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goHarness Members Poems

"A Job Well Dunne"

That Johnny Dunne he did a good job, eh?
Just when Franco seemed to have lost his way
Through the bunch he navigated Our Big Guy
Much like No Response in years gone by

To Craig congrats for a job well done
You've worked the auricle my son
And hats off to Jonny Cox our pal
Who passed on Sax going so well

And big ups to all you Go Harness Guys
To Wendy, Noel and John our scribe
To the joy of winning, hip-hip-hurray!
Rewarding your efforts, making our day

- Bard of Bealey (Rangiora, 7 January, 2018)

Our Astronomical Boy

Although I only own a single hair - on the little horse's bum
Wee Astro's win at the Mot - was still a hell of a lot of fun
The crowd had come from near and far - to see this little guy
And when the starter let them go - our hopes were running high

But sadly when the race began - he went up in the air
You could hear the crowd's collective sign - and the feeling of despair
He's last; one member was heard to shout - I think he's blown his chance
And the ones up front were going real well - leading all a merry dance

But the older more experienced hands - in the Go Harness syndicate
Could see he was only doing trackwork - and racing on the bit
And in the hands of Colin D - you can never count a racehorse out
So when he moved up three wide - we all began to shout

They turned for home and Astro Boy - was still sitting off the pace
So we waited and we waited - for Col to put him in the race
Then with 200 metres left to go - and just as time was running out
Colin pulled the ear plugs, waived the whip - and let out a mighty shout

And as they say the rest is history - Astro Boy had turned it on
A true testament to the collective positivity - of Noel, Wendy and John
The crowd went wild, congrats all round - and what a mighty day
The day when our little champ Astro Boy - made the piper pay

- by The Bard of Bealey (2014)

Order Online

Order Online's win - gave us a grin from ear to ear

And being the sport of kings - it was a Regal Grin... so there

With only fifty shares in all - sold out in such short while

These numbers are deceiving, 'cause - it made one fifty owners smile

- by The Bard of Bealey (2016)

Don't Forget the Big Boy

We have another horse my friends, and Western Art's his name
Even though we love wee Astro - this guy too, has claims to fame
So get your wallets out of your jeans, and head down to the tote
To put your dollars on his nose, he's pretty good this bloke
Ever thought both our horses, would give us such a run?
Remarkable performance Johnny and Noel, truly doubled the fun
Now while Astro enjoys a well-earnt break, its big brother's turn to shine
And again we're back to Addington, where his last win was sublime
Revisiting that precious Presidential Bar, is the objective we all share
To celebrate our Big Boy's win, to skite and drink their beer

- by The Bard of Bealey (August, 2015)

goHarness Horse Humour!

Catholic Horses

A punter (gambler) was at the horse races playing the ponies and all but losing his shirt. He noticed a Priest step out onto the track and blessed the forehead of one of the horses lining up for the 4th race. Lo and behold, that horse - a very long shot - won the race.

Next race, as the horses lined up, the Priest stepped onto the track. Sure enough, he blessed one of the horses. The punter made a beeline for a betting window and placed a small bet on the horse. Again, even though it was another long shot, the horse won the race.

He collected his winnings, and anxiously waited to see which horse the Priest would bless next. He bet big on it, and it won. As the races continued the Priest kept blessing long shots, and each one ended up winning.

The punter was elated. He made a quick dash to the ATM, withdrew all his savings, and awaited for the Priest's blessing that would tell him which horse to bet on .....

True to his pattern, the Priest stepped onto the track for the last race and blessed the forehead of an old nag that was the longest shot of the day. This time the priest blessed the eyes, ears, and hooves of the old nag. The punter knew he had a winner and bet every cent he owned on the old nag..

He watched dumbfounded as the old nag came in last. In a state of shock, he went to the track area where the Priest was. Confronting Him, he demanded, 'Father! What happened? All day long you blessed horses and they all won. Then in the last race, the horse you blessed lost by a mile. Now, thanks to you I've lost every cent of my savings!'.

The Priest nodded wisely and with sympathy.

'Son,' he said, 'that's the problem with you Protestants, you can't tell the difference between a simple blessing and last rites.

Another Horse Owner is Born

So you've bought yourself a thoroughbred yearling? Congratulations, you're in for a lot of fun. The horse educator confides that he likes your filly very much. Words and phrases like "intelligent", "smart on her feet", "quick learner" and "lovely mover" come forth. He broke in last year's National winner and your filly is at least as good as she was at the same stage - if anything yours is better.

How easy is it ?

Your trainer isn't the sort of bloke who gets carried away, he tells you, but honestly, this filly could be anything. He doesn't want to get your hopes up too high, but he suggests you try to buy her younger fullbrother before yours goes to the barrier trials. And by the way, have you paid her up for the Golden Slipper? Make sure you do.

