- Horse Racing Book of the Year – Shortlisted
The true story of the shocking doping gang who scandalised the racing world in the early Sixties. A potent mix of horseracing, drugs, sex, class, crime, gambling and royalty. In March 1962 an audacious attempt to nobble one of the royal horses alerted police to a well organised band of racecourse criminals, backed by murderous London gangsters. The subsequent Flying Squad pursuit of the gang brought the quaintly deferential world of racing into sharp conflict with the harsher realities of the ‘You’ve Never Had It So Good’ era. The cast of characters is headed by William Roper, a debonair ex RAF Sergeant turned oddsmaker. His team included an ex jockey, numerous underpaid stable lads, an upper class gambling addict and a violent professional gangster who went on to face charges with the Kray twins in 1969. But the most fascinating member of Roper’s firm was a beautiful and self-possessed young Swiss woman called Micheline Lugeon who became the bookmaker’s lover.