Matt can see Sky calling him...
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. riverineherald.com.au 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.
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