From the Penthouse to the Shithouse – How the BRC Directors Have Conned Us All and Screwed Brisbane Racing Forever

pho.jpgA penthouse is an apartment on the top floor of a building.

It seems self-evident doesn’t it?

That’s why we have the Aussie saying from the penthouse to the shithouse. It means from the gutter to the top, and everyone knows it.

Why then are the Brisbane Racing Club and its ‘joint venture partner’ Mirvac offering a penthouse on Level 7 of the Stage 1 Ascot Green apartment building, and another on Level 9 of the same tower?

How does one have a top-level apartment on 2 stories separated by another?

Because it’s bullshit, that’s why.

Level 7 is not a penthouse. It is an apartment 2 levels down from one of the real penthouses, which are located on Level 9.

Notice that I said ‘are’ not ‘is’.

Usually the penthouse apartment takes up the whole top floor of a building.

Not here though.

Your penthouse on the 9th floor is just one of many of the 91 apartments that have been on sale in stage 1 of the proposed 8 tower development at Eagle Farm.

Ascot Green is a part of the revitalisation of the Eagle Farm Racecourse precinct.

There is a slight problem however.

The first stage of the development that has been selling for almost 2 years features 219 units in twin towers named Ascot House and Tulloch House.

Ascot House is nine stories high and has the 91 apartments,

Tulloch House is 12 stories high and houses the other 128.

Not one unit has been sold in Tulloch House.

Nil. Zip. Nada.

Only 85 of the 91 units in Ascot House have been sold, or so they say, but that figure isn’t real either because a number of the units have been hocked off the plan to BRC Directors or Managers on a ‘buy now, pay later’ basis, with the plan (plot or scheme) being that the apartments will be grabbed now and sold later at an inflated cost.

There is a huge problem however.

The arse has fallen out of the Vegas property market.

Mirvac and the BRC can’t even sell the units in the first block, let alone those in the 2nd tower at Tulloch House.

That’s actually more than a huge problem, it’s a goddamn catastrophe, for the BRC ‘Master Plan’ relies on 1000 units in 8 towers being sold.

If you can’t sell 91 units in 2 years, you aren’t going to be able to sell 1000 in a hurry are you?

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In fact the other 800 odd in the other 6 towers aren’t even going to be built unless the 219 in the first 2 sell. And the BRC have only sold 85, and that’s a made up number.

They are fucked sportsfans.

The Master Plan is a Master Blast.

The BRC Directors have hocked the club and all its land to Mirvac on the premise that they are going to sell the whole 1000 units, and all the projections and financial plans are based on that number, but it isn’t going to happen and it can’t.

Mirvac has a charge – essentially a mortgage – over the whole two racecourses.

If 900 units can’t be sold in the next 3 years the club is rooted.

They haven’t even been able to sell a tenth of that in 2 years.

Bye bye Eagle Farm, it was nice to know you.

I’ve been trying to tell you this for a year now.

Nifty Nev and Little Dickie are con men.

Real Estate agent spivs.

They don’t give a fuck about racing and they don’t give a fuck about you.

 

You have about 5 minutes to act to stop this scam or we’re rooted.

This is the truth.

Herein endeth the lesson.

Over to you members.

What ya gunna do?

Waterboards, Sledges, Police Harassment and Urban Myths – Why Those Who Take Delight in Slagging Off the Tornado Should Think Twice About Who’s Next If He’s Gone – And Learn to Count

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The knives are out for Ben Currie and it seems that half of Queensland are keen to kick the young trainer while he’s down.

I’ve had a million people stick it up me saying “Look at his results in the past month. He can’t go a yard without the gear can he?”

Here’s one comment I’ve had, and it’s representative of dozens of others.

Isn’t it gratifying to learn that the police officers who run the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission have deigned to follow …

A Picture Tells a Thousand Words – It sure does and apparently QRIC has a movie length drama from the Tornado’s stables.

Things have gone quiet all round at Clifford Park. Winners are scarce, Tornado that quiet he is nothing more than the wind off a fart along with the stable winning percentage down to less than 10% for the month of May (11 days to go). Amazing how a raid that apparently uncovers nothing has had such an effect on a trainer that “has nothing to hide”.

Frankly my dear Watt, that is absolute bullshit.

Firstly the Tornado himself hasn’t been charged with any racing rule breach whatsoever.

