Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

How We Backed The Favourite - Poem by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

'Sure thing,' said the grocer; 'as far as I know, sir,
This horse, Peter Pan, is the safest of certs.'
'I see by the paper,' commanded the draper,
'He's tipped and he carries my whole weight of shirts.'
The butcher said, 'Well, now, it's easy to tell now
There's nothing else in it except Peter Pan.'
And so the baker, the barman, bookmaker,
The old lady char and the saveloy man.

'You stick to my tip, man,' admonished the grip-man,
'Play up Peter Pan; he's a stayer with speed.'
And the newspaper vendor, the ancient road mender,
And even the cop at the corner agreed.
The barber said, 'Win it? There's nothing else in it.
I backed Peter Pan with the last that I had.'
'Too right,' said the liftman. 'The horse is a gift, man.'
The old jobbing gardener said, 'Peter Pan, lad!'

I know nought of racing. The task I was facing,
It filled me with pain and unreasoning dread.
They all seemed so certain. And yet a dark curtain
Of doubt dulled my mind… But I must keep my head!
I went to the races, and I watched all their faces.
I saw Peter Pan's; there was little he lacked.
And as he seemed willing, I planked on my shilling
And triumphed! And that's how the favorite was backed.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, August 31, 2012

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