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Farewell To Long-Serving AAP Racing Production Manager

For the final time on a Thursday - Australian Associated Press' racing production manager, Elomina Bow will process the weights and acceptances, update sponsor names, gear changes, owners and colours.

She'll also check the results and barrier trials coming in from all around the country; update stable movements, add new trainers, jockeys and monitor the apprentice claims; put new horses on file and make sure their trainers, breeding, foaling dates and owners are correct; update prize money and bonuses, disqualifications and international form then she'll address a myriad of queries from clients, subscribers and demanding form guide editors.

Elomina won't stop until the last meeting is done and the last deadline is met. But as always, she will do it with grace, diligence and composure. She has been doing it for 43 years, or as far as electronic produced form guides go in Australia - from day dot!

In 1977 a very young and shy Elomina Bow, along with master racing statistician Hal White and respected journalist Ted Simmons teamed up to establish the form guide for Australian Associated Press. They kicked off the database which started on cards before moving to computers in 1981.

Each horse had it's own card, and every time it raced the result would be added to the card. It was called Neddy Bank and they provided the form for the four main Saturday Metropolitan meetings.

It was all done manually and sent via a dial-up telex machine to the four Sydney daily papers, which was also Elomina's responsibility. It was a huge volume of work but she could type with utmost precision and at a furious gallop.

A testament to what Elomina helped create back in the early 80s is that much of the system is still in use today, a case of why fix something that was perfect to begin with?

Elomina has weathered all the digital changes and advancements since then, and she has been the spearhead of our information integrity team. Despite a lifetime of being surrounded by form guides, racing news and endless data that the average punter would salivate over, Elomina has never been much of a gambler.

But once a year - on the first Tuesday in November - her resistance gives away. The 'Do Not Disturb" sign goes up on her desk and she quietly giggles her way through a day of 50-cents each-way bets.

While it may be the race that stops the nation for around only three minutes and twenty seconds every year, Eli, as she is known to her colleagues, will have spent every day for three months updating the form for the overseas runners nominated. It's a massive job, and over the years it is the one race that has really captured her interest.

It is going to be a very sad day for all her colleagues, made even sadder by the fact she has been doing all her work from home over the last four months due to COVID-19.

Elomina is humble and gracious - truly one of the unsung heroes in media and the racing industry.  It is very fitting this quiet and unassuming lady receives our thanks and appreciation for an enormous contribution and extraordinary legacy.

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