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By Graham Potter | Friday, May 25, 2018

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

The media commitments undertaken by trainers and jockeys these days have long since reached the level where they are taken for granted by those who watch or listen to them.

It’s a logical fit … major players helping to promote their industry while increasing their own profile is a win / win situation for everybody. That is if it is handled respectfully and professionally in a manner in keeping with the core intent of providing relevant insight into the subject in question.

Therefore, it is hardly surprising that Noel Callow’s antics … when he chose to rattle off and infomercial for a mate’s business and then abruptly ride away from the interviewer without addressing any race feedback after a recent win at Flemington … attracted so much attention.

Racing.com’s Shane Anderson labelled Callow’s actions as being, “disrepectful to Dean Petit (the interviewer), disrespectful to the industry and disrespectful to the audience.”

Anderson was not alone in those views but his opinion also did not receive blanket support. Callow is a popular figure who has made something of a name for himself with his off-beat routine in post-race interviews where he has clearly set out to entertain as much as provide information.

For the most part those interviews have been a delight … a much-needed variety on the norm, if you like, and they have been well received.

The point being that within that expected professionalism there is plenty of room to manoeuvre, to liven up things, to set your own mark and racing and racegoers very much supports that kind of individualism.

So, when somebody is pulled up for seemingly doing the wrong thing … as Callow was (by respected commentators) in this case … that is not racing being too stiff upper lip or showing no sense of humour as some of the Callow supporters have tried to claim.

Rather, this was a clear-cut case of an error of judgement by an individual. Nothing more … nothing less … and, while there are far more important issues that need attention and we should not dwell on this, it was very important that Callow was censured for his behaviour, not least so that others can understand what is acceptable and what is not when, in essence, they are up there representing the industry.

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