Welcome to Queensland, 1984. We hope you enjoy your day at the races.
Brisbane, 1984. It all started with a simple plan to secretly swap a mediocre horse with a faster one, and rake in the cash with a few well-placed bets. What could possibly go wrong?
In The Fine Cotton Fiasco, Peter Hoysted and Pat Sheil brilliantly tell the scarcely believable tale of how – through a combination of horrendous mismanagement, terrible judgement and comically bad luck – the scheme gradually unravelled.
How did a horse with white painted socks dripping onto the turf come to hold the hopes of punters across Australia and beyond? How was a supposedly secret plan so widely advertised that even the Queensland Commissioner of Police placed a bet? And how much of a cover-up ensued in the aftermath of this absolute debacle?
The story of Fine Cotton is the stuff of Australian legend. It features hardcore crims, likeable rogues and a supporting cast that ranged from the hapless to the hopeless – with some entirely innocent bystanders thrown in for good measure. Not every crazy scheme cooked up by a couple of inmates in Boggo Road Gaol would culminate in a story that will be told across the nation for the next hundred years. But this one did.