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The Wargeilah Handicap
by [?]

Wargeilah town is very small,
There’s no cathedral nor a club,
In fact the township, all in all,
Is just one unpretentious pub;
And there, from all the stations round,
The local sportsmen can be found.

The sportsmen of Wargeilah side
Are very few but very fit:
There’s scarcely any sport been tried
But what they held their own at it
In fact, to search their records o’er,
They held their own and something more.

‘Twas round about Wargeilah town
An English new-chum did infest:
He used to wander up and down
In baggy English breeches drest —
His mental aspect seemed to be
Just stolid self-sufficiency.

The local sportsmen vainly sought
His tranquil calm to counteract,
By urging that he should be brought
Within the Noxious Creatures Act.
‘Nay, harm him not,’ said one more wise,
‘He is a blessing in disguise!

‘You see, he wants to buy a horse,
To ride, and hunt, and steeplechase,
And carry ladies, too, of course,
And pull a cart and win a race.
Good gracious! he must be a flat
To think he’ll get a horse like that!

‘But since he has so little sense
And such a lot of cash to burn,
We’ll sell him some experience
By which alone a fool can learn.
Suppose we let him have The Trap
To win Wargeilah Handicap!’

And here, I must explain to you
That, round about Wargeilah run,
There lived a very aged screw
Whose days of brilliancy were done:
A grand old warrior in his prime —
But age will beat us all in time.

A trooper’s horse in seasons past
He did his share to keep the peace,
But took to falling, and at last
Was cast for age from the Police.
A publican at Conroy’s Gap
Then bought and christened him The Trap.

When grass was good, and horses dear,
He changed his owner now and then
At prices ranging somewhere near
The neighbourhood of two pound ten:
And manfully he earned his keep
By yarding cows and ration sheep.

They brought him in from off the grass
And fed and groomed the old horse up;
His coat began to shine like glass —
You’d think he’d win the Melbourne Cup.
And when they’d got him fat and flash
They asked the new-chum — fifty — cash!

And when he said the price was high,
Their indignation knew no bounds.
They said, ‘It’s seldom you can buy
A horse like that for fifty pounds!
We’ll refund twenty if The Trap
Should fail to win the handicap!’

The deed was done, the price was paid,
The new-chum put the horse in train:
The local sports were much afraid
That he would sad experience gain,
By racing with some shearer’s hack,
Who’d beat him half-way round the track.

So, on this guileless English spark
They did most fervently impress
That he must keep the matter dark,
And not let any person guess
That he was purchasing The Trap
To win Wargeilah Handicap.

They spoke of ‘spielers from The Bland’,
And ‘champions from the Castlereagh’,
And gave the youth to understand
That all of these would stop away,
And spoil the race, if they should hear
That they had got The Trap to fear.

‘Keep dark! They’ll muster thick as flies
When once the news gets sent around
We’re giving such a splendid prize —
A Snowdon horse worth fifty pound!
They’ll come right in from Dandaloo,
And find — that it’s a gift to you!’