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By David Fowler | Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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.

Don't ever think the racing industry is immune from political correctness that is devouring Australian society.

A Chairman Of Stewards Committee (COSC) has recently delivered a posturing exercise in relation to jockeys' agents.

Shrieks of "conflict of interest" and "integrity risks" emanated after the COSC discovered some jockey agents had established "paid tipping services" after being granted an agent licence.

It's now over to Racing Australia to wield the whip and introduce a rule that it is an offence for a jockey agent to either bet or tip on a horse their client is riding.

COSC's presumption that "of course they'll be up to no good" whether it's betting or tipping is insulting to say the least.

This can be a lucrative profession at best or a modest money earner at worst but a common objective is to find the best rides for the best result for all parties.

To put it as simply as I can, the agent wants the jockey to win.

If the agent happens to secure some extra information in their pursuits, so what

If they decide to have a bet, so what!

And what does COSC require from the agents who have tipping services?

Leave blank the races their jockeys are competing in. What arrant nonsense.

And will they discriminate between agents who have tipping services and agents that don't?

I'm sure they're bullish about catching these so-called culprits.

After all, they've done a great job making certain all jockeys don't bet, haven't they?

Don't expect this to go through without plenty of resistance ... as there should be.


It must have been an excruciatingly hard decision for team Winx to give the thumbs down to the overseas campaign.

I must confess I was surprised the majority of racing enthusiasts endorsed her staying home.

I'm happy to say I wanted her to step on to the European stage but it wasn't to be.

Saturday's second QE triumph was one of her greatest performances and that's saying something.

Coming from last, coming the widest, establishing an ever widening margin while carving out brilliant sectionals all need to be mentioned on the report card on this race.

And Gailo Chop, Happy Clapper and Humidor were made to look second rate.

And they're not.

Winx is purely and simply in a different zone.


Sometimes as a media commentator you have to reflect on topics you raise and discuss.

I was silly to even entertain the idea of Winx tackling The Everest this year rather than the Cox Plate in Monday's Press Room program.

Colleague Bruce Clark swiftly and sensibly put it into the rubbish bin later in the program.

I suppose it's just the prospect of her jumping out of a comfort zone to test her championship qualities that has me thinking out aloud.

Alas, it will be something we will never see.


Owner-breeder Mike Crooks and I go back a fair way.

Mike turned his back on the trots to concentrate on the thoroughbred world although there was as time he was a fellow committee member at Albion Park.

Never short of vision or enthusiasm, I wished him well as he confidently started out with a small band of broodmares.

To see him own and breed a trio of metro winners at the Sunshine Coast on the weekend vindicated that hope of a decade ago.

To see him do it without his delightful wife Patti was sad but I'm sure she was looking down from above.

Congratulations Mike.

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David Fowler
Mike Crooks ... owned three of the winners at the Sunshine Coast meeting on Saturday
Mike Crooks ... owned three of the winners at the Sunshine Coast meeting on Saturday
Winx proved yet again that she is purely and simply in a different zone
Winx proved yet again that she is purely and simply in a different zone
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