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    Originally posted by oleras View Post

    Makes it more digestible, all that fermentation goodness. 70% hydration which is very sticky !

    That Lahcuman is so good, ill try an strombolie during the week i think.
    I want to try out a calzone.
    "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

    Comment


      Originally posted by oleras View Post

      Makes it more digestible, all that fermentation goodness. 70% hydration which is very sticky !

      That Lahcuman is so good, ill try an strombolie during the week i think.
      I keep seeing a lot online about 60/70% hydration dough. What's the craic with it? How do you measure this and is it hard to work the dough?

      Looking at buying an OONI oven next month. Wood pellets always in good supply in my gaff, doubles up for cat litter too.

      Comment


        Originally posted by coillcam View Post

        I keep seeing a lot online about 60/70% hydration dough. What's the craic with it? How do you measure this and is it hard to work the dough?

        Looking at buying an OONI oven next month. Wood pellets always in good supply in my gaff, doubles up for cat litter too.
        Think he means the ratio of water to flour.

        If you order an Ooni now, it'll arrive between Halloween and Christmas.
        "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

        Comment


          Originally posted by coillcam View Post

          I keep seeing a lot online about 60/70% hydration dough. What's the craic with it? How do you measure this and is it hard to work the dough?

          Looking at buying an OONI oven next month. Wood pellets always in good supply in my gaff, doubles up for cat litter too.
          If you use 500g of flour and 350g of water that would be 70% hydration, the more water tye more steam released during the cook making the dough lighter and less stodgy, much easier handle 60% dough,less tacky...and the fact I was hungover to fuck this morning didn't help.

          A quick couple of hours and it's ready dough will take a full packet of yeast, 7g, if you have time you can use just 1g and nature takes over to prove the dough, all the fermentation happens in the fridge rather than your gut.

          I wouldent get too hung up on wood v gas , it's in the thing so little time it doesn't add anything really.
          This too shall pass.

          Comment


            Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post
            Good article here on what's currently going down in Russia.

            Long, so budget 10 mins.
            Fascinating.

            I look forward to our academic friend who will inform us that it's all western propaganda and actually, life in Russia is better than here in the west, without all the confusing freedoms we pretend to enjoy.

            Comment


              What à final in the tennis. Hard to believe its the first 5 set final in Paris in 17 years

              Comment


                Originally posted by Hectorjelly View Post

                Fascinating.

                I look forward to our academic friend who will inform us that it's all western propaganda and actually, life in Russia is better than here in the west, without all the confusing freedoms we pretend to enjoy.
                Liam Lawlors last words Apparently.

                Comment


                  Originally posted by shrapnel View Post
                  What à final in the tennis. Hard to believe its the first 5 set final in Paris in 17 years
                  Dirty rotten aftertiming but I looked in on it at the start of the third and stuck a small few quid on Djock at the absolute top of the market 4.26 even at that when I looked at it I was expecting bigger
                  Turning millions into thousands

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Strewelpeter View Post

                    Dirty rotten aftertiming but I looked in on it at the start of the third and stuck a small few quid on Djock at the absolute top of the market 4.26 even at that when I looked at it I was expecting bigger
                    Good bet against a noob slammer like tsitsipas, although he'd never won a grand slam final when 2 sets down.

                    Comment


                      Not sure if this is down to confirmation bias on the back of feeling more upbeat myself
                      but it does feel as though COViD effect is waning.

                      Went into town for a meal with the
                      "beloved supreme leader" last night
                      and the whole vibe was really positive.

                      Gangs of people drinking together,
                      young wans tarted up to the nines.
                      Even the weather is playing ball.
                      Loved it.

                      ​​​​

                      Comment


                        Paging DeadParrott
                        Any chance of pasting this article.
                        Jim Knows

                        Comment


                          Went up the top of Howth with the family today to walk through the rhododendron gardens (yup, they're a thing - my first time up there in over 20 years in the city).

                          Really lovely adventure only to get to the top and look down the hill and all you can see are 2 golf courses with about 15 people on them. The natural beauty of the place totally destroyed.

                          Couldn't be bothered Googling how they were allowed to happen - or when they happened - but it really is a sickener when you look at the rest of the view - bays, beaches, mountains, sea, city...

                          Are they even any good? I only ever hear about Portmarnock out that way.

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by BennyHiFi View Post
                            Went up the top of Howth with the family today to walk through the rhododendron gardens (yup, they're a thing - my first time up there in over 20 years in the city).

                            Really lovely adventure only to get to the top and look down the hill and all you can see are 2 golf courses with about 15 people on them. The natural beauty of the place totally destroyed.

                            Couldn't be bothered Googling how they were allowed to happen - or when they happened - but it really is a sickener when you look at the rest of the view.

                            Are they even any good? I only ever hear about Portmarnock out that way.
                            One of them (Deerpark) is a 'rock up and play' course, no membership required. Can even hire golf bats there.
                            So it's at least a nice amenity for the public as opposed to being an exclusive private club.

                            I wouldn't get too upset about the natural beauty anyway, golf courses tend to fit in reasonably well imo and are pretty on the eye.
                            I hope you went to the top via natural gorse and grass rather than the man-made path?

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by BennyHiFi View Post
                              Went up the top of Howth with the family today to walk through the rhododendron gardens (yup, they're a thing - my first time up there in over 20 years in the city).

                              Really lovely adventure only to get to the top and look down the hill and all you can see are 2 golf courses with about 15 people on them. The natural beauty of the place totally destroyed.

                              Couldn't be bothered Googling how they were allowed to happen - or when they happened - but it really is a sickener when you look at the rest of the view - bays, beaches, mountains, sea, city...

                              Are they even any good? I only ever hear about Portmarnock out that way.
                              My brother is the Pro in Howth Golf Club. It’s been there a long long time. (It’s not a great course but the views are great)
                              His rival it seems, had broken his dreams,By stealing the girl of his fancy.Her name was Magill, and she called herself Lil,But everyone knew her as Nancy.

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by Solksjaer! View Post
                                90 to 1 shot Garrick Higgo Is worth a top 10 e way in the pga tomorrow. Won 2 in 3 weeks on the European tour recently

                                Stupid name covered also
                                I wont aftertime 50 to 1 this week.

                                Comment


                                  Originally posted by Hectorjelly View Post

                                  Fascinating.

                                  I look forward to our academic friend who will inform us that it's all western propaganda and actually, life in Russia is better than here in the west, without all the confusing freedoms we pretend to enjoy.
                                  I think you must not have read anything I've ever posted. Russia is the most horrifically difficult place to live, mainly because no-one in politics seems to care about quality of life. I've never for a second said Putin is anything but a prick and a tyrant.

                                  My doubt has been whether replacing him with an avowed racist who wants to cleanse Russia of foreigners (a huge part of the population, and a shitty idea anyway) is quite the solution we are all hoping for.

                                  As the article itself says, it needs a split in the elites to create change. It's a rich country that should be run in the interests of the people. Why would anyone think otherwise?




                                  ​​​​​​
                                  "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

                                  Comment


                                    Anyway, the story of this week has been the G7 realising they have fucked the poodle and need to actually start caring about the poor world or else China (with its $4trillion belt and road initiative - at a surprisingly advanced stage) will not just rule the seas but in a way in which people will struggle to think about any other global powers other than Chinese.

                                    Don't be a muppet who swallows the kool-aid - and for the love of god teach your kids chinese. The extent to which this will do them favours in later life is unbelievable. The big story in our kids lifetime will be the need for people who can move comfortably between Western and Chinese domains.
                                    "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

                                    Comment


                                      Too soon ?

