Go Crazy in your Christmas book shopping

  • By: Dave Ord, Ben Linfoot and David John
  • Last Updated: December 12 2012, 16:21 GMT

Our racing team review some of the best horse racing books to hit the bookshelves this year.

Frankel: The Wonder Horse - worth a read.

It's fair to say there's no racing writer quite like David Ashforth and his latest publication Racing Crazy - The Best Of David Ashforth does exactly what it says on the tin.

As a huge fan of his previous work including the excellent Ringers And Rascals, expectations were high and I was not disappointed.

It's a collection of all of his best work, and every aspect of the great sport is covered. There are historical pieces, the pick of his work from the courtrooms which already have a huge following, and much, much more. To put it simply, this is comfortably my racing book of the year. (DO)

In contrast it's hard not to come away from The Secrets Of Pricewise feeling a little short-changed.

James Milton does a decent job with the material but it's not quite the "get rich" scheme that the title implies.

The book is a potted history of the most successful tipping column in the modern history of the sport and as such does a decent job. There are reflections on the most famous big-priced winners from the Racing Post team and insight from all the men to sit in the hotseat.

But I'd read a lot of it before and felt the book offered little new - although for people who've made a few quid on the back of the heroics of Mark Coton, Mel Collier and Tom Segal over the years it will bring back many a warm glow. (DO)

At £12.99 The Racing Post Flat Annual rates a good-value purchase. The paperback publication is a fitting tribute to a wonderful racing year, containing all the major news stories and reports from the calendar year plus fascinating features on the big names at the heart of the action.

It's packed with glorious photographs throughout and all in all is thoroughly recommended. (DO)

Frankel: The Wonder Horse (£20) is a chronological account of the career of Sir Henry Cecil's superstar from the day he was born to that glorious moment at Ascot when he won the QIPCO Champion Stakes.

From the foreword by Sir Peter O'Sullevan to the summary of Frankel's career at the end, the book is a colourful account of how this extraordinary son of Galileo took on the racing world and won, every time.

Each of Frankel's races is complete with the racecard, the story of the race, the official result and up-to-date analysis that takes into account subsequent events.

Complete with photos that capture every angle of this monstrous racehorse, this is a neat account of the unbeaten thoroughbred who might just be the greatest there ever was. (BL)

Finally, If you are a fan of racing nostalgia then Winners All by Anne Holland hits the target.

The book looks at the story behind some of the most influential horses from a historical perspective and as it skips through the centuries, it then discusses some of its more recent heroes trained in Ireland.

Certainly the early chapters on The Byerley Turk and Eclipse make for fascinating reading and the part they both played in creating the modern thoroughbred racehorse as we know it.

Some favourite names are dealt with such as Cottage Rake and Nijinsky while more recent memories are jogged with the chapters on Istabraq and Moscow Flyer.

Fifteen horses are included in all as each managed to create their own indelible mark on the sport . The book tells each story with clarity and is well worth a its place in any racing aficionado's library. (DJ)

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