Few people spend their whole working life doing the same job; so to clock up 50 years is quite some achievement. Howard Wright, who retired yesterday as deputy editor of the Racing Post is one of the few.
He was just 19 when he started work at Timeform. I first came across him during the 1970s when his tips adorned the racing page of the Sheffield Morning Telegraph. He gave me plenty of winners to supplement my student grant.
Wright signed on for the Racing Post when it first went to print some 26 years ago, and has spent many years pricking at the intransigence and disinterest when it comes to racing of several governments during that time.
It’s fitting that his retirement should be marked with a race in his honour in his home county of Yorkshire. Although he won’t be at Redcar this afternoon for the Happy Retirement Howard Wright Selling Stakes this afternoon, Wright says he does intend getting up their soon. Anyone looking for a winner whose name has any connection to the newspaper industry will be disappointed. The best you can do in that respect is Jack Dawkins, Dickens’ Artful Dodger, who was able to pick many a pocket on the streets of London. Pity they weren’t all bookmakers.
The chairman of Redcar, Lord Zetland told the paper, “Howard has been around for a very long time. He’s done a fantastic job for the Racing Post over many years, particularly in the political arena.”
Wright says he isn’t retiring from writing altogether, and is still looking forward to contributing to the Racing Post. I hope he goes on to write more books like his biography of Timeform founder and boss Phil Bull and his excellent introductory guides to the sport. It’s likely, too, that he’ll be putting more energy into expanding the Northern Racing College at Doncaster, for which he has been vice-chairman since 2004.
One thing’s for certain; Wright won’t be taking it easy.