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Australian Packaging Industry Handicap

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Race knocktaker Amcor takes a healthy lead over Visy Industries ridden by Harry Debney and trained by billionaire ‘battler’ and Australia’s third richest man Richard Pratt.

Visy off to shaky start after last race when Clerk of Course Graeme Samuel pulled jockey and trainer up for alleged cartel-like behaviour with Amcor.

Samuel alleging cartel agreed to fix price of corrugated cardboard and not to poach customers.

Amcor handlers granted immunity from prosecution for co-operating with inquiry.

Debney and Pratt yet to the face music at racing tribunal.

Pratt ready for fight with Samuel.

Slater & Gordon downplaying chances of class action against race leaders, but Amcor syndicate losing faith as company carries grandstand from rising overheads and inability to pass on costs to consumers.

Turf Club president and Pratt-mate, John Howard, looking on with interest.

Lay down misere Amcor takes a big lead with a focus on innovative new products, but the possibility of handlers being called in to give evidence at tribunal leaves frontrunner tongue tied.

New Zealander and paper products supplier Carter Holt Harvey in a muck lather and running stone motherless. Looks sure to be donkey-linked following downgraded earnings forecast in November, for the third time, to $NZ200 million. Plant closures and staff layoffs telling. Consensus among satchel wingers and SPs that punters wouldn’t back it with bad money. New owner and New Zealander Graeme Hart of Rank Group has work cut out.

To be continued

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