Race heats up for RJC caller's job

By DARRYN NUFER

THE Rockhampton Jockey Club will have to put its thinking cap on after receiving a talented list of candidates for the newly created position of racecaller/promotions officer.

Applications for the job have closed and a tight-lipped RJC executive manager Bruce Slattery was yesterday giving nothing away in relation to exact numbers or candidates.

"It will go to committee (meeting) on Friday night,'' he said.

"It's up to the committee on how they wish to proceed.''

A forthright RJC chairman Justin Doyle said it was unlikely a decision on the position would be made tomorrow as the meeting's agenda was already "chocka-block''.

"We may re-convene a special meeting for a later date,'' he said.

Doyle said he was aware of five "quality applicants''. He confirmed current racecaller Tony McMahon had applied, as had former Sky Channel employee and country caller Russell Leonard.

Other contenders included a "high-profile'' Queensland-based caller who would be "a matter of affordability'', and a young talent calling trials in the south-east, Doyle said.

He said based on the quality of applicants the future was bright.

"All have good racecalling ability.''

Doyle said the position had been created as there had previously been no contractual agreement in place.

The added responsibility of promotions officer was also deemed necessary by the committee.

Yesterday McMahon told how the decision to advertise his position had "gutted him''.

"I have been RJC caller for 16 years and provided the club with loyalty,'' he said.

"Never during that time have they expressed any dissatisfaction with my broadcasting, nor for that matter have Sky Channel or Radio TAB, who take the calls.''

In fact, so widely respected is McMahon, he has high-profile people from both Sky Channel and Radio TAB as referees.

"I was personally gutted by the manner this new position was public knowledge in Rocky before being officially made known to me second-hand. My reputation speaks for itself and the public support I have received has been humbling.



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