A Jockey's Life


His relationships with his girlfriends tended to be tempestuous, passionate and erratic. When roused the quiet lad from Yorkshire could, at times, reveal a remarkable stubborn - some might say mean and unkind - streak. One delightful girl who matched him admirably and shared his life for a few years was Sarah. She quickly decided that attack was the best form of defence when Bob was in an obstinate, impossible mood. Once while they stood arguing on the stands at Newton Abbot races, she thrust an ice-cream up his nose. "The cone and all," one amused observer reported later.

Jim Old, a close friend of Bob and Sarah's from the days at Fyfield, had started training in a farmyard next to a duckpond in the remote Dorset village of Ashmore. Bob and Sarah were regular visitors at weekends and holidays and would help straighten the place out. On one occasion an argument developed as they took their things out of the car boot. Bob picked Sarah up, dumped her in the boot of the card and despite her screams of protest, locked it and marched into the house.

This is an extract from my book Champion's Story.

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