As racing fever gripped my house at the beginning of the Aintree Grand National meeting I noticed a copy of AP McCoy’s ‘Narrowing the Field’ in my local bookseller’s and decided to give it a shot. I had lowish expectations because how could the greatest jump jockey the UK has ever seen be any good at writing? I mean, for a start that would be too unfair wouldn’t it?
I started it on Thursday and have just finished it. And the verdict? I loved this book. The plot, a sort of retro revenge novel set in 1981 has everything. Female jockeys, an up and coming jockey newcomer, Duncan Claymore, rich owners including Duke Cadogan ( now dead), a moody Irish trainer, unexplained bad racehorse performances, ringers ( where one horse is substituted for a much better or worse on which looks the same) dodgy book makers, a rider death etc. It has all the right ingredients and the plot speeds along like clockwork and results in a thrilling and clever climax.
I looked at the ex -jockey with new respect as I watched his punditry at the Aintree meeting. His book is a really good read in the spirit of Dick Francis and completely surprised me. 5*****