has become the order of the day in South African racing with all the yes men in place.

One would expect the "ruling party" to know and do the right thing for the game but anything questioned is turned into debate and disputed.

Someone has lost his marbles and as Tony Proudlock,ex Chairman of Gosforth Park Racecourse says "how on earth did Pierre not make the cut? It defies belief".

Racing unfortunately rocks from one scandal to the next just at the very time it most needs proper leadership.

Sporting Post

Sun Met: Richest race in South Africa

Sun International is the new Sponsor for the Met.
On Met day the main event alone is run for a stake of R5m. The total stakes on Met day in Cape Town is R20m.

Read More

NHA Press Release Regarding Stipes

The National Horseracing Authority (NHA) confirms that Disciplinary Hearings into the conduct of the two Stipendiary Stewards, following the incorrect Objection decision being made after Race 1, at Turffontein Racecourse on 3 September 2016, have been finalised.

At the hearings Messrs Thulani Khanyile and Gareth Timm were charged with and found guilty of contraventions of the NHA Disciplinary Employment Code.

In arriving at a suitable sanction, the Disciplinary Panel carefully considered the impact that the Objection decision had on the reputation of the NHA and the Horseracing Industry at large. Consideration was also given to the mitigating factors put forward by Messrs Khanyile and Timm.

The Disciplinary Panel was of the opinion that a suitable sanction was a demotion for both Officials, effective immediately.

Messrs Khanyile and Timm have since returned to work as Members of the Central Provinces Stipendiary Board and will not be given the responsibility of chairing a race meeting for a period of at least six months.

End Of Press Release.

I say if the NHA want a good reputation then I suggest the chief and co should become fully transparent or accept the responsibility for the bad reputation.

Are they not aware that the NHA has a very bad reputation already,

Unanswered Questions and lack of transparency are bringing NHA reputation to an all time low, nany of the public and most professionals have lost faith in the controlling body and only genuine transparency is going to fix it, some recent matters in question are:

What happened that ex Head of NHA Denzil Pillay resigned ?

Why was Chief Whip Advocate Joubert removed in such an unethical way ?

What is the full Colin Hall story ?

Why was RA CEO not banned for lashing out at a racing customer ? after all a security guard was standing one meter away

Are punishments the same for everyone or is the buddy buddy system firmly in place ?

Have the NHA taken responsibility for allowing Stipes of a poor caliber to rise into responsible important positions unnoticed ?

Have the NHA taken responsibility and apologized to the connections of the horse that won fair and square and also to the racing public who had millions stolen from them, after all they created the bad environment which allowed the Objection debacle to occur in the first place ?

Demotion from what to what ?

Did another NHA senior stipe at an industry meeting soon afterwards call for the banning from racing of the two punters who rightfully complained about the objection result on course, if so then how can this individual who also lacks clear judgement be in a position of power ?

What has the NHA done regarding the objecting party who gave grounds for the objection ?

was false information given when claiming heels were clipped at the 300m mark ? if so what is being done about it ?

Fight for justice in Racing

Recent events in SA racing are shaking racing to its core.

The public were still reeling from news that a punter got punched by a racing administrator after shouting a comment although a security guard who could have dealt with the matter in a proper fashion was one meter away, also in the recent news a race got taken away from a legitimate winner prejudicing a winning owner, trainer, jockey, groom, and breeder as well as costing correct punters millions or rands, surely fraud and theft fit the bill here, also a false objection was lodged and in an even more bizarre twist the stipes uphold the objection on grounds that never existed or ever happened.

Now a Director of Gold Circle racing Trainer Paul Lafferty launches an incentive to help punters with info on !st time runners and its met with resistance and where does that leave the confused punters, can the industry do anything right?, also a Mr Leon Smuts suggests on Sporting post website that it would be nice to have an idea of the fitness of horses coming from a long break, but this can't happen until the racing industry embraces transparency and the industry will never get there if cover ups are the order of the day and different sets of rules are "plied" to friends and favored punishments are allowed.

