Blinkers Off: Colbalt saga ruining Australian racing’s image overseas   1 comment

Blinkers Off: Colbalt saga ruining Australian racing’s image overseas

Just hours earlier, half a world away, his most famous horse trainer had been charged with administering cobalt, or causing it to be administered, to one of gallopers to help it win a race.

Terry Henderson at Werribee Racecourse. Picture: Colleen Petch.

Terry Henderson at Werribee Racecourse. Picture: Colleen Petch. Source: News Corp Australia

TERRY Henderson stood at the ruins of one empire last Friday as he spoke with sadness of the collapsing fortunes of another.

Henderson, the famous racehorse owner and constant traveller, was at the Acropolis in Greece.

Standing among rubble and cracked pillars, Henderson clutched his mobile phone and pondered the crumbling status of Australia’s Sport Of Kings.

SANCTIONS: Moody hit with colbalt charges

INVESTIGATION: Expert advice sought on ice case

Peter Moody charged

Peter Moody charged

He was careful not to put the chariot before the horse.

Peter Moody — and Mark Kavanagh, Danny O’Brien, the Hopes father and son team and a growing number of others around the country — has been charged but not found guilty.

Henderson, whose OTI syndicate races Lidari, the Moody-trained horse who pushed through the cobalt ceiling, is both a racing purist and loyal supporter.

Like his business partner Simon O’Donnell and another big-time Moody owner, Racing Victoria chairman David Moodie, Henderson will remain staunchly in his trainer’s corner as his day or reckoning draws closer.

The increasingly grim faces of the accused and the eruptions interstate, particularly the gobsmacking revelations of the ongoing Sam Kavanagh inquiry in Sydney, suggest the walls are closing in not just on this handful of trainers, but the industry itself.

It’s not just a regional drama, either.

Peter Moody has been charged with using colbalt. Picture: Norm Oorloff

Peter Moody has been charged with using colbalt. Picture: Norm Oorloff Source: News Corp Australia

Henderson said he would back his man but also said the damage of this saga was killing the image of Australian racing internationally.

He said our cobalt saga “was all they are talking about’’ at places like Newmarket in the UK.

Henderson has a network of trainers and racing associates throughout the world. His syndicate buys a handful of Caulfield and Melbourne Cup hopefuls from Europe, even places like Argentina, each year. One such horse was Lidari.

Henderson demands his dealings and his trainers are squeaky-clean because he is aware, always, that he operates in an industry that can easily be corrupted.

Matt Chapman, the colourful UK racing host, also said in a Melbourne radio interview last week that the scandals of Australian racing were the talking points of UK racing.

There seems to be a growing perception internationally that Aussie racing is full of short-cutting cowboys; that if Europeans come out here the playing field might be more than a little lopsided.

Against that, of course, is that the European and Japanese horses wallop us every time they compete here.

Racing, globally, is as much about prestige as prizemoney and the fear of Henderson and others is that Australian racing might be perceived, if not now then soon, as the badlands of world racing.

It’s unfair, of course — especially given the UK, US and elsewhere are not immune from such scandals — and premature.

But this Aussie, not Greek, tragedy is attracting a global audience that isn’t impressed.

Originally published as Colbalt saga ruining our image overseas


Posted July 13, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

One response to “Blinkers Off: Colbalt saga ruining Australian racing’s image overseas

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. It’s good to see these owners sticking by Peter Moody. It shows their faith in him – based on long knowledge. I’m concerned that so much weight is placed on the necessary science that every other consideration is overlooked. It’s one thing to say that Lidari had too much cobalt in his system: it’s quite another to say that it was administered, or caused to be administered, by Moody. Against such an idea is the fact that such a stupid act is completely out of character with the man. Other considerations include the facts that only one horse in his huge stable has tested positive, and that he has no apparent contact or dealings with the vet clinic which seems to have been the main supplier. Yes, it would be hard for someone else with ulterior motives to do this, but not impossible if they were determined. There are too many questions here for Moody to be condemned – and that stable disappearing would tear a great hole in Victorian racing. I’m afraid it would be the end of it for me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: