Galley’s true calling

Kyle Galley fulfilled a childhood dream when he called his first Sandown metropolitan meeting last Thursday night.

A familiar voice to those who follow greyhound racing throughout Gipplsand, Galley took the microphone for the first time in decade at Sandown Park to call the main Victorian meeting of the week.

“I suppose you could say it’s a career highlight,” said Galley after calling the first race on the card.

“I remember the last time I came here was a Sunday about 10 years ago and I didn’t use binoculars, however I probably will tonight – maybe bad eye sight has caught up with me!”

Galley has had a lifetime around greyhound racing. His grandfather was a trained greyhound for years and his parents were regular race goers with some of Galley’s earliest – and fondest – childhood memories at the track. And it was there that his interest in calling the races was born.

“I can remember coming here and watching Bold Trease race. I was about seven or eight and thought ‘gee, this is something.’

“I started running race meetings in the backyard using the old race books and I’d sit up on the fence and call them. Eventually when I was 14 I thought I’d send off a couple of calls I had on tape. I looked up (race caller) Peter Eutace in the phone book and sent him a cassette.

“He said ‘if you’re keen, why don’t you come up to Traralgon and maybe call the quallies’?

“So we went up there and he let me do a couple – that was 25 years ago this month.”

While the passion for the craft of race calling and the love of greyhound racing was instilled at an early age, Galley says his reserved nature and lack of confidence as a teenager meant that even his closest friends weren’t aware of his involvement.

“I was shockingly shy, even to the point where when I did a race it went in the local paper and everyone at school said, ‘What’s this? You don’t even speak!

“I was always a little bit embarrassed by it I suppose because people didn’t understand it. But it’s always been a hobby really. Some people collect stamps and tea towels, I do this.”

Race calling is a tough field to break into. With a finite number of meetings each week and with Victoria being home to some of the best race callers – across all codes – opportunities for new callers tend to be limited, especially for someone as shy and reserved as Galley. So it was somewhat ironic that his break into the sport came by calling a race to a crowd of people with no greyhounds – or horses – at all.

“Peter Eustace kept putting my name forward to call but there weren’t many opportunities. Then one day, Steve Cairns (then Station Director at RSN) called to say they were after a caller for a phantom call of the Melbourne Cup for an RSN do. I thought ‘well, I’ve never done one but I’ll do it.’

“After that he said anytime you want to a Tuesday night just ring up and I’ll let you do it. So I started doing a couple of races a week.”

Galley is currently juggles his race calling commitments – around three meetings per week – with his job in the records department at Warragul Hospital, and that suits him just fine.

“A lot of people have to move away just to get the opportunity that I’ve got. I live in Trafalgar so I’ve got four or five tracks an hour so away.

“I did a little bit of thoroughbreds and harness, but I’m happy to turn up every Tuesday night for the next 40 years, that suits me just fine.”

Kyle Galley calls his first metropolitan race at Sandown Park
Mick Floyd
About Mick Floyd - Mick is the Racing and Media Manager at Sandown Park and has 15 years of experience in the sport. He has a finely tuned talent for finding three legs of a quaddie. You can follow his ramblings on Twitter - @mickfloyd
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