Jack Styring gets Dog on Fire home at Donald




Legendary racing identity Jack Styring has died at the age of 92. He even got one of SAMRA’s across the line.




An extract from John Harms’s Memoirs of a Mug Punter (now published in the omnibus Play On) 


Donald is in the bush. The racetrack sits amid the paddocks: a green lifesaver in a parched land. The Dog (our beloved mare, Courting Pleasure, known to us in SAMRA – the Salvador Allende Memorial Racing Alliance – as Dog On Fire, or in keeping with racetrack abbreviations ‘The Dog’) was in the last race and, although it was a long wait, she did nothing to attract the attention of the VRC snoops (she had been on double-secret probation as a result of various misdemeanours, the one at Murtoa when she threw the boy possibly being the worst…ed). She was on her best behaviour.


The Sheahans, who had descended on Donald, weren’t. Ade was his calm business-as-usual self, but the girls were playing up like secondhand Victas. Cale (the milliner) was decked out in one of her own creations, an impressive blue flowery number which must have won hat of the day (or even hat of the century) in Donald. Tammy was decked out with a bottomless glass of champagne.


Things were looking fine. [Read more]

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. Peter Flynn says


    Great to hear more about Jack.

    Must have been a thrill to have Jack call your horse home.

    Courting Pleasure wasn’t the only nag to deceive the great man. Tricky angles at some of these tracks!

  2. Magnificent call.

    “Ade failed to mention that she was saddlecloth 9 in Race 9, a circumstance which contributes to (improves…ed) a horses chances. The bookies gave 8/1, a good price for the SAMRA cash because she was a Class 1 mare up in grade. She was coming off what, on the surface, appeared like a poor performance at Ararat, she was drawn wide – and she was officially crazy.” LOL.

  3. “The girls were playing up like second-hand Victas…” all too true (second hand Victas, I mean. Not the Fillies and Mares)

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