Friday, July 12, 2019
As far as leading SA race caller Terry McAuliffe was concerned it ended where it all began all those years ago – at a greyhound track.
He still remembers his time as a 21-year-old junior race caller at the then SA racing station 5AA, calling trials at the Gawler greyhounds as a lead-up to his first meeting in 1985 at Gawler, back then known as Princes Park.
Yesterday at Mount Gambier’s Tara Raceway was his final meeting as a race caller, McAuliffe, 55, now about to join Racing.com as its SA presenter and journalist.
Over the past 20 years much of his calling has been confined to thoroughbred racing but he still has fond memories of greyhound racing in the late 1980s and the participants and dogs that made for a boom time in the sport.
“It was a great time to be calling at greyhound meetings,” he said. “I was asked today what some of favourite dogs were and several quickly sprung to mind.”
McAuliffe still recalls the deeds of the terrific stayer Julep, trained at Moonta by Brian Arthur, and the Whyalla bred Braw Laddie who won 48 races for the Butterfield family – both dogs being by Red Flag.
Kuriarkin, who won the 1989 Adelaide Cup for Hall Of Fame trainer Doug Payne, still sticks in McAuliffe’s mind as does another Moonta dog in Wolf Black, a winner of 36 races for Blair Cross and tracing back to Braw Laddie.
And who could forget McAuliffe’s 1989 call of Bold Trease winning his fourth consecutive Sandown Cup?
Longwarry trainer Nicole Lund, who was successful with Cassius Monelli at her first visit to Tara Raceway the previous week, won the final race yesterday, the South Eastern Hotel Stake (400 m), with Tankalicious.
The 37 kilogram son of Fabregas and Houso Delight quickly found the front from box seven before going on to a comfortable 5¾ length win over Bob Square Pants in a best of day 23.12 seconds.
This was Lund’s second win with Tankalicious, raced in the same interests as the previous week’s winner, and his trainer was keen for McAuliffe to join her in a photograph with the dog as this had been his last race call. He willingly obliged.
While yesterday’s 12-race time-graded fixture certainly wouldn’t have rated as one of the most prestigious meetings he’s ever called, let it be said that Terry McAuliffe maintained his professionalism right to the end.
Pictures: Bronny Nicholson