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Synopsis

To become British Flat racing's champion jockey, Richard Hughes had to overcome far more than just his weighing room rivals - he needed to thwart his own demons. This is the inspirational story of how he did it. In one of the most critically-acclaimed racing books of recent times, Hughes traces his turbulent life and writes how he fought back from the depths of alcoholism to rank among the most highly respected riders of his generation. Too tall to be a jockey, too heavy to be a jockey but too talented to be anything else, Hughes continually thrills racing fans with unprecedented confidence and flair in the saddle. Yet through many of his most productive years, he was at the mercy of alcohol and uses his autobiography to give a brutally frank account of his battle with the bottle and the misery that both he and wife Lizzie endured. This, though, is a story with a happy ending, and on the way to reaching it Hughes talks about some of the outstanding horses he has ridden and many of the high-profile racing figures he has worked for, including Richard Hannon, Sir Henry Cecil, Sir Michael Stoute, Sir Alex Ferguson, Prince Khalid Abdullah and the Queen. This new paperback edition chronicles how Hughes fulfilled his long-held dream by earning the title of "champion jockey" in a season in which he also achieved the extraordinary feat of riding seven winners at a single meeting. Told with insight, emotion and humour, this is an autobiography not to be missed. Long-listed for the prestigious William Hill Sports Book Award 2012.

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