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BERT BRYANT Race caller

Bert BryantBert Bryant (1927 - 1991) is regarded as one of Australia's top race callers of Thoroughbred horse racing in the twentieth century. His career as a race caller began in western New South Wales on country racetracks.

In 1948, while living in Dubbo he successfully auditioned for a job with Melbourne radio station 3UZ where he took over from Tom Moon.

His personality and colourful race calls made him an enduring success for the next 30 years as Director of Sport. His racing programs and race calls attracted a listening audience of 2.5 million through links to radio stations around Australia.

Among thousands of races, his call of the two horse war between Big Philou and Rain Lover in the 1970 Queen Elizabeth Stakes is considered an epic. In a very close finish, Bert plumped, rightly, for Big Philou. He said "If you got it wrong in a two-horse race, you’d have to give it up forever." To listen to that classic call click here

He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in 1978 which ended his race calling career. He continued with the popular Saturday morning Turf talk until 3UZ gave racing away in 1983. Bert then took on the job of representing bloodstock agent Harry Lawson.

In 1985 he was diagnosed with a cancerous stomach tumour, which he overcame, but suffered from depression in later years and died in 1991 at the age of 64.

In 2003 Bert Bryant was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.

Bert was famous for his wit and humor in his race previews and during his race calls. Here are some of his colourful expressions:
• A no-hoper in a race: couldn’t pull the skin off a bread and butter custard.
• A horse bandaged on all four legs was: carrying enough bandage to start their own field hospital.
• A racecourse tout had: more tips than a can of asparagus.
• Good form coming into a race suggested: Where there's smoke, there’s blue cod.
• An erratic runner was said to be: hanging like granny’s tooth.
• A bold front runner had: a wing on every foot.
• A horse tailed off at the end of a race would: need a lantern to find the way HOME.
• A horse racing wide on the HOME turn was: covering more territory than Burke and Wills or: covered more ground than the early explorers.
• A horse that was racing fiercely was: pulling like a Collins Street dentist.
• If a long shot got up Bert remarked: You deserve a gold bike if you picked this one.

For many years a radio interview between legendary race caller, Bert Bryant and jockey, Les Boots used to be played at the start of the jumps season. The interview ended with Bert unable to continue because of laughter.

It became so famous it was played not only at the beginning of the Victorian jumps season but also on Grand National day. Les claimed he rode for around 18 years but spent 15 of them in hospital.

To hear that great piece of old time radio - click here (Thanks a lot to Sport 927 in Melbourne for tracking it down)