Matt can see Sky call­ing him...

The Riverine Herald - - LOCAL CLASSIES - By Fraser Walker-Pearce

MATT JACK­SON has just landed his dream job call­ing horses and grey­hounds in Syd­ney with Sky Rac­ing.

Af­ter 15 years of call­ing lo­cal har­ness tri­als and meets, trav­el­ling far and wide across Vic­to­ria, the Echu­caborn Jack­son, 34, got his per­fect gig.

In his time Jack­son has called some huge races, in­clud­ing the Mel­bourne Cup of grey­hounds, as well as big races in Hor­sham, Hamil­ton, Bendigo, Wan­garatta, Echuca and Be­nalla.

‘‘I started call­ing 15 years ago for lo­cal har­ness tri­als at the Moama trial track which is no longer there. I used to go over on a Sun­day and then one day they asked if I wanted to call a trial,’’ Jack­son said.

‘‘I went back the next week, and the guy who was call­ing was a pro punter and wanted to just get down there and wanted to watch the ac­tual race, so I took over from him,’’ he said.

Jack­son said the key to a good call wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily hav­ing your own pref­er­ences or favourites for the race.

It was more about try­ing to paint a pic­ture for those who aren’t at the track.

‘‘It’s not re­ally in­side knowl­edge, you might think some­thing is a good chance and some­thing will go wrong out there, so you have to have an open mind and ex­pect the un­ex­pected.

‘‘The thing I find is ac­cu­racy is key, be­cause I was em­ployed by ra­dio — and it’s call­ing a race that peo­ple can’t see.

‘‘I think of it as paint­ing a pic­ture for them when they can’t see it. To me I’m not the en­ter­tain­ment I’m just adding to the at­mos­phere and to the race it­self,’’ he said.

Of all the races he has called, the Mel­bourne Cup of grey­hounds sticks out as a big one — even though Jack­son prefers call­ing thor­ough­breds.

‘‘It was the world’s rich­est race, now it’s a mil­lion dol­lar race in Syd­ney. That was two years ago I called that and would love to call that again. I thought I would be ner­vous con­sid­er­ing it was the big­gest race I’d called, but I was just so ex­cited and had that adren­a­line.

‘‘Nor­mally I call it and think back and have no idea what I said, but that race I can just re­mem­ber ev­ery­thing,’’ he said.

He also picked the Echuca Cup of 2013 when Dubawi Gold came home in front of the Michelle Payne-rid­den Man­hat­tan Maid as a par­tic­u­lar high­light.

With lim­ited time left in Echuca be­fore he moves along with his wife and son up to the big city, Jack­son said he looked for­ward to the new job.

‘‘I think it’s both the chal­lenge of new tracks and meet­ing a lot of new peo­ple. They run a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion up there, so that adds to the chal­lenge. river­ine­ I’ll most def­i­nitely have to do some prac­tice.

‘‘It’ll be good call­ing very good horses, to call a good horse will be pretty ex­cit­ing.

‘‘I do love call­ing the grey­hounds now though. So I’m up for it,’’ he said.

Lo­cal race caller Matt Jack­son has se­cured a job with Sky Rac­ing in Syd­ney af­ter ply­ing his trade for 15 years.

Bren­dan McCarthy/Rac­ing Pho­tos

STABLE SUC­CESS: Left Jay­bee Out, rid­den by Mikaela Clar­idge, wins the Mur­phy's Turf & Land­scap­ing BM70 Hand­i­cap. Photo:

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