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Monsieur XMonsieur X: The incredible story of the most audacious gambler in history
by Jamie Reid

*William Hill Sports Book of the Year award winning author*

Monsieur X is a dazzling tale of glamour, riches, violence and ultimately tragedy. Patrice des Moutis was a handsome, charming and well-educated Frenchman with an aristocratic family, a respectable insurance business, and a warm welcome in the smartest Parisian salons. He was also a compulsive gambler and illegal bookie.

Between the late 1950s and the early 1970s, Des Moutis made a daring attempt to beat the French state-run betting system. His success so alarmed the authorities that they repeatedly changed the rules of betting in an effort to stop him. And so a battle of wills began, all played out on the front pages of the daily newspapers as the general public willed Des Moutis on to ever greater triumphs. He remained one step ahead of the law until finally the government criminalised his activities, driving him into the arms of the underworld. Eventually the net began to close, high-profile characters found themselves the target of the state's investigation, and people began turning up dead.

This is a thrilling ride from start to finish, a story of one mans determination to outrun the state backed PMU, of the pressures surrounding him from the bureaucrats on one side and the French Mafia on the other and his inevitable fall from grace. You will be gripped from beginning to end.

Paperback - 320 pages (7 Mar 2019)     £7.38
Kindle - 181 pages (8 Mar 2018)    £5.03


Addicted To Horseracing: Anatomy of a Small Time GamblerAddicted To Horseracing: Anatomy of a Small Time Gambler
by Norton Howells

Neither raised by a family steeped in horseracing, nor inspired by his sole visit to the races as a child, Norton Howells was a relatively late convert to the sport of Kings.One tedious August morning during the summer break from teaching, his eyes happened to drift towards the racing page of a newspaper. The tipster’s article triggered a realisation: Horseracing is not about horseracing. It’s an academic study using evidence and argument.A glorious profit of fifteen quid that day transformed a conventional life into an increasingly obsessive pursuit of self-fulfilment.

Addicted to Horseracing charts one man’s quest to master that game, to crack the elusive code of gambling success.The writing is precise yet evocative, with nothing held back, as we discover the vivid consequences of an obsession.*This is an updated version of the previously released 'Horseracing Is Not About Horseracing'.

If you like reading about people's experiences, particularly regarding horse racing, then this book is a bit more. There's a few personal things that the author divulges which will certainly feel familiar to you. Important to note that the title is very accurate, Mr Howells is addicted to horse racing, but, fortunately not gambling, although he often stakes more than he earns in a month or two.

Paperback - 192 pages (27 Mar 2019)     £9.99
Kindle - 181 pages (3 Apr 2016)    £6.99


Just One More SmileJust one more smile - Fred and Helen Archer's love story
by Diana Reynolds

Born in Cheltenham on January 11, 1857, Fred Archer was fourth of the five children of National Hunt jockey William Archer, who rode Little Charley to victory in the 1858 Grand National. His parents kept a pub, the King’s Arms in nearby Prestbury. Fred Archer became champion jockey for the first time in 1874, aged 17. Thereafter he remained at the top of the table until he died 12 years later.

Fred had everything , but the love of his life, which made carrying on too much to bear, with a terrible fever, depression and loneliness he longed for peace in the most tragic way ... I am Fred and Helen's great grand daughter and have been fascinated about their sad but incredible life together , Fred was champion jockey 13 years running, and his record of race wins 2,748 was held until 20th century, it is 130 years since Fred died in November, and I hope by reading my part fiction part fact story I have brought them both alive again, Diana.

Victoire Print managed the styling and layout, and the printing.

Paperback - 220 pages (2 Apr 2016)     £9.50    £9.50


The Sure Thing: The Greatest Coup in Horse Racing HistoryThe Sure Thing: The Greatest Coup in Horse Racing History
by Nick Townsend

Barnel Curley is an extraordinary character: part spoiled priest, part obsessive, part philanthropist but all-conquering enemy of the bookies. This is a fascinating story of the logistics of a multi-million betting coup but it is a triumphantly compelling portrait of Curley

At times, the book reads more like a biography, perhaps because the same author was involved in writing that book, but don't be concerned about any possible duplication. Away from the main topic, we learn quite a lot about Barney's life and his other contributions to the world of horse racing, including his role in helping Frankie Dettori to become successful and his spat with John McCririck that can be found on Youtube.

