What You Waiting For Mr Cohen?

Vacancy in Hong Kong commentary team

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Darren Flindell – on his way to Australia

After 16 years with the Hong Kong Jockey Club, race caller Darren Flindell will depart following BMW Hong Kong Derby day to take up the lead commentary role in Sydney.

The South China Morning Post reported today that Flindell has signed on with TABCorp as the senior metropolitan caller and will barely take a breath between jobs, finishing in his current position at Sha Tin on March 15 and starting in his new one the next day.

“I’m really excited to be returning to the top job in my home town, which was always my dream when I started calling as a teenager,” Flindell said. “In my early days in Sydney, I learned the ropes under Ian Craig and it was always my ambition to follow in his footsteps and now I am doing that.”

Flindell joined the Hong Kong Jockey Club commentary team in 1999, taking over as senior caller in 2006 after the departure of David Raphael. It was a role which has showcased Flindell’s talents around the world with the globalisation of racing.

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Talent – Alistair Cohen

“I’m grateful for my time in Hong Kong, I’ve learned a lot and it has been a real privilege to watch some of the great jockeys and trainers at work,” he said, and added that seeing Able Friend go around in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup on his last day would be a fitting farewell from racing at Sha Tin.

“I’ve seen and called some champion horses here too but I have to say the highlight in that regard has been the last 12 or 18 months watching the careers of Designs On Rome and Able Friend develop. They’ve been on separate paths more recently, but I enjoyed their rivalry last season in the four-year-old races as much as I’ve ever enjoyed seeing any of the great horses. Their fight to the finish in the Derby was as good as racing gets.”

Gareth Pepper - took the Singapore plunge

Gareth Pepper – took the Singapore plunge

With the Jockey Club commentary staff reduced by one a month from now, the next question is who will be the next caller to join Brett Davis and Clint Hutchison in the box at Happy Valley and Sha Tin?

Our very own Alistair Cohen  stands out as a natural option. Young, bright, ambitious, slightly opinionated – and with the world at his feet, it is an inevitability that he will need to spread his wings one of these fine days and go and seek his fortune on the world stage.

Gareth Pepper recently moved out of his Kimberley comfort zone and took the Singapore plunge – so why not Ali?

South African horseracing and his own natural talent have given him the push start – it is time for Ali to take off and start some serious flying.

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