DFA Staff Pick: The Rat Race

DFA Staff Pick: The Rat Race

Date: 04/03/2022 10:27

All roads lead to Crumlin for the Rat Racing World Championship.

Hundreds flock to this quiet, unpretentious, small town in their hundreds to witness the new sporting craze infatuating the nation, rat racing. Gordon Burn joins the locals at the Cobweb Bar for the event. It's no Wembley stadium, but it'll do the job.

First Gordon breaks down the runners. Muhammad 'Mustang' Ali starts the clear favourite, with two outings both being wins, and holding the current world record of 6.5 seconds. Next is Tully Tornado, who is ranked as co-favourite, having won his last two outings in one night. Finally could it be the outsider? The Mad Barber has no real form coming into this event, until picking up an unlikely win recently, he could be in with the chance of an upset. 

Reg Moore, the trainer of Mustang Ali, shows off the current record holder before the race and talks about what makes a world champion. The racer must be of the correct build, not too big, not too small, and also have good stamina and strong hind legs. They race in 2.5 inch perspex tubes, so size plays a big part. 

The winner tonight will walk away with a cool £10. Reg says he bought Mustang Ali for 12/6 pence, but wouldn't part with him now for anything less than £6. Ali has a rigorous tube training schedule every Monday and Tuesday night to prepare for the big race.  He has a strict conditioning diet of sunflower seeds, dates and the odd bit of carrot or orange for moisture. Some prepare their rats by giving them a drink of Guiness, however Reg wouldn't do this as he claims it makes the rats smell.

Word is out that there will be a doctor on stand-by tonight for dope testing. Nobbling can be an issue at the big races, but the doctor helps keep things in check. Reg says they won't let Ali out of their sights on race day. 

And Muhammad 'Mustang' Ali has done it! Not only does he set a new world record in the semi final, 5.2 seconds, but he goes on to win a tense  grand final. Ali's owner thanks Reggie for the great training. He explains Ali was nervous for the final, hence the slow time, however he overcame all the anxiety and obstacles to win, as a world champion should. They now hope to breed Mustang to create future record holders and world champions.


We skip forward two years to the Bangor Ballroom for an update on the upcoming World Championships with words from Leslie Dawes, where unfortunately we learn that in an accident while training for the next Championship race Muhammad was eaten by a cat! The new hot favourite is a 6 month old white rat named Smokey Joe. Can he break Ali's record and become the best of all time?  

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