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Wild Wednesday

With the AFL football season ending in a very big purple, yellow and pooh brown Grand Finale this weekend it can only mean that the big spring race meetings are just around the corner.

We are about to enter that extremely small period of the year when racing actually becomes a newsworthy item.

That is, except for when there is this racing scandal, or that racing scandal, or this and that racing scandal which suddenly means racing moves off a very few small paragraphs in the back of the paper to screaming front page headlines.

The AFL have done a fantastic job this year of being the first news item on most days - and remembering that there is, of course, no such thing as bad publicity.

Whether it was the Essendon drug scandal or sacked coaches or Mad Monday drunken antics, it was always football leading the nightly news bulletins. This was normally followed by live crosses to football grounds for the latest, then follow ups by insiders in the football know, before a quick story on the national political upheaval, and then, only if there was enough time, squeezing in a few seconds about alien life being discovered on Mars, before making sure there was enough time left for sport - to cover this weekend's matches.

We think the racing industry really needs to lift its game and learn from the experts at the AFL as to how to get overblown nightly coverage of every story in racing.

Maybe the media might catch onto racing's deepest, darkest secret ?

Wild Wednesday

It makes the footballer's Mad Monday antics look like a Sunday church picnic. A Sunday church picnic with dip that has been in the sun for too long and giant killer ants.

Following long, hard, grueling Cups campaigns, Wild Wednesday is when the horses let loose at the end of the season on the Wednesday after the Melbourne Cup.

They are free to roam in their paddocks for the first time in months. Free from the vigorous daily training regime. Free from having to get up at the crack of dawn and listen to crappy commercial breakfast radio shows. Free from having to be nice to young upstart jockeys who think they are going to be the next big thing.

Often end of season Cups runners can be seen on Wild Wednesday, roaming in wild packs, as part of the natural herd mentality. Jumping into a maxi float down to the local for a solid session at the bar. Which usually kicks off with a very, very long list of A Horse Walks Into A Bar jokes.

Letting down their manes at the end of a long spring campaign it is often traditional to come in fancy dress. Arab princes are always a popular look. As is any member of the Royal family. Parading and cross dressing in left over Fashions On the Field outfits always gets a big belly laugh. Though the two horses back and front in the one jockey costume is starting to look a little tacky and dated these days.

Needless to say, stallions being stallions, geldings being geldings and rigs being well, we are not quite sure what, the situation very quickly deteriorates and the inner footballer that resides inside every well behaved racehorse starts to come out and they begin to act like wild animals on heat.

Running amuck, they have been known to set the tails of their stable mates on fire.

As the day turns into night, hired miniature horses perform to whinnies and neighs of drunken approval. Horse shoes are flung over power lines and left dangling.

Recently released CCTV footage from last year appears to capture several high profile names answering calls of nature in public - without an elderly male attendant in sight to scoop it up with a shovel and pan afterwards.

Actually. Scrap that.

Horses are much better behaved than AFL footballers. There is no competition.

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