On-course bookmakers past and present will be honoured at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday for their contribution to race days and the thoroughbred industry across Sydney and NSW racecourses.
The Australian Turf Club’s inaugural Bookmaker Recognition Day will particularly recognise five NSW bookmakers who have combined experience of more than 260 years.
Four ATC registered recently retired bookmakers – Eric “Mo” Conlon, Maurice “Mick” Rolfe, Roger Hawke and Richard Hutt – will be special guests at a function ahead of the raceday.
Each has at least 40-plus years experience fielding at Sydney thoroughbred racecourses.
A fifth bookmaker 93-year-old Doug Carroll – believed to be the world’s oldest working bookmaker – will also be honoured.
Work commitments will prevent Mr Carroll from being at Rosehill Gardens.
Races have been named in honour of each of the bookmakers this Saturday.
Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager of Racing Services and Membership James Heddo said: “On-course bookmakers are an integral part of a day at the races, adding great colour and atmosphere for racegoers.
“I thank ATC Wagering Manager Sean Thompson and the NSW Bookmakers Cooperative for working together to launch Bookmaker Recognition Day to highlight the strength of Sydney metropolitan bookmaker rings and to thank recently retired bookmakers for their contribution to our racedays and the industry.”
Leading Sydney rails bookmaker and Chairman of the NSW Bookmakers Cooperative David Dwyer said: “The Co-op is delighted with the recognition shown to our members in this tribute by the Australian Turf Club.
“The Board and myself are determined to continue to work closely with the Club to ensure on-course bookmakers remain an important and valuable part of the Australian racing industry.
“The ATC has worked very hard and in great co-operation with us to ensure the Sydney Metropolitan betting rings remain the strongest in Australia and are a major attendance drawcard for punters and racing fans alike.
“Our congratulations go to the Australian Turf Club for this recognition day and to our members past and present who are part of the event.”
Rosehill Gardens hosts its first Saturday meeting in more than six weeks, with the course proper undergoing a minor renovation during December and early January.