How 'Rabs' Warren inspired respected caller's career
LOOKING back over four decades of serving the racing industry, Paul "Dogsy'' Dolan shared who helped him and how he was inspired by the great Ray Warren.
"In gallops, it was initially Barry Green, a Kingaroy-based country caller of exceptional talent,'' Dolan said.
"I was very fortunate that he took me under his wing.
"With greyhounds, no mentor as such, I just tried to do my own thing.
"I tried to model my horse racing and greyhound calls on Ray Warren.
"A lot of people wouldn't realise he was an exceptional caller of the three codes of racing before concentrating on rugby league, athletics and swimming.
"I like to think there has been a little bit of 'Rabs' in my race calls.''
As a teenager, Dolan also admired the ability of Brisbane callers Keith Noud, Vince Curry and Larry Pratt.
"I thought one day I would like to do that job,'' he said.
"It appeared to be a challenge worth pursuing.''
Brisbane-born Dolan grew up in suburban Brighton.
"When I finished school in 1970, I worked in the Agricultural Bank in Brisbane for six years, while at the same time, doing some weekend race calling,'' he said, recalling his early start.
Asked about his fondest memories, Dolan said six greyhounds from Ipswich stand out - Acacia Ablaze, Token Prince, Classy Marcy, Henry's Folly, Minerva Reef and Haylewie Miss.
"Acacia Ablaze was a top sprinter then later sensational sire. Token Prince was the same.
"Classy Marcy had an amazing finishing burst to win the Vince Curry final and she went on to be a wonderful stayer.
"Henry's Folly won 31 races at Ipswich, more than any other greyhound, and I called most of his wins.
"Minerva Reef - a dyed in the wool stayer owned by Michael Wrona and some mates - won the annual Ipswich Marathon in 1987 and the party kicked on into the wee hours.
"Haylewie Miss was the only greyhound to win two City of Ipswich Gold Cups. I called them both.''
Dolan said Classy Marcy's win in the 1994 Vince Curry Memorial was the most enjoyable to call in Ipswich.
He said the greyhound trained by Gary Ralph "sizzled home to win from a seemingly impossible position mid race.''
As he plans some quieter days, Dolan hopes the next generation carry race calling forward with the same satisfaction it gave him for more than 45 years.
"I have always enjoyed encouraging young guys who wanted to make a career of race calling. They had to have a certain level of ability, of course,'' he said.
"I am very proud that Michael Wrona (USA), Mitchell Manners (Sydney) and Josh Fleming (Brisbane) have reached lofty heights after a bit of a kickalong from me along the way.''