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