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Thanks for the memories: Industry shares favourite stories of a calling legend

It’s fair to say racing in Queensland will never be the same come the end of September.

After 45 years behind the microphone, Paul Dolan will hang up the binoculars for the final time on Sunday, following the Pat O’Shea Plate meeting at Toowoomba.

His last hurrah with his beloved greyhound code will be at the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club at Albion Park on Thursday night (September 20).

We spoke with some key racing and media stakeholders to share their favourite memories of Paul Dolan over the years.

Bryan Guy – Prominent thoroughbred trainer

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Paul has called so many races that I have won over the last 20 years that I have been in Queensland. But, for some reason, one race sticks in my mind.

It was a lowly Class 1 on January 2, 2000, when a horse called Bullet Action won. He raced in dark and light blue colours and on that day, he was wearing a blue bridle and blue bandages on both front legs (he had bad tendons).

He raced to the front at the furlong mark and Paul said “here comes Bullet Action in the flashy blue gear.” It’s something stupid really but I have never forgotten.

Another of Paul’s things was to list what meetings were coming up over the next seven days. He always seemed to be promoting the local industry, which was a great thing.

He also called a Queensland Derby winner at the Greyhounds, which Michael Rodd and I owned, which was something different as Michael and I combined for many a win on a Sunday at the Sunshine Coast as trainer and jockey.

Peter O’Neill – the voice of WA Greyhound Racing

Paul is a legend of greyhound racing. From across in WA listening to ‘Dogsy’ call from Albion Park or, where ever it may be, he described each race so well and accurately, especially the stars from Queensland.

A memory was when he came across to the Nationals which were being held in Perth that year. Instead of flying into Perth he flew to Kalgoorlie – six hours away – and then drove around the South Coast taking in the sights before arriving for the Nationals with knowledgeable for the experience.

I loved his passion for greyhound and horse racing. A great bloke. 

Con Searle – Bookmaker and Kilcoy Race Club president

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Paul Dolan has been calling the Kilcoy races for more years than I have been associated with the race club. I believe Paul was the race caller to label Kilcoy the “Moonee Valley of the North” which has now stuck as our motto for some 20 years.

A most respected caller and a gentleman, always there to support racing and in particular, country racing.

He is an accurate caller, precise and one that if you are not watching the race you can visualise in your mind.

Paul will be sadly missed on all tracks. We will miss his description of races on the Kilcoy track “along Sheep Station Creek they thunder and up past McKenzie’s Lagoon they head for the home turn”.

On behalf of the Kilcoy Race Club committee, members, friends and country racing fraternity, I thank Paul for his service to racing and I wish him all the very best for his retirement.

Josh Fleming – Sky Racing’s principal Queensland thoroughbred caller

I grew up as a kid listening to the great callers of the day and spent many Monday and Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons listening to Paul Dolan.

I feel extremely lucky to have gone on and been able to call alongside him and even more than that, call him a good mate as well. I’m going to miss the Sundays at Caloundra having a yarn and a laugh between races.

It won’t be the same without him!

Gerard Daffy – UBET

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I first met Paul at the National’s in Launceston 12 years ago. It was a great couple of nights, we shared several beverages and a lot of stories of years gone by, and I was fortunate enough to land a job with UBET which allowed me to work closely with the great man.

Paul is one of those guys that you can ask to do something, and it will be done – with no fanfare.

He is conscious of helping people and the industry and he will be sadly missed.

And, one of the main things I will miss when he goes is those quirky little stats he wheels out, apart from them giving us some great talking points, the time and effort that goes into gathering those shows his love for greyhounds.

 

Luke Gatehouse – Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club CEO

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One night, ‘Dogsy’ and I happened to be in the TAB at the Adelaide Casino. We were having a quiet drink and a young guy started talking to us.

As the conversation continued he asked what we do for a living. I bored him with my details and then Dogsy said “I’m a race caller”. 

That impressed the young guy and he said: “yeah your voice is very familiar – what’s your name?” to which Dogsy replied “Paul”.

The young guy got really excited and said – “Yes! Yes! I know who you are! You’re Paul Ambrosoli!”