The only reason that gambling on racing was legal previously in SA was because racing is deemed a game of skill, which it is, info to the punting public is vital and needed for a healthy industry, i fought for many years for this and for a short while things started changing until Super Track now Telly Track put an official block on me after the Flaming Gun incident at Gosforth Park in the mid 90's, Charles Faull had been advocating change for the public even before me if i remember correctly, I started my battle with the Racing Adminastration in 1986 and watching the people running the game continually messing up is what eventually killed my passion for racing, and there must have been people who fought the good fight before us, however the attitude of the majority of administrators and those that want to feel privileged in SA racing is to live in the dark ages, they refuse to see it any other way and although they try talk a good game at times and justify their one sided stance which we see is good for individuals but not good for the industry's growth, not much has been done for the man in the street by the administration, its always outsiders who perform and put their on cash in projects, very little industry money is used for racing fans, rather its given to those who don't deserve it in the guise of fat bonuses(for doing a job they are paid wages for in any event) and perks are the order of the day for industry recognized wage earners, wht does the lost and unclaimed ticket money not be put aside for racegoer projects after all it belongs to punters, I have put Formgrids on the internet free to anyone for many many years, Ive earned my badge,

In 1987 myself and the Citizen reporter Peter Duffield (who's father Ernie Duffield started Computaform) were on a news TV show arguing with industry leaders that they are going to put racing on its knees with dark age attitude, they fought us then and as you know as world class racing reported Robyn Louw put it "Formgrids no matter how good a tool it is has never been properly supported by industry because of where came from",

So because I fought for punters rights I became an enemy of the administration.

I'm sure you have noticed that SA is not like other western countries where if shameful acts have been done by someone in a high position the right route is for the guilty parties to resign and allow the industry to improve, in SA it just goes on unabated and no one says a word and if you do you are termed the lunatic fringe etc and you actually get victimized and become an outcast and the real baddies grow stronger, they do deals whereby they throw scraps to some of the outspoken websites to tone down and not expose their wrongdoings as you well know, so its us who eat the measly crumbs they scatter for our silence that are also to blame.

its time the media and the public take a stand and fight for justice in racing
No one is bigger than the game no matter how loud he shouts.

Hot Topic: Robyn Louw on Charles Faul

Form Organisation’s Charles Faull has been a strong advocate of barrier trials for many years.

He asked to share the following correspondence addressed to Mr Paddy Wilson, the Chairman of WP Racing, after Charles had attended the Asian Racing Conference and canvassed a number of opinions regarding South Africa’s lack of barrier trials.

The letter was dated 14 October 1997.

Dear Mr Wilson

As promised I have compiled a record of some of the opinions expressed to me by delegates at the Asian Racing Conference (January 1997).

1. Major General Guy Watkins – CEO of Hong Kong Jockey Club 1986-96.
2. Hans J. Stahl – President of the American Jockey Club.
3. Bob Charley – CEO Australian Racing Conference.
4. Terry Lee – President of The Association of Racehorse Owners Malaysia.
5. Charles McRae Simpson – Immediate past-president of the NZ Racehorse Owners Federation.
6. John Schreck – Chief Stipendiary Steward Mauritius.

As you will see, their reactions to discovering that our Jockey Club’s Rules Of Racing condoned Insider Trading ranged from disbelief to abhorrence to disgust.

I have enclosed the contact details of all these respected gentlemen with the exception of Guy Watkins whose details you say you have in your possession, and have posted a copy of this letter to each one of them.

Enclosed also please find a letter regarding the sad closure of Arlington Park.

Your statement that you have no problem with the victory of the first time runner ‘Noble American’ on his debut in a pick-six race at Kenilworth on 24 September fills me with a sense of dismay.

Under the existing regime horseracing in this country has little chance of surviving the impending onslaught from major casinos and a state lottery.

