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From the perspective of - Terry McAuliffe

A voice synonymys with South Australian Racing for over 30-years, Terry McAuliffe is a staunch supporter of racing in the State and is never short of a story or two.

As we lead in to the 2022/23 racing season, we were lucky enough to have a chat with Terry and pick his brain about Country Racing.

Tell us about your role within the racing industry.

I have been fortunate to be employed within the Racing Media for most of my working life, with my first break being a cadet race caller with 5AA which was predminantly the Friday Night Greyhound meeting at Gawler. As my experience grew, I had the opportunity to move in to calling races for Harness and Throroughbred Racing.

After my time with radio, I moved in to the role of Principal Thoroughbred Caller in South Australia where I achieved the honour of broadcasting 20 Adelaide Cups and 20 years of Group 1 Racing Carnivals at Morphettville.

In mid-2019 I made the decision to hang up the binoculars and leave race calling and join the team at as a race day host. Working alongside James Jordan and now James Tzaferis too, it is great fun and I love the opportunity to interact with the trainers and jockeys on the ground on race days.

Best country racing memory?

I have touched on the great thrill of broadcasting feature races at Morphettville, but it is also great fun working at other racetracks all around the State. All up, as a broadcaster, I covered race meetings from 19 different racetracks around South Australia.

My favourite country race meeting memory was a self-indulgent one.In 2002 I called a horse I part owned Buffalo Power to win the Port Augusta Cup.

Apart from having a small share in ‘old Buff” he was prepared by my father-in-law Leon Macdonald, himself an old Port Augusta boy. Leon was determined to go back and win his old hometown Cup, so it was a very memorable day.

Why should people plan a day at a country racing meet?

Cup day meetings are always magnificent occasions and especially for country towns.The race meeting is not just about the Cup, horses and the winners on the day, but they are events for the community itself.

If you make a decision to head to a country Cup meeting you will not be disappointed as the atmosphere is all always fantastic. It’s an day for everyone, young, and old, to dress up, and enjoy a fun day of socializing, enjoy the beauty of the horses, the colours of the racing silks, and so much more.

What are your top 3 favourite country racing tracks to visit, and why?

Pressed for my top 3 country tracks is tough as I don’t want to offend the Clubs I leave out where I have always had so much fun.

I am going to put the non-TAB Streaky Bay meeting at the top of my list. Again this is a little bit of a biased selection as it is a meeting I have now attended with a group of friends for virtually each of the past 10 years.

It has all of the hallmarks I touched on earlier that makes a Cup Day meeting so grand. Community support is enormous but so too is travelling support and this meeting has it across a wide demographic spread.

It is more than just a Saturday race meeting too, with a fabulous traditional Friday Cup Eve Calcutta at the Streaky Bay Hotel. Hosted brilliantly by local star Phillip McEvoy, father of champion jockey Kerrin, the Calcutta is a wonderful entrée for the Saturday Cup meeting.

Number two I am going to settle on is the Port Augusta racetrack.

I have already touched on my close connection with Port Augusta with the win of Buffalo Power in the 2002 Port Augusta Cup.

However there are so many things I love about this Club and racetrack. A unique track located in the State's mid-north is our only dirt surface TAB racetrack, which sets it apart from all of the other TAB venues.

I have watched them, over the past ten years in particular, be a constant go ahead Race Club, always making adjustments and improvements to their facilities.

The Club has always been superbly led by a hard working committee, and I dare not single out any individuals as that would be too unfair.

For my third selection I am going with one of the Limestone Racing Clubs, but to brutally honest it is difficult to split any of the four. They are all racetracks I love working at, and the people who have run these clubs have all been exceptionally kind and generous to me when working at their meetings.

However I am going to run with Penola as my choice of the Limestone Racing Clubs. One of the most picturesque racetracks in the State, there is just something about the near 1800 metre circuit which gives it my nod.

It could be the quirky racetrack dimensions, the quaint little Grandstand at the 50 metre mark, or the once low to the ground broadcasting box which I called from for so many years, I’m not really sure.

Maybe it’s the various Cup Days that are hosted there, with the largest attended Cup meeting being the popular Vignerons Cup meeting in January.

More than likely it is a combination of these reasons that help contribute to me giving Penola a spot in my top three country racetracks.

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