In the racing game much is credited to jockeys, trainers and of course horses. Hardly a ‘name’ in either category lacks newspaper features, full blown biographies or TV exposure. As for the owners... They get their names printed on the race cards and appear at racecourse presentations – but that’s about it. Not a lot, considering they pay through the nose for the privilege of owning, training and often breeding the horses. My Racing Certainties does its bit to redress the balance – and in a most entertaining way. The author has been an owner since the 1950s and although he says he’d be a much richer man if he’d never caught sight of a racehorse he, like so many other owners, would not have missed the roller coaster ride for anything. This then is a view of horse racing through the eyes of someone who has experienced most parts of it. Its history, its close connections with Royalty through the ages, the ups and downs of being an owner, trainers and jockeys he has been involved with, the important courses, the punters, management of racecourses and the challenges of being a Steward.
Few people have more experience of all sides of horse racing than Bobby McAlpine. An owner for over sixty years, a racecourse Steward in his twenties, Bobby has done almost everything except ride in a race. He owned two exceptional horses, Precipice Wood who won the Ascot Gold Cup when Bobby was thirty-nine and Cormorant Wood, which he bred, winner of four of today’s premiere Group Ones, including the Champion Stakes, the Juddmonte and the Lockinge. He has been chairman of Chester and Bangor-on-Dee racecourses and a director of Aintree and there are few notables in racing he does not know. He also bred Inglis Drever and won the Supreme Novice at Cheltenham with River Ceiriog, trained by his good friend Nicky Henderson.