ALLAN Langer threw a scare into the Brisbane camp on the eve of the
grand final when he was almost knocked out at Doomben races yesterday.
Langer was at the track two hours before the team's departure for Sydney
to back his starter Pregong in the second race.
He had just backed Pregong as the field jumped, and in his haste to watch
the race, ran into a steel upright at the side of the rails bookmakers' ring.
Punters raced to Langer's assistance as he stumbled and clutched his head
in a dazed state.
"I lost some blood from a cut above my eye and I was a bit dizzy for a
while but it won't require major surgery," Langer said.
A television camera crew, which had been filming Langer at the time,
assisted him to a nearby bench and he held his head between his legs for a few
After a woman rushed to give him a glass of cold water, he was quick to
ease concerns that the collision might affect his performance in the grand
"It was just a warm-up for some of the treatment I expect to be on the
receiving end of in the grand final," the cheeky halfback quipped.
To make matters worse, his horse Pregong fell out of the barriers and,
after settling last, loomed up on the turn before finishing fourth.
Langer stayed at the track for another hour, and cuts to his ear and above
his right eye could barely be seen as well-wishers gave him a hero's farewell
The Broncos remained a solid 6-4 on favourite with Doomben's bookmakers,
who had St George at 10-9. Leading sports fielder Ian Cain reported the biggest
support during the week for St George had come from Brisbane punters who were
hedging their bets.
Cain admitted a Broncos win would prove a disaster for some of his
colleagues who had bet 4-1 after St George upset Brisbane at their last home
"I think the Broncos should be twos on and can't see them getting
"I've accepted more than $20,000 in bets on St George during the week and
most of those have been from people who backed Brisbane earlier in the season."
Cain said he had laid one bet of $20,000 to $5,000 on the Broncos from
their centre Chris Johns the night Brisbane lost to St George.
Darwin bookmakers accepted another bet of $70,000 to $20,000 from a
high-profile Broncos player while Brisbane bookmakers say some of the club's
directors had a commission of $70,000 to wager on their team before the
They estimate that more than $100,000 has been bet by players or officials
who stand to collect close to half a million dollars if the Broncos win.