After 45 years as the racing writer for the Examiner newspaper, Greg Mansfield will retire this week. Sunday’s Devonport meeting will be the last he will cover.
Mansfield, 67, has been a constant for those involved in the racing industry for almost five decades covering all codes but predominately thoroughbreds.
“I’m feeling a little nostalgic about it, but all things come to an end, and I think this is a good time (to retire),” Mansfield said.
“My ambition was always to be a racing writer, I started work at the Advocate in 1974 doing a bit of general reporting, sports reporting and sub-editing but when I got the offer from the Examiner, I moved to Launceston an took up the opportunity.”
“I spent the first five years in the job working in Launceston and then I moved to the north- west coast to live and spent most of my 45 years in the job at the Devonport office and for the last four years, as most people would know, I’ve been living in Western Australia.”
Mansfield and his wife Sue made the move west for family reasons. Five of their six adult children live there along with eight of their 10 grandkids.
“I came to an arrangement with our former editor to work over here for two or three months on a trial basis while they found someone to replace me but four years later, I’m still doing it so that’s how it evolved.”
During his 45 years in the job, it’s fair to say Mansfield has gained a reputation as a fearless but fair journalist. He is a friend to many but respected by all in the industry.
He has seen lots of changes over the years, the shift from Saturday to Sunday racing and what he calls ‘the Sky channel revolution.’
“When we got onto Sky that changed the way the whole industry operated, it took away the incentive for people to go to the racetrack.
“The move to Sunday racing, we were supposed to be a big fish in a small pond, I think now we all know Sunday is just as crowded as Saturday. Then there was the introduction of night racing, (I think) we’ve made a lot of advances over the years with new race tracks and infrastructure.”
As for the best horse, Mansfield says Sydeston.
“He raced here as a two and three-year-old, he went on to do some great things. I think he’s the best horse Tasmania has produced in the last 100 years, he won $3million 30 odd years ago which is a lot of money.”
As for jockeys, Mansfield says when he started there were the likes of Max Baker, Geoff Prouse and Gary King riding in Tasmania. He says Stephen Maskiell was a great big race rider, while day in day out, year in year out, Brendon McCoull stands alone.
“Trainer, that’s a difficult question. Charlie Goggin won 12 premierships, a total professional and pleasure to deal with, he’d be my number one.
“Great respect for Len Dixon and Michael Trinder.”
Mansfield is a member of the Tasmanian Racing Hall of Fame. He plans to enjoy retirement spending more time with his grandchildren and getting his golf handicap down, he will of course still keep a keen eye on Tasmanian racing and plans to get back from time-to-time to catch up with his many friends.
On a personal note, I first met Greg in 1980 when I started work in Launceston. He has been a huge influence and great help to me. Over the years we have formed a great friendship and working relationship, I wish he and Sue all the best in retirement.