Mathew Carver is a successful Kentucky bloodstock breeder and racehorse owner with a considerable reputation. He is also a member of a syndicate consisting of men significantly richer than himself. Through him the reader is immersed in the world of racing from bloodstock sales at Newmarket, to the classic countryside of Normandy, the Bluegrass of Kentucky and the mansions of Virginia. Racing's aristocracy and its hard men, the touts, the fraudsters, the stable lads, tipsters and jockeys all provide the action and the sometime dubious underlying morality associated with the many sub-plots that develop. And Mathew himself is pulled in many different directions, not least by the three women in his life, two of whom love him and his wife who hates him. There is an extraordinary array of characters involved, and Longrigg's deep knowledge of racing is apparent as he weaves together the passion, disasters, hopes, triumphs, tragedies and humorous interludes that befall them.