The Roar
The Roar

Ross Wright

Roar Rookie

Joined May 2021









Munro, perhaps Cousins isn’t a good example as it’s my understanding much of his career occurred prior to Australia signing on to the international anti doping code (where Narcotics were only illegal if present on game day). Around that time it is reported that the AFL conducted about 600 ‘illicit drug’ tests per year and I suspect ASADA far fewer ‘game day’ tests (if any, given what was going on in other high profile sports). As such Cousins had a much higher probability of not getting caught than caught…and even if he did by the AFL (or West Coast) it was ‘spirited away’ for the good of the game

Albanese asked to intervene as former Dees doctor drops bombshell over players dodging drug tests

Given the AFL have publicly confirmed that what Wilkie disclosed is in line with current AFL policy and practice perhaps ‘‘cowardly” parliamentary privilege wasnt the motivation.

Perhaps it was about putting AFL brand ‘management’ in the spotlight given the Melbourne Coach claims to have had no “line of sight” of the policy/practice. Also noting it is very hard (impossible?) to find any published evidence of AFL drug tests conducted in any year so impossible to determine whether it is an ‘odd bad apple or two’ as the AFL persistently contends or far more widespread as Wilkie’s industry insiders suggest.

Whether people do drugs or not is not the issue. The question (for me) is ‘should the AFL be HIDING this practice behind opaque practices and reporting and that may be compromising the integrity of Australia’s WADA drug testing regime.

Not sure a ‘don’t get caught’ message is the right policy setting.

Albanese asked to intervene as former Dees doctor drops bombshell over players dodging drug tests

Hi Scuba,
If it was just Clark peddling this barrow you are right…and I wouldn’t have bothered writing anything. But other racing media, trainers and owners have been echoing the same arguments in various forms and on various platforms. Something that will intensify in coming weeks and months.

As to the ‘psycho’ evidence stuff, Racing commentary is all too often filled by loud voices devoid of fact or evidence and wanted any future ‘debate’ to stand free of claims of ‘sour grapes’, ‘leftist dogooder’ or ‘fringe dweller’. Let people debate the issue and potential risks to the reputation of Racing on the basis of evidence rather than name calling or unsubstantiated opinion.

Given your interest, I suspect you’ve seen how his lawyer, as part of the horse trading for a guilty plea has been ‘crime-washing’ everything from the charges down to sentencing (including the public presentation of Weir’s ‘good character’ – not the 20 year chequered past as you allude to).

IMO – racing has become far too concerned with brand protection (hide rather than address) than conscience or principle so hopefully the time invested in writing the article (and of yours reading it) is seen as a sign of ‘people who care’ not just someone with a 3 word slogan or opinion.

Thank you for taking the time to comment.

The Darren Weir case: Can a leopard really change its spots?

Let’s not forget the 1981 ‘underarm incident’ that bought shame to Australian cricket. Started well before Clarke.

'She lost a baby', 'You can murder 25 people and get a trial': Warner's manager's fury as Candice, Clarke, Healy hit out

Further to my previous comment – I decided to take a quick look for myself.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM) published a study titled ‘The association between psychological stress and miscarriage: A systematic review and meta-analysis’. The authors support the view that stress can increase the base probability of a miscarriage. However, they caution against attributing miscarriage to stress alone given other known psychological and environmental Influences including “the effects of substances like alcohol, tobacco and caffeine which are taken to relieve stress”.

'She lost a baby', 'You can murder 25 people and get a trial': Warner's manager's fury as Candice, Clarke, Healy hit out

not quite right – the AFL have just recently outsourced their inquiry into the racism claims at hawthorn. Collingwood conducted an independent ‘do better’ review into racism claims.

Not sure how you think Cricket Australia could have conducted the review internally as any outcome would have led to claims of a lack of independence (vested interest) by fans and/or media. Clarke’s comments suggest as much.

'My jaw hit the floor': Clarke demands CA action as 'horrible' Warner claims 'getting out of control'

If you look at the Annual reports for RacingNSW you will notice that they don’t tel you how much wagering turnover occurs on the Everest – just make a loose reference to “it was up 14%”. Last time that V’Landys published comparative data the Everest Wagering I recollect that it was still way (not much over 1/2) behind the Melbourne Cup.
They do report it is NSW’s most wagered ‘NSW race’ (not its highest wagered race – which is the Melb Cup).
You’ll also find almost no reference to ‘crowds’ and when you do – they are referenced in the same opaque manner and specific to just those that showed improvement. No overall figures anywhere in sight. Which speaks volumes!

The Everest is symptomatic of racing’s climb to nowhere

I’m no ratings expert but if anything, I would have thought ratings would go down (not up) if converted to ‘international’ benchmarks. It doesn’t, in my mind explain the leap that some horses experienced. It also doesn’t seem reflected in Gold Trip’s rating which was 115 going into Caulfield Cup and 119 coming out of it. If there was any ‘adjustment’ it was relatively minor in the scheme of things (and still doesn’t make sense relative to VE’s rating coming out of the 2020 CC).
Perhaps the most interesting post script (wet track aside) is those receiving the most ‘perplexing’ rises finished 8th to 12th.

