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.