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Brilliant books for racing fans

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Best horse racing books for all racing fans | Horse & Hound
































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  • Some of our favourite horse books are of the racing variety. The best horse racing books include chronicles of great days, autobiographies from racing legends, racing novels, as well as guides on horses to watch and how to bet.

    If you’re interested in racing or shopping for someone who is, check out this great selection of popular racing books. We’ve picked out something for all racing fans – from those who are completely new to the world of horse racing, to those who have been avidly following the sport for years.

    Best horse racing books

    A Day At The Races 
    Peter May has selected 128 days that encapsulate 500 years of the Sport of Kings. His short, informative, easy-to-read essays bring to life racing’s milestone events that set the nation on a different path. H&H’s Martha Terry says this is “a treasure trove for racing fans”. Read the full review.

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    Champion Jump Horse Racing Jockeys – From 1945 to present day
    This book by Neil Clark tells the story of all 22 post-war champion jockeys. It includes exclusive interviews with several of the surviving champions and fresh insights from friends colleagues and family members of champions we have sadly lost. Read our review.

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    Starting From Scratch: Inspired to be a Jump Jockey
    Henrietta Knight charts the lives of more than 80 jump jockeys in the hope of finding out what inspired them to take up one of the most dangerous jobs in sport. She profiles household names, such as Richard Dunwoody, John Francome, Sir Anthony McCoy and Ruby Walsh.

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    Strange Stuff: Racing Post Chronicles
    Graham Sharpe chronicles the weirdest, oddest, strangest, craziest antics and events to happen on racecourses to horses, jockeys, trainers, owners, bookies and racegoers over the years.

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    Frankel:
    This detailed and fast-paced narrative breathlessly recounts the racing career of the horse who, by his retirement to stud at the age of 4, would be rated the greatest of all time. It’s a rich and multifaceted tale of modern horse racing, the lives of everyone involved, human and equine, and the unadulterated glory of winning. And winning everything.

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    Stable Lass: Tales From A Yorkshire Racing Yard
    Being a stable lass is probably one of the hardest jobs in the country, and yet for Gemma Hogg it is the most rewarding. She takes us into the closed world of a top racing yard, from the elation of having several winners in one day to the almost indescribable grief of losing a horse.

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    Best horse racing betting books

    Betting On Horse Racing For Dummies
    This updated version is packed with information that teaches you the ins and outs of the racetrack. You’ll learn how to improve your odds, avoid common betting mistakes, size up the jockeys and pick a winner.

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    100 Winners: Flat Horses To Follow In 2023
    Packed in an indispensable, easy-to-read, pocket-sized guide, 100 Winners lists the names and details of 100 potential winners in 2023, including info on their previous form.

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    100 Winners: Jumpers To Follow In 2023
    Now in its 61st year, this popular guide to jumps racing summarises the prospects of 100 steeplechasers and hurdlers that experts expect to do particularly well in the coming 2022-23 season.

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    Best horse racing autobiographies

    Leap Of FaithFrankie Dettori
    This is Frankie Dettori’s second autobiography, which follows Frankie. Leap Of Faith continues the story – the successes, as well as personal anguish, recovery and restoration – both in and out of the saddle. H&H’s Catherine Austen says this is a “highly enjoyable – and enlightening – read”. Read the full review.

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    True ColoursBarry Geraghty
    His autobiography is about resilience, the mental power that enables the great to keep going despite the pain, despite the odds. It explores how Barry has developed the mind tools to continue to push himself and contains startling revelations and a brutally honest insight into the life of a top jockey.

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    Winner: My Racing LifeAP McCoy
    AP reflects upon his unparalleled career, taking you from his humble beginnings in Co. Antrim to the emotional day at Sandown when horse racing bade a tearful farewell to arguably its greatest ever star.

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    FormKieren Fallon
    This eagerly anticipated autobiography provides a searingly honest account of the jockey’s life, and the pressures and controversies that came with getting to the top of the sport.

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    Calling The HorsesPeter O’Sullevan
    For decades Peter O’Sullevan was one of the iconic sports commentators, providing the soundtrack for half a century of horseracing as he called home legends of the sport, including Arkle, Nijinsky, Red Rum and Desert Orchid. This is his final update of Calling The Horses.

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    I’m Champion, Call Me BobBob Champion
    In his own words, Bob talks of his early life, his path to becoming a professional jump jockey and how it felt being at the top of his game only, winning the Grand National, to have it come crashing down with a life-threatening cancer diagnosis.

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    The Triumph of Henry Cecil – Henry Cecil by Tony Rushmer
    Written by a sports journalist who worked closely with the trainer for seven years, this insightful, detailed and emotional biography tells the story of the legendary trainer’s later years.

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    Not Enough TimeHenrietta Knight
    This is the rollercoaster story of a great love, triumph and tragedy. In her own words, the Gold Cup winning trainer tells the story of one of the most endearing and surprising modern day racing romances.

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    Phenomenon – Mark Johnston by Nick Townsend
    This fully authorised biography provides a unique insight into the world of Britain’s most successful trainer. With unparalleled access to Mark and those closest to him, the book digs into his career, his strong and passionate views on the sport of horse racing, and how he’s planning for the future in unprecedented times.

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    Horse racing fiction

    Dick Francis novels
    These are probably the most famous racing novels ever written. He’s written more than 40 international best sellers and the jockey was well known for writing crime thrillers centring around horse racing in England.

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    A Sure Thing by Sam O’Brien
    In this thriller, Irish stud farm manager and bloodstock expert Oliver McMahon is tired of his life and a boss who neither rewards nor recognises his abilities. He turns to his wealthy brother Richard for help in setting up his own venture, only to be rejected and discovers a family secret in the process.

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    Jump! by Jilly Cooper
    In this novel you’ll meet rich, capricious owners, obsessive trainers, gallant stable lads and lasses and tough, brave jockeys. You will fall in love with the horses, and above all with Mrs Wilkinson herself – hilarious, heroic and gutsy, she will gallop into your heart forever.

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    The Race Caller by Richard Laws
    When a young woman working in the pressroom at Ripon races jumps off the top of the grandstand at a Saturday afternoon race meeting, race commentator and part-time actor, Joe Lawlor, is drawn into his own race; to uncover a plot to defraud the UK’s biggest betting exchange of millions of pounds.

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    Stone Cold by John Francome

    The race could make Kelly Connor’s reputation but it leads her into an international conspiracy of blackmail, seduction and murder.

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