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Sports book of year 2013: Jamie Reid wins with horse racing story Doped • 'A rollicking tale of crooked bookies and nobbled nags' • Author 'thrilled and delighted' by surprise outcome Sean Ingle The Guardian, Wednesday 27 November 2013 16.13 EST
Doped: The Real Life Story of the 1960s Racehorse Doping Gang by Jamie Reid, a rollicking tale of crooked bookies and nobbled nags – with a sprinkle of sex and royalty for good measure – is the surprise winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year for 2013.
Reid's story, only the second racing book after Seabiscuit: The True Story of Three Men and a Racehorse in 2001 to win the award, beat the favourites Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong by David Walsh and I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic by Ibrahimovic and his ghostwriter David Lagercrantz.
Reid – a racing punter and columnist at the Financial Times – receives a £25,000 cheque, £2,500 William Hill bet and a day at the races. Appropriately he promised to place his bet on "a nice each-way horse that is talked up by those in the know".
Doped tells the true story of Bill Roper, a bookmaker and gambler who attempted to finance his extravagant lifestyle by doping horses – and how he was brought down after he attempted to nobble a royal horse. It is written like a thriller and it came as little surprise that Reid confirmed that he had already received several approaches for the film rights.
"After tonight we'll have to tell them that they will cost a bit more now," he joked.