BOWING out . . . bookmaker Brian Ogilvie, with his wife Judy, has been the face of Brisbane racing for decades.
...Brian Ogilvie wasn't just the biggest bookie in the betting ring - he was the face of the betting ring for most of his 46 years working at Eagle Farm and Doomben. Ogilvie
, 66, has confirmed he
is hanging up his
bookie's bag permanently.He
has been on leave for health reasons since late June.
In the end, health and disillusionment with the way racing has turned in recent times have combined to land a knockout no punter could.
How different it all was when Ogilvie
started going to the races when he
was in sub-junior (Year 9) at Churchie (now Anglican Grammar School) at age 14.
"I'd read about bookies in some sports magazines and became interested even though my family had no involvement in racing," Ogilvie
"I used to get the tram or bus across town and go to the flat (betting ring in the in-field) with a packet of cigarettes and a hat on.There weren't many non-smokers at the track in those days." Ogilvie
gained a bookmaker's licence in 1958 when he
was 20.He remembers well how tough it was for a first-time bookie in those days when there were up to 200 operating.
"I didn't have much of a bank in the bag," he
believes incentives offered to phone punters by betting agencies, which have lower costs, have drawn away many of his
"The only big bets in Brisbane these days are from professionals or bookies betting with each other," Ogilvie