Well sportsfans its been quite a morning let me tell you, and if you don’t reckon racing’s the greatest game on earth then you’re madder than that Archbishop of Constantinople who reckoned that  the Earth floated miraculously on the water beneath the firmament.

First up this morning I shagged Maggie while she was asleep and because I was so quick I didn’t even wake her up, which I thought was very kind of me as I’m sure you will agree.

Then I rang Leaping Liam Birchley to tell him that I reckoned the idea of Terry Bailey asking him to show cause why he shouldn’t have his license withdrawn and he and his family be sent broke and into penury on the basis of f*ck all evidence was bullshit, and he said ‘Archie, no comment’ but I’m pretty sure that what Leaping really meant was that he agreed.

He’s a taciturn sort of bloke that Birchley, and ever since I stopped Crack Me Up at Doomben by tipping it he’s been a tad cautious about tipping me his horses, but I did manage to draw him out a bit by telling him that Maggie thinks he’s devastatingly handsome, and so he told me the following:

Havasay has got a sh*t barrier and will have to back to have a say, and the tight home turn at the Coast’s a bastard, but all things being equal – which they never are in racing – it’ll win by half the length of the straight.

Crack Me Up will box seat and bolt in.

May I Say will need all the breaks to go its way to be a chance in the Maiden, and may I (Archie) say it will need that and a bit more.

Leaping hasn’t got a runner in the big one, but advises us all that if he did it’d win on its ear too and given the Group winning genius’s confidence who the hell would doubt him, especially when he punches harder and faster than you do,

Next up I rang the Tornado but he’s super cautious about my supernatural ability to stop certainties by simply mentioning their name, and wouldn’t answer my call. He was probably boring Blake Shinn senseless in a three hour tactical strategy discussion about how to ride One Golden Day from barrier six in race two – fourth the fence Benjamin, its a no brainer – at the time so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and not assume that he’s ducking me because he failed to show up for the pull a chick challenge at the Hammo the night before New Years.

I went alright without him though, don’t you worry about that.


I pretended I was going out to get the paper and then sneaked up on to the roof to make the next phone call, because I’m madly in love with the bird at the other end of the phone and Maggie’s suss to it.

I guess the doe eyes and drooling are a give away, but who in their right mind wouldn’t be head over heels and ga ga gone over Sheila Laxon even if she wasn’t the trainer of one Melbourne Cup winner and the work rider of another?

Gentleman don’t tell and John Symons has some heavy mates – and Maggie’s cousin and dad-in-law are killers, one convicted and one a not guilty verdict man – so I can’t and won’t go into detail about our ethereal hour long conversation other than to say that if Ms Laxon and I were the only two folk on a desert island we’d never have a need for clothes, and wouldn’t lack for exercise either.

The hottest bird at coast reckons that Irish Constabulary has copped Murphy’s luck by drawing barrier one in the last because its a back runner, but smiled sweetly and may I say quite seductively when I reminded her that the knackered old bloke whose dad won a slipper slayed ’em from a suicide barrier in the Country Cup at this meeting last year, and started yelling Hell-Yer! when I told her I’d be rooting for it and her big time.

Bloody Bel Esprit.

If only that colt had been a cat I’d be playing tiptoe through the tulips with the wanton Welsh wonder woman as we speak, but that damn Symons had to go and train it to win a Blue Diamond didn’t he, but it was a bloody long time ago and he hasn’t had much to do other than count his money since so he got the sh*ts about me and his missus having a love in over the line and made her her hang up.

So with Maggie in the shagged out land of Nod and snoring like a saxaphone I found myself all alone and palely loitering reading the form guide, so when I got to race 2 number 3 and saw Nozi the Aussie riding an 80 to 1 shot of the same name – I’m Alone – I just had to give its trainer a call to see what he reckoned about its last start last over 1010 at Inverell, and I tell you what I’m bloody glad I did too.

Troy Pascoe is the trainer in question’s name, and if you have never heard of him before then join the club, but take the tip from me that one day you will because this young bloke who trains part-time and dreams at night about winning the Straddie is an absolute cracker.

His favorite song is my one time pretend dad Dazzling Braithwaite’s Horses, his favorite movie is Walk the Line, Ring of Fire is his favorite Johnny Cash song, his favorite bloke’s are his dad and his son, and his dream girl is a dead heat that the judge can’t split between his gorgeous missus and his beautiful daughter.

Racin’ Nathan Exelby and that crowd can write all the stories they like about Gai and Chris and David and Darren and John and Peter and Tony and Tony and all those other big shot trainers from down south, but young Troy’s the real story of racing and the magic shining in among all the millions.

Who the hell else training a horse at the Coast today gets up at 3 in the morning, loads their team on to a float and takes them to Clifford Park for a bit of fast work, and then takes them home and scrubs ’em down and gives ’em a feed before having one himself, and afterwards chucks on the Norco company clobber and shoots off to do a hard days work for a fair days pay and then comes home and does it all over again, and still manages to shag the wife and read books to the kids and mow the lawn and do all that other boring stuff in between?


No-one, that’s who, and while that on its own is enough to shoot Troy Pascoe up to the pantheon of the stars there’s a secret little something about the trainer who’s set to take it up to the Tornado and knock him off his perch as Toowoomba’s premiership leading trainer too, and I’m about to spill the beans, and here it is.

In the year of the Lord of two thousand and four Young Mr Pascoe Fantastico lived the dream.

Every punter’s dream.

He backed a 2601 to 1 double in a pair of Group 1 races run in Melbourne in the Spring.

Econsul in the Caulfield Guineas into Savabeel in the Cox Plate it was, and he had 2 bucks on it for a $5202 return.

Not a bad pick up for a nineteen year old wannabe Stradbroke winning trainer was it, and it set him on the path to what at about 12.17pm this arvo if they start on time might just be Magic Millions Country Cup glory.

Sheila did it last year on her ear, and if the Gods of racing are running fair I reckon that young Troy Pascoe might just do it with his cheap pick up purchase I’m Alone too, and wouldn’t that just put the marzipan on the Magic Millions day cake for us all.

Man I love racing.

What other sport in the world can take you from talking to a Melbourne Cup winning beauty to chatting with a mighty good bloke with big dreams and a whole lot of hope in the space of just five minutes sportsfans?

There isn’t one.

Millions. Magic. Miracles. Magnificence.

It just doesn’t get any better than this.