Tag Archives: racing

Cambridge maths expert devises Grand National formula and is backing Seabass

And this year's Grand National winner is… Cambridge maths whizz reveals winning formula ahead of Aintree race

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

10:48 GMT, 2 April 2013

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UPDATED:

13:17 GMT, 2 April 2013

A University of Cambridge maths whizz is backing Seabass in Saturday’s Grand National – after creating a formula that predicts the winning horse.

William Hartston, 65, forensically examined the names and ages of all victorious nags from the event’s 174 year history.

And he discovered winners are most likely to have names that are just one word, and begin with S, R, M, or C.

Racing ahead: Seabass, with Katie Walsh on board, is methematician William Hartson's pick for the National

Racing ahead: Seabass, with Katie Walsh on board, is methematician William Hartson's pick for the National

THE FORMULA IN FULL

Number of letters in the horse’s name
8, 10 = 4 points
7 = 3 points
6, 11 = 2 points
9, 12 = 1 point

First letter of horse’s name
R = 4 points
A, S, M = 3 points
C, T = 2 points
G, B, W = 1 point

Number of words in horse’s name
1 = 4 points
2 = 3 points
3 = 2 points
4 = 1 point

Age of horse
9 = 4 points
10 = 3 points
8, 11 = 2 points
12 = 1 point

The 9 highest-scoring horses based on the William Hartston scoring system
1. Seabass 13/16 (consistently high in all categories)
2. Tatenen 13/16
3. Teaforthree 12/16
4. Rare Bob 12/16
5. Mr Moonshine 12/16
6. Romanesco 11/16
7. Sunnyhillboy 11/16
8. Quel Esprit 11/16
9. Any Currency 11/16

Furthermore, the names usually consist of eight or ten letters – closely followed by seven or 11 – and the horses are typically nine or ten years old.

Mr Hartston used these results to develop a scoring system, which allowed him to rate the 40 horses that will line-up at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday.

He will now back the bookies’ 9/1 second favourite Seabass after it scored an impressive 13 points out of a maximum 16 on his scale.

The Ted Walsh-trained Irish racehorse begins with S, is a one-word name, aged ten years, and has seven letters.

It was followed by Tatenen and Teaforthree in the study commissioned by bookies William Hill.

Mr Hartston – author of several books, including The Book of Numbers – graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MA or Master of Maths.

The mathematician examined four criteria – number of letters in the horse’s name, first letter of name, number of words in the name, and age.

He then awarded each horse a maximum of four points for each of these criteria, depending on how closely they fit the historic results.

For example, a horse whose name is eight or ten letters long – the most successful in the history of the race – are awarded four points.

But a horse with nine or twelve letters – historically less successfully – are awarded just one point.

Mr Hartston said: 'Seabass is the only horse with consistently high scores across all four criteria. It begins with S, is a one-word name, aged ten years and has seven letters, which is only slightly short of the preferred eight.

'Tatenen scored an impressive 13/16 while Teaforthree scored 12/16 and

shouldn’t be ruled out – but their scoring pattern is less consistent.'

Ready and waiting: 14/1 shot Teaforthree, in training last week, also features highly on Hartson's list

Ready and waiting: 14/1 shot Teaforthree, in training last week, also features highly on Hartson's list

Team GB"s cyclists win gold and silver medals in Rio Olympics 2018 preparations

Team GB's cyclists make a promising start to Rio preparations with bronze and silver medals

.

Two of the London Olympic-winning quartet – Ed Clancy and Steven Burke – were present in the squad which lost the world champion rainbow jerseys to Australia.

Over the moon: Great Britain's Becky James (left) and Vicky Williamson celebrate Bronze in the team sprint

Over the moon: Great Britain's Becky James (left) and Vicky Williamson celebrate Bronze in the team sprint

Silver service: The men's team pursuit pick up a second place

Silver service: The men's team pursuit pick up a second place

Clancy, Burke, 2012 world champion Andy Tennant and Sam Harrison, who won world bronze in 2011, qualified second fastest and were unable to overturn their seeding, finishing in four minutes 00.967 seconds, to their rivals' 3mins 56.751secs.

