John Timpson CBE is one of the UK’s most successful businessmen. He is Chairman of the eponymous high street cobblers, key cutters, engravers and watch repairers, with more than 1,400 branches throughout the UK and Ireland and a turnover of GBP200m.

He is hugely admired across the business world for the ‘Upside Down Management’ techniques that put the growth of the business in the hands of its employees – or of John’s colleagues, as they are called. John’s Daily Telegraph column, ‘Ask John’, has been dispensing straight-talking, no-nonsense business advice for more than seven years.

Married to Alex for 48 years, in 2002 John bought his wife a grey racehorse called Transatlantic to fulfill a long-held interest of hers. Little did he realise this was to be the start of a thrilling, frustrating and expensive adventure culminating in 20 racehorses – mostly greys – and numerous visits to betting shops and top racecourses to see their horses run.

During this time John kept a diary of their journey, produced as a regular blog for

Underlying their experiences with the racing world, John and Alex’s shared joie de vivre took a tragic turn when Alex contracted biliary cancer. Throughout a rigorous course of treatments she continued to follow her horses with John by her side, until her untimely death in January 2016.