“I’d be backin’ da Derm’t Weld horse, m’self”

JTH’s association with the great Vintage Crop began in a pub in Dingle in 1993.

Read more here at the Racing Victoria site

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. 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 can visualise the hectic brain and gargle work underway in order to revive the parlous finances. and along comes a stranger. form and analysis out the window as the harms lad spots divine or at least irish intervention and goes with it and the day is made and the commitment to the Crop started. my wife who is of O’Dowd heritage has done the Irish racing season and we plan to get over there again as I reckon I am missing out. She reckons its pure pleasure from 10 am when one assembles to the final bell late in the night after doing the ggs and engaging with the locals in banter heaven.
    great article JT and a grand steed the Crop was to be sure.

  2. cowshedend says

    Great Yarn John, as one of those kindred ‘Sad arsed souls’, i fell into Drum Taps that year, the punt has no moral compass, so this dopey Celt fell into an English import.
    Vintage Crop was indeed a champion by any definition, and if not for some dreadful pilot error would have won at least another.
    Here’s cheers to a racing legend
    Slainte Gaelach

  3. A friend is a racing authority in England. i remember asking him about Vintage Crop.
    “Very good hurdler”, he said.
    “That should be enough!”.
    The Cup has improved in quality thanks to his “raid” – and he did, of course, run down Gai’s “gallant” Te whatever.

  4. There is no doubt that the cup has improved in quality since 1993 but for mine the influx of raiders has diminished the thrill and mystery that was the spring carnival lead-up to the race. You used to be able to at least follow a line of form between the prospective competitors but these days there’s no hope. As a betting proposition, it’s totally speculation.
    Actually, Kiwi started that 10 years earlier winning the cup at his first start here.
    And good luck to the battlers trying to get their horse in these days!

  5. Simon Willcox says

    Don’t know much about racing
    Don’t even like it much
    But I really loved your story
    That’s great writing
    Thanks John

  6. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great story JTH thank you as always

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