The Masters of Manton

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One great stable: Manton. Four training legends: Alec Taylor, his son, Young Alec, Joe Lawson and George Todd. Here are their stories, from the Taylors wars with the touts to Todd's defiance of the stewards. From the 43 classic winners to Todd's selling platers. Along the way, meet some of the grand eccentrics of the English Turf: the Duchess of Montrose, who hissed at a Royal procession; George Payne, who gambled away fortunes and tried to horsewhip a QC; and Lord Glasgow, whose hotel bill included a waiter's broken leg. Here are the men who guided Manton between the wars.

Here too are the gambles, led by the Lincoln winner that paid for Manton, in cash, in a paper bag. The Masters of Manton is a wide-angle view of the horses, trainers, owners, jockeys and lads who peopled the Marlborough Downs between Old Alec Taylor building the yard in 1870 and George Todd's death in 1974.

“This is a most wonderful story” – The Irish Field

“The pages come alive with tales of huge gambles: stories galore of roguery and carefully-laid plots” – Claude Duval, The Sun

“It will give a whiff of racing’s elixir to every true fan of the sport, and confirm the worst fears of those who have always regarded it with suspicion” – Robin Oakley, The Spectator
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