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Getting to know... Ken Callander

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KangaMick View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30 May 2015 at 11:40am

Getting to know….. Ken Callander

 

Close mates call him Deafy. The general public know him as Kenny. He is synonyms with horse racing and has been giving us the good oil since the 1960’s.

Throughout his long career he could be read, watched and listened to when it came to the punt. His longevity in the industry is testament to his class as both a great journalist and bloody good bloke.

People can relate to Ken Callander because he was a battler from the outer suburbs of Sydney just like them. He told it like it was and nerve sat on the fence. If a jockey rode a bad race Kenny would let the people know. If the same jockey redeemed himself the following week he would get just as much column space in praise.

With the changing times in the media these days we don’t get to see the characters as much which is a shame.  So it was a special moment to sit down with Mr Callander this week to hear about the good old days as well as his thoughts on a few current issues.          

 

Where did your love and passion for horse racing come from?

It has always been with me since I was a kid. My auntie was a small time SP bookie and everyone was interested in the horses back then. I have always been a great reader and the passion started when I read all the racing articles back in the day.

 

You started as a copy boy for the Daily Mirror in 1962. Tell us about your duties in the early days?

You were called a copyboy because the old newspapers used to have a Shute system where you would put the copy of the stories into a little cylinder and you would put it into an air pipe and it would go up to the printers from the editorial floor.

In the old days the sub editors would shout out ‘Copy Boy’ and you would run over grab the story and put it into the cylinder then up it went in the Shute to get printed. You would take copy from the reporter to the desk and run messages and all that type of thing.

I must of shown some promise and ability as I went on to the police rounds room where you would listen to the police radios and anything that sounded like it could be a story you would notify a reporter. You would have to log every call on a type writer and if anything sounded important you would ring the police station or pass it to the reporter. 

I did that for a few months and then I got my cadetship and I then started doing the usual things a cadet would do like typing out TV programs. The cadet who was above me was Ilsa Konrads the Olympic swimmer who taught me and the cadet along side me was Chris Anderson who went on to become the editor of the Herald. We had good times.

Tom Brassel who was a racing writer of the era went on long service leave when I was six months into my cadetship and the sporting editor had seen me at the races a lot and he asked me if I wanted to come over while Tom was on holidays because I used to go to the races all the time. So I filled in while Tom was away and I never went back.      

 

Talking of Tom you have worked with some of the best in the business like Bert Lillye, Pat Farrell and Bernie Purcell. They must have taught you a lot along the way?

A bloke called Barry Parkes was instrumental in actually getting me onto racing and he helped a lot. I learnt a hell of a lot from Ossie Imber who was my first boss as well as Joe Lyons and Tom Brassel. Then when I got tied up with Bert Lillye he was terrific. Pat Farrell came down from Queensland and I think he was a fabulous writer and I obviously learnt off him because if you didn’t you weren’t trying.

 

Sydney in the 60’s was all about SP bookies, illegal casinos and 2-up schools. It must have been a great time to be alive. Especially as you loved a punt?

Yes it was definitely. I think you had to be a bit street smart and those of us who understood the seedier side of town had a bit of an advantage over those that did not. They were the places where you found the stories going to 2-up and illegal casinos.

You would build up great contacts. I am now seventy years of age and some of the blokes I met there I still bump into every now and then. I won’t say they are all friends but I certainly know them. Some are friends. I still see Bruce Galea a little bit and he is Perc Galea’s son and he is a terrific bloke.       

 

Bill Mordey was a work mate, punting mate and drinking mate. Good times?

I sat next to Bill as our desks faced each other. Bill was only eight years older than me and he taught me a lot. Not all of it may have been expectable to editors! I don’t think I have known a better thinker; being an entrepreneur later in his life he was the ideal person for it. People forget he was a bloody good journalist. I learnt a lot from him in life like chasing stories and enjoying life too haha.      

 

Your wife Helen does she deserve a Sainthood for sticking strong?

Yes she does. We met each other when we were eighteen and sixteen and we have been married for forty-eight years this year and still together. That was certainly the best decision I ever made. We are both Padstow kids which is in the outer suburbs of Sydney in fibro homes and I don’t think that hurt.

