The hot one in the beautiful (and Famous) Spiegeltent.
WINNER - Lawrence Mooney (14 points)
Claire Hooper (12), Cameron Crome (10), Audience (9), Brad Oakes (6) & Bob Franklin (5).
A scorching night in The Famous Spiegeltent was thankfully avoided with a cool afternoon change, which ensured the sell-out crowd was comfortable. Some excellent Hoodwinking, with the horse names ("Dracula" & "Santa's Vixen" - see sample questions) a highlight. Lawrence Mooney scored a second consecutive victory over Hoodwinked champion, Bob Franklin, who was swabbed. Claire Hooper was impressive over the closing stages, so worth watching.
The one about horse urine (Jumentous). AKA The one where Fiona O'Loughlin bluffed.
WINNER - Charlie Pickering (17 points)
Janelle Koenig (14), Danny McGinlay (10), Bob Franklin (7), Fiona O'Loughlin (4), Tom Gleeson (5)
CHARLIE PICKERING, JANELLE KOENIG & BOB FRANKLIN jostled for the lead over the early rounds, with DANNY McGINLAY never far off the pace. JANELLE KOENIG left her run until too late and though DANNY McGINLAY tired, CHARLIE PICKERING never really looked troubled from the turn. Stewards ordered a swab of BOB FRANKLIN, who was pulled up.
The one where everyone spoke at once.
WINNERS - Brad Oakes & Jonathan Atherton (Equal first)
Lehmo, Gab Rossi, Rain Pryor, Daniel Townes.
In very heavy-going early, BRAD OAKES, GAB ROSSI & JONATHAN ATHERTON, with Rain Prir sitting back nicely outside LEHMO, with DANIEL TOWNES out wider still. GAB ROSSI checked near the 400. ATHERTON flashed home to all but grab BRAD OAKES on the line. Dead heat for first. Stewards: LEHMO tightened for room on the turn.
The one with the space cake.
WINNER - Bob Franklin (20 points)
Claire Hooper (15), Greg Fleet (11), Zack Adams (10), Akmal Saleh (5) & Justin Morley (4)
GREG FLEET & CLAIRE HOOPER began well, with BOB FRANKLIN & ZACK ADAMS settling just behind the leaders. AKMAL SALEH looked out of it early and struggled to stay in touch with the main bunch. GREG FLEET loomed as a danger but faded in the final run whilst CLAIRE HOOPER simply couldn't stay with the classy BOB FRANKLIN, who backed up magnificently after pulling up sore only 2 days earlier. AKMAL SALEH swab deemed unnecessary by stewards.
The one which was really close.
WINNER - Matt Elsbury (15)
Justin Kennedy (14), Bev Killick (11), Erik the Dog (9), Lou Pardi (8), Pommy Johnson (2)
The one with the insane, drink old woman heckler.
WINNERS (draw) - Tommy Dean (10) & Jackie Loeb (10)
Jeremy Elwood (8), Joanne Brookfield (8), Barry Grogan (7), Erik the Dog (6)
The one where Justin Hamilton tore off Erik the Dog's balls.
AKA The one where Fiona O'Loughlin bluffed.
WINNER - Akmal Saleh (15)
Fiona O'Loughlin (11), Justin Hamilton (8), Harry Angus (The Cat Empire) (5), Erik the Dog (5) & Red Symons (4)
FIONA O'LOUGHLIN looked determined from the opening question, although JUSTIN HAMILTON and the unlikely ERIK the DOG took the lead early. AKMAL SALEH and ERIK the DOG took off arond the first bend and HARRY ANGUS looked like he might keep with them. FIONA O'LOUGHLIN made her move mid-way, while RED SYMONS struck interference with ERIK the DOG throughout. Winner too good in the end.
The one where a very drunk Derek Small (Spinal Tap) got on stage.
WINNER - Yianni (16)
Wayne Deakin (15), Josephine O'Reilly (8), Justin Morley (6), Jimeoin (5) & Cameron Knight (3)
The entire field struck trouble early when self-proclaimed "animal" audience member, who looked suspiciously like the bass guitarist from Spinal Tap, took to the stage. Although YIANNI took a handy lead early, you could have (some would argue SHOULD have) thrown a blanket over the entire field coming into the home turn. YIANNI managed to hold-off a fast-finishing WAYNE DEAKIN at the winning post. JO O'REILLY and JIMEOIN both battled on gamely for the Irish contingent, as did early leader JUSTIN MORLEY. CAMERON KNIGHT looked completely out of his depth and will be spelled.
The one where Fleety meant business.
WINNER - Greg Fleet (14)
Lawrence Mooney (11), Kieran Butler (8), Harley Breen (6), Wendy Little (2), Pommy Johnson (1)
The one about Canada.
WINNER - Barry Grogan (11)
Rod Quantock (8), Dave-Umbilical Brothers (6) , Glenn Wool (4), Brad Oakes (3), Shane-Umbilical Brothers (2)
With FIONA O'LOUGHLIN being a late scratching, Emergency contestant, BARRY GROGAN, joined the star-studded line-up. GLENN WOOL got away well, with ROD QUANTOCK and BRAD OAKES not far away. BARRY GROGAN grabbed a break a couple of questions from the end and despite a late flurry from ROD QUANTOCK and DAVE from the UMBILICAL BROTHERS, GROGAN was never threatened.
The one where Claire Hooper came from the clouds to just pip the audience.
WINNER - Claire Hooper (11)
Audience (10), Alison Bice (10), Jackie Loeb (8), Barry Grogan (8), Geraldine Hickey (7), Akmal Saleh (4)
With a new format being tried, the AUDIENCE, playing as a new contestant for the first time, settled nicely behind proven front-runner BARRY GROGAN, previous winner JACKIE LOEB and debutants GERALDINE HICKEY and ALISON BICE. CLAIRE HOOPER sat off the pace and off the radar, while AKMAL SALEH was showing the effects of a long and hard campaign. The AUDIENCE swooped over the final stages, only to be grabbed by CLAIRE HOOPER in an impressive finishing burst.
The one where the audience fought amongst themselves.
WINNER - Lawrence Mooney (12)
Erik the Dog (11), Jeremy Elwood (7), Bob Franklin (6), Jason Byrne (6), Audience (3)
(Audience captain "Renay", replaced in selected side by Vice-Captain "Penny"). LAWRENCE MOONEY looked far more fucussed at the starting gate and signalled his intewntions early. ERIK THE DOG went with LAWRENCE MOONEY early and looked a genuine threat throughout. Import JASON BYRNE found the going difficult at his first start but found his feet over the second half, only the leaders were already gone. JEREMY ELWOOD ran a quality race again but LAWRENCE MOONEY was too determined in the end.
The last one for the 2006 Melbourne International Comedy Festival season.
WINNER - Barry Grogan/Fiona O'Loughlin (16)
Audience (11), Lawrence Mooney (10), Brad Oakes (10), Kent Valentine (2), Daniel Townes (2)
With FIONA O'LOUGHLIN being a late scratching, due to her having to receive the Melbourne International Comedy Festival's coveted Piece of Wood award (as chosen by comics), perennial 12th man and dark horse, BARRY GROGAN stepped into the breach. Carry-over champ LAWRENCE MOONEY continued his excellent form, as did BRAD OAKES and the new contestant, the AUDIENCE, however, even in her absence, it was a night for FIONA O'LOUGHLIN, with her substitute BARRY GROGAN holding off a strong field. STEWARDS: Swabs ordered on KENT VALENTINE. TOWNES'S jockey reprimanded for not allowing DANIEL TOWNES to run on his merits.