Australia led throughout the 16-lap final, even though Glenn O'Shea dropped out entering the final kilometre, leaving Alex Edmondson, Michael Hepburn and Alex Morgan to hold off Britain in the finale.

Clancy, who experimented with the team sprint earlier this winter before reverting to his usual discipline, said: 'It does hurt to lose to the Aussies, but it's an Olympic programme. It's bike racing, you can't win all the time.

'It's disappointing, but if you don't look at it so black and white there's a lot of positives.'

Clancy pointed to the absences of Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh, focusing on their road careers with Team Sky after their Olympic glory, and the fact Britain finished fourth in Pruszkow in 2009, a year after winning gold in Beijing.

Vicky Williamson (bottom) and Becky James (top) pick up the bronze medal during the women's team sprint event

Vicky Williamson (bottom) and Becky James (top) pick up the bronze medal during the women's team sprint event

The quartet were not quite firing on all cylinders.

'We had at least one set of legs in there that weren't quite on it,' Clancy said.

'I'm not saying we're happy about coming second, but we're not in a bad place, that's for sure. If you look at where we were in Poland, we've done a hell of a lot better than we did there.'

While there was a sense of disappointment for Clancy and co, for James and Williamson there was joy.

The 19-year-old Williamson was a late replacement for Jess Varnish, who has a back injury, while James was fulfilling second-lap duties previously occupied by the now-retired Victoria Pendleton.

Sprint coach Iain Dyer says 21-year-old James, who pushed Olympic champion Anna Meares close for Commonwealth gold in 2010, is in the form of her life.

Warm up: After a magnificent medal haul at London 2012, Team GB will be hoping to show similar form at the Rio Olympics

Warm up: After a magnificent medal haul at London 2012, Team GB will be hoping to show similar form at the Rio Olympics

As if to prove it, James allowed a gap to open up by going up the banking coming into the changeover to allow her to accelerate into her lap.

The technique was devised in the last session of the Newport training camp ahead of travelling to Minsk.

James, who made up deficits in each of her rides, said: 'We just thought we'd try something new and because my form's come through quite nicely we wanted to get as much speed as possible off the lap.

'I'm just absolutely buzzing. I'm so shocked. I can't believe it, my first world medal.'

Williamson, who received text messages of support from Varnish in the build-up to Minsk, said: 'I'm gobsmacked. To come out with a bronze medal is just amazing.'

James will now ride in the 500 metres
time-trial tomorrow, the first of three individual events in which she
is targeting further success.

She added: 'Seeing the form I've got I'd really like to be up there this week. I'll give it my best shot.'

Pedal power: The Danish team competes during mens team pursuit qualifying race of the event in Minsk

Pedal power: The Danish team competes during mens team pursuit qualifying race of the event in Minsk

Kian Emadi competed in the corresponding men's event, the one-kilometre time-trial, placing an impressive fourth on his debut.

In an event removed from the Olympic programme following Sir Chris Hoy's win in Athens in 2004, Emadi clocked 1:01.756, with Francois Pervis of France winning in 1:00.221, New Zealand's Simon Van Velthooven second in 1.00.869 and Germany's Joachim Eilers third in 1:01.450.

Emadi's time was short of his personal best, set at altitude in Colombia, but he was content with his display.

The 20-year-old will now ride in the men's team sprint on day two alongside Philip Hindes and Jason Kenny, taking Hoy's man three slot in the three-lap event.

Emadi is confident of combining well with the Olympic champions.
He said: 'There's good signs in training. Everyone's stepping up and getting faster as the competition has come closer.'

Three more events take place tomorrow, including the women's team pursuit, featuring Olympic champions Laura Trott and Dani King, with Elinor Barker making up the trio.

Owain Doull is entered into the men's scratch race, with Burke entered in the 4km men's individual pursuit.

Cheltenham Festival video: Peter Scudamore, Sam Turner and Marcus Townend preview the big races

VIDEO: Sportsmail's top team preview the big races at the Cheltenham Festival

PUBLISHED:

13:22 GMT, 18 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 19 February 2013

Racing doesn't get any better than the Cheltenham Festival so to preview the famous meeting we've put together the best team in the business.