 

You worked for Turf Monthly. Is it a shame that racing publications seem to be a thing of the past?

Bert Lillye actually almost wrote Turf Monthly from cover to cover under a heap of different aliases. It was owner by a guy called Arn Rogers but most of the stuff under the name Arn Rogers was written by Bert Lillye. As Bert got older and had a few more irons in the fire he used to get me to write articles for him and I wrote a lot of articles for Turf Monthly.

Eventually Bert handed it over to myself and a bloke called Ray Alexander who finished up as the CEO of the AJC and had been a Telegraph racing writer. I used to write the stories and Ray did all the production.  

It is a crying shame that it is a thing of the past but like a lot of things life moves on and if you look backwards you have no hope of moving forwards. You have to play the cards that are in front of you.

A good friend of mine John Holloway started a racing magazine called Inside Racing, and he probably started it twenty years to late. If he had started it in the sixties rather than the eighties it would have been a ripper.   

 

Kerry Packer. He loved a punt. You placed many bets for him, was it nervous or exciting times?

It was very exciting, not really nervous as the bookies new it was Packers money and I was betting on credit. I never placed any million dollar bets for him however I placed a lot in the two hundred and fifty thousand dollar range.

Kerry Packer is misunderstood by a lot of people. Some people seem to think that because you are a billionaire that you like all the flash things in life like the theatre and the opera. Kerry loved the football, the cricket and the races.

He was an intimidating guy, he would stand over you and stare you out and he was a champion at that. If you had nothing to fear you just had to weather it. A story got in the paper that I had put one hundred thousand dollars on a horse at Canterbury and while they didn’t mention Packer the bet was in the paper.

When I saw him at the races the next Saturday he said to me ‘are you ringing up the papers with every f-ing bet I have now’? I hadn’t told the paper and I know how it got out. It was through a friend of the bookie who wanted publicity. I told him I hadn’t told anyone and he gave me the big stare which lasted for about forty seconds then he said fair enough let’s move on with life. That is the kind of bloke he was and I can understand blokes that had done the wrong thing and shivering in their boots.            

 

Being a commission agent back in the day did you get any memorable slings?

I put a lot of bets on for other people and I never got any money off people like Kerry Packer for instance as I didn’t want anything and didn’t expect anything. I was pretty happy to have the job I had there.

At that stage I was betting pretty reasonably myself and it was handy to have the information because a lot of these people who were betting were betting big because they knew something. 

 

George Freeman asked you to place a few bets for him. What was he like?

I met him through a guy called Joe Taylor who was the king of Sydney 2-up. He introduced me to George and said to him this guy might be able to help you put a few bets on. Joe knew I was honest which I think was the big start. Being honest has been the biggest thing to help me in life. Your integrity to me is the most important thing you have. I have always made decisions thinking I am doing the right thing.

Obviously I learnt of his past and perhaps I should not have had anything to do with him when you sit back and think of it and I except that but you make mistakes in life and you treat people as you find them. I had an association with him for a while putting bets on and eventually I called it a day and found an excuse but he was an extremely fare bloke. He didn’t expect too much and knew that you wouldn’t always get the best price.         

 

Dominic Berne and Mark Read are two of the best in the business when it comes to form and punting. What makes them both so good?

Two very smart men and two very nice guys as well. They both knew how to bet and how to gamble. I think a lot of people can do the form equally as well as they could but they were both great thinkers. Mark Read was always thinking of amazing things to do and I found them both to be really good fellows.

I find it incredible that Dominic was penciling for Terry Page and betting in a couple of hundreds and then eighteen months later he was betting in tens of thousands on the rails. It takes balls for a better want of a better word to get into that position.

Mark Read was such a huge thinker. Mark thought a million dollars all the time. He jumped up out of the ground in Melbourne. He came from a racing and gambling family and to him if you were going to have one hundred on you may as well have ten thousand on.

I think they should both be in the hall of fame. You see jockeys and trainers there and I think both Mark Read and Dominic Berne should be there. The most important people in racing are the punters. I would have Mark Read and Dominic Berne in my hall of fame.   