In response to your misgivings on the value of the internet, I have enclosed two newspaper articles which underline the growing ubiquity and utility of this medium.

Could we possibly meet to discuss these important matters further at your earliest convenience?

Yours sincerely

Charles Faull

Guy Watkins
Hans Stahl
Bob Charley
Terry Lee
Charles McRae Simpson
John Schreck
Billy Steele
Ronnie Napier
Jack Ward


Major-General Guy Watkins

The following is a verbatim transcript of an interview with Major-General Guy Watkins (CEO Hong Kong Jockey Club 1986-87) done at a restaurant at Sun City between 5:10 and 5:55 pm on Monday, 20 January, 1997. Present and witness to this conversation was Mr Billy Steele, Chairman of WP Owners and Trainers Association.

Charles Faull (CF): General Watkins, please would you read the following excerpt from an interview with you, published in the September 1992 edition of Racing Record.

‘Gen. Watkins and his team know that only the utmost professionalism will do in a region where betting is very serious business indeed.
“Turnover per race averages HK $111 million and with that volume of money being wagered, one needs to do everything one can to ensure that racing is properly controlled and that all possible information is made available to the punter.”
“That is why we introduced public gallops back in the 1960’s. Time trials are held every day and the results are widely published. Punters must have access to such information if they’re to bet serious money.”
Much has been said and written about the Chinese love of wagering but Gen. Watkins will not countenance the term “incurable gamblers” being applied to local turf patrons. “They may be incurable bettors, but not incurable gamblers – there’s a world of difference,” he insisted.
“An incurable gambler is a compulsive fellow who is reckless and undiscerning with respect to his wagering. Our punters are the most studious readers of form you will find anywhere. They are also the best-informed punters in the world.” – Racing Record, September 1992.

After Guy Watkins had carefully read the above:

CF: Do you still stand by these words?

Guy Watkins (GW): Unequivocably. In Hong Kong all possible information is made available to the punter. All workouts are closely monitored and time trials remain a crucial part of Hong Kong Racing’s great communion with its customers. Hong Kong punters are the best informed in the world.

CF: Would you describe the situation prevailing in South Africa which permits an unraced horse to compete without any publicity to its workouts as fraudulent?

GW: Not fraudulent. I wouldn’t describe that sort of legitimised punter abuse as ‘fraud’. I would describe your system as ‘theft’. It is criminal to allow the connections of an unraced horse to bet against an uninformed public with privileged information, and naturally, very bad business. South Africa must be the only country in the world that still allows this sort of abuse.

Billy Steele: Sadly, we don’t have any form of punter protection in South Africa.

CF: Trust me Gen. Watkins, you are not the only person who is abhorred at the condonation of illegal practices by the Jockey Club’s Rules Of Racing.

GW: I am surprised, and very disappointed to hear that South African racing is so backward.

Summary of Guy Watkins’ views:

Ø One needs to ensure that all possible information is available to the punter.
Ø That is why Hong Kong introduced public gallops back in the 1960’s. Time trials are held every day and the results are widely published. Punters must have access to such information if they’re to bet serious money.
Ø Hong Kong’s punters are the most studious readers of form you will find anywhere. They are also the best-informed punters in the world.
Ø The South African system which permits Insider Trading can only be described as ‘THEFT’.

Hans J. Stahl
President of the American Jockey Club

‘In America a horse who has not raced for 12 weeks may not run in a race without two published official workouts. Your South African system would be totally unlawful in terms of the Constitution of America.
American racing would collapse if we return to your world of legalised insider trading. It is unlawful to allow that sort of abuse of your customers. At a time when America is looking at ways to improve our transparency, you in South Africa are still doing NOTHING.’

Bob Charley
CEO Australian Racing Conference

‘I find it almost unbelievable that those people entrusted with the leadership of your racing in South Africa could possibly permit a system which allows the connections of a horse to be privy to privileded information. This is an endorsement of customer abuse of the worst form and quite unacceptable to First World thinking. How can South African racing possibly market its product to the man in the street under these circumstances?

