Racing: Commentator silenced

Kevin Payne has been replaced after 20 years as commentator for horse and greyhound racing in Otago.

Payne said on Tuesday that he had been informed by the New Zealand Racing Board that his contract would not be renewed at the end of the season.

President of the Forbury Park Trotting Club Alan Clyma said he had been advised that Tom Wood would be calling at Forbury Park next season.

Payne, 46, was shattered by the decision. "I feel like it is a kick in the guts. There was supposedly an understudy for race commentating and now they say they have to have a place to put him in.

"I am still one of the youngest commentators in the country."

An Aucklander, Payne became based in Otago in 1990 with Radio Pacific and continued in the role when the TAB took over the administration of race calling about five years ago.

He has also been a presenter for television since the TAB launched Action TV, which evolved into Trackside.

- Otago Daily Times

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