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Books

Free Horse Racing Books

Whilst starting to learn about horse racing, some of my reading matter came from books that were written so long ago that they are now in the public domain. To find out about public domain, scroll down to the bottom of this page where you'll find a simple explanation.


My Racing Adventures

An easy read, this book tells the tale of a man, born to a family of horse people, who himself spends his life in the saddle.

My Racing Adventures is a nice slow read, ideal for a winter's evening but, just because it's over 100 years old doesn't mean it doesn't have anything to say.

Take a look at pages 247 onwards and see the compassion that the author shows for young jockeys!

Or, around page 170, the worries of the jockeys when the weather turns bad (and the petition that they all signed!)

My Racing Adventures by Arthur Nightingall was first published by T. Werner Laurie (of London) in 1901 and thus, it is now in the public domain.

This book has plenty of cracking tales and, no matter what area of horse racing interests you the most, you're sure to find something of interest here.

The download link for the PDF file is here... My_Racing_Adventures.pdf

Horse Racing in England (a synoptical review) by Robert Black was first published by Richard Bently and Son in London in 1893 and thus, it is now in the public domain.

The book is basically a history of Horse Racing from the early days up until Victorian times and, whilst you probably won't find any system angles (and certainly no BetFair strategies) it is an interesting book and well worth a download and a look at.

The download link for the PDF file is here... Horse_Racing_in_England.pdf


No matter how hard you look through this copy of Flat Racing Explained by Analyst, you won't find the merest mention of Frankel!

Now, that omission may be due to the fact that the book was written in 1899?

Flat racing Explained by Francis Higgins was first published by Goodwin in New York in 1899 and thus, it is now in the public domain.

The book encapsulates the body of knowledge about Flat racing, as it was 113 years ago.

I'm not sure how relevant the information is today but, you know what they say...

"The more that changes, the more that stays the same."

The download link for the PDF file is here... Flat_Racing_Explained.pdf


In this book you won't find the slightest hint of any mention of Kauto Star!

Now, that omission may be due to the fact that the book was written in 1886?

And whilst Kauto Star may be getting on a bit, he's definitely not that old!

Racing & Steeplechasing by HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF BEAUFORT, K.G was first published by Longmans, Green & Co in London in 1886 and thus, it is now in the public domain.

If you like horse racing and you are interested in history then this book will be a great read!

The book is written in quite a gossipy style that makes it an easy and interesting read; it's amazing how much of the text is still relevant today, 126 after its publication date.

The download link for the PDF file is here... Racing_and_Steeplechasing.pdf


The story of a racehorse, actually written by a racehorse!

Well, someone else might have done the wordprocessing although...

I'm not too sure that they had wordprocessors when this book was written in 1886?

The Autobiography of a Racehorse by L.B. Yates was first published by George H. Doran Company in 1920 and thus, it is now in the public domain.

This is a cracking read if you bear in mind it was written over 90 years ago (so don't expect too many references to Betfair!) and kept me entertained for days.

The download link for the PDF file is here... Autobiography_of_a_Racehorse.pdf


I'll be the first to admit that the language is a bit difficult, although you do get into it the more you read.

The History of Gambling in England is a strangely prophetic book - take a look at pages 270 onwards...

We have a stock market crash, insurance companies going bust and having to be bailed out and millions losing their life savings!

A bit like today?

The History of Gambling in England by John Ashton was first published by Duckworth (of Covent Garden) in 1898 and thus, it is now in the public domain.

I'm not sure that you'll learn much from this book but, then again, I haven't read it in detail (just sort of skipped through.)

However, the book is free so it won't cost you an arm and a leg and some of those horse racing scandals do make a cracking read!

The download link for the PDF file is here... The_History_of_Gambling_in_England.pdf


This is a wonderful book that is, in part, a treatise to gambling - but gambling sensibly.

With plenty of colour illustrations it is basically a guidebook to "The Gambling Spirit" in all of its forms.

Light Come, Light Go is an animated history of gambling, told by someone who loves the challenge of chance whether it be the dice, the cards or a horse.

Light come, Light go by Ralph Neville was first published by Macmillan & Co. (of London) in 1909 and thus, it is now in the public domain.

I promise you, if you start reading this on a winter's evening when nothing special is happening on Eastenders or Coronation Street, you'll find yourself still reading it long after your normal bedtime!

The download link for the PDF file is here... Light_come_Light_go.pdf


Now, this is a cracker of a book

Chance and Luck is a humanistic approach to the area of gambling and has much to say that is still applicable today.

The chapter headings are as follows...

1). Laws of Luck
2). Gambler's Fallacies
3). Fake and Unfair Wagers
4). Betting on Races
5). Lotteries
6). Gambling on Shakes

I don't suppose that we'd be allowed to suggest that buying and selling shares could be considered gambling, these days?

Even if it is!

Chance and Luck by Richard A. Proctor was first published by Longmans, Green & Co. (of London) in 1887 and thus, it is now in the public domain.

The section on Horse Racing is quite informative in terms of the bookmaking process but, for me, the section on Gambling on Shares is the real eye opener.

The download link for the PDF file is here... Chance_and_Luck.pdf



What is the Public Domain?

A work – like a book, a song or a film – is in the public domain when there is no copyright attached to it. This means that you can re-use that work for free, without the need to ask for permission from anyone: you can just take it and use it. Generally, a work enters the public domain when its copyright expires. In most countries, such as the UK, this happens 70 years after the last creator’s death, bearing in mind that a work may have several creators.

When does a book come into the public domain?

For literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works the work falls into the public domain 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last remaining author of the work dies.
If the author is unknown, copyright will last for 70 years from end of the calendar year in which the work was created, although if it is made available to the public during that time, (by publication, authorised performance, broadcast, exhibition, etc.), then the duration will be 70 years from the end of the year that the work was first made available.

For more information, take a look at UK Copyright Law.


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