Category: Archie Butterfly

Great Quotes From a Great Man – The Immortal Words of Dr Geoff Chapman, Well-Known Dubbo Sportsman – Replete With a Cheap Shot From Archie About Darwin, 27 August 1962 – Ka Mate! Ka Mate! KA ORA!

Wallabies' Tour Debut Victory Over Poverty Bay - Gisborne Photo ...

Hands like feet – no wonder the Doc became a racehorse trainer. Note the early adoption of the head gear long before it was fashionable. He was always smart the Doc – that’s why he’s still got his marbles, while many of his poor team mates languish in dementia wards

Having (Malcolm) Johnson is better than having a Leprechaun on your back these daysTalking about Miracle Mal taking the ride on Myocard in the 1987 Australian Guineas. Miracle misjudged the pace, got too far back and slaughtered it.

I reckon I will get the sack after thatMiracle Mal telling it like it was after the race. He did.

Shane Dye sold Mark de Montfort the best dummy of all time, but Myocard came through with Gasnier-like accelerationthe Doc making his best effort to explain away his horse Imprimatur’s jockey Dye giving his better fancied stablemate Myocard a dream run out of a hopeless pocket on the turn in the 1987 AJC Derby. Myocard.

F**k me!the Doc’s reply when asked after Myocard’s win in the BMW as a 3YO if he was the best horse of his age in Australia. Mycocard won the Derby the next weekend too.

Since the Brisbane carnival I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that this colt is a top horsethe Doc on Myocard again, after it blew the later Cox Plate quinella of Our Waverley Star and Bonecrusher away in the Rawson Stakes (now the Ranvet).

Exhaustionthe Doc’s reply when asked what would keep 1990 AJC Derby winner Dr Grace out of the Sydney Cup

(Editor’s note: Dr Grace beat a pretty handy horse that day. His name was Zabeel).

I’m not talking through my kick, but that was the hottest thing I’ve ever seenDr Geoff to the Chief Steward, 1982, after Steve ‘Beaver’ Schofield found more trouble than Burke and Wills aboard the Doc’s heavily backed 2yo in a race at Hawkesbury

It’s the hottest f**king thing I’ve ever seenthe Doc to Schofield in the mounting yard, after being warned by the Chief Steward about his intemperate language

Don’t talk to me you little f**king thief – the Doc to Schofield when he tried to justify his ride by claiming bad luck

He was carrying on like a mad narkBeaver on the Doc

Now that’s the winning postDr Geoff’s instructions to US Hall of Famer Willie Shoemaker, having his first Australian ride on Dr Grace in the 1989 Caulfield Cup

I was born bigger than he is nowRoy Higgins on the 4 ft 11″ Shoemaker 


They say seven-letter numbers are lucky. I read it in a book. The author quoted Eclipse and Man O’ War, and of course there’s Phar Lap and Gunsynd …. then along comes a horse like Secretariat and buggers the systemThe Doc debunking myths

Most of the leading trainers are the best salesmen. They can talk blokes with millions onto parting with their money for a horse. My skills as a salesman are very, very limited – the Doc talking about premierships, and diplomacy

Homeostatic Mechanisms – the Doc when asked why his then 2-year-old Groucho was sporting an unclipped winter coat.

They might look like Yaks, but it’s better for the horse. And it gets us a better price –  the Doc giving us a little tip on how to extract value from a Waterhouse bookie board

Maybe this filly is a little skinny, but you don’t see fat athletes do you?the Doc talking about his 2yo filly Success, which didn’t have much. He’d obviously never been in the stands to watch a Sumo match. And turned a blind eye to the physique of Wallaby prop Chris ‘Buddha’ Handy

They’re a sophisticated little groupthe Doc describing the racehorse nobbling outfit of the 70’s known as the fence jumpers, and suggesting some may have once ridden horses

I’m not going to let the crims winthe fence jumpers again

I’m told that an ice dart is fired into lions, and the substance (a go-slow) releases into their system when it meltsthe Doc when asked how the fence jumpers might have breached his stable security to dope one of his horses

A cancer in racing, who over the years have been directly linked to corruption in our sportthe Doc gives his opinion of bookmakers, and argues for tote only betting

I can only go broke, and I’ve been that way beforethe Doc in 1973, announcing that he was giving up doctoring to become a full-time horse trainer

