The imposing presence of Gary Wiltshire has long been one of the familiar and colourful sights on the racecourses and dog tracks of Britain. Biggest of the big gamblers, Gary has been punter, racecourse bookmaker, and in recent years BBC television pundit in the betting ring.
But there are two sides to Gary Wiltshire. One shows the genial, wise-cracking personality revelling in every angle of the betting business, the poor boy made good, with racehorses running in his colours and a personalised number-plate on his Mercedes. The other shows his obsessive punting bringing him to what he unflinchingly calls 'rock bottom'. The story tells how from the age of five he could calculate the return on a bet; how he would serve the Kray twin's family at his father's flower stall in Leather Lane; how he famously lost £800,000 on the day of Frankie Dettori's 'Magnificent Seven' at Ascot and then sold all he had so that he could pay off every penny he owed, and started again.
It is a remarkable rollercoaster ride of good and bad fortune, by turns hilarious and heart-rending.