May 26, 2008

Risky Business... or not. TB #40- Ultimate Risk

Ultimate Risk
Thoroughbred #40
by Mary Newhall Anderson
Published: 2000

I am back on the bandwagon with a very random New Generation book. Dammit, I know I need some order in my life.

The cover:

I actually like it. The horses looks like horses and the girls are adequately dressed for a race. The goggles kind of amuse me. As does the expression on Gratis' face. Also, are there only five horses in this race? Hmmm? Ah, well. I will content myself with the thought that the covers only get much much worse after this one.

Just to nitpick, Chris's silks should be purple and green, but, as the book is purple and green I suppose I can overlook that..

The Blurb

A great opportunity...

Now that Christina Reese and her cousin Melanie Graham are jockeys, they want to ride as many horses for as many trainers as they possibly can.

When Christina is asked to ride a difficult horse for one of the best known trainers in Kentucky, she leaps at the chance to prove herself. But she'll have to race against her own horse--Wonder's Star. Is it worth the risk?

This is short and sweet and actually encapsulates what the book is about. I think that should go down in Thoroughbred history! Of course, the sad part is that she only finds out she will be racing against Star in the last few chapters, so the suspense is kind of killed dead.


Gratis: He is this unruly colt Christina really wants to ride. In spite of the fact that no one seems to think the horse is safe. After much sucking up and a few attempts made by other riders to get Gratis to go, Christina rides him. She has a hard time but, by god, she stays on! Am I shocked? No. Not really. So, Vince Jones, the trainer, gives Gratis to another jockey to ride in a race and he freaks out. It seems Christina now has another horse that will run for only her! (Star is more selective though. He knows his mum needs to ride other horses sometimes and goes well for Melanie when it suits him to.)

Melanie: She is all mopey and self-absorbed this book because she is not winning. Apparently, this is due to fear after a bad fall from Fast Gun in book 39. But, never fear! The solution is so clear. Mel rides Star and she starts doing better. Of course, in a TOTALLY unexpected twist, Mel gets to ride Star in the Futurity as Chris is listed to ride Gratis. She wins and is happy. Yay. Well, aside from the little fact that Kevin is giving her grief about riding or something and they break up.

Image: Fredericka Graber's filly is introduced in this book! Of course she is so pretty. She is related to Wonder! I should have known...

Points of Interest

  • I found a typo I never noticed before. At one point in chapter one, Rascal is referred to as the Rascal. Hmmm, I wonder if the Melanie and the Christina will fight over who rides the Star....
  • Vince Jones is soooo an attempt to reincarnate Charlie Burke from the dead.
  • Yeah, you know what? I am not buying the whole "let's jump over the fallen horse, my super 2 year-old colt" scenario.
  • Melanie should have a chat with Cindy about her seconditis. Cause, you know, Cindy never lost. She must have some uber-amazing secret that needs to be shared!
  • Christina and Parker need a normal teenage relationship NOW! With kissing and groping and all that fun stuff. But wait! This is Thoroughbred... and it's aimed at 12 year olds... sigh.
  • Yeah, Gratis, you bad-ass. No wonder you become Cindy's special horse later.
  • Why didn't I think of tugging on the reins whenever a horse acts up? It makes so much sense! Or, um... not.
  • "It's Been Lonesome in the Saddle Since My Horse Died" is a song that must be written!
  • Again... Ashleigh is stated as Wonder's rider in the Derby.
  • Ok, surely someone else would have picked up that Christina was riding two horses in one race looong before the draw took place? I get the whole suspense thing, but really.
  • Thank goodness Mel was doing so well on Star! And of course she's not riding him better than Chris! His times are just faster because he's getting better every day anyway!
  • The Magical Whitebrook Touch gets Gratis through his race, but of course nothing will help him beat Star! Though, I did like the fact that Chris did not win.
Ooook, I think I am going to go for a trip to Dubai next! You know the book I am talking about.


Mara said...

I always felt a tad sorry for Gratis. If the poor guy can't even beat Star when he's got Christina on his back, what chance does he have?

Anonymous said...

i love this cover, except for the fact that Christina looks like she's as tall as Gratis.