Who are the top UK Horse Racing Commentators?

Who are the top UK Horse Racing Commentators?  After listening to thousands of horse racing commentaries I should know a thing or two about the voices to racing. Every country varies in the style of race commentary is presented. For example, racing in America compared with the United Kingdom. I guess we often like what we are accustomed to hearing and that’s why I consider home-grown commentators are the best in the world.

Here are 5 UK horse racing commentators who have called winners and losers.

Malcolm Tomlinson –

Interestingly, Tomlinson is not only a horse racing commentator but an actor who has starred in ‘Casualty’, ‘The Bill’, ‘Grange Hill’ and ‘Cold Feet’. He has an informed approach and a relaxed style building to a crescendo especially in a tight finish. He works for Racing TV and Sky Sports Racing other stints include ITV Racing and BBC Radio Live. Based in East Yorkshire he is often commentating on race meetings at Beverley among other courses.

Richard Hoiles –

I must admit Richard Hoiles is one of my favourite commentators. He has a passion for horse racing and often details insight about horse trainers, breeding lines and statistics. His background in racing started at Shat Tin, Hong Kong, in the early 2000s. In fact, he was recommended to the Hong Kong Jockey Club in 1995 by Australian commentator Jim McGrath, who was a stable for UK racing. These days Hoiles is the lead commentor for ITV Racing. One of his favourite courses is Cheltenham. However, he doesn’t just commentate this side of the pond but South Africa, Canada, Japan and Dubai.

Simon Holt –

Those dulcet tones and often an excited finish to every race. Holt started commentating back in 1988 after being a racing journalist. He was fondly called ‘the languid one’ by the late John McCririck for his mellow voice and a natural, seemingly without effort. Holt made his debut as a race-caller at Newmarket back in 1994 for Channel 4 Racing. In 2000, he was elected as lead. Unfortunately, Channel 4 ended their racing coverage in 2016. To this day he is the voice of racing for Sky Sport Racing covering many race fixtures. Not one to shy away from other sports, he also commentates on lawn bowls at the Common Wealth Games for the BBC.

John Hunt –

Has a very appealing voice and consummate professional. One of my favourites in the horse commentating world. This former policeman followed his love of sport after seeing an advertisement for a trainee racecourse commentator. These days he is a regular in the studio for Sky Sport Racing and BBC Radio 5Live. Hunt has remained loyal to BBC even though he was approached by ITV. In addition to horse racing commentary he also does Match of the Day and other sports including the winter Olympics.

Mark Johnson –

I often hear Johnson commentating on the horse racing, especially Kempton Park. He is well-known in the UK as well as America. In fact, he is noted to be the only person to commentate on both the Epsom Derby and Kentucky Derby. Also, he has been a racing commentator for the last 30-years for Jersey Race Club.

In recent years, there has been a wealth of new commentator to add to household names including Gareth Topham (2012). Other professionals include Darren Owen, Jerry Hannon, Stewart Machin and Mike Cattermole.

In which year did the first Kentucky Derby take place?

In which year did the first Kentucky Derby take place?  In the spring of 1875, an extraordinary event unfolded in the world of horse racing—the very first Kentucky Derby took place. It was a momentous occasion that occurred on May 17th of that year, forever marking a new chapter in the sport’s history.

The visionary behind this iconic race was Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., who aimed to create a premier horse racing spectacle in the United States. With a dream in mind, Clark founded the Louisville Jockey Club and raised the necessary funds to build an exceptional racetrack, which we now know as Churchill Downs.

On that eagerly anticipated day, a vibrant crowd of around 10,000 spectators gathered to witness the inaugural Kentucky Derby. Excitement filled the air as 15 three-year-old thoroughbred horses lined up at the starting gate, their jockeys poised for a thrilling dash to the finish line.

Out of the determined field emerged a triumphant colt named Aristides, skillfully ridden by jockey Oliver Lewis and trained by Ansel Williamson. With unyielding determination and incredible speed, Aristides blazed ahead, conquering the 1.5-mile distance in a remarkable time of 2 minutes and 37.75 seconds, etching his name forever in the annals of horse racing as the first Kentucky Derby winner.

Since that historic day in 1875, the Kentucky Derby has evolved into a celebrated tradition, captivating audiences worldwide with its unique blend of athleticism, elegance, and timeless allure. Every year, on the first Saturday of May, horse racing enthusiasts and spectators gather at Churchill Downs to witness the thrilling “Run for the Roses,” immersing themselves in the vibrant atmosphere and witnessing the triumphs of both equine and human athletes.

Can Frankie Dettori win the SPOTY award?

