Almanac Racing: an offer you can’t refuse?

Bars at Roma St Station – the Spencer St of Brisbane – are filled with reputable dodgy types and other ratbags and reprobates who haven’t noticed that the second at Kyneton is suddenly the third at the Warrnambool dishlickas and by then there is absolutely no point in going back to work and little point in going home. Many of them fill their days in the service of Her Majesty.

I have a few quiet XXXXs there if I have spare time before catching the Airtrain (which costs an arm and a leg to use) to the Brisbane Airport. I go there because I am almost certain to catch up with Haydo and Otis, two worse punters and better beer-in-hand philosophers the world has yet to see.

Occasionally they drag along a bloke called Hawky. Hawky may be the subject of the first calls to have a member of the Almanac community celebrated in bronze.

Hawky is Hawky because he barracks for the Hawks. He fits in well at Roma St Station.

Hawky came to the Almanac launch last year. Soon after he started ringing me on Friday nights for a points-in footy bet. By the mid-season break he owed me a game of golf at a resort course, two lunches, and three bottles of premium red. I now suspect he was softening me up, because he has made me an offer which is difficult to refuse.

I’m unsure what Hawky does for Queensland Rail, but he must be a prolific talent insofar as  negotiating is concerned as he has obviously secured “play golf, punt, and breed racehorses” in his employment agreement. (John Howard was right – you could get a better deal under WorkChoices).

The big news for the advent of Almanac Racing is that Hawky has a yearling “fattening up on the banks of the MacIntyre”. Astute students of geography and racing history will recognise that this juvenile beast is filling up on the very grass which turned Gunsynd out a champion.

The yearling is a colt by Golden Snake out of Festive Flight. Festive Flight is related to the dam of Hissing Sid, so Hawky is offering us one that is very close in breeding to the dual Warrnambool Cup winner.

The only problem is that the colt won’t race for a while, which is not so attractive if you are Almanac Racing, impatient, impetuous, and in need of a trip to a country Victorian track.

Hawky understands that only too well. He has made a second offer: 15% of a young filly, not far from the race-track and being set for the greys race on Cup Day (assuming she’s not better than that) and has gone to spell after a bold showing in the Ascot Vale.

These will be on lease arrangements which are not too expensive when shared across syndicate members. Who knows how many will be interested.

However if Hawky and I keep going head to head on the footy, he may be paying me in bloodstock himself.

Register your interest by commenting here or emailing me on [email protected]

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. I’m in!

  2. JTH
    I’m keen if the dollars arent too prohibitive.

  3. Dudley st syndicate hereby registers interest…..

  4. John Am a starter despite the fact that Carlton supporters are apparently acceptable as syndicate members !

  5. mark freeman says

    Keep me in the loop JTH.

    Am off to days 1 and 2 in Adelaide

  6. Same as Tony I’d be interested depending on costs.

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