When the horse that wins a race gallops in with frothing mouth and popping eyes, what is more natural than to suspect that someone slipped a booster into his oats? With 11 steeplechasers hurtling over the finish line in this pepped up states and all the dope tests conclusively negative, the Earl of October had something of a problem if he wanted to preserve the health of his favorite sport. What he needed was an insider's view of the stables, a planted stable lad with an outer appearance shifty enough to attract the seedier element in the racing world and a nose sharp enough to smell out foul play. What he needed was Daniel Roke.
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Britton's accent - somewhere between Australian and Cockney - was very well done and added verisimilitude to an important premise of the story.
I found the denoument unexpected but very much in character with the development of the story.
This is one of the earliest Dick Francis stories, and it makes it clear why Francis' books achieved their overnight success. Well worth reading.
Work on your Australian Accent Tony!
- Mrs. Judith Rnolan