Racing Manhattan by Terence Blacker

Horse mad Jay Barton lives on the charity of her Uncle Bill, something his wife, Elaine never lets Jay forget.


Bill Barton is a wheeler-dealer, a Del-boy of the equestrian world and his current project is pony racing. Jay and her cousin, Michaela are taken by Bill to compete in the shady world of pony racing. When Jay wins a race, when expressly forbidden too by Bill, she is fearful that she has gone a step too far, but instead he nurtures her drive and ambition and they attend many races together.


When Jay hears Michaela, her best friend, describing her as a charity case and little more than a servant, she runs away. And where else would a racing mad girl go but Newmarket the home of racing.


It is not as easy as Jay thought to find a job and eventually she is forced to take a job at one of Newmarket’s more down-market yards. Life on the yard is tough, for Jay and the beautiful, but misunderstood, brilliant mare, Manhattan.  It is a hostile environment where the two have to battle just to survive, let alone succeed. 


Racing Manhattan is a compelling book in which the reader is immediately immersed in the tough, exciting world of racing. Author Terence Blacker, paints a vivid picture of racing yards and the sometimes shady characters who dwell there. Blacker writes with great knowledge about racing and especially the influence of the Irish bred, ‘Spotted Wonder’ The Tetrarch.


This book is a joy to read, the characters are well-drawn and easy to identify with. Although in the story Jay is a young girl, so possibly the market is for young adults – as a horse loving adult I loved every word. 


Published by Andersen Press, 2016 To purchase your own copy of Racing Manhattan, click HERE

Review by Jacqui Broderick