Our man Marcus Townend talks to our top tipster Sam Turner and columnist and former champion jockey Peter Scudamore.

Sportsmail's award-winning photographer Graham Chadwick is the man behind the camera who put it all together.

VIDEO For top tips on runners and riders check out Sportsmail's special preview

Play Video

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Leonna Mayor – female jockey photshoot

From racing horses to racing hearts! Apprentice Mayor is a Grade One jockey

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

12:02 GMT, 7 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:07 GMT, 7 January 2013

Leonna Mayor's job is to race horses, but with these pictures the young jockey will have hearts racing across the country.

The stunning 22-year-old is an apprentice at Alastair Lidderdale's stable – and already has 31 wins to her name.

And while her fledgling racing career remains in its infancy, these pictures will send her shooting to the forefront of all race-goers minds.

Weighing in: Mayor takes to the scales at Kempton Park in Surrey

Weighing in: Mayor takes to the scales at Kempton Park in Surrey

Mayor first appeared in MailOnline 18 months ago during a photoshoot alongside a number of other young female jockeys.

She revealed her desire at the time was to become a top jockey in racing circles. And there was also a revelation about her slightly embarrassing modelling past.

She said: 'My main ambition is to be known as a good female jockey and to get to a situation where trainers want to use me rather than my agent having to ask them.'

'Winning my fourth and most important race of the year (in 2011) on Thunderball at Pontefract when the owners could have used a more experienced jockey was a highlight.

She added: 'I did modelling as a youngster and was pictured wearing a hideous pink tracksuit in the Argos catalogue.'

Fitness regime: Mayor has revealed how much dedication is needed to remain trim for racing

Fitness regime: Mayor has revealed how much dedication is needed to remain trim for racing

Fitness regime: Mayor has revealed how much dedication is needed to remain trim for racing

Staying in shape is a key element of her day-to-day life as a jockey, but has admitted staying trim is a constant battle.

Leonna, 22, told the Daily Star: 'It is weird having to adjust your weight for different races but it becomes second nature.

'It makes dinners out difficult and, after a long day, the last thing I feel like doing is cooking a complicated meal. I eat a lot of soup and treat myself to a takeaway if I get a win!

'If I need to lose a pound or so, I
sweat in a hot bath. One of the lads suggested a couple of glasses of
wine the night before a race to dehydrate.'

Judging by these pictures, her fitness regime is working just fine.

Lacy racer: Mayor certainly has the pulses racing on and off the track

Lacy racer: Mayor certainly has the pulses racing on and off the track

Lacy racer: Mayor certainly sets the pulses racing on and off the track

David Moyes wants a winner at Cheltenham

Moyes chasing Cheltenham double as Everton boss eyes Festival winner

|

UPDATED:

11:44 GMT, 15 December 2012

Everton manager David Moyes hopes to be celebrating in Cheltenham next month in the FA Cup – and again at the Festival in March.

The Scot, whose side face Stoke in the Premier League this afternoon, owns Desert Cry who ran at Cheltenham this year.

And Moyes the town will prove a happy hunting ground both on the pitch and on the track.

Winning feeling: David Moyes has Everton flying high in fourth place

Winning feeling: David Moyes has Everton flying high in fourth place

'I would like at least one winner at Cheltenham next year. Horse racing remains a hobby for me,' he told the Daily Express. 'My horse, Desert Cry, is at Donald McCain’s stables and he has gone on to the jumps this year.

'On a day off, I’ll go along and watch them on the gallops and I like seeing the horses train. Being a trainer and a manager are different but there are some similarities. You are out there every day with the horse or the players, making sure you get the best out of them. You have the same thoughts, I suppose. “How’s he going Is he at his level”.

Track days: Moyes hopes his horse Desert Cry can win at Cheltenham

Track days: Moyes hopes his horse Desert Cry can win at Cheltenham

'Desert Cry ran at Cheltenham last year and Everton will be going there next month in the FA Cup. I saw them beat Hereford on Tuesday in the replay. Managers are much more liable to take a gamble in an FA Cup game because the points at stake in the Premier League mean everything. But the FA Cup provides strange, strange results and we have to make sure we are not on the wrong end of them.

