Mur­der shocks all

Horse rac­ing iden­tity Samba gunned down

Townsville Bulletin - - National Snapshot -

STUNNED horse rac­ing fig­ures have ex­pressed s hock and sur­prise fol­low­ing the mur­der of for­mer trainer and colour­ful owner Les Samba who was gunned down on a busy Mel­bourne street on Sun­day night.

Samba, 60, had links with an ac­cused Syd­ney mur­derer and Mel­bourne un­der­world fig­ures, but is not be­lieved to have been un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion him­self.

Po­lice said he was shot dead af­ter ar­riv­ing for a meet­ing on the Bea­cons­field Pde beach­front at Mid­dle Park, a few kilo­me­tres from the Mel­bourne CBD, on Sun­day night.

They said he had been seen run­ning along the road­side be­fore be­ing shot in the head and body near a car he had ear­lier driven to the scene.

Samba had been in Mel­bourne for the Premier Year­ling Sales which be­gan at Oak­lands Junc­tion on Mon­day. A big spender at sales around the coun­try for many years, Samba and his fam­ily had owned sev­eral top-class race­horses.

At the sales yes­ter­day, re­ac­tion t o his death was muted.

Trainer David Hayes de­scribed him as a ‘‘ colour­ful’’ char­ac­ter.

‘ ‘ I trained for him, It hought he was a good bloke,’’ Hayes said.

Oth­ers said Samba was re­garded as a good judge of horse­flesh and were un­aware of any rea­son he would have been killed.

Samba owned sev­eral horses in part­ner­ship with ac­cused mur­derer Ron Medich, in­clud­ing Sea Lord and De­fi­ant Dame, who is due to run at War­wick Farm on Satur­day.

Medich was last year charged with mur­der­ing and so­lic­it­ing to mur­der Syd­ney prop­erty de­vel­oper Michael McGurk and is cur­rently on bail.

Samba had also been men­tioned in con­nec­tion with a prom­i­nent Mel­bourne crim­i­nal with close con­nec­tions to the rac­ing in­dus­try.

He was also the fa­ther-inl aw of suc­cess­ful j ockey Danny Nikolic who was mar­ried to his daugh­ter Vic­to­ria.

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor John Pot­ter from the Homi­cide Squad said po­lice be­lieved S a mba had parked and locked his car, a 2010 sil­ver Hyundai sedan with NSW reg­is­tra­tion plates, in the street to at­tend a meet­ing.

An al­ter­ca­tion be­tween the vic­tim and an­other man is un­der­stood to have pre­ceded the shoot­ing be­fore Samba was seen run­ning in an at­tempt to es­cape.

Po­lice are hunt­ing a man in his mid-20s to mid-30s last seen run­ning into Lan­gridge St, wear­ing dark cloth­ing.

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