Secondly the charges that two of his stable hands have been found guilty of are as rubbery as hell, and do not involve ‘gear’ or illegal drugs (see story to follow).

And thirdly, he’s hardly going like a busted arse.

Look at the Tornado’s training stats for the month of May before you start running off at the mouth all ye critics.

Ben Currie

49 Runners – 9 wins, 8 seconds, 4 thirds

Strike rates – Win 18.4%, Place 42.9%

It’s not too shabby at all is it?

And hardly 10% as claimed.

Let’s compare the Tornado’s numbers for May to those of the other four trainers in the top five shall we.

Tony Gollan

65 Runners – 9 wins, 7 seconds, 9 thirds

Strike rates –  Win 13.8%, Place 38.5%

Toby Edmonds

41 Runners – 7 wins, 5 seconds, 5 thirds

Strike rates – Win 17.1%, Place 41.5%

Robert Heathcote

35 Runners – 5 wins, 3 seconds, 2 thirds

Strike rates – Win 14.3%, Place 34.3%

Matthew Dunn

46 Runners – 9 wins, 1 second, 6 thirds

Strike rates – Win 19.6%, Place 34.8%

So what we find is that Ben Currie – who has lost his stable foreman and two of his key staff to stand downs or suspensions, and has lost his best horse Amanaat to barrier attendant misadventure which for some reason QRIC seem strangely reluctant to investigate – is second only Toby Edmonds in winner numbers and winning strike rates, and has trained more placegetters at a higher strike rate than any other racehorse trainer in the top five on the ladder.

The young bloke can’t train they say?

The critics can’t count I reply.

We’ll wait and see what happens in the days and weeks ahead, and whatever it is it is and what will be will be.

But those who are happy to watch a bloke get waterboarded might want to remember that there are plenty of drips in racing, and one day it might be they who find themselves choking on the end of a QRIC hose and not Ben Currie.

That’s all I have to say

For now anyway.

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

Desmond Tutu

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Archie Goes In Search of Zjelko’s Kiwi Connection – And Discovers That the World’s Biggest Punter is a Feminist and an Equal Opportunity Employer

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I was so greatly inspired by the Fairfax Press follow-up to my recent series of stories about the activities of Zjelko the Great (est punter Australia has ever produced) that under the pressure of an offer to trek around New Zealand in big flash cars and rest my weary head in five-star joints I decided to abandon my lifelong habit of hitch-hiking and sleeping in 12 berth backpacker dorms and head to the Land of the White Long Cloud to suss out what my man Z was up to over there, and see who was doing his mounting yard biz in the backwaters.

So there I was yesterday arvo walking through the gates of Royal Riccarton, home of the New Zealand Cup and what a great pleasure it was indeed, for the Christchurch course is a cracker of a track and the attendance on a Friday arvo was about double that of Doomben on your average Saturday afternoon, and

I wombled around for a race or two to put Zjelko’s folk off the scent, for I reckoned for sure that the transplanted Tasmanian who doesn’t like paying his fair share of tax on earnings must have a person or people on course sussing out the pre-race state of the runners on Kiwi South Island courses just like he does in Vegas, and didn’t want to tip them to my presence by being too obvious.

Then just as the horses were about to leave the stables and head to the mounting yard for the 6th race I made my move and headed their first.

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What I was looking for was a bloke dressed in the familiar Z-man uniform of a baggy short, baseball cap and sandshoes, with a form guide and pen in his hand and a somewhat unusual interest in the runners parading in the yard before a seemingly non-descript backwater low-class race that turns over a conservative multi-six figure amount of wagered cash across jurisdictions

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Zjelko (pictured above in his punters club uniform) is like most mathematical geniuses and obsessive compulsive type, and a perfectionist to boot, so I strongly suspected that he would have a team on track to apply the rigorously tested scientific analysis of a horse’s pre-race appearance to the runners and feed it back to the team inputting the hundreds of various factors into his algorithm-based computer gambling program, just like his gang of paid minions do at tracks large and small all over Australia.

And lo and bloody behold I was right.

Well sort of anyway.

Here is Zjelko’s spotter.

This bloke.

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Notice the uniform?

Baggy shirt, baseball cap, sandshoes.

Unlike in Vegas the Kiwi Z-gang can’t get media accreditation by setting up faux websites and pretending to be photographers or journalists, so they transmit their information to the squad by a different means.

