This is the first Oaks Day that Greg Miles has missed in his 36-year career as a race caller.
“I feel like the kid who is sneaking a cigarette behind the shelter sheds at school,” Miles told AAP.
“I’m at the races having a glass of champagne thinking ‘I really shouldn’t be doing this'”.
The last race Miles called was at Caulfield racecourse for the Easter Saturday meeting on April 14 this year before the reins were handed to Matthew Hill.
“To wake up without having to go to Flemington at a specific time was a lovely new feeling, and 36 years is a long time calling the Melbourne Cup,” Miles said.
He was speaking to a group of people on Thursday gathered on board one of four cruise ships on a return trip to Sydney from the Melbourne Cup.
He had earlier been up on the top deck of the Pacific Explorer watching the Oaks Day races on a giant screen on the ship cutting the waves in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight.
Miles recalled remarking “the champion becomes a legend” as Makybe Diva raced past Vinnie Roe to win her third straight Melbourne Cup in 2005.
Audience member Walter Cygler from Cairns said racing would be nothing without Miles.
“He’s a legend!” Cygler told AAP.
“It’s going to take a while to get used to the new voice (of Matthew Hill) because he’s the new kid on the block.”
But Miles’s wife Alison said she was happy to have her husband home for the weekends since he retired earlier this year.
“We’ve never had weekends together, so for me it is lovely to have him home,” she told AAP.
Miles began his race calling career at the age of 22 after his passion for radio while he was just a young lad.
He has since become a well known voice around Australian racetracks, been awarded an OAM and has also called races for horsing greats such as Kingston Town, Makybe Diva, the unbeaten Black Caviar and just recently Winx.
“It hurts like hell when you get one (race) wrong but I figured if you don’t have a go then it’s not the Australian way,” Miles told AAP.