Saturday, 7 September 2013


It seems to have been forever since I had a horse of my own and any real involvement in racing.

I still have a very good knowledge of local racing, attending regular meetings and watching the rest on pay TV.

I have taken interest in the career of a horse owned and trained by the son of a long time friend and former trainer.
I could see some problems that the horse was having and I knew the training methods being used by the young trainer and his father.
They had some success with the horse and neither father or son were open to any suggestions from anyone, so I was very surprised when the son phoned me and asked if I would be willing to help him.
He wanted to take his family for an interstate holiday but wanted the horse to keep up with his work and retain his fitness----his father has been sick, and father and son usually argue badly over everything with horses, so he wanted me to work the horse for him while he was away.
I really don't like their methods but I enjoyed the idea of being back in harness myself, so I agreed.

The deal was that I would work the horse to the sons planned schedule, early each morning and work the horse by himself and that I would not let the father interfere.

First morning, I was there at 6.30am and on the track by 7.00am. Of course the father arrived and tried to supervise me and give me his ideas, but I worked the horse to the instructions I had been given.
I spoke to a friend of mine during the warm down jog laps and asked if he was working any other horses later in the morning----he was and I arranged to meet him at the track at 11.00am

He laughed when I arrived with the horse again, with father no where to be seen----I wanted to work with another horse at about half pace and try to teach this horse to race.
That work suited my friend and we worked together over 2 miles at half pace and sprinted to the post with the two horses going head and head along side each other.
I arranged to meet him again the next day

On day two, father was there for the early morning work out and was nowhere to be seen  for the 11.00am two horse war. This time I worked on the outside of my friends horse and we went strongly for 2miles, stepping up the pace to the line, but finishing with heads together.

This went on for four mornings but on the fifth I asked my friend to work his horse behind me over the 2 miles and then come around me and race to the line. I had watched my horse race a few times and he gets very lazy when in front and needs to be driven with the whip to keep him going to the line, so holding him back to a three quarter pace work out and yelling at him all the way seemed to confuse him and when the other horse came to him for the sprint, I just gave him one flick, screamed at him and urged him to the line. They finished with heads together
The sixth morning I worked my horse behind my friend but still kept talking to him and growling at him, even though we were at three quarter pace and I had him under a good hold----I sure he wondered what the hell was going on, even more so when I eased him out for the sprint home and only yelled at him. He raced up easily on the outside of my friends horse and they finished with heads together.

We mixed up their work for another week, both horses having victories, neither knocked around with the whip and both learning to race each other.
I phoned the race driver of this horse, who trains in his own right and asked if he could bring another horse or two to work with us, but not tell the owners father.
He arrived with his daughter and two handy racehorses-----I told him what we had been doing and I told him that I thought this horse could race without being chased with the whip and would sprint to the line a lot better if yelled at and only being flicked with the whip----he laughed but agreed to the match race and see if this horse had changed his ways.
We set up with the daughter in front, my friend in behind her, the driver with his horse and me in last place.
We worked strongly over a mile and a half and then stepped up the pace----as I eased out to make my run, the driver came out in front of me and my friend popped out in front of him----as we came to the home turn, the driver eased out to three wide to make his run with my horse right on his back and as he went to the lead, I screamed at my horse, gave him one flick and he went straight past them all.

I have to admit that I was as surprised as everyone, not only that this horse could sprint like that but he had learned to race so quickly.
The driver said that he couldn't wait to tell the owner and his father. I asked him if he could keep it to himself until race night which was a week away---and the owner would be back to take over in 3 days.---he agreed.

The owner came home, phoned me and thanked me and told me that the horse was in on Saturday night.

I went to the race meeting---I asked the owner if he thought it was worth having a small bet on his horse. He told me that he thought that the field might go a bit quick for his horse but that he could run a place.
The driver came to the stable to get his racing colours and told the owner that he had never seen this horse work so well as the morning of our little race set-up.
The owner and his father were not impressed that I had been working him my way and giving him extra work and I walked away with them fighting with each other over letting me work the horse at all.

Any way, I had a fairly modest bet on the horse, the driver's daughter had a few dollars on him and my friend, who normally doesn't bet opened his wallet.
The horse did his bit---he showed unusual pace out of the barrier and took up a great position in behind the leader and race favourite---the driver was talking t him and yelling at him to keep his place, no whip driving was required.
We got a lot of good luck with horse coming to tackle the favourite a few times during the run and as they rounded the home turn, there was horses coming from everywhere to make their runs---the driver eased the horse into the sprint lane under a hard hold, screamed at him and gave him one flick with the whip. He even amazed me as scooted past them and won running away.

