A LETTER FROM TERRY - EAST BRISBANE
- BILL EDWARDS AND OLD HORSES!
I must say relate to a lot of your anecdotes
- especially the bits about going from the races to the Albion Park
trots. I used to go in the days of Peter Profit, Sydney Song and
Rainbow Jack: so quite a few years back. I don’t remember the
donuts, but I do recall the pie cart outside before crossing Breakfast
I have never walked home from the trots but I did have to walk home
a number of times from the Bundaberg Races - raining, chased by bloody
dogs - the works.
I also have your disdain for punting with others. I much prefer to
punt alone. That way I don’t have my money riding on a horse
because it is ridden by a particular jockey, or has a nice name, or
is number 12.
One exclusion you may like to consider for a future piece. When I
first started work many years ago I was told by an old guy there to
“never trust a horse over 5 years”. I have found it to
be pretty good advice. For the number of horses over 5 to the number
of winners that come from those ranks, you really do yourself a favour
by eliminating them. You may miss a few winners but you miss a hell
of a lot more losers. It doesn’t work in country races where
so many horses are old, and you need to be a bit careful in staying
races (I don’t bet in races further than a mile anyway). It
also saves a lot of time doing the form if you eliminate all the older
Thanks for the email
Yes - that was a long walk - across
Breakfast Creek bridge, up Newstead Rd., through the Valley, over
the Story Bridge and down Main St., right in to Wellington St past
the Shafston Hotel and Eta Peanut factory, turn left at Bill Edwards'
shop and on to 3 Mowbray Terrace, East Brisbane.
Bill Edwards came from around Broken Hill
and had a gammy leg from when he had polio as a kid. He also used
to go target rifle shooting at the Belmont rifle range and so he had
guns. He also had one of the first XP Ford Falcon station wagons to
come out in 1965. On the front mudguards he had little silver kangaroos
sitting on silver bullets welded on as ornaments. You didn't mess
But because he had this really heavy
right foot medical boot on, when he was out the back of the shop in
his residence, all the kids knew you had three "step thunks"
to get the pinched lollies in to your pocket. From his kitchen area
it was step, thunk, step, thunk, step, thunk before he walked through
the connecting door.
Many years ago I went back to the
old family home in Mowbray Terrace and couldn't get over the big steel
security door on the front of the joint. Someone later sent me an
ad from one of "those" publications - seems it was operating
as a brothel! So when someone asks
where I was raised, I tell them in a brothel - where I used to play
I think your "never trust a
horse over 5" has some validity - particularly with mares 6 and
over I never back mares 7+, look
three times at them if they're 6 and absolutely go out of my way to
avoid any horse 8+. They have to be pretty weak races to keep me interested
at that age barrier and they have to have been performing extraordinarily
well in recent starts.
What is it - 7 years in human terms to 1 of a horse? So anything that's
8 is equivalent to a 56 year old human running in an athletics meeting
- no thanks. I was gone well before 56!!
The recent changes to the grading
system have in fact encouraged people to racehorses much longer when
they KNOW they're just about stuffed and this is particularly true
in the smaller States.......have a look at the number of 8 and 9 year
olds going round week after week in 0-62 races and equivalents.
Unreal - years ago they would have been
dobbed in to the RSPCA
The problem with betting 7 days a
week (and racing seven days a week ) is that you have to take them
in to consideration because there are so many races. Every now and
again something like old Mustard bobs at 25/1 at aged 12 and everyone
says "oh, isn't it great for the old horse?" - ah - no......
not for mine!
There are a lot of better horses
aged 3 to 5 with a heck of a lot less medical problems and learned
behaviors! Chaos factors I can live without.