In 1964 Arkle's win in the Cheltenham Gold Cup marked the start of an incredible campaign by Ireland’s most legendary racehorse. Fifty years on from his incredible wins, Anne Holland looks at Arkle’s career, which has never been surpassed.
In 1964, Arkle's first-place finish in the Cheltenham Gold Cup was the first big win by Ireland's most celebrated racehorse: the horse by which all others are measured. Fifty years on from the start of his incredible career - which included wins in the Cheltenham Gold Cup (three times), Irish Grand National, Hennessy Gold Cup, King George VI Chase and Punchestown Gold Cup - Anne Holland looks at Arkle's life and legend through the eyes of those who knew him best.
She describes Arkle's career, his incredible wins, and the people involved with him, interviewing many of his connections, including Jim Dreaper, Paddy Woods, Tom Taaffe, sculptor Emma McDermott, the Baker family and others. Arkle was a star - the story goes that he received items of fan mail addressed to 'Himself, Ireland' - and this is a well-researched and intimate portrait of a legendary horse.
Shortlisted for Horse Racing Book of the Year 2014, British Sports Book Awards
a wonderful reminder
The Irish Field readers will enjoy [Anne Holland’s] book on the mighty Arkle
retelling of the story is timely
[the] author has uncovered quite a few new anecdotes
an enjoyable and engaging read
Holland pulls off with aplomb the difficult task of writing about an animal without lapsing into anthropomorphic sentimentality. Throughout her book, Arkle remains a horse – but what a horse!
just how special Arkle was is spelled out in glorious detail
it wasn’t just racing fans that loved Arkle – and it won’t be just racing fans that will enjoy this book
very entertaining … terrific book
the memories evoked by Holland in this excellent new work on Arkle's illustrious career are such that the mind's eye sees them afresh in glorious Technicolor
Holland is to be congratulated on unearthing a trove of anecdotes and opinions which lend the book a real vitality. Jim Dreaper, son of Arkle's trainer Tom, has written the foreword and acknowledges that much of the information she has unearthed is new to him
It was pleasing to read that Arkle, and Pat Taaffe, are to be immortalised in bronze in Ashbourne, Co Meath, by sculptress Emma MacDermott. I hope the statue will be as fitting a tribute to a true equine superstar as Holland's book deserves to be
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