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Everybody knows a drongo - the Australian word for a no-hoper, a hapless soul who just can't do anything right - but most people don't know how the term entered the language. Author Bruce Walkley explains that it came from racehorse Drongo and traces the horse's lineage to a well-bred colt bought from Australia by Lillie Langtry, known as the 'Jersey Lily', mistress of King Edward VII when he was Prince of Wales. Despite the fine blood coursing through his veins, Drongo couldn't win in 37 attempts. Contrary to popular opinion, however, he wasn't hopeless. He ran only in city races and often on the best courses against the best horses - he finished second in the 1923 Victoria Derby and the 1924 VRC St Leger, races for best young stayers. And he ran in two Melbourne Cups, one as 10/1 third favourite. Drongo is the story of a horse whose legacy was not on the track but in his contribution to Australia's colourful language.
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