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Clare Balding's career reads like a blueprint for television presenters looking to make their mark on the industry. She has risen from a trainee with the BBC who made the breakthrough to reading the sports news on a host of radio shows in the mid-nineties, to an OBE-winning national treasure who has been given her own chat show on BT Sport.
Having set a high bar for herself at an early stage by presenting highlights from Royal Ascot in her first TV presenting job, Balding has seemingly always sought out the more exclusive and traditional sports on the spectrum. But rather than falling into the trap of allowing these high-brow pursuits to define her, she has instead brought a sense of inclusivity to proceedings, meaning that the British public's interest in horse racing, winter sports and the Paralympics have sky-rocketed under her stewardship.
And from the world of sports, it is horse racing that Clare Balding is perhaps best known for. After her breakthrough presenting highlights of Royal Ascot in 1995, she went on to replace the BBC's retiring lead horse racing presenter, Julian Wilson in 1997 and fronted coverage of the Grand National until Channel 4 picked up the rights to the event.
Since then, Balding has established herself as the No. 1 presenter of horse racing and as such she was the natural choice for Channel 4 to approach when viewing figures started to drop last year. Now she is back presenting the Grand National – as well as a range of other events from the British horse racing calendar including the four-day Cheltenham Festival, the Derby Festival, five-days from Royal Ascot and British Champions Day.
Despite the reduced viewing figures on television, interest in the Grand National remains high with the amount of money being wagered on the event continuing to rise year-on-year. If you too want to get in on this action, then before you put any money down, check out one of Coral's weekly updates to make sure that you're getting the most bang for your buck.
Not only can you now enjoy Clare Balding presenting the world's greatest horse racing event, this year you can also get a Grand National 2016 Preview courtesy of Coral's online betting app that will outline the best tips, latest news and inside line on all the goings-on from Aintree. With great odds for all the runners and riders, Coral currently have Many Clouds as the favourite at 16/1, so take advantage of that price now before it inevitably shortens in the run-up to the race.
Fabulous odds, a fabulous race – and now an equally-fabulous presenter in Clare Balding – it seems all the stars are aligning to make this Grand National the best in recent memory. So make sure that you celebrate Clare's return to the Liverpool racecourse – and hopefully scoop some big winnings in the process.
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