TV’s exclusive free-to-air coverage of racing starts with the New Year’s Day meeting at Cheltenham.
Ed Chamberlin introduces live coverage of key trials from the home of jump racing in the UK, ahead of the Cheltenham Festival in March.
The coverage marks racing’s return to itv for the first time in 32 years, kick-starting a new four-year deal to show uk horse racing on terrestrial television encompassing live broadcasts of almost 100 days of racing each year – including 41 days on the main channel.
Taking centre stage on New Year’s Day will be the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle and the Grade 2 Dipper Novices’ Chase. Oli Bell will present live racing from Musselburgh to complement the action from Prestbury Park.
Expert analysis and comment comes from Sir Anthony McCoy, Luke Harvey and Mick Fitzgerald, with contributions from Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton and weather expert Lucy Verasamy, and commentary from Richard Hoiles.
Coverage on ITV’s main channel during 2017 will include the Grand National, the Epsom Derby, all the major festivals including Cheltenham and Royal Ascot, the Five Classics, plus other highlights of the racing calendar such as Future Champions Day at Newmarket and Champions Day at Ascot.
ITV’s team includes Ed’s co-presenter for the Flat season, Francesca Cumani, as well as Matt Chapman as betting presenter and reporter. Legendary jockey Sir Anthony McCoy will lend his expert insight and analysis to some of the biggest dates in the racing calendar on itv.
Oli Bell will present ITV’s weekly racing morning magazine programme titled The Opening Show, and Richard Hoiles is lead commentator, with Mark Johnson also commentating. Joining as experts are Hayley Turner, Mick Fitzgerald, Jason Weaver, Luke Harvey and Brian Gleeson.
The unique figure of Frankie Dettori will also appear and Victoria Pendleton will bring her perspective to the channel’s coverage.
Alice Plunkett, Sally-Ann Grassick and Rishi Persad all have reporting roles. Lucy Verasamy will provide reports on one of the key elements of any racing meeting – the weather.
In addition to the main itv channel’s offer, ITV4’s racing coverage will see a re-introduction of free-to-air broadcasts of the Craven Meeting at Newmarket in April. itv will show two days including the Nell Gwyn and Craven Stakes, key trials for the 1000 and 2000 Guineas. Both days of Newbury’s winter festival featuring the Hennessy Gold Cup will also be broadcast.
Racing: Live from Cheltenham is on itv New Years Day at 1pm GMT/2pm CET