This is the full story of how the legendary gambler does it is, unveiled in great detail. It helps if you know your way around racing, but if you don’t this book will make you want to get clued-up fast

Paperback - 432 pages (23 Apr 2015)     £6.29    $6.63


The Definitive Guide to Betting on HorsesThe Definitive Guide to Betting on Horses
by Nick Pulford

This is a fully updated edition of the ground-breaking look at horserace betting, first published in 2004. "The Definitive Guide to Betting on Horses" is crammed with the expert views of many of "The Racing Post" journalists. Among the gems included are: The winning approach to betting on the Classics and the big festivals by Pricewise (Tom Segal); the types of races and horses that are best for betting by "The Racing Post" handicappers, consistently the most successful tipping team; how to spot a potential winner by senior "Racing Post" race-reader Graham Dench; a complete guide betting exchanges and how to make them pay by top "Racing Post" betting editor Paul Kealy; the importance of speed figures by expert Nick Mordin; plus a full breakdown of the effect of the draw, how to find value, a guide to spread betting, bets to avoid, betting systems and how they work, and much more.

This is a great book that is genuinely useful. It covers subjects that arent really covered in other books like for example horses prefer right or left tracks and how to judge a tipster.

This collection of articles provides a multitude of insights into the complex and mysterious world of horse-racing. While no-one should expect to find the key to successful betting here, you can expect to learn a great deal that will help you make wiser, more informed decisions - bearing in mind that every horse race is an opportunity to lose money. Great value for money!

Hardcover - 272 pages (16 Sep 2011)     £11.04    $20.65



PrecisionPrecision: Statistical and Mathematical Methods in Horse Racing
by C X Wong

This book thoroughly discusses the mathematical and statistical methods in handicapping and betting techniques. Differentiations, combinatorics, normal distribution, kernel smoothing and other mathematical and statistical tools are introduced. The jargons and equations are kept to a minimum so that it is easy to understand for most readers. More than 20 professional programs are freely available to download, which can allow readers to easily apply the methodology introduced in the book.

This book can be divided into three main parts: horse handicapping (Chapters 2-6), wagering (Chapters 7-9) and theories in practices (Chapters 10-11). He uses plenty of examples to describe how you go about choosing your performance factors based on hard measured figures, then how to estimate the probability and find overlays. Importantly he shows how to identify which factors matter and those that don't. If you want to follow the maths, it can be heavy going, but the excel programs do the heavy lifting for you. There's enough layman explanations to keep you up to speed so you know what he is trying to show. There's also some interesting war stories about what it's like on the inside of a betting syndicate.

I think this will help anyone trying to get to grips with the maths of gambling, its examples are from Hong Kong racing but the practical application of underlying principles can be applied to all sorts of markets.

This book was originally written in Chinese and it is clear that the translator's first language is not English, because the grammar is incorrect in places but it is still easily understood.

Hardcover - 282 pages (28 Mar 2011)     £29.95    $39.95



The Masters of MantonThe Masters of Manton
by Paul Mathieu

This book tells the stories of the four racehorse trainers who built the famous Manton yard in Wiltshire, and some of their owners and of course, great horses. Plenty of research has gone into this account and betting plays a large role. Indeed, it started with a gamble, Teddington's victory in the 1851 Derby, the first of many plots where the whiff of skulduggery hangs in the air.

The first of the trainers, Alec Taylor, trained 12 Classic winners before handing the reins over to his son 'Young' Alec, who himself was no slouch, notching up 21 Classic successes between 1905 and 1927 and winning seven consecutive trainers' titles. Young Alec trained the legendary Sceptre at four, while Bayardo and Gay Crusader were two other superstars of that era. These were the halcyon days, but even during this glory period there was scandal. The death of a Taylor stable lad, James Luddon, highlighted the cruel living standards his employees had to endure. However, the trainer was exonerated of any wrongdoing.

You do need to be interested in racing to buy The Masters of Manton. It contains some interesting social history, but basically it's about everyone who ever dreamed of having a big race winner... . It's easy to read and highly recommended.