They use a chick.

This one.

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Take a look at the close up shot of the leg of Zjelko’s man in the photo shots above.

Now look at this.

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Do you see what I see?

Yeah you do don’t you.

He’s a clever bastard this world’s biggest gambler isn’t he?

But he didn’t grow up in Jeebung.

I did.

Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more.

I couldn’t get the front on shot to show you, but I had my mate with me who can verify it.

The bird was sporting a pair of very expensive, high-powered binoculars hung around her neck.

Yet when the horses went to the barriers she turned her back on them and walked briskly around the back of the stand – away from where the horses were running – working her iPad and her phone furiously as she went.

Why would you wear a pair of high-powered binoculars just like the ones worn by the world’s biggest gambler’ men in Queensland if you weren’t actually watching any races?

Why indeed,

What do you reckon?

I had my eye on this attractive young lady ever since she gave herself up early in the day by handing around the hot dog stand with the bloke in the hat in between races and replying when I asked politely if she was waiting in the queue ahead of me by looking down her nose at me and my rather wealthy and powerful mate “I don’t eat that rubbish”.

From little things big things grow.

I watched the blonde and her binoculars all afternoon. She didn’t go out front or into the stand to watch a single race all day. But she always went straight back to the same spot next to the Tote window every time the horses went onto the track. And she never placed a bet either.

You’re sprung again Zjelko.

Sorry about that old mate.

Bazza, the Trouble and Strife, the Aussie Cakewalk in the Oaks and the Kiwi Twenty Grand – Archie’s On a Roll – And Shez All Rock!

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The silly All Black buggers have got the world’s best 3YO pacer Shez All Rock at $3.60 to win their Classic Oaks race, and she’s a bigger certainty to bolt in than Maggie is to be dialing George, so if I’m forced to eat imported Quail eggs from some wagyu style chickenry in Bruges and belt down a few glasses of 3 grand per 30ml rare fine wine, well what does it matter?

Well I’ve been telling you that the 3yo pacing sensation Shez All Rock is a superstar for about four months now, and I tipped you into her in last night’s NZ Oaks in the middle of the week, and of course I was right.

The little champion stepped out last night at Addington – that’s her in the stalls before the big race getting the last check over: tiny isn’t she? – and as predicted boldly by me despite starting from the visitor’s draw on the outside of the back row she absolutely kicked the Kiwi fillies heads in and brained them.

You know the funny thing?

The silly sheep shaggers decided for some reason that she couldn’t win, and the beautiful little rocket blew out the door to start at $5.30. I couldn’t start laughing, and neither could my old mate sitting there sucking on oysters in the flash upstairs buffet with me either, and we both absolutely loaded up, and when Sheza Rock came round the field and crossed at the 800 mark I simply picked up my pink lemonade in one hand and my little Aussie flag in the other, grabbed my mates ticket with my teeth, ripped off a loud mid-race ‘Oi! Oi! Oi!’ and headed for the payout queue with a full two quarters still to run.

Young Bazza Purdon and his rather gorgeous missus Katrina don’t know a lot about harness racing – after all they have only trained plodders like Luxury Liner, Chokin, Holmes DG, Christopher Vance and Il Vicolo – so when they yelled out ‘Hey Archie, you’ve gone a bit early’ I just turned around without stopping, winked and said two words.

“Wondai’s Mate’.

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And then I walked into a concrete pillar.

When I came to a few minutes later after Katrina had given me the kiss of life I stood up, shook my head a few times to clear the stars swimming before my eyes, and headed direct to the tote window to argue the toss about being paid our 20k in cash rather than with a pissy little paper voucher that would be no good to us at the pub tab terminal at the Bunger RSL.

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Bazza might have grabbed the cup, but I got the kiss, and that’s all that matters

Of course I won the argument – Aussies always do it better – and collected the dough in cash before returning to share a celebratory beverage or three with two of the most lovely and genuine people in the sport, and greatly enjoyed another very pleasurable hour in their company, commenced of course by apologising to Katrina for sticking the tongue in while being resuscitated, explaining that I was delirious and didn’t know what the hell I was doing thanks to that bloody pillar.

I never did have the heart to tell them that Maggie used to be a stunt woman and had taught me a few tricks, or that the apparent concussion may just have been called an act by some cynics in Ozstrayalya if they’d seen me pull the old trick again.

