Friends of the ‘Voice of Racing’, Sir Peter O’Sullevan, say he is making a good recovery after suffering a mild stroke.
Sir Peter, who is 95, commentated on 50 Grand Nationals for the BBC. He was taken ill on Sunday (24 March) and is being treated in Charing Cross Hospital, London.
Sir Peter’s close friend, Mike Dillon, from the bookmaker Ladbrokes, said he was “very lucid” and seemed “fine”.
Nigel Payne, chief executive of the Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust, said: “He is much better. It’s very encouraging.”
But Sir Peter will not be well enough to attend the 2013 National meeting (4-6 April).
He will be forever associated with the Grand National — and calling Red Rum home in his unprecedented three victories.
Sir Peter called the race for the last time in 1997. It was won by Lord Gyllene — two days after an IRA bomb threat caused the evacuation of Aintree.
He was knighted the same year, and set up the his charitable trust, which has raised more than £3m for animal welfare and racing charities.
Sir Peter has enjoyed good health into his tenth decade. He drove himself to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe meeting in Paris in October last year and braved freezing temperatures at Cheltenham earlier this month, for a book signing alongside former Flat jockey Lester Piggott.