Iconic New Zealand commentator Tony Lee has resigned his job with the New Zealand Racing Board, it was revealed yesterday.
Radio Trackside broadcast an internal email to Trackside staff which advised that Lee had requested to step down from his commentary commitments immediately.
No reason was given for his decision. Mark McNamara will now call Saturday’s Gr III Wellington Guineas meeting at Trentham.
Trackside boss Glen Broomhall said: ‘‘On behalf of the New Zealand Racing Board and broadcasting in particular, I have extended my thanks to Tony for his service and wish him all the best for the future.’’
Lee has been regarded as one of New Zealand’s best commentators for decades, describing some of New Zealand’s great gallopers winning New Zealand’s most prized races.
His commentary of the 1994 Wellington Cup when he described Castletown’s third win in the race with the line ‘‘the dream bursts into reality’’ remains one of the most recognised commentaries.
The Racing Board’s John Mitchell said Trackside had not wanted to lose a commentator of Lee’s calibre.
‘‘He’s a mainstay of New Zealand racing. We didn’t want him to go. It’s a really big loss,’’ Mitchell said.
Lee could not be contacted last night.
- © Fairfax NZ News