Wee Jack Baines is tired of living in his brother's shadow. Unlike his brother Robert, Jack is no good at sports or rabbit-shooting, and is not popular at school. Luckily for him, though, his Uncle Onslow notices that, as well as being short, Jack has a gift with horses: perfect for a jockey! And so he arranges an apprenticeship for Jack with a trainer in Napier. Determined to prove to his family that he can be as good as Robert, Jack sets out with high hopes and dreams of success - so at last he can be called just Jack. Instead he finds a harsh and unforgiving boss, back-breaking drudgery, and a vindictive stable-mate who sees him as a rival. His spirit is shattered when he realizes that the boss sees him as nothing more than a cheap stable-hand, and he despairs of ever becoming a winning jockey. But as the long, hot summer drags on, powerful forces are at work that will change his life forever. Will he have the courage - and the luck - to survive?
Finalist in the New Zealand Post Book Awards 2012