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Rodders of Arabia

By Rod Simpson with Stuart Brodkin
Hardback , 272 pages
Published: 10/09/2010
Publisher: Racing Post
Price: £18.99


Racehorse trainer Rod Simpson has led such a nomadic existence in his chosen career that he has lost count of the number of yards he has occupied. He has lived life to the full and is currently pitching his tent in the desert sands of Abu Dhabi, where he successfully trains a mixture of Thoroughbreds and Arabians. His autobiography tells the story of how the boy from a working-class home in Croydon, South London, ended up training for oil-rich princes and sheiks in the United Arab Emirates.

It's a tale that has more twists and turns than an Agatha Christie plot. It involves his arrest during a police investigation into a multi-million pound cocaine smuggling operation by one of his owners. How he master-minded a coup on a horse that involved legendary gambler Terry Ramsden striking the first million pound bet. And it tells of the many run-ins with the racing authorities, one of which ended with him driving a truck at Heathrow Airport to scrape together a fine imposed on him by the Jockey Club for 'impersonating a trainer'.

For anyone who enjoys racing and the weird and wonderful characters that inhabit this world, Rod's nags-to-riches tale is a highly enjoyable and entertaining read.