Felix Francis

The murky world of bloodstock agents

Top owners are quitting horse racing because bookmakers nervous of a government and a Gambling Commission that know remarkably little about the horse-racing industry and ignore even the modicum they do know are making it harder and harder for them to have a significant bet, closing the accounts of those who refuse to acquiesce to ever more intrusive demands about their personal finances. The biggest bets, though, are made without interference from officialdom by those who buy unridden, untested and expensive racehorses before they ever set foot on a racecourse purely on their looks and their breeding. Some 12,000 thoroughbreds are born each year in Britain and Ireland and at