By Meg Kennedy
Although the Spring Racing Carnival may be over for 2018, horse racing is a year-round gig for a Ballan local race caller and author Adam Crettenden.
What began as a Year 11 English project has turned into a decades-long career for Mr Crettenden, who currently works for Racing.com and can be seen, and heard at local country race meets around the state.
“I grew up in Essendon and lived between Moonee Valley and Flemington [racecourses], and I wanted to do something that was a bit different to most of the other kids at school, so I did one my project on horse racing, and that was my introduction to the industry,” Mr Crettenden said.
Mr Crettenden frequents the Ballarat, Warrnambool and Ararat race days, and says that country racing is a “good lifestyle choice” compared to the big days of Melbourne racing.
“It’s not a regular office 9-5 job, I don’t think I’d go too well at that, so going to a different place and seeing different people all the time and the spontaneity of calling races, you don’t know what’s about to happen, I like that side of things,” he said.
On his highlights for this year’s Spring Racing Carnival, Mr Crettenden says that Winx is the “obvious” choice, but also notes the domination of international horses at this year’s Melbourne Cup.
“I think [international horses] filled the top five spots. The first Australian horse was Youngstar, which finished in 6th place, so they’re probably the two things that jump out straight away to me,” he said.
“Then of course you’ve got your connection with this area with Darren Weir, and how he went in the last couple of days in the carnival there, so there’s obviously a bit of interest around this area with him and how he goes during the big days. He seemed to have a pretty good carnival.”
As well as race calling, another passion for Mr Crettenden is writing. He’s published a biography of legendary Melbourne Cup winner Subzero and Sam Junior’s Day, a children’s book based on the life of his family’s border collie. He is currently pitching a new racing book on Manikato, a sprinter that raced in the late seventies to early eighties.
“There’s a good story behind the scenes with how the horse was managed…it sort of makes good content for a book I thought…so hopefully I’ll know within the next couple of months whether [Penguin] want to publish it.”
Subzero is available to purchase on Booktopia, and Sam Junior’s Day at http://au.blurb.com/b/7467295-sam-junior-s-day.