Not so dusty in Donald

Goodness this article was started on Monday but the computer gremlins have held me at bay . Anyhow, here we go.  Maraynne and i set off Saturday morning for the drive to Donald.  For our journey music is an essential , so a collection of CD’s were packed including the Slim Dusty tribute, not So Dusty. The sounds of Slim Dusty and people covering his tunes was amongst the music which we heard on  our journey. On the much spoken about Camooweal, we heard both Slim sing the original, with Ed Keupper and Felicity with the Oxley Creek Playboys doing a wonderful cover. Arriving on track, on a grey drizzly day, we were warmly greeted by the hospitable local racing folk. We caught up with our friend Helen, and to the well positioned public bar we proceeded. This glass building, adjacent to the finish line, is a great vantage point, as well as keeping us in from the elements.

On the heavy track it was a day for outsiders. The quaddy,  with numbers 4,5,1 & 8 paid a healthy $68, 299.90, with a lucky winner. The First Fours also paid well , a number of big ones here. To our chagrin we narrowly missed out on a percentage of the race 5 First Four, which paid a healthy $8, 310.80. We did a flexi,  umming , and ahhing over the last number in our combination.  Me saying the 2 , Maryanne stating the 1. The numbers were 4,8,13, 1, with Maryannes judgement being superor to mine.

None the less i finished up marginally in front for the day. In the last, the Mick O’ Leary trained  Welcome Ned saluted, giving me a nice return.

An interesting piece of horse symetry occurred with the  quinnellas in Race 2, both in Donald and at Moonee Valley. The T & K O’Sullivan partnership trained the winner at Donald, Poppys Boy, with the Darren Weir trained Stylish Lily  running second.  In the big smoke this pair of  trainers got the quinella but in the different order, with the Darren Weir trained Gotta Take care saluting, the O’Sullivan trained Stable Star running second.

Jason Lyon took the riding honours for the day with a double, saluting in the second and the fifth. Michelle Payne won the first, but only had a couple of more rides.  It was good seeing her ride a winner here, after the bad fall she experienced on this track a while back. Dean Yendall had a good book of rides, including a few favourites, but he had to suffice with three seconds. On a more positive note for him, it was announced his wife, fellow hoop Christine Puls is having a break, due to being pregnant with their first child. Congratulations are in order here.

Post race it was back into town where we caught up with Rowan, at the Mount Jeffcott. He’d had a pleasant afternoon there watching the footy and partaking in a beverage or two.  For us a we had a pleasant evening to round of a nice day. A  few coldies, and a good meal from the Jeffcott, then the four of us headed across to the  Shamrock, now renamed the Bullocks Head, for a few night caps.

Donald races are a nice day out. A  big thankyou to the ladies from the East Wimmera Health auxilary who  catered superbly in the public bar . Loved that vegie soup !!! The  Donald Cup  is run on Sunday November 17. I think we’ll go again, with me being interested if Mick Hartney again brings Regular Aussie down from Berrigan.  He came second in 2012, can the old  fellow do one better this year?




  1. Glen- great day at Donald . Went to the Cup years ago and the hospitality was second to none
    Alas Yendall didnt provide me with the winners there last week

  2. Nice work Glen, it’s a ripper of a day at Donald, Mick o’Leary has been boarder raidingwith huge success for years

  3. Stuff the nags, Glen, & on a far more important note Donald missed the finals in the North Central League,
    The Royal Blues finished 5th with a 5-10 (1 draw) record for the 2013 season.
    Had the assignment a coupe of times in the early 90s, I think it was, to report on the gallops at St Arnaud.
    Pleasant enuf course but the nags were ordinary — ditto, the jocks — and in the heat of late spring/early summer the bar was easily the best location.

  4. Valid point Richard. Speaking of bush footy we took my mother to Tungamah yesterday, where we had lunch at the local pub, run by former N Melbourne premiership player Peter Chisnall. Peter and my mum spoke about the old days in Corowa. Any how back to bush footy, Peter informed us that Tungamah are playing in the Picola league GF this Saturday. Their opponents are Waaia , with the match being played at Rennie. Peter informed all four levels of the football and netball teams, are participating on the big day. Go Bears !!!!


  5. Glen- you travel more kms around Victoria to sporting events than anyone else I know and it shows by your conributions
    Richard – found my way to St Arnaud races one day and the highlight was listening to the course commentator Jack Styring calling . By the tone of your post you lost like me but at least we kept dehydration at bay

  6. Oges, so many places to go, but how much time does one have? I’ve spent a lot of time in rural NSW and Vic, always enjoying it. One day i’d like to go to race meet in SA, but as they say, “the future is unwritten.’
    In the interim there’s cup meetings in both Avoca and Donald, which are on the radar.


  7. Paul Daffey says

    Hi Glen,

    Imagine travelling to sporting events around Victoria and elsewhere.

    And you call that work!

  8. IT must have been late Seventies, lads, when Kerang held its annual Boxing Day gallops.
    Possibly extended into the 80s. I forget.
    But those were the days. Into the work car, a clapped out Toyota, and up the highway to Kerang.
    My Mum, up from Geelong for the Xmas break, could never fathom why anyone would have to work on Boxing Day.

Leave a Comment