Both the Investec Derby and John Smith’s Grand National are set to stay in their familiar time slots in 2013, despite Channel 4 assuming control of television coverage.
The BBC lost the rights to Channel 4 Racing, who have chosen a new production team from IMG Sports Media, with 88 days of live action set to be screened next year.
At a presentation in London yesterday Channel 4’s programmers announced a handful of new features for their shows in 2013, including the intention to run Saturday’s major race at 3.50pm as often as possible.
However, there are exceptions, with the Derby being run at 4pm this year and the Grand National at 4.15pm.
Little change is expected on those timings in the near future but both Epsom and Channel 4 are open to discussions.
“It’s normally a longer show for the Derby and the Grand National and they were picked out as examples where that overall aim and strategy was not necessarily not going to apply,” said Andrew Cooper, Epsom’s clerk of the course and director of racing. “At the moment we are all working on the basis of a four o’clock Derby for next year.”
When contacted, Aintree clerk of the course Andrew Tulloch said he had neither heard of nor taken part in any discussions regarding a later start time.
Channel 4 are also planning for the same schedule as 2012 for their coverage of the showpiece events. A spokeswoman said: “We are open-minded and will work with these key events going forward.
“We are working and planning on the basis of last year, so I would not expect major changes in 2013. It is something we are happy to discuss with racecourses in the future.”
Meanwhile, Exeter will host the Peterborough Chase next week following the abandonment of yesterday’s meeting at Huntingdon, the British Horseracing Authority has confirmed. The Grade Two contest will be sponsored by the Levy Board and has been added to Exeter’s existing meeting on 20 December to form part of an eight-race card. A deadline for fresh entries has been set for noon today with the original field no longer standing.
Exeter’s general manager Tim Darby said: “I’m delighted the Levy Board Peterborough Chase will be run at Exeter next Thursday. It will make a great addition to a strong card for the final meeting of the year here. I’m disappointed for Huntingdon but, as part of Jockey Club Racecourses, we are delighted the race will go ahead thanks to the hard work of everyone involved.”
l Daryl Jacob will miss the big Christmas and New Year meetings after losing his appeal to the British Horseracing Authority against a 10-day ban he received at Wincanton last week.
The jump jockey has to sit out 20-22 and 26-31 December and 1 January. He would have expected to have ridden plenty of top-class horses for Paul Nicholls, who employs him as second jockey to Ruby Walsh. Jacob had been in line for the mount on Kauto Stone in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day after partnering him to victory at Down Royal last month. He also misses Chepstow’s Welsh National meeting.
He has been punished for failing to ride out to the line on Ulis De Vassy at Wincanton last Thursday.
Jacob was in front over the last flight on the Nick Williams-trained Ulis De Vassy in the Racing Welfare Fox-Pitt Eventing Handicap Hurdle but was headed inside the last 100 yards by Quaddick Lake. It appeared that Jacob mistook a path, several strides before the line, as the winning post, before realising his error and riding out for a couple of strides more.
The stewards punished him under Rule (B)59.4 as they believed he still could have won. The official winning margin was a neck.
The BHA Press Office tweeted: “Daryl Jacob appeal dismissed. Jacob admitted to stopping riding briefly. Panel found that horse could have won race, thus suspension stands.”