If you can remember the sound of Ken Howard on your transistor radio, or any of the equine champions, people's favourites, trainers, jockeys and 'characters' of the racetracks of Australia in the glorious decade of the 1970s, you will love it!  JIM HAYNES, OAM, author and broadcaster.

Media engagements for Sydney Racing in the 1970s:

  • Interview with  legendary 1970s race caller John Tapp OAM available as a podcast at his website.
  • Interview by journalist Paul Richards in this week's edition of Winning Post  form guide (Friday 1 December).
  • Interview (@ 0:50) with race caller David Fowler during his 'Press Room' segment on RAdioTAB (Qld) Monday  4 December .
  • Live session with Bill Woods  & Jim Haynes on Summer Weekends Radio 2GB AM 873 midday Sunday 17 December.

JANUARY 2024 REVIEW OF SYDNEY RACING IN THE 1970S BY DAVID ALDRED, CEO ROCKHAMPTON JOCKEY CLUB AND FORMER RACE CALLER AND JOURNALIST

'Author Wayne Peake and I are from very similar backgrounds - the parallels are uncanny.
About the same vintage, we were both obsessed with horse racing at the same age and devoured as much knowledge as we could about the sport from any source we could find.
Books, magazines, newspapers, and radio, wherever horse racing stories happened, I got lost in the information, the excitement, the horses, and the characters. And after reading Peake’s latest book “Sydney Racing in the 1970s” I can see he did too.
His 472-page review of the fabulous racing decade that gave us so many great racehorses and characters is truly a labour of love, it's a gem, a must-read, and should be on every racing fan's bookshelf.
Like Peake, as a young boy, I had a fascination with race calling and in fact I grew up to be one, for a time. Peake writes about listening to Ken Howard and the impression his race calls at made on him. He said Howard was the single greatest influence on him being drawn to horse racing. Tuning into Howard's strong brassy voice calling the sports over the transistor radio, Peake said he was mesmerized. Howard and Bert Bryant were also my idols and a great influence. They had different styles; Bryant was more comical, and I hung onto every word of the colourfully described broadcasts.
Peake named the stayer Tails his 1970s favourite horse. Tails was mine too and I'm sure a favourite of many others who saw the magnificent chestnut race.
There is a portfolio of historical black and white and colour photos. Horses like Gunsynd, Vivarchi, Purple Patch, Itchy Feet, John’s Hope, and Big Butch, and great stories of many other horses, racetracks and the people that made 70's racing tick.
The book reviews both the very good, the good, and some ordinary horses who were partof the racing fabric of the time and has a terrific summary of every Sydney race meeting including each race day's highlights during the decade.
Peake, who describes himself as an ordinary racegoer, was working in the library at News Limited in the 1990’s when he started to make notes and record statistics in the hope that one day, he would write a book. He has now written four. Writing a book is a monumental task and in writing this book, Peake has scaled Everest. This one has taken him 6-1/2 years.
Highly respected former Sydney racing journalist Max Presnell has written the foreword, and he captures the publication perfectly.
“For we who were there, Sydney Racing in the 1970s: an illustrated Companion, is a reminder of how good it was, and others will discover just what they missed,” Presnell said.
Wayne Peake’s book captures the memories of halcyon times, horses and racing personalities that I am sure will transport you back to a time when you may have backed them, listened to or watched their brilliance - it’s a treasure.
Get your copy now. You can purchase it online at www.waynepeake.com.au for just $79.95 + $10 postage. '🏆DA

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT SYDNEY RACING IN THE 1970S

‘This is like reliving my life…! I am thinking of taking this book to the grave with me.  I have laughed out loud so many times…particularly when you described (with amazing reality) the car park attendants (plus so many more….!) I am not a book reader, by any stretch, but this Racing in the 70s has reminded so much about me and how I grew up in the Sydney race courses. HOW LUCKY WAS I ?? Thanks, thanks, thanks.’ (GW, Cairns)
‘I just heard your podcast with Tappy and decided to purchase your book. I arrived as a young man in Sydney and went to most meetings in the 70s, so look forward to owning what appears to be a wonderful book.’ (DN, Sydney)
‘Best wishes and I look forward to the lovely holiday reading. Hoping to see some mention of my grandfather Athol George [Mulley]’ (MM, Hobart)
‘It was wet here all weekend so I sat down with your book for a good spell. I can really appreciate how much work has gone into it, so much “data,” but also lots of fascinating commentary and story-telling. It really is a magnificent achievement. ‘ (BB, Tanunda)
‘If you are of the era or would like to know about it, it is an outstanding book of 469 pages by Wayne Peake, who writes of his entry into the racing world of that time. It is profusely illustrated and tells of the author’s passion for racing and his favourite characters, horses and the like. Think Ken Howard, Tails, Gunsynd, Warwick Farm, Kevin Moses, et al. It contains copious references and information about racing of the time.’ (GC, Greystanes)
‘Just letting you know that you have done a really great job.  The book brings back great memories of many of my personal favourite horses of the time - Gunsynd, Tails, Kingston Town, Purple Patch, Our Cavalier, Itchy Feet etc.  Not all were champions but great horses and crowd favourites.’ (GS, Sydney)

‘Yesterday was Christmas Day as I arrived at my office and saw your parcel on my desk. I reckon I'll be shedding a few tears. I cannot thank you enough for the most amazing treasure trove you have assembled.’ (ML, Sydney)

Warwick Farm racecourse

​​Sydney Racing in the 1970s

Buy it in one easy step via paypal.me​!
​One copy: $AUD89.95 
Two copies: $AUD174.90

Three copies: $AUD252.00
Five copies: $AUD390.25
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OR purchase it by bank transfer here. Payment schedule as above.

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​​​Wayne Peake. Writer. Racing Historian.  Proud Peake of Peakhurst.