Rishi Persad is one of the most familiar sports broadcasters on television and has been for years. Principally known for his work for racing channel Racing TV,and ITV Racing. Rishi has also presented live and provided coverage from three different Olympic Games; In addition to that, he has reported at Wimbledon, the US Masters and The Open and Ryder Cup as well as presenting bowls at the Commonwealth Games, As such he is at home fronting high profile coverage of events like The Grand National; he brings real insight whenever he does irrespective of what sport.
Our columnist @Wattyracing recently had the opportunity to ask Mr Persad a few questions and find out a little more about him.
1 Favourite racecourses? Sandown, Goodwood, Epsom, York and The Queen’s Park Savannah. The latter is where I truly fell in love with racing back in Trinidad, sadly they no longer stage horse racing there, but the childhood memories are very vivid to this day.
2 Favourite racehorses? Magic Circle – the first horse my dad owned in Trinidad. The old boy raced till he was 13 and we loved him. Lammtarra, Kauto Star, Sea The Stars and Pilsudski. But I could have named you 100.
3 Favourite races of all time? Kauto Star figures prominently here. His 2009 Gold Cup win and his final wins in the Betfair Chase and King George are three. Lammtarra’s Derby win and Lester’s win on Royal Academy in the Breeders’ Cup Mile complete the choices.
4 Favourite trainers and jockeys? A child of the 80s so (Sir) Michael Stoute and Walter Swinburn and (Sir) Henry Cecil and Steve Cauthen were the dream combos for me.
5 Favourite racing festivals? In my opinion Cheltenham is the best racing festival followed by the Ebor meeting at York. The former is intense and indulgent, and the latter gets the balance just about right.
6 Favourite holiday destinations? Enjoy going back to Trinidad to visit my family but I also love a beach holiday and would choose Barbados for that.
7 Favourite journeys to a racecourse? Travelling to Cheltenham on the Monday, the day before the Festival starts, when I feel as though I am about to back every single winner.
8 Favourite places for a breakfast? There is a cracking cafe where I live in Bookham called Carolina’s. Its only small, but they serve the best breakfast bar none and great coffee.
9 Favourite bands you’d like to see play a racecourse concert? I am not a fan of racecourse concerts. I understand why they do it but the principle of bringing people to ‘the races’ for a concert is a strange one. If the authorities can prove that the scheme has provided the sport with new racing fans, then I will change my mind. Having said all that, if Trinidadian Calypsonian David Rudder was booked for a gig after racing at Sandown then I’d be there.
10 Favourite biscuit to go with a brew? Prefer cakes to biscuits and my daughter makes sensational chocolate and banana cupcakes.
11 Favourite sports teams? West Indies and Man Utd.
12 Favourite movies? best recent film I have seen is Green Book. And I love all the Marvel films.
13 Favourite comedies? Loved Fawlty Towers, The Office and Afterlife. Enjoy all Will Ferrell comedy films, but particularly Stepbrothers and Old School
14 Favourite ways to unwind outside racing? Golf, watching sport and eating great food and dog walks with the family.
15 Favourite ways to spend a day off? All the answers in no.14 combined ideally.
16 Favourite non racing sporting event you’ve either attended or would like to attend? I used to love Trinidad Carnival when I was young and the last time, I celebrated it there was Feb 2002. I would love to go back and enjoy it once more.
17 Favourite places to go for a meal? Again, this changes all the time but recently ate at Tom Kerridge’s Bar and Grill in London which was fantastic. My local Indian restaurant the Fetcham Tandoori is perfect for a Saturday night takeaway and The Good Earth in Esher is pricey but very good.
18 Favourite towns and cities? I loved spending time in Australia and Sydney was my favourite city down under. London is magnificent and York is very enjoyable when there for the racing.
19 Favourite places to go for family time? A family holiday to Barbados is the thing I look forward to most of all – with a trip in between to see more family in Trinidad.
20 Choose your favourite of anything? I’ll finish with favourite smells and sounds. Any song that comes on which brings back memories of my childhood and the magical times associated with it and the smell of freshly cut grass in springtime conjures up all sorts of positive thoughts.