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 days – Talking 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 that – Miracle 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 acceleration – the 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 horse – the 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).
Exhaustion – the 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 seen – Dr 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 seen – the 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 nark – Beaver on the Doc
Now that’s the winning post – Dr 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 now – Roy 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 system – The 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 group – the 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 win – the 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 melts – the 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 sport – the Doc gives his opinion of bookmakers, and argues for tote only betting
I can only go broke, and I’ve been that way before – the 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 Zealander – the 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 effects – the 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 rabbits – as 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 effect – talking 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 bite – Dr Geoff responding to the steroid critics, while glossing over the motivations of scientists for the invention of Mortein
There will be a huge increase in racehorse wastage with the deletion of anabolics – the 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 fool – the 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 sportsman – Bert 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.
Love you Doc.