I battled with another bidder at Inglis sales to secure an ordinary looking yearling for a measly $7,000. "Why would you want that horse?", the other bidder asked. "To win the Melbourne Cup with", I replied.

Winning the Melbourne Cup and playing for Fitzroy in a Premiership were my boyhood dreams. I played for Richmond and nowhere near a premiership… but I had one dream left.

Rising Fear was that horse. We called him Tojo, as a stable name.
I took him home and broke him in.

He had won a string of good Sydney races and I was now certain he could win the Melbourne Cup.

I had spent months training him to pick up a replica of the Melbourne Cup in his teeth. Then, he would replace the Cup on the table and bow. Tojo was a willing learner… for him it broke the boredom of stable life.

When I hopped on him he would prance and kick. When I put my 3yo son on him he would tippy toe around the front lawn, stopping to jerk him back into the centre of his back. Tojo was no oil painting but he was special.

I took him to the Brisbane carnival and he came home with the O'Shea Stakes, a 2nd in the QLD Derby and a 3rd in the 2-mile Brisbane Cup all in ten days.

He was a tough 3yo now and had qualified for a start in the 2 mile Melbourne Cup.

We picked up the Colin Stephens Quality Hcp at Randwick, a 2nd in the NSW Derby and off in a plane to Melbourne.

Now to take on the international horses in the big one.

I had ridden him in most of his track work and stayed most nights in the stable with him when interstate. He would fret in a strange place.

Now he was as ready as I could get him. Carrying my weight in all his track work made the weight of the jockey feel like a feather.

He was rock-hard fit but fresh from sand dune work and long swims in the ocean at Terrigal. He lit up when he saw the expanse of a verdant track.

He had pipe-opener on the Saturday in the Dalgetty, running home nicely for 6th.

He was now cherry ripe for the big one.

I had engaged Malcolm Johnson, as he had already won on the horse and knew him well.

On the Sunday, Malcolm rang me to say he was going back to Sydney as he had a full book with Doc. Chapman on the Tuesday. "Shit, shit, shit, shit!"

I got hold of the only unengaged rider left I knew, Bob Skelton the trouble was he was a Kiwi and I didn't like Kiwis much, especially Kiwi jockeys.

He agreed to ride my horse.

"I want you to come down to Mornington and run him up the last 400m on Tuesday morning" I said to Bob. "I need you to get the feel of him." Bob did let him run home the last four, hard held, through the Mornington mist.

Bob dismounted, "This horse will sprint, Larry", he told me. My heart sank. I knew he wouldn't, he couldn't. He was a dour one-paced stayer. He would win the Melbourne Cup if he was allowed to bowl along in front at his own pace.

But how does a cartoonist explain anything equine to a Kiwi jockey, I berated Bob and told him to forget all about this sprinting crap.

I rang Singo and told him to catch the next plane to Melbourne. "We're bringin home the Melbourne Cup, mate!"

I knew there was not a horse in the world that could beat him over two miles that day.

I had spent two years training him for just this one race, but only one day training a jockey to ride him.

Singo was on the next plane with his pockets full of cash.
Rising Fear stayed a firm 50/1 in the ring.

I legged up Skelton with deadly serious instructions. I looked him straight in his two little glassy goanna eyes: "Take him to the front after the end of the straight, let him bowl along, balanced. At the 800 drop your hands and let him do it all by himself, do not hit 'im! He knows what to do."

"Ok Larry, mate", I could hear him thinking: "What would he know about a horse?"

He trotted out on to the track to greet a 90,000 screaming crowd. I could see Tojo coming back to scale and me pressing my thumb into his nearside foreleg muscle. That was his signal. He would pick up the Cup in his teeth and raise it high in the air. The photo would be rocketed around the world in an instant.

My son and stable-foreman, Jamie, Singo and I climbed the stairs to our seats.

We were sitting a good 100 metres back from the winning post. The whole place reeked of tradition, and importance.

Phar Lap had graced this track. Some of the other great horses I remembered seeing as a kid, selling racebooks at Caulfield, had raced into history on this same Flemington turf with honor and bravery.

When the barriers opened the roar was deafening.
By the end of the straight Skelton eased him out from 7th position, took him around the field and settled him beautifully into the lead, keen but relaxed.

He led the huge field up the back and around the far turn. He was still beautifully balanced with his ears pricked and still relaxed at the mile.

Tojo loved a big race and you could see him enjoying every metre of it. At the 800m Skelton had not dropped his hands but I wasn't too worried. Tojo was fit and he would run the two mile right out.

They were on the home turn and he was still leading by three lengths. I looked back and they were starting to struggle behind him.