Hardcover - 303 pages (April 2010)     £21.80   



Freud on Course: The Racing Lives of Clement Freud Freud on Course: The Racing Lives of Clement Freud
by Clement Freud

Anyone unamused by this book should consider therapy themselves. It is what it is: the weekly musings of a man who adored the rackety world of racing, given an afterlife as much because of who he was as for his gentle, funny, self-deprecating, occasionally dyspeptic descriptions of the sport of kings and quasi-criminals. This is a marvellous testament to his acerbic wit, appetite for the absurd and oblique take on the world.

That we shall not see his like again there can be no doubt. The charm of this book lies in the reminders of times gone by and an older man trying to accept changing times without compromising the standards he believed in. Above all, those who love horse racing, and a gamble, belong to an association. One where the members all recognise one another yet share a resignation that all suffer from an irredeemable weakness: but one that allows a very special pleasure on those rare occasions when relieving the old enemy, the bookmaker, of a large bundle of notes.

Hardcover - 272 pages (5 Jun 2009)     £11.11   
Paperback - 272 pages (4 Jun 2010)     £8.09     



Against the Odds: A Comprehensive Guide to Betting on Horseracing Against the Odds: A Comprehensive Guide to Betting on Horseracing
by David-Lee Priest

This book represents the culmination of an ambitious project aimed at researching the potential for profitable betting in British horse racing. Recent developments in computer technology have enabled the author to analyse the performances of over 1 million runners in 100,000 races. The findings are distilled in a meaningful and accessible way that is anchored by an understanding of betting and horseracing.

The author's scientific background is tempered with his experience of betting professionally. Readers are afforded an applied understanding of how to improve their chances of winning money. More than all this, readers will find that "Against the Odds" offers fresh and original writing in a domain where approaches to betting have become predictable and formulaic.This book presents; the philosophy of gambling; ability ratings; course suitability; past performance figures; race grade; draw; and, the betting market.

Editor's Opinion
The writer analyses profitable systems from handicaps, speed ratings, weight, sex(!), headgear, finishing positions, fitness, time of year, class, draw etc etc and presents a number of easily workable 'rules' for each type of race to enable you to make profitable selections and trim down the field significantly for each type of race. Essential reading and highly recommend for the serious horse racing player wanting to make a profit betting on horses.

Paperback - 288 pages 3rd Revised edition (3 Oct 2008)     £9.09     



Enemy Number One: The Secrets of the UK's Most Feared Professional Punter Enemy Number One: The Secrets of the UK's Most Feared Professional Punter
by Patrick Veitch

Enemy Number One offers an often controversial but utterly fascinating insight into Veitch's life of punting. For anyone who likes the occasional bet or who takes gambling seriously and has both the 'brain surgeon' and 'mad axeman' capabilities to do it there is more to be gleaned from this book than probably any other betting book.

Veitch is no ordinary punter. Enemy Number One documents an eight-year period of profits in excess of £10 million. It also chronicles the tactical headaches of placing bets with the bookmakers using Veitch's vast network of agents and sub-agents.

Veitch has had no comfortable ride, though. Just a short while after becoming a full-time punter he was the victim of an extortion attempt by a dangerous criminal who was subsequently tried twice for murder and later convicted of attempted murder. Veitch was forced to flee and go into hiding, returning to Cambridge to testify in a bulletproof jacket with police protection.

Editor's Opinion
Now I have to say that this is indeed better than the average racing or gambling book. However, before you get too far into the book there are signs that not all is well, some things just don't add-up. Take for instance his Ferrari, a depreciating asset that he uses as collateral to obtain a loan. What? A shrewd mind like his! And then later in his story his major coup d'état was basically insider dealing, which is still illegal as far as I can remember.

The conclusion is that you won't have gone far wrong at the price of this book but an editor and a ghost writer would have been worth their salt.

Hardcover - 304 pages (16 April 2009)     £10.04    $22.58 
Paperback - 304 pages (19 April 2010)     £8.09    $ ?? 



