Clare Balding closes the last Grand National on the BBC

Clare Balding closes the last Grand National on the BBC

BBC Horse racing presenter, Clare Balding, has today presented the last Grand National on the BBC.

From 2013, Channel four will take over the BBC’s broadcasting rights to the John Smith’s Grand National, Royal Ascot and the Derby as the corporation continues to reduce its sports budget by 15%.

Lead racing commentator Jim McGrath said: “My final ‘Beeb’ commentary on the Grand National on Saturday will spark inevitable nostalgia. Probably the most emotional moment will be peering for the final time through the ancient binoculars that have been provided by the BBC since I was first employed by them 20 years ago.

“If anything, I will take a little longer to savour the moments after they cross the line in Saturday’s big race. I want a snapshot to treasure in the years ahead.”

The race itself was won by the 33-1 shot Neptune Collonges, ridden by Daryl Jacob, in a photo finish from Sunnyhillboy.

Gold Cup winner Synchronised and According to Pete were both ‘put down’ after suffering bad falls.

It is not yet clear whether Clare, Jim or other members of the BBC team will join Channel 4 Racing for 2013.

Updated: Saturday 14 April 2012