You would learn a lot following Mark. He employed three blokes to do the form with him. One was Mark Sheehan who has been calling the races in Sydney and another was a former track bloke called Michael Fraser who now has a job with Sky. I think Mark Sheehan is one of the best race callers and definitely one of the best race course brains.

 

Billy Birmingham and the 12th Man. ‘Sunshine Sally at 66/1’ and ‘Sing a song of six pence’. Did you take that as a compliment?

Yes I thing so. He gave me a framed copy of the first gold record. He said, ‘I’ve made a bigger mug of you than anyone’. He’s a guy that everyone says is strange but I like him and when I run into him I have schooner with him and he is a nice fella. He is probably a bit like HG Nelson. A little bit strange but a great sense of humour. 

 

You gave bookmaking a go in the 80’s. Was it a case of, if you can’t beat them join them?

I think it was a case of from the very first time I walked onto a race course and saw these blokes and all this money and the glamour and I thought to myself how big time are they! I then harboured an ambition to always give it a go and I knew that if I was going to give it a go I had to go in pretty heavy. I’d had a terrific run at the punt leading into it and thought now was the time.

I started fielding at the provincials and got my license straight away and then I got into Sydney on the rails but I found two things out. Firstly I thought you had to be super big to be really successful and be like Dominic Berne or the Waterhouses and I never had the courage or the bank to do that or risk the bank I did have. Dominic Berne gave it away not long after that and a few others like Bob Bland gave it away.

I thought to myself this isn’t all it is cracked up to be if they are all getting out. Colin Tidy who has been a mate of mine since the 1970’s said to me ‘there used to be a lot of Jewish bookmakers and now there are none. They wouldn’t be getting out if it was good’.

The second reason was a case of the other mans grass is always greener. I thought that it was going to be bookmaking but once I became one I found you were inhibited. You had to stay on your stand and you couldn’t go and look at the horses and wonder around and pick up a tip. You had staff troubles and things like that. It all added up. I then realised I had a better world before all of this.

Then one day I was thinking if I should stick with it and I was sort of in the mode to say I would give it a couple more years. I was forty two at the time and thought I would give it a go until I was forty five. At this time Kerry Packer came up to me at Rosehill and he said ‘how much longer are you going to go on with this charade’. I said it was ok and he then said ‘what if I have one hundred thousand on this thing in the last race and if it wins I will put you out of business and you will have to come back and work for me’.

I said to him that doesn’t sound like a bad bet boss cause if it wins you know you aren’t going to get paid and if it loses I get one hundred large. He laughed his head off. He said ‘how much do you want for it’ so I said three thousand and it was at 7/2 and it got beaten as it turns out and the cheque arrived at home on the Tuesday morning for the three thousand. My wife said we should frame the cheque and I said you’ve got to be kidding. That’s going in the bank!

Packer then had David Hill follow it up and he rung me on the Monday and he said you have been talking to the boss at the races on Saturday are you going to come back or not. I said I hadn’t really contemplated that I would be back working at Channel 9 so Hill said come over here and have a drink to talk about it. I said to Hill that if I came over there for a drink I wouldn’t be able to drive home with the way he drank. So he said to hop in a cab and we will pay for it at this end. I had probably eight to ten cans with David Hill and signed a new contract and then had a few weeks to tie up a few lose ends with the bookmaking.                                   

 

Do you have any memorable moments as a horse owner?

I have had a few slow ones. I have shares in three horses at the moment; two with Chris Waller and one with Liam Birchley. Liam came down to the Clovelly Hotel one day which is where I go every Monday night with Colin Tidy. The guys down there who I have shares in the Waller horse with have always had horses with Liam Birchley and he came in and said he had just bought a filly at the sales so they all said ‘we’ll take it, we’ll take it’. They said you’ll come into it Colin and he said as good as gold. He then asked me to go in it as well so I said Ok.

The filly is a two year old by Magic Albert and the Waller horses are Sashay which is a mare from New Zealand and has had about four starts here and has won at Newcastle and should be racing in about three weeks. And we have a two young old Lonhro colt called Hogmanay which Chris Waller thinks goes ok too.        

 

What is your favourite race meeting in the World?

