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By David Fowler | Tuesday, October 10, 2017

David Fowler is the principal thoroughbred caller for Radio TAB. David, who is a keen form student and punter, has enjoyed a lifetime involvement in the racing media. His personal blog, ‘My Call’, appears exclusively on HRO.

"It's all over bar the shouting" was an old racecalling expression, rarely used these days.

Bert Bryant, in fact, I think coined it.

And that's the case with The Everest and the Cox Plate ... but for entirely different reasons.

The Everest has enjoyed unprecedented pre-race publicity since the February launch.

The slow-grinding formation of the field by wealthy slot owners was a PR masterstroke and the novelty factor also played a strong hand.

But will this convert into a 30,000 plus attendance at Randwick this Saturday?

It's a realistic benchmark figure and I'm fairly certain it's the one the power brokers are working with.

Little doubt the ATC and Racing NSW will be jittery this week trying to gauge how strong the public response will be to the truckloads of publicity thrown at this day.

The non appearance of Winx in the Craven Plate was an early body blow. Fickle weather could also spell trouble.

The 18,000 attendance figure at the Spring Champion Stakes day last weekend is an encouraging sign and was not a one-off for this post footy finals raceday.

It fair to say when Sydney has had a big throw at the stumps to attract big crowds (read The Championships), the result has been somewhat underwhelming.

Will The Everest buck the trend?


Further down the track in Melbourne town, this year’s Cox Plate is somewhat unique.

So often Australia's premier weight-for-age contest is a conundrum for punters with a race overloaded with quality,

But Winx's Turnbull Stakes domination erased any doubts of her invincibility and she trades at a $1:25 en route to equal a record-breaking third Plate victory.

There appears no danger. In fact, there also appears little opposition in regards to final acceptance.

To quote a southern scribe, "only illness, an accident or appalling bad luck will prevent victory."

It is all over bar the shouting.

The toughest task at hand will be for the media to discover different angles to try and promote the race.

But the Moonee Valley Race Club can rest easy with a huge attendance assured simply by Winx turning up.

A nervous week in Sydney compares to a "bring it on" war cry south of the border.


Yes, I did call two races at Globe Derby trots in Adelaide on Monday and later broadcast the Albion Park dogs in Brisbane.

We weren't intentionally playing "smoke and mirrors" but the Globe Derby races were broadcast from the RadioTAB studios in Brisbane.

Our colleague Jim Jacques had been involved in a car accident and initially no Adelaide caller was at hand to fill the breach.

It's a strange feeling broadcasting off a TV set in an office room but we got through.

I wouldn't recommend it as a blueprint for the future.


Around $51,000 has been raised to support on-the-sidelines trainer Darren Bell.

This is largely due to the efforts of the ATA's Cam Partington who drove the fund raising project.

And, of course, to all those who generously contributed to the cause.



* Was their only five internal reviews conducted at QRIC over the last three months?

* Is there even bigger news coming out of the Gold Coast in the next few months?

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David Fowler
David Fowler
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best