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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Luck takes a lead role on C4Headlines
Nick Luck

Channel 4 have announced the names that will present their new-look racing programme alongside Clare Balding.

Nick Luck will take on a role of key presenter, supporting Balding at the premier events from January 2013 onwards, which include the Cheltenham Festival, Derby, Grand National and Royal Ascot. Luck will also independently lead Channel 4 Racing's weekly Saturday afternoon programmes.

"I would like to thank Channel 4 and IMG for what is an incredibly exciting opportunity. Together, they have some fantastic and dynamic ideas to drive the sport forward and I very much look forward to being part of the new team," said Luck.

Balding and Luck will be joined by Alice Plunkett, Rishi Persad and Emma Spencer who will take on the roles of roving reporters. Simon Holt has been maintained as the commentator, supported by Richard Hoiles, while Jim McGrath will be joined by new recruits Graham Cunningham and Mick Fitzgerald for in-depth analysis. Tanya Stevenson will continue in her role from the betting ring.

Jamie Aitchison, Channel 4's Sports Editor, said: "Being the new home of horse racing is a real privilege and I'm delighted to announce this carefully selected team. 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."

The most high-profile absentee from the Channel 4 line-up is betting pundit John McCririck, and he told Press Association Sport: "Naturally I am devastated at being sacked after covering betting, first on ITV and then Channel 4, for 31 years. It had always been a dream to report from the racecourse betting jungles at Aintree and Ascot.

"According to Channel 4, I'm being sacked after audience research. Yes, I do antagonise people as reactions to being twice in the Celebrity Big Brother house and also on Coach Trip prove. Yet, as Clare Balding, a terrific choice to lead the new young team, said recently, I've become the face of racing alongside Frankie Dettori and now of course Clare herself.

"It is so sad that Channel 4 boss Jay Hunt and production chief Carl Hicks, both long-time BBC executives, have again gone down their well-worn path of ageism. Among the 13 slated to be on screen, only Jimbo McGrath is over 50.

"Without any consultation or being asked to change my presentation style, I was only told by Channel 4's Head Of Sport Jamie Aitchison half an hour before their press release.

"Racing continues to prosper and is a magnificent sport for all ages and classes of society. I trust those now in power, having shown their macho images as all new producers do by getting rid of their most well-known older performer, don't forget that racing appeals to all generations."

24 October 2014

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Hutchinson sits out weekend action
Botti seeking Astrelle Celebration
Balding sweet on Park chance
Walker hoping for Glorious victory
Times out to make Newbury headlines
Cheltenham honour leading figures
Moore keen on Adelaide chance
Stevens back for Breeders'
Johnson Houghton fined
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Southwell first for O'Brien
Fenton fined over steroids
Buywise on the money at Ludlow
Lockinge the big plan for Toormore
Stone ruled out of Old Roan
Wetherby likely for First run
Elm tops Trophy octet

23 October 2014

Fenton guilty of drugs possession
Williams hoping for Max power
Harty biding his time with Lane
Clonmel aim for Baily
Jezki possible for Morgiana bow
Harrington expects Naylor to shine
Gosden a Fan of Newmarket scorer
Northern aces face off in Cumbria
Murphy plagued by shoulder injury
Dynaste charts direct Haydock route
O'Brien outlines Breeders' plans
Wetherby-bound Taquin to duck Power
High hopes for Adelaide run
Gilgamboa waits on ground
Dandino misses Cup date

22 October 2014

December date for Balding memorial
Deputy outgunned at Fontwell
Whisky chasing Power spoils
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Present sights set on Power prize
New category for all-weather champs
Moviesta has sales date
National aim for O'Neill star
Cheltenham on Ginge agenda
Lewis eyeing Dubai success
Henderson handed Ascot role
Panther given Breeders' go-ahead
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Big Easy sets sail for Open fixture
Hall monitored for Giant Bolster
Stomachion in November frame
Hughes revels in 'sweet' success
BHA moves to address small fields
Connell turns to Heskin
Integral to race on next year

21 October 2014

Storm breezes to Exeter victory
Moore concedes title to Hughes
Meade maps out gameplan for stars
Pele poised to tackle Hennessy
O'Neill sure of Taquin redemption
Heron seeking Great prize
Court to go on Trial
Saviour blow for Skelton
Dan makes chase debut
Moore waits on Grugy decision
O'Neill outlines That choices
Conn possible for Auction bid
Power team weigh up options
Bangor cancel schooling card
No rushing back for Long Run
Dynaste leads Old Roan contenders
Grands Crus retired
Exciting Berlais heads to Chepstow
Force handed Hong Kong mission
Park favourite for Trophy hunt
Al Kazeem team eye Hong Kong trip
Commemorative bound for Breeders'
Slade eyeing victorious swansong

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