                                      SPOILER
                                      anyone got a charger for an Erikson?

                                      Comment


                                        Originally posted by oleras View Post

                                        Makes it more digestible, all that fermentation goodness. 70% hydration which is very sticky !

                                        That Lahcuman is so good, ill try an strombolie during the week i think.
                                        Any good dough recipes, I use the one from the ooni book that it came with.

                                        Comment


                                          Homa and Lowry this week. Took Homa at 100/1 10 places when PP opened the places at the weekend. 110/1 8 places topped up. Lowry 55/1 8 places. Probably do a FOMO bet on Westwood at big prices on Betfair. Ryan Palmer FRL assuming he gets morning tee time as greens get much tougher in the afternoon on Poa. Adding Streelman FRL at 90/1 ew T8
                                          Last edited by elbows; 14-06-21, 19:16.
                                          His rival it seems, had broken his dreams,By stealing the girl of his fancy.Her name was Magill, and she called herself Lil,But everyone knew her as Nancy.

                                          Comment


                                            Originally posted by elbows View Post
                                            Homa and Lowry this week. Took Homa at 100/1 10 places when PP opened the places at the weekend. 110/1 8 places topped up. Lowry 55/1 8 places. Probably do a FOMO bet on Westwood at big prices on Betfair. Ryan Palmer FRL assuming he gets morning tee time as greens get much tougher in the afternoon on Poa.
                                            Higgo was handed it yesterday, however still worth a momentum bet.

                                            for value - FRL .Higgo , Fowler , Speith. Hatton

                                            Winner Speith , Hatton , Higgo ,.

                                            Comment


                                              Back in the office for the first time in 2021. Suffice to say it's not exactly a throbbbing hub of activity.

                                              Nice to be 'at work' in any case...
                                              "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                              Comment


                                                Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post
                                                Back in the office for the first time in 2021. Suffice to say it's not exactly a throbbbing hub of activity.

                                                Nice to be 'at work' in any case...
                                                chicken baguette for lunch? live that dream.
                                                "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

                                                Comment


                                                  Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                                  chicken baguette for lunch? live that dream.
                                                  Jesus. Hadn't even thought that far but now this seems like an appalling vista of choices ahead. I'm not ready for this.
                                                  "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                                  Comment


                                                    Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post

                                                    Jesus. Hadn't even thought that far but now this seems like an appalling vista of choices ahead. I'm not ready for this.
                                                    Oh I meant to ask you on that front. I remember you went through a phase of exploring dodgy looking Korean food joints, maybe due to visiting Korean dignitaries or something. Where did you settle on in the end as the best place? Want to try the hotpot after seeing far too many TikTok videos, but hoping to start at the top.

                                                    This type of idea:

                                                    army-stew-hotpot.jpg
                                                    "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

                                                    Comment


                                                      Hop House on Parnell Street.
                                                      "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                                      Comment


                                                        Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post
                                                        Hop House on Parnell Street.
                                                        that looks deliciously awful from the outside.
                                                        "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

                                                        Comment


                                                          Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                                          that looks deliciously awful from the outside.
                                                          I've eaten there a bunch of times (it's in a convenient location for people coming into town from various directions), the food is very decent, the pints are good, the clientele non-offensive. A good choice IMO. There's a very authentic Korean place in the IFSC that I went to with my Korean colleagues before, can't recall the name. Probably authentically expensive, unlike the Hop House

                                                          Comment


                                                            Originally posted by ionapaul View Post

                                                            I've eaten there a bunch of times (it's in a convenient location for people coming into town from various directions), the food is very decent, the pints are good, the clientele non-offensive. A good choice IMO. There's a very authentic Korean place in the IFSC that I went to with my Korean colleagues before, can't recall the name. Probably authentically expensive, unlike the Hop House
                                                            It's in that old pub in the IFSC: The Drunken Fish.

                                                            Also a good spot and not expensive.
                                                            "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                                            Comment


                                                              Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post

                                                              that looks deliciously awful from the outside.
                                                              Kimchi Hop House seconded. Also Arisu on capel st
                                                              airport, lol

                                                              Comment


                                                                Some goals in the Scotland game. 2nd one was Slick by Schick

                                                                Comment


                                                                  How can the RTE clock lose time (roughly 30 seconds every 45 minute half) every game, and seemingly no-one be able to fix it?

                                                                  Comment


                                                                    Originally posted by rounders123 View Post
                                                                    Paging DeadParrott
                                                                    Any chance of pasting this article.
                                                                    Jim Knows
                                                                    SPOILER

                                                                    Racing's dirty secret - Jim Bolger claims he knows who the drug cheats are


                                                                    Paul Kimmage

                                                                    There will be a Lance Armstrong in Irish racing, claims Jim Bolger, and he knows who the drug cheats are

                                                                    Trainer Jim Bolger. Photo: Patrick McCann
                                                                    June 13 2021 02:30 AM

                                                                    The raids on the premises of (John) Hughes and (Philip) Fenton took place within 15 days of each other in January and February 2012. They showed that Irish racing had a serious problem with illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Though Fenton would be treated more severely by the courts, the Hughes case was more serious.

                                                                    As a vet . . . John Hughes had a stable pass and was a licensed person at Irish race meetings. Investigations by the Department of Agriculture established that he had been dealing with a company called Nature Vet, based in Australia, and between 2002 and 2012 he had bought 250kg of Nitrotain from that company.

                                                                    Nitrotain, which contains ethylestrenol, is a particularly potent anabolic steroid and the quantity Hughes had bought from Nature Vet was sufficient for 62,500 individual doses . . . The investigation into Hughes showed that illegal drugs have been a part of the sport for at least a decade.

                                                                    David Walsh,

                                                                    The Sunday Times,

                                                                    November 30, 2014




                                                                    Six months ago, a couple of days after his gorgeous chestnut colt, Mac Swiney, had won a Group 1 race at Doncaster, Jim Bolger gave an interview to Daragh Ó Conchúir for The Irish Field. The timing was fortuitous.

                                                                    “He had had a very quiet spell, then Mac Swiney won at Doncaster, and Poetic Flare had won the week before,” the journalist says. “It was maybe my third (big) interview with Jim and he always gives an opinion, but I wasn’t expecting this. It was at the end of the conversation and I think I said, ‘Is there anything more you want to say?’ It was a complete fluke.”
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                                                                    What Bolger said sent a storm through racing that would rage for months. Here’s the report the next day, Sunday October 31, in the Racing Post:

                                                                    “Jim Bolger has said the number one problem in Irish racing is drug cheats, who are stopping the sport from being a level playing field, and has called on the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board to introduce more hair testing with immediate effect.

                                                                    “The trainer, who stole the show last Saturday by sending out Mac Swiney to win the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, has stressed he would be 100pc happy for his own horses to be hair tested at any time.

                                                                    “Bolger said: ‘I have knowledge of problems and I would like to see the IHRB stepping up to the plate. There needs to be more rigorous testing, but action has to happen after that testing has taken place. I’m inclined to think we have had instances in the past where action wasn’t taken when it should have been.’”

                                                                    A few days later, we requested an interview with the trainer. A month after that, we tried again. On Tuesday, we spent four hours with Bolger at his home in Coolcullen. It started with a visit to Mac Swiney — the winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas — in box number one of the yard.

                                                                    Paul Kimmage: OK, Jim, let’s take it from the top. It’s the last week of October and a couple of days after Mac Swiney wins at Doncaster, you give an interview to Daragh Ó Conchúir at The Irish Field: “I am concerned with the lack of policing in racing. It’s not up to the mark. It’s not up to scratch . . . It is not a level playing pitch at the moment.”

