Jim McGrath

Jim was for many years the BBC’s senior racing commentator covering the leading fixtures in the domestic racing calendar including the Grand National, the Derby and Royal Ascot as well as top overseas events such as the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, the Dubai World Cup and the Melbourne Cup in his native Australia. He wrote the "Hotspur" column in the Daily Telegraph for many years and was a presenter on At The Races.

Jim started his career in Melbourne but a lack of opportunity forced him to leave his homeland for Hong Kong in 1973. In 1984 he came to Europe, essentially to work for Phoenix Park in Dublin doing course commentaries in the summer. He then got the opportunity to call a couple of races at York during the Ebor meeting in 1984 for which he received favourable publicity in the racing and national press. Soon afterwards, Jim joined the BBC under the wing of Sir Peter O’Sullevan and succeeded the celebrated commentator following his retirement in 1997.

In 2001 Jim won the prestigious Royal Television Society Sports Commentator of the Year award.

Jim added another string to his bow in 2004 when he joined At The Races as a presenter, hosting studio broadcasts as well as UK, Ireland and international racecourse-based coverage.

Jim is the co-author, with Trevor Marmalade, of a comprehensive guide to all racecourses which run Listed or Group races, Great Racetracks of the World, which was published in the UK in 2014.



April 2024