47 years ago on Easter Saturday, I had my first win as an owner in a race at Kerang and I notice that the traditional Kerang meeting is on again today. Kerang is a fair bit north of Melbourne close to the Murray River and half the local population is related to me. You'll see the Radcliffe name all round the area, including a restaurant in nearby Echuca.
I've told this story about this win before, but I'll bore some of you again:
The story is that a footy club mate (an owner of Rock Prophet that ran in the big race at Sale yesterday) was asked to form a couple of small groups to race a couple of horses that had been resting in paddock at Kyneton ... and never been trained. I got into the group that took an interest in the unraced 6yo by the French sire Dies. They used their imagination and named him Son Of Dies!! We were told that it jumps well and it was hard to keep him in a paddock. Right!! But Dies was the sire of one of Victoria's best jumpers in Chocolate Royal.
So, he got to the races and turned up at courses all over the state including Woodend, Donald, Mt. Wycheproof and even the picnics at Seymour - no placings, even at the picnics where we backed him from 16s into 8s and the jockey nearly fell off on the home turn.
Anyway, Easter is on the horizon and we're told he is going to have a run at Kerang. Easter was a busy time with footy and family commitments, so none of the ownership group could get up there. No special news from the trainer, so I had $10 SP on him as an interest.
Saturday came and went and we heard nothing. Then the news arrives that he had been backed into 5/4 favourite ... and won by 16 lengths!!
So, I won $12.50 on the punt ... and spent $28 on a photo of the win ... and you can't see the placegetters, so no one thinks he was actually in a race.
I've never gone to the Kerang races, but I do still have the photo and a story to tell.