'We went to the semi-final last season and we want another good cup run.'

Frankie Dettori banned for six months

Dettori lands six-month riding ban over failed drug test at Longchamp

|

UPDATED:

11:53 GMT, 5 December 2012

Frankie Dettori, the best known jockey in British racing, has been banned from riding for six months by the French racing authorities after his failed drugs test at Longchamp on September 16.

The worldwide ban, which has been backdated to November 20, will keep the 41-year-old three-time champion out of action until May 19.

It has been reported that the substance was cocaine and Dettori’s ban matches that of Kieren Fallon who was also suspended for six months on the first of the two occasions he tested positive for the drug while riding in France in 2006.

Positive: Frankie Dettori failed a drug test after riding at Longchamp on September 16

Positive: Frankie Dettori failed a drug test after riding at Longchamp on September 16

It means the Dettori will miss the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas next season and most of the important Classic trials.

But he will able to return in time for the both the Oaks, Derby and important Royal Ascot fixture.

Dettori’s solicitor Christopher Stewart-Moore said: ‘I have spoken to Frankie since the announcement was made and he has told me he fully accepts France Galop's decision.

‘He also accepts that he has let down the sport he loves and all those associated with it, as well as the wider public.

‘But most of all, and this is his greatest regret, he has let down his wife and children.

'He is enormously grateful for the opportunities that he has been given by owners and trainers over the years, and for the support of his many fans.

‘Racing has been good to Frankie and he knows that his privileged position brings with it responsibility.

Waiting game: Frankie Dettori is facing a ban of six months for a failed drugs test

Waiting game: Frankie Dettori is facing a ban of six months for a failed drugs test

‘For this reason he is determined to rebuild his reputation when he returns to the saddle.

‘Frankie could make excuses. He has, after all, regularly been tested for prohibited substances throughout his career.

‘He is clear, however, that the responsibility for his current situation lies squarely with him.

‘From the start of France Galop's inquiry he has acknowledged to them he has made a mistake and that the fault was his.

‘Finally, he has asked me to thank everyone for the many messages of support he and his family have received.’

France Galop announced Dettori’s suspension 24 hours after the jockey’s case had been heard by its Stewards’ Committee in Paris.

That hearing came a fortnight after the Medical Committee of France Galop ruled Dettori had a case to answer and just over three weeks after it first emerged on November 13 that Dettori had produced a positive test.

The jockey did not attend either hearing but gave evidence to the Medical Committee via a conference call during which it is understood he expressed a desire to rebuild his career.

Just how hard that will be, Dettori is about to find out.

Unseated: Dettori has been banned from racing for six months

Unseated: Dettori has been banned from racing for six months

The most vivacious and engaging personality in racing should be able to work his way back into the sport. Other jockeys, like Fallon, have proved that after a positive drug test.

The situation surrounding Dettori’s lapse – the erosion and ultimate ending of his position within Sheik Mohammed’s Godolphin empire – will elicit sympathy in some quarters and his ability as a jockey will ensure there will be owners and trainers happy to book one of the sport’s most naturally-gifted talents.

But the extended absence from the sport comes at a time when, post Godolphin, Dettori had hoped to establish himself as the go-to freelance rider in British racing and, maybe, even challenge for a fourth championship.

Potential rides will have to be offered to rivals and possibly be lost forever.

The rebuilding of Dettori’s wider image will certainly be difficult. The happy-go-lucky image of the father of five has been tainted.

Battler: Dettori is determined to bounce back

Battler: Dettori is determined to bounce back

Dettori produced the positive test on the day he had four unsuccessful mounts at Longchamp on Arc trials day.

It came 24 hours after Encke had won the St Leger at Doncaster for his then employers Godolphin.

The colt had been ridden by young French jockey Mickael Barzalkona, whose promotion within the Sheik Mohammed operation had increasingly undermined Dettori, who had lost his status as the stable’s No 1 jockey.

There has been speculation that the disappointment of missing the Leger winner – Dettori had finished third on John Gosden’s Michelangelo – may have led to a moment of madness from an emotional athlete at a low ebb.

Rumours of a split from Godolphin had circulated before the Derby in June when the huge operation failed to find a runner for Dettori to ride and handed the mount on Kailani, their only representative in the Oaks, to Barzalona.

