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Letter of the Week

First in, best dressed

Last week’s interview with Allen Waymouth reminded me of an experience I had during the Rancher years.
I was paying out for a rails bookie at Flemington one day (in those days bookies had lots of staff).
A shrewd, very smart punter dressed immaculately produced a handwritten ticket from the members side with “R” for Rancher and 40,000 with an “X” (X meant win only — all tickets were handwritten).
He got the $40,000 and disappeared. Rancher had been 1/7 down the straight and had bolted in.
Earlier, the punter had waited for another punter to place a big bet — $35,000 on Rancher at 1/7 — then he had $35 on at 1/7. His ticket read 40, so he added three zeroes to make it say 40000.
First in line from the members, well dressed … the ticket number was not checked. 
The look on the payout bagman’s face when the real ticket was produced? Classic.
The bookmaker involved? Well, I cannot say. But in those days you needed good staff to stay at the top of the hill.

Pittsburgh Phil
Coogee Bay (NSW)
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