He's won a Melbourne Cup and countless other stakes races, but Ray Selkrig will always be remembered for that finish at Kembla Grange.
Every bit as dramatic as the picture looks, Selkrig was famously dragged past the finishing post by Hot Chestnut during a race in October 1973.
Hot Chestnut partially dumped Selkrig to the turf as he hung on to the reins for dear life, mindful any contact with the ground before the line would deem the horse a non-runner.
He was first past the post, was told the news in hospital that he would keep the race, and still has the battle wounds to show for it.
‘‘When I let go his back legs hit me in the pelvis,’’ Selkrig recalled to the Mercury earlier this week.
‘‘I didn’t know at the time, but he cracked my pelvis in three places. The cracks are still there and it shows up in X-rays.’’
But how was he even in that predicament in the first place?
‘‘He [Hot Chestnut] used to watch shadows on the ground. He was going to win the race and win the race easy, and he saw this brown patch on the ground,’’ Selkrig said.
‘‘As he went to put his feet down he baulked at it and when he baulked he threw me out of the saddle. I was hanging on to the reins and I was trying to keep my balance as I was getting closer and closer to the ground.
‘‘Just before I hit the winning post my feet hit the ground and he dragged me past the post.’’
Under usual circumstances the race should have been stripped from Selkrig if, like he suggested, he had made contact with the ground before the finishing post.
But owner-trainer Ted Hilyard pleaded his case to stewards, all the while Selkrig was being tended to at Wollongong Hospital.
‘‘They [the stewards] said he did a harder job by dragging me across the line instead of carrying me,’’ Selkrig said.
Born and bred within a stone’s throw of Randwick, Selkrig has never left the area after retiring in 1983 and still lives in Coogee.
He’ll always be remembered for his Kembla heroics on Hot Chestnut.