I would love to say Randwick because I am a Sydney boy however the best race meeting in the world is Derby Day in Melbourne. I would be bias and incorrect if I said otherwise. 

 

Best sprinter you have seen?

Vain by a long way.

 

Best miler?

Probably Vain or Super Impose. Super Impose was a great horse. There have been some great milers and I don’t like to look back with rose coloured glasses but Vain could do things incredibly. He was probably a six to seven furlong horse but he did win at a mile.

 

Best stayer?

The best two stayers were Might and Power and Galilee. The best all round horse was Kingston Town.

 

Do you have a favourite horse?

Since I left school in 1961 I have been to the races virtually every Saturday. Unless I have been overseas I don’t think I have missed three city race meetings. My favourite horse when I was young was Bogan Road. He didn’t win the Golden Slipper however he won the AJC Sires Produce and the Champagne Stakes.

He came back as a three year old and won first up in the Canonbury Stakes then he won the Tramway Handicap and carried eight pound over weight for age and beat a field that included Persian Puzzle and Winona Girl who were great horses of the day.

Bogan Road then went to the Rosehill Guineas and won by eight lengths. Then started as 1/3 favourite in the Derby and didn’t stay the distance and broke down. I loved him. In more recent times I have liked Colin Tidy’s horse Zeditave as well as Might and Power and Rangirangdoo. He wasn’t a sound horse and it took fabulous training to get him to the races.   

 

Who’s the best jockey?

The best jockey I have seen I think is Darren Beadman just ahead of George Moore; almost close enough to a dead heat. I rate Joe Moreira on what I have seen of him overseas. Horses just seem to run better for him.

I rate James McDonald incredibly highly and he is only twenty two years old. Malcolm Johnston I rated highly at that age but this bloke is better. He might just turn out to be the best jockey we have ever seen. He is an absolute superstar.       

 

What about the best Group One jockey?

James McDonald. 

 

How do you rate Shane Dye?

He is a very good jockey. It is funny, we would clash but I have spoken to Shane Dye more than most jockeys. He was a top class jockey. Look we have a lot of top class jockeys like Glen Boss’ his three rides on Makybe Diva are incredible; Mick Dittman was a fabulous rider, Ron Quinton eight times Sydney Premiership winner and people forget how good he was. 

Malcolm Johnston, he was a magic man and he didn’t care what happened, he got suspended more than most. Jim Cassidy he is right up there too as he’s a great rider. Hugh Bowman is also a great rider and Nash Rawiller is another. I think Blake Shinn is very intelligent, very driven and wants to win and succeed. He’s a great rider.     

 

You recently resigned from the Telegraph due to alleged editorial interference. Do you believe there was censoring when it came to Racing NSW?

I am absolutely certain of it. I don’t want to ask guys who still work at the paper to back me up because they have mortgages to pay and wives and kids to feed and the last thing I would do, would be to ask them to back me up. But in my mind there was certainly favour to John Messara and Peter V’landys and racing NSW; in my mind.  

 

Does Chairman John Messara have a conflict of interest?

Incredibly so. He shouldn’t be in that job.   

 

Should there be a Royal Commission into NSW Racing. Particularly the breeding side of things with vendor bids and buy backs as an example?

I really think they need to clean up their act completely in yearling sales. Things have been improved but I think if a vendor intends to keep an interest in a horse it should be stated that he is part of that bid and I also think that all yearlings sold at sales should be swabbed.

Having said that, I have a lot of time for the people that do run the yearling sales in Australia and they are not shonks but I do believe that would be a way to improve things. I personally don’t think racing is run well in NSW.  


Talking of conflicts. Gai and Robbie Waterhouse. Good or Bad?

It doesn’t worry me. I think it is unavoidable. If Robert wants to be a bookmaker and Gai wants to be a trainer how do you stop it. Should his career suffer just because his wife is a leading trainer and should her career suffer because her husband is a bookmaker? We have stewards there to see if things are untoward.