I’ve done a Monkey cold!the Doc complaining to Stewards about losing his $400 acceptance money and $55 riders fee when one of his horses was scratched behind the barrier, much to his chagrin

You’re not getting mine back!Kiwi jockey Nigel Tiley, the rider of the scratched horse, after the Stewards gave in and refunded the Doc’s money

But then you are a New Zealanderthe Doc’s immortal reply

The dangerous horse is the one we all think is 100% sound, who puts his hoof in a hole on a bad track and breaks his leg. To prevent this happening we should ban racing altogether!Dr Geoff in 1988, chiming into the debate about the use of steroids in racing (he was for the affirmative), and giving the animal activists a backhander for fun

If course it does! That’s why we all want them!the Doc responding to overseas research findings that anabolic steroids had a positive effect to racehorse’s performance

Other than minority animal activist groups – who don’t bet – it’s as meaningless a statement as saying we shouldn’t vaccinate babies the Doc replying to criticisms about steroid use by animal activists, and predicting the rise of the anti-vax movement 30 years before it began

Anabolics have been used in this country for 30 years! Surely that’s a long enough for the breeding side effectsthe Doc responding to criticisms about the alleged effect of steroids on fertility, and telling us the secret of T.J. Smith’s success long before Dr Percy Sykes methods imported from the US and Europe became common knowledge

Thirty generations of horses have had them, and they still breed like rabbitsas above

Last year there were about 30 000 live foals … one would hope it (steroid use) would have sterilised a few of them, but it appears to be having the opposite effecttalking about steroids still, but the Doc’s clearly dirty about losing a plunge

Such a statement borders on pure comedy …. provided the needle is sharp it wouldn’t induce any more pain than a fly biteDr Geoff responding to the steroid critics, while glossing over the motivations of scientists for the invention of Mortein

March Fly Warning for Northern Goldfields | Triple M

There will be a huge increase in racehorse wastage with the deletion of anabolicsthe Doc offering his opinion, one with which I personally disagree

To suggest that anabolic steroids have become a substitute for good husbandry, optimal feeding and training techniques is the statement of a foolthe Doc addressing the somewhat illogical views of some ignoramuses that allowing every trainer to use the roids would somehow create a hierarchy of cheats.

To borrow from Jack Gibson, “Those who were mugs under the old rule will be mugs under any rule”the Doc telling it like it is, and displaying his lifelong characteristic of not lacking confidence in his own ability. He was never any mug.

The well known Dubbo sportsmanBert Lillye’s early assessment of the Doc. Old Bert wasn’t called the doyen of racing writers for nothing.



My wife Maggie always said she wanted to shag me more than Sir Richie. She lied. 

Editor’s note – The Doc’s missed kicks in THAT Bledisloe decider must have been the wind I reckon. The Kiwi’s probably hired the Russians to put a robot in a cloud and shift the gale just as the Doc’s boot was about to connect with the ball. Twice. Bloody communists – those reds in the air as well as under your bed, and in your head.

I almost felt bad about rubbing this one in, but then I remembered both Dr Geoff’s retort to jockey Tiley and the fact that I have dual Aussie/Kiwi citizenship, despite being born and raised in Geebung. Amazing what you can achieve when you’re working for a foreign PM and the wife needs the Government family supplement benefits to feed the kids after you’ve had a bad payday on the punt. isn’t it?

The one everyone forgets though is the Darwin Test Match win the Doc cost us through ill-discipline in the ruck.

Here, let me remind you.

Ka-mate Ka-Mate!

Love you Doc.


Some Maudlin Poetry Cos I’m Feeling Sad About Losing My Dad

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Fry

(Footnote – anyone remember the old Chermside Pool?)

If You Don’t Think Central Queensland Racing is Rotten, Then Watch This – And Think Again

If this race isn’t red hot, then I’m not here.

Let me talk you through it.

We’re looking at Race 2 at Rockhampton yesterday.

The $2.05 favourite is Oswana, the horse in the yellow with red cap, ridden by Elyce Smith for her brother Tom.

It’s trying.

Everything else is trying to get it beaten, or at least 3 jockeys – and maybe 4 – are.

Here is where the field is shortly after they round the turn and enter the straight.


Note particularly where Les Tilley, Zoe White and Stephanie Lacy are.

Then look what happens next.

Lacy steers her mount out.

Tilley steers his in.

They open up a gap for White.


