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Author Topic: EDventures with El Dufus  (Read 24432 times)

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Offline El Dufus

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O.P. « 2010-Dec-11, 09:56 PM »
Nothing to say at all.

Just wanted to see if I could set it up all by myself!

ED

Well, I've copied a story on your horse HARMONIC, from another thread:
(Editor)

Actually, Harmonic gave us a lot of fun.

I know a lot of you will relate to the highs and lows of racing, so this story won't be a surprise, but Harmonic won a few races for us back then. He had a heart as big as a pea, and hated any pressure at all. It took us ages to work out he also hated the whip. With his pea heart, Kilcoy was perfect for him, as the straight is only about 100m. Generally if you lead into the straight at Kilcoy you win the race.

The photo I uploaded was a midweek Kilcoy meeting (what a tragedy that beautiful track is now only used once (twice?) a year. The view when you come over the rise and there below you is the luminous green track, so wonderfully cared for by the locals, is just fabulous).

After the Maiden win at Kilcoy, we took him to Esk Picnics. What a day. I've never seen so much alcohol drunk by so many in such a short period of time in my life.

For a day out I took my parents, Dad in his eighties and my Mum in her seventies and not racing people. The first thing my mother saw as we walked onto the course was a young girl leaning over the running rail hurling her last fortnight's tucker onto the track (sorry to those of you with a weak stomach). My folks were horrified and wanted to go straight back home. Then they saw the port-a-loos and my Mum said "I'm not going to use THAT!". Tough luck Mum. I managed to convince them that the day would get better, 'cos Harmonic would win.

He opened up at 4/6 (I think) so no betting by me, just go around for the prizemoney.

He led up, the only way to ride him, and you guessed it - finished stone motherless last and we got called in by the stewards for an explanation. What can you say. Bugger of a horse!!!

Out for a spell.

Next campaign, Barry had him prepared for a first up at Kilcoy, and he was about 4/1 (ie $5.00 for you youngsters!). I had the biggest bet in my life on him each way, and Dan Craven was the jock. His instructions were simple - out in front and pray he lasts the 1000m. Well Dan rode him perfectly, cruising in front, and a three length lead into the straight. Halfway up the short straight he started to weaken, but still a length in front with about 40m to go. Dan smacked him with the whip and up went his head, his legs went every which way but forward, and you could see him thinking "What the *$#@, bugger you. " He finished second, beaten a half length.

I came out square on the punt.

Following this, he had an unplaced run at Ipswich, and then we took him to the Sunshine Coast. We couldn't work out what to do with him, and Barry suggested we try riding him from behind just to change the pattern. Because of his pea heart and the long straight, we gave him no chance. Carl Symons was the jock and we told him not to use his whip at any stage. He thought we were mad!

He was 25/1, so I had $20 each way as an interest.

Anyway, he settled down last, pulled out wide coming into the straight, and we waited for him to tail off.

Yep, you guessed it again - flew down the outside, copped a bump from the winner about 100m out and ran a half head second. Symons got off and said "I wish you hadn't told me not to use the whip", and he got shitty when we laughed. If he'd touched him with the whip he would've run last.

Symons then said "I reckon we should protest", so he did.

Bugger me, we won the protest would you believe, and all I had on him was $20 each way - I'm not complaining mind you, but ain't that the way it goes in the racing game?

We had a bit more fun with him a couple of months later, but I've rambled on a bit here, so I'll stop.

If you want to hear about his last couple of runs before we sold him (funny story), let me know and I'll waste a bit more of your time by writing about it.

Geez I love the racing game, but he was a bugger of a horse!!

ED
« Last Edit: 2010-Dec-14, 06:27 PM by El Dufus »

Offline MagiC~*

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« 2010-Dec-11, 10:02 PM Reply #1 »
Nothing to say at all.

This is the way with most Blogs mate :)

Offline gratlog

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« 2010-Dec-12, 05:42 AM Reply #2 »
ED, Do what the rest of us do and talk bull dust  :biggrin:

    Seriously mate, judging by your visit to my place you have some very interesting stories.

    You even got a word in before my wife.  That is a feat in itself. :biggrin:

   Your stories on France have to come into your blog sometime  emthup

Offline dubbledee

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« 2010-Dec-12, 08:55 AM Reply #3 »
ED, good to see you're up and running. :clap2: 

But...please don't use the same approach as does gratlog. :)

Offline Walter Watermelon

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« 2010-Dec-12, 09:09 AM Reply #4 »
The El Dfus blog was edited by DD.

Wonder what was changed   :biggrin:

Offline dubbledee

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« 2010-Dec-12, 09:17 AM Reply #5 »
Nothing changed, Walter.

ED is still learning this craft. 

The pasting of his story from an earlier thread was done as part of the extensive service offered on this forum. :whistle:

Offline El Dufus

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« 2010-Dec-12, 09:17 AM Reply #6 »
G'day DD,

Thank you for doing the transfer of the Harmonic story Part 1.

G'day Grats,

On that basis, we should organise a talking contest between Mrs Grats and Mrs Dufus. DD could run a book!

