Grand National theme music composer mourned by horse racing fans after death

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Bob Champion winning the 1981 Grand National on Aldiniti
Bob Champion winning the 1981 Grand National on Aldiniti

Horse racing fans have been paying tribute to the composer of the haunting music which has become synonymous with the Grand National.

BAFTA winner Sir Carl Davis’s death was announced on Thursday following a brain haemorrhage, aged 86.

A family statement said: ““We are so proud that Carl’s legacy will be his astonishing impact on music.

“A consummate all-round musician, he was the driving force behind the reinvention of the silent movie for this generation and he wrote scores for some of the most-loved and remembered British television dramas.”

Davis wrote many unforgettable scores but is best known in horse racing for the theme music for the 1984 movie Champions, performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra who he conducted.

EastEnders' Jake Wood's snap of son has fans pointing out the pair's likeness eidexiqreiqtrinvEastEnders' Jake Wood's snap of son has fans pointing out the pair's likeness

The film tells the true story of jump jockey Bob Champion’s remarkable comeback from testicular cancer to win the world famous Grand National on Aldiniti, who himself had overcome a career-threatening injury.

John Hurt played Champion and Edward Woodward was Aldiniti’s trainer in the popular British drama.

The music has endured for nearly 40 years after being adopted as the annual theme to the Grand National the BBC, Channel 4 and now ITV Racing’s coverage of the Aintree spectacular.

Among the many social media tributes were, “What a piece of music. Gets me every time and when they play it at the National amazing.

Grand National theme music composer mourned by horse racing fans after deathConductor and composer Carl Davis has died at the age of 86 (Newcastle Journal)

“What a story what bravery matched with poetry in musical form. RIP Carl Davis.”

Another wrote, “A piece of music that just makes the hairs stand on end. The association with Bob Champion & Aldaniti and the nostalgia of looking back at what the National used to be. His memory will live on forever through this piece of music.”

Jon Lees

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