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Newmarket award winner Alex Fussey is living his dream as a racecourse commentator

A Newmarket-based racecourse commentator has won a prestigious award after only 18 months in his dream job.

Twenty-eight-year-old Alex Fussey was presented with the Emerging Talent award by the Horseracing Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) at its annual Derby Awards ceremony, held on Monday at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel, sharing the honour with former jockey Megan Nicholls, now a pundit with ITV Racing and Racing TV.

The citation for Alex said: “He brings a relaxed well-paced style, rising perfectly to a crescendo, to descriptive commentaries which avoid the trap of predicting what is going to happen.”

Alex Fussey who this week won a major racing media award for emerging talent
Alex Fussey who this week won a major racing media award for emerging talent

“I was surprised to win the award as I don’t think a commentator has won it before,” said Alex.

“Obviously if you've been nominated you have a bit of hope but the competition was tough and when I was handed the award I found it hard to string a few words together.

“I’m also pleased for the other commentators within the industry that what we do has been recognised as a career path,” added the former Newmarket Academy student, who was accompanied to the awards lunch by his father Nigel, who took him racing as a child and had supported him in his career goals ever since.

Becoming a racecourse commentator had been Alex’s ambition since he was a teenager when he stepped up to the microphone after the announcer failed to show up at a local swimming gala.

For the next 10 years, he tried to build up his experience, taking on studio work and

staying close to the horseracing scene while working as the manager of a Boots pharmacy in Brandon.

His big break came when he impressed RaceTech Media, which provides the commentators for British racecourses, during a selection process in which dozens of applicants submitted recordings and provided live commentaries via Zoom.

Alex reached the shortlist of six and clinched the job with his commentary on a live race at Doncaster.

At the time he told the Journal: “Each race is different. You have to memorise names, silk colours, form and have confidence in yourself. You learn very quickly whether you can or can’t do it.”

His first solo outing was at Newton Abbot on June 1, 2022, and since then he has worked at more than 30 racecourses the length and breadth of the country, while continuing to have his base in Newmarket with Nigel, mother Lynn and sister Grace.