the JumP­iNg game by heN­ri­etta KNight

Horse & Hound - - Gift Guide - MT

WHO bet­ter to delve into the meth­ods and se­crets of Na­tional Hunt’s train­ers than tre­ble Gold Cup-win­ning trainer Hen­ri­etta Knight? She takes us on a tour of 27 top yards, giv­ing us fas­ci­nat­ing be­hind-the-scenes in­sight — which I sense the train­ers would only have di­vulged to one of their own.

It’s a daz­zling cast of ex­tra­or­di­nary char­ac­ters, all with their quirks and foibles, but with one sin­gle-minded am­bi­tion — find­ing first-class horses and train­ing them to win big races. There are won­der­ful vignettes, too, such as Philip Hobbs tres­pass­ing at Mar­tin Pipe’s in the dark to mea­sure his gal­lops, and that Paul Ni­choll’s Sanc­tu­aire would only go up the gal­lops if a red 4x4 was driven be­hind him.

It’s a book for the se­ri­ous rac­ing fol­lower, given the level of tech­ni­cal de­tail on mat­ters such as gal­lops sur­faces and stable ven­ti­la­tion, and there could be more pho­tos, but the colour and charisma Knight brings makes it a thor­oughly en­gag­ing read. head of Zeus £20 iSbN 9781786694454

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