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John Singleton to replace unwell Alan Jones at Throughbred Park's autumn luncheon in lead-up to Black Opal Stakes

Ad man, horse owner and all-round larrikin, John Singleton, has stepped up to replace an unwell Alan Jones as guest speaker at Thoroughbred Park's annual autumn luncheon in the run up to the Black Opal Stakes.

The Thoroughbred Park of Australia -Canberra branch always attracts a high calibre of guest speaker, including last year's - a very candid Gerry Harvey, the furniture retailer and great mate of Singleton with whom he revived the Magic Millions racehorse auction house.

Alan Jones is also no stranger to the racing world as a part-owner of Arrowfield Stud and part-owner of Golden Slipper winner Miss Finland.

He was due to speak at the autumn luncheon at Thoroughbred Park on Friday, March 3, ahead of the Black Opal Stakes on Sunday, March 5, but has had to pull out.

Jones is on sick leave from 2GB, with Ray Hadley is covering his breakfast slot after her  underwent major back surgery recently.

The veteran broadcaster had to pull out of the Canberra luncheon as his recovery continues, with Singleton agreeing to step in.

Thoroughbred Park is calling his appearance "The Right of Reply" after Harvey's appearance and an earlier one by trainer Gai Waterhouse, with whom Singleton has had a fraught relationship n the past.

The lunch should be an entertaining one given Singleton's natural exuberance. And given the grog will be free on the day (well, included in the price of the ticket), Singleton can probably shout the bar without it costing him anything.

* The four-course luncheon is from noon to 3pm at Thoroughbred Park on March 3. Tickets are $140 each and can be purchased through the Canberra Racing Club on 6204 0000.