ITV has announced that Francesca Cumani will co-host its coverage of racing’s flat season alongside main presenter Ed Chamberlin from next year.
Cumani will cover up to 50 days during the summer Flat season, which will air across both ITV and ITV4, including some of the most prestigious dates in the sports calendar, including Royal Ascot and the Qatar Goodwood Festival.
The daughter of leading Derby-winning trainer Luca Cumani, Francesca will be an unfamiliar face for many UK racing viewers, but she brings with her a wealth of expertise and experience from a life and career spent at the heart of the sport.
She previously rode as an amateur jockey before moving into broadcasting in 2009, where she joined the Seven Network panel covering the Melbourne Cup carnival, before going onto to become one of the channel’s leading racing analysts.
Coming from a distinguished family within the sport, Cumani has also been involved in many aspects of the industry all around the world and will now split her time between covering racing in the UK during the summer for ITV, while returning to Australia when the National Hunt season is under way in Britain during the winter.
Commenting on her new ITV role, Cumani said: “I’m hugely excited to be part of ITV’s new racing team and looking forward to working with Ed Chamberlin covering the flat season from next year.
“To be involved in bringing viewers coverage of some of the best and most prestigious events in the sport’s calendar is a privilege and I can’t wait to get started.”
The appointments of Chamberlin and Cumani follow on from the deal announced at the start of this year of ITV’s exclusive new four-year contract to show UK horse racing on terrestrial television, taking over from Channel 4, which takes effect from January 1, 2017, when ITV’s weekly racing coverage is scheduled to start.
Niall Sloane, ITV Director of Sport, added: “Francesca has a superb pedigree as a racing presenter with a genuine love of the sport.
“Alongside Ed Chamberlin, we believe she will engage our audience in some wonderful events throughout the flat season and we look forward to working with her.”
Details of the remaining members of ITV’s racing presenting line-up are expected to be confirmed by September.
Thanks @ITVSport for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to co-host UK flat season racing coverage. Can't wait for 2017!
— Francesca Cumani (@francescacumani) July 19, 2016