AS a 13-year-old boy Bob Foran was over the moon to call just one Gilgandra Cup.
Back in those days it was common for youngsters with a passion for racing to get a chance at calling, and Foran was the one that seized the opportunity at 'Gil'.
Many moons later he is preparing to call his 60th edition of the race, and while he has missed a couple in recent times due to some ill health, his voice has become synonymous with the town's annual new year racing carnival.
Tomorrow's running of the Cup will be the last called by Foran, who comes from the town's most famous racing family.
He will continue to call non-TAB meetings around the region but says 60 will be a good number to go out on.
"I was born in Gilgandra and I will die in Gilgandra so to have been associated with the Gilgandra Cup for so long is something I am very proud of," Foran said.
"I actually got a call the other day from a friend who hasn't been well but he said he was there when I called my first Cup and he's going to get a lift over to listen to my last Cup and that is special.
"My father Vic was born in 1906 and my grandfather (Jim) was training then so we have had a long association with racing in Gilgandra and the town and the sport have both been great to me and my family."
In a career spanning more than six decades there are countless special memories that come to mind but there's two that really stand out.
The first came when two horses hit the line locked together, adding more difficulty for the caller who remarkably is colour blind
"There has only been one dead-heat in all those Cups I've called and that was Remember Jack and Knightly back in 1983 so that one stands out," Foran said.
"And so does my 50th call of the race when Greg Ryan rode a mare named Antonia's Music to victory.
"It would be the icing on the cake, so to speak, if he came out and rode his 10th Cup winner on Sunday on a locally-trained horse."
"I'm not a punter, I never have been because I don't want to be focusing on just one horse in a race, but it will be very exciting if Bruce Parker's horse Yes Zariz did win the race."
The Gilgandra club is making a massive deal of Foran's 60th and final call of its biggest race, and while the man himself was initially very shy about his achievement he is growing more and more comfortable as the race gets closer.
"When they first started talking about these things I was very overwhelmed and a bit embarrassed probably but I sat back and thought about and decided if (club president) Andrew (Schier) and (club secretary) Anne (Hall) and the rest of the committee were going to put so much effort in that I should put my efforts into making sure their hard work is worth it," he said.
Various pieces of merchandise honouring Foran's remarkable achievement will be available for purchase at the Gilgandra racecourse tomorrow while a Facebook page called "Bob's 60th Gilgandra Cup Call" contains some great images and information.