When John Timpson, chairman of the eponymous high street chain, bought his wife Alex a racehorse in 2002, a friend commented that it would be ‘a marvellous way to lose money’.
Soon they were immersed in a world of trainers’ yards, Novice Hurdles and handicaps, and well on the way to proving the old adage that the best way to make a small fortune is to start with a larger one, and buy a few racehorses.
As the number of horses increased and Alex became a well-loved figure on the racing scene, John kept a diary of their experiences on and off the track.
This witty book describes how racing brought something extra into their marriage – from Mondays at Ludlow to the Cheltenham Festival.
It documents the wins, near misses, disappointments and occasional tragedies that make up a racing career – not to mention the friends made, the knowledge gained and the sheer thrill of it all.
Under Orders is a joyous and humorous portrait of horseracing in Britain and a tribute to the owners whose dedication and enthusiasm make the whole thing possible.