John Francome

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John Francome
Occupation Jockey, author, pundit
Born (1952-12-13) 13 December 1952 (age 62)
Career wins 1,138
British Champion Jump Jockey (7 times)
RTS Best Sports Pundit 2004

John Francome MBE (13 December 1952) is a former National Hunt Champion Jockey, television pundit and author.

Born in Swindon, Wiltshire, the son of a railway fireman, his family had no connection with the horse racing world. At sixteen years old he became apprentice to Lambourn trainer Fred Winter and so began his career as a jockey. He rode a total of 1,138 winners, his last being in April 1985. During the course of his career he was Champion Jockey seven times, between 1976 and 1985. Francome is the third most successful National Hunt jump jockey of all time after Tony McCoy (19 championships) and Peter Scudamore (8 championships). He is dubbed the best jockey never to have won the Grand National.

After retiring, Francome was awarded the MBE in 1986 for services to racing. He was a trainer for 18 months before becoming a TV presenter for Channel 4's horse racing broadcasts. Like another former jockey, Dick Francis, Francome has taken to writing works of fiction. His books have featured on the bestseller lists.[citation needed] Francome ceased appearing on Channel 4 Racing at the close of 2012 when the Highflyer Production term ended. He stated in a Racing Post interview that he had only continued to work on TV for so long out of loyalty to producer Andrew Franklin.


  1. EavesDropper (1986), ISBN 0-356-12744-3 (with James MacGregor)
  2. Riding High (1987), ISBN 0-356-14558-1 (with James MacGregor)
  3. Declared Dead (1988), ISBN 0-7472-0087-4 (with James MacGregor)
  4. Blood Stock (1989), ISBN 0-7472-0129-3 (with James MacGregor)
  5. Stone Cold (1990), ISBN 0-7472-0227-3
  6. Stud Poker (1991), ISBN 0-7472-0390-3
  7. Rough Ride (1992), ISBN 0-7472-0566-3
  8. Outsider (1993), ISBN 0-7472-0749-6
  9. Break Neck (1994), ISBN 0-7472-1032-2
  10. Dead Ringer (1995), ISBN 0-7472-1264-3
  11. False Start (1996), ISBN 0-7472-1653-3
  12. High Flyer (1997), ISBN 0-7472-1896-X cover photography Peter Dazeley
  13. Safe Bet (1998), ISBN 0-7472-2133-2
  14. Tip Off (1999), ISBN 0-7472-2134-0
  15. LifeLine (2000), ISBN 0-7472-7239-5
  16. Dead Weight (2001), ISBN 0-7472-7241-7
  17. Inside Track (2002), ISBN 0-7553-0060-2
  18. Stalking Horse (2003), ISBN 0-7553-0668-6
  19. Back Hander (2004), ISBN 0-7553-0681-3
  20. Cover Up (2005), ISBN 0-7553-2690-3
  21. Winner Takes All (2006), ISBN 0-7553-2948-1
  22. Dark Horse (2007) ISBN 978-0-7553-4703-2
  23. Final Breath (2008) ISBN 978-0-7553-3728-6
  24. Deadly Finish (2009)
  25. Storm Rider (2010)


His nephew Sam Ricketts is currently a footballer with Swindon Town FC (on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers) and the Welsh national team.

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Preceded by
Michael Johnson
RTS Television Sport Awards
Best Sports Pundit

Succeeded by
Martin Brundle