TV UK TV

Racing Game, The (ITV 1979, Mike Gwilym, Mick Ford)

Mike Gwilym in The Racing Game

Based on the character created by racing legend turned thriller writer Dick Francis The Racing Game follows champion jockey Sid Halley, who, days after his wife has left him, is badly injured in a racing accident which leaves his left hand badly mangled. Feeling somewhat bitter and now out of the racing game Halley is losing himself in a fog of drink but his ex father-in-law offers him a lifeline investigating a series of accidents at Seabury racecourse. Teaming up with karate pro Chico Barnes, Sid discovers a whole new vacation. The pair setting up in business as private detectives, calling their agency Trackdown.

A great and seldom seen glimpse into the racing world, Halley only appears in a couple of Francis novels but is an interesting character that’s for sure, getting his hand mangled in the first episode he has a prosthetic hand by episode two (which looks suspiciously like a normal hand with a surgical glove over it!), the dynamic between Halley and Chico is excellent too. The series only ran to 6 episodes, which is shame, but some high quality guest stars appeared including the likes of Susan Wooldridge as Halley’s ex-wife, Jan Francis, Iain Cuthbertson, Susan Penhaligon, the great Leslie Sands, Jeremy Clyde and Anthony Steel.

production details
UK / ITV Network – Yorkshire TV / 6×60 minute episodes / Broadcast 21 November 1979 – 9 January 1980

Story consultant: Dick Francis / Music: Mike Moran / Stunt Arranger: Peter Brayham / Production Design: Vic Symonds, Mike Long / Executive Producer: David Cuniffe / Producer: Jacky Stoller

cast
MIKE GWILYM as Sid Halley
MICK FORD as Chico Barnes

THE EPISODES
ODDS AGAINST
TRACKDOWN
GAMBLING LADY
HORSES FOR COURSES
HORSENAP
NEEDLE