Channel 4's Grand National Showcase
Channel 4 will broadcast the nation’s favourite horse race, The John Smith’s Grand National, for the first time ever this April 4th to 6th.
A ground breaking on and off-air marketing campaign will support the channel’s commitment to the sport. Channel 4’s Street Race, filmed in Liverpool’s Everton Park premiered this week across all Channel 4 networks. The race features stunt horses and jockeys racing through the city - including jumping through back gardens, allotments; over cars and picnic benches.
Last year’s Grand National winning jockey, Daryl Jacob, says: “It’s brilliant that Channel 4 is determined to take racing to the masses. My sport is truly privileged to have a broadcaster that shows such commitment and I know their National coverage will be top class.”
The Grand National season begins in April with commissioned centrepieces such as How to Win the Grand National presented by veterinary expert Mark Evans that examines scientific formulas behind equine victories, Come Dine with Me starring Channel 4 Racing’s Emma Spencer with jockey Mattie Batchelor and others; Alan Carr’s Grand National Specstacular: The Night Before the National and a special edition of Saturday Brunch following The Morning Line before racing.
Channel 4’s racing coverage across the three-day meeting will incorporate over 15 hours of live action with five daily races. The Morning Line will preview racing action on Thursday and Friday in its usual 8am slot, with Saturday’s show moving to 9:30am (TBC) to begin Channel 4’s full day programming based around the Grand National.
Afternoon coverage starts at 1:30pm (April 4 & 5) and at 1:00pm on Grand National Day (April 6) presented by Clare Balding. She will be joined by Nick Luck with Jim McGrath, Mick Fitzgerald, Graham Cunningham and Ted Walsh to provide unrivalled analysis from the track-side studio that will provide wonderful views of the grandstand with a water jump backdrop.
With unique access to the Stables, Jockeys Changing Room and Steward’s Room, Alice Plunkett and Rishi Persad will bring all the atmosphere of the thrilling three-day meeting to the screen enabling Channel 4 viewers to be even closer to the action than ever before.
Channel 4’s principal commentator, Simon Holt, will be supported by two additional commentators - Richard Hoiles and Ian Barlett - for the feature four miles, three furlongs contest that incorporates 30 fences that includes landmarks such as Becher’s Brook, the Canal Turn, Valentine’s and the Chair. Tanya Stevenson will be on-hand to relay the betting markets with award winning writer Alastair Down stepping in to deliver daily essay-style preview packages.
45 cameras will be deployed around the Aintree courses for Channel 4’s Grand National coverage.
- The Camcat wire-cam system will run alongside the inside track from a height of 20 – 40 metres and two fences out. Viewers will see the field race run under the camera before heading off into the country to complete the final circuit. It will also show the horses jump the iconic national fences such as the Chair and the Water Jump.
- A brand new tracking camera will be used to follow the action around the track and will carry an inaugural tracking crane to assist pictures. The crane is mounted onto a vehicle that will travel in front of the action as normal, but for the first time will be able to elevate from a running rail height to a reach of 18 feet giving unparalleled views of the 40-horse field.
- As well as all the race cameras – a dedicated Becher's Brook fence camera will be reinstated covering iconic head on shots.
- Award winning Aerial cameraman, David Manton, will film the event for the first time in a twin-engine, low noise helicopter.
- Three Jib Cranes will be used at various vantage points such as at the start, the Canal turn and in the Parade Ring.
- The Superloupe Hi-Motion cameras that provided stunning Festival imagery will return to Aintree to capture the event and raceday action, recording at speeds of 1,000 frames per second.
- A new fence sound system will capture the true essence of the high-action and drama of the entire Grand National meeting.
Jamie Aitchison, Channel 4’s Sports Editor, adds: “Cheltenham Festival proved that Racing provides all the drama and emotion of a world class sporting event. We were delighted to bring the four days into people's homes and after a strong start to our Crown Jewels coverage we now head to Aintree with relish.”
Channel 4’s multi-media platforms will also provide a comprehensive service across the three-days to support viewers’ experience. Multi-media live text commentary, a recently launched Channel 4 Racing App and more will be available at www.channel4.com/racing
April 4 & 5: 8am Morning Line 1:30 – 4:30pm
April 6: 9:30am Morning Line followed immediately by Saturday Brunch and Channel 4 Racing from 1pm
4:15pm The John Smith’s Grand National