Dettori’s only group one winner in Britain for Godolphin this season was Colour Vision in the Ascot Gold Cup and his paltry return of 51 winners was his worst since his plane crash season in 2000.

The split finally did come when Dettori chose to ride Aidan O’Brien-trained Camelot in the Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe in October, a horse owned by Ireland’s Coolmore Stud, the Sheik’s big sporting and commercial rival.

It appeared a calculated act which inevitably led to the announcement that Dettori’s hugely-successful 18-year association with Godolphin would end at the close of the 2012 season.

His last ride for the stable proved to be his final mount before his ban when unplaced on Cavalryman in the Melbourne Cup on November 6.

FRANKIE DETTORI FACTFILE

Born: Milan, December 15, 1970

Father: Multiple Italian champion jockey Gianfranco Dettori

Apprenticed to: Luca Cumani

First winner: Rif, Turin, Nov 16, 1986

First winner in Britain: Lizzy Hare, Goodwood, June 9, 1987.

Champion apprentice: 1989

Champion jockey: 1994, 1995, 2004

Married to: Catherine, five children (three girls, two boys)

Other information: Went through the card with seven winners at Ascot in September, 1996.

Survived a plane crash at Newmarket in 2000.

Has his name on a selection of Italian-style foods. Chain of restaurants in London – Frankie's Italian Bar & Grill.

Television: Former team captain on A Question Of Sport

British Classic wins: Derby – Authorized (2007).

Oaks – Balanchine (1994), Moonshell (1995), Kazzia (2002).

St Leger – Classic Cliche (1995), Shantou (1996), Scorpion (2005), Sixties Icon (2006), Conduit (2008).

2000 Guineas – Mark Of Esteem (1996), Island Sands (1999).

1000 Guineas – Cape Verdi (1998), Kazzia (2002), Blue Bunting (2011).

Frankie Dettori positive drugs test: Stewards to study case on Tuesday

D-Day for Dettori over positive drugs test as jockey prepares to discover fate

|

UPDATED:

12:21 GMT, 27 November 2012

Frankie Dettori's immediate future
will be decided by the Stewards' Committee of the French racing
authorities next Tuesday – December 4.

France Galop confirmed the date of the hearing on Tuesday morning.

The hearing will be a exactly week
after Dettori's case was initially heard by the three-man Medical
Committee of France Galop which decided the positive drug test he
produced while riding at Longchamp on September 16 warranted further
action.

French date: Frankie Dettori, pictured here celebrating winning the Darley Irish Oaks last year, has failed a drugs test in France and tomorrow faces a hearing into that failed dope test (FILE IMAGE)

French date: Frankie Dettori, pictured here celebrating winning the Darley Irish Oaks last year, has failed a drugs test in France and tomorrow faces a hearing into that failed dope test (FILE IMAGE)

Dettori was immediately suspended from French racing on medical grounds.

After the hearing, he appeared to concede a worldwide ban is likely by accepting the Medical Committee's findings.

Although the 41-year-old three-time champion was not present, having given his evidence by conference call, his legal team issued a statement which said: 'Frankie Dettori accepts the conclusions of the Medical Committee without reservation. He had a very fair hearing in which he was able to express his position clearly.

'As to the suspension of his licence in France, this is something which he fully anticipated and has not in any event ridden since November 6 when he honoured a pre-existing commitment to ride in the Melbourne Cup.

Career threatening: Dettori has reportedly tested positive for cocaine or a derivative

Career threatening: Dettori has reportedly tested positive for cocaine or a derivative

'He can now confirm that until the
matter is resolved by the Stewards of France Galop at a hearing within
the next fortnight he will not be riding again anywhere.

'Once the stewards of France Galop
make their decision he will make a full statement but is unable to do so
until such time as that final decision is announced.'

Although France Galop has never made
public the substance Dettori tested for, it is believed to be cocaine or
a derivative of it.

That would make a ban of six months
likely for a first offence – the length of suspension imposed on Kieren
Fallon when he failed his first test in France in 2006.

