Belfast Telegraph

Grins all round at Balding gaffe

Clare Balding has been saddled with an unwanted honour after topping a poll of the funniest horse-racing gaffes of all time.

The BBC was forced to apologise when she joked that 2009 Grand National winning jockey Liam Treadwell could afford to get his teeth fixed after riding the 1 00-1 shot Mon Mome to victory.

Her gaffe - telling Treadwell " Let's see your teeth. He hasn't got the best teeth in the world, but you can afford to go and get them done now if you like" - was rated number one on the top 10 of cheeky comments about rivalries, races and runners.

Other popular slips of the tongue include Brough Scott's amazement at the new stand at Doncaster where he breathlessly told viewers: "My word, look at that magnificent erection."

The poll, commissioned by William Hill to celebrate tomorrow's Grand National, asked 2,000 racing fans to nominate their favourite blunder and includes slip ups from big names including Des Lynam and John Francome.

William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke said: "With all the excitement that comes with horse racing, it's no surprise that pundits and commentators occasionally trip over their tongues, especially at the Grand National where there is a field of 40 horses.

"Gaffes aside it will be interesting to see if Liam Treadwell can repeat his 2009 win - although he's an outsider at 40/1, if he does ride the winner again, he will be pleased to know that Clare Balding isn't presenting this year and can't dent his smile this time round."

Millions of pounds will be wagered on this year's race with much of it going on AP McCoy who is retiring this year.

:: The Top 10 Horse Racing Gaffes:

1 - "Let's see your teeth. He hasn't got the best teeth in the world, but you can afford to go and get them done now if you like" - Clare Balding to Liam Treadwell, winner of the 2009 Grand National.

2. "My word, look at that magnificent erection" - The new stand at Doncaster racecourse took TV presenter Brough Scott's breath away.

3. "Tony [McCoy] has a quick look between his legs and likes what he sees" - Stewart Machin commentating on the jockey's chances.

4. "This is really a lovely horse and I speak from personal experience since I once mounted her mother" - Former amateur jockey and commentator Ted Walsh shares a private moment.

5. "He's 12 months older now than he was 12 months ago" - Commentator Derek Thompson states the obvious.

6. "They're all the same until they race - dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle" - Des Lynam describing a racehorse.

7. "Not many people can claim to have ridden a winner on their honeymoon - at least, not on a horse" - Newly-wed jockey Chris Maude after a 1998 winner at Plumpton.

8. "A racing horse is not like a machine. It has to be tuned up like a racing car" - Racing journalist Christopher Poole.

9. "The racecourse is as level as a billiard ball" - Channel 4's John Francome has an on air slip in 1995.

10. "These horses have met five times this season, and I think they've beaten each other on each occasion" - Former jockey turned commentator Jimmy Lindley gets his sums wrong.


From Belfast Telegraph