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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Big Mac bids farewellHeadlines
John McCririck

John McCririck is clinging to hope that he might appear on Channel 4 Racing at some point in the future as the curtain comes down on a colourful era.

Saturday sees the final day of the long-standing Channel 4 team, with the Morning Line and racing from Newbury, Doncaster and Leopardstown bringing down the curtain.

IMG Media takes over from Highflyer in producing Channel 4 Racing which will be solely responsible for the sport on terrestrial TV after BBC coverage came to an end.

McCririck, 72, is one of several familiar faces who will not be on the new team along with Derek Thompson, Mike Cattermole and Alastair Down. Although bitterly disappointed, McCririck described his time at Channel 4 as a "privilege".

He said: "It's been a fantastic experience to do what you love doing for 30 years. Nearly every other sport has someone on that has done that sport - Gary Lineker in football, the cricketers, the golfers etc.

"I'd worked in betting shops before going on to television and tried to pass on what was happening in the betting ring. It's been a privilege.

"There are two things different about it. There is no-one else on television who is regularly among the public, hour-in hour-out. There's no point putting prices on the screen.

"You have to be in the ring, see what's happening and try to pass on what the betting jungle is like. That's been a motivation and a difficult thing, but the benefit it brings is no-one can compare how bad I am. I've been lucky enough in that there's no-one else going round the betting ring like me.

"Strange things happen in life and I'm still hoping they will have a re-think and they might call me back. I know I'm being optimistic, but you never know. My New Year's resolution is to get back on the Channel 4 team, but it's been a great time. If I was sitting at home what I would want to know is what is happening in the betting ring, that's the motto I've always had.

"That is always how I followed it and it's been fantastic working with Tanya Stevenson bringing in all the exchanges. It's important to inform all punters what is happening on the machines and in the betting ring. It's been great fun. There's been one or two disasters but it's been a privilege to do and I'm very sorry for it to be unfairly taken away."

23 March 2017

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Let's Dance figures in Fairyhouse list
Supreme ruler Labaik in great heart with Fairyhouse and Punchestown on the radar
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Mags Mullins in no hurry to map out Debuchet plans
Enda Bolger hoping Aintree fences will fire up On The Fringe
Cheltenham hero Presenting Percy in frame for Grade One honours at Punchestown
Karl Burke keen on Temple Stakes return for Quiet Reflection
Red-hot Richard Johnson secures Warwick four-timer
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Ruth Carr issues Kempton poser to new recruit Sovereign Debt
Aintree 'the target' for injured Barry Geraghty
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Andrew Slattery looking to new recruit Dinkum Diamond to sparkle at Naas

22 March 2017

BHA planning to toughen up licensing procedures for new jockeys
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Sandra Hughes hoping Acapella can make Punchestown amends
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21 March 2017

Louisa Carberry to break new ground with first British runner at Newbury
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Airlie Beach in contention for Fairyhouse prize
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Malcolm Jefferson to target Aintree with Arkle runner-up Cloudy Dream
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20 March 2017

Gary Moore has Punchestown or Sandown in mind for Ar Mad
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Warren Greatrex outlines Aintree aim for Cole Harden
No hurry for Harry Fry to map out post-Cheltenham plans
Fergal O'Brien planning racecourse spin for National hope Perfect Candidate

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