Ap mccoy

A brace of new books worth the space in any racing library

In 1986 a young Mark Johnston, having acquired a derelict yard on the Lincolnshire coast, phoned the Jockey Club to enquire about a licence to train. He was asked what experience he had. ‘I’m a vet in practice.’ Back came officialdom’s less than encouraging reply: ‘Just because you’re a vet doesn’t mean you can train a horse.’ So furious was the combative Scot that he almost decided on the spot to go to America to test out his theories. Fortunately for British racing, he persevered and had the cojones when the Jockey Club grudgingly offered him a jumping licence only to insist that it was a combined licence or nothing.