The race that stops a suburb

THOROUGHBRED RACING:

A lightning fast time is being tipped for the Everest this afternoon at Randwick Racecourse after it was revealed that some of the fancied runners were shown images overnight of old racehorses being cruelly slaughtered at a knackery north of Brisbane.

Frontrunners in the world’s richest turf race believed to have been forced to watch the graphic images from an ABC 7.30 special report on Thursday were Pierata, Santa Ana Lane , Arcadia Queen and Classique Legend. The Bug understands there may be others.

The horses reportedly became skittish while watching the footage filmed secretly at the Meramist Abattoir in Caboolture, which showed former racehorses being kicked, dragged, shocked and slaughtered.

One trainer who asked not to be named told The Bug: “With $14 million in prize money, can you blame any of us for trying to get a winning edge, to climb that mountain so to speak and get the very best peak performance out of our runners?

“Besides, scaring the bejesus out of our runners is in no way a cruel act. We checked it with our lawyers and it’s not covered by any of the rules of racing in Australia.”

Contacted by The Bug Racing Australia chief executive officer Barry O’Farrell took time out from enjoying a $3000 bottle of vintage Grange wine to once again blast “animal rights activists and goody-two-shoers” determined to bring the nation’s thoroughbred racing industry, worth many tens of billions of dollars a year a year in lost wagers, to its knees.

“Do you think racehorses don’t get scared when they’re thundering around a track in close proximity, or when they get whipped gently in the home straight?” Mr Farrell asked.

“Showing horses that abattoir footage is just harmless hi-jinks. Silly horseplay if you like that the RSPCA would have no concerns about.

“And if it makes them perform better, what’s the harm in that?”

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said that while he was appalled by the abattoir footage, it would be a sad day in Australia if the thoroughbred racing industry was forced to close.

“This is the sport of kings,” Mr V’landys said. “Will there come a time when you can’t enjoy one of the great spectacles in Australian life?

“And by that I mean loitering by the exit gates at any of the great tracks around Australia after a fantastic day’s racing and watching all those beautiful women totally off their tits on champagne, their fascinators in tatters, wobbling along and carrying their broken high-heels with them, vomiting up their lunch, stone motherless broke and with mascara running all down their pretty faces after the mother of all fights with their boyfriends or husbands who demanded the last of their money for a final get-square bet?

“Do we really want to lose that?”