We had only been back at Nui Dat for a couple of days
after a 6 week operation. A few of us had congregated in
our favourite boozer Mick had christened, 'The Hop Inn'"
That's another story says Mick, I'll tell you about it
another day." It must have been a Saturday afternoon as
we were listening to the races. As usual, most of us,
including Mick, had done our dough with the task force
Someone made the mistake of asking Mick if he really
knew anything about horses. Mick gave him that 'hurt'
look like he often did when challenged... " used to be a
jockey" said Mick.
"My mates from my first tour with 5RAR owned and trained
a horse called 'Jumping Jack'; just for racing at bush
tracks mind you, but he wasn't bad over 6 furlongs or
whatever that is in the stupid metric system. In any
case, the bush tracks were just like the good old days,
you know, without all the bloody red tape, rules and
regulations that you would have to put up with on them
"The day of the race finally arrives" says Mick. "We
reckon 'JJ', as we called him back then, would give the
locals a run for their money in this country town. It
doesn't really matter but I've long forgotten the name
of it just now. In any case the trainer wanted to put a
decent bet on with the bookies and insisted that I had
to win at all costs. Then he leads JJ back into the
stable after he'd had a bit of a warm up and tells me
that he had some 'juice' from the vet for JJ, to
guarantee the desired result."
"The trainer said it was fast acting and he had to
inject the juice at the last minute to get the best
effect ... a bit like being in the army; I just followed
orders and had mounted JJ waiting for further
instructions. Then he whips out the syringe full of
juice and about to give a shot to JJ, when he jumped
sideways like he always did. I copped the bloody lot in
my thigh, and I don't mind telling you it hurt like
"Thankfully the stewards were pretty well sloshed, due
to the warm beer and the stinking hot sun and they
didn't notice anything. Instead they were calling for us
to ride our mounts up to the starting barrier. I didn't
feel any difference in JJ from our usual rides, but by
the time we got there I was feeling a bit queer myself."
"In less than a minute we're off! And JJ's made a good
start. At the halfway mark we are still way out in front
but I felt him slowing up a bit. Soon we were being
passed by a couple of other horses with less than just a
furlong to go. We were going nowhere fast and something
had to be done real quick!"
Before I knew it, I'd jumped off JJ and was running the
two leaders down and in the last few strides I only just
crossed the finish line ahead of 'em. The stewards were
well and truly under the influence now, as was often the
case, and declared me the winner."
"I had visions of the trainer collecting from the bookie
and hoped he'd look after me. Just then the jockey on
the second place getter appealed. You wouldn't read
about it, but because I didn't have JJ's saddle and my
whip for the weigh in, the stewards wouldn't announce
"Not only did the trainer lose his shirt, JJ only beat
one horse home and I reckon, even with my sore thigh I
could have run around the track again. Worse still, back
home I'm now referred to as the 'juiced up jockey'!"
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