Racing entered the 20th Century as the preserve of royalty and the rich but during the last 100 years racing it has changed radically and the sport is now a worldwide industry with mass appeal. Presented by the legendary John Francome and narrated by Alastair Down, 'A History of Horseracing' tells the story of fortunes won and lost on horses that became household names and the extraordinary and varied cast of characters who have punctuated the sport's history. Racing is really two sports, the high finance and fashion of the flat contrasting with the grit and sometimes grim realities of the jumping scene. The first half of the programme concentrates solely on flat racing and includes rare black and white footage as well as some of the memorable races, jockeys and horses from the turn of the 20th Century onwards as well as races from as far afield as Japan, Dubai and America. Relive the brilliance of pint-sized Sir Gordon Richards and the ruthless artistry of the greatest of them all, Lester Piggott as well as the horses that became household names, from Mill Reef and Nijinsky through to the incredible Rock of Gibraltar. It is the complete story of the last 100 years, ending with the 2003 Derby victory of the well-backed Kris Kin. Central to the second part of the programme on the history of jumps racing is the rise of the Cheltenham Festival to its unique place in today's sporting calendar and, of course, the worlds most famous race, the Grand National. There are some incredible stories and heroic feats, both by horse and jockey alike - Bob Champion and Aldaniti; Michael Dickinson's first five home in the 1983 Gold Cup: Arkle and Mill Reef; Red Rum; Jenny Pitman and Corbiere; Desert Orchid, and the current hero, Best Mate, winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The programme also looks at the heroic feat of Tony McCoy, who became the winning-most jockey in August 2002, and includes Monty's Pass victory in the 2003 Grand National, a victory that landed yet another massive gamble for the Irish!