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Help needed to get local horse racing book out of the stalls

Help needed to get local horse racing book out of the stalls

Sunday 27 August 2023

Help needed to get local horse racing book out of the stalls

Sunday 27 August 2023


Channel Island horse racing is in line to receive untold and detailed recognition in the form of a book – if its author can secure support from sponsors.

The book, which is unnamed for now, uncovers the formerly untold 200-year-old history of the sport in Jersey and Guernsey, detailing stories from the current season that ends next month, all the way back to the island's first events in 1832.

Now in its final stages of completion, author Graham Sharpe is reaching out to local firms to provide sponsored funding to get the words printed and the history accessible for the sporting market.

Based in Harrow, Mr Sharpe has been a frequent visitor to the Channel Islands ever since he first landed here for a family holiday in the 1980s.

The journalist-by-trade explained that his love of horse racing really gained ground whilst working in a William Hill betting shop as a temporary measure between jobs. When an advertisement for a vacancy to become 'Official Spokesperson' for the betting company was posted in 'Sporting Life', a 40-year-long career began which has inspired many works.

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Pictured: Author Graham Sharpe, whose interest in horse racing can be traced all the way back to when he worked in William Hill in his younger years.

Having published various books, which have been largely focused around betting and horses, Mr Sharpe told us how he was unable to find any history in print about Channel Island racing and how the sport has developed in the islands.

"All the UK courses have books written about them," he said. "I could never find a book about the [Jersey and Guernsey] racing history, so I thought I'd write one instead."

Previously, Mr Sharpe has used the UK based publisher, Oldcastle Books. Yet, with this current project, he explained that sponsorship is needed as the Channel Island racing market is difficult to gauge on the mainland.

"The majority of the UK racing community and sports fans remain blissfully unaware of [Channel Island racing]," Mr Sharpe said. "Between the islands, there is over 300 years of history, with famous names like Lester Piggott, Willie Carson and Princess Ann having featured on the [Les Landes and L'Ancresse] tracks."

He added: "Some tremendous stories have unfolded there, and they deserve to be told."

Keen for firms to contact him directly, Mr Sharpe said he is "completely open for discussion". He assured that in order to get the book over the line, he is willing to give the businesses 'due prominence' in the publication itself, with the possibility of being penned in the title if needs be.

If sponsorship can be secured, Mr Sharpe hopes his book (which will be titled by then), will be published to coincide with start of the 2024 Jersey horse racing calendar – "That's the goal," he said.

Can you help?

If you want to sponsor the book or find out more, you can email Graham Sharpe on grahamlsharpe2017@gmail.com.

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