ATC JOINS NSW BOOKMAKERS CO-OP IN ANNUAL CELEBRATION
April 26, 2023
The Australian Turf Club hosts the fifth annual Bookmakers Recognition Day at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday honouring a group’s service to the racing industry, along with fielders across the state, in partnership with the NSW Bookmakers Co-Operative.
Four bookmakers with more than 150 years’ experience – including the first female member of the NSW Bookmakers Co-Operative – will be formally acknowledged at the 10-race Rosehill Gardens card.
Along with races named in their honour, Kerrie Borger, Alan Davidson, Bill Murphy and Henry Noonan will be among special guests at a pre-raceday brunch hosted by the Australian Turf Club for ATC Members and special guests including legendary racecaller Paul Ambrosoli.
ATC Members can register to attend the free breakfast by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org with their details.
Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager of Racing and Wagering James Ross said the annual day was important recognition of all bookmakers across NSW racecourses.
“On-course bookmakers remain a key part of a raceday experience and we are delighted to join with the NSW Bookmakers Co-Operative in honouring four long-serving and retiring fielders,’’ Mr Ross said.
“The Sydney on-course betting ring remains the strongest and most competitive in the country, bringing the best value for punters and added colour and atmosphere to our racedays.’’
Leading Sydney rails bookmaker and Chairman of the NSW Bookmakers Co-Operative David Dwyer said: “The NSW Bookmakers Co-Op are grateful for the promotion by the Australian Turf Club to reward our long-standing bookmakers at this raceday,
“This year we especially celebrate four bookmakers with distinguished careers in Kerry Borger, Alan Davidson, Bill Murphy and Henry Noonan and we look forward to ATC Members joining us on the day.
“The Sydney ring has seen titanic battles between punters and bookies for over a century and is where true odds are offered to all for plenty of liability.’’
** Biographies of the four bookmakers being honoured this Saturday are listed below.
Kerrie Borger was the first female bookmaker registered on Country NSW racecourses and for much of her career has been the only woman regularly fielding.
Servicing punters across the NSW Mid North Coast since 1996, Kerrie initially faced an uphill battle to be accepted by her male peers, but a long career fielding on course over several decades is testament to her skill and success.
Kerrie served as a Country Director of the NSW Bookmakers Co-Op until 2019 and remains an active adviser to its current Chair David Bird.
Kerrie’s daughter Jo-Anne has grown up on racecourses and a number of years ago started fielding alongside her mother, the pair aiming to be the “Queens of the Country Cups”.
With a view to Jo-Anne eventually taking over the stand and on course business, as well as future travel opportunities, Kerrie will retire from regular bookmaking in July 2023.
The Australian Turf Club recognises Kerrie’s significant contribution to the NSW racing industry and wishes her well for the future.
Though not deaf himself, Henry’s birth into a deaf family gave him a particular set of skills that saw his early involvement in racing include being a race caller using sign language.
After trying his hand in various industries, including as the youngest person in NSW to hold a Tobacco and Milk bar licence, Henry joined the NSW Bookmakers Co-Op in 1982 and began fielding on course.
In 1992 his operation progressed to Metropolitan tracks for both the AJC and STC, where he stood for 30 years, largely on the esteemed Sydney Rails.
In 2013, Henry’s son Luke joined him in the formation of Noonan Racing and TopOdds.
Often a favourite with charities holding functions on course, Henry’s motto was that “a $1 punter is equal to a $1,000 punter” and he was always keen to encourage new participation in the Sport Of Kings.
Henry Noonan retired from bookmaking in December 2022.
The Australian Turf Club recognises Henry’s significant contribution to the NSW racing industry and wishes him well for the future.
In 2023, Alan Davidson celebrates more than 50 years of fielding as a bookmaker.
Educated and working as a maths teacher, Alan first put his knowledge of numbers to the test at Wentworth Park and Harold Park in the early 1970s, as well as the Newcastle interstate thoroughbred ring.
In those days he was one of many – on his first night at Wentworth Park greyhounds he fielded from stand number 72!
Alan took up a stand at Sydney tracks in the late 1970s, first in the local Leger before moving to the Interstate Rails in the mid-80s. His time included fielding between Bruce McHugh and Mark Read when Kerry Packer was betting at his peak.
In the early 1990s Alan, along with son Hamish, partnered with others in purchasing Sportodds, one of the first online bookmakers in Australia. Alan remembers explaining to the committee of the City Tattersalls Club how it would all work before receiving a license – a much trickier concept at that stage of the internet than today’s market.
On course, Alan was quick to take advantage of new positions created in grandstand areas, a successful decision from where he has been servicing punters for the last 30 years in a multi-venue capacity.
The Australian Turf Club congratulates Alan for his 50 years as a bookmaker and recognises his contribution to the NSW racing industry.
Considered one of the elder statesmen of the Metropolitan bookmakers ring, Bill Murphy has been fielding on course for almost 40 years.
Bill’s first foray into racing was running a book on the Melbourne Cup at school and a good run on the punt at age 22 had him seriously considering becoming a bagman. Talked out of it by his father to instead finish his accountancy studies, it was over 20 years later when his own son pointed out an advert for bookmakers at Harold Park trots.
But it was thoroughbreds that held Bill’s passion, and an opportunity to field regularly on horses in Newcastle saw him expand to the Hunter region, albeit still as a hobby.
At this time Bill had put his studies to good use and operated a successful chartered accountancy, but in the late 80s a change to his office space gave Bill the impetus to move full time to the Sydney ring to become a full time “turf accountant”. Within 12 months Bill was on the Rails and has remained there since.
In 2008, Bill’s son and instigator of the first registration, Shan, formed a company with his father, working alongside him for the last 15 years.
The Australian Turf Club recognises Bill Murphy and congratulates him for the contribution he has made to the racing industry.
AUSTRALIAN TURF CLUB MEDIA CONTACT:
Brett de Vine
0419 613 455
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