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Courses for Horses

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781474618434

Price: £10.99

ON SALE: 23rd May 2024

Genre: Lifestyle, Sport & Leisure

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In parks, on downlands and heaths, by motorways, overlooking firths: the racecourses of Britain and Ireland are as various as the people you meet there. Some – Newmarket, Epsom, the Curragh – are rich in history, and among the most celebrated sporting venues in the world; others – Fakenham, Bangor-on-Dee, Perth – offer more modest but no less enjoyable spectacles.

Journeying round these courses, Nicholas Clee meets the people who bring them to life: from those in the spotlight, including a Grand National-winning jockey, Derby-winning owner and top TV commentator; to many others with key roles in the sport – bookmakers, form experts, racecourse managers and more. From them, he learns about the bravery, dedication, skill and expertise that make racing one of our most popular spectator sports.

Whether basking in sunshine or sheltering from a hurricane, sampling a variety of pies or recoiling from the world’s worst curry, losing his money with the bookies or at the Tote windows, Clee soaks up the atmosphere, delves into racing business, and marvels at the uniqueness of each course and its people. Written with a keen eye, gentle humour and a deep love for the sport, Courses for Horses take us behind the scenes at that grand outing: a day at the races.


Authoritative . . . admirably detailed and comprehensive . . . in its discursive way it is very much a guide to racing - thoroughbreeding, training and ownership, gambling, the lot . . . very interesting
Times Literary Supplement
A picture of the modern horse-racing industry . . . evocative . . . he describes the racetrack experience perfectly . . . Already acclaimed for his book on Eclipse, Mr Clee has produced another winner
Country Life
Delightful digressions into the histories of the tracks and into every aspect of racing . . . The racecourse visits are spiced with anecdotes and gentle wit . . . fun, quirky and informative
Literary Review
Gripping stories of famous horses, jockeys and trainers, along with a history of racing itself . . . This is a book for racing enthusiasts, whether course-goers or chairbound
Anne de Courcy, The Spectator