Greg Miles ready to sing the blues in 36th Melbourne Cup call

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In focus: Greg Miles is getting ready for his 36th Melbourne Cup call. Photo: Justin McManus Just A Dash wins the Melbourne Cup in 1981.
Nanjing Night Net

 Greg Miles, the voice of the Melbourne Cup, won’t be feeling blue on Tuesday but he will be seeing blue.

As he prepares to call his 36th Cup, he has an even tougher challenge than usual.

Two stables account for nine runners in the field of 24.

Lloyd Williams, whose colours are navy blue with white armbands, has four horses: Bondi Beach, Gallante, Almoonqith and Almandin. Godolphin, which has five starters – Beautiful Romance, Oceanographer, Qewy, Hartnell and Secret Number – has royal blue colours with a Fly Emirates logo. BY anyone’s measure, that’s a lot of blue.

Different coloured caps, including a gold one for Godolphin for the first time, will help the once-a-year punter – and others – identify who is who.

“I’ll get the colours printed off on Sunday and then I’ll just go through the caps,” said Miles. “But what I have learnt to do is, let’s say one of them is wearing blinkers, I’ll make a note of that, or if another one has a colourful bridle, I’ll be able to use that.

“But I don’t rely on the colour of the horses, only specific marks that you can rely on.”

Miles believes that the faster the pace, the easier is his task.

“The field separates and strings out, so the faster they go, the field is far more identifiable.

“I suppose my most moving year of all the Cups is when Makybe Diva came through the pack to win her third Melbourne Cup.

“That was a moving experience and you had a huge crowd behind her.”

An hour before the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, Miles will be alone in his box, brushing up on small details before he conveys a picture to his global audience of how the Cup unfolds. If you were to walk past his box during that hour, you might see a grown man muttering to himself: “That’s a white, that’s a red and that’s a blue.”

“It’s exciting because you build up from week to week and finally Cup day is upon you,” he said.

And spare a thought for the rest of Miles’ Tuesday.

In the days gone by, race-callers had the luxury of sharing the workload with other broadcasters on Cup day, but in recent times Miles has been left to call the entire 10-race meeting. The first is at 10.40am and the last at 5.15pm.

“To answer the question, ‘Am I doing a lot of work for the Cup?’ I am, but remember there are six or seven races on before the Cup and those colours must be learnt as well.”

For all those connected to the Melbourne Cup winner, it’s a life-changing experience. They will be celebrated worldwide.

However, for the race-caller, if he gives a clear and colourful picture of how all 24 runners fared – and manages to get a four-way photo finish correct – the highest praise will be that Greg Miles nailed it.

After 35 great Melbourne Cup calls, Miles is not likely to put a foot wrong. He will be singing the blues.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.