HORSE RACING: A Murgon-raised horse strapper is one step closer to achieving his dreams, strapping at the Golden Slipper race on Saturday.
David Brown will strap a horse called Formality.
"It's trained by David Hayes and will be ridden by Ryan Moore," Brown said.
"It's got a 15-1 and will start from barrier two.
"I think it's going to be fighting down the finish."
The 42-year-old grew up in Murgon and left Murgon High School when he was 15.
"I started working at a local abattoir, where a foreman at the time asked if I wanted to buy a share in a horse," he said.
"I had nothing to do with it before hand, but we both threw in $200 each.
"When it won in Bundaberg, I just got a taste of it, I started doing a bit of work at the stables on the weekend.
"That's where I got my first taste of horse racing.
"It was always something to fall back on and now I wouldn't do anything else."
Brown said his father drove him to Wondai to work in the stables and ride.
"It was before I had a licence," he said.
"Actually before that, when I had nothing to do with racing, my father used to listen to it on the radio.
"I told him to turn it off as I couldn't stand it.
"Funnily enough he rings me up now to talk about racing all the time."
Brown said it was a big thrill to strap a horse at the Golden Slipper.
"I strapped my very first horse in Eidsvold in 1991," he said.
"It's a dream come true, the pinnacle of my career so far.
"I've been in the Sydney Cup before, but this is probably a bit bigger of a thrill.
"I've strapped horses for Bart Cummings when he was alive, that was also a big thrill, but this is something more.
"I can't contain my excitement at the moment."
Brown said he would never forget his humble beginnings coming from Murgon.
"There is no pressure on you out in the bush," he said.
"You can learn at your own pace and enjoy yourself a bit more.
"There is so much pressure on you in the city, with these big races.
"I learnt so much from my time strapping horses at the picnic races, doing a bit of stable work before and after working at the meat works."
He said his favourite part of racing was being with the animals.
"You can talk to them," he said.
"You get to know their good and bad sides, you just get to know them.
"Just being involved with animals is my favourite part.
"If you've got anything on your mind they listen but won't talk back."
Brown said his ultimate racing dream was to strap a horse at the Melbourne Cup.
"I'm hoping so, but I've just got to wait for the right one to come along," he said.
"It's been a dream of mine for the Melbourne Cup.
"It would cap off the career I think.
"I have strapped horses that have been in the Melbourne Cup but I haven't been in the Melbourne Cup."
Brown now lives in Penrith, a suburb of Sydney.
"All my family is in Brisbane now," he said.
"My dad used to look after the Bjelke-Petersen dam.
"He's retired now and everyone has moved away.
"I keep in contact with a lot of people back home.
"I used to play football for Murgon and Kingaroy, it was really character-building.
"You have to make your own fun out there."
He said he could never have imagined he would strap a horse at a large race.
"It was a dream and I was just trying to better myself," he said.
"I really had to use everything I learnt from back home to get through all of that.
"What you put into it is what you get out of it.
"I put a lot of work into my horses and it's finally paid off."
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