Tough job of the race caller
THERE are many jobs that go into the races, from the bartender to the secretary, the gate keeper, the bookies and Darren Walker’s job – race caller.
Darren began calling races at a young age.
“I first got into it when I was about 15 in Gladstone,” Darren said.
He grew up around the racetrack with his father as a horse trainer.
“Dad was training the horses and the bloke that was doing the race calling gave it away and so Dad had to fill in but he wasn’t that keen so he taught me how to do it,” he said.
“And I have kept doing it.” The job of race calling isn’t just calling what the race number is, it is stating over the microphone which horses are coming first and coming up.
“It is all about memorising, associating the horse with the colours,” Darren said.
Moving around a bit, Darren first started race calling out at Thangool Cup in the early 90s.
Last year he picked up the microphone at the Thangool Cup for the first time in 25 years.
“I was approached by Pat Brennan to do it again,” Darren said.
“And you don’t say no to him.”
Over the years Darren said he had seen the annual Thangool Cup race meet get bigger and bigger.
“It certainly has grown in size a lot,” he said.
“The crowd has grown immensely.”
Darren said he couldn’t quite put his finger on why it had grown to be so big but said it was great to see.
“Everyone wants to be there and it is a big social event on the calender,” he said.
The popularity could have something to do with the hard-working Thangool Race Club committee.
“They are a good committee,” Darren said.
“They put in a lot of extra hours.
“A lot of unpaid hours. The races tomorrow are expected to be a big one with marquees and tables all booked out.
“There will be a lot of people, it will be standing room only,” Darren said.
Darren Walker’s job as race caller calls for a good eye and a steady nerve.
Who is in the lead? Thangool race meet earlier in the year.