The day Bunratty won the Cup

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ALANM
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:57 pm
Location: Tasmania

The day Bunratty won the Cup

Post by ALANM » Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:57 pm

The day Bunratty won the Cup
(By Alan McCosker August 2020)

Old Jack had a radio and batteries in a case
on special days we’d halt the mob, to listen to a race.
Now Jack was an avid punter, horse racin’ was his hobby
his knowledge of the racin’ game, would outdo most anybody.

The radio would travel, in the packbag with our lunch
‘long with twenty foot of aerial, to be tossed up on a branch.
Chosen ones would gather ‘round and bet with tins of ‘baccy
others picked for tailin’ out, thought themselves unlucky.

T’was the 19th of October in the year of ’68
we was musterin’ near Killarney, the season gettin’ late.
At dinner camp old Jack had said, “lets pull the cattle up”
“at 5 o’clock in Melbourne, they’ll run the Caulfield Cup”.

Once the mob had settled ’n salt beef and damper downed
we gathered ‘round the radio, quart pots of tea all ‘round.
Each ringer chose a horse, as they loaded in the barriers
for we had no idea till then, the names of all the runners.

The afternoon was hot and sultry, early storms were hangin’ ‘round
’twas hard to hear the radio, static drownin’ out the sound.
But we heard enough of comment’ry to give us some idea
of who was runnin’, who was ridin’ and the odds they gave down there.

The favourite was Rain Lover, old Jack took dibs before the crew
at 6 to 1 , he’s the one to beat and the only horse we knew.
At 12 to1 Bunratty Castle, was a horse the others snubbed
he was my pick, so on him I bet, two tins of Champion ready rubbed.

“They’re racin’ ” was the call, then the static kicked right in
distant thunder and cattle bellowin’ , made for a frightful din.
The race, for sure, was over and we’d not even heard the call
old Jack said “let’s start ‘em up, get ‘em yarded up by nightfall”.

After we had yarded up ’n turned our hobbled horses out
we stacked our saddles ‘neath a fly, so they’d not get blown about.
We gathered ‘round Jack’s radio, a tot of rum to slowly sup
to hear the news, Bunratty, had won the Caulfield Cup.

Mick Mallyon had him out in front, from go ’til bloody whoa
Rain Lover didn’t even place, he was too flamin’ slow.
My winnin’s came to 14 tins of ready rubbed fine cut
I finally got one up on Jack, the day Bunratty won the Cup.

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Shelley Hansen
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Location: Maryborough, Queensland
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Re: The day Bunratty won the Cup

Post by Shelley Hansen » Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:02 am

Good story, Alan!

I particularly remember the Melbourne Cup of 1968 when Rain Lover won it, because I was in high school and back then listening or watching it was forbidden in school hours. But a couple of the girls were horse-mad and smuggled in a transistor radio, hiding it in a desk and listening with an earplug, then sending notes around the class with the winner's name. They never did get caught!

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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