Can Frankie Dettori win the SPOTY award?  Frankie Dettori’s farewell tour has been a huge success this year and he’s produced multiple notable winners in 2023 to once again stamp his authority as one of the best jockeys of all time. Dettori’s presence will be missed in the horse racing world and it’s a shame to see him retire but what a farewell he has had so far.


With all his success this year the bookmakers have him down as the favourites to win the Sports Personality of the Year award! It’d be fitting to see such a legend win this award in his final year as an athlete and to be honest, it’s more than deserved. Some of his notable wins this year include;


  • 2000 Guineas: Chaldean
  • Royal Ascot Gold Cup: Courage Mon Ami
  • Epsom Oaks: Soul Sister


Not a bad haul for your final year as a professional jockey and you can definitely see why he’s up for the Sports Personality of the Year award with this being his farewell. Using odds sourced from HorseRacing.net we can see that bookmakers are having Frankie Dettori as the 3/1 favourite for the award which implies a 25% chance of winning the award.


Now horse racing personalities have never had the best of luck at the Sports Personality of the Year award, they’ve had one winner with Tony McCoy in 2010 but apart from that, it’s been a couple of firsts and seconds for the horse racing world.


More importantly, Frankie Dettori has never won the award despite being such a legend of the sporting world! Dettori is a household name, not just in horse racing, but as a general sports personality, to see him without an award to note his achievements in the sporting world is a shame and this year is the perfect year to finally get that 1st place finish in the SPOTY award.


Frankie’s only top finish in the Sports Personality of the Year award was in 1996 where he finished third. That’s 27 years ago and he’s still going now! Of course there’s still a while until the award is given out and there’s other notable candidates in the market.


Ben Stokes is a short price at 5/1 and some heroics in The Ashes could definitely see him move into favouritism, but after that, the market gets blown wide open with a bunch of personalities north of 20/1.


When it comes to the Sports Personality of the Year award, the shortlist is announced a few weeks before the award ceremony which gives the public an idea of who will be reaching the latter stages. The winner is then determined on the night by a public telephone and on-line vote.


So is Frankie the value at 3/1? We know punters love to pile on Dettori what he’s on a roll and with it being his farewell tour, we could very well see the whole of the horse racing community getting on the voting lines to try and secure a victory for this iconic figure. Is the horse racing community powerful enough to get a win for Dettori? You’d like to think so, but you’ve got to also consider not everyone is Dettori’s biggest fan, everyone has their haters!


There’s not many notable achievements in the big players in the market and in all honesty, Frankie Dettori looks like the most logical winner. However, there’s still plenty of time left in the year so we’ll have to monitor the market!

Which racehorse holds the record for the most consecutive losses?

Which racehorse holds the record for the most consecutive losses?  Globally, several racehorses have gained celebrity or, better, notoriety in their native countries and beyond purely because of their lack of ability on the racecourse. Indeed, most of these habitual losers managed to complete their careers without a single visit to the winners’ enclosure.

However, one that didn’t was Celerity, who, nonetheless, set the record for consecutive losses in Great Britain and Ireland, 105, when only third in an apprentices’ handicap at Thirsk on July 23, 2021. The seven-year-old beat the previous record, 103, set by another ‘superstar’, Quixall Crossett, who, between February 21, 1990 and November 18, 2001, troubled the judge eight times, but never did better than second, beaten two lengths, in a five-runner novices’ chase at Wetherby on May 25, 1998. Celerity ‘blotted his copybook’ by making all to win a fillies’ handicap at Haydock on August, 2021 but, on the last ten starts of his career, beat just six of 106 rivals, finishing with a record of 116-1-7-9.

Internationally, two horses have fared even better, or worse, than Celerity in terms of consecutive losses. Between November, 1998 and September, 2004, the Japanese mare Haru Urara compiled the unenviable record of 113-0-5-7, but nonetheless caught the public imagination and was fondly dubbed ‘shining star of losers everywhere’. Better again was the mare Dona Chepa, who plied her trade exclusively in lowly claiming races at Hipódromo Camarero in Canóvanas, Puerto Rico between February 14, 2001 and December 5, 2008, but finished her career with a record of 135-0-1-2.

Finally, Zippy Chippy, who compiled a record of 100-0-8-12 in the United States between September 13, 1994 and September 10, 2004 and was, at one point, dubbed the ‘world’s worst racehorse’, deserves an honourable mention. He wasn’t quite the worst, but nonetheless made the list of ‘Most Intriguing People of the Year ‘ published by ‘People’ magazine in 2000.

It’s important of course to consider that for every loser there’s a winner. That applies to all sports, and indeed everything that’s considered a gamble.

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