When Jim McGrath’s hopes of becoming a jockey were dashed, he turned his focus on becoming a horse racing commentator and pundit. He is well known for his popular on screen partnership with John Francome for Channel 4 Racing. He is also a successful race horse breeder and trainer.
Jim McGrath harboured aspirations of becoming a jockey from a young age however, it soon became apparent that this was not to be an option for him. Undaunted, he pursued his love of horse racing from a different angle, becoming a race course reporter for Timeform, with whom he progressed to the role of Managing Director in 2000 and Chairman in 2008. He remained with the company until their takeover by Betfair. He also worked as a horse racing speaker and in 1984, joined Channel 4 as a racing commentator and pundit. With an unprecedented amount of knowledge of the sport at his fingertips, Jim has earned himself the nickname ‘the sage of Halifax’ a name that has stayed with him throughout his career. His early days at Channel 4 saw him strike up a presenting partnership with former National Hunt Champion and fellow TV and radio presenter, John Francome. Together the pair produced a memorable chemistry providing the type of friendly banter that racing enthusiasts came to accept as part and parcel of the racing experience.
Aside from his media roles, Jim’s career credits have extended to membership of the British Horseracing Board’s Jump Racing Advisory Panel and the Horserace Writers and Photographer’s Association Committee. He relinquished both these roles a year later to become an independent director of the British Horseracing Board now known as the British Horseracing Authority.
If this were not enough, Jim is now a reputable breeder and owner and has worked with some of the best horse racing trainers in the business.
Jim is available as a sports and after dinner speaker.