                                                                    Jim Bolger: I just threw it out there. He was sitting the same as you are now. I didn’t know how he was going to use it.

                                                                    PK: You knew what you were doing. You’re no fool.

                                                                    JB: Sometimes

                                                                    PK: You knew this was going to cause an absolute shitstorm.

                                                                    JB: Hmmm.

                                                                    PK: You’re 79 years old. Why take that on at this stage of your life?

                                                                    JB: It would be like you coming down the Champs-Elysees on a Sunday in July, knowing that the fellow in front of you is full of dope and you’re going to be second. And on the other side of the podium. That’s not easy to take. And if you’re half a man, you’re going to stand up for yourself. So I’m standing up for myself, and for the trainers who are playing the game straight . . .

                                                                    PK: You’re standing up alone. You’re not getting much support.

                                                                    JB: Well, I can understand that because a lot of trainers are terrified of authority. They never express an opinion on anything, and that’s their prerogative — they somehow want an easy life. But as soon as they realise what’s happening to them, I think they will be talking . . .

                                                                    PK: You don’t think they realise what’s happening?

                                                                    JB: Some may not, and others still haven’t plucked up the courage.

                                                                    PK: How long have you realised there was a problem?

                                                                    JB: I’ve been very slow on this one; I’d say it’s going on for 20 years, ever since steroids became well known. Before that, it was just a bit of sodium bicarbonate, but then the steroids came along. Now they weren’t used extensively, but they were used by some individuals.

                                                                    PK: The Hughes case, the Nitrotain, was in 2012.

                                                                    JB: Yeah. And in the 10 years before that [John Hughes] brought in a quarter tonne of the stuff.

                                                                    PK: Who was using it?

                                                                    JB: Yeah, well that’s (the question).

                                                                    PK: Why weren’t you jumping up and down when Hughes was caught?

                                                                    JB: There are only certain windows that I will get; and if you’re not going well and you say something, it will be ignored. I had an audience because I had won the Vertem Futurity with Mac Swiney and was asked for that interview. I was always going to raise it.

                                                                    PK: The timeline was interesting. It was a few weeks after the contaminated feed story and the fact that a French lab was picking up traces of a steroid (Zilpaterol) that wasn’t being detected here. Was that part of it?

                                                                    JB: It was more a question of having an audience.

                                                                    PK: Having won with Mac Swiney?

                                                                    JB: Yeah.

                                                                    PK: Was there any blowback? Did anyone call you about it?

                                                                    JB: No, there was just a few swipes in interviews on television. Nobody spoke to me directly about it.

                                                                    PK: Six weeks later, Brian O’Connor wrote an interesting column in The Irish Times: ‘Jim Bolger’s incendiary statements should shake racing to its foundations’. Here’s the opening paragraph: “It’s six weeks since Jim Bolger declared drugs to be Irish racing’s number one problem. He doesn’t believe there’s a level playing field. These are incendiary statements from one of the sport’s grandees and should shake racing to its foundations.” And that’s the point, isn’t it? Because it doesn’t.

                                                                    JB: Hmmm.

                                                                    PK: The sport has its head in the sand: ‘Say nothing and it will blow over.’

                                                                    JB: Yeah.

                                                                    PK: Here’s another paragraph from the O’Connor piece: “If Bolger’s aim was to generate a conversation about drug testing in racing, then it isn’t a very public one. Colleagues of his passed the buck to the Trainers’ Association — of which Bolger too is a member — and it declined to comment. Even privately there is reluctance to discuss this . . . Bolger might be off a few Christmas card lists this year.” Have you had any support?

                                                                    JB: Very little, but I can understand that because of the fear factor with the ruling body. Trainers don’t want to stick their heads above the parapet.

                                                                    PK: Aidan O’Brien did.

                                                                    JB: When he was asked.

                                                                    PK: Yeah, when he was asked.

                                                                    JB: And do you have his reply?

                                                                    PK: He said he didn’t agree with you, and that he hadn’t spoken to anyone in racing who thought differently. I’ve scribbled it down here: “Jim is entitled to his opinion. It’s very clean, and everyone is doing a very good job.”

                                                                    JB: I think he also said I should name names.

                                                                    PK: Yes, he did.

                                                                    JB: I’m not that big a fool! I don’t travel to Dublin very often, but I don’t want to be going up every day for three weeks to the High Court.

                                                                    PK: Yeah, O’Connor made that point: “Invariably, there were a few grumbles that he shouldn’t toss around accusations without backing them up. But since naming names in such circumstances is a high-speed shortcut to the High Court, it’s a pretty empty demand.”

                                                                    JB: (smiles) But they can rest assured I know who they are; like, if I had responsibility for rooting out cheats, I’d have them rooted out in six months.

                                                                    PK: How?

                                                                    JB: Because I know who they are.

                                                                    PK: Lynn Hillyer (the IHRB chief veterinary officer and head of anti-doping) told The Examiner recently that they have been working with you for some time on the issue.

                                                                    JB: I had had one meeting before (The Irish Field interview) and one after it.

                                                                    PK: With Hillyer?

                                                                    JB: Yes.

                                                                    PK: On what needed to be done?

                                                                    JB: Yes.

                                                                    PK: You laid it out for her?

                                                                    JB: Yes, but I didn’t name names.

                                                                    PK: But you laid out the issues and how they should be addressed?

                                                                    JB: Yes.

                                                                    PK: How was that received?

                                                                    JB: She seemed to receive it pretty well; I think she would be keen to do something, but I’m not sure she has the back-up. I mean, when you get the chief executive saying that there is no problem, and (in the next breath) saying they are taking on extra (anti-doping) staff. Why do they need extra staff if there’s no problem there? And, by the way, it was all supposed to be confidential.

                                                                    PK: What was?

                                                                    JB: The meetings and the conversations, but it suited them to break that confidence because it was known at that stage that they were doing precious little about it. And her defence was: ‘Oh, we’ve had meetings with him and we’re making progress.’ But as far as I was concerned, and I had made it quite clear, the meetings were confidential.

                                                                    PK: I would imagine when that happened, and the confidence was broken, there was a pretty stern phone call?

                                                                    JB: Well, at that stage, I was hoping that we could have further dialogue, which didn’t happen. But what progress have they made? I haven’t seen much evidence that there is anything happening.

                                                                    PK: How do you gauge progress?

                                                                    JB: When someone gets caught. I mean, that’s what has to happen.

                                                                    PK: Here’s another question: John Hughes didn’t live too far from here.

                                                                    JB: He’s only down the road. I know him very well.

                                                                    PK: So why wouldn’t you?

                                                                    JB: Why wouldn’t I?

                                                                    PK: Yeah, why wouldn’t you dope your horses? Philip Fenton is back training again. The penalties for using prohibited substances are pretty laughable.

                                                                    JB: I wouldn’t do it because it’s cheating, and I’m not a cheat. I know there’s an attitude in racing that it’s all about winners, fair means or foul, but I think there has to be an element of decency in the whole thing. You have to have some self-respect. And I know I have right on my side.

                                                                    PK: Sure.

                                                                    JB: It all goes back to the quarter tonne of Nitrotain. Where did it go? Philip (Fenton) did get a fair old suspension, but he could well have been the sacrificial lamb. And the reason I don’t have any confidence in the regulator is because they must have known that at the time. They may also, I understand, have had a list (of other trainers) and it wasn’t followed up on.

