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RWITC Wood like to bet on integrity - By Shailendra Awasthi I TNN

Posted on - 09 Nov 2011

RWITC Wood like to bet on integrity

Shailendra Awasthi TNN 

Mumbai: The Royal Western India Turf Club appointment of the immensely experienced former Racing Queensland chief investigator Wayne Wood as the club’s integrity officer suggests that the controversy-hit premier racing body is trying to tighten the conduct and control of horse-racing. 
    Stepping out of Australian soil for the first time in his long career, 57-year-old, Brisbane-born Wood carries a very impressive resume. He started working at the age of nine in 1967 as a stable hand at his uncle trainer Ted Stanton at Rosehill Stables (Sydney). He has worked horses, done a clerk’s job at Sydney Turf Club, and became a starter at the Australian Jockey Club before settling into a steward’s job in Tamworth. Wood has never looked back since. 
    Wood has also worked as manager at a premier breeding centre in New South Wales, where his duties included management of a stable of 130 thoroughbreds overseeing broodmares, foals and race horses in training. One of the rare Aussies who doesn’t smoke or drink, Wood has all-round knowledge of horse racing which will certainly come in handy while he manages racing affairs at RWITC. 
    TOI caught up with him on his first day in office at RWITC’s racing department. 
E x c e r p t s : 
How much do you know about Indian racing? 
    Well, I saw two days of racing in Pune last August, it’s too little a time to understand Indian racing, but I’m certain with the help of my stewards colleagues here, it shouldn’t be a problem.
What will be the nature of work for you as integrity officer? 
    To improve the conduct of racing as a whole. It is both a desk job and a field job. From tackling stable security to sampling procedures, keeping a check on malpractices to maintaining a high standard of transparency. It is not an easy job but I’m game for it. 

Two of your predecessors had unceremonious exits here. How do you see that? 
    I have heard about them but I would not like to talk about it as I don’t know what had transpired then. I’m only concerned about how I’m going to work as people will judge me on that.
(Edited version)

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