By Hans Ebert
A very short time before he suddenly passed away in June, barrister Kevin Egan, 70, called as he always did on a race day to ask what I fancied for a Six Up. It was the only bet he made. Sunday afternoons was time for him to get away from everything on his boat. After he had placed his Six Up.
We would exchange notes. He was always surprised when mentioning that one particular Australian jockey’s ride should not be left out of calculations.
As was the norm, big Kev, who went out of his way to help many, especially in the racing game and suddenly finding themselves unwittingly in trouble or facing the wrath of the almighty Stewards, would mumble, “That little thief? He couldn’t lie straight in bed! The club should have got rid of him a decade ago!”
Knowing that I knew the Gnasher- Nash Rawiller- Kev mentioned that he had been brought in as part of his defence team. Good move. He was not just a passionate racing man. He knew the law. He knew something about the case against Nash. There was a whiff of déjà vu.
This was during the fairly early days when news broke of the popular Australian rider being arrested by the ICAC- the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption.
To those in Hong Kong and who knew this wonderful and generous man- like his great friend Nick Columb, describing Kev as a larger-than-life character would be selling him short- we know just how much and for how long the ICAC badgered him. Ironically, he was at one time one of them. They wanted Kevin very badly. They failed.
This story of vindictiveness surfaced again during the eulogy given by his younger brother at Kev’s funeral in July. The toll it had taken on Kev. Everything he did to keep it hid.
With regards to the case against Nash, all he was prepared to say was that “those c**** have nothing on him. But being the c**** that they are, they’ll drag it out. They’ll make him and his family’s life miserable. Because they can. The HKJC can’t interfere with their investigation. But it’s a bullshit investigation. They’re looking for something that’s not there”.
Big Kev was right. Nash Rawiller left Hong Kong and back home to Sydney on Wednesday. He left a free man. He was not “disgraced” jockey. If he had no case to answer, how could he be “disgraced”? Still, the emotional toll it must have taken on him and his family? One can only guess.
Though Kevin Egan is no longer with us, he would not let it go. Knowing Kev for as long as I did and all the free advice he gave when deciding to start up Racingbitch with the best being, “Don’t ever reply to emails threatening you with legal action or demanding financial compensation”, he would have found ways for what happened to Nash Rawiller to never happen again.
Yes, he would always tell me to trust very few jockeys. It was something drummed into him by a former jockey…but only after he had hung up his saddle. But there were a couple of the boys riding here whom he liked. They know who they are. He fought damn hard for them. And he would have not let the case against Nash Rawiller just disappear into the night.
He would find a way for what happened to this rider- and his family- to never happen again.
Perhaps there’s a bigger story and case here that must be pursued by everyone who believes in fair play.
Very very often Big Brother is looking out for himself.
This isn’t “1984”. Any hint of an Orwellian society must be destroyed. No one should live under a spectre of fear. Where the only “law” is fear and intimidation. A dog always bites back. And don’t prod the bear.
#NashRawiller #ICAC #KevinEgan #horseracing