TWO books that might well be of interest to readers have been published by Pen & Sword Books.

With a foreword by John Gosden, Frankie Dettori’s British Classic Winners is the work of Rupert Collens, a pen name of the octogenarian Sir Rupert Mackeson Bt.

This slim volume is bookended by a pair of Oaks winners nearly three decades apart, Balanchine in 1994 and Soul Sister last year, and is written in a very easy manner.

Midway through the book Collens takes a moment to reflect also on the jockey’s magnificent seven winners at Ascot in 1996.

Each win is accompanied by a page with the race result and details, and a short tabulated pedigree of the winner. Will this be the definitive record of Dettori’s British classic successes, or could he need a revised edition in time?

“I don’t suppose there will ever be another Stephen Little”. With these words, Sir Mark Prescott Bt. begins his foreword to From Bicycle to Bentley, A Bookmaker’s Story.

A vicar’s son born in north London in 1946, Little is even remembered by those who did not bet and knew of the bookmaker because of his flamboyant fur coat.

Little was well-known in both racing and coursing circles, in the latter case in Ireland too, and this book recalls many great characters, most of them long forgotten. Younger readers will enjoy hearing about a betting industry that they simply would not recognise today.

Both books cost £20 each and can be bought online at