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By David Fowler | Tuesday, November 20, 2012

David Fowler is the principal thoroughbred caller for Radio TAB. David, who is a keen form student and punter, has enjoyed a lifetime involvement in the racing media. His personal blog, ‘My Call’, appears exclusively on HRO.

It's a word I rarely use but "unsavoury" comes to my mind when reflecting on the Nathan Tinkler-Patinack racing empire slow burn.

Like a slow moving thunderstorm, it has collected victims along the way.

I have no doubt Patinack will survive in some shape or form but the collateral damage in the process has been ... unsavoury.

Tinkler's mining portfolio has received plenty of publicity, but it is a real smoke and mirrors exercise trying to understand it.

The racing dramas have been more transparent as bits of information seep out about unpaid bills to small businesses around Australia.

Closing down stables and clearance sales has been a backdrop to controlling bodies and clubs demanding rental and sponsorship payments.

This is another unsavoury side to the on-going affair.

Has Nathan Tinkler received more generous treatment than the average Joe?

It's a legitimate question but one that will never come under serious scrutiny.

But controlling bodies and race-clubs are big enough to look after themselves and if they get … or got burned … they should have known better.

It's the employees of Patinack that are now starting to tell their stories. People who love the animal, some at breaking point that the animal's welfare is possibly under threat.

Surely the days of Patinack-sponsored races are now long gone.

Let's hope the racing and breeding empire can get its act together and regroup and reform. Otherwise, the situation remains, well, unsavoury.


The BRC's summer series and the Gold Coast Magic Millions carnival present great theatre for our summer of racing.

But the other show playing in town will create plenty of interest as well.

During the next three months the process will be undertaken to decide the three Board members for each individual code of racing.

The chairmen of this trio of Boards will be appointed to the over-arching Board with two independent appointments to make a total of five.

Legislation for the LNP-inspired new model for racing will be passed in Parliament's last sitting next week.

The tip around the ridges is the new operation will be up and running by March.

Racing politics can be fun to watch. Make sure you've got a good seat!


Another announcement to look forward to, sooner than later, is the finalised infrastructure plan for the Queensland racing industry.

To describe this as a "work in process" would be an understatement.

The $110 million spend on updating and creating infrastructure for the three codes was a brainchild of the ALP in December 2009.

There have been several twists and turns along the way but all should be unveiled in the next fortnight.


Guess who, don't sue: Talk of one recent city race in Brisbane won't stop.

And for all the wrong reasons.

Until next week.

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David Fowler
David Fowler
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best