Cheltenham et Al: The Best of Alastair Down

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Winner of Horse Racing Book of the Year in the 2015 Cross British Sports Book Awards.

Cheltenham et Al offers a generous collection of his very best columns, providing the Down angle on the great horses, jockeys and trainers; the famous races which remain indelibly in the sport’s collective memory; the controversies; the laughs – in short, the highs and the lows of racing.

By turns moving, uplifting and laugh-out-loud funny, this book provides ample proof of one racing certainty: that no one catches the spirit of racing as Alastair Down does.

Alastair Down on the Cheltenham Festival: ‘To go there and stand witness to extraordinary events is a rare and wonderful act of being at one with your fellow clutterers of the planet .’

On his favourite racehorse: ‘I’ll still thump anyone who doesn’t appreciate that Rondetto was the greatest chaser of all time.’

On recovering after an over-indulgent day at Longchamp: ‘I just wish to be left alone with my thoughts and sincere hopes that my liver, which I mailed home by separate refrigerated container, will arrive soon.’

On Frankel’s last race: ‘There were tears speckling the cheers, because there is something almost inexplicably humbling about being in the presence of greatness of this magnitude.’

Review

"Alastair's passion for racing oozes from every page. A delightful read that reinforces what a wonderful sport this is." John Inverdale

“An excellent racing read by the sport’s leading wordsmith.” Sir Mark Prescott

“A MUST for Xmas present books is ‘The Best of Alastair Down – Cheltenham et Al.’ His essays on Arkle, Desert Orchid and Red Rum make these legends jump out of the pages. It’s great stuff.” Claude Duval, The Sun