Deagon trainer case is avoid­able prob­lem

Bayside and Northern Suburbs Star - - SPORT - MARK OBERHARDT

THE sad thing about the case of Deagon trainer Dar­ren Bell, who has been forced to quit, is that it could have eas­ily been avoided.

For those who missed it, in De­cem­ber one of Bell’s horses got a case of stran­gles (a con­ta­gious re­s­pi­ra­tory dis­ease) in his sta­bles an did the right thing and re­ported it to Rac­ing Queens­land. No prob­lems so far, ex­cept he was left with 24 fit horses he couldn’t work and he had to lock them up in their stalls. It meant he couldn’t have any run­ners race meet­ings. Like all train­ers Bell runs his busi­ness on keep­ing train­ing fees to a min­i­mum and mak­ing a profit on his win­ning and place per­cent­ages. In other words no run­ners, no in­come. At the same time Bell had to keep his staff on, and pay for feed, clean­ing, far­ri­ers, vet’s bills and so on. Again in other words the bills kept com­ing in and the in­come didn’t. Now that might have been okay for a fort­night but in ef­fect Bell was shut down for so long he couldn’t get back to the races un­til April. By that time he was so far in debt he ad­mits he will never get out.

TRAIN­ERS are irate about Bell’s treat­ment, in the south sev­eral sta­bles have only been fined when they were caught not re­port­ing stran­gles. It is a strange world when Bell is forced out by do­ing the right thing and oth­ers can con­tinue train­ing by do­ing the wrong thing. Now I am not the only one say­ing that Rac­ing Queens­land should have done some­thing to help Bell months ago. I have and so have many oth­ers, been writ­ing and say­ing such for months. It is yet an­other case of peo­ple who might have half an idea be­ing to­tally ig­nored by Rac­ing Queens­land. Had they taken some no­tice then one of the most pop­u­lar fig­ures in Queens­land rac­ing would not have been forced out of the sport.

THE Aus­tralian Train­ers As­so­ci­a­tion has been fight­ing for Bell since Jan­uary with lit­tle suc­cess. The ATA wants Rac­ing Queens­land to de­velop a gen­eral pol­icy for the fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance of li­censed train­ers in Queens­land whose horses are the sub­ject of quar­an­tine lock­down aris­ing from a stran­gles case in the sta­ble. What is needed is fi­nan­cial and per­son­nel sup­port as well as a pol­icy as to ex­actly how long a sta­ble will be locked down.

THE fact a ma­jor or­gan­i­sa­tion and the me­dia have been fight­ing for Bell for the best part of eight months and had no suc­cess says some­thing about RQ. It is not a one off whinge but rather a gen­uine con­cern be­cause ba­si­cally it could hap­pen to any trainer. Bris­bane rac­ing is very cen­tralised with over 400 horses at Ea­gle Farm. If there was a stran­gles out­break it would crip­ple rac­ing here. There needs to be a clear pol­icy now and not one put to­gether in an­other nine months.

THERE are few bet­ter bred sires than Bul­let Train who had an­other Queens­land win­ner with Sur­prise Bul­let last week at the Gold Coast. Bul­let Train is a three quar­ter brother in blood to the cham­pion Euro­pean gal­loper Frankel. The Bul­let Train’s look as though they will be gen­uine stay­ers so watch out for a few around Queens­land Derby time next year.

TRAINER Barry Lock­wood is one who is re­garded as al­ways plac­ings his horses wisely. He has cer­tainly done that of late win­ning the Bal­lina Cup with Cash­ing Up and the Lis­more Cup with Sky Trek. Lock­wood’s top mare Tum­bler is back in work af­ter yet an­other in­jury scare. But Barry is not will­ing to make a pre­dic­tion about where she will bob up next. He ex­plained Tum­bler had got into so much trou­ble over the years he lit­er­ally took it one day at a time.

ROB­BIE Fradd has had an un­usual run of wins as a re­place­ment jockey which saw him ride an­other tre­ble on Satur­day. Fradd won on Snitzkraft ($2), Colosimo ($6) and The Equal­izer ($17) at Ip­swich but orig­i­nally thought he would have an early day. He was a late re­place­ment on the Equal­izer when Ryan Plumb, who was later fined $300, couldn’t make the weight. It was the third time in a fort­night Fradd had won on a horses af­ter be­ing named the re­place­ment jockey. “Some­times it goes that way but it is al­ways good to get a tre­ble,” Fradd said.

THE nom­i­na­tions have been fi­nalised for the an­nual Wayne Wil­son Medal pre­sen­ta­tion to be held at the Gee­bung RSL on Thurs­day week. The medal goes to the trainer who has an out­stand­ing per­for­mance for the sea­son. There are monthly win­ners with the over­all cham­pion de­cided by a Brown­low Medal type vote. The most sort af­ter award is run by the Queens­land di­vi­sion of the Aus­tralian train­ers As­so­ci­a­tion. The fi­nal­ists are: Au­gust Trevor Rowe, Septem­ber Norm Stephens, Oc­to­ber Dar­lene Duryea, Novem­ber - Desleigh Forster, De­cem­ber - Tony Gol­lan, Jan­uary - Toby Edmonds, Fe­bru­ary - Kelly Doughty, March - Rex Lipp, April Ben Cur­rie, May - Steve Tregea, June - Paul But­ter­worth, July - Tom But­ton.

HORSES TO FOL­LOW Snitzkraft, Colosimo, Vas­sal and Fiery Heights.

❝ It is a strange world when Bell is forced out by do­ing the right thing and oth­ers can con­tinue train­ing by do­ing the wrong thing.

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