Eclipse (Hardcover) Eclipse
by Nicholas Clee

Racing, of all sports, is the most fuelled by gossip and innuendo. This makes the Sport of Kings attractive to people from every walk of life, a point emphasised in Nicholas Clee's biography of Eclipse, perhaps the most famous racing horse of all time. Though Eclipse could not have been more aristocratic, he was owned by a jailbird chancer and a brothel owner - Dennis O'Kelly and Charlotte Hayes, the madam's madam in what was "a golden age" for prostitution. The pair were a perfect partnership, gambling and philandering being kindred interests and in the mid-18th century people would bet on anything:

The horse, in contrast to his owners, was so good that he made the sport boring. In one race, he left the rest of the field 240 yards behind: in another, he started at 1-100, testament to the bookies' despair. He frequently won by a walk over, for no one dared take him on.

Yet despite his magnificence on the course, he was more valuable off it and it was O'Kelly's genius to realise that stud fees could dwarf prize money. The entwined fortunes of horse and owners make for a ripping yarn expertly told: part Flashman at the Races; part Seabiscuit without the schmaltz.
Will Buckley of The Observer

Hardcover - 352 pages (12 Mar 2009)     £15.00    $30.07 



Betting on Two Year Olds: The Inside TrackBetting on Two Year Olds: The Inside Track
by Nick Attenborough

The first comprehensive guide to UK two year old racing.

This book has wealth of knowledge for the expert and the amateur alike. All the different phases of the two year old season in terms of race fixtures and horse development are explained in an easy to read fashion.

Whether or not the pointers in the book will actually help you in terms of successful betting is in debate. Certainly they will afford the avid student many more ways 'into' a race, by which is meant that you can assess a race by your own personal set of values that this book will have highlighted.

All in all this is a welcome addition to the literature on horse betting. Its one to have on your shelf if you are intent to tackle the two year old flat season.

Hardcover - 198 pages (1 April 2009)     £14.99    $?? 



A Bloody Good Winner: Life as a Professional GamblerA Bloody Good Winner: Life as a Professional Gambler by Dave Nevison

Dave Nevison is doing, every day, what thousands of punters dream of doing - living the dream of life as a professional gambler. Since taking the plunge in 1993, Nevison has made his living, a very good living, from backing racehorses.

One of the best aspects of the book is Dave's brutal honesty (which I think is essential when it comes to this genre of reading, there's just no realism to people who just constantly win all the time) when it comes to how he's done over the years. Although as he became more successful, he found it harder and harder to get his bets down. Therefore he uses a number of associates to put his bets on.

There has been a bit of criticism within racing circles of Dave's harsh treatment of certain jockeys and trainers, although I think it comes across, not as bitterness, but as rounded and well argued. As punters, there's nothing worse than feeling that a certain jockey could have ridden a ride more aggressively. Although he really does stick the knife into certain towns and cities he has the misfortune to stay in.

One compliment to pay to this book is that you will start buying the Racing and Football Outlook every week just to read Dave's column. He's just as honest there.

Hardcover - 256 pages (19 Oct 2007)     £9.59    $31.42 



Racing Post's 500 Strangest Racing Stories by Graham Sharpe

This is a book about the unexpected, the off-beat, the quirky - five hundred of the strangest stories in horseracing's history. If you go racing or watch racing for any length of time, you soon realise that it is suffused with an aura on unreality and other worldliness. Odd moments abound, the surreal is almost commonplace.

In "500 Strangest Racing Stories", read about how a jockey lost a race when he insisted on riding in a top hat, what happened when a trainer fitted his short-sighted runner with spectacles, and why a racehorse was sent to jail.

Hardcover - 272 pages (14 Sep 2007)     £9.09    $25.83 



Winning Without Thinking: A Guide to Horse Race Betting Systems by Nick Mordin

The author will, I’m sure, be the first to admit that the title is a misnomer, because thinking is very much what he advises. But it is a clever title none-the-less. Yes you have to think like mad, but having thought, then must put aside all the usual ‘conventional’ reasoning for picking a selection and just believe the elements you have isolated even if from a normal point of view it may look dubious..

The Racing Post, Mordin is unique - there is no-one else writing anything quite like this for the British market … thoroughly recommended.

