How to become a legendary race caller

| November 28, 2020

To become a professional racecaller is the dream of many young horse racing fans. The remit is fairly simple. To inform the punters about where each horse is placed during the running of the race. However, while there are many in the profession, only a select few reach legendary status in their own right. These experts bring people to the races and create a feeling in which the world appears to stand still. What is it that separates the elite racecaller from the normal run-of-the-mill track announcer? I believe the best race callers, those that will be remembered for generations, have the following skills.

A sense of theatre

An elite racecaller must have a vivid sense of theatre. To bring the race to life and create the drama. The consequences around each moment can mean everything so it’s up to the announcer to bring this drama to light. Perhaps the greatest example in my view is the 2004 Australian Cup when Track Announcer Greg Miles created his greatest call. If ever a race call brought the drama and theatre it was this one. How he literally dragged Lonhro off the canvas was awe inspiring. Brings spine tingles every time, just like the feeling at usrealmoneycasinos where winning is thrilling.

Understanding of horse and rider

A professional racecaller must have a keen understanding of horse and rider. Particularly important is knowing how a horse is traveling, whether “on the steel” or “scrubbed up”. By looking at the way the horse is running the caller should be able to tell how much energy is left for the finish. When you have an understanding of how a horse is traveling, it’s much easier to assess how the race will pan out. For example, even if a horse is well back in the field, the keen observer knows whether he still has a chance of running down the leaders. It’s frustrating for punters to hear a horse mentioned only in the last 20m, when the barnstorming finish should have been predicted from at least a furlong out. Racecallers who can read the way a horse is traveling are in a league of their own.

Visionary

By visionary, I mean they can virtually predict the future. The combined skills in form analysis and observation allows good racecallers to predict what is going to happen in a race. An extreme case is with a horse like Chautauqua. It was so far back in his races but the racecallers knew the horse and kept an eye on him. Sure enough, the champion came flashing home to win on many occasions. Using experience, the race caller should already be aware of what may take place in the final furlong.

Knowledge of the market

A great racecaller needs to have expert knowledge of the market for each race. Knowing which horse is backed heavily and which horses are easing in the market is important because it adds context around the result. Good racecallers have been known to say “the money was right” or “the plunge horse” or sadly “the punters’ money stays in the bookies bag”. These extras are like the stage set, adding flavour and colour to the race.

In-depth knowledge of each horse

It’s important that the racecaller knows the general background around each horse. The winner of the Derby, Johnny Get Angry, was all the more interesting because it was trained by a dual AFL premiership coach. Whether a horse hails from a large stable or from the back blocks of a country town is interesting to the audience and again, adds that much-needed flavour. 

Experience in the horse racing industry

Expert knowledge comes with years of experience watching and being involved in horse racing. There is so much to learn in this great sport and the ability to impart this experience is critical in a racecaller’s arsenal. With experience, the racecaller can make judgements on situations in a race. Is the horse likely to get out from a difficult position, is there sufficient time to run home, how will the pace of particular sections of the race impact a horse’s chances. These are all things one learns by experience and is important in calling a race for the punters. The greatest race calls in history are each made by highly experienced professionals.

Integrity and respect for the sport

A good racecaller has a high level of integrity. He is often faced with controversy and drama and must always keep a level head. The racecaller must know what is right for the punter and the industry. Generally he is always supporting of the industry players and has the integrity and success of the sport at heart. Race callers are popular guest speakers and event MC’s because of their integrity and love of the sport.

Form analyst

Not only must a racecaller know the jockey colours but he must also know the formlines around each runner. Knowing each horse’s previous runs, the weight he needs to carry and the preferred running patters are all important keys to a good call. Luckily, most racecallers are also popular tipsters so they usually have a good knowledge of form.

Impartial friend of the punter

A good racecaller knows that every horse in the race usually has the support of at least some punters so he needs to treat each horse with respect and honesty. He must be impartial and not “barrack” for certain horses he chooses. In general, a good racecaller is usually the punter’s friend and can provide comfort in losses. Similar to the people at an online baccarat casino, an excellent racecaller gives every punter something to smile about, even when they lose.

Personable and genuine nature

When it comes down to it, the best racecallers are well liked and admired. This is because of their friendly nature, positive demeanour and uncompromising honesty. The punter needs to trust the caller and know that what is being relayed is a true and honest account of proceedings. When that is ticked, the caller can add his own flavour and level of entertainment. It seems strange that not more female race callers are on the airwaves as I strongly believe females would be excellent in the role. Females have started to make an impact in other sports so it seems just a matter of time when we have a lady calling The Melbourne Cup.

Summary

Following these tips can lift a race caller into legendary status. It’s critical for all those budding track announcers with dreams of becoming an elite race caller to bear these qualities in mind.

Category: Special interest

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.