In this updated version, Matthew Benns takes us back into the murky world of Australian horseracing.
Dapper horse trainer Les Samba was in Melbourne for the annual yearling sales when he turned down an Italian meal with racing contacts saying, ‘I have to meet a bloke.’ Just hours later he was dead, blood pouring out of five bullet wounds to his head and body.
Racing in Australia has a dark and dangerous underbelly. Powerful people play for high stakes in an industry worth $14 billion a year. And they don’t play nicely.
Yearling sales are rigged, horses doped, races fixed and taxes dodged by high-rolling punters. Every day huge sums of money are made by bookies who don’t want to put any of it back into the industry. Meanwhile, jockeys starve themselves to the point of delirium - many suffering permanent injury while racing for as little as $130 a race. Young female jockeys are raped. Horses suffer terribly too - every year almost half of Australia’s racehorses are sent to abattoirs to fuel the booming pet-food industry.
This is the true story every racing fan needs to read. It goes past the glorious image of Black Caviar winning off twenty-five starts to reveal what really goes on in the murky corridors of Australian racing. It tells you about the bent jockeys, cheating trainers, crooked owners and greedy bookies. Everyone wants an angle in racing - this book tells you just how often that means the race is Fixed.