They straightened at the 400m and he was still in front by three lengths with plenty in the tank but now I could see the soles of Skelton's fucking boots. He was still swinging on his mouth.

"Faaark! That bastard still thinks he will sprint!" I muttered. Tojo clearly had plenty of petrol in the tank but Skelton was refusing to let him go! He was convinced in his thick little head that he would explode at his command.

I instinctively stood up "Let 'im go you fuckin' idiot", I screamed. "Let 'im go, he can't be beat, let 'im go!"

With 300m to go he was still in front with nothing gaining when out of the pack came the pride of the Arabs, At Alaq.

I knew At Alaq well, he was the only horse I was remotely scared of. He had a very short sprint. He raced two lengths past the hard-held Tojo. My idiot jockey now decided to let Tojo go.

He didn't sprint. He couldn't, because he can't.

With his one even pace, he slowly set off after At Alaq with barely 150m left and with Skelton pointlessly belting the shit out of him.

He regained the two lengths on At Alaq who was predictably weakening.

Skelton ran him right up the rump of At Alaq. It appeared to be in slow motion, there was a sort of silence above the roar. Then Skelton reefed him out to get around At Alaq and had to get him re-balanced all over again.

Even at the end of two miles Tojo, who had been headed by two lengths, slowly wore down that horse inch by inch. He had the strength to come again and that just simply doesn't happen for a horse at the end of two miles.

He was gaining every stride. The post loomed. One length, half a length, a neck. Within 10 metres of the post, I watched him lunge at At Alaq with every ounce of strength remaining in his brave, exhausted body. The crowd erupted.

Tommy Smith, sitting 4 or 5 seats along, jumped in the air, he stuck his head out from the line of people and looked at me, his hands high, "You've won Larry!"

Singo stood up shocked.

Jamie put an arm around my neck… "We've won Dad!"
I thought how happy my family would have been at home watching on TV.

But I wasn't sure. We were a long way from the post and the photo judge was taking what seemed like an hour and anyway how could he possibly have won when that little Kiwi had done just about everything possible to ensure he couldn't.

The photo showed Tojo had lost the Melbourne Cup when he should have won by at least two lengths. When he returned to scale, Skelton refused to look at me, he knew he had cost us the Cup.

I got a $quarter mil. for second and another $quarter mil. in bets.

Christ knows what Singo won. He had trifectas and quinellas every which way but he reckoned if Tojo had won it would have been a collect of about $5 mil. (maybe $15 mil in today's money)

The money didn't matter, the Melbourne Cup did. Still does.

Here's the finish:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnvsyapzYo8

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TomWalsh
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TomWalsh

From the very first time that I read this story, I have watched the race 4 times. There is no doubt that what you say is true Larry. Unfortunately Skelton is like many other jockeys who get so full of themselves, they believe that they know better than the trainer. Rising Fast was a certainty beaten. He was going two to At Talac’s one at the post.

ThomastheCat
Member
ThomastheCat

We took a horse to the Karaka Millions (Auckland) in 2010 and engage the best NZ jockey who we figured would know the Ellerslie track better than our Australian jockey. He did what Skelton did to your horse and we came second. We took another horse to Karaka Millions this year and took our Australian jockey and won this time!

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

Over here?

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

Yeah lol, if red does read them I’ll start on the other countries

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

Here’s some recent riots/attacks muslim vs Buddhist as well red, amazing how Buddhist’s live in australia peacefully but not in Burma, did you know according to the 2011 census there’s more Buddhists living in australia than Muslims, don’t seem to hear anything from them but we pump 100’s of millions into Muslims, the buddhists in Burma have had enough, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Burma_anti-Muslim_riots

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

Red, maybe I’m wasting my time but here’s the background on the poor Muslim rohingya boat people, as usual the Muslims try to annex off part of Burma for themselves under sharia law when refused they call for jihad, the buddhists have had enough of the bullshit, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rohingya_rebellion_in_Western_Burma

twentytwenty
Member
twentytwenty

Gripping story, and more so because it really happened. The jockey was the weak link, some people just won’t be told. As an aside, whenever I saw that name R. Skelton on a race card it always reminded of the great American comedian Red Skelton. Now I see that this particular Skelton brought forth tears rather than laughter.

matthias47
Guest
matthias47

From the religion of peace website. In 2007 Islam and Judaism’s holiest holidays overlapped for 10 days. Muslims racked up 397 dead bodies in 94 terror attacks across 10 countries during this time… while Jews worked on their 159th Nobel Prize. .

pharque99
Member
pharque99

Larry you’re a legend . Great story , you keep on surprising me with your depth of life experience and your incredible word skills. Keep up the great work .

