Sir Peter O’Sullevan memorial race to take place at Newbury, broadcast live on Channel 4
Newbury Racecourse today announced that the official Sir Peter O’Sullevan memorial race will take place on Hennessy Gold Cup Day at the bet365 Festival, which this year is on Saturday, November 28.
The Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase, worth £40,000 and run over two miles, six and a half furlongs, will be the third of seven races on the day at 1.15pm and Channel 4 Racing has brought forward the start of its broadcast to enable the race to be shown live.
The final commentary of Sir Peter’s long and illustrious career was on the Hennessy Gold Cup of 1997, won by Suny Bay. O’Sullevan commentated on 40 of the first 41 runnings of the great race; the only one he missed was in 1983 when covering the Japan Cup in Tokyo. Incredibly, on that famous day in 1997, Sounds Fyne, owned by Sir Peter O’Sullevan, won the very next race on the card at Newbury.
The Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase has been backed by the friends of Sir Peter.
Newbury Racecourse’s CEO, Julian Thick, said: “We are delighted and honoured to be staging this race in memory of one of the true legends of the sport of horse racing.
“I know that this day was one Sir Peter looked forward to each year, so it is fitting that he is remembered at Newbury 18 years after his last ever commentary.
“I would like to thank the friends of Sir Peter for their support and also mention bet365, our partner for this race meeting, for agreeing to step aside and allowing Sir Peter’s name to be linked with this race.”
Mike Dillon, one of Sir Peter’s closest friends, said: “This is the perfect venue as Newbury was very close to Peter’s heart.
“We would like to thank Newbury and the sponsors for agreeing to stage this race and in particular Channel 4 for coming on air earlier to ensure the race receives the live coverage it deserves.”
Explaining the decision to extend the Channel 4 Racing programme on November 28 in order to show the race, Stephen Lyle, Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for Sport, said: “Sir Peter O’Sullevan is a legend of both racing and broadcasting.
“Channel 4 is delighted to play a small part in this most fitting tribute to a man who will always be known as The Voice.”