20 August 2012

Racing Reviewers turn on the media

"The Fairfax papers are clearly being well fed by Victorian police," complained Bruce Clark to Mick Sharkie on TVN's Racing Review. "And I can't understand The Herald Sun in any way!" Clark and the boys, back this week from winter break, were tackling the indignity of seeing racing's good name dragged through the mud in their absence. Clark insisted that denials by racing authorities like Racing Victoria and Betfair of any knowledge of alleged corrupt practices equated with denying the allegations altogether. With an eye to the future, Sharkie was more cautious: "People are innocent till proven guilty," he counseled before swinging back to the core integrity issue: we need racing authorities and the police to start talking. In Sydney Richard Callander was uncharacteristically lost for words: "How can we comment when we don't know the whole story?" Could be "one bad seed" said Callander but, again, the media has been "silly for building suspicion. And that's all the papers now are doing: trying to sell papers." he said. Callander noted "we're not privy to the information that the police are withholding from the racing industry." Unless you're from The Age it would seem. Mark Shean, whose sage interventions are usually the show's highlight, said nothing at all on the topic. Eventually Clark shrugged at an email from a punter worried about doing his dough on a crooked racing game. "If you've got those concerns," Clark told the viewer, "don't bet until it's all cleaned up. A case of buyer beware." Cold comfort.

Over at Sky's Racing Retro, Richard Freeman, called "bullshit"! Freeman was adamant that Sal Perna is just a well meaning bureaucrat. Perna and Rob Hines and Dennis Napthine were engaging in nothing but a "window dressing exercise". "They haven't even got the authority to compel people to give evidence! Can you imagine anyone with real evidence of race fixing turning up at this inquiry and just handing it over?" You said it, Richard.

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