One-time Newmarket assistant trainer Robin Dawson writes his first racing thriller Last Hurrah
A one-time Newmarket assistant trainer is being tipped as a successor to Dick Francis following the publication of his first racing thriller, Last Hurrah.
Globetrotting Robin Dawson comes from a family with a racing background and spent some of his formative years at Headquarters, as a pupil assistant with Sir Noel Murless at Warren Place.
His peregrinations in the horseracing world also saw him working for another great trainer, Alec Head, in France, followed by stints with top horsemen in America and Canada, where he himself trained and is now domiciled.
And for a while, he also supplied top quality hay from the prairies to several Newmarket trainers.
Last Hurrah starts with amateur rider Tom Fraser taking a tumble at the final hurdle at Cheltenham, with the race at his mercy. The injury sustained ends his riding career, so he takes to learning about the ramifications of the bloodstock world, after his father’s mysterious death at his Caledonia Stud in Lexington, Kentucky.
Enter the villainous South American Senor Hector Delmontez, whose horses regularly step up on all known form, often winning in a lather.
The intrepid Tom then works in various roles in the breeding industry, Stateside and in Canada, while trying to establish the truth about his father’s death.
This is where Dawson gives the reader more intriguing insights into the intricacies of the different components of the global racing and bloodstock scene. The action involves major Arab owners, and computer kings from India get drawn into the tale, and there is even a great analytical piece on the tactical requirements for riding Newmarket’s unique straight Rowley Mile, in the 2000 Guineas.
Robin’s knowledge, he has also won prizes as a racing broadcaster and journalist, of the whole racing spectrum shines through. His gift is that he makes the esoteric behind-the-scenes activities of horsemen understandable for the non-racing reader.
He will have a flotilla of followers once the good vibrations about this novel spread through the racing world and further. And it indicates he will be a serious player in the equine thriller market, brought into the modern era by the late, great Dick Francis.
Last Hurrah can be ordered online from Amazon.co.uk priced from £24.99 from the Racing Post’s online shop.