Months later, your trainer has her moving along at three-quarter pace. Words like "freak", "champion", and "do you remember a filly that used to race called "Canterbury Belle?" come down the phone line, even though he reminds you he has trained so many winners he can't remember. He adds that "mum's the word" and not to tell anyone, even your own mother, about her ability or she'll start in the red at her first race. Then he rings you one day. You nearly have a heart attack getting to the phone - she's a little shin sore. Nothing to worry about. We could persevere and race her but she's too good to risk. We'll put her away for the big races later on.

You plan your holidays from work so you can be free around Golden Slipper time. In the meantime, the day arrives that she's off to the trials for the first time; you're there with the wife and kids, new binoculars and stopwatch around your neck. You all go and see her before the trial, and to your untrained eye she looks a bit like Black Caviar but only bay in colour. The trainer calls you over and says that you don't get any money for barrier trials and that we don't want to show her up to everyone present, as you'll get a better price at her first race start if she just lobs along behind them and gets a bit of experience.

Of course, she runs last. The trainer gives you the impression that he is delighted with the run. He introduces you to the jockey who rode her. He squeaks out something you don't quite catch and the trainer beams, so you also beam.

Then the big day arrives - she's entered in a Maiden at Wyong and you can hardly contain yourself when she's quoted at 25-1 in the morning paper. You do a few quick calculations in your head, and dollar signs drown your thoughts of what you're going to do with all the winnings. Maybe retire... or become a professional horse owner. Why didn't you do this years ago?

You have bought a new suit and a new shirt and tie that match your filly's racing silks. Once you are at the racecourse you discover that you're the only person wearing a tie. You meet the trainer half an hour before the race, and for the first time you notice that he has a nervous twitch. You also note a sense of hesitancy, an aura of tentativeness about him that you hadn't noticed before. Now phrases like "it's pretty hard to win first-up", "don't want to knock her about" and "she'll be improved by the run" flow from his lips. So you ask if you should back her. "Maybe have something eachway, but I wouldn't be going mad". But of course you have to go and have a decent fling, don't you.

She runs last. "Kingston Town got beaten at his first start" and "she's still very green" come from your trainer. The wife and kids ask "is that her way back there?" and "why didn't she win?". And to make matters worse, the wife adds that they could've had a new swimming pool for less than what you have spent.

Like a parent with an ugly child, you just have to make the best of it. Your expectations drop just a smidgen. The trainer advises that instead of the Golden Slipper we should be looking at a maiden at Ballarat. Your trainer relates the Reckles legend, the horse that had over a hundred starts before he won a race. Super, only another 99 to go.

You ring a bloodstock agent and ask what you could get for the filly. He tells you. You ask him to repeat it. You think 'does this guy know anything about thoroughbreds?'. The agent finally convinces you that he does know what he's talking about, and once more (to your dismay) repeats the offer.

Countless training bills and nine runs later, things haven't improved. Prior to her first run, your cheque for her training expenses was always sent by return mail but now you're almost two months behind with the payments.

You phone that bloodstock agent again. He tells you the market has dropped, and that it's a pity you continued to race her as she would've been worth more if she hadn't raced. "Didn't your trainer tell you she wasn't any good?". By now your enthusiasm hasn't just waned, it's been totally destroyed. Not only have you stopped driving hundreds of miles to see her, but you don't even bother listening to her race on the radio. The filly has a spell, your attitude has changed; instead of insisting that she have nothing but the best, you haggle with the agistment property over their rates and suggest that they just put her into back paddock with the sheep. "She doesn't have to be hard-fed in Winter, does she? Aren't horses supposed to eat grass?" Many months later, you think... perhaps a change of trainer is the answer, someone with a different (and cheaper) training technique - not some twitchy conman. Your butcher recommends a mate of his in Lithgow who trains greyhounds, but is willing to give your horse a go. Once he tells you his daily training rate, you think that he sounds like the perfect choice. And it doesn't matter that he has no phone, you can always communicate by letter.

He enters her in a race at the Bathurst Picnic Meeting. This sounds like fun! This is what racing is all about! People tell you of all the 'big noters' who attend this meeting, as it really is a great day out. Picnics from the boot of the Rolls Royce, champers and pate, all that sort of thing. So you decide to make a weekend of it... you buy a cravat (in your filly's new racing colours of course) and turn up at Bathurst with the wife and kids. It's pouring with rain, and the family would rather go back to the motel to watch the midday movie.

To your untrained eye, your filly - which you haven't seen for many months - looks like a refugee from a knackery. She's decidedly thin, but your trainer tells you in broken English that's she's as fit as she can be and he's done his best to get the excess weight off her. She runs a distant last, and you reunite yourself with the family back at the motel in time to watch a repeat episode of 'Neighbours'.

The following week, you receive a postcard from the trainer telling you he's returning to Malta to care for his sick mother. The filly returns to the agistment farm, and you receive a whopping vet bill. You enquire as to how long horses normally live for, and are told "up to 25 years" or so. Oh well, just another 22 years to go.

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