The driver told me later that he had told the owner and his father that that was the way he finished off his run in training---but both told him that it was just the way the race was run---it suited him.
Who cares---we backed a winner that paid $23 on the tote.
Maybe he will go on as a better racehorse---I hope so

Monday, 15 April 2013


We go through life surrounded by family and we think that we know all about them.
If nothing is said then we assume that we know it all.

I grew up surrounded by basically all of my mothers family
The back fence of my maternal grandparents house was part of our side fence and it was normal to take a short cut through their yard when going most places..
Unusually for the era, my mother went back to work when I went to school, so my grandparents were a big part of my life while I was growing up. They had immigrated from Scotland, so I learned a whole new language and about another culture.

Every "family" time of the year, my mothers family would gather at my grandparents house to celebrate but when my grandfather died, so did the gatherings.

My father was an only child and both of his parents died shortly after I was born.
I know that my paternal grandparents never owned a house and that my paternal great grandfather immigrated from Denmark, married and had two sons.
I know that my mother and father did not marry before the war because my father volunteered and that he could not send his allotment to my mother to save for their house, so it was sent to his mother to save. Unfortunately, she enjoyed the money and spent it all before my father was discharged.

There was so much I thought that I knew about my family and so little that I asked.
And now there is no one to ask.

My mother was in her eighties when she had a slight stroke---at first we just thought it was a fall until I realised that she had no memory of it and shortly after it----
Some hours later in hospital she was being quizzed by a doctor and all seemed to be back to normal until she told the doctor that she had her eye poked out when she was two years old. I was frustrated by that and said something about her having two eyes-----it was only then that I found out that my mother only had one eye-----I had never noticed, never asked and never been told----and that I then knew, embarrassed my mother.

Now I have had contact from my mother's cousin's daughter who is working on the family tree of my maternal grandfather and I realise how little I really know about that family
I had no idea that my grandfather's family immigrated to the United States but returned to Scotland.
I now know that my maternal grandmother was an illegitimate child and that most of her family did immigrate to the USA and Canada.

But then I had a phone call---a woman working on her husbands family tree and that is my fathers family. I gave her the information that I had only to be told that most of it was wrong.
Did my father not know or not care or did I not ask enough
Yes, my great grandfather did immigrate from Denmark but he had seven children from two wives.
I know he died before my father was born but surely my dad asked about him and other in the family.
My father rarely spoke about his parents---I have one photo of me as a baby in their arms but my grandfather died of a heart attack when I was six moths old-----or was my father keeping the big family secret.
I was shocked when this woman doing the family tree told me that my grandmother had committed suicide.
Nothing was ever said---no one ever told me.
I searched the State Archives today and read the coroners report that my grandmother, aged 61, had hung herself in the shed behind her house.
Why would she do that.---her sister was living with her, she lived close to my home, she had my father, her only son, she had two young grandchildren.
The doctors report said she had been depressed over the death of my grandfather eight months before.----very sad, but she could have had 20 years of being my grandmother.

I guess we just go through life with our families taking them for granted and taking everything that they tell us as gospel. Maybe for our own satisfaction we have a responsibility to ask more, be interested and proud of our lineage and make sure that we pass our personal history down the line.
You never know, you might have the missing link

Saturday, 19 January 2013


I suppose one of the biggest stories in the world at the moment is Lance Armstrong admitting to being a drug cheat.
Well, admitting in his own way, while defending his actions and trying to apportion the blame to a variety of circumstances and people.
Sorry Lance, you did it, you got caught, pay up
You are a cheat and a thief
You stole the dreams of so many people.

Now having said that, Lance is no orphan.
Where there is prize money or glory and betting attached to the physical endeavours of man or man trained beasts, there will be those who will try to gain some underhanded advantage.

You should know by now that I have spent the best part of my life involved in the racing of horses.
I learned very early that a large majority people involved in the racing of horses, were quite willing to take short cuts and use anything they could to try to gain some advantage.

Blood doping is really nothing new. A simplistic form was used as early as there is records. Trainers used to bleed their horses in the belief that the newly produced blood in the system would have some magical power. It did actually, carrying more oxygen the horses appeared to be fresher and rejuvinated.