TwoAlpha
Member
TwoAlpha

Frank is back – a very good friend of mine – now gone to God – served with Sir Peter in Viet Nam, and he described Sir Peter as “an officer and a gentleman in the truest sense of the words.”

franK
Member
franK

Sir Peter is made of much sterner stuff than any two bit journalist can comprehend.
He is in for the long run and you will find that he has our best interests at heart.

A wonderful choice to share a foxhole with.

franK
Member
franK

Empty vessels do indeed make the most sound… I prefer a Stoney silence.

DeepThroat
Member
DeepThroat

Great yarn. Utmost admiration as I never knew you trained horses let alone rode trackwork

JCM
Member
JCM

here better correct the spelling before the school teachers come along:Have some more cheese with the whine there osarbtcg,either or stop digging a deeper hole,you seem to think you know all, maybe you do, you know stuff all really, about 3/5ths of 5/8ths of SFA, now which member of the Tribe are you, bloody cyclops you turn out to be by having a one eyed view of anything that detracts from the line of BS from a few here working the Hasbarat propaganda machine,not all are sheep like you are

JCM
Member
JCM

Have some more cheese with the whine there osarbtcg,either or stop digging a deeper hole,you seem to think you know all, maybe you do, you know stuff all really, about 3/5ths of 5/8ths of SFA, now which member of the Tribe are you, bloody cyclops you turn out to be by having a one eyed view of anything that detracts from the line of BS from a few hear working the Hasbarat propaganda machine,not all are sheep like you are

Marco-eloco
Member
Marco-eloco

Red you retard I hope you are not referring to moslems as tolerant because if you are you have lost the plot .. BIG TIME.

ACarpenter
Member
ACarpenter

Red is just another Islam loving leftard. Go and peddle your “facts” elsewhere Red.

GeoffRosan
Member
GeoffRosan

Win, doesn’t matter we knew what you meant.

Marco-eloco
Member
Marco-eloco

ivy, the cant even play the banjo.

GeoffRosan
Member
GeoffRosan

I admit I haven’t read Hull’s report. I take Winston’s word for what Hull says. Perhaps WWW is jealous of Sir Peter Cosgrove’s Knighthood and the self appointed great communicator can’t articulate the words “Sir Peter”

ivy
Member
ivy

RED
you are just peddling lies muslims are not intelligent,never have been, or ever will be, mainly due to inbreeding

GailLouise
Member
GailLouise

I don’t understand how MT can keep making these decisions reversing TAs’ initiatives by captains’ pick….is he like…the President already or something?

JCM
Member
JCM

Bloody hell,one would think that when digging a hole,you stop before the spill falls back on oneself, toss a frog into boiling water and it will bail out, but slowly bring the frog and water to the boil and you end up with a cooked frog,a few here need to take heed

JCM
Member
JCM

Turnbull want’s to be el Presidenti of what will be a third world country before he’s finished with his posturing and posing,and at all times has to watch his back, as he’s about as popular as a pork chop in a mosque

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

It’s definitely not a religion of peace check out the countries above, the start for me was why are the peaceful Buddhists of Burma persecuting the poor muslim rohingya boat people?, curiosity got me looked it up and now I don’t blame Burma one bit, same old story trying to annex off part of Burma to rule themselves under sharia law they are refused then terrorism/violence/rapes start that’s another common tactic worldwide, in the bigger european city’s it manifests as no go zones, I’m happy to be proved wrong

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

Pick the article apart check out each individual case and prove it wrong, look up muslim gang rapes in Sweden and Europe or Rotherham UK, here’s the Australian connection from the article, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_gang_rapes

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

Red, we are not rascist here well most anyway, the first time I heard someone berate Muslims I was thinking this guy’s a bit rascist but once you start researching you can see it’s factual, check out terrorism in the countries of the previous post and you’ll see, like most on here we are looking at Europe gang rapes terrorism violence and don’t want or need it for Australia, it’s rises with the percentage of muslims and that’s why we don’t want to see any more come here, here’s a good link for ya, http://mrconservative.com/2013/03/6673-ten-horrifying-stories-of-muslims-gang-raping-white-woman/

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

Red, I see you went through the thread and deleted, I said 3rd world Muslims and yes if we stopped bringing them here crime rates would be lower, before you start accusing people of being fucking idiots start doing some research of your own, start by picking holes in my previous post and prove me wrong you’ll see a pattern in each country, the higher % of muslims=higher violence/terrorism, it shows up in states and provinces as well

GeorgeofMagpie
Member
GeorgeofMagpie

OT, from Their ALPBC website….Three quarters of Australians believe climate change is real; views on cause correspond with world view, voting patterns: CSIRO report….BUT, YES LOOK AT THE VOTING TRENDS..more ABC tripe…. .Fifty-nine per cent of Labor voters believed climate change was caused by humans, compared to 28 per cent of Liberal supporters.