Lacy and Tilley give Beau Appo (in the purple, white cap) the Malachi crunch.

But look where they are looking.

Lacy is looking at the favourite.

Tilley is looking at horse on the rail with the white cap and pink pom pom.

And what is Zoe White doing?

She’s looking at the horse on the inside with the pom-pom too.

And steering her own horse sideways, just like Lacy.

But shouldn’t she be looking straight ahead and shooting the gap?


Tilley straightens his mount up and decks the fave.

He nearly tips Elyce Smith over.

Now Appo is looking over at the fave.

White’s made sure she’s well clear.


Elyce Smith gets the fave balanced again, but she’s lost the vital length, and through no fault of her own.

Tilley is looking over at pom-pom again.

Lacy starts steering hers out once more.

Pom-pom’s jockey Jason Taylor – now that’s a surprise – begins to angle over the second horse’s heels, and why wouldn’t he?

It’s like he’s George Moore and he’s blown the whistle.


Taylor and pom-pom get through.

White’s walker is gone.

Tilley’s camel has done its job and is fading out.

Appo is not interested.

Lacy’s not either.

Elyce Smith is, but the check has cost her the race.


Taylor and pom-pom – whose real name is Beach Road – win.

Poor young Elyce Smith, her brother, and favourite punters get nutted.

Lacy gets interested again after letting pom-pom out, and starts riding her mount again, and it finishes third.

Integrity and the sport of racing run last.


He Was Our Bread, and our Water, and Our Rod and Our Staff and Our Sun – And Now He’s Our Moon – My Dad Les – Oh God I Miss Him


My Dad got interred today.

In the Colombarium at St Augustines on Racecourse Road, just a couple of hundred metres down the street from Eagle Farm.

He’s with Mum now, and his parents, and his grandparents, and theirs.

It will make him happy.

After all that pain Dad suffered while he fought the cancerous beast so he could stay with us just a day longer, and then a day again, he deserves it.

Dad loved his family.

We loved him too, more than it’s possible to put into words.

God I miss him.

We all do.

What you at the top is a photo of the moon tonight. I can’t use a camera, so I probably haven’t shown it in its best light, but it’s incredible.

So were you Dad.

The grandkids say hello, and the great-grandkids want to know where you are, and what you’re doing.

Shining I said, look, and pointed to the moon,

You used to be our sun mate, but now you’re their moon, and you always will be. They will look up at it every night, and they will think of you, and they will tell their kids about it, and they’ll tell theirs. You will always be alive in our hearts.

Shine on Dad, shine.

Tell Mum I love her.

See you one day, but hopefully not too soon.

I love you Dad.

I love you.




An Alternative Take on the Josh Fleming Being Pushed Out of Brisbane Thing

Bush racecaller Josh Fleming to achieve his childhood dream at ...

I am amazed at the amount there are who want to talk to me about the Josh Fleming, David Fowler thing. It’s quite incredible how much upset it’s caused.

I’m talking of course about Sky Channel’s plan to demote Fleming from his role as Queensland’s principal caller, and replace him with Fowler, seemingly  because the BRC have demanded that David Fowler call its races as an unwritten condition of the new race broadcast deal under which Sky get bestowed with exclusive rights to screen the Brisbane races.

Racing people are really, really upset about the whole thing.

Not that Fowler has got the job. No-one really has a problem with David, he’s just like a couple of flecks of lint on the back of your suit, as long as you don’t see him or it they don’t bother you; and while he’s not a great caller, he’s adequate.

No, it’s not him, it’s the treatment that’s been dished out to Josh Fleming, who most – including me – believe has been really, really hard done by, and for no explicable reason other than that for reasons known only to the club itself, the BRC want David Fowler, or at least that’s what everyone thinks.

I’m not so sure.

What has Josh Fleming done wrong?

Nothing that’s readily apparent. He’s a good caller and getting better, he always gives a great plug to the club and the sport during his calls, he’s universally respected by his peers, liked and admired by punters and those in the industry, he’s polite, always punctual, never takes sickies, and is staunch and fiercely loyal to his employer.

It’s hardly a resume for a demotion is it?

I will throw a curve ball into the diamond.

From the BRC side I don’t think this is about David Fowler at all.

I think it’s something that Josh Fleming did, that he doesn’t even realise or remember.

