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The Dick Francis Thriller: The Racing Game 

The cases of a disabled jockey turned private detective specializing in investigations involving horse racing.




1980   1979  


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Complete series cast summary:
Mike Gwilym Mike Gwilym ...  Sid Halley 6 episodes, 1979-1980
Mick Ford ...  Chico Barnes 5 episodes, 1979
James Maxwell ...  Charles Roland 2 episodes, 1979
Susan Wooldridge ...  Jenny Halley 2 episodes, 1979


Sid Halley, a champion jump jockey, had his hand and his career destroyed by a fall in a race, when a horse stepped on his hand. His ex-wife's father pulls him out of his depression by asking him to investigate some fishy deaths at Seabury race course, and the possibility that someone's planning a takeover. Sid, together with his friend, judo expert and ex-thug, Chico Barnes, start poking about and their success in the Seabury case lead to other race course cases: possible fixed races, shady insurance claims, betting scams, and a kidnaped stud. Six one-hour episodes: Odds Against, Trackdown, Gambling Lady, Horses for Courses, Horsenap, and Needle. Written by Kathy Li

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Release Date:

8 April 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Högt spel - strama tyglar See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


This series was partially based on Dick Francis's novel "Odds Against". Several years after it was made, Francis wrote a second novel "Whip Hand" which featured the same hero, Sid Halley, and dedicated it to Mike Gwilym who had played Halley. See more »

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User Reviews

A Crime Thriller That Went Lame And Had To Be Shot
20 January 2006 | by ShadeGrenadeSee all my reviews

Basing a television series on a popular author's works is no guarantee of success. Yorkshire Television learnt this the hard way when in 1979 they bought the rights to the books credited to Dick Francis, three of which were broadcast under the collective title 'The Racing Game'. Mike Gwilym was Sid Halley, a former jockey turned private eye following an accident in which he lost his right hand, only to have it replaced by an artificial one. Gwilym suffered from an acute lack of charisma ( and looked like one of the bad guys ) while Mick Ford ( who played the irritating Chico Barnes ) made me think of a horse's arse whenever he was on screen. For six weeks, this less-than dynamic duo charged about the countryside, foiling nefarious plots to fix races, usually by the same methods - blackmail, kidnapping riders or doping horses. Yorkshire Television threw money at the show, but to no avail. Violent, sexist, far-fetched and repetitious, it was quickly carted off to the knackers yard.

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