Locals may have been surprised last week as horses raced through the streets of Liverpool, jumping cars, picnic benches and allotment fences.

And they would have been even more taken aback by the 300-man crew, with extras and 10 horses and jockeys.

The footage was filmed for a new campaign to launch Channel 4 Racing’s coverage of the Grand National (4-6 April).

Liverpool was the backdrop for the video, where 10 horses race through the streets around Everton Park in the city.

The horses and riders were organised by The Devil’s Horsemen, a company that specialises in equine stunts for films.

“We did a re-enactment of the great race,” said the group’s Camilla Naprous.

“It took two days to film with amateur Irish jockeys and stuntmen. The horses were a mixture of stunt horses and thoroughbreds, to make it look authentic. It was very exciting.”

More than 50hr of footage was captured — it will be cut down into a 90sec trailer, to be seen on Channel 4 at 9pm on 19 March.

Channel 4 declined to comment on how much the advert cost to make, but creative director Chris Bovill said: “We want to demonstrate the excitement, adrenalin and drama of racing to a wider audience by putting it into an everyday context.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (14 March 2013)