Book maker Peter Rose.
Book maker Peter Rose. Blainey Woodham

Bookie loves buzz of the big day

CABARITA bookmaker Peter Rose, 79, has been working around the state as a bookie for 41 years.

But with more than 100 country race courses under his belt, he still calls the Tweed River Jockey Club home.

Mr Rose was in his element at the Murwillumbah racecourse yesterday for Melbourne Cup festivities and reflected on his life besides the racecourse.

“The young people are so happy to be here, they are here to enjoy their day and I’m here to help them,” Mr Rose said yesterday.

Mr Rose was one of several bookies located around the course.

He said of all the race meets he attends, Melbourne Cup festivities always takes the cake.

“I just like the glamour of the whole thing,” he said.

“I always love Melbourne Cup day. It is always such a great day.

“I’ve had a wonderful life being a bookie. I’ve made some great friends.”

It seems the rest of the state joined with Murwillumbah in celebrating the race. New South Wales and Victoria punters combined to bet a record $95.6 million on the Melbourne Cup.

TAB SportsBet’s Gary Davies said NSW punters kicked in $56 million, compared with $51.2 million in 2008.

Victorian punters wagered $39.6 million on Australia’s favourite race, up from $37.1 million last year.

He said the two biggest bets on the winner were at fixed odds of $12, with one gambler risking $40,000 to win $440,000, and another betting $27,000 to walk away with $297,000 somewhere in the state.

Mr Davies said that when betting opened for the Melbourne Cup in August, Shocking was at $21.

“This is a good result for us – if Viewed or Alcopop had won, then we would have taken not nearly as much as we did with Shocking,” he said.

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