Why spoil a pretty woman’s pleasure I say, and why risk a punch in the head from her Interdominion trot final winning hubby?

A man would be a mug wouldn’t he?

Just like the Kiwis who bet $5.30 Shez All Rock.

Kia Ora suckers.

Just don’t tell Baz hey?

 

 

Isn’t That Nice of QRIC? – In Queensland We Are Consistent – But Gee Racing Victoria Are Changing Their Tune Aren’t They?

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Isn’t it gratifying to learn that the police officers who run the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission have deigned to follow the decisions of the courts of law and agree to allow Liam Birchley to continue to train racehorses in Queensland?

After all Birchley was only disqualified by the Victorian system, and QRIC had politely assented to impose that disqualification in this state as well, by doing so failing to break about 2 centuries of tradition that if you are outed in one state you are outed in all.

So when the Victorian system said oops, maybe being kicked to touch for administration of bicarbonate of soda on a raceday when there is actually no evidence whatsoever that your three horses – or indeed any horse you train – were in fact treated might be a bit rough and that they’d better give Mr Birchley a stay of proceeding as VCAT tries to sort the whole thing out, QRIC really didn’t have to let the trainer train did they?

Did they?

Did they?

Oh, they did? Really?

Well done Mr Barnett, that’s great work and most magnanimous of you.

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There’s just one little thing I’d like to quietly whisper in your ear Sir, if I may be so bold and presumptuous.

An internal Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board hearing is not the end of the hearing process – not by a long shot – and a nonsensical RAD board decision that a person was party to the raceday administration of a substance when it cannot be proven that a substance was administered to their horse at all, on raceday of otherwise, does not mean that a matter has been brought to a conclusion.

All it means is that the batter has reached first base.

And when the prosecutor – in this case Jeff Gleeson QC, Racing Victoria’s paid gun for hire – starts getting desperate and making outlandish statements such as ‘whether the administration of bi-carb was actual administration or attempted administration it still amounted to ‘dishonourable conduct’ it is somewhat unlikely that the said batter will make it to second base, particularly when the charge he is now in desperation attempting to change the particulars of are that:

Mr Birchley engaged in a practice that was dishonest, corrupt or fraudulent, improper or dishonourable, in that he was a party to the administration of alkalinising agents and/or medications to a horse or horses on a race day

Methinks Mr Gleeson QC and his client Racing Victoria have got a few problems now that the case has moved from the circus court to a real tribunal Commissioner.

Just saying, that’s all.

Wise heads prevail though don’t they.

So good on you Mr Barnett, your decision is a beauty and congratulations on a job well done.

Okay, now that’s sorted let’s move on.

How are the Tornado’s swabs going?

torna

 

 

Ninety-Two Thousand Reasons to Lock Wheels – And a Whole Lotta Incentives to Close Your Eyes and Look the Other Way

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Our spies report that $92 000 was matched on the Betfair exchange on the $1.20 favorite My Cash in Race 7 at Mildura on Sunday evening.

That’s 92 000 reasons for someone to hope that Gavin Lang would lock wheels at the top of the straight and be unable to disengage from the entanglement.

The Victorian stewards have swiftly declared it an accident without even checking the betting sheets. I wonder how much might have been bet around the favorite on the fixed odds markets with the TAB and corporate bookies?

This is the year 2018.

The Russians can kill people by putting a drop of poison on their skins in a London street. The Americans can blow up entire villages using pilot-less drones and lasers. The Japanese have robots that assemble new cars. Scientists have used technology to prevent cervical cancer with a simple vaccination.

Yet the racing stewards in Victoria can’t even set up a simple interface that allows them to view bets placed on TABS, bookies and exchanges in real-time so that they might spot potential rorts easily and ask the right questions when something strange goes on with the running of a race, or a favorite meets incredibly ‘bad luck’ in a race.

I guess they don’t have closed circuit cameras recording the activity in race day stable at the tracks either, despite the fact that the technology is available to babies, and parents use it every day to ensure that their baby is sleeping soundly in the next room.

Victorian Racing – Welcome to the Dark Ages. The place where what you don’t know will never hurt you, as long as you never look for it.

We call it integrity down here.

Integrity’s important.

Too important not to ignore.

Don’t you worry about that.

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