Twenty-two per cent of Nationals voters agreed, compared to 76 per cent of those who support the Greens.

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

Facts are facts regardless of who writes them, wherever Muslims reside with other religions/races there’s trouble/terrorism even within different muslim sects, Russia, China, Burma, Thailand, middle east, Africa, India, UK, Europe, don’t forget australia etc. There’s one common denominator and that’s Muslims, why import this danger? What good have they done for this country beside leech taxpayers money, tax our groceries and cause terrorism/drive by shootings? Why advocate to bring gang rape and violence to our streets? I’m not saying every muslim is nasty, there’s good and bad in every race or religion but bringing 3rd world Muslims here is… Read more »

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

Certainly did it was on breitbart news, after reading that article I started to question every muslim claim for example the invention of the compass, as soon as I seen that I could’ve bet my house they didn’t invent it, turns out it was the Han Chinese the same ones still getting attacked to this day by the muslim uyghurs, ironic

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

No I’m not, I’m very suspect on any claims made my Muslims cause they lie and manipulate the truth, Britain had to censure or stop teaching about the holocaust for fear of offending Muslims, another example of manipulation

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

My main point is Muslims make all sorts of claims on what they invented etc and most of its lies, I just came across an article that claimed Muslims were the first to find America

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

Pick over bones? The compass is a big part of where we are today, you claimed Muslims invented them and they didn’t, yes you’ve produced a good mathematician/astrologer but compared to western society and it’s advances its a small part

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

The claims you made about muslims inventing the compass are false, the name compass has nothing to do with it, the Chinese invented the compass, other claims of inventing potash, nitrate of silver, sulfuric acid are dubious at best, Muslims are good at stealing others ideas and claiming them

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

The negative of claiming to have invented the compass but lied, that one?

disgusted1
Member
disgusted1

I checked one of your facts I found suspect red, The magnetic compass is an old Chinese invention, probably first made in China during the Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.). Chinese fortune tellers used lodestones (a mineral composed of an iron oxide which aligns itself in a north-south direction) to construct their fortune telling boards. Typically taking credit for others work is a muslim past time

Uncleron
Member
Uncleron

Very interesting Red. A good post, without doom & despair. Thank You

Uncleron
Member
Uncleron

It’s 10:30 , all the children should be in bed, and it’s Melbourne Cup Day – time for a horse joke ! A bloke calls his mate, the horse breeder, and says he’s sending a friend over to look at a horse. The breeder asks, ”How will I know he’s your friend ? ” The bloke replys “That’s easy; he’s a dwarf with a speech impediment.” So, the dwarf shows up, and the breeder asks him if he’s looking for a male or a female horse. ” A female horth ” So he shows him a prized filly. ” Nith… Read more »

ApplePie
Member
ApplePie

O/T “Who do you think you are?” – Adam Goodes. Much to Adam’s dismay not only does he have a Scottish father but discovered he also has a Scottish ancestor on the aboriginal side. His gggggrandfather was a Scotsman Capt Hughes who was doing naughties to aboriginal women on the side. SBS could not help themselves introducing the programme saying “Goodes was racially vilified by a 13 yo old girl” – aw poor Adam.

Whacked2
Member
Whacked2

Must be a cunning stunt?

ACarpenter
Member
ACarpenter

According to Erdogan of Turkey the muslims put a man on the moon 300 years before the yanks! I think many of their other “achievements are equally as dubious…

bagman
Member
bagman

The Bulk Cargo Compartment is located from FR59 to FR65, below the main cabin floor. The ELT “equipment area” is between FR64 and FR66, after the last window of the airplane. The aft door is in the section after FR66. There are 3 lavatories at the back of the airplane, 2 on the port side, and 1 on the starboard side. The first lavatory is located in the section before the aft door (~FR64 to FR66). The second port side lavatory is located in the section containing the last window of the airplane (~FR62 to FR64). The top part of… Read more »

Whacked2
Member
Whacked2

Which letter where?

M60
Member
M60

THE MELBOURNE CUP! ………Owned and operated by an Islamic airline.

ivy
Member
ivy

RED
very interestng on the maths how come they are such a weird lot today ,is it because of in breeding

TheSapper
Member
TheSapper

No phone call Goldilocks