BREAKING NEWS
Police confirm multiple victims of a shooting in Austin, Texas ... More soon
Close

'Impaired' greyhounds caller gets collared

BARRY LICHTER
Last updated 12:40 16/12/2012

Relevant offers

Racing

Glamour trotter Monbet wins Horse of the Year title Impulsive Habit stakes run icing on Somervell's weekend double Thoroughbred industry mourns loss of breeder and owner Paul Smithies Kevin Myers and Shaun Fannin domination rolls on at Rotorua Ryder Stakes winner might race in Australia Pole position ideal for Terry Wenn's Taumarunui Cup star Jochen Rindt Pedal to metal as Jochen Rindt burns off Taumarunui Cup rivals for Wenn and Collett Turbo Pick6 punters refunded after Otaki abandoned Manhattan Street wins Ryder Stakes by wide margin Top hoop Mark Du Plessis to return for Foxbridge Plate following stint in Japan

Officials stood down Whanganui greyhound commentator Brian Martin after five races on Friday night, ruling he wasn't sober enough to do the job properly. The future of the controversial caller is now in jeopardy after previous clashes with New Zealand Racing Board authorities.

Stipendiary steward Mike Austin became concerned about Martin when he struggled to mention more than a couple of dogs in some of his early calls, in contrast to his usual accurate and entertaining descriptions.

After discussions with co-chief steward Ross Neal, Martin was replaced for the last seven races by Trackside's Mark Rosanowski.

"Something clearly wasn't right," Neal said. "We became suspicious because the quality of his calling was not what it normally is.

"He was certainly impaired and I believe he went without any dissent." Neal said Austin's report did not declare Martin to be drunk, but said he was obviously unfit for calling.

"He didn't do a sobriety test. You don't normally expect that sort of thing at greyhound meetings and Mr Austin didn't take any gear for that."

Neal said the Racing Integrity Unit had the power to replace any official if they were impaired, as Martin clearly was. Video replays confirm Martin's speech was slurred and he took so long to go through one field, the winner had crossed the line before he called it.

Martin's pronunciation was often dubious and it was also difficult to identify what he was saying in between dogs' names. Martin, who has earned a reputation for his colourful calls, declined to comment last night.

Ad Feedback

- Sunday Star Times

Special offers
Opinion poll

How did you fare with your Melbourne Cup punting?

Nailed it, Protectionist you beauty

Not all bad, a nice little profit

Good and bad, I came out about even

Lost a little, but it could be worse

Crashed and burned, there's always next year though

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content