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The Sure Thing: The Greatest Coup in Horse Racing History [Hardcover]

Nick Townsend
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
Price: 16.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 Feb 2014
The bookies always win. Yet, for over four decades Barney Curley has proved himself a rare exception. The country's most renowned and fearless gambler, a man who will back his judgement to win GBP100,000 and more on a single day, has consistently emerged triumphant from bloody skirmishes with the old enemy. In the summer of 1975 Curley masterminded one of the most spectacular gambles of all time, with a racehorse named Yellow Sam, costing Irish bookmakers around GBP300,000; the equivalent of some GBP2m today. No-one believed anything similar could be staged again this century. Bookmakers now have communications and technology in place to thwart any renewed attempts. But challenges inspire Curley and he was determined to beat the system - again. Thirty-five years later from his first coup, Curley set about staging an ambitious sequel to his Yellow Sam scheme. Curley has never divulged the full details of what happened. Now, for the first time, The Sure Thing reveals the complete story of the months of planning and preparation, with all the trials and tribulations, that went into the biggest organised gamble in racing history.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Century (27 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780890710
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780890715
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.8 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Nick Townsend tells the story with panache, helped by a close acquaintance with the Irish mastermind of the scheme, Barney Curley, a name which bookmakers have had reason to curse on several occasions. It gets properly into its stride when it focuses on the coup, which in its innovative daring calls to mind The Italian Job." (Independent on Sunday)

"The full story of how the legendary gambler does it is unveiled. It helps if you know your way around racing, but if you don't this book will make you want to get clued-up fast." (Daily Sport)

"This is an enthralling read, extremely entertaining, and a revealing insight into one of horse racing's most colourful, and controversial, characters" (The Press)

"Fascinating. written with commendable skill and verve. It is a very readable book. Curley and his coups combine to make a unique story, well told." (Racing Post)

About the Author

Nick Townsend was, for many years, a sports feature writer on the Daily Mail before joining the Independent on Sunday, initially as football correspondent and later chief sports writer. He is currently a freelance writer, predominantly for the Sunday Times. He collaborated with Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Ben Ainslie on their autobiographies. He is a long-time confidant of Barney Curley and assisted him with his acclaimed life story Giving A Little Back. He lives with his wife Louise in Oxfordshire.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb recommended book 15 Mar 2014
By Thairob
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent book thoroughly recommended particularly to Horse racing fans but could be enjoyed by anybody. A long haul flight passed quickly while enjoying this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sure bet 12 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Barnel Curley is an extraordinary character: part spoiled priest, part obsessive, part philanthropist but all-conquering enemy of the bookies. This is a fascinating story of the logistics of a multi-million betting coup but it is a triumphantly compelling portrait of Curley.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The gambling magician 6 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is a great read keep u on it toes know who his horses ran and won how much he won and lost loved it worth a read Billy belfast
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5.0 out of 5 stars ordered after reading write up in the newspaper 24 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
chose it because of a relatives interest in the topic and he was not disappointed .full of interesting information too.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book if you like racing . As I was old enough to remember this made the book even better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 14 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Always wondered how Barney managed to win that kind of money and how it was achieved , never seem to have time to read a book but bought this to take on holiday . Started it the first day and had it finished just before the week was out , well put together by Nick Townsend . If you like horse racing you will love this
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