Race caller close to big break
TEENAGE Central Queensland race caller Luke Marlow left Rockhampton yesterday bound for Sydney as a candidate for the prestigious SKY Racing's John Tapp Race Caller Scholarship.
Marlow, of Alton Downs, turned 18 last Saturday and is one of five budding race-calling stars selected from a big field of talented youngsters throughout Australia.
The others are Kyle Galley, Edward Sadler and Matthew Jackson (Victoria), and Anthony Manton from Sydney.
The scholarship provides budding callers the chance to be professionally groomed for a career behind the binoculars.
The winner, to be announced on SKY Racing's Racing Retro program on Sunday, June 26, is guaranteed a 12-month contract with the company in Sydney.
Previous winners include Barcaldine's Josh Fleming, Brisbane's Mitchell Manners and leading Sydney broadcaster Matthew Hill.
Marlow broadcast his first race live at Yeppoon's Keppel Park on August 23, 2008, when he was 15.
“I'll never forget the occasion. The race was won by my parents' horse Fleet the Bongo,” he said.
Marlow first came to prominence early this racing season when on two occasions he broadcast the Mackay Turf Club TAB races over radio and pay-television networks throughout Australia.
That was subsequent to him being a stand-in race caller at country tracks throughout Central Queensland.
Just a fortnight ago, Luke enhanced his prospects of winning the Tapp Scholarship when he provided an eloquent delivery of race calls throughout the program of a Rockhampton Jockey Club TAB meeting.
Today Marlow and the other four candidates are due to broadcast a race each at the Wyong Turf Club in New South Wales.
However, if further rain persists, the Wyong races could be washed out but SKY executives have a back-up plan in place.
“Tentatively we would hope to get the five to each call a harness (trot) race on the Newcastle card on Thursday,” SKY's Rod Gallegos said.
While accomplished at calling gallops and greyhounds, Marlow has never had the opportunity of calling harness racing as it is non-existent in country Queensland.
However, those that have groomed Marlow believe the teenager will more than cope should that challenge eventuate today.
The selection process will also incorporate a screen test and interviews.