Meanwhile in … Cape Town: Michael Clower puts away his notepad after 53 years

Horse Racing Michael Clower
Michael Clower: “Half the drivers seem to have been taking lessons from Lewis Hamilton

Former Racing Post and Sporting Life veteran announces retirement

South Africa: Leading racing journalist Michael Clower, who held the distinction of writing from Ireland for both the Sporting Life and the Racing Post, has announced his retirement after more than 50 years in the profession.

A hugely respected and popular figure in South African racing since he emigrated in 2006, Clower, 76, won the Equus Print Award for his work in 2015. 

After abandoning a career in accountancy, he was Irish correspondent for Pacemaker magazine and the Sporting Life while also contributing to the Sunday Times before joining the Racing Post’s Irish team when the Sporting Life was shut down.

He is the author of four books, biographies of jockeys Mick Kinane and Charlie Swan and the great hurdler Istabraq, plus ‘KIngs of the Turf’, an account of the 12 greatest Irish trainers. He also reports on South African racing for the Irish Field.

Clower also holds the distinction of riding three winners as an amateur jockey in Kenya when he was stationed there in the late 1960s.

Now, though, after a short return to work at Kenilworth in Cape Town following the South African lockdown, he is putting away his notepad. “I was delighted when Kenilworth Racing and their PR consultant Kirsti Lyall invited me to return to write reports and features,” he told the Sporting Post.

“However the last two Saturdays have rammed home to me that at the age of 76 neither my eyes nor my reactions are good enough to cope with the Cape Town traffic at the weekend, let alone on a Wednesday when half the drivers seem to have been taking lessons from Lewis Hamilton!”

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