I was at Toronto’s beautiful Woodbine racetrack for a race meeting last week.
And a big smile split my face like a watermelon when I heard a familiar – accent. It was music to my ears when I heard the race caller tell all and sundry that the horses were moving in.
Because he is an Aussie. Robert Geller is his name and he is very popular among punters, horse people, and the Canadian racing administration.
But it got me to thinking. You and I know that Aussie race callers are the best on earth, so if you think it over, it’s no surprise to see the progressive folks who run Woodbine hiring an Aussie who cut his teeth in the industry in outback Victoria.
But are there other Australian race callers out there at international postings?
Well, yes…and quite a few, actually.
Luke Marlow is now head caller at the Singapore Turf Club and he is doing a sensational job.
He was previously based in NSW calling provincial race meetings.
Then there is the well-travelled Craig Evans, who called for many years in Singapore before heading to Dubai. He recently did a sensational job calling the big Dubai World Cup meeting. He also calls races still in Victoria, at Healesville and various country venues.
Queensland’s Michael Wrona may have lost his long held job at Santa Anita earlier this year, but another US track picked him up and he is still going strong.
Then in Seoul, South Korea, the very Aussie lingo of Royce Newton can be heard. Newton still has close ties to home as he’s a big West Coast Eagles fan.
Over in Hong Kong, Brett Davis is king and is doing an impeccable job. Davis learned his trade in Adelaide.
All these guys can be heard through Sky Racing when their venues are beamed to Australia, which is often now a days.
Geller, who grew up a fan of Bill Collins, and worked under John Russell in Victoria for many years, got his big international break initially in Hong Kong.
“I was the English caller there for a few years and loved it. I eventually wanted to go back home but when I applied for this Woodbine job, and landed it, I came here instead and just love the place.”
Geller also calls in New Mexico when Woodbine is resting over the winter.
“Aussie callers tend to tell little stories during the run and I think the listening public appreciates that,” said Geller who also hosts a TV racing show in Toronto called, From The Booth.
We know that Sydney’s Darren Flindell spent many years calling in Hong Kong as well and given how accurate and different the Aussies are, no doubt more international jurisdictions will start using Aussies.