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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2010
I bought this book for my dad for Christmas. He had finished reading it by the 28th Dec. He said he struggled to put it down and found it to be one of the best boks he has ever read. He enjoyed the honesty of Paul Nicholls and found it to be a very enjoyable read. My dad is a massive racing fan and says any racing fan should read this book.
On another personal note I want to say a thank you to Amazon. I paid for the special deliery to have the book delivered. The book was late and Amazon paid me the delivery charge back without having to e-mail them.
An excellent service yet again.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2009
OK, hands up, this is the racing biography every National Hunt fan has been waiting for, and how can a book about all these famous horses fail to deliver? Expectations naturally were sky-high when the book finally arrived, and to be honest, I was slightly disappointed at first as the book DOES start a bit slow (maybe like Paul Nicholls himself as a jockey), but it does gather momentum eventually and finishes with a rush, an easy winner. A bit keen early on to convince his readers what a tough and hard-grafting bloke Nicholls was even as a young lad, once a trainer the story-telling gets more self-assured and relaxed, and it certainly does not come as a surprise that Nicholls has some stories to tell.
Even so stressing throughout the book that no professional should get emotionally attached to his horses, its good to read that some horses slip that net and became firm Nicholls favorites, the wonderful See More Business and Kauto Star first and foremost. Nicholls recalls famous wins and famous horses, does not spare with the odd crititc in the right place (he is rather outspoken about Flagship Ueberalls' american owners and about Oliver Carter, and I certainly agree on both counts); and all this in a very easy to read and fluent manner.
Apart from starting a bit slowly, the one other critic would probably be that Nicholls goes into too much detail about the Timmy-Murphy-episode, even though surely from his (Nicholls) point of view it was as embarrising as it comes.
Having given all possible stars to the Mick Fitzgerald biography, this book is ever so slightly below that particular book, but is most certainly a cracking read in its own right.

Get it and treasure a trip down the memory lane, and wait for Kauto Star to create more history in 2009/10. Even though Nicholls is still a relatively "young" trainer, this book does come at a good time, but it will be facinating to see the follow-up volume develop in front of our eyes over the next years.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2009
Because Paul Nicholls is a very open, up front man much of the content of the book which which has an element of controversy is already in the public domain and was the subject of much press coverage at the time. That said, it is good to have it all in one place and to revisit it all. It is a very well written book, reads easily and I've no doubt I'll read it again in the years to come. There is enough in there for the non racing fan to keep interested and it avoids the fault of many racing biographies of endlessly reeling out statistics and details of minor races.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
excellent book .a must for all racing fans.a great insight into nicholls.this guy is so driven.
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on 28 August 2012
As a horse racing fan and equestrian enthusiast there are many horses that stand out to me as most remarkable athletes within their chosen field; whether that be jumping over the highest of fences at Hickstead or the Eventing dream ride for Piggy French at Badminton horse trials, I could quite easily make a list of top racehorses that have gone down in history books as world-class greats. Paul Nicholls is an incredible and well established racing trainer whose horse Kauto Star has really stood out as an impressive creature, winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup twice in a row. His noble face makes for a striking front cover to this autobiography of a most remarkable man, who had what he calls a `lucky break' in his training career and something which I feel is most deserved. This narrative is an honest account of Paul Nicholl's astonishing transformation from a keen pony lover and amateur jockey to a record breaking champion horse trainer, with over one thousand seven hundred winners over jumps. He stands at the very pinnacle of the sport with many big-race victories including those achieved by two stand-out horses; Kauto Star and Denman (also known affectionately as `the tank'). Fast-paced and exciting you are taken on a most extraordinary journey from Gymkhana's at the Pony Club and pony racing on flighty little animals to when Paul's dreams of becoming a jockey were crushed due to his weight and the years of torment when he rode at two stone under his natural weight. This determined and single-minded man then turned to the training of these magnificent creatures and started up a yard from nothing, with eight horses and very small savings alongside limitless ambition and willpower. The rivalry between Martin Pipe (another incredible trainer) and Paul is explained in all intensity, as too is the story of my two favorite racehorses who won the Gold Cup at Cheltenham three times between them.
This is a compelling and truly fascinating sports biography that is uplifting, enthusing and thought-provoking to the core about a man who fought hard to get to the top. Overcoming all obstacles along the way Paul Nicholls journey is one of hardship, willpower and fortitude that would inspire many a horse rider or individual who has a career or dreams of a career within the equine industry in any sphere. Complete with beautiful photographs of his life, family and riding pursuits this is a book to treasure as to are the wonderful photographs within of the phenomenal Kauto Star and the lovely Denman being two distinctive horses that Paul Nicholls has been most lucky with. This insight into the not always so glamorous world of horse racing and tough world of training is quite breathtaking, and at the same time candid in its honesty where Paul tells all to his readers. Any equestrian cannot help but be touched by this man's tale of dreams and aspirations, of hardship, fortitude and love for a sometimes fickle sport that is based on chance and a lot of luck.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2010
Lucky break is a fantastic read for all national hunt fans. Paul Nicholls has a wonderful tale to tell from his struggles with his weight/injuries as a jockey up to his success of the present day with his star horses kauto star and denman.We hope this wonderful trainer continues to be part of the national hunt scene for many years to come, this book is the book of the moment for racing fans a must read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 16 November 2009
I got this for my husband who loves Horse Racing and he can not put it down, says one of the best books he has read.
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on 29 December 2011
I bought this for my husband for Christmas, however I picked it up on Christmas day and he did not get a look in, I could not put it down. I have read numerous books about racing, but this one is simply the best one I have ever read. F For anyone interested in the world of racing this book is a must. Not only was it hugely enjoyable but I felt that I got a real insight into the life of a race horse trainer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2009
Great insight into the life of a journeyman jockey and top trainer. A must for all racing fans
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on 23 March 2013
Enjoyed the book and the chance to glimpse the inner workings of a racing powerhouse. More importantly, Paul comes across as a hard working, honest bloke with a passion for horses and the sport.

Should I ever be blessed with the opportunity to own a horse in training, his team get the job!
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