INSIDE RACING FLASHBACKS
Proudly brought to you by Sky Racing
RICHIE BENAUD INTERVIEW
I was delighted when Richie Benaud accepted an invitation to be a special guest on Sky’s Inside Racing Programme in 2013.
I was aware he had more than a passing interest in racing, with special affection for a handful of horses who’d won his admiration over the years.
His presence in the Sky Channel studios created a buzz among staff members, the like of which I had never seen before.
Sri Lankan cricket writer Harold de Andrado perhaps summed it up best when he said “Richie Benaud possibly next to Sir Donald Bradman has been one of the greatest cricketing personalities as player, researcher, writer, critic, author, organiser, adviser and student of the game”.
Enjoy our chat with a past captain of the Australian cricket team and a legend of the game he loved.
ROY HIGGINS MBE 1938-2014
Sheer love of his craft was the only thing to keep Roy Higgins in the saddle for twenty five years.
He endured a torturous battle with weight for most of his career, but was around long enough to ride 2,312 winners and to win eleven Melbourne Jockeys Premierships.
His two Melbourne Cup victories highlight a stunning big race record, which saw him partner some of the best horses of his era.
In September 2000, the jockey known as “the Professor” allowed me to bring a Sky camera into his Brighton home, and we settled down for a chat about his incredible career.
Roy insisted on recording the final part of the interview at his favourite pub.
This is the segment in which he categorises his favourite horses, and you’ll be fascinated by his comments.
HAPPY 90TH JIMMY JOHNSON
I visited Jim Johnson one morning in 2009 at his Melbourne home and thank goodness we took a TV camera along.
The former remarkable jockey talked warmly about his life in racing. He was happy to reflect on a career which brought him 4 Adelaide Jockeys Premierships, and one Melbourne Premiership in the era when Roy Higgins was almost impossible to beat.
Jim spoke of his three Melbourne Cup wins and the host of great horses he rode. He reflects on his favourite, Tobin Bronze, who won a Caulfield Cup for Jim with a massive 9st 10lbs.
He talks of the day he was approached by a stranger outside the jockeys room and offered a fortune to “pull one up”.
Jim was happy to discuss the style that punters loved, but it sometimes got him into strife.
This interview is almost ten years old, but I’m sure Jimmy would say the same things today. For veteran racing lovers this is a nostalgic journey with an Aussie racing icon who turned 90 last week.
MAX CROCKETT INTERVIEW
Max Crockett was one of the best known figures in the Australian racing industry. Rarely without his trademark stetson, Max was around horses from an early age, and went on to become a legend in the specialist field of horse breaking.
Many high profile Sydney trainers sought his services, and it’s believed he broke in more than 7000 valuable thoroughbreds. He tried his hand at horse training in later years, and enjoyed a great deal of success.
Max drove all the way from Mudgee to join me on Sky’s Inside Racing programme in 2012. He dispensed with the stetson when he came into the studio, and it might take you a moment or two to recognize him.
With or without the hat, he was the same earthy bloke, who made a million friends as he became a legend in his chosen field.
GEORGE MOORE INTERVIEW
To mark the opening of our new page "Sky Racing Flashbacks", we present a three part special with the unforgettable George Moore. The interview was recorded in 2002, at the magnificent Gold Coast penthouse, where George and Iris Moore had been living for twenty years.
The iconic horseman was in a relaxed mood, and treated us to a wonderful trip down memory lane. George died in Sydney six years later, and Sky Racing re-screened the interview. This is the version you're about to see.