Host of top racing names to sing on charity “Cheltenham” single

  • A group of faces familiar to racing fans might be topping the charts in March when the charity single “Cheltenham” is released.

    Clare Balding, Paul Nicholls and John McCririck are among 20 racing personalities who have been signed up to the charity single, which will be a song about the Cheltenham Festival put to the tune of Petula Clark’s 60s hit “Downtown”.

    Clare told H&H: “My singing is not very good but I’m hoping I’ll be able to fit it in before I head to the winter Olympics.

    “Anything that encourages more people to get interested in racing is a great thing.
    “The more people who can become passionate about Cheltenham and the clash between Kauto Star and Denman the more we can get passionate about the rest of the sport.”

    John Francome is also set to be showcasing his vocal abilities.

    “I’ll probably end up singing as it’s for charity, but I’ll most likely have to mime,” he told H&H.

    “I’ve never done anything like this before and for good reason — I could sing the national anthem at you for three hours and you wouldn’t recognise the tune. I can’t talk let alone sing!

    AP McCoy, Ruby Walsh, Richard Johnson and Sir Alex Ferguson are also reported to have been approached to sing.

    The idea for the single came from point-to-point trainer Richard Guerney and has been approved by Downtown writer Tony Hatch.

    Apparently the stars’ singing quality is “immaterial” as they’ll only be singing the chorus which can be “tuned’ digitally.

    The single will be released as a download and a CD in the week before the Cheltenham Festival (16-19 March). There are also plans to release a mixed version for nightclubs.

    It is in aid of the Bob Champion Cancer Trust, Racing Welfare and the Riding for the Disabled Association.

    So sing along: “We can forget all our troubles, forget all our cares, so go to Cheltenham — things’ll be great when we’re at
    Cheltenham — don’t wait a minute boys
    Cheltenham — the Festival’s waiting for you….”

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