Not In The Joke

Don Henderson


We recorded this for a television show that was broadcast live from the Flemington race track during Melbourne Cup week. Unfortunately, the racing big-wigs were "not in the joke" and it caused a bit of a stink. The faces of some of the people around us were hilarious though, particularly the TV people who didn't ask us back the next year.


In between races his colours were changed.

Three jockeys talked low and the stakes were arranged

Of the big betting slingback each one got a third,

But by chance an apprentice their plans overheard

And laughingly said unless they cut him in

The weight he was claiming would let his nag win


It's mid-week bush meetings send honest men broke

For you're not in the hunt if you're not in the joke


The three jockeys laughed at the young upstart's gall

And said he presented no danger at all

His nag was a bolter and with the lad up, no doubt

It would race for five furlongs then tire itself out

And come home with the ambulance. All were agreed.

So why divvy four ways when there was no need


The youngster, while taking these insults to heart

Had also learned something so right from the start

He rode on a short rein, maintaining his grip

With never a touch of the heel or the whip

He held back that gelding with all of his strength

At the turn the big chestnut was third by a length


Down the straight with a fast flying field on his tail

He went for the doctor in close to the rail

Catching the leaders and forcing inside

Saying, "Now how about it! Who says I can't ride?"

The whole group moved over and let the lad through

Saying, "Go for your life, lad. The money's on you!"