He has lived and breathed some of the greatest moments in Australian sporting history and this month Alan Thomas will share some of his memories when he joins Toowoomba’s 2020 Weetwood race day festivities.
Alan and former Queensland State of Origin star Chris “Choppy” Close will be guest speakers at Toowoomba Turf Club’s The TAB Calcutta Sportsman’s Lunch on Friday, September 25.
Alan became a household name in Queensland racing and sporting circles during a 43-year broadcasting career before his retirement from the race-calling microphone in December, 2015.
He rose to popularity with a colourful, straight-shooting style.
Alan’s career highlights away from the track included 15 State of Origin calls and world title bouts involving champion Australian boxers Jeff Fenech and Kostya Tszyu.
His long racing association included numerous visits to Clifford Park where he returns this year to help celebrate the Audi Centre Weetwood Handicap’s move to its new spring timeslot.
“They say three great things have come out of Queensland – Wally Lewis, XXXX and Bernborough,” Alan said.
“And when I think of Toowoomba I think of Bernborough and the feats he went on to achieve after starting his career at Clifford Park.
“I called a few Weetwoods over the years and I have some fond memories of driving up the Range to Clifford Park.
“I haven’t worked with Choppy Close before but I’m looking forward to catching up with him.
“What a player he was. I think from memory he was player of the match in the first two Origin games.
“I was a guest last week of the Bundaberg Race Club for their Bundaberg Cup meeting and it’s always good to meet and mix with some new and familiar people.
“I got to meet Darren Lehman in Bundaberg who I had never met previously.
“I’ll be having a chat about Winx and my first impressions of her after I called her at the Sunshine Coast winning the first of her 33 straight races.
“Did I, or any of us, think that day we had just seen a horse who would go on to win another 32 straight races and four Cox Plates?
“No we didn’t.
“She was no champion when she came to Queensland and in fact had lost six of her previous seven starts.
“To think we could have a horse like her come along so soon after Black Caviar who retired undefeated is just remarkable.”
The Sportsman’s Lunch will begin at noon in the Clive Berghofer Grande Atrium.
Tickets are $95 per person and include a premium two-course lunch.
For more details and bookings go to http://www.weetwood.com.au/calcutta/
By Glen McCullough