                                                                    PK: You’ve introduced me to Mac Swiney and the clump out of his mane?

                                                                    JB: (smiles) Yeah, a victim of my own invention.

                                                                    PK: So you’ve no faith in all the trumpeting about hair testing?

                                                                    JB: I’m not sure they’re very serious about it. The samples might have been taken but if they were tested properly, they would have had results by now.

                                                                    PK: So it’s your sense that . . .

                                                                    JB: There’s a problem, and I’ve had great support from my staff who know that I am one hundred and one per cent right. And they know more about it than I do, because they are right in the mix.

                                                                    PK: What do you mean?

                                                                    JB: They have contact with other stable staff. They are closer to the coalface than I am.

                                                                    PK: I’m seeing a lot of parallels with pro cycling here.

                                                                    JB: Well, there will be a Lance Armstrong in Irish racing.

                                                                    PK: There will?

                                                                    JB: There will.

                                                                    PK: You say that with certainty.

                                                                    JB: Yes.

                                                                    PK: But you’ve just said the IHRB are not serious about it?

                                                                    JB: When it is recognised that there is a need to really tackle this problem, I don’t think the IHRB will be in control. I think all of the European racing bodies should now invite Usada (United States Anti-Doping Agency) to deal with this.

                                                                    PK: As they’ve done in the US?

                                                                    JB: Yes.

                                                                    PK: What about the perception — and I’m sure it’s been levelled at you — that by highlighting all this you are diminishing or damaging racing?

                                                                    JB: I agree, I am, but in the short term. But in the long term — to use an expression I hate — after the swamp is drained, things will be much healthier. And it’s not for me, because I’ll be gone at that stage.

                                                                    PK: This is a difficult stance you’ve taken, something you’ve never had a problem with, but what about your family? Jackie (wife)? Una (daughter)? Kevin (son-in-law)? Have you had any conversations about it with them?

                                                                    JB: I’ve discussed it with them all, and with my staff as well, and it comes back to the same thing. When you have right on your side you have nothing to fear.

                                                                    People say I should be more humble I hope they understand, they don't listen when you mumble
                                                                    Get a shiny metal Revolut card! And a free tenner!
                                                                    https://revolut.com/referral/jamesb8!G10D21

                                                                    Comment


                                                                      Originally posted by ArmaniJeans View Post
                                                                      How can the RTE clock lose time (roughly 30 seconds every 45 minute half) every game, and seemingly no-one be able to fix it?
                                                                      Seems to be only 11 seconds out at the moment. (compared to the ITV one)
                                                                      Person...Woman...Man......Camera..TV

                                                                      Comment


                                                                        Ordered a replacement passport at 10.40am on Friday. It arrived this morning. Less than one working day.

                                                                        How d'ya like dem apples sp?
                                                                        "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                                                        Comment


                                                                          Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post
                                                                          Ordered a replacement passport at 10.40am on Friday. It arrived this morning. Less than one working day.

                                                                          How d'ya like dem apples sp?
                                                                          Dublin timeline - 1 working day
                                                                          Culchie Timelime - 2 full moons .

                                                                          Comment


                                                                            Originally posted by Solksjaer! View Post

                                                                            Dublin timeline - 1 working day
                                                                            Culchie Timelime - 2 full moons .
                                                                            Culchies generally go via their TD though. Because that's what they're elected for.
                                                                            "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                                                            Comment


                                                                              Was there no Ascot tipping thingy Duke or are you asleep at the wheel?

                                                                              Comment


                                                                                Originally posted by Raoul Duke III View Post

                                                                                Culchies generally go via their TD though. Because that's what they're elected for.
                                                                                Culchies in the passport office working double time to make sure that the dubs can get their flight to Magaluf and Benidorm or wherever you go and leave the west of Ireland alone.

                                                                                Comment


                                                                                  Originally posted by Dice75 View Post
                                                                                  Was there no Ascot tipping thingy Duke or are you asleep at the wheel?
                                                                                  National Hunt only this year.

                                                                                  Feel free to kick one off though!
                                                                                  "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                                                                  Comment


                                                                                    Originally posted by RichieM View Post

                                                                                    Culchies in the passport office working double time to make sure that the dubs can get their flight to Magaluf and Benidorm or wherever you go and leave the west of Ireland alone.
                                                                                    You mean deserted .

                                                                                    Comment


                                                                                      That Astra vaccine seems to keep getting worse and worse. Seems like one jab is only 33% effective against this new Delta variant. Never trust oxford boyos seems to be the life lesson there.

                                                                                      "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

                                                                                      Comment


                                                                                        What mad man would consider shipping cars from Sunderland to Sydney? Surely any car produced in nearby China, is always going to be vastly cheaper. But yay for biscuit sales.


                                                                                        The UK and Australia have agreed a free trade deal, the first agreement negotiated from scratch after Brexit.

                                                                                        Boris Johnson said the tariff-free deal, which Downing Street said will see British cars, Scotch whisky and biscuits and ceramics become cheaper to sell, marked a "new dawn in the UK's relationship with Australia, underpinned by our shared history and common values".
                                                                                        "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

                                                                                        Comment


                                                                                          Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                                                                                          That Astra vaccine seems to keep getting worse and worse. Seems like one jab is only 33% effective against this new Delta variant. Never trust oxford boyos seems to be the life lesson there.
                                                                                          I think our health service got a lot of it

                                                                                          Comment


                                                                                            Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                                                                                            What mad man would consider shipping cars from Sunderland to Sydney? Surely any car produced in nearby China, is always going to be vastly cheaper. But yay for biscuit sales.

                                                                                            I think you may be confusing 'words that come out of Boris's orifices' with 'facts'.

                                                                                            Any of his ex-wives, his children, Teresa May, the DUP or the EU would be able to put you straight there.
                                                                                            "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                                                                            Comment


                                                                                              Originally posted by RichieM View Post

                                                                                              I think our health service got a lot of it
                                                                                              It was what most HSE staff got. Although they should all be well double-jabbed by now.
                                                                                              "We are not Europeans. Those people on the continent are freaks."

                                                                                              Comment


                                                                                                Originally posted by RichieM View Post

                                                                                                Any good dough recipes, I use the one from the ooni book that it came with.
                                                                                                The same day ooni one is decent.

                                                                                                This dude is very good. I would dial back the hydration to 65% maybe, 50ml less water at the second stage. 70% isnt the easiest to handle, mine were a disaster Sunday, maybe it was the heat and humidity but couldent get a stretch at all, ended up being too stodgy.

                                                                                                This too shall pass.

                                                                                                Comment


                                                                                                  Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                                                                                                  That Astra vaccine seems to keep getting worse and worse. Seems like one jab is only 33% effective against this new Delta variant. Never trust oxford boyos seems to be the life lesson there.
                                                                                                  Pity Boris didnt get the union jack printed on it as he wanted, to remind us all where the shittest vaccine came from.
                                                                                                  airport, lol

                                                                                                  Comment


                                                                                                    Originally posted by eamonhonda View Post

                                                                                                    Pity Boris didnt get the union jack printed on it as he wanted, to remind us all where the shittest vaccine came from.
                                                                                                    Think the Sinovac is winning that prize.
                                                                                                    Person...Woman...Man......Camera..TV

                                                                                                    Comment


                                                                                                      UK is really circling the drain.


                                                                                                      Turning millions into thousands

                                                                                                      Comment


                                                                                                        Originally posted by Strewelpeter View Post
                                                                                                        UK is really circling the drain.


