Queensland's Own Welcome to the best coverage of racing in Queensland Queensland's Best
Horse Racing Only
www.horseracingonly.com.au Horse Racing Only logo
Home Racing Queensland National International Blogs Photo Gallery Links Contact Us


By David Fowler | Tuesday, July 31, 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.

Popular bookmaker Con Searle is going "back to the future".

Searle will introduce "concession" betting on a second board at the Doomben August 11 meeting.

The principle of concession betting is simple.

You back a horse at a reduced price (around 25 to 28%) and if it runs second or third you get your money back.

For example, you might take $4.60 about a horse that is trading at $6 and if it can only manage second or third your stake is returned.

The only variance is when the field is five to seven, only the second placed investment is returned.

Searle has a long history in bookmaking and understands the on-track bookmakers have to change it up to not only attract punters but keep themselves relevant in an increasingly competitive betting climate.

Concession betting is not a new concept to Australian racing.

In previous decades it was highly popular in greyhound racing when a punter would often take the reduced price or the "concession bet" knowing a leader, for example, might get run down late or a backmarker might zoom home at the finish.

Meanwhile, Searle makes his annual pilgrimage this week to field at this year's Darwin Carnival resplendent with a new kidney which he reports is working at 100%!

Then it's back to Brisbane where the cry of "on the conny" will be heard after many year's absence.


Many considered the Doomben track was "leaderish" or "biased" on Saturday.

Was it?

Too often, pundits jump the gun after a few races and, yes, on occasions that early assessment can be a smart move financially if you sniff a trend.

The first seven winners were three leaders, two outside lead, and two in the first four or five.

From those statistics, do we immediately assume the track is biased?

Can well backed, natural leaders (read Spurcraft and Sabkhat) not be allowed to win without a biased tag being hung on the track?

Is tempo suitably ignored (read race two walking tempo ) in the prosecution of a mistaken case of a biased track?

And is the case ultimately weakened or torn apart when the last two winners run on from the back which included Look Like Elvis' last to first performance?

Excuse the language but I think many of these commentators get it "arse up" in their assessment.

Rather than focusing on leaders winning which often is quite expected or normal, why not find horses that normally run on strongly that can't feature or get into the race.

If it's not tempo related, then there might be a case for a "biased" argument.

Except for leader Bodega Negra running second, Saturday's winners and placegetters were reasonably expected and were consistent with their racing patterns.

The track was not biased.


I noticed Fighting Teo ran an excellent second at Rosehill on Saturday.

Yes, second at Rosehill.

That followed two good Toowoomba runs and a more than creditable performance in the Sunshine Coast Guineas.

So, doesn't that sixth at the Sunshine Coast beaten over nine lengths five runs ago seem totally out of character.

Fighting Teo's jockey Damian Browne told stewards the horse felt physically awkward that day after having clear running the entire trip.

They didn't believe him and suspended him for two months,

I couldn't believe it at the time and subsequent performances of Fighting Teo hasn't changed my mind.


Sad to hear of Ron Conquest's passing on Monday.

His career included riding Lucky Ring to Stradbroke Handicap victories in 1949 and 1950 and training Honest Man to win the 1962 Queensland Derby.

He also prepared a good sprinter called Blazing Steel in the 1990's.

Ron pulled the pin on training at a late age but was still a regular Saturday racegoer for many years up to his ill health.

More articles

David Fowler
David Fowler
Con Searle ...
Con Searle ...
… and his team
… and his team
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best