By Darren Cartwright
Veteran bush caller Brett Moody will on Saturday call the richest race of his four-decade career when he gets behind the mic at Eagle Farm for the $200,000 Battle of the Bush Final.
Brett (pictured in his earlier days) has traversed the countryside hollering winners across 42 country tracks in two states after making his debut at Cunnamulla in September, 1982.
In all the time he has been calling thoroughbreds, he has made it to the big smoke once before.
It was to call the inaugural Battle of the Bush at Doomben in 2018 that Mason’s Chance - an emergency this year - won.
“When you call Cups, or your hometown Cup as I’m originally from Wyandra but I grew up in Cunnamulla and Charleville, they are probably the highlights,” a chuffed Brett said.
“But this is a step up again, it’s like going from a grand final to a State of Origin."
With prize money for the Battle of the Bush having doubled since 2018, Saturday will be the richest race and equal to the biggest field Brett has called.
There will be 16 starters vying for the $116,000 winners’ cheque which will be topped up with another $30,000 if the horse is QTIS registered.
“It’s worth significantly more than the first one, and it’s the richest race I’ve called," Brett said.
“It’s the ultimate accolade, and the ultimate test, as far as a bush racer caller is concerned.”
Not only will patrons on-course hear Brett’s quirky sayings, such as “he’s like the bird on the biscuit tin, on the outside looking in”, when a horse has been posted wide, but so will the rest of Australia.
Brett’s call will be broadcast on Radio TAB and Sky Channel as well.
He admits to being humbled by being chosen to call the feature event but will at least have some in-depth knowledge of the horses, their racing colours and the identities behind them.
Each starter had qualified by either having won or placed in selected races across 16 country tracks, that included Mt Isa, Longreach and Emerald as well as Cunnamulla, Cloncurry and Gayndah.
“For trainers and connections, it’s the ultimate bush race and that is the same for a race caller,” Brett said.
“We would normally call a maximum field of 12 in the country, or 14, but we have 16 although the colours will be very familiar, as are most of the trainers, and that will be a big help.
“Not only do I know the horses, but also the stories behind them.”
One horse he will be familiar with on Saturday will be Expellable which he called to victory in the final qualifying race at Cunnamulla on June 12.
It was a 1400km round trip from Brett's Toowoomba home to the outback western track, so the trip to Brisbane on Saturday will be a pleasant change.
“I used to do Cunnamulla and back in the day, but as you get older, you can’t do it anymore," said Brett, who is a cousin of renowned trainer Peter Moody (pictured left, along with Brett and his daughter Minnie).
"So it’s an overnight stay these days and when I go back there for their Cup Day this year, it will mark 40 years of race calling.”