"NO BRAINS": Bookies back after bare times on track
EVEN the punter with the hardest heart would have to feel sorry for the on-course bookie over the past few months.
Dressed in his colourful shirt for the second day, Port Macquarie bookmaker Glen Woodbridge was back on the bag for the first time since March at Clarence River Jockey Club's July Racing Carnival.
"It's the first country meeting where a few bookmakers are," he said.
"With 500 people here, it's been a big effort for all involved. The race club have done a great job along with Racing NSW."
Mr Woodridge said many bookmakers had been out for what could be 100 race meetings since COVID restrictions came in place.
"We've been out for three months, and some bookies work three meetings a week," he said.
Mr Woodridge said when he first came to Grafton 31 years ago there were 84 bookmakers in the ring, with the crowd slowly thinning over the years.
"It's a hard game to stay on top of course, but it's still enjoyable. It's a challenge," he said.
When asked why he'd lasted so long in the face of competition and global pandemics, Mr Woodridge laughed.
"No brains," he grinned. "It's still enjoyable, and it's still a challenge.
"I love the challenge of taking a bet and having a bet.
"This is a great meeting, with great racing and great people."