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Horse-Racing's Strangest Races: Extraordinary But True Stories from Over 150 Years of Racing... (Strangest Series) Paperback – November, 2000

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Product Details

  • Series: Strangest Series
  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Robson Books; 2 edition (November 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 186105324X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861053244
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,255,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book disappointed me somewhat due to two factors. First, nearly all of the races that are discussed are from the pre 1940 era of horse racing. I was looking for something a little more recent. Second, they are also primarily races from England. If you are interested in strange old races from England, buy this book. Otherwise, save your money.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book was written and first published in Britain, so most of the races described happened in Britain, with only a few examples from elsewhere. Nevertheless, it is possible to enjoy the book wherever you are in the world - where they happened is irrelevant. Another point to note is that the book covers races spread over two centuries. Many of the strange things that happened during races in the nineteenth century just could not happen now because regulation is much tighter now.

Among the more recent races covered are the Grand Nationals of 1993 (abandoned after a false start) and 1997 (delayed by two days because of a bomb hoax) as well as the day at Ascot when Frankie Dettori rode all seven winners - a case when the races individually were not strange, but the combination of results was noteworthy. But of all the modern races, my favorite is the stun gun case, concerning a horse that seemed all set to win at Royal Ascot when well clear, before suddenly swerving.

The ancient races covered include (inevitably) the 1844 Epsom Derby, in which the winner was disqualified because he was a four year old (the race is for three year olds), the 1913 Epsom Derby, in which Emily Davison ran on to the course and was trampled to death by a horse, the 1962 Epsom Derby in which seven horses fell, the 1928 and 1967 Grand Nationals in which only one horse completed the course without mishap (Tipperary Tim and Foinavon respectively) and the 1956 Grand National in which Devon Loch collapsed within sight of winning.

There are other Epsom Derbies and Grand Nationals here too, as well as many more modest races in which strange things happen, including where no horse wins and the race was declared void. A fair number of novelty races are also included.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on April 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
It appears from this book as though jump races in England are the most prone to strangeness, especially if jockeys are not familiar with a particular course and head off in the wrong direction, taking the horses behind them on the same erroneous journey. Horses jump the wrong jumps, lose their jockeys, and are sometimes caught and mounted by spectators. At any rate, the horse that crosses the finish line first is not always the winner, and may or may not always have the jockey who began the race with it.

Electric starting gates and finish line cameras took much of the strangeness out of horse racing, so most of the stories in this book occurred before these two innovations came in to widespread use. The majority of the races in this book take place in England, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. I was a bit disappointed at first by the sameness of the incidents, but as I kept reading, some real corkers popped up that had me shaking my head. One of my favorite stories involved a race meet in Accra, Ghana in August1966 where the jockeys went on strike because the Turf Club refused to sacrifice a cow at a particularly dangerous bend in the race track.

There are still strange occurrences on race tracks. Earlier this year, two Thoroughbreds were accidentally electrocuted in the parade ring at Newbury racecourse in England. Horses still dump their riders and run the wrong way, and gamblers still attempt to fix races. This book ends in 2004, with a man-versus-horse marathon in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales (the man won).
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