It was a while in the waiting but the trip up to Sydney from Melbourne was booked.
My best mate and I were off to Day 1 of The Championships at Randwick in a month and we were absolutely jumping out of our skin.
The races themselves were one of the reasons we decided to head to Sydney, but meeting the three gentleman that give us ‘The Rant’ and ‘The Preview’ week in week out was at the top of the ‘to do’ list.
An email to ‘the ranters’ asking for a friendly catch up at racing rant park after our flight was duly obliged and our excitement levels grew exponentially.
So there we were, two young keen 23-year-old race-goers just off our flight from Melbourne hurtling in a cab through the suburban streets of Sydney on our way to Racing Rant Park.
As we approached our destination, my mate and I looked at each other and there was a realisation that resonated between us, a moment of ‘are we really here?’
The Preview was being recorded as we entered the hallowed grounds of Racing Rant Park and we waited with angst as it finished up.
We introduced ourselves like kids meeting their heroes.
Glensta had to leave early but Marc and Gordo were able to stick around for a chat about the races.
We had no idea that lunch with a few quiet beverages were in the beckoning and we genuinely appreciated Marc and Gordo sharing their knowledge and wisdom of what is a tough game.
‘It was $3.2 this morning Gord,’ Marc said
‘Yeh into 2 point 2 now Roguish,’ Gordo responded.
And there was our first winner on the trip. Hyeronimus hopped off the fence at the transferred Gosford Guineas meeting to get Roguish home.
Marc was then the next to head off after a night of form analysis that rendered him to a state of exhaustion.
It was left to Gordo my best mate and I to kick on with proceedings with the idea that we’d continue to find winners.
A pub up the road with a TAB was our next destination and the three of us put $50 each into our punting kitty that would last us long enough to pass time.
Up and down up went the kitty, until we decided to go all in on the David Pfieffer trained ‘I thought So’ in the Gosford Guineas.
I made the lads aware that ‘our only danger is the 11.’
Ironically, the 11 beat us in a photo finish that I could have sworn we’d won.
I copped a bit of banter for the next hour or so from Gordo about not playing the 11, but I guess that’s the game we all play. They go your way one day and the next day they don’t. Luckily it didn't deter us.
We thought it might be a good idea to finally check into the apartment we were staying at and then head off for some dinner.
We ended up at The Dog Hotel in Clovelly for a few more drinks. It was here that Gordo realised that my best mate was ‘The Lebanese Glen Pollett.’
My best mate is definitely not a racist, he just hates everyone equally. My best mate isn't outspoken, he just says as it is. Political correctness is something that he believes is a ridiculous concept. Safe to say the similarities to Glensta are uncanny.
A night on the karaoke at The Dog ensued as the tunes were belted out.
It was then time that we pulled the pin on an eventful day and night to recharge the batteries for what would ultimately be a very interesting beginning to The Championships.
The sun shone down on a beautiful Randwick track that had only seen rain for the last month.
Property was the push from the mounting yard before the first and duly saluted. As the races went by it was clearly evident to all that fence in running was crucial.
“Welcome to barrier 1 land,’ Marc exclaimed!
The next push from the mounting yard at odds was Diddums. An alignment of Marc’s selections and Glensta’s push combined for a deadly result for the bookies.
“You can’t breath without it boys,’ Glensta proclaimed to us.
Chautauqua on top from the yard from the TJ. 8s, into 7s, into 6s, into 5s. The money tumbled in for ‘The Grey Flash.’
‘It’s gonna be history at Randwick,’ as the Glensta continued his on-course antics
As English dashed to the front we all could have had millions on her at the 100m mark….that was until ‘CAN HE DO IT? CHAUTAUQUA HE’S FLYING………YES THERE’S HISTORY!’
Silence in the betting ring. Silence around the course.
It was almost as if no one cared what happened for the rest of the day.
My best mate and I gathered ourselves saw it all out and heaved through a tough few results to round out the card.
A final acknowledgement and thanks to Glenn, Gordo and Marc as everyone headed off in their own directions to assess all the results of what was an encapsulating day of racing.
Back to Melbourne the day after and the ritual began again. Waiting for the notification that ‘The Rant has now been posted.’