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Retiring racecaller ‘one of the lucky ones’

After 51 years the ‘Voice of Gippsland Racing’ Peter Eustace (pictured) will hang up his binoculars .

Peter called the first of many races across all three racing codes at the Birregurra Races on Easter Monday, 1966, with his final call being this Sunday night at Sale. This was a fitting end as one of the highlights of Peter’s career was calling the last race on the old Sale greyhound track and then the first race at the current Sale track. He did the same at the Bairnsdale Racecourse and the Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club.

The biggest highlight of Eustace’s varied career, however, is calling a triple dead-heat at Stony Creek races in 1987, only the second triple dead-heat to ever occur in Victoria. This received widespread coverage due to its uniqueness, and while many people may not have known who was calling, they heard him.

“In recent times I have been calling two or three race meetings a week, but in those days it wasn’t uncommon to call two race meetings in a day. After the Stony Creek triple dead-heat I was calling the greyhounds that evening and I received a heap of phone calls from journalists wanting a comment. The race created huge publicity and I recall an article running in the Herald Sun the next day,” Eustace said.

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Peter also enjoyed being able to call races featuring two top Gippsland horses in Precious Robe and Brandy Balloon, and champion greyhounds Temlee, Half Your Luck and Brett Lee. His main passion has been greyhound racing, not only broadcasting but as an owner/trainer and breeder. For him nothing can beat the thrill of being able to call the wins of his own greyhound. He was also ahead of his time as the majority of his racing greyhounds ended up becoming family pets when their racing days were over – long before the Greyhound Adoption Program began.

Eustace, who has also been a significant contributor to print media, has been honoured by the Sale Turf Club as a member of their Hall of Fame and in 2014 was inducted into Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Hall of Fame for his contribution to the media. Though he never sought any glory, Peter was happy to be continuously employed in the only career he ever desired.

“After 50 years in the one workplace you get very attached, and I’ve been so lucky that I’ve been able to earn a living doing something I love,” he said. “I’m not entirely sure what the future holds, but I’ve got a few irons in the fire and I’ll just see where they take me.”

The Sale GRC will host a dinner in Eustace’s honour in recognition of his contribution to racing in the Gippsland region in the coming weeks.

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