Racing News 10 August 2015: The Voice: Gone but Never Forgotten

Sir Peter O’Sullevan Passes Away, Sammy Jo The Star Of The Show At Ascot and Grand National Success For Ruby Walsh

This week we say goodbye to the “Voice of Racing”, toast the girls in the Shergar Cup and report on Ruby Walsh’s trip to Australia. If you prefer betting tips or free bets, we’ve got those too of course!

Farewell To The Greatest Commentator

Horse racing correspondent, owner and most famously commentator, Sir Peter O’Sullevan has died at the age of 97. Ever since backing a 100/1 winner of the Grand National as a young boy, O’Sullevan developed a love for the sport which would shape his life. His 50 years of commentary began in the days before the advent of racing on TV and encompassed over 14,000 races in all. It was the Grand National itself which provided some of O’Sullevan’s most memorable moments. He was in the commentary box for all three of Red Rum’s victories and provided the call for Bob Champion’s unforgettable triumph aboard Aldaniti. Amongst the eight “Grand National Legends” honoured at Aintree, O’Sullevan takes his place alongside some of the great horses, trainers and jockeys to have shaped the history of the greatest jumps race. Sports broadcasting’s first Knight fully deserves that title of “Legend” given his contribution to the sport. A contribution which didn’t end with his retirement in 1997 as Sir Peter spent his later years taking part in fundraising projects for numerous racing and animal welfare charities. A true gentleman until the end.

See last week’s news for a slightly longer piece on the Voice of Racing

It’s the Girls First, The Rest Of The World Second At Ascot

Ascot’s annual Shergar Cup meeting offers something a little different for the racing fan. It is not often the sport is viewed as a team competition but that all changes for this event. First run at the track in 2000, the Shergar Cup sees four teams of three jockeys battling out over six races in pursuit of the prize. This year we had Great Britain and Ireland vs Europe vs The Rest Of The World vs The Girls.

For the first time in the event’s history it was the girls who emerged victorious. The team was captained by Canadian, Emma Jayne Wilson and also featured the top domestic female jockey Hayley Turner, however it was super sub Sammy Jo Bell who stole the show. Called in as a late replacement for the injured Cathy Gannon, crack apprentice Bell won the Silver Saddle award for the top rider of the day, with her points tally of 35 helping secure the prize for this talented trio of ladies.

Ruby Bashes Them At Ballarat

Not content with already having won the English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish Grand Nationals, Ruby Walsh journeyed to the other side of the world this weekend in an attempt to add the Australian version to his collection. Waiting to partner Walsh was Ciaron Maher’s 12-year-old Bashboy. Something of a jumping superstar down under, Bashboy had won this race in 2013 and 2014 and was going for an incredible third successive victory here.

It wasn’t all plain sailing as the pair nearly parted company two from home, but in the end the combination of Bashboy’s toughness and experience, allayed to Ruby Walsh’s class and will to win proved too much for the competition, as the pair recorded a gritty half-length success to secure a place in the history books.