March 24th, 2006 at 03:30pm
Last Sunday was Black Opal day, the feature day of the Canberra horse racing calendar. Southern Cross Ten were broadcasting live from Canberra’s race track, Thoroughbred Park.
This is something which should be commended as it shows as comittment to local television and the local community, as well as setting an example for the other local stations which haven’t ventured out of the studios for a live broadcast since…well…I don’t think living memory goes back that far. A live broadcast of a sporting event is no easy task, especially for a station that hasn’t done anything like it since stopping live local news bulletins from a studio about five years ago.
Our host was Alison Drower (rhymes with “grower”), who appeared to be in front of a green screen, with the background footage superimposed. The studio was probably up in a corporate box somewhere, and I don’t know why they stuck the netting there, but they did, and it made for an interesting background.
On 2CC that morning, Mike Frame announced that he would be part of the coverage, adding “colourful local racing personality” to his business card on top of “2CC’s Classic Aussie” and various other titles. This got me thinking…what titles would people get? Mike Frame appeared, with Ex-Fill In Prime TV Weatherman David Honke (pronounced Honk-EE).
Despite hiring Mike as a “colourful local racing personality”, they gave him the easier to fit on to the captions “Racing Commentator”. It is worthwhile pointing out that Mike worked for SSS FM, Canberra’s old ACTTAB funded community racing station, and former inhabitant of 103.9MHz, long before News Radio moved in from their old 1440KHz (AM).
Mike and David spent a bit of time talking, before we went to Simon Dearing and Julie Nehme, the fashion and crowd reporters for the day. They started off in a bad for TV shaded area next to a sunny area.
David Honke then had a very interesting chat with Ted Doon, the jockey who came second in the inaugural Black Opal of 1973. This is an interesting story because it came down to a photo finish, and apparently an earthquake a week beforehand had moved the photo finish camera slightly out of allignment, and cost him the race…according to him.
Alison then had another studio guest, this time a short interview with John Crommie, Manager of AAMI Insurance in the ACT/Regional NSW area. This mainly involved their reasons for sponsoring the Black Opal.
Finally the race was ready to go with light flashing and Ian Craig ready for the 1200m Black Opal. The Cyclist at top right made it just in time for the race and television coverage, arriving just moments before this picture.
According to the ACTTAB race board’s offical results display, the first six horses were 8 (Down The Wicket), 7(One Time), 2(Luvuleo), 4(Solar Mighty), 14(Ellas Bar), 9(Navaho Trail). Down The Wicket ran a time of 1 minute, 9.94 seconds, with the last 600m taking up 35.84 seconds. Down The Wicket beat One Time by a long neck, and One Time beat Luvuleo by 1 length. The track was good.
Well done Southern Cross Ten, you did a fantastic job, and let’s hope that more of these “live and local” events occur. It is good to see that regional television is still alive and kicking. Well done to all involved!
For the record, the ACTTAB dividends were as follows:
8. Down The Wicket: Win $35.10, Place $7.00
7. One Time: Place $7.30
2. Luvuleo: Place $2.60
Quinella 8-7: $325.40
Trifecta 8-7-2: $9830.10
Exacta 8-7: $1102.80
Running Double 6-8: $341.90
(Update: It would appear that Southern Cross Ten misspelled Simon Deering’s name, and I did too as I based my spelling of names on their spelling of names. Sorry about that.)