Kings, Queens & Four-legged Athletes: The Daily Telegraph Book of Horse Racing by Martin Smith
It is the Sport of Kings. And Queens. And Lords and their Ladies. It is also the sport of knaves and bounders, spivs and cheats. Horse racing, moreover, is the sport of the ordinary man: from housewives with their 50p on whichever horse Lester is riding in the Derby, to anyone who has entered the office Grand National sweepstake. It is a massive commercial industry with a multi-million pound turnover in betting, breeding and prize-money. Yet it is a fun day out, whether it be the splendour of Royal Ascot, Epsom dolled up for the Derby, Cheltenham rocking to the Irish enjoying 'the craic', or the homeliness of the most humble country course. The names of its best-known exponents have become engrained in the nation's consciousness: who has never heard of Red Rum, Best Mate, Shergar, Arkle, Desert Orchid, Nijinsky, or Richards, Winter, Piggott, Francome, Dettori or McCoy? And who has not rooted for one or all of them when they have lined up in the Derby, Grand National or Cheltenham Gold Cup? The Sport of Kings, Queens & Four-Legged Athletes relives racing's greatest moments through the passion and authority of the back pages' true thoroughbreds: John Oaksey, Brough Scott, J.A. McGrath, Marcus Armytage, Peter Scott, Paul Hayward, the anonymous Hotspurs and Marlboroughs, and jockeys Tony McCoy and Frankie Dettori, offering their tips for the day. If you love the Sport of Kings, and its four-legged athletes, then The Telegraph Book of Horse Racing is a veritable treasure trove.