Over the years more and more substances have been banned by authorities as they have found them being used to enhance the performance of horses.
Unbelievably the early popular performance enhancing drugs were actually poisons. But in small regulated doses, poisons like arsenic and strychnine act as stimulants and were indeed responsible for vastly improved performances. Unfortunately, the system does not purge these poisons and of course a build-up caused multiple problems.
Steriods came and went, eventually being listed as banned substances .

Suddenly swabing proceedures detected traces of an elephant tranquilizer called Etorphine. Once again it was a poison used in small doses proving to be a great stimulant and it was being masked my large doses of glucose.
So it was discovered that the cheats were not only using illegal substances but had found a way to mask their use.
It was not until authorities started to investigate the reason for vastly increased CO2 levels in blood samples that they found the use of baking soda was masking the use of a Methamphetamine called Blue Ice.
A few trainers were banned after Blue Ice was found in their horses blood samples but the real smarties had moved on to an Ecstasy variant called Red Mercedes once again masked by baking soda.
Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) is naturally occuring in the body and assists with the neutralizing of lactic acid in the muscles but now authorities have set an upper limit that can be in the body before being deemed to be a masking agent.

But have no doubts that the cheats have moved on and have found another way to manually or chemically enhance performances. It is like a dog chasing its tail---just as the authorities catch up, the smarties have moved on

I can tell you that my greatest satisfaction in racing has been beating these cheats by hard work, good feed and a knowlege of how to get the best out of natural ability. I can only assist my horses by education and sometimes a little psychology.

A cheat who I know very well thought that he was the smartest man in Australia when he found a supplier in a "neutral" European country. When he went to collect his supplies, he was nearly knocked down at the shop door by one of the most respected trainers ever in this country.
Hmm, I have now lost all respect for him.

So Lance, you are no orphan, but you are to be despised and forever known as a cheat.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


I knew that she was different from the first time I met her.
But somehow, I like "different" people---maybe I am one or just understand.

We talked a lot but it usually ended abruptly, like she had lost interest, or she just needed to leave.
I think she was happy in her own world and in her own company.

She used to talk about her ex---like there was only ever one guy---but I never pushed the point because I could sense a tenderness was still there and I never tried to advance our relationship.

She worked in the same office as a very good friend of mine. ---- a friend who like to meddle in my life---so it happened. My friend arranged that we would all have a night out with her and her husband.
It was a great night but it was easy to sense her discomfort at times even though she grabbed my hand and we walked arm in arm between the evening's venues.
I took her to a fair she wanted to go to and to the home of some charlatan to have her angels and auras read----sad that these people prey on the vulnerable and needy.---but there was no relationship other than a fairly lose friendship.

She failed to show up to work for over a week and her phones had been disconnected, so her contract was terminated---she was only a temporary employee.
I was concerned for her welfare and tried to contact her but there was nothing for over six months.
Then a phone call--"Could you come and visit me--I would like to see you and talk"----she had admitted herself to a clinic.
Of course I went and spent hours with her, talking and walking the grounds and playing pool with some other "inmates", until her parents arrived.
Her father took an instant dislike to me but that was fine---I didn't like his attitude towards his daughter needing help with a fragile mental state.
I could see that she wanted to talk to her mother alone, so I excused myself and asked her father outside for a cigarette. I further endeared myself to him, telling him he was an ignorant, arrogant arsehole and that he needed to support his daughter ----sad that an eastern European man could only see his daughters state as an embarrassment to his family.
I visited her on a regular basis, but just like everything in our relationship before, she failed to tell me that she had gone home---the staff told me when I turned up for a visit.

It was nearly a year later that she called and asked if I wanted to go to the football with her---her mother worked at a league club and had a variety of free members tickets and car parks
We had a great day---laughed a lot, drank champagne at the breaks and our team won. She asked if I wanted to go again next week and we made plans---but two hours before the game, she phoned and said she couldn't go and she was gone again for more than two years.

It was 1am and the phone rang---it was the angel of death, ranting and raving but obviously in some need. I talked her to sleep--ha ha ha, she didn't even hang up the phone----but she was back again the next night--2am and the next night and then gone again. It was only a week later at just after midnight and she rang to ask if I had some wine--she wanted wine and the shops and hotel bottle shops were closed---she arrived in her pyjamas and had already been drinking---I kept her here for over an hour but in the end, she was going---took her bottle and left.

