The Greatest Coup in Horse Racing History
A compelling insight into how legendary gambler Barney Curley pulled off the greatest horse betting scams in history
The bookies always win.
But one man has been proving them wrong for four decades.
In the summer of 1975 Barney Curley, a fearless and renowned gambler, masterminded one of the most spectacular gambles of all time with a racehorse called Yellow Sam. It cost the bookmakers millions of pounds.
They said that it could never happen again.
But in May 2010, thirty-five years after his first coup, Curley staged the ultimate multimillion pound-winning sequel.
The Sure Thing tells the complete story of how he managed to organise the biggest gamble in racing history – and how he then followed up with yet another audacious scheme in January 2014.
“Nick Townsend tells the story with panache, helped by a close acquaintance with the Irish mastermind of the scheme, Barney Curley, a name which bookmakers have had reason to curse on several occasions… It gets properly into its stride when it focuses on the coup, which in its innovative daring calls to mind The Italian Job.”
Independent on Sunday
“The full story of how the legendary gambler does it is unveiled. It helps if you know your way around racing, but if you don’t this book will make you want to get clued-up fast.”
“This is an enthralling read, extremely entertaining, and a revealing insight into one of horse racing’s most colourful, and controversial, characters”
“Fascinating… written with commendable skill and verve. It is a very readable book. Curley and his coups combine to make a unique story, well told.”
“This is a brilliant read. Love horse racing or not, you won’t be able to put it down once the action gets going. I just can't wait for the BBC to snap up the rights.”