In the racing game much is credited to jockeys, trainers and of course horses. Hardly a ‘name’ in either category lacks newspaper features, full blown biographies or TV exposure – and quite right too. As for the owners... They get their names printed on the race cards and appear at racecourse presentations – but that’s about it. Not a lot, considering they pay through the nose for the privilege of owning, training and often breeding the horses.
My Racing Certainties does its bit to redress the balance – and in a most entertaining way. The author has been an owner since the 1950s and although he says he’d be a much richer man if he’d never caught sight of a racehorse he, like so many other owners, would not have missed the roller coaster ride for anything. This then is a view of horse racing through the eyes of someone who has experienced most parts of it. Its history, its close connections with Royalty through the ages, the ups and downs of being an owner, trainers and jockeys he has been involved with, the important courses, the punters, management of racecourses and the challenges of being a Steward.
Altogether a bright and breezy read which should appeal to all who have an interest in the noble sport and are looking for their own Racing Certainties.
Few people have more experience of all sides of horse racing than Bobby McAlpine. An owner for over sixty years, a racecourse Steward in his twenties, Bobby has done almost everything except ride in a race.
He owned two exceptional horses, Precipice Wood who won the Ascot Gold Cup when Bobby was thirty-nine and Cormorant Wood, which he bred, winner of four of today’s premiere Group Ones, including the Champion Stakes, the Juddmonte and the Lockinge. He has been chairman of Chester and Bangor-on-Dee racecourses and a director of Aintree and there are few notables in racing he does not know. He also bred Inglis Drever and won the Supreme Novice at Cheltenham with River Ceiriog, trained by his good friend Nicky Henderson.
My Racing Certainties is a story of horse racing and the people who make it so appealing and it comes from first-hand experience.
- Book Specifications
Sub Heading No ISBN 9781846892233 Author Bobby McAlpine Binding Hardback Extent No Illustrations No Ebook No
'His breezy and entertaining tale of life rubbing shoulders with Royalty, seeing historical racing days, the punters, the bookies, challengies of being a course steward provide a unique window on the Thoroughbred world (he's done just about everything except ride the races) – and Bobby's high points? Winning the Ascot Gold Cup with Precipice Wood long ago and co-breeding this year's Grand National winner Rule The World!' Essex Rider
'Bobby McAlpine can tell a good story, which is why his many friends and several acquaintances, even strangers, will enjoy his second collection of random thoughts, gleaned from a lifetime following horseracing from one vantage point or another, from owner and breeder to punter and racecourse steward and director... McAlpine is at his best when drawing on his 60 plus years as an owner to relate tales of his dearest associates and passing comments on others, well known to most readers... and at is absolute best when detailing Robert Sangster's life and times on and off the racecourse.' Racing Post
'Bobby looks at the world of racing through a different pair of eyes and shares his own experiences of the Sport of Kings. He reveals some anecdotes from one of the most famous racehorse owners, Robert Sangster, and considers the sport’s connections with royalty.' Horse Magazine
'This latest book expands upon that passion, telling us - among other things - more about the figures without whom the sport would not exist, but who tend not to loom large in the headlines - the owners who, like McAlpine himself, put their money into horseflesh knowing that they will probably be out of pocket in the long run. Bobby also tells us, in an engaging prose style, about his experience of stewarding, the Jockey Club, the history and merits of the nation’s racecourses and, of course, betting.' Cheshire Life
'This book is a delightful insight of the world of horse racing and Race Horse ownership from someone who has definitely been there, done that and is still proudly wearing the T-shirt.' Bernie Leadon Bolger, Haynet (read the full review here)
'A mixture of the history of racing, information on courses, famous races and jockeys mingles easily with tales of ups and downs, winners and losers, and the interesting characters met along the way. One thing is for sure, if you’d been there with the author living in the moment, you would have had a ball!' Jessica Bramwell, Haynet (read the full review here)
'The anecdotes alone make this book worth reading even if you’re not a racing fan, but it also gives you a short history of the Jockey Club, a picture of the social life of the very wealthy, an insight into all aspects of racing and much more.' Chris Smith, Horse & Countryside
'In racing, the owners are the unsung heroes of the game, the poor souls squeezed as an afterthought into photographs when the horse wins, not much of a reward when it is them who are actually funding the whole thing. This entertaining and informative book redresses this balance, describing the life of an owner in all its heady, pocket-emptying glory. McAlpine is well equipped to write this book having been involved with racing as an owner since the 1950s and would as he says, ‘have been a much richer man if he had never caught sight of a racehorse, but like so many owners would not have missed the roller coaster ride for anything.’ Anyone with even the slightest interest in racing will find this book fascinating. He details, in easy to read language, the ups and downs of being an owner. He shares stories of trainers and jockeys he has been involved with, the important courses, the punters and the life and challenges of being a Steward and management of racecourses. It is an easy read, one that can be dipped into during quiet moments, or devoured in a single sitting.' Jacqui Broderick, Horse and Pony Ireland
- Look Inside 🔍