Interview: ALASTAIR DOWN In this four-part interview the five times HWPA Racing Writer Of The Year and Channel 4 presenter talks about his life in racing, his early days on Fleet Street, working on course, TV presenting, his love of Cheltenham and in particular the Festival. He has tales to tell on owning legs in horses and opinions on several aspects of horse racing. All in his own inimitable style. Meeting Alastair Down.
ALASTAIR DOWN (part 1 of 4)
Award-winning racing writer and broadcaster Alastair Down talks about the early days of his life falling in the love with the game.
ALASTAIR DOWN (part 2 of 4)
In part two Alastair talks about not missing a Cheltenham Festival since he was 19. Working for The Sporting Life and ‘Old Fleet Street’, interviewing Jeffrey Bernard for a job at The Weekender at the Coach and Horses. Plus the early days of press rooms on racecourses and the colourful characters that worked therein then getting into broadcasting with Channel Four Racing.
ALASTAIR DOWN (part 3 of 4)
Alastair talks about owning legs in racehorses over the years, a gamble that went astray at Leicester Races. He also explains his love of Cheltenham including an hilarious account of the time he was gifted a box for the day. He talks about how an ante-post gamble at Cheltenham on Norton’s Coin went astray, even though it won at 100/1.
ALASTAIR DOWN (part 4 of 4)
In this final part Alastair talks about his writing, advice from John McCririck, improving your vocabulary, his friends in the ‘game’, his love of the ‘foot soldiers’ in the industry. He laments the lack of improvement in the treatment of those same people in some aspects of racing. He talks with some pessimism about the future of racing, touches on the use of the whip, his prediction being that it will be banished. He also talks about the human risk in racing and the perception that horse racing is a ‘toff’s game and those with delusions of grandeur.
ALASTAIR DOWN #BettingPeople PODCAST
Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring