Jockey Club turns star horses into Marvel superheroes

03 Apr 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

In the run-up to the 2019 Randox Health Grand National, The Jockey Club has teamed up with Marvel to create the world’s first comic book showcasing British racehorses as superheroes.

Red Rum, Frankel and Kauto Star are among the equine stars immortalised in the publication, joining the likes of Spider-Man, Black Panther and Captain Marvel in achieving Marvel comic book fame.

The initiative is designed to help raise the profile of racing’s biggest stars ahead of the sport’s annual Aintree showcase, which is shortlisted for Event of the Year in association with Miller at the BT Sport Industry Awards 2019.

Paul Fisher, Chief Executive of Jockey Club Racecourses, explained: “Horseracing is the second biggest spectator sport in Britain and we want to ensure a new generation of fans are constantly discovering the drama and excitement of its stories. 

“Working with some of the best artists to immortalise British racing’s greatest stars in comic book form will hopefully appeal to our sport’s existing fans and inspire new ones including youngsters to experience the thrill of racing themselves.”

The 24-page Magnificent Racehorses comic tells some of the greatest stories of British racing, brought to life by Marvel artists Martin Griffiths and Simon Furman. 

The 10 horses featured were selected via a Jockey Club poll involving several thousand racing fans. 

Her Majesty The Queen, who is The Patron of The Jockey Club and has been a Champion Racehorse Owner twice, also makes an appearance in the comic alongside one of her prized horses.

The comic can be downloaded for free via The Jockey Club’s website. An extra 2019 Randox Health Grand National story will be released on the morning of this year’s race.

Comic book cover

The Jockey Club owns and runs 15 of Britain’s leading racecourses, including Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket.

In 2006, its regulatory responsibilities for horseracing in Britain were transferred to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), which is also in the news, having revealed the appointment of British Olympic Association Vice Chair and former British Rowing President Anne-Marie Phelps as its new Chair.

Former Olympic rower Phelps will succeed Steve Harman, who stepped down from the role in November.

She will take up her position on 1st June this year.

Commenting on her appointment, Phelps said: “I relish the opportunity to work in British racing. Everything I’ve seen and heard tells me that racing people are passionate about their sport, proud of its magnificent heritage and unified by a love of horses.

"I'm looking forward to working with new colleagues at the BHA and across the sport. My priority is to help with the immediate challenges we face, but I'm excited by the opportunities for racing to grow and flourish in the years ahead."

Meanwhile British racing's marketing and promotional body, Great British Racing, is also taking a creative approach to engaging Randox Health Grand National audiences. 

The organisation has released a dedicated dating-style application, Mane Match, to help users find their "dream horse" to back in this year's race.