Book Review: Flat Horses of 2003

Flat-race enthusiasts, who are missing the summer game during the long Turf close season, now have something to remind them of red-letter days at Ascot, Goodwood and York in 2003. The Racing Post’s team of form and pedigree experts have combined to produce an extensive critical analysis of last season’s sport on a level that professionals, punters and race-goers can ill afford to be without.

The undoubted highlights of this comprehensive review are essays by the daily racing paper’s top writers, such as Brough Scott, Alastair Down and Paul Haigh, on the top 100 horses that raced throughout the world last year. These individual contributions are in the main readable, nearly always forthright and often controversial. But all are sure to revive vivid memories of great equine talents, such as the two Aga Khan-owned champion three-year-olds, Ireland’sAlamsharand France’s Dalakhani.

Young pretenders and next year’s Classic hopes, such as the top Irish juvenile, One Cool Cat, the flying British fillyAttraction, and the classy French coltBago, come under the microscope as well. There is also a useful directory section that shows the form and provides a rating for every horse that raced in Britain until the end of the 2003 Turf season. So readers will have plenty of opportunity to study the figures on cold, dark winter nights and maybe pick some future winners before Flat racing on the grass swings into action again at Doncaster in March.