Beckhampton by Paul Mathieu

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Beckhampton celebrates the kaleidoscope of men, money and horses linked to one of Britain's oldest and greatest racing stables: Beckhampton, on the Wiltshire downs. The story reveals how an isolated coaching inn morphed into a top training yard, home to some 40 Classic winners.

The cast of characters roam from the magistrate who sat in judgement on his own prosecution for disorderly behaviour, to the undergraduate who arrived at university with a string of horses and 2,000 bottles of port; from the jockey who was commandeered by Lord Palmerston to ride to a Channel port to collect a peace treaty, to the champion wrestler who became a gin baron and the owner of Classic-winning racehorses. Add Royalty and household names like Sir Gordon Richards, the 26-times champion jockey, and you have a brilliantly-researched book to delight anyone with an interest in the Sport of Kings.

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