Paperback - 426 pages new edition (15 Oct 2006)
                                    UK Amazon £8.54  or  U$17.73 from Amazon USA



Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand

This story has got it all, excitement, drama,disappointment, suspense, tragedy, determination and even comedy.This is a true story written like a novel. Read this marvelous book to see what Seabiscuit, his owner, trainer, and jockeys accomplished when the rugged, little stallion turned seven---well past the retirement age for most Thoroughbreds.
Times, 20th May 2001 'a rip-roaring narrative...Hillenbrand tells the story with flair and skill, relishing the larger than life characters who inhabited this forgotten demi-monde.'

Paperback - 437 pages new edition (2 April, 2002)
expected price £6.39    Buy This Book  or  U$9.00 from US Amazon



Crossing the Line by Charlie Brooks
(New edition)
In January 1999, Charlie Brooks, former leading race horse trainer, was arrested in connection with a police investigation into race fixing. He crossed the line from insider to outsider, and this is his informed and honest view of the weird and wonderful world of British horse racing. Gripping insight into the racing world.

Paperback - 317 pages (2 November, 2000)  expected price £6.39    Buy This Book



An Arm and Four Legs by Stan Hey

Anybody who has considered owning a racehorse should be made to read this as a matter of course, but equally if it has never occurred to you, it will also make interesting if somewhat salutary reading. In any case, this is one of the first books I've read about horse racing which does not presuppose knowledge of the subject. If anyone wants to know why the sport was once dubbed the Sport Of Kings and is still dominated by royalty (latterly from Dubai rather than Europe), this book will explain.

Paperback - 230 pages new edition (28 September, 2000)  expected price £6.40    Buy This Book



The Inside Track by Alan Potts

Considering how many people like to have a bet, there are relatively few good books about the gambling. True, there do exist slim volumes of esoteric mathematically-based rhetoric of the sort that make the outpourings of Einstein and Russell seem like pulp fiction, but accessible, interesting books about punting are few and far between. This makes Alan Potts's book all the more refreshing. There are sections covering flat racing and jumping, and also detailed discussion of all-weather racing and the world of spread betting.

Hardcover - 255 pages (1 June, 1998)  expected price £18.00    Buy This Book



Betting for a Living by Nick Mordin

From an author who devises and tests his own systems, this book describes how, during the winter of 1991/2, he applied his ideas at the racetrack and took over £1000 per month from bookmakers. It details the exact methods he used and explains the precise reasons behind every bet made.

Hardcover - 320 pages (16 November, 1992)  expected price £18.00   Buy This Book



The Boss by John Budden
The sudden death of Gordon W Richards in October 1998 brought a premature end to a legendary training career which had seen him rise from obscurity to national fame as a master of his profession. Consigned to racing's scrap-heap with a broken back at the age of 29, he scraped a living as a livery stable proprietor and horse-dealer in a remote part of Northumberland until, five years later, he "discovered" Playlord and a new dawn broke.
Rugged, demanding, often outspoken, sometimes ruthless but never lacking in humour, Gordon made relentless progress through the training ranks. "The Boss", as he was widely known. liked to run his stable his own way. Horses, not humans, headed the pecking order, as many famous riders and owners discovered to their cost. Few escaped unscathed, but in over 30 years at Greystoke he employed only six stable jockeys, and two of theses, Ron Barry and Jonjo O'Neill, gained Championship honours.
The Boss charts the successes of the man who twice saddled more than 100 winners in a single season and who scooped the pool in the Aintree Grand National on two occasions. This enthralling biography, written with the full co-operation of Richards himself, provides a compelling insight into the forces that drove him to become one of the most respected trainers in the world
Paperback - 240 pages (15 March, 2001)  expected price £6.39   Buy This Book



Jenny Pitman by Jenny Pitman
Jenny Pitman OBE faced a double whammy when she applied for her trainer's licence. First, she was an outsider to the world of racing; second, and more importantly, she was a woman in what was still very much a man's world. As she tells us in her frank and entertaining autobiography, simply titled Jenny Pitman, she overcame the first problem much easier than beating the second. This is a personal story for those who love racing.
Paperback - 425 pages ( 4 November, 1999) expected price £5.59   Buy This Book



A Licence To Print Money by Jamie Reid
An exploration of the world of horseracing and gambling
Forget the tired biographies of worthy jockeys and trainers, this book cuts to the real soul of the sport - gambling. The core of the book concerns a series of essays on the history, culture and technicalities of betting on racing. These are well researched, well written and unearth a host of 20th century characters which many punters will enjoy reading about. These essays are interlaced with details of the author's own gambling forays, which make for compelling reading. The final chapter's account of a small sting at Redcar is outstanding, one is so involved with the story that it feels like taking part. The adrenaline flow produced by reading it is akin to that produced by having an over-big wager of one's own.

