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Taking the Reins: Episode 6 – The Grand National

| 10.05.2023

The sixth and final part of Coral’s Taking the Reins documentary series is centred around the quest for Aintree glory.

Liverpool’s legendary Randox Grand National is the ultimate test of skill and bravery, and for trainer Joe Tizzard, it’s the race of a lifetime!

We take you behind the scenes as Joe and his team gear up for the most unique and iconic steeplechase in the world.

“From the public point of view, it’s the main race of the year – it’s huge,” says Joe.

“People say that if you win a Grand National, you get more public acknowledgement than you do if you win a Gold Cup.”

Witness the drama as the race attracts media attention from around the world, including the threat of disruption by protestors.

When the dust settles and the race is over, we find out what the future holds for Joe and his horses.

Our favourite Episode 6 quotes

Joe: “To get round in the Grand National, it needs to be a brave horse, it needs to be fluent. There are more runners than any other race and it’s like any other sport, can you handle it?”

Joe on Aintree protestors: “They are activists, they enjoy jumping on the bandwagon. I’d much rather they phone me up directly and come into my yard, spend the morning with me, meet the staff, look at the horses, look how they’re treated. I would welcome anybody into our yard at any time to see how well these horses are looked after.”

Trainer’s assistant Amanda Hibbs: “These horses are all bred to race and to do a job, but it doesn’t mean that we love them any less. You wouldn’t do this job if you didn’t have genuine passion…the care they get is second to none.”

Amanda: “They are like us; they want some sort of fitness and activity, and they thrive on it. They love to have a purpose in life and whenever they retire from racing, we always try to make sure they go to a home that’s going to enjoy them and give them another job to do and another purpose and let them still be active.”

All six episodes of Taking the Reins have been released on the Coral Racing Club YouTube channel, making it easily accessible and free-to-view.

Coral PR Director and Executive Producer Simon Clare said: “Coral is a horse racing brand through and through and our main aim is to get our customers closer to the action to enhance their passion for the sport.

“Given the huge popularity of fly-on-the-wall sports documentaries, we decided to take the plunge, and with our partners at Equine Productions, embarked on a major project charting the progress of Joe Tizzard’s first season as a racehorse trainer.

“Over a six-month period, focusing on a wide range of compelling stories featuring his racehorses, his owners, his family and his hard-working team, around some of the biggest race meetings in the calendar.

“We hope viewers will find this an entertaining and exciting watch and would like to thank Joe and everyone who participated in the series for their willingness to open their lives and emotions to the cameras.

“The Equine Productions team have done an amazing job but we couldn’t have produced the series without the support of many individuals and bodies within the racing industry to which we are indebted.”

Other episodes

Episode 1 – Chasing Gold
Episode 2 – Second Best
Episode 3 – Frozen Sky
Episode 4 – Another Chance
Episode 5 – Cheltenham

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Tony Kelshaw