So what is the problem? It is a perceived problem when a Gai horse runs bad they say did Robbie lay that, it is all perceived that is all. We have stewards; we have swabs. I think Tommy Smith was probably the best trainer I have ever seen and I think Chris Waller at the moment is just incredible how far he has come in the space of fifteen years from absolutely nothing with no backing to be the new Tommy Smith and I think Gai Waterhouse is the best thing racing in NSW has going for it and they don’t realise it.

If you said to someone do you go to the races and they would say do you know Gai Waterhouse. She is the first person that comes out of everyone’s mind. She is the face, she will give you a story and she gives a smile for a photo. I think she is the film star of racing. I would like these people on the Racing NSW board to line up and say to them tell me your thoughts on weather Gai Waterhouse should be promoted or should we still be spending millions on promoting the Championships.

Robbie is one of racing's other great thinkers; I know he has a past and everyone makes mistakes and if you pay for your past you are entitled to have a future. I think in 2015 they are both terrific assets for racing.             


Where do you bet these days? On course, TAB, corporates?

I go to all the race meetings and I love betting with bookmakers but I have found myself betting with Betfair a bit too. Not completely but I love the challenge. I lay very few and tend to back horses with them and I like to think I can read a market and get the right price. I don’t always; some times you make a blue.

I would rather bet with bookmakers. In my mind the people running the TAB and I don’t want to sound like a know it all but I don’t think they understand that the TAB would be a lot more successful with a prosperous and viable bookmaking ring. One generates interest in the other. Bookies help the tote and the tote helps the bookies.

I think channel 521 is a major disappointment. You can say to me that I am bias cause your son worked on TVN and I will go on record as saying go back and check how often I was bias. It is not a good product and they are using people the wrong way and by just giving TAB fluctuations you are killing the market not encouraging it.

With the demise of TVN I don’t know if it was jealousy or not but it was part owner by the two Sydney race clubs and I suspect that if it had been owned by Racing NSW they may have been more supportive of it.     

 

Your son Richard is now flying the Callander flag. Do you give him much advice and who is the better tipster?

He is a better tipster; young people are always better tipsters than old people. I have given him plenty of advice and I don’t think he has taken it all but he has taken the important things in. I think he is a terrific judge but more importantly than that I think he is a great television personality and I think people will see that in the future but it won’t be on channel 521.

 

Randwick race course; are the new Grandstand and upgrades a stroke of genius or a white elephant?

The most disappointing thing I have seen in recent times. It is only outdone by the merger of the AJC and STC which was wrong. It took away all competition and gave to much power to Racing NSW who was supposed to be the regulatory body and now they are the promoters as well.

The Grandstand is a pavilion and conference centre that has a few seats on its outside for people to watch the races. $175 million was spent of punters money; $150 million by selling cartoon racing or what ever it was called to the TAB for their share in cartoon racing and yet punters can not get into 80% of the stand. It is for the toffs.

Racing as Robert Waterhouse will tell you is the only past time in the world where the working man supplements with his money a rich mans past time and all they do is walk over them. That Grandstand is an absolute disgrace and I don’t know of one regular punter who doesn’t agree with me, not one. Although, I won’t mention names but one or two who spend their days in committee rooms and the chairman’s lounge wonder what I am talking about. Unfortunately their contribution to racing is almost zilch.              

 

What does Racing NSW need to do to get more people back to the track? How can it improve?

If I knew the answer to that I would be a genius. One think they do need to get right is to recognise that it is the punter who puts the show on. There are two important groups in racing and that’s the owners and the punters.

If there were no owners because of the cash flow or the money the government would buy a group of race horses and they might not be great horses but people would still bet on them; never the less we have owners and they pay a lot of money so they should be looked after and more importantly all the prize money is paid by the punter.

Now if we didn’t have punters we would be racing for blue ribbons. So why aren’t these people looked after? Start to look after the punter and look after them correctly and you will get people back to the races.

 

Ken thank you very much for your time. It has been very insightful and a great to hear your journey as well as your thoughts. Good luck with your horses in the future and may you back many more winners too!

