Time Out with Malcolm Tomlinson

Everyone's favourite commentator and Beverley resident Malcolm Tomlinson takes 5 minutes to fill us in his racing background and a few other things you might not have known!

Q) How long have you been going to Beverley racecourse?

A) I started attending Beverley as a very small child. My father, who was a watchmaker and jeweller, had a business in the town called Prescotts, which is now run by my brother. My father was responsible for the upkeep of all the clocks on the racecourse and I have many happy memories of coming up to the track on race days with him. That's how my love affair with the sport started. I never imagined that I would be commentating there one day.

Q) What has been your favourite race you've commentated on at Beverley?

A) Choosing a favourite commentary from Beverley is a very difficult task, but I'd have to say the 2016 Beverley Bullet would be right up there. Six top quality sprinters finishing within a half-length of each other and the others close up behind was an awe-inspiring sight and a massive thrill to call. Fortunately, I think I managed to get them in the right order.

Q) What has been your favourite horse you've called home?

A) I've commentated on some big races for BBC Radio 5 live and calling home Toronado to beat Dawn Approach in the Sussex stakes at Goodwood was a big thrill as was calling home Limato on track at Redcar to win their two year old trophy. At Beverley, I love it when old handicappers return to the track and do well. Shadowtime springs to mind. He must have won seven or eight times at Beverley and loves it there and the local crowd will him to do well.

Q) Who is your favourite jockey?

A) Paul Hanagan would be my favourite flat jockey. He's got a real racing brain and is fearless and strong in a finish. Similar comments would apply to Brian Hughes over jumps. Horses just seem to run well for him and he presents them at obstacles with real skill. They're also two of the nicest guys you could wish to meet and amazingly humble.

Q) Who is your favourite trainer?

A) I've got to nominate Richard Fahey as my favourite trainer. Along with the likes of Mark Johnston, David O'Meara and Kevin Ryan, he's really put the north back on the map. Also, Richard and his assistant, Robbie O'Ryan, were a huge help to me when I was asked to ride in a charity race at Newmarket a few years back. Not only did they find me a ride in the race but they let me loose on their gallops twice a week for three months and trusted me to ride out some beautiful horses and gave me all the help and advice I needed.

Q) What's the toughest aspect when it comes to commentating on a race?

A) Learning the colours. I equate it to learning lines as an actor. There are simply no short-cuts. You have to sit there with a cold flannel on your head until they've all gone in.

Q) Can you sum up Donald Trump in five words?

A) Narcissistic, bigoted, dangerous, deluded, unrealistic.

Q) Poldark aside, what's hot on the box?

A) I really enjoyed the return of Cold Feet and not because I made a brief appearance in the original series. I just think the lead actors bond together so well and it's easy to identify with the characters.

Q) What is your favourite holiday destination?

A) My favourite holiday of all time was when Eleanor and Ross were about eight and nine and we took them to Disneyworld in Florida. The whole two weeks was just magical.

Q) What is your favourite novel?

A) I've always adored Thomas Hardy and my favourite book is one of his - The Return of the Native. It's a terrific story about a love triangle set against the brooding backdrop of Hardy's Wessex. Obviously, as in all Hardy's works, fate takes a strong hand.

Q) What is your favourite stage play?

A) I love drama that's not afraid to take risks and I'm a big fan of Harold Pinter's work. I think 'The Homecoming' is a simply brilliant stage play. It's an anarchic, unnerving piece about an old man's relationship with his brother and his sons, all of whom still live in the house they grew up in with the exception of one brother, Teddy, who makes a visit home from his job as a university lecturer in the United States with his new wife, a model. What ensues is both hilarious and unsettling.

Q) What is your favourite restaurant in the region?

A) The Thai Palace restaurant on Lairgate in Beverley is just fantastic. Thai green curry with coconut rice - bring it on!

Q) If you could have played a leading role in any movie, who would it have been?

A) I've always harboured a bit of an ambition to play the villain in a James Bond movie. I just think those guys must have so much fun. I'd love to see Eleanor as a Bond girl one day. Who knows, maybe we'll offer the Producers a family discount.

Q) What makes Beverley Races unique on the northern circuit?

A)The layout of the course with its stiff uphill finish means that every single race is potentially chock full of excitement. Everything changes so quickly in the final two furlongs as the horses in front start to tire and the others surge forward. Add to that the fact that the Beverley is a great 'viewing' track and one of the most picturesque in the country. You can see them all the way round, unlike at many other tracks where they disappear from sight behind trees or bushes.