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By David Fowler | Tuesday, July 9, 2019

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.

Many people have asked me over the last month why is South Australia’s Terry McAuliffe quitting the race calling business.

A pre-arranged roster swap will actually see Terry’s last calling assignment at Mount Gambier dogs on Thursday rather than the expected sign off at Morphettville tomorrow.

Terry is a fit and healthy 54 years and calling as sharply as ever. So, the question of departure is valid.

And people feel emboldened enough to ask me knowing we are not only colleagues but close mates.

Maybe disappointing for some but there is no shock or awe in the answer.

The prime hosting position on Racing.com became available and Terry took it.

Short and sweet.

It will involve a different set of skills which Terry will adapt to like a duck to water.


His appointment is a coup for the industry.

He explains it in his own words.

“It’s all about timing. What happens if I really did become tired of calling in two years and the opportunity to take this job had been and gone,” he pointed out to me.

And, certainly, there is a degree of pragmatism behind the sea change. Less working hours and more time to spend with his wife Christine and teenage boys Henry, Will and Charlie.

He won’t mind me revealing that he still feels some pangs of guilt missing the boy’s weekend footy games as they were growing up.

“And to be honest, I haven’t been as keen on some of the travelling in the last six months,” he added.


I must confess even I find the decision a little odd but that’s because I’m drawing from my own experiences which isn’t a fair comparison.

He’s a family man and I’m a single man. It matters.

And, besides, there is no other job up for grabs for me!

I’m reaching 40 years full time employment in “the great game” as some like to term it. Half a century would be an admirable goal but I’m not counting on it.

Our conversations, revealed here today, raise a broader point of when does a racecaller decide to “call it a day”.

Sometimes, it’s not of their choosing for any number of commercial reasons.

But those who do depart on their terms must simply wake up one day and say “it’s time”.

Terry has … but in his case as one door closes, another opens.

I wish him well.

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