I was doing a quick spot of research on the feature Sunshine Sprint race run at Albion Park during the harness racing Winter Carnival so that I could add a splash of background colour to an article I’m presently writing about yet another guaranteed pool race rort pulled at the Creek when I came across the article extracted above and below on the Racing Queensland website.
According to the author of the article, Albion Park caller Chris “the Babe” Barsby, the Sunshine Sprint has been run since 1983 and the record book shows that some great horses have won the race since including Thorate, Double Identity, Be Good Johnny, Mr Feelgood, the warhorse Sokyola (twice), I’m the Mighty Quinn, the great Wondai’s Mate and the even greater Black’s a Fake (twice).
But when I read this I was troubled, and thought to myself
“Sh*t Archie, you must be getting old son and that truckload of Persian rugs you took when you were a young fella and the ocean and a half of piss you sucked over 4 decades is starting to catch up and play tricks with your memory”
because I could have sworn as a little kid I watched my second-favorite horse Paleface Adios win the Sunshine Sprint by half the length of the straight one year, and that on the same card that I used the $5 bucks Dad gave me to stop annoying him in the bar to get my grandma to put $2.50c each way for me on my all time favorite pacer Peter Profit in the next race (it ran second – story of my life) and that the Butterfly clan were talking about Paleface’s amazing win all the way home as we putted along home squeezed into our little blue Fiat Bambino, which puts me in Grade 1 at the Bunger Academy and the year as 1973.
I pride myself on the strength of my long-term memory and absolutely hate being wrong, especially to the Rooster – who in was quoted wearing his Albion Park Chairman’s hat in Barsby’s article about the Sunshine Sprint, and surely would have corrected the caller and author if he had it wrong – so I decided to dive into the record books to test my recollection before putting pen to paper about the argument, and it keep it on the ultra QT if I was wrong.
I’ll bet you’ve already worked out from the fact you’re reading this right now sportsfans that I wasn’t. Wrong, that is.
I rarely am when it comes to racing of any horse of greyhound kind, for the three codes of sport – and they are three different sports, and don’t ever let anyone from the Government or Racing Queensland tell you any different – have been my passions, compulsions and obsessions ever since my Pop taught me to read using the form guide as a textbook when I was 2 years old, and what I don’t know about harness, greyhound and gallops racing history during my lifetime you could just about write on a postage stamp and throw away, although when it comes to the punting game I readily confess that despite my long history of playing it I still have plenty to learn, and a whole lot more again to boot.
Yep, I may have a sh*tload to learn about punting, but from the word I’ve heard around the rings over the years I wouldn’t be giving or getting any metres from the Rooster in a handicap race from the standing start.
But I’d be giving him and the Babe plenty in the Clip Clop Kevin and Kay Seymour Sponsored Knowledge of Harness History Stakes, and on exposed form you’d have to say I would have caught the field after a lap and gone straight past them in the back straight after the bell, and win like Paleface back in ’73 easing down, for when it comes to knowledge of the grand standard bred sport the Babe and the Rooster have a lot to learn before they’ll be up to matching with A.J. Butterfly in any Group 1 Harness Racing History event, don’t you worry about that.
And here I was thinking blokes who won the 1980 Dux award at Brisbane Grammar must be bloody smart.
Nah, I wasn’t really; Geebung’s the place you find all the brains.
Hurry up and process that $2 membership application of mine that I lodged a month ago Mr Clip Clop. I’ve got an election campaign to run, and a sport to clean up, a restored pedastal ready to place it back on too. But I’m getting old son, and we don’t want to wait until the memory starts to slip.
Ain’t that the truth Babe?
Never fear Sportsfans – Archie will fill the stands again. They just might not be at Albion Park that’s all. Or they might be too, if things change. The one thing I know from long experience is that it’s hard to back winners when you’re spending all your time flogging dead horses.