PHOTO ESSAY: The dog track after dark

Tuesday night, punters and dog owners come from around the Northern Rivers for an evening at the dog track.

The smell of greasy chips and beer mixes with the smell of freshly cut grass from the centre of the track. The constant chorus of excited barking dogs is only subdued by the announcement of upcoming races and bets.

You will find a multitude of people there - from young university students studying entertainment to your local footy team doing some fundraising.

The dog owners and trainers stand apart from the crowd in their white shirts and black slacks.

They are very often quiet, re- served people watching and studying their race books, and despite a triumphant cry from the winning owner, the other trainers usually walk back to the dog pens with their heads bowed and dogs panting.

"We have in excess of 80 dogs running each week and 200-300 people come through our doors," Lismore Greyhound Track manager Lisa Vanderstock said.

Ms Vanderstock said the attrac- tion was that while horse racing was fairly exclusive, greyhound racing allowed almost anybody to be a part of the action. "They do it for the thrill of racing," she said.