Frankie Dettori shame: Jockey devastated at failed test as drugs shame sees Coral remove him from champion jockey market

EXCLUSIVE: Dettori's moment of madness… Racing's most famous jockey 'devastated' at failed cocaine test

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UPDATED:

14:18 GMT, 14 November 2012

Frankie Dettori has been left devastated by the drug-test failure that is threatening to derail his career.

The 41-year-old three-time champion jockey is facing a hearing before the medical committee of the French racing authorities next week after testing positive for cocaine or a derivative of it while riding Longchamp on September 16.

Dettori is currently in Dubai where he is holidaying after riding in the Melbourne Cup on November 6.

Sources this morning revealed to Sportsmail that
the Italian has been ‘knocked for six’ by the positive test which was
‘a moment of madness rather than a genuine addiction.’

Can't get a price: Frankie Dettori is not in the Coral betting for the champion jockey after failing a drug test

Can't get a price: Frankie Dettori is not in the Coral betting for the champion jockey after failing a drug test

Dettori’s withdrawal from his mounts at Doncaster on Saturday was unrelated to the imminent disciplinary hearing.

In a statement, Dettori's solicitor,
Christopher Stewart-Moore, said: 'I can confirm that, as a consequence
of a positive test at Longchamp on September 16 he will be the subject
of an inquiry by the Medical Committee of France Galop next week.

'In compliance with, and out of
respect for, the regulations of France Galop he will not be commenting
further until the France Galop procedures have been completed.'

Meanwhile, Coral have removed Dettori
from the betting for the 2013 champion jockey betting with the threat
of a long ban hanging over him.

Fellow jockey Kieran Fallon was
handed a six-month ban by the France Galop in 2006 when he tested
positive to cocaine for the first time.

Shock: Joshua Tree was one of Dettori's rides at Longchamp on September 16

Shock: Joshua Tree was one of Dettori's rides at Longchamp on September 16

Dettori's deeds by numbers

15
years old when he rode his first winner, Rif in Turin. His first win in
Britain, on Lizzy Hare at Goodwood, followed a year later.

3 Champion Jockey titles. He won his first in 1994 before winning it again in 1995 and 2004.

7
winners when he went through the card at Ascot in September 2006. His
jump dismount became one of the memorable sporting images of the year.

3,430 Races
in 14 countries during an 18-year association with the Godolphin
stable. He won 943 races with them, 110 of which came at Group One
level.

A ban of such magnitude, which would
not start until Dettori’s disciplinary process was completed, would
potentially rule out Dettori until May or June of next year.

Coral spokesman David Stevens said:
‘If, as reports suggest, Frankie Dettori has failed a test involving
cocaine, a six-month suspension is likely, and such a ban would rule him
out of a title bid next year.’

A ban of such magnitude, which would
not start until Dettori's disciplinary process was completed, would
potentially rule him out until May or June of next year.

There had been talk of Dettori having a tilt at the title after the end to his 18-year association with Sheik Mohamed's Godolphin was announced last month. He had been made an 8-1 shot for the crown by Coral.

Their spokesman David Stevens said: 'If, as reports suggest, Frankie Dettori has failed a test involving cocaine, a six-month suspension is likely, and such a ban would rule him out of a title bid next year.'

Hat-trick hero: Dettori has been crowned champion jockey three times

Hat-trick hero: Dettori has been crowned champion jockey three times

Jenson Button"s F1 car on sale on e-Bay for 25,000

Fancy yourself as the next Jenson Button Well, splash out on his old F1 car… if you've got a spare 25,000!

|

UPDATED:

14:37 GMT, 13 November 2012

For all last-minute shoppers out there – here's one way to avoid a Christmas Eve pit-stop on the bustling High Street.

Jenson Button's Honda Racing show car from the 2003 season is on sale on e-Bay and can be yours for 'only' 25,000.

