Alexander quits MJC

Robin Parke

THE chief executive of the Macau Jockey Club (MJC), Ray Alexander, will part company with the Taipa-based racing organisation on July 1.

The shock news yesterday that the 20-year veteran of the Australian Jockey Club (AJC) - the MJC's highest profile appointment - was leaving deals another savage blow to the credibility of the Macau body.

Alexander will be roughly midway through a three-year contract when he leaves Taipa but was reluctant to comment about the reasons for the early departure last night.

''It has been on my mind for some time and the decision to leave has been taken after considerable thought. It has been an interesting time for me and I will be working non-stop for the MJC until I leave on July 1,'' he said.

But there can be no hiding the fact that Alexander has obviously been disenchanted with the Macau set-up where, almost certainly, his hands have been tied when it comes to implementing improvements.

Real power is exercised behind the scenes at Taipa - and not in the chief executive's front office.

Alexander's departure merely underlines that the MJC is a graveyard for expatriate racing executives.

It follows on rapidly from the exit of chief stipendiary steward Brian Killian - another top-line signing from the AJC - who could take no more of the machinations that go on at Taipa and upped stakes and quit.

Like a number of expatriate officials, there was a clause in his contract forbidding him to speak to the press but it is well known that he was totally disenchanted with the MJC.

He was frustrated and annoyed when a number of his decisions were overturned on appeal.

Apart from Alexander and Killian, other leading expatriates to quit Taipa under their own steam or at the behest of their employers were former director of racing, Peter Smiles, racing manager Bill Charles, racing officials Michael Fenton and Paul Cleggand stipendiary steward, Guy Williams.

Of the original 18 expatriates who were at Taipa when racing began in 1990 only clerk of the course Gordon McVeigh and handicapper John Adams remain.