"At the final round, when the field are slow
And you are quite afresh to meet 'em.
Sit down and hustle him all you know
With the whip and spurs, and he'll have to go -
Remember, you've got to beat 'em!"
The Old Timer's Steeplechase, Banjo Paterson
Beneath the tin roof stood the small town population and ring-ins from the city. Money was swapped with paper, following consultation with the daily news, or just a choice between names and lucky numbers. The chorus between them unvaried, whatever your method or muse, 'Remember, you've got to beat 'em!'
After the horses were paraded the mass moved towards the fence, watching the rush of colours and movement get quickly clearer as they reached the final bend. They crossed the line and winning numbers appeared instantly from the tower. The crowd was mixed between cheers and condolences, as ripped tickets littered the ground with disappointment.
The fences cleared, and back to the books they went, creating a new calculation for another lucky number or searching for the name most similar to their neighbour's daughter's dog.