Some superb coverage from the ‘old team’ at Channel 4 Racing this weekend as they used their vast experience to bring us the glory of the Open meeting at Cheltenham.
None more so than the superb Alastair Down.
We all know that we will miss the presence of John Francome when new producers take over coverage of the racing next January. But Francome left of his own accord.
But the loss of Alastair Downing remains a mystery and is a bitter blow to those who love their racing and enjoy watching it on terrestrial television. And so it proved today, Saturday, when Alastair (aka Big or Fat Al) was at his imperious, relaxed best presenting coverage of the Paddy Power Gold Cup Chase day.
Alastair Down knows his racing. Loves his jumps racing and is hugely respected by those who make their living from the sport.
First and foremost he is a great writer on the sport. And great is not a word I use lightly when it comes to modern day journalistic standards. The Racing Post would be half the paper it is without him.
As I said in my original blog post about the changes at Channel 4 Racing, which you can read here, http://wordofsport.blogspot.com.es/2012/10/channel-4-racing-runners-riders.html I do not know the reasons for Al not being hired by the new production company, IMG. Maybe I shall ask him when I am in his company during next Saturday’s ‘The Morning Line’ programme, live from Haydock Park. Maybe I won’t!
But I urge the new Executive Producer of Channel 4 Racing, Carl Hicks, to think again and get Al on board.
My campaign to keep Alastair Down presenting the winter coverage of Channel 4 Racing begins here. And, in the words of Tom Petty.. I won’t back down.
Or rather i will. I am backing Alastair Down.
I suspect I am not alone.