I don’t read the Daily Terror much these days as there is enough horror looking in the bathroom mirror each morning without having to contend with nut crushers like “What woman in their 20s need to get over”. But I was so glad I picked up the slag rag in the local coffee shop today. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t have caught the wonderful Kenny Callander piece about the trough they put on to promote the joke called the Theatre of the Horse at the revamped Randwick Racecourse.
Kenny, the father of Richie the Beanbag who fills the screen on TVN wrote: “Perhaps I am missing something, but how can the Australian Turf Club spend a rumoured $500K on members of the so-called ‘in’ crowd at yet another launch on Thursday night when it is supposed to be cash strapped.” You don’t get dealt dud cards by Ken C. He admits that if he hadn’t had a conflicting engagement he would have been there with bells on and drowning in giggle juice with 550 other clowns who had no doubt had either bare-arsed on Big Brother or were Sophie Mirabella‘s wedding planner.
At a crack under a grand a head it must have been some spread and no doubt Australia is buzzing now about the Theatre of the Horse. Obviously patrons were not served ‘Devils on Horseback‘ washed down with Reschs golden throat charmers but more your high-end fare. But I wanted to know more about it so I typed into Google – “Flash party at Randwick on Thursday night”. Spending half a million in cold harry nash you’d want the dailies to spruik big time however the Terror was the only major daily newspaper that seemed to bother with a spray about the shindig albeit in their Entertainment Section – you see that’s what it is all about folks – it’s entertainment!
“Actress Rachel Griffiths spearheaded a stellar guest list which also included Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Hospitality and Racing and Arts George Souris, Arrowfield’s John Messara along with Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s daughters Frances and Bridget. Guests arrived at the newly finished Theatre of the Horse, an outdoor arena modeled on something similar at Royal Ascot, at dusk – here they downed Moet champagne while watching a 10-minute equine-themed performance by composer Anton Koch and creative director Ignatious Jones which commemorated the champions of the turf.”
Look Koch and Jones are two of my favourite pairings and when it comes to equine themed entertainment they are without par. They are golden. They are the Zager and Evans of the Hoofenanny. My question is why this equine extravaganza was wasted on the these Primo Donnas and Kevin Kebabs who only come out of the cave when the carnivals are on? Why wasn’t it run past the 15,000 paying culture starved punters last Saturday who had parted with their gold to watch the Spring Champion Stakes at Headquarters? No! No way. This gold was for really important people like Tommy the Tooth Waterhorse and his consort Hoda. Who possibly watched the ATC committee members dressed in horse costumes as Phar Lap, Tulloch, Kingston Town, Gunsynd, Octagonal and Black Caviar dancing to a piece of pure Koch.
But then these treasures were treated to a banquet dinner, dubbed the ‘Royal Feast’, tucking into citrus-scented tuna tartare and braised wagyu short rib. Apparently Tooth and Co then moved to Level Two to be entertained further post-Koch, in three precincts – a dance floor, a circus with acts including snake charmers, contortionists and burlesque dancers and a third called The Spring Carnival (possibly an empty space).
The Terror’s article then refers to another one of the freeloaders, walking coat-hanger, Nicole Trunfio who is allegedly an avid racegoer. Nic says she loves going to the races because, “It is a nice reason to get dressed up, drink some champagne and see all the fashion.” Perhaps one should tap Nic and tell her that it’s actually about horses not clothes horses but why bother she is probably right.
So that’s it. The snake charmers at the ATC believe if you feed the media and hobble to the top end of town then that’s how you build the business. So of course as Kenny Callander points out a couple of bookmakers who kick in a quart mill of taxes a year get the bum’s rush while glamour gets a guernsey every time. I’ll bet a meat pie to a mud crab mousseline that not one struggling bush jockey or busted arse trainer got a ticket to the Feast either!
Sadly the races these days are not really about horses anymore they’re about a few people and fashionable ideas. That’s a few hundred people full of fizz and citrus scented tuna tartare who proudly ponce around to Koch and Jones’s absurd equine fantasies.