For a couple of reasons, I generally restrict France stories to face to face.

So you'll all just have to come to DD's Brekkie Creek Straddy lunch next June to hear me try to say "bon jour"!

ED




 

Offline dubbledee

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« 2010-Dec-12, 09:25 AM Reply #7 »
ED, nous serons plu de lire vos histoires dans l'anglais ou en franšais

Offline gratlog

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« 2010-Dec-12, 09:31 AM Reply #8 »
Non, Ed ne parle pas franšais

  :biggrin:

Offline dubbledee

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« 2010-Dec-12, 09:33 AM Reply #9 »
Ce n'est jamais trop dernier pour apprendre, gratlog.

Offline gratlog

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« 2010-Dec-12, 09:36 AM Reply #10 »
  :lol:

   i think you have to either have the ear for a language or google translation  :lol:

Offline El Dufus

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« 2010-Dec-12, 10:17 AM Reply #11 »
Grats,

DD's response is just one of the reasons I only tell French stories face to face. There's always one ...........................!

My French vocabulary consists of about 12 essential words, including bon jour, merci, au revoir, bier, pizza, vin rouge, toilette, pissoir,etc. But mainly "vin rouge, sils vous plait"

Other than those, I can't speak a word of the language.

Let's leave it at that, sils vous plait.

ED

Offline dubbledee

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« 2010-Dec-12, 02:44 PM Reply #12 »
You'd also wanna have close at hand:

Ou est le champ de courses

Offline gratlog

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« 2010-Dec-12, 02:54 PM Reply #13 »
  :lol:

Offline El Dufus

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« 2010-Dec-12, 03:07 PM Reply #14 »
I'm not biting..................!

ED

Offline El Dufus

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« 2010-Dec-12, 11:09 PM Reply #15 »
Oops, I tried to put a photo up but I think I've messed it.

Don't know how to delete this message.

Help!
« Last Edit: 2010-Dec-13, 07:37 PM by El Dufus »

Offline El Dufus

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« 2010-Dec-13, 11:35 AM Reply #16 »
Harmonic Part 2

Whenever possible, I've always travelled to see my horses race wherever that may be. I can't see any point in having one if you're not going to have as much fun as possible with them - after all, in 96% of ownerships, you never come out in front, so you should be there. The thrill of a raceday when you have an interest, the saddling up, the parade, the actual race, and if you're lucky enough to win, what a thrill. It doesn't matter if it's Flemington or Charleville (I'd prefer Flemington!), the thrill of a win is just wonderful.

Anyway, poor ol' Harmonic had a couple more runs after the Sunshine Coast, and showed his true form. Ridden on the pace, ridden back off the pace, whenever the pressure was applied, up went the head, legs all over the place, and unplaced. We put him out for a break over December, but what to do with him next was a problem.

I don't know who thought of it, but someone said why not the Roma Picnics in March, and then sell him to someone out there.

What a good idea we all thought - that's where Barry started his training career, and I'm sure he'd like to return, even if for one short visit.

Now back then, the Roma Picnics were held on a Friday and Saturday, and any horses had to be sent out at least 6 weeks beforehand for weaning off the hard feed and onto grass (only grass fed at the Picnics). Horses are also expected to race on both days, which we thought Harmonic would enjoy ha,ha!

Barry trained him up to the cut off point, and then he went out to Roma under the care of Shane Iverson for the six week period.

As Barry had Saturday commitments back in town, we were only ever going to attend on the Friday only, and I kept thinking of the 5 hour drive out and then back home again on the one day. I then made an enquiry about hiring a light plane for a flight out and back. Actually the price wasn't too bad if we could get a few people to come with us, so we went on a round up of anyone interested.

At 10am on Friday 14 March 1997, six of us climbed into an 8 seater Piper something or other and took off for the 2 hour flight to Roma. I apologise to any of the following if they weren't actually part of this adventure, but as far as I can remember, the six of us included Barry, Neville Auld (ex jockey then a strapper), Paul Hamblin (now a Victorian jumps jockey), myself, a mate of mine, and one other who I can't remember.

The day was absolutely fabulous, with crystal clear blue skies and a smooth flight all the way. The scenery was brilliant and you get a totally different perspective from that height.

We landed OK, and caught a couple of cabs to the track for our first beer of the day. Well, when this group of six walked onto the course, you could see the locals' eyes (but particularly the bookies') zoom in on Baldwin, Hamblin, Auld, and a couple of smartly dressed others - there must be a plunge in the making!

Shane Iverson said Harmonic was as good as he could get him, Ken Waller (what a top bloke!) was the jock, and all was well with the world.

He was in the last race of the day unfortunately, so we had to endure a hot afternoon of cold beers! But not the pilot, who was just happy to have a racing adventure on his CV.

The race came due, and the bookies put up their prices - Harmonic 1/4 (that's $1.25). What a laugh! So we just watched.

Usual instructions to Kenny Waller, out in front on the sand track, and hope like hell he holds on - no whip.

