The doyen of greyhound racecallers – RSN’s Ron Hawkswell – has called many thousands of races – including countless group race finals.
In fact, it’s been ‘green light on, lure in motion’ for the “Hawk” for five decades.
Hawkswell has also called more Geelong Gold Cups than he cares to remember – an apt term as he can’t ‘remember’ a better – and more even – field than this year’s final at the Beckley Centre on Friday night.
How on earth do you pick the winner?
We’ve got Simon Told Helen (Box 7) and Shima Shine (Box 2) sharing the top line of betting at $3.00, followed by Catch The Thief (Box 6) at $4.20 and Tiggerlong Tonk (Box 4) at $5.00.
This ‘awesome foursome’ has amassed 94 wins from 162 starts and earnings exceeding $1.3 million.
“Picking the winner is like trying to split the atom… It’s a sensational field, one of the best – if not the best – Geelong Cup fields I’ve seen,” Hawkswell said.
And Hawkswell added it wouldn’t surprise him if any of the ‘fab four’ won.
“But if you ‘twist my arm’, I might say Simon Told Helen from Shima Shine and Catch The Thief,” he said. “If ‘Simon’ leads, he’s the one they’ve got to run down. But let’s not forget Tiggerlong Tonk; I’d be boxing all of them in a First 4.”
WATCH: Superstar Simon Told Helen (3) semaphores a sizzling 29.86sec in a G2 Geelong Gold Cup heat last week.
This year, the Cup series has been run for the first time over 520 metres – a move that has proved extremely successful.
“The Geelong GRC directors ‘bit the bullet’ going with 520 metres and they’ve kicked a goal,” Hawkswell said.
Hawkswell, who first called the Geelong Cup (won by Diamond Tempix) in 1983, has enjoyed an amazing greyhound broadcasting career.
While ‘cutting his teeth’, he would make the long trip to Shepparton to call just one race at Shepparton for local radio station 3SR.
Later, he started calling for 3UZ and eventually was appointed by former GRV chairman Bill Collins as No. 1 racecaller for 3DB.
Hawkswell was also the course broadcaster at Cranbourne’s opening meeting on August 31, 1974. In fact, he called at Cranbourne for 21 years.
In his heyday, Hawkswell officiated weekly at Olympic Park, Sandown Park, Geelong and Cranbourne meetings. He called his first Australian Cup (won by Tangairn) in 1984.
He’s also sat on every Topgun panel and called them all since its inception in 1993.
These days, “Hawk” has wound back and mainly calls at Ballarat (Monday), Geelong (Tuesday) and The Meadows (Saturday).
Pawnote: The Group 2 Geelong Gold Cup final – Race 8 at 9.49pm – boasts a distinct local flavour, with five finalists trained in the Geelong region. And three trainers each have two runners chasing a $50,000 first prize.