                                                                                                        Trinity College protesters storm gate looking for Professor Luke O'Neill before anti-vaccine protest


                                                                                                        Security fence put up at Stephen Donnelly’s house following despicable ‘incidents’


                                                                                                        Leo Varadkar death threats scare sees constant armed Gardai protection issued for Tanaiste


                                                                                                        Every nation is just a few gobshites away from complete anarchy.
                                                                                                        "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

                                                                                                        Comment


                                                                                                          My latest thing has been trading. I'm taking this course on Udemy and then trying to live trade by crypto based on the lessons. So, for example, here's the main market I'm trading. Was looking it up earlier and seems I've traded about 100k in the last few weeks, all the while just about breaking even. So its either all for nought, or a rather interesting way to spend time. Still very amateurish, but quite fascinating.

                                                                                                          0R6aqfF.png

                                                                                                          "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

                                                                                                          Comment


                                                                                                            I would think some rte personality’s who are constantly yapping about vaccines non stop would be looking over there shoulder as well. I think the best way to get immune is to take 4 jabs of every vaccine in case few boosters in late autumn I’m sure other cool sounding variants are enroute to put a few barely alive people out of there misery.

                                                                                                            Comment


                                                                                                              Originally posted by Hitchhiker's Guide To... View Post
                                                                                                              My latest thing has been trading. I'm taking this course on Udemy and then trying to live trade by crypto based on the lessons. So, for example, here's the main market I'm trading. Was looking it up earlier and seems I've traded about 100k in the last few weeks, all the while just about breaking even. So its either all for nought, or a rather interesting way to spend time. Still very amateurish, but quite fascinating.

                                                                                                              0R6aqfF.png
                                                                                                              Reminds me of the punter backing favs and 2nd favs all afternoon , breaking even but ultimately losing the loots when fees and the numbers catch up with you. Trading other people's money has always been the route to take . The Wolf of IPB will testify I bet.

                                                                                                              Comment


                                                                                                                Originally posted by Solksjaer! View Post

                                                                                                                Reminds me of the punter backing favs and 2nd favs all afternoon , breaking even but ultimately losing the loots when fees and the numbers catch up with you. Trading other people's money has always been the route to take . The Wolf of IPB will testify I bet.
                                                                                                                Perhaps. But then again, you won't learn unless you actually do it. So its a bit of a catch
                                                                                                                "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

                                                                                                                Comment


                                                                                                                  Originally posted by DeadParrot View Post

                                                                                                                  SPOILER

                                                                                                                  Racing's dirty secret - Jim Bolger claims he knows who the drug cheats are


                                                                                                                  Paul Kimmage

                                                                                                                  There will be a Lance Armstrong in Irish racing, claims Jim Bolger, and he knows who the drug cheats are

                                                                                                                  Trainer Jim Bolger. Photo: Patrick McCann
                                                                                                                  June 13 2021 02:30 AM

                                                                                                                  The raids on the premises of (John) Hughes and (Philip) Fenton took place within 15 days of each other in January and February 2012. They showed that Irish racing had a serious problem with illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Though Fenton would be treated more severely by the courts, the Hughes case was more serious.

                                                                                                                  As a vet . . . John Hughes had a stable pass and was a licensed person at Irish race meetings. Investigations by the Department of Agriculture established that he had been dealing with a company called Nature Vet, based in Australia, and between 2002 and 2012 he had bought 250kg of Nitrotain from that company.

                                                                                                                  Nitrotain, which contains ethylestrenol, is a particularly potent anabolic steroid and the quantity Hughes had bought from Nature Vet was sufficient for 62,500 individual doses . . . The investigation into Hughes showed that illegal drugs have been a part of the sport for at least a decade.

                                                                                                                  David Walsh,

                                                                                                                  The Sunday Times,

                                                                                                                  November 30, 2014




                                                                                                                  Six months ago, a couple of days after his gorgeous chestnut colt, Mac Swiney, had won a Group 1 race at Doncaster, Jim Bolger gave an interview to Daragh Ó Conchúir for The Irish Field. The timing was fortuitous.

                                                                                                                  “He had had a very quiet spell, then Mac Swiney won at Doncaster, and Poetic Flare had won the week before,” the journalist says. “It was maybe my third (big) interview with Jim and he always gives an opinion, but I wasn’t expecting this. It was at the end of the conversation and I think I said, ‘Is there anything more you want to say?’ It was a complete fluke.”
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                                                                                                                  What Bolger said sent a storm through racing that would rage for months. Here’s the report the next day, Sunday October 31, in the Racing Post:

                                                                                                                  “Jim Bolger has said the number one problem in Irish racing is drug cheats, who are stopping the sport from being a level playing field, and has called on the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board to introduce more hair testing with immediate effect.

                                                                                                                  “The trainer, who stole the show last Saturday by sending out Mac Swiney to win the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, has stressed he would be 100pc happy for his own horses to be hair tested at any time.

                                                                                                                  “Bolger said: ‘I have knowledge of problems and I would like to see the IHRB stepping up to the plate. There needs to be more rigorous testing, but action has to happen after that testing has taken place. I’m inclined to think we have had instances in the past where action wasn’t taken when it should have been.’”

                                                                                                                  A few days later, we requested an interview with the trainer. A month after that, we tried again. On Tuesday, we spent four hours with Bolger at his home in Coolcullen. It started with a visit to Mac Swiney — the winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas — in box number one of the yard.

                                                                                                                  Paul Kimmage: OK, Jim, let’s take it from the top. It’s the last week of October and a couple of days after Mac Swiney wins at Doncaster, you give an interview to Daragh Ó Conchúir at The Irish Field: “I am concerned with the lack of policing in racing. It’s not up to the mark. It’s not up to scratch . . . It is not a level playing pitch at the moment.”

                                                                                                                  Jim Bolger: I just threw it out there. He was sitting the same as you are now. I didn’t know how he was going to use it.

                                                                                                                  PK: You knew what you were doing. You’re no fool.

                                                                                                                  JB: Sometimes

                                                                                                                  PK: You knew this was going to cause an absolute shitstorm.

                                                                                                                  JB: Hmmm.

                                                                                                                  PK: You’re 79 years old. Why take that on at this stage of your life?

                                                                                                                  JB: It would be like you coming down the Champs-Elysees on a Sunday in July, knowing that the fellow in front of you is full of dope and you’re going to be second. And on the other side of the podium. That’s not easy to take. And if you’re half a man, you’re going to stand up for yourself. So I’m standing up for myself, and for the trainers who are playing the game straight . . .

                                                                                                                  PK: You’re standing up alone. You’re not getting much support.

                                                                                                                  JB: Well, I can understand that because a lot of trainers are terrified of authority. They never express an opinion on anything, and that’s their prerogative — they somehow want an easy life. But as soon as they realise what’s happening to them, I think they will be talking . . .

                                                                                                                  PK: You don’t think they realise what’s happening?

                                                                                                                  JB: Some may not, and others still haven’t plucked up the courage.

                                                                                                                  PK: How long have you realised there was a problem?

                                                                                                                  JB: I’ve been very slow on this one; I’d say it’s going on for 20 years, ever since steroids became well known. Before that, it was just a bit of sodium bicarbonate, but then the steroids came along. Now they weren’t used extensively, but they were used by some individuals.

                                                                                                                  PK: The Hughes case, the Nitrotain, was in 2012.

                                                                                                                  JB: Yeah. And in the 10 years before that [John Hughes] brought in a quarter tonne of the stuff.

                                                                                                                  PK: Who was using it?

                                                                                                                  JB: Yeah, well that’s (the question).

                                                                                                                  PK: Why weren’t you jumping up and down when Hughes was caught?

