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Australian Bookmaker Grilled Over 500-1 Bets

7 February 2002

AUSTRALIA – Feb. 7, 2002 –As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald: "Bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse was at the centre of an extraordinary betting controversy yesterday, only months after returning to the betting ring after an enforced 17-year exile.

"Waterhouse was hauled before NSW Thoroughbred Racing Board stewards at Canterbury races after some amazingly generous bets were uncovered involving Waterhouse and former Canberra bookmaker Peter McCoy.

"…Robbie Waterhouse, the husband of leading trainer Gai Waterhouse, told stewards he was doing McCoy a `favour' to `wipe a debt' in a "dignified" way by providing the punter with odds of around 500-1 about several interstate winners that started short-priced favourites yesterday.

"However, a testy TRB chief steward Ray Murrihy asked if the bets were `fictitious' or if they were put in Waterhouse's betting ledger as a `tax dodge'.

"…Not one of McCoy's exaggerated bets yesterday was placed on the eight-race Canterbury card. The focus was on Queensland, Victoria and South Australia race meetings.

"Murrihy revealed that Waterhouse recorded in his leger a bet with McCoy of $20 to win $10,000 at staggeringly generous odds of 500-1 on the even-money favourite Cenzarina. The horse went on to win the second race at Eagle Farm.

"There were several others bets of $10,000 to $20 with one of those winners starting as short as $2.35.

"…After probing, Waterhouse told the panel McCoy `owes me ... a six-figure sum', with the bookmaker saying he would "like to see him [McCoy] get out of trouble".

"…Asked why the debt couldn't be just wiped out, Waterhouse replied: `There is more dignity this way'…"

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