It is quite an extraordinary achievement to complete twenty nine year’s producing the highly acclaimed Jumping Prospects. (First book published in 1992.) Personally I’ve spent a lifetime in horse racing, as a journalist, broadcaster and punter. It is a belief about POSSIBILTY that spurred me on. I began this venture with a sense of possibility which was of a completely different magnitude than that shared with most people. To coin a phrase, ‘I had a dream’. The dream was to be able to bring to fellow punters an insight into how to interpret what the trainers, who featured in Jumping Prospects, were saying about the strengths of the horses we spoke about on each visit.
Looking back over the past twenty nine years, there were times when the sense of belief got me through some very tough setbacks. There were moments of challenge and doubt – but belief in my own ability powered me through those tough times. In this game, the tough times are always lurking just around the corner. Punters will know there is no real reason why you should experience success, but suddenly fall into despair when any purple patch fades to be replaced by sheer frustration. I’m speaking from experience, a long time of experience. Everyone who is attached to this sport goes through the torment, whether you are a punter, trainer, owner or even a jockey. There are ways to deal with the depths of despair the game drags you into, but it is my belief that the game is my life blood. I have been fortunate to spend time with some fantastically talented people over the past twenty nine years. It has been a journey that few have ventured out to explore. The rewards have been a wonderful experience that has added value to my own life in excess of my wildest dreams. Every year I keep telling myself, the best is yet to come.
The format of the book has always been an ongoing work in progress. The stable interviews feature the bulk of the horses spoken about with their individual trainers. Of course, I have mentioned some higher profile horses. However, it is the little gems that slip under the radar that are really interesting and you will definitely find many of those particular horses in this book.
The annual stable tour is always a resounding success. However, it is not only those current stables and trainers I visited that I would like to thank, but also every trainer who has contributed towards the journey I’ve made over the past twenty nine years. Over 120 have featured in Jumping Prospects over the years.
I would also like to thank my friends and family for their support during the time I’ve dedicated to my belief of possibility. What really amazes me is that fifty years ago, while at school in Huyton, Liverpool, an English teacher took great delight in berating my understanding of English ‘grammar and prose’. She gleefully informed my class mates (male and female) that in her opinion I’d never grasp enough of the English concept to string sentences together to fill out a job application form. Even now without the help of my good friend the Major, she was probably right! The one thing she underestimated was my belief in possibility.
Now you must read, enjoy and make yourself richer.
John Morris, Jumping Prospects