A special National 2017

The Grand National has been part of my life since I remember watching the 1950 victory of Freebooter on the Pathe News in the local cinema. I rode in the race in 1965, have written about it for Sunday Papers since 1974 and have broadcast about it for many channels including America’s NBC. But this year was special for me because besides writing a piece for the Sunday Times, I also worked on it for ITV the channel for which I first worked after I stopped riding and last week was covering the Grand National for the very first time. On their behalf I was also enlisted to reply to an unwanted debate raised by the Radio Times on whether viewers should watch the Grand National. It was a difficult one because the only thing about the counter argument was that it was to be penned by Simon Barnes who is not only a great writer but a horse lover to boot. Worst of all he is a friend of mine! Anyway my argument and the Sunday Times report are now attached.



More Posts


Sunday Times 27th January 2024 Glory, unpredictability and disaster, the three competing powers in the jumping game, all pulled at the heart strings here. Glory

King George VI 2023

THE TIMES 27th December 2023 You could not make it up. The King George VI Chase has seen all sorts of drama but never anything

King George VI PREVIEW 2023

THE TIMES 26th December 2023 This could be a Boxing Day for the record books. We have another step on Constitution Hill’s gallop to greatness,


Sunday Times 17th December A day of sayings. “All I knew,” joked Gavin Sheehan after his last stride victory in the December Gold Cup, “was that