He settled second 'cos some local wanted to take him on, pressure applied at the top of the straight, up yours he thought, put his head up, turned up his toes (not quite), and ran fourth, beaten about 4 lengths. &*%$!

We could see Kenny wanted to kill him, as he just wouldn't try when he was supposed to.

He pulled up OK, as much as to say - Race? What race!

So as penalty, we decided to make him go around the next day (Waller to ride again), but we wouldn't be there. Shane Iverson said he would find a local to buy him to race around the western circuit.

So all was decided. No more chaff burning Harmonic after tomorrow, and a lovely day at the Roma Picnics was had by all. Could have been better except ol' bugger face failed again - but that's racing. And the whole day only cost about $100 each.

So we all piled into our little plane and had a really lovely flight back to Brisbane, arriving about 6.30pm. Coming into Brisbane just after the sun had gone down at the low height these little planes fly was just spectacular - one of those memorable occasions.

Yeah, well the story isn't finished just yet .....................

About 6pm the next day after the Brisbane races, the phone rang at Barry's place while we were having a beer - it's Ken Waller.

"He shit in", says Kenny. "You could have got 9/2, too!"

I'm sure some of you must have heard the scream of abuse from Hendra that night. The bastard had done us like a dinner.

Geezuz, if he'd come back to the stable that night he would have been on the barbeque - the dogs would have had a good feed!

Shane Iverson rang later that night and gave us the true story.

Kenny rode him a treat. He led up, but as usual, half way down the straight he started to get the staggers.

And Kenny just couldn't resist after the previous day's feeble effort.

About 20 metres from the post, he stood up in the irons and brought the whip down sooooo hard on Harmonic's arse that his eyes just about popped out of his head. He got such a fright he actually stuck his head out and held on to win by a long neck - "shit in?" ............. Yeah right, Kenny.

What a bugger of a horse, but I still think about him often, and the photo of that memorable Roma win is still on my wall.

God, I love the racing game!

And some of you are talking about taking a break from the punt?

You're kiddin' aren't you!

ED
 
PS Sorry if I went on too long, but the more I wrote, the more I just loved the memories!

 
« Last Edit: 2010-Dec-14, 02:43 PM by El Dufus »

Offline gratlog

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« 2010-Dec-13, 11:43 AM Reply #17 »
Great post.  

You paint a good picture with that story  emthup

Offline Spinner

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« 2010-Dec-13, 11:56 AM Reply #18 »
That post is what racing is all about ED  emthup   emthup

Offline El Dufus

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« 2010-Dec-14, 12:20 PM Reply #19 »
As I mentioned in the Harmonic story, I lost track of him after he was sold in March 1997.

With many thanks to FinalFurlong, who sent me Harmonic's complete racing history (available through the Racing Victoria website), I was amazed at his overall career.

"Harry" (stable name) had 15 starts for us, but then had another 30 starts for his new owners. He had three more wins, at Mitchell, Wandoan, and Injune, quite a few placings, and plenty of unplaced's.

Over 45 starts, he earned total prizemoney of $22,815, and I hope his new owners had as much fun as we did!

His last run is shown as 6th of 6 at Augathella on 5 April 1999.

Dear old Harry would be 18 today if he is still around.

ED

Offline gratlog

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« 2010-Dec-14, 12:30 PM Reply #20 »
Great story and a very good site that Final Furlong informed us of  emthup

Offline Racehorses

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« 2010-Dec-15, 01:33 AM Reply #21 »
ED

I loooooooved the story, great way to relax after a loooooong hard shift.......I'm looking forward to part 3  :)

Most of us on here know horses have their own personalities and how frustrating they can be at times, whenever I see a horse miss the start I always think about Masai Pride  :o ya couldnt help but love a horse that naughty! Makes you wonder what he was thinking just standing there in the stalls having a look around, pleasing himself if he would jump or not

Offline El Dufus

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« 2010-Dec-28, 08:41 PM Reply #22 »
I was prompted to put this photo up (if I can manage to work out how!) when I saw Gratlog's "No Bull&4#%" photo the other day.

In 2007, my wife and I were visiting our son in London and went for a short stay in Cornwall. While there, we visited the seaside fishing village where they make the TV series Doc Martin. It's real name is Port Isaac, but in the series it is called Port Wenn. Well, we had just walked up to the house that is the Doc's surgery, took a couple of photos, and on the way back down the hill, we saw this photo opportunity.

The poms couldn't understand why we laughed so much, but they are not required to carry "doggy do" bags over there and dodging the little steamers is a talent unto itself.

Enjoy the photo.

ED

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[attachment deleted by admin]
« Last Edit: 2010-Dec-28, 08:49 PM by dubbledee »

Offline dubbledee

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« 2010-Dec-28, 08:46 PM Reply #23 »
ED, would you like that pic scaled down a little?....might reduce the odour from the dd, too.  :lol:

Offline El Dufus

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« 2010-Dec-28, 08:48 PM Reply #24 »
DD, how do I do that?

It's a bit overbearing I agree.

ED


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