RACING: Channel 4 stages horse race through streets of Liverpool to promote Grand National coverage

Liverpool’s iconic city centre is the backdrop for a horse race as Channel 4 filmed a brand new marketing campaign ahead of its first ever Grand National, featuring a 10 horse race through the streets of the city.

Ahead of the 2013 John Smith’s Grand National meeting which takes place on April 4-6, the race featured horses and jockeys racing through the streets around Everton Park in the city – including jumping through back gardens, allotments; over cars and picnic benches.

Over 50 hours of footage was captured from 25 cameras that has been encapsulated into a 90-second trailer which premiered on all Channel 4 networks (C4, E4, More4 and Film4) at 9.00pm on Tuesday, March 19.

The 90-second film promotes the most hotly anticipated date of the horseracing calendar year, with the Grand National having a reputation as the definitive test for horse and jockey.

Over two days, Liverpool city embraced a 300 man-crew with 300 extras, 10 horse and 10 jockeys.

2013 Grand National on Channel 4 – TRAILER

The trailer sees Liverpool city take the place of Aintree’s race course and features ten horses racing through streets, allotments, back gardens, parks and ponds whilst cars, fences, park benches and a skate park take the place of legendary jumps ‘The Chair’, ‘Becher’s Brook’ and ‘Canal Turn’.

The ten jockeys were a combination of stunt riders and amateur jump jockeys, with Channel 4 Racing presenter Nick Luck also involved.

Set to The Night Marchers’ ‘Thar she blows’, the trailer also includes live commentary from Channel 4 Racing’s lead race commentator Simon Holt.

Forming part of an extensive marketing campaign to mark the first time that Channel 4 has covered Britain’s most famous horse race, the trailer has been produced by the broadcaster’s in-house creative agency 4Creative – the team behind the acclaimed ‘Meet the Superhumans’ Paralympics campaign.

4Creative worked alongside Horse masters The Devil’s Horsemen, who choreographed the stunt horses which included the horse that played Joey in Steven Spielberg’s Warhorse, as well as horses and jockeys who have featured in well-known titles including Les Miserables, Game of Thrones and The Kings’ Speech.

John Allison and Chris Bovill, Creative Directors, 4Creative said: “We wanted to demonstrate the excitement, adrenaline and drama of horseracing, the power of the horses and the skill of the jockeys by placing a race in an everyday context that everyone can relate to.”

The Channel 4 trailer will be supported with a nationwide poster campaign portraying a post-race, muddied Ruby Walsh, which will provide another alternative perspective to racing – the jockeys.

James Walker, Channel 4 Head of Marketing said: “Channel 4 is now the home of racing and we are showing all the key racing events in 2013.

“The Grand National is the people’s race and we wanted to give that a particular C4 spin and make horse racing feel accessible and modern.”

Clare Balding will lead Channel 4’s exclusive live coverage of the 2013 John Smith’s Grand National meeting at Aintree, with the National itself on Saturday, April 6, at 4.15pm.

It will be the first time that the race has been shown live on Channel 4 after the BBC’s six-decade-long association with the event and televised horse racing came to end in 2012.

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