In 1955, Reg Gill – milkman and part-time illegal bookie – took his 12-year-old son Roy to the Spring meeting at Epsom Downs Racecourse. It was an outing that started a life-long passion for racing and set Roy on a mission to visit every racecourse in the British Isles. The journey that began a half-century ago at Epsom ended at Tralee in the west of Ireland in 1992, taking in meetings under both codes, Flat and National Hunt. Roy Gill has visited every racecourse in the United Kingdom and Eire at least once and continues to attend meetings whenever he can. Many courses have been closed down, some have moved their location, but every racecourse he visited is vividly recalled in this very personal and highly readable account. He has returned to many courses, like Wolverhampton and Limerick, which have moved from their original locations.
Many years in the making – not least because the developments and changes to statistics taking place daily in the racing world necessitated constant updating! – this book is a veritable encyclopaedia of racing. The author recounts the noteworthy occurrences and behind-the-scene stories of each venue – their highs and lows, heroes and villains, as well as personal anecdotes about the courses, the horses, the jockeys and trainers.
From Epsom to Tralee is beautifully illustrated with contemporary and archive photographs (many of them previously unseen and unpublished), illustrations and fascinating items of racing memorabilia. Told with humour and passion, this entertaining and informative work is essential reading for all lovers of the Turf, and also shines a valuable spotlight on the sporting and social history of these sceptered isles.