So I go to have brekky with Clip Clop this morning, and I’d dreaming about smoked salmon and flash sauce and eggs to die for and all types of exotic tropical fruits as I ascend the 24 floors from Post Office Square to his office in Heaven, passing the Branch Stacker and Bubbles Washington style bent lobbyist firm on the lowly 15th floor and flicking them he bird along the way, then the bell dings and the door opens and disappointment begins.

I bowl into Clip Clop land, decide I still reek of sex from the roll in the hay with Maggie and her sister a couple of hours before, bowl back out for a quick hand soap to the stubble and Mr Strong in the flash as dunny, bowl back in again and Clip Clop walks out and says ‘Ah, the Butterfly’ and I say ‘Oh, Clip Clop’ in reply, and then its all handshakes and smiles and we’re talking horses while circling each other’s wagons and CC’s superb PA and part Siamese-twin Sue who’s a cracker of a bird offers me coffee, but I don’t drink the sh*t so I tell her a cold drink would be nice.

Of course I’m thinking Coke (the real Coke kind, not the sugar free nonsense) or freshly squeezed OJ or maybe even a bit of the Rooster’s left over Moet if I’m lucky, but then reality kicks in as I realise that the Rooster has never, ever left a single drop of champers in a bottle of Moet to bubbles for brekky’s just a pipe dream unless Clip Clop offers to crack a fresh bottle.

He gives me water.

Without ice.

There are no options on this particular menu.

They’d all cost money except the aqua, and you don’t hit, stay and climb on Queensland’s rich list by giving your capital away do you? Which means I don’t get any brekky either, and have to shell for a roast beef sanger at PJ’s Inn afterwards just to make sure that I don’t collapse and die.

I liked Clip Clop Kev though, just like I knew I would, although of course I wouldn’t trust the crafty old mustachioed million times a millionaire as far as I could throw him, which is not very far, and he wouldn’t trust me any further.

Which is apropos of nothing at all really cos neither of us trust any bastard except me Maggie and the girls and him Sue and Kay and all that does is show we’re both smart and it detracts in no way from the conversation other than that my stomach’s still empty, but more fool me and when if you hurl the dice and don’t throw sevens well you’ve just gotta wear it don’t you?

I did get something for free though, a copy of Racing Queensland’s beautiful 48 page thick, almost cardboard quality glossy monthly harness racing magazine Pace, which must cost a motza to produce but is read by pretty much no-one, which seems like weird science to me.

Don’t go thinking that my dazzling personality somehow inspired a flash of benevolence in the old bloke who seems younger than me – although nowhere near as good looking – though, cos the tight bugger forgot to take the with compliments slip out* of the free copy he’d just slipped me and so gave himself up.

I’m gunna get the mag dusted by an old copper mate from forensics just to make a good thing of my suspicion that Clip Clop read the bloody thing on the dunny and gave it a quick wipe with single ply but I reckon it’s a foregone conclusion, and anyway it doesn’t bother me cos I’m from Geebung and the Friday form guide stayed in the office all weekend and passed through who knows how many hands but the winners were still the winners and the fact that the Old Man paid for the paper and the rest of us got it for free simply made the overs a bird.


I had to bloody laugh though, because there on the front cover was my old mate Brad Connelly the Tambourine Mountain man and the caption said that the story was about Brad and another old mate Big Jeroen, the one time 7 foot centre for the mighty Monday night open air mens social grade basketball legends the 5 Stars, a team that I owned, managed, captained and lost the affiliation fees on the punt for on annual basis.

Clearly Clip Clop had pulled a few strings and got my mates on the front page as a peace gift, or maybe just to show me that he could, but either way the former turnstile operator at Albion Park – I reckon Clip Clop under-cooked that one, he probably owned the gate rights – had sacrificed 48 pages he got for free that he could have had Kay boil down and recycle as Christmas Cards and instead had given the mag to me.

Truth be told I was touched, and still am, and say out loud for all the world to hear “Thanks Clip Clop, but I’m still bloody hungry”.

The harness racing industry had been touched even more though. All that super-flash pretty production dough yet still no-one actually proof read the goddamn magazine.

There was a mistake on page 4, the first content page in after the double page color spread piccies of the horses at Kev’s mates the Denning’s Burwood Park stud, a great glossy spare no expense splash that included a glamour shot of Changeover, a true champion or not about whose greatness the jury will be forever out because its trainer during the golden years, Geoff Small, was a blue magic man and when you’re hitting your horses hard with the untraceable the true depth of their ability will never be truly known.

No great pictures of perhaps great pacers can make up for a mistake on the first page of the form guide though can it sportsfans? After all, how can you trust a word of what you read after if the publishers can’t even get the front page right?


That ain’t Jeroen Nieuwenberg on the front page of the Pace magazine. He’s younger, and more dynamic, and about a foot taller just like he was in the snap taken back in the day when Queensland bred horses were taking the harness world by storm, and the big fella was backing wonder horses like Sovereign Cloud in from 100’s to 16’s and landing the bikkies in the big league, and young Bradley Connolly was still young and had flowingh locks of hair.


That’s big Jeroen in the centre of the shot at the top, and a young Bradley in the spots.

There’s no Jeroen on the cover of Pace magazine though, no matter what Racing Queensland might try to tell you, only a double dose of Bradley C.

In normal circumstances I’d go town on the glaring mistake in the only material thing of worth that I took away* from Clip Clop HQ except the water glass that I slipped in my bag by sleight of hand and the CV that I handed back with a valuation book but didn’t and am looking at right now (wake up to yourself Kev: I only did it for sport and got away with it cold; imagine what those bludger employees or contractors who really want to rob you are taking home each week).

But the simple fact is that Jeroen’s 7 foot frame would have filled the front and back covers of Pace and cost us all a bloody arm and a leg in printing ink, whereas Bradley’s aging mug and once were lean warriors frame fits just nicely thank you very much.

It’s not the saved money that thrills me though sportsfans, and for once not just because  spondoolies aren’t really my thing and I treat even the largest of them as nothing more than cabbage. Nah that ain’t the cause of my thrill on CBD hole in the ground hill Bill and Jill and Gil and Gill.

I’m excited because I’ve got one up on Clip Clop.

It was a joust for the ages, and the judges had scored it a draw. But then he gave me the 48 page mag that he’d fixed to ensure my mate was beaming out of the cover from, and Mr Perfect was so cock a hoop with his admitted and impressive cleverness that for once in his life he forgot to check the finer details before laying down the slab.

Archie 1 – Clip Clop none.

I reckon I might retire now, quit while I’m in front.

You bloody beauty!

It doesn’t get any better than this.

Or not much anyway.