Paperback - 288 pages (October 1995) expected price £7.19 Buy This Book


Field of Thirteen by Dick Francis
This first collection of short stories by Dick Francis pulls together five new tales with eight that have appeared in various periodicals over the last three decades. One of the pleasures of his stories is witnessing the breadth and variety within Francis's racetrack milieu. In "Dead on Red", a jealous jockey named Davey Rockman hires Emil Jacques, a French assassin and gun collector, to kill the famed rider who stole his job; but Rockman is haunted by his deed, in much the same way as the protagonist in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart". "Raid at Kingdom Hill" tells of Tricksy Wilcox's scheme for a not-so-bright bomb scare, a plan that still might yield the payoff of a lifetime. "Collision Course" is free of murder but frames a delightful conflict between an out-of-work newspaperman and a bounder whose faux manners threaten to bring him down at the peak of his racing syndicate career. The Kentucky Derby story, "The Gift", follows Fred Collyer, a drunken writer who overhears plans for a major racing swindle and struggles against alcohol to publish the story by his deadline. And the collection ends with a what-if story called "Haig's Death" that examines the consequences of the sudden passing of Christopher Haig, an animal feed consultant and race-meeting judge
Paperback - 300 pages (12 August, 1999) expected price £4.79   Buy This Book
Hardcover - 288 pages ( 3 September, 1998) expected price £13.59   Buy This Book



Twelve Grand by Jonathan Rendall
"You probably have to be a gambler to really enjoy reading this".
What luck, we are! The book is all about indulgence, mainly on the betting front, although sex, booze and drugs are also high up on the inebriated agenda. The other caveats (do you need any more?) are that swearing and blasphemy feature regularly. But the most frustrating aspect of the book is that the author sometimes uses abbreviations for common words. It is not always obvious what he means, although you get the general gist. The main character is clearly in a state of (alcoholic) decline as he relates what he does with the £12,000 given him by a publishing company (coincidentally, Yellow Free Press, the book's publishers) to fritter away on gambling. He ends up waging a "silent war" against a lot of things in his life, some of them imaginary; a state of mind induced by his almost-perpetual intoxicated condition? Despite its obvious faults, it is a clever and sometimes humorous book that gets you thinking. It neatly alternates between the past and present, until the twain inevitably meet, and it is an interesting read on the whole, as long as you do not mind the bad language, etc. You (eventually) end up feeling sorry for the writer and applaud his raw honesty, although you sometimes feel intoxicated yourself reading the book, particularly the fuzzy ending.

Paperback - 224 pages (26 October, 2000)  expected price £5.60  Buy This Book



10lb Penalty by Dick Francis

Teenager Benedict Juliard has no other ambition than to ride in steeplechases as an amateur jockey. Having agreed not to do anything that could destroy his father's growing public service and political career, Ben finds himself targeted in an attack mounted by his father's enemies.
Paperback - 320 pages ( 2 November, 1998) expected price £4.79   Buy This Book
Great value


Dick Francis Omnibus 1: Long Shot / Straight / High Stakes
by Dick Francis

Three stories from Dick Francis in one combined edition, involving the world of racing with plenty of action, suspense, greed and secrets.
Paperback - 1168 pages (12 November, 1999) expected price £7.19   Buy This Book    Great value


Dick Francis Omnibus 2: Forfeit / Risk / Reflex
by Dick Francis

Three more stories from Dick Francis in one combined edition, involving the world of racing with plenty of action, suspense, greed and secrets.
Paperback - 1040 pages (12 November, 1999) expected price £7.19   Buy This Book    Great value


Dick Francis Omnibus 3: Slay Ride / Banker / Proof
by Dick Francis

Three more stories from Dick Francis in one combined edition, involving the world of racing with plenty of action, suspense, greed and secrets.
Paperback - 1136 pages (10 November, 2000)  expected price £7.19   Buy This Book    Great value


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