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Author: tigerrish Timestamp:- 10/3/2010 7:09:54 PM Subject: Greed, neglect or just plain stupidity?
Message: There have been some interesting comments to come out of the aftermath of last Saturday's meeting. Some of them seem to contracted what actually transpired in the lead up to the massive storm that hit Flemington.
The Chief Steward, Terry Bailey has openly stated that he had information from the Bureau of Meteorology that the storm would not affect the racecourse until approximately 10 minutes after the scheduled race time of the Newmarket Handicap.
But the official warning given on the BOM website states otherwise. " TOP PRIORITY FOR IMMEDIATE BROADCAST SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING - MELBOURNE AREA for DAMAGING WIND, FLASH FLOODING and LARGE HAILSTONES
For people in the Inner, Western, Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula, Port Phillip and parts of the South East, Eastern, Northern and Mornington Peninsula Local Warning Areas.
Issued at 2:02 pm Saturday, 6 March 2010.
The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 1:55 pm, very dangerous thunderstorms were detected on weather radar near Gisborne and Melton. These thunderstorms are moving towards the southeast. Very dangerous thunderstorms are forecast to affect Footscray, St Albans, Sunbury and Werribee by 2:25 pm and Caulfield, Craigieburn, Glen Waverley, Greensborough, Melbourne City and Preston by 2:55 pm.
Damaging winds, very heavy rainfall, flash flooding and large hailstones are likely."
Flash flooding and large hailstones forecast to hit Footscray at 2.25pm..... Thats 10 minutes before the race was due to be run and this warning was issued at 2.02pm, 33 minutes prior to the race. Yet he allowed the runners to head out on to the track even though this was an official warning which clearly states that people should stay indoors.
So not only did the race club put the lives of the horses at risk, they also failed to warning the public of the on coming danger that was clearly forecast to hit Flemington. No warnings given out to what was coming, for anyone.
King Pulse is unlikely to ever race again and no doubt had his trainer known the oncoming danger, he would never have allow his horse out onto the track. And nor would any of the other trainers.
Yet Bailey claims they gambled and won. I have no doubt several trainers and the thousands of people at the track would disagree.
Author: tigerrish Timestamp:- 12/3/2010 8:02:17 PM Subject: Re: Greed, neglect or just plain stupidity?
Message: Its interesting to note that Mr Bailey's fellow stewards up the highway at Kyneton have a different view on animal and human safety when an official storm warning has been issued for the area their course is in.
This from the stewards report on the meeting at Kyneton on Jan 31 this year.
"Subsequent to the running of Race 5 Stewards abandoned the meeting at 4.40 p.m. due to severe thunderstorm activity in the Kyneton area and also advice from the weather bureau that the conditions would not improve for a considerable amount of time."
Race 5 was run at 3.30pm and no horses subsequent to that race, were allowed on the track for the rest of the day.
Author: doosra Timestamp:- 12/3/2010 2:32:05 PM Subject: Re: Greed, neglect or just plain stupidity?
Message: You are SO right Alcove. I am sad at the "numbers game" scenario which has eventuated these last few years.
Racing is so much bigger and greater and more MEANINGFUL than this unedifying spectacle of ruthlessly milking every last cent out of a community of regular punters among whom, let's face it, probably at least half have an addiction which is negatively and seriously impacting their lives and families.
I LOVE that here in Aus we can now bet on and watch the big overseas races......but 24/7 racing and coverage from all corners of the globe of meetings which have no more significance than a midweek in regional NSW, is just like watching a roulette wheel spin endlessly.
Compelling to addicts, sure, but utterly lacking in soul. Utterly lacking in a point - other than fleecing suckers from their cash as systematically as possible, all the while earbashing them about how wonderfully "entertained" they must be feeling.
This seems to me to be the model that has been taken for development of, not the racing industry, but the gambling industry. Racing just serves the gambling juggernaut.
I absolutely loathe this fact and the outcomes it is having, and anyone who reckons it wasn't a calculated major factor in RVL's reprehensible decision to let the races go on last Saturday.... is surely kidding themselves.
