Just when this year couldn’t get any worse.
Jacqui Lafai on what happened with Tim Lafai
This should go a way to explaining what happened on Good Friday, which ended with the Dragons centre seeking help in hospital and getting an AVO for punching walls in his home.
I imagine Tim isn’t the only player struggling with stress/mental health during the lockdown…. Hopefully he and his family can sort things out.
Another Might and Power Story
I thought it was lovely to see Paris Lane leave a floral tribute for his fellow Caulfield Cup winning friend at Living Legends.
Living Legends described Might And Power as the Lord Mayor of the retired horses on the farm – I can only guess ‘Bob’ didn’t react well to hearing Tom Melbourne was on the way.
Young Kyron McGuire has left us
For those of you who remember, Kyron was the young Collingwood superfan fighting a rare type of brain cancer DIPG, who got the thrill of a lifetime from the Pies before their Round 7 game against Port Adelaide last year, as a guest of the club with his dad Kyron Snr.
To cap it all off, the Pies won easily, and Kyron was chaired off the ground by his favourite player Adam Treloar, and skipper Scotty Pendlebury.
It was only this morning that Nathan Buckley gave him a mention in a Pies Facebook stream, as the young fella and his family were in a hard spot in Junior’s fight against DIPG.
It turned out the situation was worse than any of us knew, because only a few hours later, Kyron’s family announced he had passed away last night.
I’d like to think a positive thought at this tragic time, and it’s this photo by Dylan Burns, which will be the lasting memory we all have of young Kyron and his battle.
He never got a fair crack at life.
Michelle Payne and the Iranians
This is almost a week old, but I’m still going with it.
In her role as a trainer, Michelle Payne bought a Frankel colt (Lot 260) at the recent Easter Sales in Sydney for a lazy $500,000, although the person she partnered with would have to be one of the more obscure owners in Australian racing.
It isn’t Tony Mokbel or some assorted Sydney crime figure like Robert Trimbole… It’s Russian-based Iranian footballer Sardar Azmoun, who currently plays for Zenit St Petersburg.
That’s the most unusual football-horse racing connection I can recall since former Australian captain Craig Moore ended up in the ownership of Buffering.
Apparently the connection started when Azmoun watched Ride Like A Girl, then got in touch with Payne, and it’s obviously blossomed to the point that he had a spare $500,000 to buy the Frankel colt out of Thai Noon.
Although, it appears Persian Google believe Michelle to be a member of the great Pine family.
Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jack Brabham
With the recent passing of Sir Stirling, I suppose I can use this time to look at his connection to Australian motor racing, which mainly takes the form of our own Sir ‘Black Jack’ Brabham.
Oddly enough, despite racing in Formula One together for 7 seasons and both having great success, they only appeared on the podium together twice – The 1959 British Grand Prix (Brabham 1st, Moss 2nd) and the 1959 Italian Grand Prix (Moss 1st, Brabham 3rd), with both of them driving a Cooper-Climax.
Still, despite that odd quirk, the two drivers helped bring to an end the Italian & German domination of the formative years of Grand Prix racing, even though Mike Hawthorn beat Moss to become the first British World Champion in 1958.
Brabham and Moss did drive together several times, the first being the 1958 24 Hours of Le Mans driving an Aston Martin DBR1.
Racing in the leading S-3000 class, Moss began like a rocket and put up a 95-second lead on the field 2 hours into the race, lapping some 3 seconds per lap faster than the rival Ferraris.
However, that was where the fun stopped, thanks to the Aston Martin suffering a broken conrod in the engine at 6:10pm, ending their race, just before a massive storm hit Circuit de la Sarthe and brought the usual wet chaos.
18 years later, Brabham and Moss teamed up again to race in the 1976 Bathurst 1000 (The Hardie-Ferodo 1000 as it was), driving a Torana entered by the Esmonds Motors team from Queanbeyan.
Brabham was 50 and hadn’t driven competitively since 1971 (The year after he retired from Formula 1), and Moss hadn’t raced on a circuit since his career was ended at Goodwood in 1962.
Still, summing up Brabham’s ability, he qualified the Torana 10th on the grid, but in yet another piece of bad luck driving with Moss, the car’s gears jammed on the grid, leaving him stuck in 2nd and reverse, and the Triumph Dolomite of John Dellaca slammed into the back of the stricken Torana.
After several hours in the pits, the car reappeared to simply give the fans the sight of Stirling Moss driving at Mount Panorama, but it ended spectacularly when the engine blew at Griffins Bend with Moss behind the wheel, leaving a huge trail of smoke, plus a massive trail of oil on the track, thanks to Moss continuing to drive the mortally wounded car all the way back to the pits.
It was Moss’ only appearance in the Great Race, and for the record, an Australian/British driver combination in a Torana did eventually win the race – Bob Morris and John Fitzpatrick.