‘KJ’ bows out with a dose of humour and darkness
Since you are all racing aficionados, you won’t have missed Sonny Leon’s ride aboard 80-1 winner Rich Strike in the Kentucky Derby. Was this not one of the greatest rides ever? To jump from barrier 20, race well back in the field, and then come up the inside to win in the Run for the Roses is a magnificent achievement. Kudos to Leon, trainer Eric Reed, and, of course, Rich Strike, a chestnut colt of rare ability.
Two other notable aspects of the race were the equine winner copping a smack in the face from an outrider after Rich Strike tried to take a bite out of his pony. Imagine punching the winner of the Kentucky Derby! We punch the odd kangaroo here for being uppity, but we draw the line at thoroughbreds. OK, we had a top-flight trainer who used to give his charges electric shocks, but that’s in the past. Video of the incident, here.
The other notable aspect of the Kentucky Derby was a less-than-impressive race call. This has been pointed out by YouTubers who watched the same commentary I did. The race-caller does not pick up the run of Rich Strike until about the 50m mark. Most punters have no idea the 80-1 chance is anywhere near the action until the commentator starts calling him the winner in the shadows of the post. Such blips aside, it was a magnificent race and as exciting a run as you could ever wish to see.
My Spanish girlfriend and I celebrated the victory by uncorking a bottle of red, playing Dan Fogelberg’s Run for the Roses on repeat, and making love on repeat too. Now that I constantly fear death by heart attack, I have asked Conchita to slow the pace in the saddle. She, of course, mocked me for this. “You want to celebrate victory of fast horse but you wanna fuck like slow donkey,” she snarled at me. “Take more Viagra, ride like a man and die like a man.”
I was offended. “You would be OK with me dying while I’m on you?”
“Sure,” she replied. “The ambulance staff always look at me with mucho respect when I call them to collect dead lover. They always say, ‘Well at least he die happy’.
She then gave me a slap. “No, that is not for winning the Kentucky Derby of sex. That is for being a boring old fart.”
You can understand, then, that my self-respect is dwindling. So is my ability to compete in the journalism stakes. I am now passing the finishing post. My race is run. It is a good time to retire, having just witnessed one of the greatest races of my lifetime. Sonny Leon has allowed me to retire with a smile on my face. I’ll be surprised if this Venezuelan-born jockey doesn’t become a superstar of racing. It is an honour writing my last column about him.
Life ahead as a retiree holds many uncertainties. Out of a sense of prudence, I will have to halve my bets. That breaks my heart. I am also going to have to kick my Spanish girlfriend out for good. I don’t know if what she said to me was a joke or if she really has a record as a black widow. I am feeling paranoid, so I am suspecting the latter. She must go.
As a final betting swansong, I might have a red-hot go punting on the imminent Australian Federal Election. As befitting my current mental state (rapid, unbridled disintegration) the election campaign is winding down in a spirit of absurdism and farce. It has brought all of Australia together in a way never before seen. We all agree, wholeheartedly, that the main party leaders are dweebs, and neither the Coalition nor the Australian Labor Party could inspire a hard-on in the best Thai brothel.
The problem is, it is compulsory to vote in Australia (you get fined if you don’t), and it’s hard to do so with enthusiasm unless, like me, you have a quality Independent candidate in one’s constituency. You can, of course, get some satisfaction by going rogue and voting for fringe entities in the senate race, like the Love Australia or Leave party, the Pirate Party (for digital activism), the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, Yellow Vest Australia (pro Western values), the Socialist Alliance (probably numbering two blokes in Balmain), the Rise Up Australia Party (“Keep Australia Australian”), the Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) party, the Involuntary Medication Objectors, the Affordable Housing Party (no-hopers), the Animal Justice Party (no-hopers), the Australian Christians (no-hopers) and the Australian Mental Health Party (built for my vote).
The best bet, however, might be on the outright parliamentary result. Ladbrokes has Labor at S1.40 and the Coalition at $2.90.
It is not unusual for Labor to make the running as favourites. They have, however, a proud tradition of self-sabotage, and can absolutely be relied on to cock up their campaign in every possible way. If Labor were a racehorse, it would be miles ahead on the turn, but lame, exhausted and sweating buckets at the 200m mark.
Not that this means it won’t win. The Coalition, like most governments managing Covid, has lost the hearts and minds of the electorate. Its leader, PM Scott Morrison, is a curry-cooking happy clapper whom you wouldn’t invite to dinner even if he said he’d come.
Ergo, I’m going to back the lame, exhausted and sweaty horse to win. But surely the bookies can give me seniors’ rates. $1.55 mates? That’s not unreasonable for an old bloke with one foot in the grave who gets slapped around by a continental vixen and fears imminent death. C’mon, fellas! This is Jack’s last ride and he deserves some consideration. -IRC.
We wish Kangaroo Jack well in his future endeavours and thank him for the entertainment and laughs he he supplied in generous portions over the last 14 months. -IRC.