Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Top Broadcaster Calling Final Race

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Top Broadcaster Calling Final Race

Article excerpt

I MIGHT be biased being a racecaller but I think Wednesday will be a sad day for racing in Australia.

Revered Sydney race broadcaster Ian Craig has decided to retire.

His last calls will be from the Gosford gallops card on Wednesday.

Even if you are purely a follower of greyhound racing, you would know of Craig's immense talent at calling races in and near Sydney.

"Silver haired and silver tongued" is an apt description of the 67-year-old.

Craig started his calling at greyhound meetings on a straight track at Richmond, on Sydney's western outskirts, in 1962.

"I used to travel about 80 kilometres each way, to call 14 races over 320 and 410 yards, for the princely sum of four pounds (about 10 dollars)," he recalled. "I would have done it for nix."

Many of the top horse callers started with greyhounds, including the voice of the Melbourne Cup at Flemington, Greg Miles.

As a teenager, Miles would practise his calling at greyhound trials. His first appointment was at Wangaratta which, coincidently, is closing at the end of this month.

"I will never forget my first night calling the greyhounds at Wangaratta," Miles said.

"The first four races never went to air, and we called for the Telecom (Telstra) technician. When he turned up, he discovered that I had not plugged the main cord in. …

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