Course and Distance Limited are delighted to announce that former Grand National-winning jockey Marcus Armytage, now the respected racing correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, will form part of our panel for the Velka Pardubicka pre-race reception on Saturday 10 October.
No stranger to Pardubice, Armytage lined up in the race on three occasions during his riding amateur career. By far his best effort came on his first ride in the Velka Pardubicka, when he finished sixth in 1990 aboard Silueta.
"In 20 years of race-riding, the prospect of facing only one fence ever woke me up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat: the Taxis, a 6ft high, 6ft wide hedge followed by a yawning ditch," wrote Armytage recalling the race to readers in the Daily Telegraph last year.
For those interested in our optional guided walk of the course on Saturday afternoon (after the final race), Armytage will provide a unique and fascinating insight into the daunting fences, including of course fence number four - the Taxis.
Sadly Armytage, despite winning the Grand National in a course record time in 1990 aboard Mr Frisk, was unable to repeat the feat of jockey George Williamson, who in the 1890s won both the Velka Pardubicka and the Grand National.
Armytage will share a Q&A session with former triple Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winning-jockey Steve Smith-Eccles, which follows our form guide to Sunday's eight-race card.