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Letter of the Week

Golden years

In recent weeks Your Say people have reminisced about the golden era of bookmakers. For me that was the 1970s and ’80s.
Pittsburgh Phil recalled half a dozen bookmakers by name.
I have fond memories at being at Flemington racecourse to hear that booming voice bellow out, “Ebadie, ebadie (I might have misspelled this — not sure it’s even a word), fives the field, each way the runners.”
I became so enamoured with his idiosyncratic chant that after a while I started impersonating him, particularly after having wet my whistle. Got some laughs from fellow punters, but sadly not from Mr Lancaster.
I also seem to recall former VFL ruckman Peter “Crackers” Keenan fielding at headquarters, and I gave him some cheek also.
Crackers at one stage was a part of the ABC sports comedy program Live And Sweaty so I would have thought he might have seen some humour in my heckling, but he looked at me like a stunned mullet.
Perhaps Mr Lancaster and Mr Keenan quickly figured out that I’m an unfunny cretin. They are astute men.
I’d like to think that I’m not a Luddite but not everything that changes is for the better. The demise of the bookmakers is but one example. Without them on the racetracks, the atmosphere is funereal.

John Bansky
Newport (Vic)
Today's Racing
Tuesday 25 February
Wednesday 26 February
Thursday 27 February