To celebrate the launch of our Palmerbet Bookie Bag‘s Race Rescue product, Justin Devine takes a look back at some of the biggest bridesmaids in racing. ‘More seconds than a stopwatch’ is one way to describe these runners. ‘Really needed a Race Rescue’ is another.

5. Red Cadeaux

The Ed Dunlop trained Red Cadeaux was one of the first truly international horses, having raced in seven different countries. He ran in five Melbourne Cups and was runner up three times behind Dunaden, Fiorente and Protectionist respectively. In eight Australian runs, he finished second four times and was third once, pocketing some nice cheques for connections along the way. With a touch of luck, he could’ve been ranked amongst some of the Melbourne Cup greats but it wasn’t to be. Either way, he was a brave warrior.

4. So Si Bon

This might seem a bit tough considering that So Si Bon has hit a rich vein of recent form, but the Hayes and Dabernig trained galloper has been “nearly” there for years. It would be fair to say he likes to space his wins. A recent run of 10 losses was ended in April this year. He has five wins from 51 runs and a further 12 minors. When you consider that he runs against the best it is an adequate record. He has looked on the cusp of something great at different times, but continues to frustrate punters! Having said that, connections would be happy with the $1.3 million in earnings.

3. Hay List

They say timing in life is everything and unfortunately for the owners of sprinter Hay List, their timing was horrible! Having won his first eight races in Perth, connections relocated the star sprinter to the stables of Sydney trainer John McNair in search of racings riches. Off to Melbourne for the spring carnival in 2010 things started well with a hattrick of wins, including the Group 1 Manikato Stakes under lights at the Valley. Then he met a mare called Black Caviar. Hay List would chase home the once in a lifetime sprinter six times over the next couple of years, finishing runner up four times. Connections tried to avoid racing against her as they feared the heartbreak it was causing Hay List.

Hay List retired with $2.5m in prize money to his name and three Group 1s. A good record, that could have been great in another time.

2. Happy Clapper

Hay List may have had it tough chasing home Black Caviar, how about Happy Clapper then? Trained by the affable Pat Webster, Happy Clapper would lead the mighty Winx in races before getting run down late. You have to feel for him, finishing in his races yet knowing what is coming from behind! Happy Clapper was runner up to Winx five times in his career and was one horse who didn’t hide from her in races. The Waller stable gave great access to Winx throughout the twilight of her racing career, and Pat Webster must be congratulated for doing the same with Happy Clapper, despite the unsurmountable task that lay ahead.

With over $7m in prize money, Happy Clapper was a start in his own right. Who knows what might have been without the might mare!

1. Tom Melbourne

No prize for guessing this one! Tom Melbourne is a cult figure with his own twitter page and an amazing ability to run a placing! Having won on debut in Ireland the team at OTI brought Tom Melbourne to Australia with big plans. Having worked his way through the grades, Tom announced himself as a galloper on the rise with a big win in the Albury Cup on March 18, 2016. Had connections known that he would not win for another 34 months they may have celebrated the win a little more! To be fair in that period he finished runner up eleven times and third twice! It is n astonishing record!

From 51 career starts, against the best gallopers in the land, Tom Melbourne has six wins and 18 minor placings. What used to be frustrating to punters, is now humorous. We love you Tom Melbourne and we wouldn’t change a thing!