 

 

2007 JASBTC Champion,2008 JASBTC Runner-Up. NSW Surge-Aussie LFL Champions 2013/14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Speediskey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 11:56am
synonymous not synonyms*
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Well done Mick, great interview!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KangaMick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 12:01pm
bloody auto correct! At least someone read it haha 
2007 JASBTC Champion,2008 JASBTC Runner-Up. NSW Surge-Aussie LFL Champions 2013/14
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Ha, Loved how you asked him about the 12th Man. Great question!!
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Good article!
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Man, Kenny is great value and he is also right on most things in his chat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote jujuno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 2:08pm

The Grandstand is a pavilion and conference centre that has a few seats on its outside for people to watch the races. $175 million was spent of punters money; $150 million by selling cartoon racing or what ever it was called to the TAB for their share in cartoon racing and yet punters can not get into 80% of the stand. It is for the toffs.

Racing as Robert Waterhouse will tell you is the only past time in the world where the working man supplements with his money a rich mans past time and all they do is walk over them. That Grandstand is an absolute disgrace and I don’t know of one regular punter who doesn’t agree with me, not one. Although, I won’t mention names but one or two who spend their days in committee rooms and the chairman’s lounge wonder what I am talking about. Unfortunately their contribution to racing is almost zilch. 


 yes, yes, yes...Clap


 good guy, Kenny...good read... 


Best sprinter you have seen?

Vain by a long way.


 on your page, Kenny...Thumbs Up

 

Desert War, Rain Lover, Latin Knight, Hay List, Mustard...my turf heroes...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tontonan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 2:41pm
Great read Kanga.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 2:41pm
Good stuff Mick!Clap
In reference to every post in the Trump thread ... "There may have been a tiny bit of license taken there" ... Ok, Thanks for the "heads up" PT!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KangaMick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 4:18pm
Appreciate the positive feedback from everyone. Kenny was wonderful with his time and talked for ages. Such a great man.
2007 JASBTC Champion,2008 JASBTC Runner-Up. NSW Surge-Aussie LFL Champions 2013/14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote SkyDancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 4:28pm
One of your best.
IT'S OKAY TO SAY NO.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Maitland City Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 5:01pm
this is good
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote KangaMick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 5:57pm
If you are on Twitter feel free to share it. @MickSportsNews
2007 JASBTC Champion,2008 JASBTC Runner-Up. NSW Surge-Aussie LFL Champions 2013/14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote WarriSymbol Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 6:22pm
Very good work there KangaMick.
Keep them coming.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fiddlesticks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 8:23pm
Originally posted by Kangamick Kangamick wrote:


Your son Richard is now flying the Callander flag. Do you give him much advice and who is the better tipster?

He is a better tipster; young people are always better tipsters than old people. I have given him plenty of advice and I don’t think he has taken it all but he has taken the important things in. I think he is a terrific judge but more importantly than that I think he is a great television personality and I think people will see that in the future but it won’t be on channel 521.

lol...something only a father or mother could say..


and Vain eh, so is he saying vain would beat Black Caviar..??





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote the miz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 10:09pm
Well done Kangamick.  Kenny is an icon of the sport & sad to see him & his son lost to the sport.
the miz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote JudgeHolden Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 11:30pm
Great stuff Kanga
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote RED HUNTER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 11:56pm
It's a good read but I find it difficult to believe that Ken would put bets on for big players for no reward.

I' was only a small player in my best days of the 80's but I certainly rewarded those handsomely for work on my behalf.
A story....

There is news floating around about a WA greyhound personality in big trouble(now)

He trialled a dog at Cannington,recently purchased from VIC,that ran around 31 on grass.

I managed to quickly work out who trained it. The guy threatened to kill me if I didn't keep my mouth shut.

It drew box 1 for its first start here....A CERT....Satan's Ego?  by Satan's Shroud



Never mind....I was still working (never worked since 32 y of age) and I asked 4 workmates to come to the Cannington Hotel(across the road from the track),where they were to hit the books at opening

I won 8,000  averaging 6/4.......each of the 4 got $500 for their effort(one was built like a killer)...it was great fun in the face of a death threat. I waited at the hotel for the loot,which we celebrated with a few beers at the lonely bar.

I copped 2 death threats at the dog track and as I was doing so well at Sydney horse trifectas,without harming anyone, I walked away from dog racing in 1986.

