Racing Reminiscences and Hints on Training
1897, a rare account of horse racing in India by jockey and trainer Jaffer Khan
First edition. Hardback, bound in the original green cloth with printed gilt sash to the upper board and gilt titling to spine and upper board. 19 × 12.5cm, iv + 189pp.
Not signed but stamped across the top of the title page is "with the author's compliments".
A very scarce book on Indian horse racing and training at the end of the nineteenth century. An 1897 newspaper review reads "Jafer Khan, who is said to be a personality in the racing world of India, has published his reminiscences. He was born in Meerut in 1840, and began his career as a light-weight by winning a race at the Meerut meeting in 1855, two years previously to the mutiny. Jaffer held the position of coachman to a Mr johnston at the outbreak of the mutiny, and is stated to have saved the life of Mrs Johnston and her daughter at considerable risk to himself. The book is an interesting record of a long and useful life on the turf, and all the old names are passed in review, and many interesting incidents and adventures are narrated by the veteran rider. The book is dedicated to the Maharaja of Patiala, who is one of the most successful horseowners in India."
Chapters: 1. Early struggles, 2. My first mount, 3. Adventures during the Mutiny, 4. Return to Meerut, the Remount Agency, 5. Serive under Captain Maxwell, 6. I ride for Captain Maxwell, 7. Successes under Captain Smith of Gurgaon, 8. I serve Mr Collins and Dr Rimmer, 9. A change of luck, 10. I take service with Mr J D Scott, 11. Appointed trainer ro H H The Kour Sahib of Patiala, 12. Owners I have known, 13. Jockets I have known, 14. Hints to owners, 15. Description of Indian horses, food, etc, 16. Hints on training, 17. Jockeys and riding boys, 18. Jemadars and Nambunds, 19, Syces, 20. Conclusion. Appendices: i. colours and marks of horses, ii. The Maharajah of Mysore and Vanderdecken, iii. The Maharajah Vizianagram and Call. iv. A curious case, v. Testimonals. The book is illustrated with three photographs.
A rare book but in poor condition. At time of listing I can find no other copies for sale and only one copy in a library (the racing archive at Keeneland Library in Kentucky). This copy is more or less disbound, the text block has come away from the cloth boards and the book the book is nearly detached into the gatherings. The first few pages are loose. Page 59's top corner had been folded over and this has come away, slight loss of text but the meaning is still clean, although the corner is still present but tucked in at the correct page. The book is readable but only with gentle handling.Sold