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    Raider fooled ‘The Accurate One’…twice! Raider fooled ‘The Accurate One’…twice!

    COCKY RAIDER

    WIDELY-REGARDED as the finest racecaller to grace a microphone, and without doubt the voice of a generation, Bill Collins will be honoured at Tabcorp... Raider fooled ‘The Accurate One’…twice!

    WIDELY-REGARDED as the finest racecaller to grace a microphone, and without doubt the voice of a generation, Bill Collins will be honoured at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday night with the running of the Bill Collins Trotters’ Sprint.

    Collins’ golden tones were heard over the airwaves for three decades, with the broadcaster also co-host of ‘The Penthouse Club’ which brought harness racing into living rooms via television.

    Among his accolades, Collins was known for his ability to correctly judge close finishes, which earned him the moniker ‘The Accurate One’.

    In modern days Dan Mielicki is highly-respected for his skill in selecting the winners from tight finishes.

    One pacer, however, put a dent in Collins’ reputation not once, but twice, in consecutive weeks during the 1969/70 season.

    Sent south for the Melbourne Pacing Cup at the Ascot Vale Showgrounds in November 1969, Cocky Raider’s victories in the heat and Final were little short of amazing – which they needed to be given the handicapper “did not miss him”.

    Forced to begin from a 36-yard mark, Cocky Raider conceded starts to the likes of Bon Adios, Tara Meadow, Garry Rowan, Gyration, Bar Adios, Lord Setay, Bold David, Son Of Nancy, Garrison Call, Adios Green and Honest Reward.

    Contesting a heat on on November 8 over 14 furlongs and 36 yards, Cocky Raider was still towards the tail of the field as the leader reached the final furlong, with Collins declaring “and Cocky Raider can’t win.”

    Cocky Raider then unleashed a scintillating sprint along the outside of the track to score from Last Flood and Bold David.

    A week later in the $8000 Final, Cocky Raider was again at the rear of the field with Collins calling “I said last week he couldn’t win, and he proved me wrong, but one thing’s for sure, he can’t win tonight!”

    With Gordon McWilliam putting Cocky Raider’s tremendous burst of speed into action, the son of Lawn Raider dashed home to account for Garry Rowan and Bon Adios.

    A 5/2 favourite, Cocky Raider rated a track record 2:06.4, slashing 1.4 seconds from the mark shared by Golden Alley and Tara Meadow.

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    Paul Courts

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