Happy 90th Sir Peter
A brilliant commentator who still sets the Gold Standard to which the others aspire.
However being a commentator is only part of his wide skills. His knowledge of the sport is encyclopaedic and I would go as far as to say the few things he doesn’t know about racing probably aren’t worth knowing anyway.
Whilst people are quick to slag off tipsters with their premium rate phone line, he is a master tipster – I am not one for blindly following tipsters but when he talks a horse up I certainly pay attention.
His contact book within the industry is one any racing hack would die for. The reason he had such enduring relationships with the great and good of racing was they trusted him.
Probably the one criticism that could be laid against him as a journalist is he would not betray a confidence, even if it meant missing a good story, it may go against what journalists are expected to do, however it speaks volumes about him as a human being.
His books are as easy to read as it was to listen to his commentaries. His book Horse Racing Heroes should be a mandatory read for all true racing fans. His autobiography, whist telling the full story, still shows his underlying modesty.
Last, but by no means least, his charity work has almost become his crowning glory, especially the money he has raised to help abused horses around the world.
I have been fortunate to meet him on a couple of occasions, albeit briefly, and always found him to be a courteous friendly man, with time to talk.
Despite being long past my teenage years I am not ashamed to admit that I have a signed photograph of him on my office wall at home.
His book recalls Racing Heroes, he is certainly one of my racing heroes.