By Hans Ebert

Though news is news and crooks need to be exposed, it’s knowing when to stop. Flogging that dead horse won’t make it get up and say that everything is fine.

The other problem of continuing to flog that dead horse is that it attracts the opportunists standing on the sidelines watching everything unfold and ready to pounce with self-serving agendas.

It’s happened with #metoo along with #blacklivesmatter and other hashtag-driven movements. And though the case of the “Aquanita Dirty Eight” needed to be finally outed and named and shamed, surely this has all happened at least a decade too late- at least- with the barnyard door being closed after the horses have bolted with the moneybags?

Will any of this, for example, impact trainers Robert Smerdon or Tony Vasil? Of course not. They’ve already made all the money they need. What about the Aquanita Group, Sherlock? They were unaware about any this and have been allowed to quietly limped away into that waiting limousine like Keyser Soze did?

Smerdon and Vasil might say they’re “shattered”. They might say they’re giving up the game though most of us know the odds are that they will still have their grubby old hands all over horse racing and will most likely be pulling the strings from the shadows with their enablers doing their bidding. It’s in their DNA. They can’t help it.

Especially in Australia, it seems that the horse racing industry thrives on bad news. Social media gives more oxygen to the problem and where everything becomes a mulligatawny stew that drags things to another level that, ironically, takes horse racing into the gutter. And there’ve been plenty of problems that have crippled horse racing – and the welfare of animals- many times. Don’t believe no one is taking notes and building a much bigger case.

The worst part is that when these problems happens- and they certainly happens down South of the border with increasing regularity- The Man From The North no doubt rubs his hands with glee and says, “Come to daddy”.

Those supposedly leading the charge are constantly caught on the back foot with their pants down and no idea of crisis management. A roaring silence is not tackling the subject. It adds more fuel to the fire- and this fire is now raging unabated. And we all know about Nero and his fiddling…Silence is not golden unless one enjoys the genius of Buster Keaton.

Good leadership means looking at how to quell the bad news by offering real solutions- not another serving of corporate waffles- to bring about closure.

What surely must come into play are where the crooks in horse racing wearing the black hats and their partners in crime will never ever be allowed into horse racing and with all the various back doors that might allow them back in bolted shut forever. And if those in leadership roles in horse racing in Victoria are incapable to do this, ask trainer Lee Freedman for advice.

Though now training in Singapore, extremely seldom has someone in horse racing in Australia been as candid as when Lee Freedman was interviewed by Michael Felgate.

He spoke sense, he rubbished some petty accusations aimed his way, talked about how all this cheating has been going on for years and the difficulties in Australia of ensuring the integrity of horse racing no matter who might be brought in. New RVL General Manager of Integrity Jamie Stier has an almost impossible role.

The question is whether horse racing has any “integrity” left and what exactly Stiers can do to restore CONFIDENCE in the sport. He might be better off being The Great Builder Of Confidence. Jamie Stier might be better off being the Bob The Builder of horse racing in Victoria.

Singapore, meanwhile, now has a world class trainer in its ranks capable of attracting good new racing talent. With international races starting up later this month, one just might be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel for horse racing in the Lion City that isn’t an oncoming train.

#Aquanita #horseracing #Australia #RobertSmerdon #TonyVasil #LeeFreedman #JamierStier

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