There was a time when entertainment after the last came from your cashed-up mate.
He’d be the one tap dancing, cash in hand, while the rest of us looked for dropped coins and winning tickets discarded in haste.
Times have changed.
It’s not a feature day now without a superstar belting out his or her favourite tunes, minutes after the stragglers have been sent back to their stables.
What a treat last weekend. The legendary Daryl Braithwaite, in full voice at the Doomben 200 metre mark.
They tell me he went over a treat. I was busy near a monitor trying to get out in Perth so couldn’t join the great man on stage, but I could hear him in the distance.
“That’s the way it’s gonna be, little darlin’…’
Yep, the most famous ‘Horses’ since Phap Lap and crew were parading at Flemington.
One of the best racecourse concerts I’ve seen, through bleary eyes, was in Cairns, a few furlongs ago.
It was Cairns Cup day. Quite possibly the greatest consumption of Bundy rum over a 24 hour period in the southern hemisphere.
We were at a footy reunion, dressed sharply, and receiving golden tips from a mate working for a local bookie.
Our deal was that the mail would continue, as long as we loaded up on his counterparts.
It was in this winning environment, that someone mentioned the after-race entertainment.
In the best bit of scheduling since Nikki Webster was sent dangling over the Olympic stadium, local organisers had enticed The Angels to head north.
It’s doubtful if Doc and his mates would have had more loyal fans than those who’d trekked across the state’s far north, many of whom would be sleeping in swags that night.
It’s also doubtful that organisers had painted a true picture of where the ageing Aussie rockers would be strutting their stuff.
The stage was plonked in a swampy paddock, near the top of the straight. This proved difficult for many of the raceday patrons, who by now were without shoes.
It was loud enough to keep the crocs at bay, but not the mozzies, who created a new blood-borne disease based entirely on rum.
We’ve come a long way since then. Race day entertainment is a vital part of getting young people to the track. What better place to boogie, than the wonderful spaces stretched across our top tracks.
After Our Ivanhowe wins the Doomben Cup this afternoon, a performer by the name of Mashd Kutcher will be doing his thing. The teenagers at home tell me he’s top shelf. Actually, they used a term I didn’t understand, but they seemed excited.
There’s a whisper Elvis has been booked for Stradbroke Day. I may or may not be making that up. Either way, it will be better than your tap dancing mate.