2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Very good, 28 Feb 2006
Andrew Ward's enthusiasm for the British turf makes this a charming chapter-by-chapter read and a very informative one. Imagine, for instance, the worth of butter on Grudon's hooves on a snow-covered Aintree course in 1901.
The only chapter to leave me flat was on the International Race at Belmont Park, NY, USA, in 1923 between Papyrus, the Derby Stakes winner of that year, and the American 'Zev, a horse owned by an oil-man called Sinclair.' Ward recounts the difficulties of arranging the race and the rigors of Papyrus' Atlantic crossing. But Ward doesn't even hint that Zev had won that year's Kentucky Derby (10 furlongs) as well as the Belmont Stakes (11 furlongs in those days.) The latter race had been run on the same course as the International would be. Zev had not only the home-country advantage but the home-course advantage as well; he was a indeed a worthy match for Papyrus.
For all his own travels across the Atlantic, Ward neglects to broaden his mind just this once. It's a glaring standout in an otherwise fine collection.