The Melbourne Cup, 1932

The Melbourne Cup, 1932
ABC, Sony Music Australia and Jamie Kelly
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'Peter Pan will win it, Peter Pan will win it!' 

Live commentary by race caller Eric Welch at Flemington Racecourse of the 1932 Melbourne Cup won by 3-year-old stallion, Peter Pan. Broadcast by ABC radio station 3LO at 3.45pm on Tuesday 1 November 1932.  

Through a landline feed distributed to ABC stations north of the border, Welch’s call was also heard live in Sydney and across NSW, including at the Grafton races where it was played to punters over the course PA.

Utilising this relay link and by permission of the ABC, Columbia Graphophone (Australia) Ltd recorded this broadcast directly to wax at their record pressing plant in Homebush, Sydney.

Officially released soon after, few copies survive today, the NFSA not possessing the original disc. A copy of this recording was acquired in 2023 courtesy of Australian radio historian, Jamie Kelly. 

Side 1 of the 78rpm shellac disc features Welch discussing the lead-up to the race; Side 2 (heard here) features the actual live call of the complete race including moments before and after.

Favourite Peter Pan, badly checked 1,000 metres from the finish, excitedly stormed home to win in a near course record time, as can be heard in the frantic closing stages.  

In over 30 years of broadcasting, Eric Welch (1900–1983) called more than 18,000 horse races, including 27 Melbourne Cups. He was inducted into the Media category of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1990. 

This 5-minute recording is believed to be the earliest known surviving Australian live radio broadcast. 


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