The autumn metaphor usually involves colours but millions look past the falling leaves to the colours of the jockeys in the Australian turf industry’s famous race for two-year-old, the Golden Slipper. Ten years ago in April 1996, the Classifieds had their own race day. Classie Corner called for readers to nominate the best old fridges and lined them up in what must be one of the best race fields in history …
THE weather’s fine and the track’s fast for the race of the year, the Great Fridge Free for All.
The finest fridges on the Sunshine Coast have been nominated for this weight-for-age classic. The form guide for the finalists:
Westinghouse, purchased Nambour 1968, owned and trained by Pauline Wilson of Witta, always starts up but only used for Christmas-New Year period, still has original instructions and warranty card.
Pope Norge, purchased Sydney 1962, owned and trained by Ron Miller (who did not put his address on his fax), still used as a main fridge, only repairs in 34 years have been door seal and thermostat control switch.
His Master’s Voice, purchased secondhand in 1950, owned and trained by Graeme Ellis of Yaroomba, still purrs along as quietly as it did 46 years ago.
Defender, purchased 1966 when 17 years old, owned and trained by Joan Bryers of Nambour, still goes like a charm.
Kelvinator Foodarama, purchased about 40 years ago, owned and trained by David and Claire Carney of Landsborough, still meets family’s needs but requires defrosting every second or third week.
The red light’s flashing and the runners are in their stalls.
HMV has the inside draw with Westinghouse in barriers two to five, Foodarama in six, Norge in seven and Defender at the outside.
The starter’s on his stand and they’re off.
Foodarama jumps well and sets up a handy break ahead of HMV and Norge on the inside of Westinghouse with Defender missing the start.
Foodarama’s really singing out front but is under pressure from HMV with that light weight and the black and white colours.
Oops, there’s trouble in the field. Waterhouse, sorry, Westinghouse has lost a seal and could be out of the race.
The field’s heading to the blackout side of the track where’s there’s a lot of water dripping. And there’s one down. It’s Norge.
So with Norge and Westinghouse out of the race, Foodarama and HMV are settling down to fight it out.
They’re shoulder to shoulder on the turn into the straight. HMV’s running hot and Foodarama gets a crack with the cord. There’s only a butter drawer between them.
Wait, here comes Defender with a sizzling run. And Defender has swamped them to win the cup.
Joan is delighted with the mop-up. Defender’s a true champion, purchased for 65 pounds, even after having 17 years of racing.
By Icebox out of Necessity and bred in the United States by the International Harvester Company, Defender has been trained in two homes for its current owner but has been in the same spot for the past 30-odd years.
The secret to success could be that defrost each week. Joan’s prize, a four-line classified, will be in the post. Congratulations Joan and thanks to all.
The only record I had of this piece was a tattered clipping, which wouldn’t scan for OCR. Most of my electronic archives disappeared in a vandalistic trashing at one of my former workplaces (see earlier entry). Punching in text must be one of the world’s worst jobs. That has taken out some of the joy from this flashback. By the way, the 2006 Slipper was run yesterday, and I picked the winner. Isn’t life great. Feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.