We love bookies
MY FIRST Lismore Cup. My first race day ever.
The nearest I had ever come to a horse was on the telly.
I prepared for the big day. A colleague in the newsroom had won $900 at the Ballina Cup. The odds were in my favour.
After harassing him for racing tips, he relented and wrote down the bets using words I didn't understand like 'each way bet and quinella'.
I stole my daughter's black hat and headed to the races.
Choosing a patient-looking bookie, I handed him my bet.
“It's my first bet,” I whispered in case the other punters heard. “Ever.”
“Good luck,” he said.
The punters on race day were more than willing to hand out advice.
Len Pascoe, a former fast bowler for Australia, gave me a hot tip.
“Pick a horse with a pointy face.”
And never, he said, never bet on a grey horse.
They always lose.
With the bright green betting ticket clutched in my hand, the race starts.
A loud and incomprehensible voice booms over the mike. Was I winning? Was my horse in front? Jujulio. His name is called. And again.
From out of nowhere the horses thunder by, their hooves vibrating through the ground.
I wave my ticket at my horse. It doesn't seem to help. Jujulio comes in third. I am happy. I've won $5.