Horses For Courses is a timeless look at the diverse race meetings and festivals that make up a typical year in Ireland. With 12 chapters to represent each month of the year, each will feature two to three courses, their principle races, some of their best-known racehorses and human characters, and not forgetting the 'backroom' boys. This meticulously researched book, for which author Anne Holland visited every Irish racecourse and met many of Ireland's top racing personalities, highlights the individuality of each Irish racing course. Each has its own special qualities and atmosphere but all share two common traits - a warm welcome and good sport. And that is what the author believes Irish racing is all about. The country courses enjoy a huge level of support from the local population. It may be raining and the races may be 'ordinary' but the stands will always be crowded. That is because racing is part of the Irish culture and the nation's way of life - with 27 courses, it has far more courses than Great Britain per area. The people and horses featured within Horses for Courses are examples of the broad brush of personalities that make up Irish racing past and present.
The book also reveals how much has been done to improve racecourse facilities since the mid '90s and that substantial investment in the sport is ongoing today. There can be no better way of getting to know Ireland than by visiting its racecourses - from the glamour of Leopardstown and the class of the Curragh to the majestic mountains around Killarney and the unique challenge of Downpatrick; from the warmth of welcome at Gowran Park and Clonmel to the summer holiday-makers' meetings and 'industry' days in the winter months. It can be at any one of these that a future Cheltenham Gold Cup or Derby winner can be seen in action. Lavishly illustrated and well written, Horses for Courses is the definitive guide to Ireland's racecourses that is essential reading for horseracing enthusiasts everywhere.
Anne Holland trained as a journalist and has written for many British national newspapers. She is the author of over a dozen books, including Best Mate- The Illustrated Story of the Nation's Favourite Horse and Steeplechasing- A Celebration of 250 Years. She moved from England to Ireland in 2002.