With a month to go until the Grand National – the biggest horse race in the world – commentators are already starting to prepare.
But sometimes things don’t quite go according to plan. ITV Racing Commentator Richard Hoiles spoke to Merseysportlive on the time he was invaded moments before Comply or Die won the race in 2008.
“There had been a lazy security guard at the bottom of our steps all week,” recalls Richard.
One man appeared in the press box “looking a bit worse for wear” he adds.
“Then one after the other they came in, 11 lads, all on a stag do!
“Half of them were absolutely gone beyond recall!”
So the Grand National of Comply or Die was done with 13 people in the commentary box, 11 of whom were on a stag do.
Richard laughs, adding: “Probably most of them to this day won’t have a living memory of it!”
At the end of the race the men just nodded and left, with a couple of the more sober ones thanking Richard “looking a bit stunned” and toddling off down the stairs.
He admits it was one of the more “surreal racecourse memories” in his long commentating career.
You can watch edited and full versions of our interview with Richard, by reporter Michael Grimes, below:
If you want to watch the full interview, it is available below: