In almost four decades of broadcasting thoroughbred racing in Victoria, Greg Miles has delivered many famous calls.
But, as he prepares to call his final races at Saturday’s Easter Cup meeting at Caulfield, Miles admits he hasn’t got a line prepared for his sign-off, fittingly in a race named ‘Bravo Greg Miles’.
“I might just say the last one home and ‘see you later’,” Miles told reporters at Caulfield on Wednesday as he reflected on his distinguished career behind the binoculars.
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After last year’s spring carnival in November, during which Miles called a record 36th consecutive Melbourne Cups, he announced this season would be his last.
Earlier this year he decided the Easter Cup meeting would be his swan song and Matt Hill was recently announced as his successor as Melbourne’s premier race caller.
“Certainly it’s going to be unusual because I’ve always thought, ‘there’s always another race to do’,” Miles said,.
“Even after you’ve finished calling a Melbourne Cup, you don’t relax because there’s the next three races on Melbourne Cup day.
“So it will be unusual to call the last one and know that there won’t be a next call, but it’s something that I’ve called time on.
“I’m looking forward to doing something else.”
He said he had a few “irons in the fire” and would be doing some work for Victorian broadcaster Racing.com.
“I won’t be calling anymore, but I’ll be telling the stories of racing,” he said.
While there might be some added pressure attached to his final calls, he expects it to be nothing like the pressure of a Melbourne Cup.
“Having called 36 Melbourne Cup carnivals, that’s real pressure,” he said.
“I think Saturday I’ll be able to cope with it.”
He said there was not one particular call which stood out above all others.
“I get asked about the obvious ones like Makybe Diva’s third Melbourne Cup, the Redoute’s Choice (Caulfield) Guineas and Lonhro’s Australian Cup in 2004,” Miles said.
“And I guess they are race calls that I’ve been proud of over the years. But in 37 years of race calling there’s dozens of great champions that I’ve been fortunate enough to call. There’s some great memories.”
And likewise, there isn’t one particular champion horse he puts above all others.
“I’ve been very lucky because I started with Kingston Town and Manikato,” he said.
“And then had great champions all through different eras. From Bonecrusher right through to the champions of the current time like Winx and Black Caviar in recent years.
“I’ve been very fortunate and wouldn’t like to single one out because I’ve been very lucky that I’ve called great champions in different eras.”
Another of the great horses he called, 1997 Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cups winner Might And Power, was at Caulfield on Wednesday as Miles spoke about his career.
“I would have been happy just hacking around the bush and I just enjoyed being at the races,” Miles said.
“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.”