Grand National Horse Race in UK Goes Super Slo-Mo

By Kevin Hilton

The Grand National, the horse race that can turn even the most reluctant punter into an ardent gambler, has its 162nd outing tomorrow (April 5) and the BBC coverage is aiming to bring its TV audience ever closer to the action. The Arri Hi Motion super-speed camera system is being used to cover the steeplechase for the first time and will be stationed at the infamous jump “The Chair” to show runners and riders either sailing over the 5-feet 2-inch fence and 6-feet ditch or coming to grief, all in precise slow-motion.

Another special camera on show is the Vortex, which is making its second appearance at the National to give views of the race from ground level to 100-feet in the air. These two are among the 53 cameras that will be positioned around the course at Aintree. Also on duty are 12 radio camera systems, three cameras mounted in fences, three super slo-mos and a helicopter camera. OB facilities are provided by the BBC’s regular supplier, SIS LIVE.

The BBC’s coverage from Aintree began on Thursday (April 3) with five races, followed by a further five today (April 4). After all the build-up and previews the Grand National itself is live on BBC1 at 4.15pm tomorrow, with the bbc.co.uk/racing website showing a simulcast. And by using the BBC iPlayer viewers will be able to either see the moment of victory again and again or analyse where exactly the housekeeping money was lost.