                                                                                                                  JB: There are only certain windows that I will get; and if you’re not going well and you say something, it will be ignored. I had an audience because I had won the Vertem Futurity with Mac Swiney and was asked for that interview. I was always going to raise it.

                                                                                                                  PK: The timeline was interesting. It was a few weeks after the contaminated feed story and the fact that a French lab was picking up traces of a steroid (Zilpaterol) that wasn’t being detected here. Was that part of it?

                                                                                                                  JB: It was more a question of having an audience.

                                                                                                                  PK: Having won with Mac Swiney?

                                                                                                                  JB: Yeah.

                                                                                                                  PK: Was there any blowback? Did anyone call you about it?

                                                                                                                  JB: No, there was just a few swipes in interviews on television. Nobody spoke to me directly about it.

                                                                                                                  PK: Six weeks later, Brian O’Connor wrote an interesting column in The Irish Times: ‘Jim Bolger’s incendiary statements should shake racing to its foundations’. Here’s the opening paragraph: “It’s six weeks since Jim Bolger declared drugs to be Irish racing’s number one problem. He doesn’t believe there’s a level playing field. These are incendiary statements from one of the sport’s grandees and should shake racing to its foundations.” And that’s the point, isn’t it? Because it doesn’t.

                                                                                                                  JB: Hmmm.

                                                                                                                  PK: The sport has its head in the sand: ‘Say nothing and it will blow over.’

                                                                                                                  JB: Yeah.

                                                                                                                  PK: Here’s another paragraph from the O’Connor piece: “If Bolger’s aim was to generate a conversation about drug testing in racing, then it isn’t a very public one. Colleagues of his passed the buck to the Trainers’ Association — of which Bolger too is a member — and it declined to comment. Even privately there is reluctance to discuss this . . . Bolger might be off a few Christmas card lists this year.” Have you had any support?

                                                                                                                  JB: Very little, but I can understand that because of the fear factor with the ruling body. Trainers don’t want to stick their heads above the parapet.

                                                                                                                  PK: Aidan O’Brien did.

                                                                                                                  JB: When he was asked.

                                                                                                                  PK: Yeah, when he was asked.

                                                                                                                  JB: And do you have his reply?

                                                                                                                  PK: He said he didn’t agree with you, and that he hadn’t spoken to anyone in racing who thought differently. I’ve scribbled it down here: “Jim is entitled to his opinion. It’s very clean, and everyone is doing a very good job.”

                                                                                                                  JB: I think he also said I should name names.

                                                                                                                  PK: Yes, he did.

                                                                                                                  JB: I’m not that big a fool! I don’t travel to Dublin very often, but I don’t want to be going up every day for three weeks to the High Court.

                                                                                                                  PK: Yeah, O’Connor made that point: “Invariably, there were a few grumbles that he shouldn’t toss around accusations without backing them up. But since naming names in such circumstances is a high-speed shortcut to the High Court, it’s a pretty empty demand.”

                                                                                                                  JB: (smiles) But they can rest assured I know who they are; like, if I had responsibility for rooting out cheats, I’d have them rooted out in six months.

                                                                                                                  PK: How?

                                                                                                                  JB: Because I know who they are.

                                                                                                                  PK: Lynn Hillyer (the IHRB chief veterinary officer and head of anti-doping) told The Examiner recently that they have been working with you for some time on the issue.

                                                                                                                  JB: I had had one meeting before (The Irish Field interview) and one after it.

                                                                                                                  PK: With Hillyer?

                                                                                                                  JB: Yes.

                                                                                                                  PK: On what needed to be done?

                                                                                                                  JB: Yes.

                                                                                                                  PK: You laid it out for her?

                                                                                                                  JB: Yes, but I didn’t name names.

                                                                                                                  PK: But you laid out the issues and how they should be addressed?

                                                                                                                  JB: Yes.

                                                                                                                  PK: How was that received?

                                                                                                                  JB: She seemed to receive it pretty well; I think she would be keen to do something, but I’m not sure she has the back-up. I mean, when you get the chief executive saying that there is no problem, and (in the next breath) saying they are taking on extra (anti-doping) staff. Why do they need extra staff if there’s no problem there? And, by the way, it was all supposed to be confidential.

                                                                                                                  PK: What was?

                                                                                                                  JB: The meetings and the conversations, but it suited them to break that confidence because it was known at that stage that they were doing precious little about it. And her defence was: ‘Oh, we’ve had meetings with him and we’re making progress.’ But as far as I was concerned, and I had made it quite clear, the meetings were confidential.

                                                                                                                  PK: I would imagine when that happened, and the confidence was broken, there was a pretty stern phone call?

                                                                                                                  JB: Well, at that stage, I was hoping that we could have further dialogue, which didn’t happen. But what progress have they made? I haven’t seen much evidence that there is anything happening.

                                                                                                                  PK: How do you gauge progress?

                                                                                                                  JB: When someone gets caught. I mean, that’s what has to happen.

                                                                                                                  PK: Here’s another question: John Hughes didn’t live too far from here.

                                                                                                                  JB: He’s only down the road. I know him very well.

                                                                                                                  PK: So why wouldn’t you?

                                                                                                                  JB: Why wouldn’t I?

                                                                                                                  PK: Yeah, why wouldn’t you dope your horses? Philip Fenton is back training again. The penalties for using prohibited substances are pretty laughable.

                                                                                                                  JB: I wouldn’t do it because it’s cheating, and I’m not a cheat. I know there’s an attitude in racing that it’s all about winners, fair means or foul, but I think there has to be an element of decency in the whole thing. You have to have some self-respect. And I know I have right on my side.

                                                                                                                  PK: Sure.

                                                                                                                  JB: It all goes back to the quarter tonne of Nitrotain. Where did it go? Philip (Fenton) did get a fair old suspension, but he could well have been the sacrificial lamb. And the reason I don’t have any confidence in the regulator is because they must have known that at the time. They may also, I understand, have had a list (of other trainers) and it wasn’t followed up on.

                                                                                                                  PK: You’ve introduced me to Mac Swiney and the clump out of his mane?

                                                                                                                  JB: (smiles) Yeah, a victim of my own invention.

                                                                                                                  PK: So you’ve no faith in all the trumpeting about hair testing?

                                                                                                                  JB: I’m not sure they’re very serious about it. The samples might have been taken but if they were tested properly, they would have had results by now.

                                                                                                                  PK: So it’s your sense that . . .

                                                                                                                  JB: There’s a problem, and I’ve had great support from my staff who know that I am one hundred and one per cent right. And they know more about it than I do, because they are right in the mix.

                                                                                                                  PK: What do you mean?

                                                                                                                  JB: They have contact with other stable staff. They are closer to the coalface than I am.

                                                                                                                  PK: I’m seeing a lot of parallels with pro cycling here.

                                                                                                                  JB: Well, there will be a Lance Armstrong in Irish racing.

                                                                                                                  PK: There will?

                                                                                                                  JB: There will.

                                                                                                                  PK: You say that with certainty.

                                                                                                                  JB: Yes.

                                                                                                                  PK: But you’ve just said the IHRB are not serious about it?

                                                                                                                  JB: When it is recognised that there is a need to really tackle this problem, I don’t think the IHRB will be in control. I think all of the European racing bodies should now invite Usada (United States Anti-Doping Agency) to deal with this.

                                                                                                                  PK: As they’ve done in the US?

                                                                                                                  JB: Yes.

                                                                                                                  PK: What about the perception — and I’m sure it’s been levelled at you — that by highlighting all this you are diminishing or damaging racing?

