Sports book review: When Racing Was Racing

NEWSPAPER archives and libraries can be
wonderful places. They offer a treasure trove
of cherished memories from years gone by. So
why just leave those memories to gather dust?
This book delves into the vast photographic archives
of the Daily Mirror and is a pictorial thing of beauty.


When Racing Was Racing looks back at 100 years of horse racing by drawing on the snaps in the huge Mirrorpix archive. It captures the Sport of Kings in all its equine glory and brings to life how racing used to be.

There are the dramatic pictures of suffragette Emily Davidson’s death under the hooves of the King’s horse in the 1913 Derby and picture-led features on legendary figures such as Steve Donoghue, Willie Carson and Desert Orchid. But the book also zooms in on some of the unsung heroes of the sport.

When Racing Was Racing is a celebration of racing’s quirky curiosities and characteristics. The book is hardback and fairly hefty but it has to be to do justice to its sumptuous feel.

The price tag (£20) may seem a bit steep but, even so, I’d be thrilled to open this on Christmas Day.


When Racing Was Racing: A Century of Horse Racing
Haynes Publishing £20

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