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Odds narrowing on Fred Brophy's longstanding wager as two Birdsville Races meetings slated for 2022

Sandi and Fred Brophy met more than four decades ago at the Brisbane Ekka. (Supplied)

Sandi and her long-term partner Fred Brophy have a longstanding wager. If his horse wins the Birdsville Cup, she will finally consider marrying him. 

And with two Birdsville Races planned in 2022 for the first time in the event's 140-year history, the boxing showman has just narrowed his odds of getting hitched to the love of his life.

"We've been together for nearly 40 years, children and that," Brophy said.

"I said, 'Well, that's a pretty good decision. I won't give up drinking, but I'll have a crack at the Birdsville Cup.'"

Additional tickets to April's Birdsville Races are on sale. (Supplied)

Brophy is getting closer to his ultimate prize after winning the Betoota Cup in 2019 and having a horse place third in the Birdsville Cup in 2009.

The pair now run the Kilkivan Hotel, inland from Gympie.

They met at the Brisbane Exhibition — the Ekka — when they were both in their 20s and the story of their meeting is just as colourful as their journey together since.

Brophy — who has an Order of Australia honour — is renowned in outback circles for his boxing tent that tours Queensland with the eponymous Fred Brophy's Boxing Troupe.

The Fred Brophy boxing tent is one of the last of its kind. (ABC News: Brendan Esposito)

The boxing tent is set to be at both Birdsville Races in April and September, where crowds of up to 6,000 are expected at each event.

"I haven't missed a Birdsville Races ever since I've been going there in the 70s," Brophy said.

Event organisers were making up for lost time and expect there was enough pent-up demand for both races to be extremely popular.

"[We've had] two false starts — cancellation in 2020, postponement in 2021," Birdsville Race Club vice-president Gary Brook said.

Racegoers who attend the famous Birdsville Races — set on the edge of the desert in the remote town of just over 100 people — often cannot put their finger on what makes the event so special.

"You can't explain it because every show is so different, and that's why a lot of people come back again and again," Brophy said.

Fred Brophy has not missed a Birdsville Races since he first attended in the 1970s. (Supplied)

Sandi said her 37 years attending the Birdsville Races had been a big part of her adventures with Brophy.

"We've done lots of adventuring … we've been to some lovely places," Sandi said.

"Everyone is doing it now. It's really trendy … I was just 40 years too early."

But come April or September, the partner of the famous boxing promoter fittingly jokes that she might be "in a corner".

Mr Brook agrees.

"If there ever was a year, this is it," he said.

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