IRC Q & A: Peter Muscutt

Veteran international horseman Peter Muscutt, based at Summerveld in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal, has trained winners on three continents.

His sojourns to various parts of the world included a seven-year stint in Australia as assistant to champion trainer Chris Waller, whom Peter believes runs the most successful racing yard in the world. During this spell Waller had 70 G1 winners, including the wonder mare, Winx.

“It was a great privilege and I have incorporated Chris’ methods into my own stable with success,” said Peter, who took out his first trainers’ licence in 1981 and, after a spell with Brett Crawford in 2018 and 2019, started on his own again from the Summerveld training centre in 2020. In three-quarters of the 2020/1 season he saddled 33 winners, and he’s already sent out 44 winners this term for one of the highest winning strike rates in South Africa.

Peter believes that ‘horse sense’ and ‘common sense’ are two attributes of top trainers, but ‘attention to detail’ is the most important. This means knowing every habit and peculiarity of every horse in his care and making changes when they become necessary. His results speak for themselves.

Peter’s son is up-and-coming UK-based flat jockey Daniel Muscutt, who is enjoying one of his best seasons following a serious injury in 2018.

PHOTO: Peter and Daniel Muscutt.

Here is our Q&A with Peter Muscutt:

1. Full name? Peter Brian Muscutt.

2. Date Of Birth? 11/4/61.

3. Steak or Sushi?  Steak

4. Superstitions? The number 13.

5. Favourite Holiday Spot? Thailand.

6. BMW or Merc? Merc.

7. Who inspires you most? My son, Daniel.

8. Big night out or quiet night in? Big night in.

9. Right or-left-handed? Right-handed.

10. Castle Lager or Victoria Bitter? VB

11. What annoys you most? Incompetence.

12. One thing to make racing better for everyone?  Take lessons from the most successful racing nations.

13. Funniest person you’ve met? They’re all funny.

14. Durban July or Melbourne Cup? Hard to split.

15. Strict whip rules or no whip rules? Strict whip rules.

16. Phobias? Arachnophobia.

17. Most embarrassing moment? How much time have you got?

18. Colts or Fillies? Colts.

19. Best horseman worked with? David Payne.

20. Most memorable moment in racing? My two children Daniel and Emma have brought me great moments.

21. Proudest Achievement? Winning a father and son golf tournament when I was 14.

22. Economy or Business class? Business.

23. If you could pick a training centre, which one? Summerveld – if you can’t train winners from Summerveld, you can’t train winners anywhere. I’ve worked all over the world and Summerveld has some of the finest facilities in the world.

24. Star sign? Aries.

25. One piece of advice for aspiring trainers? The harder the work the luckier you get.

26. Read or Netflix? Netflix

27. Ask for forgiveness or permission? Permission.

28. Nominate someone for our Q&A next? Kevin Shea.

Two horses to follow this season? Zapitallas and Ocean Time.

Charity for readers to donate to: Any animal shelter.  – IRC.

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