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Remember this name: Anthony Manton

January 27, 2011

Many punters will have been watching Sydney’s barrier trials this month, with many autumn carnival contenders nearing their return to racing.

AManton1

Anthony Manton is one of Australia's most promising racecallers

Sydney caller Mark Shean, who calls both races and trials in Sydney, is currently having a spell before the Sydney autumn racing carnival.

Although Sky Sports Radio’s Matt Hill has taken on Shean’s raceday commitments, the trials have been taken on by enthusiastic up and comer Anthony Manton.

While Manton may not be well known within the racing industry just yet, there is no doubt that he is one rising star to follow.

Manton’s down to earth, matter of fact calling style has already won him plenty of fans within the Sydney racing fraternity.

Just Horse Racing had the opportunity to catch up with Manton before he called the Randwick trials this morning.

He seems unfazed by the prospect of calling a number of Sydney’s finest horses, including Group 1 winners More Joyous, Danleigh and Metal Bender.

“I’m excited by it, it is what I’ve been wanting to do since I was a kid,” Manton says.

It was the influence of his grandparents that had him first considering a career in race calling.

“My family had horses, but it was my Pop who took me to the races when I was about 7 or 8, he was the one that gave me the racing bug – I was hooked,” Manton says. “After a day at the races I used to set myself up on Nan and Pop’s verandah and I’d do mock calls. I would just imagine that I’d be a caller one day.”

The 27 year old made an entrance into the racing industry by working with organisations like Racenet, Centrebet and TAB Sportsbet.

However, race calling was always in the back of his mind.

“It always knew that race calling was what I wanted to do, it was just a matter of getting 0ut there and doing it,” he said.

It wasn’t until the start of 2009 that Manton began to focus on a career as a race caller.

He began calling at picnic meetings in February that year, often travelling long distances to get to meetings.

“The first meeting I called was in a tiny town called Bingara, about 75km from Inverell,” he says. “It was Bingara Cup day, and the racecourse had no area for a racecaller. They put me in the middle of the crowd in the grandstand, with no binocular stand, nothing. It was very hard to keep the binoculars steady, very hard to concentrate. However, I gained enough confidence throughout the day that by the time the Cup came around, I was willing to declare that the favourite couldn’t win as they came around the home turn.”

“Lucky for me, he didn’t win – he ran third.”

Manton was also one of a number of callers who helped to celebrate the opening of Tuncurry Forster Racecourse in March 2009.

However, it was the opportunity to call at a TAB meeting at Canberra on Melbourne Cup Day that presented his first big break.

“It was a big thrill to be able to call one of Canberra’s busiest meetings,” he says.

Click below to hear his call of the last race at Canberra on Melbourne Cup Day:

Manton is very grateful to Mark Shean for his guidance as he attempts to make a career out of race calling.

“He’s been, by far, the biggest help so far, I would hardly get a gig if it wasn’t for him,” he says.

“I was also lucky enough to get some good advice from Darren Flindell in Hong Kong when I was there in November.”

Along with Shean and Flindell, Manton nominates New Zealand’s Tony Lee and Western Australia’s Darren McAullay as two of his favourite callers.

“The first thing that I remember thinking about racecallers when I was a kid was how much I loved the excitement in their voice,” he says. “Tony Lee and Darren McAullay are two of the most exciting callers I have heard. I also think that caller needs to have good flow, good rhythm, and both those callers have that.”

“Tony Lee, he has this growl in his voice when he’s calling a close finish, it’s a perfect quality in a caller.”

“One of my favourite calls of all time was his call of the 2005 Mudgway won by Xcellent. Xcellent came from nowhere, and the expectation and anticipation in his voice was truly amazing, it was almost as though he was carrying him over the line.”

Manton’s ultimate goal is to one day follow in the path set by Australian race callers like Flindell, David Raphael, Michael Maxworthy, Jim McGrath and Terry Spargo.

“My ideal goal is to work somewhere in Asia as an English speaking caller,” he says.

“I just need to get up some more experience before then.”

Although Shean returns from holidays next week, Manton remains committed to calling whenever he can.

“I’ll still call the trials when Mark is unavailable, and who knows where that may lead,” he says.

Tune into TVN tonight to see today’s Randwick trials with caller Anthony Manton – for more information, head to his Youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/amanton1)

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