The Sure Thing : The Greatest Coup in Horse Racing History
The bookies always win. Yet, for over four decades Barney Curley has proved himself a rare exception. The country's most renowned and fearless gambler, a man who will back his judgement to win GBP100,000 and more on a single day, has consistently emerged triumphant from bloody skirmishes with the old enemy. In the summer of 1975 Curley masterminded one of the most spectacular gambles of all time, with a racehorse named Yellow Sam, costing Irish bookmakers around GBP300,000; the equivalent of some GBP2m today. No-one believed anything similar could be staged again this century. Bookmakers now have communications and technology in place to thwart any renewed attempts. But challenges inspire Curley and he was determined to beat the system - again. Thirty-five years later from his first coup, Curley set about staging an ambitious sequel to his Yellow Sam scheme. Curley has never divulged the full details of what happened. Now, for the first time, The Sure Thing reveals the complete story of the months of planning and preparation, with all the trials and tribulations, that went into the biggest organised gamble in racing history.
- Hardback | 392 pages
- 159 x 240 x 37mm | 672g
- 27 Feb 2014
- London, United Kingdom
"Nick Townsend tells the story with panache, helped by a close acquaintance with the Irish mastermind of the scheme, Barney Curley, a name which bookmakers have had reason to curse on several occasions... It gets properly into its stride when it focuses on the coup, which in its innovative daring calls to mind The Italian Job." Independent on Sunday "The full story of how the legendary gambler does it is unveiled. It helps if you know your way around racing, but if you don't this book will make you want to get clued-up fast." Daily Sport "This is an enthralling read, extremely entertaining, and a revealing insight into one of horse racing's most colourful, and controversial, characters" The Press "Fascinating... written with commendable skill and verve. It is a very readable book. Curley and his coups combine to make a unique story, well told." Racing Post "This is a brilliant read. Love horse racing or not, you won't be able to put it down once the action gets going. I just can't wait for the BBC to snap up the rights." Wexford People
About Nick Townsend
Nick Townsend was, for many years, a sports feature writer on the Daily Mail before joining the Independent on Sunday, initially as football correspondent and later chief sports writer. He is currently a freelance writer, predominantly for the Sunday Times. He collaborated with Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Ben Ainslie on their autobiographies. He is a long-time confidant of Barney Curley and assisted him with his acclaimed life story Giving A Little Back. He lives with his wife Louise in Oxfordshire.