                                                                                                                  JB: I agree, I am, but in the short term. But in the long term — to use an expression I hate — after the swamp is drained, things will be much healthier. And it’s not for me, because I’ll be gone at that stage.

                                                                                                                  PK: This is a difficult stance you’ve taken, something you’ve never had a problem with, but what about your family? Jackie (wife)? Una (daughter)? Kevin (son-in-law)? Have you had any conversations about it with them?

                                                                                                                  JB: I’ve discussed it with them all, and with my staff as well, and it comes back to the same thing. When you have right on your side you have nothing to fear.

                                                                                                                  Can I get a few bottles of whatever he's giving Poetic Flare
                                                                                                                  Turning millions into thousands

                                                                                                                  Comment


                                                                                                                    Originally posted by DeadParrot View Post

                                                                                                                    SPOILER

                                                                                                                    Racing's dirty secret - Jim Bolger claims he knows who the drug cheats are


                                                                                                                    Paul Kimmage

                                                                                                                    There will be a Lance Armstrong in Irish racing, claims Jim Bolger, and he knows who the drug cheats are

                                                                                                                    Trainer Jim Bolger. Photo: Patrick McCann
                                                                                                                    June 13 2021 02:30 AM

                                                                                                                    The raids on the premises of (John) Hughes and (Philip) Fenton took place within 15 days of each other in January and February 2012. They showed that Irish racing had a serious problem with illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Though Fenton would be treated more severely by the courts, the Hughes case was more serious.

                                                                                                                    As a vet . . . John Hughes had a stable pass and was a licensed person at Irish race meetings. Investigations by the Department of Agriculture established that he had been dealing with a company called Nature Vet, based in Australia, and between 2002 and 2012 he had bought 250kg of Nitrotain from that company.

                                                                                                                    Nitrotain, which contains ethylestrenol, is a particularly potent anabolic steroid and the quantity Hughes had bought from Nature Vet was sufficient for 62,500 individual doses . . . The investigation into Hughes showed that illegal drugs have been a part of the sport for at least a decade.

                                                                                                                    David Walsh,

                                                                                                                    The Sunday Times,

                                                                                                                    November 30, 2014




                                                                                                                    Six months ago, a couple of days after his gorgeous chestnut colt, Mac Swiney, had won a Group 1 race at Doncaster, Jim Bolger gave an interview to Daragh Ó Conchúir for The Irish Field. The timing was fortuitous.

                                                                                                                    “He had had a very quiet spell, then Mac Swiney won at Doncaster, and Poetic Flare had won the week before,” the journalist says. “It was maybe my third (big) interview with Jim and he always gives an opinion, but I wasn’t expecting this. It was at the end of the conversation and I think I said, ‘Is there anything more you want to say?’ It was a complete fluke.”
                                                                                                                    Sport Newsletter


                                                                                                                    Get the best analysis and comment on the GAA Allianz Leagues, the Rainbow Cup in rugby and Rory McIlroy's revival with our free newsletter.

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                                                                                                                    What Bolger said sent a storm through racing that would rage for months. Here’s the report the next day, Sunday October 31, in the Racing Post:

                                                                                                                    “Jim Bolger has said the number one problem in Irish racing is drug cheats, who are stopping the sport from being a level playing field, and has called on the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board to introduce more hair testing with immediate effect.

                                                                                                                    “The trainer, who stole the show last Saturday by sending out Mac Swiney to win the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, has stressed he would be 100pc happy for his own horses to be hair tested at any time.

                                                                                                                    “Bolger said: ‘I have knowledge of problems and I would like to see the IHRB stepping up to the plate. There needs to be more rigorous testing, but action has to happen after that testing has taken place. I’m inclined to think we have had instances in the past where action wasn’t taken when it should have been.’”

                                                                                                                    A few days later, we requested an interview with the trainer. A month after that, we tried again. On Tuesday, we spent four hours with Bolger at his home in Coolcullen. It started with a visit to Mac Swiney — the winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas — in box number one of the yard.

                                                                                                                    Paul Kimmage: OK, Jim, let’s take it from the top. It’s the last week of October and a couple of days after Mac Swiney wins at Doncaster, you give an interview to Daragh Ó Conchúir at The Irish Field: “I am concerned with the lack of policing in racing. It’s not up to the mark. It’s not up to scratch . . . It is not a level playing pitch at the moment.”

                                                                                                                    Jim Bolger: I just threw it out there. He was sitting the same as you are now. I didn’t know how he was going to use it.

                                                                                                                    PK: You knew what you were doing. You’re no fool.

                                                                                                                    JB: Sometimes

                                                                                                                    PK: You knew this was going to cause an absolute shitstorm.

                                                                                                                    JB: Hmmm.

                                                                                                                    PK: You’re 79 years old. Why take that on at this stage of your life?

                                                                                                                    JB: It would be like you coming down the Champs-Elysees on a Sunday in July, knowing that the fellow in front of you is full of dope and you’re going to be second. And on the other side of the podium. That’s not easy to take. And if you’re half a man, you’re going to stand up for yourself. So I’m standing up for myself, and for the trainers who are playing the game straight . . .

                                                                                                                    PK: You’re standing up alone. You’re not getting much support.

                                                                                                                    JB: Well, I can understand that because a lot of trainers are terrified of authority. They never express an opinion on anything, and that’s their prerogative — they somehow want an easy life. But as soon as they realise what’s happening to them, I think they will be talking . . .

                                                                                                                    PK: You don’t think they realise what’s happening?

                                                                                                                    JB: Some may not, and others still haven’t plucked up the courage.

                                                                                                                    PK: How long have you realised there was a problem?

                                                                                                                    JB: I’ve been very slow on this one; I’d say it’s going on for 20 years, ever since steroids became well known. Before that, it was just a bit of sodium bicarbonate, but then the steroids came along. Now they weren’t used extensively, but they were used by some individuals.

                                                                                                                    PK: The Hughes case, the Nitrotain, was in 2012.

                                                                                                                    JB: Yeah. And in the 10 years before that [John Hughes] brought in a quarter tonne of the stuff.

                                                                                                                    PK: Who was using it?

                                                                                                                    JB: Yeah, well that’s (the question).

                                                                                                                    PK: Why weren’t you jumping up and down when Hughes was caught?

                                                                                                                    JB: There are only certain windows that I will get; and if you’re not going well and you say something, it will be ignored. I had an audience because I had won the Vertem Futurity with Mac Swiney and was asked for that interview. I was always going to raise it.

                                                                                                                    PK: The timeline was interesting. It was a few weeks after the contaminated feed story and the fact that a French lab was picking up traces of a steroid (Zilpaterol) that wasn’t being detected here. Was that part of it?

                                                                                                                    JB: It was more a question of having an audience.

                                                                                                                    PK: Having won with Mac Swiney?

                                                                                                                    JB: Yeah.

                                                                                                                    PK: Was there any blowback? Did anyone call you about it?

                                                                                                                    JB: No, there was just a few swipes in interviews on television. Nobody spoke to me directly about it.

                                                                                                                    PK: Six weeks later, Brian O’Connor wrote an interesting column in The Irish Times: ‘Jim Bolger’s incendiary statements should shake racing to its foundations’. Here’s the opening paragraph: “It’s six weeks since Jim Bolger declared drugs to be Irish racing’s number one problem. He doesn’t believe there’s a level playing field. These are incendiary statements from one of the sport’s grandees and should shake racing to its foundations.” And that’s the point, isn’t it? Because it doesn’t.