Dream machine: Jenson's Button 2003 F1 show car is up for grabs

Dream machine: Jenson's Button 2003 F1 show car is up for grabs

Dream machine: Jenson's Button 2003 F1 show car is up for grabs

Dream machine: Jenson's Button 2003 F1 show car is up for grabs

Stop start: The car doesn't have engine or control pedals

/11/13/article-0-0061877200000258-868_634x445.jpg” width=”634″ height=”445″ alt=”Jenson Button's BAR Honda” class=”blkBorder” />

One (not so) careful owner: Button finished ninth in the drivers' championship in 2003…

One (not so careful) owner: Button is rescued by medical staff after crashing in 2003

… despite crashing in Monaco (but don't worry it's not the car on e-Bay)

'Opportunities to purchase recent f1 show cars are few and far between. The scope of use for this car is endless and can cover everything from commercial display to personal.

'Ornament and the ultimate seat for playstation racing games.

'Surely the perfect present for all jenson button fans.

'The car can be viewed in wolverhampton at the wolverhampton mazda, ssangyong, subaru garage! Telephone: 01902 351 153'

The sale will end on Friday.

John McCririck axed by Channel 4 as Clare Balding leads new-look racing team

Outspoken McCririck turfed out by Channel 4 as Balding leads new-look racing team

|

UPDATED:

08:20 GMT, 26 October 2012

'Devastated' John McCririck, one of the best known
faces in racing broadcasting, will not be part of the new Channel 4
Racing team which takes over sole terrestrial broadcasting of the sport
from January 1.

The outlandish and often outspoken
figure, who transformed the way news from the betting ring at
racecourses was shown on TV, has been involved in racing broadcasting
since 1981 when the racing was shown on ITV.

Axed: John McCririck

Axed: John McCririck

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The 72-year-old will be replaced by his sidekick Tanya Stevenson but McCririck accused the broadcasters of ageism, with just one of the 13 presenters in the new line-up over 50.

'I'm devastated. I've been covering TV betting for 31 years,' he told The Mirror.

'According to Channel 4 I'm being sacked after audience research. Yes, I do antagonise people, as reactions to me on Celebrity Big Brother proved. But I was never asked to change my presentation style.

'Clare [Balding] is a terrific choice to lead the new young team. But it's so sad Channel 4 have again gone down the path of ageism.'

With his eccentric headgear, Old Harrovian McCririck was an original member of the Channel 4 Racing team three years later.

His catch-phrases and use of Tic-Tac, the system of hand signals that traditionally transfer messages across the Ring, attracted huge attention to McCririck who became better recognised than many of its best-known participants.

That led to appearances in programmes like Celebrity Big Brother and Wife Swap, the latter with wife Jenny or The Booby as he refers to her.

All change: Clare Balding (L) will lead the new-look Channel 4 racing team in the New Year

All change: Clare Balding (L) will lead the new-look Channel 4 racing team in the New Year

Fellow C4 presenters also to fail to make the new line up are stalwarts Derek Thompson, Mike Cattermole and Alistair Down.

John Francome and Lesley Graham had already ruled themselves out of a role in the new-look team which will be led by Clare Balding.

She moves from the BBC and will be supported by Nick Luck, currently host of C4' s Morning Line.

Other C4 faces to survive include Jim McGrath, Alice Plunkett and Emma Spencer.

Recruited from the BBC is Grand National winning jockey Mick Fitzgerald plus Rishi Persad while joining the team as paddock analyst Graham Cunningham, who has been working on specialist channel Racing UK.

Gold Cup winning jockey Sam Thomas will be a contributor as will Gina Bryce, who works for Attheraces.

Mad-cap: McCririck was an outspoken character in racing

Bonkers: McCririck was an outspoken character in racing and appeared on Channel 4's Celebrity Wife Swap alongside Edwina Currie (below)

Bonkers: McCririck appeared on Channel 4's Celebrity Wife Swap alongside Edwina Currie

The lead commentator will be C4's Simon Holt supported by Richard Hoiles.

Jamie Aitchison, Channel 4's Sports Editor, said: 'Being the new home of horseracing is a real privilege and I'm delighted to announce this carefully selected team of presenters and reporters; a mix of broadcasting heavyweights and racing experts.

'Sports fans have something to look forward to – our racing coverage will be insightful, intelligent and ground-breaking. I'm hugely excited about the future of racing on Channel 4 and greatly look forward to 2013.

'I would like to thank all of the presenting team for their commitment and enthusiasm to Channel 4 and the racing coverage over the years.'