It happened one Saturday about three or four months ago, before COVID-19 closed down the races. I can’t remember the track, and I can’t remember the meeting or the date, but I distinctly recall the incident.

For some reason on this day, the broadcast box had been moved, clearly without notice to Josh Fleming, and clearly by the BRC.  As a result of the box shift, Fleming found himself placed at a really difficult angle, some 20 or 30 minutes prior to the winning post, which made it really hard for him to call the finishes.

He did it for the first few races, but then frustration must have got the better of him, for as they were heading toward the finish in a race Fleming gave a gasp and said something like “Well I don’t know who won this or how I’m supposed to know, because someone has moved this broadcast box to a really stupid position”.

I heard at the time that the BRC has some special guest or other in the Chairman’s room that day, and that some high-ranking people in the club felt embarrassed and became most aggrieved about Fleming’s utterings, but I just locked it in and moved on without paying a great attention to the thing.

Now it is all starting to make sense.

I don’t reckon it’s Fowler, I reckon it’s that.

If anyone knows Josh Fleming – I don’t,personally – then just put that to him and see what he says, will you.

I suspect you will see his eyes go wide and his face go white.

It’d be a pretty petty and ridiculous reason for a club to tell a broadcaster they won’t have a bloke.

But hey, this is Queensland.

Anything goes.

Told You We Were Mandrake the Magician – Archie Calls the Changing of the Guard at Harness Racing Australia Four Weeks Early, and From 4000 Miles Away

We’re like Mandrake the Magician, we make magic happen.

Two days ago we published a story asking where the hell Harness Racing Australia chief Andrew Kelly had gone, and lo and behold and would you believe it, the very next day in lobs Kelly to the office after he’d been missing in action for months.

There’s a whole lot more to it than meets the eye we are told, and HRA Chairman Mike Taranto’s name has been bandied about in more than a couple of speculative theories about Kelly’s disappearing and then returning.

There is no corroboration of anything though, so in the main we will just say “Welcome back Andy, I don’t know for how long”, and leave it at that.

One thing is for certain.

The battleship HRA is not a unified and happy ship just right now, not in the slightest.

Something’s gotta give, and we’re sure it will, and before too long too.

Watch this space.

We published this story about the unrest at Harness Racing Australia a month ago, and told you that something had to give, and that it would.

In the story we pointed the bone at Chairman Mike Taranto, and nominated him as the one who was likely to exit stage left, and advised you to watch this space.

Well now it’s filled.

Mike Taranto resigned today, and left the building without notice.

You always hear it here first.



How to Make a Denis Doping Drench – The Special Ingredients Gram by Gram, With Instructions (For Educational Purposes Only)



Ever wondered how to make a Denis style special drench?

It’s as easy as a quick trip to Woolies, thirty seconds on the scales, a minute stirring the bucket, and a minute and a half pouring down your horse’s nose.

Here is the magic recipe.

160 grams Brown Sugar

160 grams Bicarbonate of Soda*

12 grams Tumeric

18 grams Lemon Eno Powder

Total cost – $2.40

Denis price – $20.00

* you can use up to 500g of bicarbonate of soda, but any more than 160g and you’re likely to throw up a TCO2 positive if you get pre-race tested. 160g will keep you under 35.


Mix together with water in bucket.

Pour down horse’s nose two hours before race using clear tube, or a piece of garden hose if you haven’t got one handy.

Before you do that though, you need to give it a bleeder shot approximately 7-8 hours before race time, fluid colour pee yellow.

If you want to get all fancy, you can go the whole hog and give it the traffic light treatment, which involves one extra needle, fluid colour red.

You can work that one out for yourself.

I can’t give you everything, because you might start trying it at home, and we can’t have that. You might get your name splashed all over the papers, and it would embarrass your mother in front of her friends.


And it’s as easy as that.

All you have to do is get away with it.

You might for a while, but all good things come to an end, and most bad things do too, and whole lot quicker.


That Pretty Jewellery That Maggie Creates, Makes and Sells is Pretty Hot Isn’t It?

My gorgeous trouble and strife creates and makes this jewellery.

Keep your eyes above the throat, and on the necklace and the earrings you buggers.

She does a whole lot more too.

Maggie, not the model.

Or this one either.

Sliced Pineapple Rings image 0

Buy some for yourself or the missus here if you want to get her all thorny, pineapple.

They will put six lengths on your sex life, guaranteed.