The Cox Plate: The numbers that just don’t add up

Tomothy, Not that I am one for tips….but you posed the question. From what I can tell, El Bodegon is currently assessed (on European ratings) to be a slightly better horse than what State of Rest was shortly before it won the Cox plate carrying 56kgs and Anamoe 49.5kgs. This year Anamoe rises 7.5kg and has to give El Bodegon 1kg. So if Anamoe is the hardest to beat – then Anamoe would have had to have improved by 8.5kgs (or 4 lengths using a rule of thumb) going from 3-4yo for it to beat The Bod home (if both turn up and perform to their rating – which is no guarantee).
Interestingly, Australia’s handicapper indicates that Anamoe has improved by 7 rating points since its Cox plate 2nd. If you believe the scale that 2 rating points = 1kg difference (which is how non WFA races seem to be assessed) then a big peak performance from Anamoe might be required.
Of course, Racing isn’t a pure maths or weights and measures game….otherwise we’d all be rich ????

The Cox Plate: The numbers that just don’t add up


The Cox Plate: The numbers that just don’t add up

Surely Craig Tiley has to resign over this given he has overseen the issue of exemptions that are inconsistent with the ‘entry to australia’ advice sought and given to him by a Federal Government minister. T

That he has not shared that advice with the Victorian government ‘expert panel’ is outrageous and has corrupted the expert panels ability to apply the rules stipulated. At best, this shows appalling oversight or fraud of the process at worst.

He has to go.

More Australian Open players' visas probed after Djokovic furore

I’m confused – how did bushfires impact his tennis?

No vax, no worries: Djokovic set to fly to Melbourne in search of record tenth Open

My concern that this was probably nothing more than ‘the PR Campaign you had to have’ seems to have been validated by comments by the chairman of RVL and the CEO of Thoroughbred Breeders Assocation in recent days.

Brian Kruger (RVL Chairman) responded to questions about the review by simply acknowledging that most of what was recommended was already on the table of PRAs – apart from the suggestion of a new National Thoroughbred Welfare Authority (TWA). There was no ringing endorsement for that from Kruger’s comments.

When asked ‘what the
this new welfare operating ‘model’ would look like in 1-3 years time’ Tom Reilly CEO of TBA offered a befuddled explanation that ended with “I think there is a model there that could work really well”. This said it all. Despite calling for $10million minimum in annual funding, Reilly could not put his finger on a single program, initiative or welfare outcomes that TWA would add value to.

This $10 million (minimum) needs to be put in context. The $10 million a year that TBA propose is required to fund this new authority is about the same or slightly more than the cost to run Racing Australia – an authority that in addition to policy and regulation remits, delivers a wide range of operational services to PRAs, the breeding industry, owners and trainers (including funding welfare research).

Yet the proposed new ‘welfare’ body will deliver none and Reilly confirmed it will have no authority over what gets delivered by anyone else in any state or territory.

Forget the Sheik’s expensive strawberry purchases, tea and scones anyone?

Is review of thoroughbred welfare a legitimate attempt to address the issues?

I’d say even if you ARE a committed racing fan there is no point! I was a religious listener (and viewer) who stopped listening/watching anything but races for exactly the reasons you highlight.

Not that this stops RacingHQ from thinking they’ve got the media angle nailed. What they don’t realise is – it’s nailed to a cross !!

Is racing dancing itself into irrelevance?

After hearing the same PV commentary I thought the same. Much was also being said about the number of younger people getting into ownership through syndicates and ‘micro-shares’ (as a result of the Everest and marketing to younger age groups).

I looked up the ownership statistics published by Racing Australia. The only age groups where actual owner numbers have been growing in the past few years has been the ‘over 50’ age groups. Strategy seems to be working a treat!

Is racing dancing itself into irrelevance?

I’ll leave explanation of the Great Dane – chihuahua analogy for another time. Your questions are very relevant and ones that I expected the review to answer. Their position was – ‘we’re not sure’.

Which begs another question – what was the review about really? I am about to write another article that will ‘attend’ to your questions so I won’t double up here 🙂

Where is horse racing at as 2021 closes out?

I made a similar observation and dismissed such claims as nothing more than spin because as you highlight nothing could be further from the truth.

A few months ago and after much was said about the amount of money that punters contribute to the industry, I did a rough calculation of how much owners contribute.

Owners will fork out approximately $1.25-$1.5 Billion this year buying and paying for their horses to be trained (using sales statistics & average trainer rates).

They will receive approx $670 million in prizemoney distributions (after deductions).
So owners will collectively lose about $585-$830mill whilst Trainers and Jockeys will make about $120 million.

So if losing the most that owners will have ever lost is Pete’s version of ‘never a better time’ heaven help us!
Or perhaps he could share what ever it is he’s drinking….

Where is horse racing at as 2021 closes out?