As a special gift to you sportfans we’ve spent the Caloundra race-less Friday evening on the dog and bone having a Don’t You Worry About That with a few of BrisVegas’s leading trainers, bookmakers, punters and race writers asking them a dozen or so Sunday Arvo Sessions about a totally random series of topics we dreamed up on the long march of freedom from cash after a brief night betting on the cats at Cranbourne.

A guest panel of superstars have kindly shared their thoughts with our resident lunatic mug punter Archie and with you our 10 000 daily readers, and we thank them all warmly for their time.

The festive season is all about family, and despite our various disagreements and disputes throughout the year, at the end of the day we’re all one big one across the three codes, so a great big Merry Christmas to you all sportsfans and warm wished at Yuletide to each and every one of your loved ones.

With a bit of luck 2018 will see us all with an Eagle Farm track to race on, a clean and vibrant harness racing scene, and a dog industry on the continued up and up. May it be the year of our shared success and greatness for all!

The mobile’s rolling, the bunny approaches the boxes, the starter hits the release button and they’re off and racing!

DO YOU BELIEVE IN SANTA CLAUS?

Rob Heathcoate (The One-Time Kontiki Bus Tour Guide and Lad About London Town Turned Superstar Trainer and Lover of All Things Bronze)

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No

Ben Currie (The 21st Century Toowoomba Tornado and Heir to Bernborough)

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No I don’t

Tony Gollan (The Terrific Trainer Who Has Proven To the World That Nice Guys Don’t Always Run Last)

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Yes – he came early to bring Jane and I a beautiful baby daughter.

Liam Birchley (The Genius From the Grovely Ghetto Who Showed the Sydney Slickers How the Setting Your Steed For a Big Race is Done, Run and Won)

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No. I stopped believing in the red man early days.

(Editor’s note – I think it was when he got nutted in the treble at Eagle Farm in 1973 by the same 33-1 shot as Hayden Flynn’s)

Hayden ‘Errol’ Flynn (The Bookie Who Moved From Caulfield to Cairns and Back Down to Vegas Via Caloundra and Collected the Whole Lot Along the Way)

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I used to until I got done for plenty by a 33-1 shot in the last one Christmas Eve.

Chris Munce (The Hoop Who Scooped Them All and Won the Slipper and the Millions and the Melbourne Cup and Everything in Between and Back, and is Now Slaying Them as a Trainer at the Track)

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Muncie and our mutual mate Junior, the only Dutchman from Nudgee ever to switch from round ball to rugby league at age seventeen and play A-Grade for the mighty Norths Devils.

Yes I do – Santa is a legend.

A Professional Punter (This Man is a Dentist Who is Sending Corporate Bookmakers Wreaths By Doing His Sums, So We Can’t Show You His Face or They Will Ban Him. We Can Tell You That Rob is Not His Real Name).

Only on a fast run reindeer pace.

His early sectionals aren’t real flash.

Archie Butterfly (Husband of the Best Looking Animal Lover in Vegas Who Calls Him Mr Big; He’s Just a Fair to Middling Race Writer Who’s Having a Dig)

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Of course I do!

Who else is going to give me a bloody present?

HOW MUCH HAVE YOU SHELLED OUT ON CHRISSY PRESENTS?

Rob Heathcoate

No comment.

(Editor’s note – Word is that Mrs H is getting a photo of the bronze Buff in her Xmas stocking, along with a note promising a gallop in the buff with a fake-tan bronzed Mr H on Xmas night. If you see a good sort bolting down Racecourse Road toward the BrisVegas river about 10am on Xmas morning you know who she is)

Ben Currie 

$1500

Tony Gollan 

$4000

(Editor’s note – Jane was in the car with him when I asked, so he’s stuck now!)

Liam Birchley 

$400

(Editor’s note – Who else in racing would do a Homer Simpson and buy his ever-lovin’ missus three bags of chaff and bale of hay?)

Hayden Flynn 

$1000

Chris Munce 

Nothing yet.

(Editor’s note – Christopher says he is doing the Santa shop on Sunday, but those with long memories still tell the tale of the wedding he rocked up to as a young bloke with a beautifully wrapped set of wine glasses as a present. The story goes that when the blushing bride and her mates did the girly thing the next day and opened the gifts they were aghast to discover that the rims of Muncie’s ‘new’ set of flash glasses were covered in lipstick!)

Archie Butterfly

What day’s Christmas?

Maggie! Can you spot me a couple of bucks?

