This is a brief extract from Titus O'Reily's upcoming book A Thoroughly Unhelpful History of Australian Sport, published Monday, October 30.

HORSERACING: Sport of kings and degenerate gamblers

Fine cotton and other controversies

Racing folk have shown a level of artistry and creativity in fixing races that matches the painters of the Renaissance. From whips with electric shocks in them to doping, from painting horses to trapdoors, there’s a good reason many suspect horseracing isn’t on the level: the constant evidence that it isn’t on the level.