I was absolutely gobsmacked the first time I saw Ron Casey and Frank Hyde lock horns on the set of the old Channel 9 World Of Sport. I’m talking early 70’s, and I was waiting in Studio 2 to do my racing bit, as soon as the Rugby League segment finished.
I was reminded of Matthew Smith’s background, as his 5 year old gelding Plymouth Road led all the way to win the 2400 metres BM 82 at Randwick on Saturday. Matthew was born and reared at Wangaratta in Victoria, which boasts one of the oldest country racetracks in Australia(1855). His Dad Christopher was a member of the Wangaratta Turf Club Committee, and a keen racehorse owner.
Most race callers are so intent on getting the job done accurately, they wouldn’t give a thought to throwing in a funny line. That kind of commentary wouldn’t have suited the late Bert Bryant, who died in 1991 following several years of indifferent health. Bert believed that punters having a bad day, needed some cheering up, and he set about developing an array of “one liners” designed to take the pain out of losing your money.