Book review by Mary Pitt
Photography is all about being in the right place at the right time, but it’s also about skill, the ability to see a moment, capturing it in the right light and a bit of luck. Edward Whitaker’s latest In The Frame book is a visual history of the career (thus far) of AP McCoy, arguably the best rider over obstacles that the winter game has ever seen.
As long as I have been living in Britain, AP has been champion jump jockey. Barring injuries, that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon. Edward, one of the finest photographers on the UK racing scene, has been granted unique access to the life of the champ, including glimpses behind the scenes and even one occasion when he was quite literally caught with his pants down.
The highs and lows of his career are covered in equal measure, including the serious injuries a lesser mortal would have struggled to come back from.
The triumphs are here, the Cheltenham Festivals, that long-awaited Grand National, and wins aboard some familiar names from the not so distant past. The book closes with his 4,000th victory at Towcester in November 2013.
Close ups of AP both in and out of the saddle reveal the singular determination that drives him on to the next milestone; the times when victory seemed out of the question, and those occasions when it seemed like if he’d had to get off and carry his mount over the line in order to win, he would have done so.
Some of my personal favourites are of non-Festival Cheltenham, when the sun is positioned just right so that the runners and riders are bathed in that beautiful, warm light of late autumn.
An excellent book, highly recommended for any jump racing fan.
McCoy In The Frame is published by Racing Post Books and costs £20.00. It is available from www.racingpost.com/shop.