About the authors
Chris is a well-known and popular figure in National Hunt racing and BresBet shares his love of horses and horse racing - with Ravenswell Farm very much at the heart of that being the home of trainer Fergal O’Brien and jockey – and BresBet Legend - Paddy Brennan.
Nic Brereton, chairman of BresBet, said: “Chris is a great supporter of Fergal’s team and is one of the best-known names in jumps racing, so when he came to us with an offer to support him it was a no-brainer. “We’ve been owners with Fergal for a few years now and have got to know Chris well – his passion for the sport and horses in general shines through. “These books have been a labour of love for Chris and his broad knowledge of sport is clear to see. His efforts have been well received in lockdown - when we all had plenty more time for his quizzes!”
Chris Coley has been well known in Gloucestershire sporting circles since his days at Cheltenham College and has played cricket, rugby, and football for Cheltenham. With his cricket hat on, he was in the Cheltenham side that won the National Knockout Final at Lord’s against Stockport and has been an active playing member of MCC and Gloucestershire Gypsies.
He has been involved in sports quizzing since the late 1960’s, appeared three times on the BBC’s Brain of Sport programme hosted by Peter Jones in the early 1970’s, and has previously published seven quiz books. In a previous life he taught English at Stout’s Hill School, Uley, where his most celebrated and indeed gifted pupil was a certain Stephen Fry!
On “retiring” from teaching, he became marketing manager at Gloucestershire CCC and then set up his own sports sponsorship/ corporate hospitality business in Cheltenham with his brother Ian, who attended six Olympic Games, as either coach/manager of the British Olympic clay pigeon shooting team. He is still very much involved with the Cheltenham Cricket Festival, but his main sporting passion now is horse racing (and playing virtual lockdown Scrabble with his co-author).
He has been involved for the past twenty years as an owner with over 150 winners so far and is now the business partner of Fergal O’Brien, the much-respected local trainer.
Lockdown affected us in many ways. It left freelance journalist and broadcaster Steve Jones with plenty of time on his hands as racing shut down for the best part of three months. Luckily, Chris Coley spun the idea of a racing quiz book in his direction and, suddenly, he didn’t have to worry so much about how he was going to kill time.
Researching the book brought back many happy memories of trips to the races as first a wide-eyed teenager, then an enthusiastic punter, through to national newspaper tipster and writer. These days he can be seen as a pundit for Racing TV, his tips appear every Saturday in the Daily Mirror and he writes big-race previews for Valuerater.co.uk.
Coming from a family of jockeys, Steve has been surrounded by racing his whole life and he knows full well the superb work carried out by the Injured Jockeys Fund. His grandfather, Davy, rode Red Rower to win the 1945 Cheltenham Gold Cup when he was, supposedly, in the veteran stage for a jockey. Having switched to the Flat, riding as a lightweight, he continued to ride for more than another 25 years, and he was 63 when he rode the winner of the Kenyan Derby.
Steve’s father Peter rode the winner of the Cheltenham Festival’s Grand Annual Chase and the Molyneux Chase over the Grand National fences. His uncle Buck, who rode primarily for Ryan Price, enjoyed his biggest win in the saddle in the Imperial Cup before taking up training. Steve harboured ambitions to follow the family tradition, but his dreams were held back by three things – he was too fat, too lazy and couldn’t ride very well.
Fortunately, that’s never been a barrier to a career in journalism. In fact, some might say it’s obligatory. Using his writing skills and love of racing, this quiz book has been a labour of love. Sometimes he’s needed blinkers to keep the concentration levels up but the reward of seeing it in print and knowing how well the proceeds will be used by the Injured Jockeys Fund has been enough of an incentive to see it out right to the line.
Hopefully, it will be a winner with all racing fans.