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on 12 March 2014
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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Although I suspect this book will mainly interest fans of horse racing and / or gambling, there is a bit more to it than that. Barney Curley is a complete one-off; there has never been anybody like him and probably never will be.

At times, the book reads more like a biography, perhaps because the same author was involved in writing that book, although as I haven't read it, I'm not concerned about any possible duplication. Away from the main topic, we learn quite a lot about Barney's life and his other contributions to the world of horse racing, including his role in helping Frankie Dettori to become successful and his spat with John McCririck that can be found on Youtube.

I followed racing avidly in the seventies at all levels, but while I remember the Gay Future betting scandal and the later Flockton Grey scandal, I don't remember anything about Yellow Sam. I heard about Barney Curley, but I obviously didn't pay much attention. Suffice to say that while the Gay Future and Flockton Grey scandals broke the rules, Barney Curley didn't, although he did make sure that one of his men occupied a telephone box for half an hoiur, pretending to be talking to a doctor about a sick relative.

The second coup was in some ways even better. The internet and other technology made it almost impossible to plot another betting coup, but diligent research exposed a possible weakness that could be exploited, but even then it needed meticulous planning and a lot of luck.

As the thing has elements of a mystery novel, I won't say any more. You can read the book.
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on 15 March 2014
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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on 3 April 2014
Only knew a little about Barney,but come from a family of horse racing lovers(from the gambling side),and like the odd bet.
I was intrigued to find out how he pulled off the big winning bets,in the hope of picking up some tips.Turns out it is not that easy.
Lots of details about horses and jockeys if you like facts and figures.But the main story tells you about Barney and what kind of man he is,my view changed,from is he a bit of a chancer to dedicated man.Once I got through the first couple of chapters could not put the book down until I found out how it had all been done.
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on 16 January 2015
A good book, but could have been better.

If youve never read Barney Curley's autobiography [Giving a little back, I think its called], this book would be 4 or 5 star, but I felt that too much of the book was taken up by telling the story of Barney's life instead of about the 'coup'.
Was interesting to hear about the planning that went into the coup, but could have been more about it - although I appreciate the great man doesnt really want his tactics available to all!
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on 22 March 2014
Horse racing is about betting .. And this book is about the challenge of relieving bookmakers of
Large amounts .. Which with bean-counters now mainly in charge of the a High St multiples, isn't easy.

Curley is a master tactician .. And fearless gambler, when the odd suggest a bet.

The book outlines one if his major successes .. And passes the time, quickly.

Recommended
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on 14 April 2014
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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on 26 November 2015
Read about this many moons ago about the Cartmel job. How somebody can mastermind the hit with the military precision Barney Curley has is amazing. Should be a must-read for all bookmakers and their employees. He is spot on
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on 2 March 2016
if you love horse racing and love a bet you will devour this book. The story and strategy behind the gambles is fascinating and shows just how professional the team were......and indeed how much can go wrong. I also think the more you know about/understand Curley the more you will like him - he comes over as a bit spikey at times but in general seems a good man. could read books like this all day ...loved it!
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on 29 February 2016
There's a good story to be told but alas this isn't quite the book to tell it. It doesn't really get going until the final furlong, prior to that is a decent biography of Barney Curley but written with a largley uncritical eye of a fan. Still, it was a fiver when I bought it & at that price there's more than enough to be worth a look.
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