                                                                                                                    JB: Hmmm.

                                                                                                                    PK: The sport has its head in the sand: ‘Say nothing and it will blow over.’

                                                                                                                    JB: Yeah.

                                                                                                                    PK: Here’s another paragraph from the O’Connor piece: “If Bolger’s aim was to generate a conversation about drug testing in racing, then it isn’t a very public one. Colleagues of his passed the buck to the Trainers’ Association — of which Bolger too is a member — and it declined to comment. Even privately there is reluctance to discuss this . . . Bolger might be off a few Christmas card lists this year.” Have you had any support?

                                                                                                                    JB: Very little, but I can understand that because of the fear factor with the ruling body. Trainers don’t want to stick their heads above the parapet.

                                                                                                                    PK: Aidan O’Brien did.

                                                                                                                    JB: When he was asked.

                                                                                                                    PK: Yeah, when he was asked.

                                                                                                                    JB: And do you have his reply?

                                                                                                                    PK: He said he didn’t agree with you, and that he hadn’t spoken to anyone in racing who thought differently. I’ve scribbled it down here: “Jim is entitled to his opinion. It’s very clean, and everyone is doing a very good job.”

                                                                                                                    JB: I think he also said I should name names.

                                                                                                                    PK: Yes, he did.

                                                                                                                    JB: I’m not that big a fool! I don’t travel to Dublin very often, but I don’t want to be going up every day for three weeks to the High Court.

                                                                                                                    PK: Yeah, O’Connor made that point: “Invariably, there were a few grumbles that he shouldn’t toss around accusations without backing them up. But since naming names in such circumstances is a high-speed shortcut to the High Court, it’s a pretty empty demand.”

                                                                                                                    JB: (smiles) But they can rest assured I know who they are; like, if I had responsibility for rooting out cheats, I’d have them rooted out in six months.

                                                                                                                    PK: How?

                                                                                                                    JB: Because I know who they are.

                                                                                                                    PK: Lynn Hillyer (the IHRB chief veterinary officer and head of anti-doping) told The Examiner recently that they have been working with you for some time on the issue.

                                                                                                                    JB: I had had one meeting before (The Irish Field interview) and one after it.

                                                                                                                    PK: With Hillyer?

                                                                                                                    JB: Yes.

                                                                                                                    PK: On what needed to be done?

                                                                                                                    JB: Yes.

                                                                                                                    PK: You laid it out for her?

                                                                                                                    JB: Yes, but I didn’t name names.

                                                                                                                    PK: But you laid out the issues and how they should be addressed?

                                                                                                                    JB: Yes.

                                                                                                                    PK: How was that received?

                                                                                                                    JB: She seemed to receive it pretty well; I think she would be keen to do something, but I’m not sure she has the back-up. I mean, when you get the chief executive saying that there is no problem, and (in the next breath) saying they are taking on extra (anti-doping) staff. Why do they need extra staff if there’s no problem there? And, by the way, it was all supposed to be confidential.

                                                                                                                    PK: What was?

                                                                                                                    JB: The meetings and the conversations, but it suited them to break that confidence because it was known at that stage that they were doing precious little about it. And her defence was: ‘Oh, we’ve had meetings with him and we’re making progress.’ But as far as I was concerned, and I had made it quite clear, the meetings were confidential.

                                                                                                                    PK: I would imagine when that happened, and the confidence was broken, there was a pretty stern phone call?

                                                                                                                    JB: Well, at that stage, I was hoping that we could have further dialogue, which didn’t happen. But what progress have they made? I haven’t seen much evidence that there is anything happening.

                                                                                                                    PK: How do you gauge progress?

                                                                                                                    JB: When someone gets caught. I mean, that’s what has to happen.

                                                                                                                    PK: Here’s another question: John Hughes didn’t live too far from here.

                                                                                                                    JB: He’s only down the road. I know him very well.

                                                                                                                    PK: So why wouldn’t you?

                                                                                                                    JB: Why wouldn’t I?

                                                                                                                    PK: Yeah, why wouldn’t you dope your horses? Philip Fenton is back training again. The penalties for using prohibited substances are pretty laughable.

                                                                                                                    JB: I wouldn’t do it because it’s cheating, and I’m not a cheat. I know there’s an attitude in racing that it’s all about winners, fair means or foul, but I think there has to be an element of decency in the whole thing. You have to have some self-respect. And I know I have right on my side.

                                                                                                                    PK: Sure.

                                                                                                                    JB: It all goes back to the quarter tonne of Nitrotain. Where did it go? Philip (Fenton) did get a fair old suspension, but he could well have been the sacrificial lamb. And the reason I don’t have any confidence in the regulator is because they must have known that at the time. They may also, I understand, have had a list (of other trainers) and it wasn’t followed up on.

                                                                                                                    PK: You’ve introduced me to Mac Swiney and the clump out of his mane?

                                                                                                                    JB: (smiles) Yeah, a victim of my own invention.

                                                                                                                    PK: So you’ve no faith in all the trumpeting about hair testing?

                                                                                                                    JB: I’m not sure they’re very serious about it. The samples might have been taken but if they were tested properly, they would have had results by now.

                                                                                                                    PK: So it’s your sense that . . .

                                                                                                                    JB: There’s a problem, and I’ve had great support from my staff who know that I am one hundred and one per cent right. And they know more about it than I do, because they are right in the mix.

                                                                                                                    PK: What do you mean?

                                                                                                                    JB: They have contact with other stable staff. They are closer to the coalface than I am.

                                                                                                                    PK: I’m seeing a lot of parallels with pro cycling here.

                                                                                                                    JB: Well, there will be a Lance Armstrong in Irish racing.

                                                                                                                    PK: There will?

                                                                                                                    JB: There will.

                                                                                                                    PK: You say that with certainty.

                                                                                                                    JB: Yes.

                                                                                                                    PK: But you’ve just said the IHRB are not serious about it?

                                                                                                                    JB: When it is recognised that there is a need to really tackle this problem, I don’t think the IHRB will be in control. I think all of the European racing bodies should now invite Usada (United States Anti-Doping Agency) to deal with this.

                                                                                                                    PK: As they’ve done in the US?

                                                                                                                    JB: Yes.

                                                                                                                    PK: What about the perception — and I’m sure it’s been levelled at you — that by highlighting all this you are diminishing or damaging racing?

                                                                                                                    JB: I agree, I am, but in the short term. But in the long term — to use an expression I hate — after the swamp is drained, things will be much healthier. And it’s not for me, because I’ll be gone at that stage.

                                                                                                                    PK: This is a difficult stance you’ve taken, something you’ve never had a problem with, but what about your family? Jackie (wife)? Una (daughter)? Kevin (son-in-law)? Have you had any conversations about it with them?

                                                                                                                    JB: I’ve discussed it with them all, and with my staff as well, and it comes back to the same thing. When you have right on your side you have nothing to fear.

                                                                                                                    ChavRacing
                                                                                                                    "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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                                                                                                                      This time 5 years ago was the most intense and celebratory moment of my life.



                                                                                                                      We buried Phil, the guy jumping up and down in the blue suit, just a few weeks later. Carpe Diem
                                                                                                                      Turning millions into thousands

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                                                                                                                        Originally posted by Strewelpeter View Post
                                                                                                                        This time 5 years ago was the most intense and celebratory moment of my life.



                                                                                                                        We buried Phil, the guy jumping up and down in the blue suit, just a few weeks later. Carpe Diem
                                                                                                                        Jaysus was Phil expecting it?
                                                                                                                        "We're not f*cking Burundi" - Big Phil

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