The Confidential Jockey [poem by Francis Kenna]

[Editor: This poem by Francis Kenna was published in The Bulletin Reciter, 1901.]

The Confidential Jockey.

No, I would n’t sell ’er. Mister.
Wot ’s the good of talkin’ rot!
She ’s the mare, is dat dere neddy,
Dat ’as brought me all I got.

I was ridin’ den for Bostock
(Confidential boy, you know) —
Leery bloke he was, old Bostock,
And he knowed a t’ing or so.

He ’d a stable full of good ’uns,
And a bloke ’ud never know
Which of ’em he meant to stiffen,
Or on which ’is money ’d go.

Sometimes I ’d be on de winner,
Sometimes would n’t ’ave a place;
And I ’d never know my dooty
Until jist before de race;

Jist before de field was ready,
Mister Bostock ’e would come.
And he ’d walk around de neddy,
And’e’d “’ah!” and “’aw!” and “’um !”

And he’d feel about de shoulder,
And de fetlock and de knee,
And he ’d tink de matter over
Till at last ’e ’d say to me :

“Wot you tink about ’im, Brickey?
You ’re de bloke dat orter know.”
And I’d answer: “Mister Bostock,
We can only ’ave a go.”

“Why,” he ’d say, “dey ’ve ’andicapped ’im
Till he ’as n’t got a show !”
Den he ’d walk away disgusted,
And I ’d know de cake was dough.

Or he’d say: “She’s worth a ticket,”
With a leery kind er grin,
And I ’d know ’is stuff was on ’er,
And I ’d got to try and win.

Well, we had a mare in trainin’
Dat I always used to ride;
And I knew she was a clinker,
Though she never had been tried ;

So my bit ’ud go upon ’er.
But I ’d always drop de same.
Till I used to t’ink and wonder
“Wot de ’ell ’s ’is little game?”

Till it struck me all a sudden —
Like a dagger in me ’eart,
“He’s a-waitin’ somethink ’andsome,
And de Melbin Cup ’s ’is dart.”

So I ’eld me tongue, and bli-me !
When de weights was out I saw
Dat I ’ad de biggest monte
Dat I ever ’ad before.

Den I socked me bit upon ’er —
Ev’ry tray-bit I could bring;
Popped me watch, and made de missus
Go and pawn ’er weddin’ ring. .

Day and night she cried about it,
But I always used to say —
“It’s the biggest bloomin’ monte
Dat ’as ever come our way.”

Well, when all was fair and ready,
I was sittin’ like a ghost,
Waitin’ till de boss ’ud come and
Let me git ’er to de post.

When de field wos doin’ gallops
Mr. Bostock out ’e comes,
And ’e walks around about ’er.
And ’e “’ums!” and “’aws!” and “’ums !”

And ’e walks around about ’er,
And ’e walks around again . . .
And, so ’elp me God ! ’e tells me :
“Brickey, she can never win !”

“Never win! Yer mean to tell me
Dat,” I sez. “Yer bloomin’ cow,
Don’t you make no error ’bout it,
She ’s a cutter for it now.”

And she was a daisy cutter,
For I rid and lay in wait ;
And I took ’em round de turnin’,
And I led ’em up de straight.

And I scoots along de fences,
And a-past de post we flies,
And I sits ’er all a-tremble.
With de tear-drops in me eyes.

Yes, I ’m doin’ pretty middlin’,
And I ’m layin’ up de gonce . . .
Dat ole bloke about de stables?
Dat was Mr. Bostock once !

Francis Kenna.

A.G. Stephens (editor). The Bulletin Reciter: A Collection of Verses for Recitation from “The Bulletin” [1880-1901], The Bulletin Newspaper Company, Sydney, 1902 [first published 1901], pages 179-183

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