17 August 2012

"Plugger" Perna to probe Smoking Aces and more

Victoria's Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna has finally announced an inquiry into race fixing in the state following the stream of allegations coming out of The Age's investigative unit. The Commissioner has allotted just 25 days to look into the Smoking Aces affair but has also given himself a wide brief:
''It's also about plugging holes in systems and processes. Are there changes that could have been done better? … Are there changes that are needed to be made to legislation?'' Mr Perna said.
Perna said his probe would be covering all three racing codes. That's a lot to cover, given the daily dose of revelations The Age team has been doling out, as today's paper demonstrates with more sensational allegations almost buried at the bottom of the report:
"Racing sources have confirmed that Danny Nikolic had significant control over the ownership and training of Smoking Aces, directing a Caulfield trainer on how the horse should be treated in the lead-up to the Cranbourne race."
And just as a parting gesture:
"Organised crime figures along the east coast are closely tied to major betting operations run by professional punters and which have access to trainers, jockeys and other racing figures."
Oh, joy.

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