I sent birthday and Christmas cards via her mothers address and it was just after her birthday she phoned---it had been 4 years or more. She sounded great.
She told me that they had found a tumor on her brain and operated---she had never felt so good ---we spoke for some time--she gave me her phone numbers and her address and we arranged to have lunch the next week---she sounded so happy---only sad that she had just turned 40 and missed so much in her life.
The day before our lunch she phoned and cancelled----said she had a longstanding medical appointment but she would phone again and organise lunch.

She never phoned---she killed herself
No one can say why
I guess that angel just needed to be free
If there is a god and he or she does have angels I'm betting on her being there   

Monday, 27 August 2012


If you have read here before, you will know that I have more than a passion for horses and their problems.
And like every other being on this earth, there is no one size fits all remedy when it comes to problems or quirks.

A couple of months ago, I ran into an old work friend at an other friends house. She told me that her husband had invested in a share in a race horse and that it was racing the next day and that their trainer was very confident of its chances.
Of course, I like racing and I like a bet, so I turned up at the racecourse for the big event.
Even with the assurance of the trainer, I only had a modest bet on the horse and walked down about 200 yards down the track to watch the race.
Their horse was 4 lengths in front as it passed my vantage point and coasting and should have won easily but stopped very badly to finish 4th.

I walked down to the stalls to see my friend and her husband. Everyone was very disappointed and the trainer was at a loss to explain the horse stopping so quickly. He was talking to the syndicate of owners when the strapper brought the horse back from hosing it down and stood him in front of them to show how good he looked----and he did look good except for one thing.
I asked my friend if I could talk to the trainer and she brought him over and introduced us.

I said that it was none of my business but that he should lift the horses tail and look.---he laughed but lifted his tail to find the horses arse open wide----he looked at me and said "What the hell is that?"
I said "Sorry, but that is the sign of a wind sucker and wind sucking will stop a train between stations, let alone a horse under full racing stress"
Wind suckers with gulp down air for relief of stress or stomach complaints and under stress will expel it like an exhaust, weakening their performance.

My friend phoned me a week later to tell me that a vet had recommended that they sew the horses arse up on race days and unstitch it after the race-------of course he did----he can make money every race day----but what happens when the horse wants to poop---and you cant sew it just before a race.
I told her that there were such things as wind sucking pads which are like a big cork with a sponge pad around it and pulled in tight by straps and elastic webbing attached to the saddle----and it can be moved aside for the horse to poop-----but some horses resent it and others will open up even wider and you still get the weakening.
They tried the pad and not only did he resent it, but he opened wider----so they decided to stitch him up for the next run.-----looked good til he split his stitches and stopped even quicker.

My friend phoned me and said they were going to retire the horse---there was nothing left to try.
I couldn't help myself---I phoned the trainer and asked if he would let me try something---it was unconventional but legal and I thought I could stop him opening up for a couple of runs.
He said he had heard of some of my strange methods and that the horse was fit, so he was prepared to give him one more run---but that was it. He asked me what I wanted to do.
Now its hard to convince people to trust in strange things but I talked him into doing his normal thing with his training and letting me into the horses stall on race day.

So we all turned up last Saturday---I told the horses strapper to walk him for as long as he could in the exercise parade ring and hope that he would empty out---and then take him to the urine stall "horse toilet" for one last try.
When he brought him back to the stall, the trainer started to saddle him up ready for his race. I pushed past the trainer, lifted the horses tail and did my trick----the horse shuffled forward and the trainer just looked at me like I was some sort of pervert.
I just prayed that he didn't need to poop again before his race.

He didn't and as he passed me 200 yards from the winning post, he was going strong, and he went strong all the way to the post.
There was much yelling and back slapping and I stood back and watched their celebrations.
There was a lot of talk about the next start and stronger races and next season and all of the dreams of racehorse owners
I didn't want to shatter their dreams, so I walked away

I was in the bar having a drink when the trainer came in. He walked over and bought me a drink.
Finally he asked---"so what were you doing behind my horse?"
I reached in my pocket and gave him a piece of plastic food wrap and said "Smell it"

I had peeled an onion, lightly grated the surface and wrapped it up---and just before he went out to race, I jammed it in the horses arse----with that onion leaching juice, that horse puckered all the way to the winning post.

I said to the trainer "Don't worry, he'll spit it out----and it might work again but it wont keep on working---so it's up to you"

See, who needs a Vet when you can buy an onion at any supermarket---and you can re-use the food wrap
Oh, and it's not the first time I've used that little trick

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


It seems as though both Australia and the United States are locked in the same debate in relation to allowing same sex marriages.

