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  Sunday, 10 June, 2001, 22:00 GMT 23:00 UK
Bromley bows out in style
BBC racing commentator Peter Bromley (right) is presented with a memento of the
Lester Piggott marks Bromley's final Derby commentary
BBC Sport Online's Frank Keogh rounds up the news and gossip from an enthralling Derby day at Epsom Downs.

Retiring BBC radio commentator Peter Bromley confessed to having a teething problem as he prepared to call his last race after 41 years delivering dispatches on all the top action.

The 72-year-old likes to prepare for a big day with a nice supper and early night, and he put the same time-honoured plan into practice at his new Suffolk home on the eve of the Derby.

But unfortunately, one of his teeth fell out while tucking into the meal.

This cast a doubt over whether his instantly recognisable tones would be the finished article at the finishing post of his final furlong in the commentary box.


I've thoroughly enjoyed thousands of races - but all good things must come to an end
Peter Bromley

Luckily, Bromley is the son of a dentist, and knew just what to do. He sent for some glue, which was super, and after a false start, all was well.

The commentator, who has called more than 200 Classics, was earlier re-united with nine-time Derby winning jockey Lester Piggott and the pair exchanged special bronzes provided by the racecourse.

Up on the roof of the Queen's Stand at Epsom, the empty hutch-like box where Bromley so often called home Piggott in his inimitable style, was fittingly empty on Saturday night.

But as he departed with his time-worn racing binoculars, radio's voice of racing knew he'd left the job in good hands.

Lee McKenzie will take most of the commentary duties with Cornelius Lysaght reporting on the latest news for Five Live.


Astronomical odds

Derby winner Galileo may have only been an 11/4 shot with you or I, but those in the know had bagged big prices last year.

One such shrewdie was none other than Epsom racecourse general manager Stephen Wallis, who had 10 each-way at 20/1 after learning of the Irish connections' hopes for the horse.

And it was almost straight from the mouth of the horse, trained at Ballydoyle in Tipperary and a product of the Coolmore Stud.

"I was lucky enough to go to the Coolmore and Ballydole last April and they were talking about Galileo for next year's race," revealed Wallis.

"Being a normal kind of punter, I decided to have a small investment."

Canny Wallis landed an even bigger gamble back in 1989 when he managed to get Nashwan at 66/1. Willie Carson's mount won at just 5/4.

It's not all success, however. He had a small wager on Nayef at 66/1 for this year's renewal, and it went on to be ante-post favourite, but was eventually pulled out of the race.


Heat is on

There was all sorts going on just before the Derby started at close to 1600 BST on Saturday.

A burger van in the centre of the course went up in smoke and had to be extinguished by firefighters.

And a planned Red Arrows parachute drop onto the course was cancelled, with no reason given.

These are helpful events for hacks stuck for hyperbole, so no doubt Galileo blazed a trail all over Sunday's papers.


Every loser wins

BBC TV were covering the race for the first time in 22 years, and roped in a few of its celebrities to comfort those non-racing types at home.

Fashion expert Jeff Banks headed coverage in the crowd on the Downs, and some familiar faces from the hit soap EastEnders took a ride on the Beeb's vintage green open-top double decker bus.

Among the entourage, and they do have real names as well, were Pat Evans, Charlie Slater, Ian Beale's wife, Terry and the doctor.

But star of the show was "Nasty" Nick Cotton, who was in fine form and even suggested keeping an eye out for a horse called Cotton House. Whatever you say, Nick.


Fortune's not always hiding

Speaking of Eastenders, Galileo's Derby triumph was the first in the big race for part-owner Michael Tabor - punter, businessman, former bookmaker and general millionaire.

He confessed to availing himself of odds from 7/1 downwards "on many occasions" as the premier Classic approached.

Tabor, who hails from the East End of London, obviously has a liking for the finer things in life, and he is a keen follower of West Ham United and their free-flowing football.

So I asked him how winning the Derby compared to the happy Hammers lifting the FA Cup.

He chuckled: "I was a lot younger then so I appreciate this more."

West Ham last lifted the cup back in 1980, courtesy of Trevor Brooking's head, so I know where he's coming from.

Tabor appeared keen to chat, so I mentally prepared to ask whether he would he be interested in some financial involvement at the mangerless club he loves, as is rumoured in the City.

"Sorry, I've got to see the Queen now," he said.

Now, that's one excuse I've never heard before.

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