THE Bendigo Jockey Club has long-been renowned as the ‘Nursery of Champions’.
But from Wednesday it will also lay claim to being the undisputed breeding ground for the next generation of Australian race callers.
A newly developed ‘Nursery of Race Callers’ program is set to provide a pathway to aspiring race callers, with the first trainee already champing at the bit to get down to business at Bendigo Jockey Club.
He will arrive with a first-class pedigree, as the nephew of leading Australian trainer Darren Weir.
Sixteen-year-old Dayne Barry, from Swan Hill, is already no stranger to some of the region’s punters.
The teenager has already called official races at Tocumwal, Burrumbeet and Wycheproof and will be working with the BJC to complete his Certificate II in Racing Services (racing administration).
BJC chief executive officer Aaron Hearps said the club was proud to assist the industry and young race callers by providing a platform that will further develop their race calling skill set and also provide practical involvement in the running of a country racing club at the same time.
Barry has been guided in the early stages of his career by well-known country race caller and proud Bendigonian Ric McIntosh, a strong supporter of the program.
“I believe it’s great that the Bendigo Jockey Club is providing a pathway for Dayne and other young kids who might want to become race callers in the future,” McIntosh said.
“Come October when all jump outs in Victoria will be filmed and uploaded to the internet I think having them called will only assist the owner and punter when they watch the footage.
“It’s great that Bendigo is leading the way in this area.”
The BJC’s reputation as the Nursery of Champions was forged through the success of 21 eventual Group 1 winners, who all had their maiden race wins at Bendigo racecourse.
From Wednesday, it’s hoped Barry will become the trailblazer in a long-line of premier race callers to have kick-started their career in Bendigo.
Racing returns to the BJC on Wednesday with an eight-race card starting at 1pm.