The storylines are many at this year's Tasco Petroleum Mildura Cups Carnival but none echo like the soon departing voice that has delivered some of the sport's most memorable moments.
Craig Rail will call his 14th and final Mildura Pacing Cup this Saturday ahead of a move to New Zealand, drawing the curtain on a distinguished career and unique connection with Sunraysia racing.
"I've called 14 Mildura Cups," Rail told Gait Speed. "I started off with Sokyola back in 2005, it was Sokyola's third Mildura Cup success in a row. I suppose it was a lesser scale than a Winx and Black Caviar, but everybody on track - and it was a huge crowd that night - wanted Sokyola to win and it was an amazing feeling that night when he hit the lead on the home turn.
"It was something I had never felt before as a broadcaster. I'd never felt that emotion, that atmosphere. The people here at Mildura are such warm and friendly people, they welcome you with open arms, and the racing itself, I think, is the best in the state."
Rail said the racing set Mildura apart, but it was also about the people and their passion for the sport.
"It just seems the racing is so electrifying and for the patrons, you are right over the outside fence," he said. "You are virtually part of the action, you can see the horses right up close when they come down the straight a few times.
"The people up here are fantastic, they're like my extended family. I really care about the people up here. Mark Kemp and now Tim Scala, Wendy in the office, my great friend next door to me Des Tobin, he's been with me for the last 14 or 15 years.
"Even though I'm making the decision to go across (to New Zealand) to be with my son, I'm making the right call for my actual family, I'm really going to miss my Mildura family as well."
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