The bookies always win.
But one man has been proving them wrong for four decades.
In the summer of 1975 Barney Curley, a fearless and renowned gambler, masterminded one of the most spectacular gambles of all time with a racehorse called Yellow Sam. It cost the bookmakers millions of pounds.
They said that it could never happen again.
But in May 2010, thirty-five years after his first coup, Curley staged the ultimate multimillion pound-winning sequel.
The Sure Thing tells the complete story of how he managed to organise the biggest gamble in racing history - and how he then followed up with yet another audacious scheme in January 2014.
Nick Townsend was, for many years, a sports feature writer on the Daily Mail before joining the Independent on Sunday, initially as football correspondent and later chief sports writer. He is currently a freelance writer, predominantly for the Sunday Times. He collaborated with Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Ben Ainslie on their autobiographies. He is a long-time confidant of Barney Curley and assisted him with his acclaimed life story Giving A Little Back. He lives with his wife Louise in Oxfordshire.