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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well above average - an insightful and enjoyable read., 27 Dec 2008
By 
A. I. McCulloch "Andrea" (Co Durham) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
One of my better presents this Christmas - I read Mick Fitzgerald's informative, well written book at a single sitting. In Donn Maclean Mick Fitzgerald has a fine co-author who has helped him to tell his story in a way that never loses one's interest. As a racing presenter, Mick comes across as well informed, thoughtful and articulate, and all of these qualities are echoed in the pages of this book.

I particularly enjoyed Mick's pen portraits of other characters in racing - notably his descriptions of other jockeys.Not only did I feel that I got to know Mick a lot better but many others too.

Mick never pulls a punch in his retelling of a story. The refreshing honesty that led to the comment that gave the book its title is threaded throughout the book. Punch - ups, arguments, scrimmages in races, narrow escapes from driving bans - its all here.

There is also a significant key to what made this man, who never received any formal tuition in his sport one of its greatest ever exponents. Mick mentioned that there are notable races that he won that he has never seen on video. There are far less notable races that he lost narrowly that he viewed forty times, analysing and re-analysing in order to improve future performances. The constant desire to improve never left him and enabled mastery.

The book is not just a parade of dry statistics, however. It is a loving son's tribute to the parents who helped him to make his name in the sport, particularly to his father, Frank, who is portrayed here as a truly unforgettable character. Tribute is also given to Mick's remarkable wife Chloe whose ceaseless support following the injury that so nearly ended Mick's life in April, resulted in his abandoning his avowed intent to never walk up the aisle again and marrying her this summer.

The book is full of photographs that add to the enjoyment of the book, including a lovely shot of Mick's favourite - not the horse you might suspect, incidentally.

If you have seen Mick on the TV and felt you would like to know a little more of his story, this is a book for you. If you are looking to work in racing and are looking for a book that informs without overly glamourising the sport, this is also for you. If you enjoy good sporting writing that engages you throughout, this is definitely for you. A super book that deserves to become a classic of its type.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great insight, 7 Feb 2009
By 
N. A. Beresford "Racegoer" (Midway, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a great read for any racing fan and a great insight into the lives of these incredible sportsmen. As Fitz says himself 'how many people go to work being followed by two ambulances!' The punishment these guys put themselves through is well described but also their love of the sport and the affection they have for their horses leaps out of the pages. As racegoers we all miss Fitz but respect him for what he brought to the game.Enjoy again some great moments through the pages of this book,these men are the bravest of the brave but always have time for a chat or an autograph when you meet them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The spirit of National Hunt racing, 30 Jan 2009
To it's devotees there is nothing like National Hunt racing. We happily brave all that the unpredictable winter weather throws at us to be close to the horses and the people who make it happen. This sport brings all of those who participate and all of those who watch right up to the edge. This is an extreme sport that gives no quarter and none is asked.

The careers of National Hunt jockeys are more precarious than their flat comrades. Their injuries often far worse and more frequent and while many of us are thrilled to watch few of us would have the guts to take part. It is no wonder then that jump jockeys achieve a hero status amongst their fans.

Mick Fitzgerald is no exception.

Jump horses are around longer than most flat racehorses and the public become attached to them and those who ride them. Sometimes something magical occurs between a jockey and a horse who otherwise may never have reached it's potential.

Although never Champion Jockey Mick rode in and won most of the big races and became associated with racehorses who the public adored such as Rough Quest, See More Business, Stormyfairweather, Katarino, Get Real, Call Equiname, Bacchanal, Geos and Marlborough.

One of the things which set him apart from other jockeys was his relationship with the horses he rode and schooled, and his loyalty to his boss, trainer Nicky Henderson. Marlborough had nothing but letters next to his name when they took him over because he had unseated, pulled up or fallen so many times. His former trainer thought the world of the horse but it was Mick and Nicky who drew out the greatness that was there by understanding the nature of the horse and teaching him to settle and jump. Due to injury Mick was not able to ride Marlborough in his last win. It was Ruby Walsh who guided the 12 year old rapturous applause in the Racing Post Chase, and he writes of the ups and downs candidly and with gratitude for the good times.

His finest moment is hard to pinpoint, even for him, but he does touch on it in the book.

For me? It has to be on my favourite chaser See More Business in the 1999 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Usually a slightly dodgy jumper and prone not to concentrate in his races after being carried out of the 1998 Cheltenham Gold Cup See More was rejuvenated on the gallops by Mick and a pair of blinkers. They were overlooked in the betting and started at 16/1. It made no difference to Mick or See More - the new partnership stormed up the hill, put in a big one at the last, brought the house down and a first Cheltenham Gold Cup back to Ditcheat for owner Paul Barber and trainer Paul Nicholls. I'll never forget it or either of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect jockey's biography, 20 Oct 2009
By 
Catrin Nack (Hamburg Germany) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Better Than Sex: My Autobiography (Paperback)
I can only join in all the praise about this book; this book is how every jockey's biography (well, trainers too, or any sports-person for that matter) should be written. Well written, easy-to-read and fluent, honest, funny, self-critical, serious (but never too much), insightfull and above all well balanced too, this book simply is the real deal. MickFitz recalls horses and people he met along the way, and who shaped his career (he even mentioned our friend Martin o'Reilly, a good jockey over here in Germany who was apprentice with Mick when both were about 15 -and they wrecked a car together! - and Martin was really chuffed to be mentioned in this book!), he recalls light and not-so-light moments, but above all gives us a real insight into the mind of one of the most successfull jockeys of my time. MickFitz is no-nonsense, but not a troubled soul like McCoy, and his utter love for the game, and his love and respect for the horses he rode, shines through every line. Get it and read and re-read it. As a National-Hunt fan, you canot afford to be without it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Endeavour,setbacks and success buoyed by good humour, 4 Feb 2009
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I bought this for my keen racing wife for Christmas. She evidently thoroughly enjoyed it as the giggles interspersed with phews clearly indicated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than sex?! Pretty damn good anyway, 8 Jun 2010
By 
C. Clements - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Better Than Sex: My Autobiography (Paperback)
As viewers of horse racing can attest Mick Fitzgerald is an articulate chap who can call things as they seem and is often forthright in his views. Thankfully, his autobiography continues this theme and is a real page turner. Mick provides an insight into his private life, including plenty of racing tales as well as personal family tales including his personal relationships. He is honest in his failings (too career focussed to the detriment of his first marriage etc) and is refreshingly frank in this respect.

I've read quite a few sporting autobiographies but devoured the pages in this one as quick as any other I can recall. Brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value book, 5 Feb 2009
I bought this book for my partner as he was due to go into hospital and I knew he would want lots of diverse reading material. Horse racing is his favourite sport so the content was apt. He says the book was very good. Fast delivery and good value for money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite autobiographies, 7 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Better Than Sex: My Autobiography (Paperback)
One of my favourite autobiographies that I have read thus far. An honest and insightful account in the life of a fantastic jockey and the world of racing behind the scenes.
I found this book very difficult to put down and his pereception of fellow jockeys inspired me to purchase Richard Dunwoody's book to see his version of events.
Would recommend this to anyone who has a keen interest in jump racing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: Better Than Sex: My Autobiography (Paperback)
Book in good condition.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great insight, 7 Jan 2012
This review is from: Better Than Sex: My Autobiography (Paperback)
The competitative world of jockeys explained gleefully and expertly. I enjoyed it immensely. I left it at the local club in case anyone else was interested. I haven't seen it since!
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Better Than Sex: My Autobiography
Better Than Sex: My Autobiography by Mick Fitzgerald (Paperback - 29 May 2009)
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