Racing Victoria Racecaller Hill to Call Grand National for BBC
It is billed, by itself and its promoters, perhaps, as the world’s greatest steeplechase and the 2018 edition on Saturday, April 14 (April 15 Oz time) of the Randox Health Grand National (English Grand National) Steeplechase on the Aintree course will be one of the best ever, thanks to the presence of Racing Victoria racecaller Matt Hill.
He is not, repeat, not, a consolation price to the Brits over Chris Waller’s decision to keep Winx in Australia and pointed at a possible fourth successive Cox Plate victory come October.
Hill is on his way to England and will have some time to acclimate to the time change, the climate and the warm bloody beer, but he has some experience with working the Grand National in the past. This will be his first time, however, as the main racecaller.
“I did it from 2004 to 2009. I went over in 2002 and met all the callers and I was really intrigued by it,” Hill said.“A decade later, their main caller John Hunt has got to do the Commonwealth Games and I thought it would be great to go off and do the main lead call this year.I get to do the National but I also get to do the other races as well for BBC Radio.”
Regardless of where anyone happens to fall on the spectrum of opinions regarding jumps racing, the Grand National is the granddaddy of them all. Everyone attending should make a note to leave all foxes and hounds at home, lest they wander onto the course and cause a distraction.
Hill proved his bona fides over the past year by taking over for Greg Miles without so much as a skipped beat. The moisture he will undoubtedly encounter will be good for his vocal cords, which will be tested by Hill’s calling of races on Thursday and Friday, with five races on Saturday.
Of the Grand National itself, Hill said, somewhat cheekily we assume, of his extended duties and the main event, where there could be as many as forty horses, “The good thing about doing the end is that they are pretty slow at the end.”