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  Sunday, 16 June, 2002, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
O'Sullevan's Ascot memories
Sir Peter O'Sullevan
Sir Peter O'Sullevan first went to Ascot in the 1930s
Legendary BBC broadcaster and journalist Sir Peter O'Sullevan first worked at Ascot in 1944 and commentated on his first Royal meeting in 1953.

For the next 44 years, he was as much part of Royal Ascot as the Royal Procession.

"The voice of racing" hung up his microphone in 1997, the same year that he was knighted, but still attends the Royal meeting ever year.

Here he tells BBC Sport Online about some of favourite Royal Ascot memories.

I'd been to Ascot in the 1930s and in 1944 I'd just been invalided out of the rescue service and answered an advert in the Sporting Life.

I went to Ascot because I was told by the Press Association's editor to write a preview on a day at Ascot.


It has always been a thrill to call the Queen's winners
Sir Peter O'Sullevan

I was terribly lucky because I tipped three winners, including a 20-1 chance.

All the sports editor said was: "Why didn't you tell me to back it?" - but anyway I got the job.

That was a memorable day of my life and I've had lots of memorable days at Ascot, notably I guess when my horse Be Friendly won the King's Stand Stakes.

Altogether it's been a very exciting part of my life because I've been lucky enough to cover the Royal Procession for goodness knows how many years.

I broadcast at Ascot for about 50 years and now it's lovely to come here relaxed and enjoy it and try to back a winner.

I always used to think that being isolated up on the roof doing commentary, I was missing lots of winners that I would have backed.

But of course since I retired I've realised how much money I'd saved by being imprisoned on the roof!

Edged out

It has always been a thrill to call the Queen's winners.

However, although I normally relished calling them, I do remember calling a Royal Hunt Cup which she won with Alexander.

I had had quite a serious ante-post bet on a horse called Jasp.

Jasp and Alexander finished on the opposite sides of the course.

Harry Carr was on Alexander and my long-time Australian pal Rae Johnstone was on Jasp.

It was very difficult to tell - I thought Alexander had just won but the two jocks weren't at all sure.

That was one time when I think I announced the Queen's winner with possibly - well, I hope not! - possibly with a faint tinge of regret - Alexander had just pipped Jasp.

One of my favourite ploys at Ascot was to get up and see the horses out working at seven in the morning.

Very often, the Royal Family would ride over from Windsor Castle about eight or eight thirty and ride up the course - always a memorable occasion.

Ascot is a wonderful course, redolent in history - it was started by Queen Anne in 1711 - now that was a truly inspired move.

All the news and action from the 2002 meeting

Day five

Day four

Day three

Day two

Day one

Jockey profiles

Official site
Links to more Royal Ascot 2002 stories are at the foot of the page.


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Links to more Royal Ascot 2002 stories

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