Author: alcove63 Timestamp:- 12/3/2010 10:51:42 AM Subject: Re: Greed, neglect or just plain stupidity?
Message: Hi All
I see the incident as a barometer of how racing is now conducted.
We have the TAB demanding more and more product to help drive their ever diminishing turnover ( think betting on French ridden trots. swedish ice racing etc etc).It is not product it is actually sport- Horse Racing ,Harness Racing, greyhoung Racing.
The clubs are left in a no win situation by RVL, Racing NSW etc and these incidents are unfortunateley more likely to occur in the future.
Racing has become only a numbers game and until the powers at be wake up and do something about it racing's image will only continue to suffer and horses and jockeys lives will be lost in the pursuit of the allmighty dollar.
If I owned King Pulse I would certainly be pursuing legal action and hopefully RVL will get the kick up the bum it deserves.
Message: The BOM dishes out that standard warning all the time - very rarely does ´large hailstones likely´ever actually eventuate. I wasn´t at Flemington so I can´t say what happened in the lead up, but all reports are that it changed very quickly. Maybe they were already behind the barriers before it was obvious something big was going to happen?
Having said that, if I owned King Pulse I would be extremely peeved.
Author: theprincess Timestamp:- 11/3/2010 9:23:22 PM Subject: Re: Greed, neglect or just plain stupidity?
Message: To add significance to the decision to allow racing to continue ... From todays Advertiser in SA (worst paper in Aust!)
WHEN Wanted crossed the finishing line on Saturday to win the Newmarket Handicap, his potential stud value soared beyond $10 million. Just 10 minutes later and the brilliant three-year-old galloper was lucky to be alive.
The Peter Moody-trained sprinter, along with a couple of innocent bystanders, was saved by the instinctive actions of long-serving clerk-of-the-course John Patterson. The hail-storm that pounded Flemington, just after the running of the Newmarket, sent several horses into a frenzy.
When the storm hit, Patterson was riding his mount down the tunnel that separates the parade ring and the stabling area. Alongside him was dual Melbourne Cup-winning jockey John Letts, who had just interviewed Wanted's jockey Luke Nolen straight after the race. Letts, who was riding his long-time equine associate "Banjo", named in honour of Patterson, takes up the story.
"On the other side of us were a couple of women walking along and the four of us, with two horses, were effectively blocking the tunnel," Letts said.
"All of sudden we heard a horse going beserk and charging down the tunnel. I didn't know it was Wanted, but I might have guessed because he was going as quick as he did to win the Newmarket. I just froze and didn't know what to do. I looked down at the women who were petrified and thought, `they could be killed here'. "Then I thought, `if he hits Banjo, I'm in big trouble as well'." Patterson was the one to take control. "Patto yelled out `stay where you are', which we did."
As the runaway steed descended on the group, Patterson backed up his horse on an angle to block the tunnel and try to slow the star colt's momentum.
"Wanted hit his horse with a heck of a whack and the three of them travelled about 30 metres down the tunnel," Letts added. "John grabbed out and managed to get the horse's reins first time and brought him to a standstill." Just a few minutes earlier, King Pulse, who ran fourth in the Newmarket, took a similar route before hitting a barrier at the stabling end. King Pulse is suspected to have a fractured pelvis. Letts has no doubt a similar fate was in store for Wanted without the intervention of Patterson.
"John's not the type to want to be declared a hero, but he showed incredible courage and good sense," he said. "It's one of the scariest moments of my life and I'm glad he was there."
Author: tigerrish Timestamp:- 11/3/2010 5:59:36 PM Subject: Re: Greed, neglect or just plain stupidity?
At 2.02pm the Bureau issued that warning which clear states that it was very dangerous and avised people to stay indoors. There was never any reason to continue the meeting at that point.
Had Bailey done his job properly he would have called a halt to the meeting until the storm passed. And not only that, he would have passed on the weather forecast to the announcer to pre warn people on course of the imminent danger.
But he ignored that warning and claims he was in contact with the Bureau 15 minutes before race time and they said it would be alright. If thats the case, then why didnt the BOM site have an official warning time stamped at 2.20pm, he claims the warning update was changed before the horses stepped on course, yet there is no official proof of this, all he has is a telephone conversation to ride on.