WHO IS THE SECOND BEST HORSE RACING IN AUSTRALIA?

Rob Heathcoate 

Redzel.

Only because Buff’s retired of course. Our boy would take Snowden’s lad to town.

(Editor’s note – I made that bit up too, but I’d bet tomorrow’s 20 buck bank that it’s true)

Ben Currie

Winx.

(Editor’s note – Young Benjamin is not telling us who the best is, but I suspect it might be a 2-year-old running in the third at the Coast this arvo that the Tornado’s slipped Jimmy Byrne aboard at the last minute)

Tony Gollan 

Redzel.

Liam Birchley

Winx.

Crack Me Up is the best by panels. It will win the Cox Plate next year.

Hayden Flynn

Redzel

Chris Munce

Merchant Navy

Professional Punter

Care to Think.

It will win the Cox Plate next year.

(Editor’s note – What price do you reckon we’ll get on a Crack Me Up/Care to Think dead heat in the futures market on the great race?)

Archie Butterfly

Carrington Park, the mare my father-in-law and I own.

She’s been in the spelling paddock at the wife Maggie’s old man Cool Hand Luke’s joint in Ruatoria, New Zealand since we bought her online for 460 bucks a few months back when we were blind on a cask of Montana Classic Dry White, but the super mare was put back into work by the world’s greatest unknown trainer – and most inspirational man ever when it comes to standing up to faux tough guy woman beaters – just last Monday, and the world’s her bloody oyster.

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The straight shooting old man-in-law is working her patiently up and down his sacred mountain Hikurangi and on the beach where Whale Rider was filmed, and with a bit of Uepohatu stamina in her legs she’s a certainty to break her 36 start career duck and win first up at the beach races, and then no doubt go on to be the next Reckless.

Cool Hand’s a winner born in a field of 4 leaved clovers, so only a mug’d ignore the tip.

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Like father-in-law, like son they reckon. Anyone spotted Grant Stockwell lately?

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WHATS THE BEST HORSE YOU’VE EVER SEEN?

Rob Heathcoate 

Buffering (without the nuts).

Ben Currie

Black Caviar

Tony Gollan 

Tulloch

Liam Birchley 

Vo Rogue.

(Editor’s note: Leaping reckons he would have improved it though)

Chris Munce 

Sunline

Hayden Flynn

Tobin Bronze

Professional Punter

Black Caviar.

Archie Butterfly 

Grey Affair or Wondai’s Mate.

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WHO IS THE BEST JOCKEY IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD?

Rob Heathcoate

Hugh Bowman

Ben Currie

Ryan Moore

Tony Gollan

Hugh Bowman

Liam Birchley

Hugh Bowman

Chris Munce

Christian Soumillon. Carved them up in Hong Kong against the best the world had to offer. An out and out genius.

(Editor’s note: Soumillon is always referred to mistakenly as a Frenchman. He is actually Belgian, just like his look alike Tintin)

Hayden Flynn

Hugh Bowman

Professional Punter

The Magic Man (Joao Moreira)

Archie Butterfly

Triple dead heat – Ryan Moore, the Magic Man, James McDonald

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WHO IS THE BEST AUSSIE JOCKEY EVER?

Rob Heathcoate 

Hugh Bowman.

Ben Currie

Laura Cheshire.

(Editor’s note: I made that one up too. The Tornado really said that he wasn’t sure)

Tony Gollan

Hugh Bowman

Liam Birchley

Stathi Katsidis. That kid could have been anything. A tragedy.

(Editor’s note – Rest in peace Stathi. We all loved you mate, and still do)

Chris Munce 

Dead heat – Darren Beadman/The Pumper (Jim Cassidy). A ring a ding ding!

Hayden Flynn

Roy Higgins

(Editor’s note – some say they shared suits after the Professor’s retirement)

Professional Punter 

George Moore. Never saw him ride but his record here and abroad speaks for itself.

Archie Butterfly 

Owen Wall. Who else could ride 100 streaks without a metropolitan winner so often and so consistently?

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WHO IS THE BEST EVER AUSTRALIAN RACE CALLER?

Rob Heathcoate 

Bill Collins.

Ben Currie

David Fowler

(Editor’s note – He’s a cheeky one the Tornado)

Tony Gollan

Greg Miles

Liam Birchley 

Vince Curry

Chris Munce

Johnny Tapp

Hayden Flynn

Bill Collins by 100 yards, no doubt at all. Could call all 3 codes better than anyone in history, has his own variety show on TV (Sunnyside-Up), could sing like Sinatra and dance like Fred Astaire.

