There's an old saying
that goes something along the lines of "a secret isn't a
secret once more than one person knows about it".
Such was the case
in February 1950 and a sad lesson to be learned for then big punter
and prominent owner, Harry Whittle, who was based in Sydney. Harry
was very keen on a horse called Corinthian that was due to compete
in a race at Canterbury.
Being a student of
form, Whittle was convinced that Corinthian was close to a good
thing and its only danger was a three year old entered for the
same race called Auburn River.
Auburn River was trained at Newcastle by Keith Tinson and owned
by a pretty sharp operator called "Scamp" White.
across White a day or two before the big plunge race was due to
be held and called him aside asking him if Auburn River was fit
because he thought Corinthian was a real good thing if Auburn
River needed a run or two before showing its best.
White didn't say
much - just listened to Whittle's big wraps on Corinthian - and,
at the end of one way conversation, told Whittle to 'put a couple
of hundred on Corinthian for me'.
Whittle took this
to indicate that Auburn River wasn't fit and the green light was
on for the big plunge on Corinthian. (What was that about assumption
being the mother of all stuff ups?)
race day and Whittle, who was a big punter, put heaps on Corinthian.
No sooner had the commissioners got together after raiding the
betting ring, than an avalanche of money came for Auburn River
at bigger odds than what was expected and the horse duly won by
Whittle immediately realised that he'd been ''scalped" by
White who was a pretty shrewd punter himself and allowed Whittle
and his commissioners to make the market on his Auburn River before
punting it himself. It was estimated that around $20000 was invested
on Auburn River - a huge amount in 1950.
was furious and, without thinking clearly, went and complained
to the stewards (!!) who were most bemused and told Whittle it
had nothing to do with them and that Whittle had simply been dudded
by White. However, in unusual circumstances, because Whittle had
"given them false and misleading evidence", according
to the stewards, they disqualified him for 12 months.
like this had ever been recorded before in Australian racing and,
as far as can be ascertained, nothing like it has happened since.
must have been nearly gagging as Whittle spilled the beans on
Corinthian. Whittle must have walked away thinking "he's
a quiet chap".
moral to the story? I'm sure you can write that.
racing systems and research