The man who has the job of replacing Greg Miles has paid tribute to the record-breaking Melbourne race caller who he describes as a “colossal broadcaster”.
Miles, who has called a record 36 consecutive Melbourne Cups, will call his final meeting at Caulfield on Saturday with the final race on the card named ‘Bravo Greg Miles’.
Matt Hill is the man who has been appointed to take over and admits he has massive shoes to fill.
“I’m half really, really excited and half quite nervous,” Hill said.
“He’s a colossal broadcaster. So to even contemplate doing his job, it’s nerve-wracking but extremely exciting at the same time.”
Formerly Sydney’s No.1 caller before deciding to branch out to other sports, Hill has called a few races in the past couple of weeks as part of the transition and will call three on Saturday.
But the day will be about Miles who will receive a special presentation during the meeting to honour his retirement.
Miles’ first Melbourne race broadcast was for the ABC on Boxing Day at Caulfield in 1979, while the year before was his first public call of a steeplechase race in country Victoria.
“I first started calling a point-to-point meeting at Yerring, near Yarra Glen, and that was the first time I broadcast a race and people heard it. And I was as nervous as anything,” Miles said.
“And I never expected to be a city caller, to tell you the truth.
“I would have been happy just hacking around the bush and I just enjoyed being at the races.
“So to have been lucky enough to call metropolitan races from a really young age, I feel I’ve been blessed my whole racing career.”
Hill said Miles has not only been his idol but also a great ambassador for the sport.
“It’s huge shoes to fill, not just in the calling stakes,” he said.
For Hill there is one call of Miles’ which stands out.
And it came at Caulfield.
It was the 1999 Caulfield Guineas when Redoute’s Choice beat Testa Rossa in an epic encounter, matched by the call.
“It was just one of the great broadcasts and made the race and made the race famous,” Hill said.
“And if you listen back to that race and don’t get excited by it, you’re tired of life I think.”