MJC administrator quits after disagreement

Robin Parke

THE Macau Jockey Club (MJC) has been rocked by the shock resignation of racing administrator Michael Fenton who has quit after a severe disagreement.

And to add to management woes, senior handicapper Les Muirhead is on the critical list in a Hongkong hospital after a heart operation.

It now looks certain that former handicapper Tom McGinley will be back at Taipa as the MJC will also shortly lose deputy chief stipe Dudley Feldman to the Bukit Turf Club in Singapore.

But Taipa was buzzing yesterday with the news of the Fenton resignation.

The racing official is quietly popular with licensed personnel on the complex having originally come to Taipa as a handicapper but then switched to racing administration duties following the abrupt departure of Australian Bill Charles.

He said yesterday: ''It is a fact that I have resigned the position because, to be frank, I am not happy with my lot.

''I am not normally a person who acts in haste or loses his temper but I can say that there was a disagreement and I do not wish to continue. I do not have another job to go to as yet and am undecided about my immediate future.'' New Zealand-born Muirhead, a former senior stipe to the New Zealand Racing Conference, had been feeling unwell for a week when he was taken to hospital last Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Hongkong trainer Alex Wong Siu-tan yesterday threatened to sue the Australian Jockey Club if they ban his colt, Total Effect, from racing, writes Lawrence Wadey.

Wong has been unwittingly caught in the middle of the scandal rocking the Australian turf which has already led to his trainer Graeme Rogerson being banned for six months by the AJC.

The ban comes after the Rogerson-trained Carry On Winning landed a substantial betting plunge in the race in which Wong's Total Effect started favourite but was subsequently found to be in no fit state to race.

The son of Last Tycoon had been operated on six weeks earlier and raced with no feeling in his near-fore hoof. This has led to chief AJC stipendiary steward John Schreck calling for Total Effect to be banned from racing.

Yesterday Wong stressed: ''I have checked with the likes of Neville Begg and he has confirmed what I originally thought - that this operation is quite common.

''It was conducted by a Jockey Club vet and there are other examples of horses racing with no feeling in a hoof.

''If they ban my horse, I will sue them. It is as simple as that.''