Trust me, I know.

Three’s not a crowd.

And you’re never too old when you’re wearing a pair of Maggie’s earrings, or staring at them on both sides underneath you.

These rainforest artist enclaves might only have one pub and TAB, but they are damn good for a bloke’s health, and they keep the girls pretty fit and happy too.

Don’t you worry about that.


Scrabble Tiles  wooden image 0

We Are Not Even at the Two Furlong Pole, and the LNP are Cactus – A House Divided Upon Itself Cannot Stand – Told You So – Now Just Get On


What a lot of people don’t know about me is that in my twenties, thirties and even up to my early forties my profession was politics.

I worked as a union official, but most people on the left of the Labor party do. It’s not a cover, just a day job to pay the bills why you do the business, and a career path for those who wanna plonk their arse in the House of Broken Dreams.’

I never did, and that’s why my contemporaries like Kate Jones, Stephen Miles (and absolute lightweight) and Mick De Brenni (the next Premier in waiting) are where they are today, and I’m sitting here writing about racing.

They love what they do, but I love what I do more. And happiness is the key to living a rich and fulfilled life isn’t it? That and having the time to spend with you kids and grandkids, instead of wasting it doing sweet fuck all and thinking you are important in a place full of dickheads, duds and low brow schemers.

Just because I’m out of the game doesn’t mean I’ve lost my touch though, so when every bugger in town started telling me a few months ago that the ALP in Queensland were cactus, I just smiled at them and asked if they’d give me 6-4 about Labor holding power at the next election.

Some of them even did.

Amateurs and fools.

The LNP is imploding, and turning in on itself.

Their leader Deb Frecklington, a pink polo shirt and chinos wearing lightweight with old green (National Party) blood turned blue, and childhood mate of Courier Mail racing ‘editor’ Nathan Exelby, is going off her head at the LNP President, a bloke named Wheelbarrow Something, who no-outside of party HQ has ever heard of, and blaming him for the diabolical and utterly deadly poll swabs she’s throwing.

Frecklington is by all reports a nice bird – if you like the walk over a bloke having an epileptic fit in the gutter that you assume is just a dirty drunk, and root like a rattlesnake at B&S balls as a late teen then turn into a morals campaigner types, which I don’t – but she is quite possibly the worst Queensland opposition leader since Ed Casey, and that’s a real low bar.

There are still a few months to go until the election, but Annastacia’s home and she’s going to win by the length of the straight.

It doesn’t matter now if the desperate LNP caucus do Deb, because they’ve got no-one to replace her.

Tim Mander and David Crisafulli are the only real contenders, which means if Frecklington gets executed before the election – which is likely – the punters are going to have a choice between the nice middle aged lady they know (Anna), or one of either a former radio newsreader in Townsville who looks and acts like a muppet, or a bible-bashing Baptist former rugby league ref who everyone hated then, and don’t like any more now.

Labor are the greatest certainties to win the next election since Winx was to win Horse of the Year after her fourth Cox Plate. They are nowhere near as good as the great mare, but they are even better things.

Sportsbet have the ALP at $2.20 to win at the moment.

They are off their heads.

Just get on.


It Must Run in the Family -Tom Waterhouse Smashes the Gambling Advertising Laws into a Million Pieces Too


This is the NSW law relating to third party advertising on behalf of wagering operators.

This is a message that Tom Waterhouse sent within the past 48 hours to each of the 80 000 people that he claims subscribe to his tipping service (the majority are not paying customers, but have merely fallen for the old marketing ruse of signing up for free for a limited number of free bets each day, and have provided Tom with their contact details and a small printed privacy waiver so that he may use them).


Tom Waterhouse is a third party.

He has communicated and published a prohibited gambling advertisement on behalf of

It is a prohibited advertisement because it contains an inducement for punters to join the wagering provider, that inducement being 5 bet boosts.

In order to prove that Tom Waterhouse has broken the law, NSW officials from the Office of Liquor and Gaming need to establish that the man coloquially known as Tom.Com has either

(a) entered into an agreement to communicate or publish the advertisement; or

(b) published or communicated the advertisement for a benefit.

This should not prove too a difficult task, but it might take a little longer than usual, because I vaguely suspect other investigative parties from outfits like ASIC may wish to join this party too.


Oh, it’s a good story, one definitely worth reading.

Stay tuned sportsfans, and watch this space.