(Editor’s note – Put up against The Accurate One in a Probables vs Possibles trial the Bantam wouldn’t even make the reserve grade team, although Josh Fleming would be a certainty in the A-Grade centres and Terry Spargo would find a place on the bench)

Professional Punter

Bert Bryant.

Archie Butterfly

Dead Heat – Ian Craig/Ken Howard

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WHAT’S YOU FAVORITE TIPPLE?

Rob Heathcoate

A good red.

(Editor’s note – Rob really means the bottles of Grange Hermitage he pinches out of his big brother Wayne’s cellar while he’s having his Xmas arvo kip)

Ben Currie

Beer or Vodka

(Editor’s note – These young blokes aren’t choosy. Probably the 1st with a shot of the 2nd).

Tony Gollan

Grey Goose Vodka, lime and soda

Chris Munce

Johnnie Walker Green on ice.

Hayden Flynn

Menabrea Birra.

(Editor’s note – Translation: wog for wanker’s beer)

Professional Punter

Grey Goose Vodka and Lemonade

(Editor’s note – It’s bloody popular this Grey Goose. At 60 smackeroos a bottle I doubt a bloke who like me who hasn’t backed a winner in seven years will ever get a chance to taste it and give you his opinion. Stoli will do the Butterfly’s. It has to, we can’t afford anything better)

Archie Butterfly

Pink Lemonade as poured by King Kevvie at the Geebung RSL.

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YOU HAVE FIVE SECONDS TO RATE THESE HORSES IN ORDER – WINX, BLACK CAVIAR, FRANKEL, NIJINSKY, SECRETARIAT – GO!

Rob Heathcoate 

Black Caviar, Frankel, Winx, Secretariat, Nijinsky.

But Buff was better than all of them.

(Editor’s note: I made that last bit up. Sort of anyway.)

Ben Currie

Black Caviar, Frankel, Secretariat, Winx, Nijinsky

Tony Gollan 

Nijinsky, Frankel, Secretariat, Winx, Black Caviar

Liam Birchley

Secretariat, Winx, Nijinsky, Frankel, Black Caviar

Chris Munce  

Nijinsky, Frankel, Secretariat, Winx, Black Caviar

Hayden Flynn

Winx, Frankel, Secretariat, Nijinsky, Black Caviar

Professional Punter

Secretariat, Frankel, Black Caviar, Winx, Nijinsky

Archie Butterfly

Frankel, Winx, Secretariat, Nijinsky, Black Caviar (I’d put Kingston Town at 3 if offered the chance)

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IF I HELD A GUN TO YOUR HEAD AND SAID THAT YOU HAD TO TAKE A SHEILA OTHER THAN YOUR WIFE OUT ON NEW YEARS EVE, WHO WOULD IT BE?

Rob Heathcoate

It’s never gunna happen, the once blushing bride’s holding the bridle far too tight.

(Editor’s note – Every bastard knows that if Rob was let off the leash he’d spend the boy’s night out in the infield polishing Buff ’til the great sprinter gleamed)

Ben Currie

Margot Robbie or Jennifer Hawkins

Tony Gollan

Jamieson Gollan (his 12 week old daughter) ….. when his missus Jane was in the car.

Keira Knightley …… when she wasn’t.

Liam Birchley 

Margot Robbie.

Chris Munce

Margot Robbie.

Hayden Flynn

Jana Wendt.

Professional Punter

Miranda Kerr.

Archie Butterfly

My grandmother Catherine ‘Marj’ Buchanan. She introduced me to the races and we used to punt together every day. I even used to pretend to be her and put her bets on with the TAB phone betting girls until my voice broke. I’d give every Christmas for the rest of my life to have one more day in the Strawberry Road room at Eagle Farm with her.

Is she wasn’t available one of the Laura’s – Geitz or Cheshire.

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WHAT’S YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTION?

Rob Heathcoate 

None

Ben Currie

Don’t believe in resolutions

Tony Gollan

To be a better person and a better trainer than I was the year before. (Editor’s note – Hear! Hear! So may we all)

Liam Birchley 

None

Chris Munce

None

Hayden Flynn

To be kinder to my friends. (Editor’s note – and to avoid fair weather)

Professional Punter

None

Archie Butterfly

The usual – to keep a punting ledger.

This time for longer than a day.