FIRST EDITION: Published in 1990 by J A Allen. Blue cloth cover with gilt titles on the spine, in very good condition. The dust jacket is bent along the edges and the spine is sunned. There is also some fading on either side of the spine. It is not price cut. Internally the book is clean, bright and tightly bound. It is illustrated with black and white photographs and with cartoon drawings. The subtitle of the book is "The Gamblers who made Racing Pay".
"It was the punter's Golden Age: a time when a bookmaker would lay a huge wager without blinking; when there was no betting tax; and when telegram bets could be timed to arrive long after the event. Enter a five-strong 'league of gentlemen' - a Royal vet, two City financiers, a stud owner, and the Master of the Quorn. Together they installed a brilliant young Irish trainer in Druid's Lodge, an isolated, purpose-built stable on Salisbury Plain.
There, on the wonderful downland gallops, the syndicate - the Confederacy - patiently prepared their string of horses to land a series of massive gambles in big handicaps. The Cambridgeshire alone fell to Druid's Lodge four times in seven years.
Druid's Lodge was a byword for secrecy. The stable lads were all locked up in their quarters each night. Any snooping tout was sent on his way with a thrashing.
Here, for the first time, is the Confederates' story: how Percy Cunliffe, Wilfred Purefoy, Frank Forester, Edward Wigan and Holmer Peard had every bookmaker in England - and a good few overseas - running for cover."