Doped: The Real Life Story of the 1960s Racehorse Doping Gang

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9781909471511: Doped: The Real Life Story of the 1960s Racehorse Doping Gang

The true story of the shocking doping gang who scandalized the racing world in the early 1960s

A potent mix of horseracing, drugs, sex, class, crime, gambling, and the monarchy. In March 1962, an audacious attempt to steal one of the royal horses alerted police to a well organized band of racecourse criminals, backed by murderous London gangsters. The subsequent Flying Squad pursuit of the gang brought the quaintly deferential world of racing into sharp conflict with the harsher realities of the "You've Never Had It So Good" era. The cast of characters is headed by Bill Roper, a debonair ex-RAF sergeant turned oddsmaker. His team included an ex-jockey, numerous underpaid stable boys, a drugs supplier nicknamed "The Witch Doctor," and a violent, professional hard man who went on to face charges in 1969. But the most fascinating member of Roper's firm was a beautiful and self-possessed young Swiss woman called Micheline Lugeon who became the bookmaker's lover.

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About the Author:

Jamie Reid is the author of the nonfiction books A Licence To Print Money, which was short listed for the 1992 William Hill Sports Book of the Year award; Days Like These: The Education of a Racing Lover; and Emperors of the Turf, as well as the novels Easy Money and Home On The Range. A lifelong punter and racing enthusiast he is also a journalist and regular columnist for the Financial Times: How to Spend It supplement. He has also written for the Guardian, the New Statesman, and other publications.


"A marvellous evocation of the period with late night stable visits by dopers, Soho gangsters, milk bars and Ford Zephyrs."  —Sunday Times

"Doped superbly evokes a lost world of seedy glamour when spivs, racketeers and glamour pusses rubbed shoulders with aristocratic high-rollers. It would make a fantastic film."  —Independent

"Impeccably-researched and furiously-paced . . . unputdownable . . . a breathless story of greed and corruption that shocked the nation."  —Sport magazine

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