Alan Thomas, Greg Miles, Josh Fleming & Ian Craig at Broadmeadow on NBN Newmarket raceday
With the generous support of QantasLink, Newcastle Jockey Club is privileged to have special guests today the following leading Australian race callers.
- Ian Craig (Sydney)
- Terry Bailey (Sydney)
- Josh Fleming (Sydney)
- Alan Thomas (Brisbane)
- Greg Miles (Melbourne)
We welcome these outstanding callers to Broadmeadow and thank QantasLink for their wonderful support.
Alan was born in February 1952 and educated at Marist Brothers College, Rosalie. A school prefect, he represented the college in rugby, cricket, tennis and swimming.
After completing year 12, Alan began working for Queensland Primary producers while trying to break into sports commentary.
When Gold Coast Turf Club commenced Saturday racing in January 1971, Alan at 18 years of age was appointed on-course broadcaster with the help of then Telegraph turf editor and race caller Keith Noud.
He joined radio station 4BC in 1975 and transferred to rival Brisbane station 4KQ in 1977 to head up a new Brisbane racing service.
While at 4KQ, Alan did racing television work for QTQ9. It was here he came under the attention of TV executives and in 1979 was approached to start the station's first sports department leading into the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games. Alan stayed with QTQ9 until he returned to race calling at Sky Channel in May 1993.
During his 14-year stint at Channel 9, he teamed with John Famechon to call boxing at the Brisbane Commonwealth Games. He also called Jeff Fenech's first two world title fights, 15 State of Origin rugby league games, one rugby league test, a Sheffield Shield cricket final at Sydney Cricket Ground and did fairway commentary on international golf tournaments.
Alan calls all Brisbane races for Sky Channel and Sydney radio station 2KY, and is also a boxing commentator on Sky.
He calls himself as a "lucky" racehorse owner, having won one race in eleven years!
Greg is fulfilling a lifelong ambition to call races.
He began his broadcasting career at Wangaratta greyhounds in 1979, and joined the ABC sports department in Melbourne the following year.
Greg took over from the legendary Joe Brown as ABC Melbourne caller in June, 1981. He succeeded Bill Collins as on-course caller at Caulfield and Sandown in 1988 and replaced Frank O'Brien as Flemington's on-course caller the following year. Greg left the ABC to take up a full-time post with Sky Channel in 1998.
His current duties for Sky include calling all metropolitan and many Victorian country race meetings. He presents previews for Sky's "Inside Running" and has done occasional interviews for John Tapp's "Inside Racing", also seen on Sky.
Greg has called a total of 23 Melbourne Cups - and is looking forward to calling many more. His stirring call of Lonhro's Australian Cup victory at Flemington last Monday week will live long in racing enthusiasts' memories.
Ian commenced his broadcasting career at Goulburn trots in 1962, and the same year was appointed course commentator at Richmond greyhound and trot meetings.
He also described Bankstown trotting gymkhanas and following the club's licensing in 1964 became course caller in 1964. Similarly, Ian also received a Lithgow appointment later that year. Ian's first regular radio broadcasts also commenced in 1964, with 2KA Katoomba covering Richmond trot and greyhound fixtures.
His initial metropolitan radio assignment was October 1 1965 broadcasting Harold Park trots for Radio 2UE. Ian was appointed to 2UE's permanent staff in December 1965, covering Harold Park trots and understudying Des Hoysted at metropolitan and provincial gallop meetings. He accepted an offer to join 2KY in September 1968 calling trot, greyhound and provincial gallop meetings.
When 2KY commenced its Saturday metropolitan race coverage in September 1974, Ian hosted a Saturday morning preview programme in addition to the race calls.
He became Sky Channel's Sydney race caller in July 2001 in addition to the 2KY post.
Ian has had a long involvement in television from 1966 to 1989 at Channel 7. He hosted the Sunday "Punters Post Mortem" programme in addition to race previews and reviews in news programmes. Now, he previews all metropolitan gallop meetings on Sky.
Ian's service to the racing industry was recognised in the 1991 Queen's Birthday awards when he received an Order of Australia Medal.
Terry began his broadcasting career in the greyhound industry.
Grafton-born Bailey started calling the local greyhounds at 15 years of age - the youngest race caller on radio. It was no surprise really considering his family had a lengthy involvement in the industry.
Ironically, though, it was "second time around" when Terry's broadcasting career really blossomed in the "Jacaranda City".
After a ten-year break from calling, he was offered his old greyhound job again and was also given an opportunity to call the gallops when regular caller John Carlton took ill.
Bitten by the race calling bug, Terry made regular trips to Queensland in his spare time to "keep his eye in" with the support of leading Brisbane caller Wayne Wilson. It paid off. When Newcastle's Greg Radley returned home, Terry gained a permanent radio job in Brisbane - calling all three codes - and was subsequently appointed No. 2 caller to Wilson.
He broadcast his first Magic Millions carnival at the Gold Coast in 1992 and in 1998 was paid the ultimate compliment by Sky Channel, who lured him to Sydney to replace the retiring John Tapp.
Terry says it has been a wonderful privilege to have called three champions - Sunline, Might And Power and Tie The Knot.
It is another feather in his cap that he is now the on-course caller for both the AJC and STC - a position he has held for the last few years.
Josh was born in Brisbane on November 23, 1984 and moved to Barcaldine in Central-Western Queensland in October, 1995 when he was in grade 6. This came about when his mother (a primary school teacher) was transferred to Barcaldine.
Josh started doing phantom race calls out of the Sunday paper when he was about 10 years of age - fuelled by listening to racing broadcasts with his grandfather whilst living in Brisbane and his first experience of going to an Eagle Farm race meeting in 1994. The then local race steward John Wallis heard one of Josh's phantom calls in Barcaldine and suggested he started practising his calls into a tape recorder at tracks such as Longreach, Blackall and Barcaldine.
Josh called his first meeting in December 1998 when 14 years of age. He says the biggest meeting he has called was the annual Birdsville races, though he admitted to quite a pleasant shock at seeing the huge crowd when calling last year's Boxing Day fixture at Broadmeadow.
After completing Year 12 in 2001, he moved back to Brisbane to further his broadcasting career. He gained an opportunity with Radio TAB in March 2002 and shifted to Sydney in September last year when awarded a John Tapp Scholarship.
Josh is now employed full-time by Sky Channel and says he is keen to do well for the company in the years to come.
Aside from his parents, he says his biggest influence has been Alan Thomas, who gave him great assistance when practising at Eagle Farm and Doomben and continues