Ken,come on,surely you were well looked after for placing bets for others.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RED HUNTER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2015 at 11:57pm
Around 1982

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2015 at 12:05am
interesting read,  Kanga.  
never liked KC much , but still an interesting read.  his views on people are interesting, certainly, and his round up of best horses in his opinion.  i always like hearing those things.
animals before people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote brett68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2015 at 12:41am
that's a great interview - from a fair dinkum bloke from my first childhood days following racing (him and Tappy on ch9 on Saturdays showing the legs of the double)

well done Kanga
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Sunline Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2015 at 2:22am

Randwick race course; are the new Grandstand and upgrades a stroke of genius or a white elephant?

The most disappointing thing I have seen in recent times. It is only outdone by the merger of the AJC and STC which was wrong. It took away all competition and gave to much power to Racing NSW who was supposed to be the regulatory body and now they are the promoters as well.

The Grandstand is a pavilion and conference centre that has a few seats on its outside for people to watch the races. $175 million was spent of punters money; $150 million by selling cartoon racing or what ever it was called to the TAB for their share in cartoon racing and yet punters can not get into 80% of the stand. It is for the toffs.

Racing as Robert Waterhouse will tell you is the only past time in the world where the working man supplements with his money a rich mans past time and all they do is walk over them. That Grandstand is an absolute disgrace and I don’t know of one regular punter who doesn’t agree with me, not one. Although, I won’t mention names but one or two who spend their days in committee rooms and the chairman’s lounge wonder what I am talking about. Unfortunately their contribution to racing is almost zilch.


Clap

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fiddlesticks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2015 at 10:43am
Originally posted by RED HUNTER RED HUNTER wrote:

It's a good read but I find it difficult to believe that Ken would put bets on for big players for no reward.

I' was only a small player in my best days of the 80's but I certainly rewarded those handsomely for work on my behalf.
A story....

There is news floating around about a WA greyhound personality in big trouble(now)

He trialled a dog at Cannington,recently purchased from VIC,that ran around 31 on grass.

I managed to quickly work out who trained it. The guy threatened to kill me if I didn't keep my mouth shut.

It drew box 1 for its first start here....A CERT....Satan's Ego?  by Satan's Shroud



Never mind....I was still working (never worked since 32 y of age) and I asked 4 workmates to come to the Cannington Hotel(across the road from the track),where they were to hit the books at opening

I won 8,000  averaging 6/4.......each of the 4 got $500 for their effort(one was built like a killer)...it was great fun in the face of a death threat. I waited at the hotel for the loot,which we celebrated with a few beers at the lonely bar.

I copped 2 death threats at the dog track and as I was doing so well at Sydney horse trifectas,without harming anyone, I walked away from dog racing in 1986.

Ken,come on,surely you were well looked after for placing bets for others.




Yes RED I also found that to be quite unusual, also what struck me was Ken was always intimating that he knew and sometimes hung out with some of the more 'colourful characters' of racing and we all know that colorful is just another word for dodgy, and you can bet your balls he was in the know when something hot was going on, bet he made plenty betting on insider knowledge of hot ones over the years, yet he wants to project this man of integrity in his words late in life...???



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Sunline Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2015 at 10:50am
If you back something that a punter with a great strike rate is backing, does that make you a man of less integrity? You can speculate all you want as to why he has a great strike rate. As Callander said, they knew something. But to simply follow them in is no more crooked than following the market on a Saturday.

Different era. Don't try to compare it to now.
Sunline...simply supreme
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RED HUNTER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2015 at 3:04pm
Bet Ken backed 

MR DIGBY
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Hardwell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2015 at 10:34pm
Top read Mick. Well done Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote James Bond Esq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2015 at 10:38pm
Agreed Kanga. one of your finest. I always enjoy reading your work.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brett68 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2015 at 11:19pm
Fiddles,
I like the TK saying - "It's only a rort if you're not in on it"

Kenny never set up this stuff but I'm sure he knew sometimes what was going on - you and I would both be emptying the account on something you heard about from someone reliable too
- spare me the high moral ground stuff
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Dizzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2015 at 10:09am
Great read Mick.
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