Running order What is ITV showing?
stalwart will offer all the betting news and latest tips. Saturday afternoon that people will stumble across us,” he says. “The balance has to be right because we don’t want to baffle people with racing jargon but we want to hook people in, while also delivering for the racing purist. But racing as a sport can do that. It produces great stories and we think we can break down the barriers and bring people in. If we can convert some of them into fans then we have done the job,” says Chamberlin.
One new challenge that ITV (and racing as a whole) might face is legislative: the Government is mulling the possibility of a watershed-style ban on daytime gambling advertising, although the betting industry would naturally fight this to the last bullet.
For Hoiles at least, there is a more pressing short-term concern: tongue twisters. “The most frightening moment I have had as an announcer was having to commentate on Winker Watson in front of Her Majesty when it was favourite for the Norfolk. And there was a horse called Ducky Fuzz as well, definitely one to avoid. You just leave it out of the commentary as much as possible. So, if you’re an owner and you are naming a horse, don’t call it something clever because the commentator will just never mention it.” If something does go badly wrong for Hoiles and co in the year ahead, at least they can take comfort (or further stress) from the thought that it might be in front of a much bigger TV audience. Good luck, and good annunciation, to them all. March 14-17 Cheltenham Festival May 6-7 Newmarket and Goodwood (2,000 Guineas, 1,000 Guineas)
Expert analysis: (from left) Luke Harvey, Mick Fitzgerald and Ed Chamberlin are part of the ITV team