Jockey Club Champions Grand National With A Comic That Turns Horses Into Marvel Superheroes

The week ahead of the 2019 Randox Health Grand National, The Jockey Club saddled up with Marvel to create the world’s first comic book showcasing British racehorses as superheroes.


The initiative was designed to boost the profile of racing’s biggest stars ahead of the sport’s annual Aintree showcase and among the star steeds given the super hero stable treatment are the likes of Red Rum, Frankel and Kauto Star.


All of the 10 horses featured were selected through a Jockey Club poll of thousands of racing fans and the equine stars were immortalised in the graphic novel alongside the likes of Spider-Man, Black Panther and Captain Marvel.


The 24-page ‘Magnificent Racehorses’ comic, which is free to download via The Jockey Club’s website and promoted via PR, digital and social, uses stylised super hero graphics (by Marvel artists Martin Griffiths and Simon Furrman) to tell the tales of some of the greatest stories of British racing.



Her Majesty The Queen, the Patron of The Jockey Club and twice a Champion Racehorse owner, even appears in the comic alongside one of her prized horses.


An extra, final 2019 Randox Health Grand National story was released on the morning of this year’s race.


The tie-up, which not only leveraged this year’s big jumps race, but was also timed to coincide with the pre-release ticket sale phase for the upcoming Marcel movie Avengers Endgame (which will be released in the UK on April 26).


“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,” explained Jockey Club Racecourses CEO Paul Fisher.


“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.”




This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a comic/cartoon creative approach to engaging younger audiences with horse racing: for example, back in 2015 Channel 4’s Crabby’s Grand National promo adopted a similar tactic (see case study).


Jump racing and the Jockey Club teaming up with Marvel – it’s not an obvious partnership (well not one with obvious traditional synergies anyway).


But if racing is going to succeed in engaging with younger audiences, what better way than to align with the millennials’ most popular movie studio?


Plus, pretty much everyone is partial to an annual token flutter on the National don’t they.


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


Back in 2006, its regulatory responsibilities for horseracing in Britain were transferred to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).




The Jockey Club







The Grand National









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