After many months of try-outs, analyses and reviews, Brandon Bailey has won the right to join Nico Kritsiotis and Alistair Cohen in South African commentary boxes as a junior commentator.
More than 100 people entered the competition from all over the country which was cut to a top nine from Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. There were further eliminations and that came down to just three in Johannesburg. Each was then given the opportunity to commentate on live racing action.
Bailey, 24, admits that while he had thought about commentating it had not been a serious consideration until the competition was announced. “Commentating was something I always wanted to try. It did appeal to me and I admire Alistair and Sheldon (Peters), so when the competition came out and the carrot was dangled, I decided to give it a go.”
The competition has been long and exhausting but Bailey says it has been “an enjoyable experience”. “It’s been a bit long and overwhelming. But it’s been different. I’ve been standing in the shower and going through the motions, I’ve also been learning from the other guys.”
The most important trait one needs to be successful as a commentator, believes Bailey, is passion. “Every race is different so you need to be knowledgeable about the runners and be able to keep your head. But you have to have passion for what you are doing.”
Clyde Basel, Executive – Horse Racing, Events & Hospitality for Phumelela, and a top commentator himself, added: “We welcome Brandon to the commentary box. We believe he has natural talent and wish him only the very best. May he call home many winners in favour of our patrons!”