Terry Lee
President of the Association of Racehorse Owners in Malaysia

‘In Malaysia we make a great effort to ensure that our punters are fully informed about all relevant workout information. Even a Gp1 winner from Australia cannot race in our country without performing up to standard in an official workout. We monitor and inform our customers of ALL fast work, not only our statutory official workouts.’

Charles McRae Simpson
Past President NZ Racehorse Owners Federation
‘Without our official Barrier Trials system in New Zealand, horseracing would collapse. I am saddened to hear that your country lags so far behind the rest of the world. To allow privileged information is so obviously immoral and bad for business.’

John M. Schreck
Chief Stipendiary Steward Mauritius

‘In my home country Australia, Barrier Trials are an essential part of customer service. Likewise, in Mauritius, the Racing Authority goes to great lengths to ensure that punters are fully informed about workouts. South Africa’s immoral system should be unacceptable to honorable racing administrators.’

Dear Paddy,

As I sat and listened to Guy Watkins I was looking at this huge mask which adorned the wall outside the restaurant. Guy Watkins’ opinion of South Africa’s Rules of Racing fitted the image so well.
Those of us who try to make an honest living as servants of Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding in South Africa, are deeply offended by the legitimized theft enshrined in our Rules of Racing.

The above is on Sportingpost and repeated on ABC websites and comments were forthcoming from racegoers, I commented the following:

in 1986 we formed the South African Racegoers Association to try combat the administration inefficiency of the industry, punters (who risk cash) are more professional than the administrators (who get paid wages out of racing money).

Now its 2016 and the punters are still stuck at the bottom of the chain and its where we will stay until the turnovers drop to a point of no recovery.

an ABC poster with the handle of royal president responded with:

I maybe wrong but never knew this association existed.
30 years on and what has this Association achieved if the punters are still stuck at the bottom of the chain. If it was vociferous enough then by now it would have brought the racing fraternity to its knees (or tried).

I expect changes to be ongoing in this industry and this has to happen by changing the archaic rules that have been printed in rules and regulations and nobody has gone back to check.
I don't think some the administrators know or can comprehend/interpret what is/are contained in some the racing regulations.

I then replied as follows:

its a long story that had good results for a while, as you know people slip back to old habits very quickly if you don't stay on top of things and I did not have the time to baby sit,

we also met with a lot of resistance, i am still victimised for standing up to the superior beings that fail the industry to this very day,

we could very easily have put the game on its knees but that has never been my intention, however when Flaming Gun was disqualified we did stop the race day from continuing after the 4th race by protesting on the course,

most of the objectives we wanted are still not implemented and some of the same issues raise their ugly head from time to time costing the game loyal followers who cross over to sports betting. much more I can add to this subject but its going nowhere because only those that risk like punters really want fair play in the game, idiots who end up in power positions rise through the buddy buddy system and only try enrich themselves and when the chips are down and its time to call a spade a spade very few have the guts to stand and be counted, bullies rule.

Whats your take on the state of the industry and can positive changes be made, if so how? ,, if you feel strongly about issues then raise you concerns and questions with the relevant bodies, email them and cc ABC, Sportingpost and Formgrids, united we stand, divided we fall, the betterment of the industry is all that matters, "the only way for rot to control is for you to allow it"

Go to Sportingpost

Independant Owners Association

Popular Owner Brian Burnard has intentions of establishing an Independent Owners Association.

Brian must be applauded for having the courage to take on such a mammoth time consuming task and it seems he should be well supported because when visiting the track one can hear many owners and others complaining about the way the game is run.

Brian says that he feels that its well worth the time and effort he and others will be putting in. "We don't want to stand by and watch things deteriorate further" said Brian "however the situation is the norm when one "Party" has too much control and no checks and balances are in place".

We wish Brian and company the very best going forward

Brian can be contacted by email on