Personally, I cant see why there is any debate. Is this not just a right allowed under human liberties.

But every political opponent seems reliant on Christianity and the bible to defend their stances----even sinking as low as to quote text which declares homosexuality an abomination on the world..Leviticus 18:22.

If we are to rely on edicts set down over 2000 years ago to govern the humanity of the world today, why should we just stop at the one.
There is little doubt that the framework our laws can be related the ten commandments----but if we are going to quote chapter and verse to defend narrow minded bigotry, then maybe we have to go all of the way and accept every edict in the bible.

Lets try a few of these----I'm sure they will be acceptable to everyone.
But help me out with a few ideas.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are from neighbouring nations .
Wow, I can have my very own New Zealander.

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.
In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24.
The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9.
The problem is my neighbors.....They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death.
Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality .
I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there 'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight.
I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27.
How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean,
But may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments
made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend).

He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16.

Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

Or maybe we could just come into the 21st century

Thursday, 2 August 2012


Every time I log on to the Net, or turn on my TV, I find a new way to communicate with the outside world.

I must admit that I haven't really kept up with all of the new technological advances out there.----and really, I don't want to.
I'm not sure that I have a use for it all
Yes, my home-line telephones are cordless, interchangeable and have speaker base stations
Yes, I have a mobile / cell phone but it is basic with a camera
Yes, I do have a PVR (hard drive video recorder) and know how to use it.
Yes, I have video senders and receivers so that I can receive pay TV in any room in my house.
And yes I have two laptop computers with external hard drives, sound systems and printers.
But that's about as far as I go

I am on Facebook under my Clyde ID and my real name but I have not updated to the new version of it---but I love to read peoples updates and keeping up with their lives---(oh, if you want to add me, my email address there is
And of course, I am, on blogger and do read your blogs fairly regularly.

But I thought I might try a chat room.
Why not---all these people from all over the world chatting away and making friends.

So I found this site called Omegle-----it all seemed very simple and quite civilized
There was a choice. You could text chat or video chat----just click on your choice.
Ok, easy---click Text
And there it was---a stranger from anywhere said Hi
Wonderful I thought as I typed in my Hi response.
But from there it was all down hill
The strangers next text was "ASL"
I Had no idea what that was, so I asked politely--"Sorry, what is ASL"
Back came their reply---"Are you new here"
Of course my answer was "Yes"
Back came "It's Age, Sex, Location"
I thought that was quite logical so I typed in "63 Male Australia" and sent it to my new found friend.
The next reply from the stranger was "Are you fuckin joking"
And when I said "no"---the next reply was "Fucking old pervert" and I was disconnected.
Not to be deterred by one stranger, I clicked in again and away we went
Stranger " m or f ?"
I thought--ha, I've got this now so I replied with "M"
Stranger "age"
Ok, that's easy so "63"
And I was disconnected again
Alright---lets try this again and I clicked in.
Stranger "Horny?"
Me "Why would you ask ?"
Stranger "kik"
Me "Sorry, I don't understand kik"
Stranger "Its a phone Ap"
Me "But I'm not on the phone"----and I was disconnected again
I thought that I would try one last time and give it a rest----maybe try another time of the day.
So I clicked in again
Stranger "Hello"
Me "Hello, how are you"
Stranger"I'm good but it's HRU"
Me "Hey, thanks for that, I'm 63 and new here"
Stranger "RU really 63"
Me "Of course, is there something wrong with that"
Stranger "RU an old pervert"
Me "No, I'm just trying a chat room to talk to people"

And that's when a lovely 15yo girl from Canada explained the facts of life to me.
Omegle and most other chat rooms are used by under 25s to sex chat to each other and get Skype and KIK contacts. Kik is a phone Ap where you can chat and video chat. "But why wouldn't you just chat here"---well, you find someone you might like then you Skype or Kik them-----"Ok, I guess that's ok, but why not just talk here"----well in chat rooms you are always a stranger and cant find each other again, but with Skype and Kik, you can keep in touch over and over------
And most of the Skpe and Kik chats involve exposing your body to each other and performing sexual acts.

So I asked this lovely 15yo if she thought that she might be a bit young to be doing that----she surprised me by telling me that most of the strangers she found were between 13 and 18-----with the occasional up to 25yo and a few old perverts.
Oh, and she told me that the video chat section of that room was mostly guys masturbating on camera.

I guess chat rooms aren't for me