So he listened to someone on the phone giving out unofficial thoughts, over an official warning? How unprofessional can you get.
And he got information that the storm wouldnt hit before race time, some 15 minutes before the race. At 2.20pm all those horse would have been saddled up and started their preparations for the race, they certainly wouldnt have been tucked up safely in their boxes at 2.20pm like they should have. So up until 2.20pm, the information Bailey had was the warning given out at 2.02pm. So in affect, he allowed those horses to prepare for a race under the possiblity that the storm was to hit 2.25, only five minutes after his advice was changed.
Whats even more disgusting with all this, is this man knew an extremely dangerous storm was approaching yet made no effort to warn anyone at that race track that this storm was to produce large hailstones.
Author: boof182 Timestamp:- 11/3/2010 4:24:49 PM Subject: Re: Greed, neglect or just plain stupidity?
Message: Funny how Rob Hines put forth his views on jumps racing and the multitude of safety issues the sport entails yet he supports Terry Bailey's call that they "gambled and won" in regards to the safety of both jockeys and horses when the biggest storm in a century is approaching.
The question I pose is, if it was Wanted who had slipped and fallen would this be a bigger issue than what we are seeing at present.
Bailey needs to be held accountable for his dispicable behaviour. As it stands the gamble did not pay off as a horse was injured. How on earth can he say they took a gamble and won. What an arrogant man he is. I say bring on the legal action and fast.
Author: doosra Timestamp:- 11/3/2010 1:54:38 PM Subject: Re: Greed, neglect or just plain stupidity?
Message: Good post and totally agree. I think I have read that there was some kind of warning coming over the public broadcast system at Flemington as the Newmarket was actually in progress. Which is one of several things which make me wonder why they let the horses continue to load into the barriers let alone release them - when they had obviously received the latest bureau warning of this exceptionally dangerous storm system prior to or during the preliminary and with the full knowledge that these warnings cannot possibly be accurate to the minute!
It just seems that rather than correctly act in the interests of safety of horses and jockeys by putting back the race by half an hour or so - the storms were there to see on the radar approaching for an hour beforehand and their unusual severity was bloody obvious - they could have forestalled the horses from even entering the mounting yard and given full warning to trainers and strappers of what was about to be unleashed from the heavens so that, for example, protective boots and gear could be applied to the animals which may have saved a few injuries - the VRC instead took a very great gamble and simply hoped for the best.
When lives are at stake that is just not good enough, not by a long shot. It is only by the grace of the gods that the full force of the storm didn't hit while the race was underway because the results as we can all imagine could have been quite horrific.
From a punter's perspective the race was pretty farcical as no horse can be expected to perform to its best under those conditions, horses are incredibly sensitive to weather and every one of them out there on the track would have sensed exactly what a dangerous position they were in and were no doubt thoroughly preoccupied by their own survival instincts.
So all in all the VRC stuffed up in a major way and they are just incredibly fortunate that their mismanagement did not result in actual fatalities. Hope I never see anything like it happen again.
Author: Red_Summit Timestamp:- 11/3/2010 1:41:41 PM Subject: Re: Greed, neglect or just plain stupidity?
Message: Tigerrish, in fairness to Bailey, the 2:30 update says that the storm will hit Footscray by 2:55 (a full half hour later than the 2:02 update you've referred to). Assuming that Bailey contacted the Bureau 15-20 minutes before the start, you can extrapolate from the difference that they would have told him that the storm wouldn't hit until 10 minutes after the race. Looks like the bureau got it wrong - hardly for the first time.
It's another thing again as to whether the Newmarket should have been run even assuming the storm wouldn't hit until 10 minutes after the race - it's a tight timeframe given the potential for delays to starts in a big field - but I don't think you can say that Bailey is being misleading about what he was told on the basis of the 2pm update.
Message: Good post, I couldn't agree more. Still can't believe they ran the race. The fact lightning was coming down around the track as they were running is just crazy. No wonder noone took Wanted on up front, probably figured the bloke out in front is the one most likely to get hit by a bolt of Lightning!
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