His books on Racing and Breeding
“Three Centuries of Leading Sires 1721-1987 presents a tremendous amount of information, especially concerning the cloudy first two centuries of the Thoroughbred’s development. Since many early sources are error-prone and conflicting in documentary evidence, this represents much meticulous and scholarly research on the part of Michael Church.”
Camilla Power – Pacemaker
This limited edition of 500, sold with a sire-line chart of all the Leading Sires in Great Britain & Ireland sold out in six weeks to 29 countries. Originally priced at £39 it is currently changing hands at £175. Signed and numbered by the author, 108 pages, all edges gilt, now very rare.
Tony Morris – Racing PostSold only as a limited edition of 1101 – each copy dedicated to a specific Classic winner, signed and numbered by the author. Includes the four-generation pedigrees and race record of every Classic winner, together with the winners of the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Also contains histories of the races, detailed pedigree analysis, 14 three-coloured charts showing the male descent of every winner. Fully Indexed. De-luxe gold block binding, all edges gilt, 480 pages, size 10” x 7 ½ ”. Originaly sold at £59 it is currently changing hands at around £100.
Peter Willett – Horse and HoundSold only as a Numbered Edition of 1101, the book gives the four-generation pedigree, race record and notable produce of every dam of a Classic winner, together with the three-generation pedigree of the stallion who sired their best produce. Also contains the result of every Classic race, over 100 photographs and is fully indexed. De-luxe gold block binding, all edges gilt, 608 pages, size 10” x 7 ½ ”. Originally sold at £69 it now changes hands at nearly twice the price.
Tony Morris – Racing PostSold as a Limited Edition of 1314, numbered and signed by the author. The book contains a double-page spread on each year, with the classified result, a 500 word essay, the winner’s five-generation pedigree and, the race-records of the sire and dam and their notable progeny. In addition there are 290 pictures, a comprehensive records section and the indices to pedigrees, progeny and essays.
The edition sold out within the year and the original price of £72 has been continually surpassed when resold.
Robin Oakley – The SpectatorPublished as a Limited Edition of 1250 the book covers the history of the Eclipse Stakes 1886-2000, the life and times of Eclipse 1764-1789 (ancestor of 97% of the world’s Thoroughbreds), and the Eclipse Awards 1971-1999. The book comprises 416 pages, 250 pictures, a deluxe binding and all edges gilt. Selling out at the RRP of £87, the book is continually sought after.
Leo Powell – The Irish FieldContents include: full coverage of every Champion Sire, with race-record, essay, pedigree and notable progeny. In addition there are analyses, tables, a tail-male chart, four indecies and over 50 illustrations. Presented in a luxury binding, gold blocked cover, gilt edges, two colour head and tail bands and a ribbon marker; 320 pages. A Numbered Edition of 750, signed by the author and priced at £59, sold out in three months and thereafter changed hands for £100.
Marcus Armytage – The Daily Telegraph
“The top end product … a work of loving and precise research but also one of those Books – luxury binding and gilt edge pages – that feels nice just to hold.”
Alan Lee – The TimesContents include: The four-generation pedigree and race-record of every Classic winner, pedigree analysis, origins of the Classics, essays on the 15 Triple Crown winners, 17 three-colour lineage charts showing the descent of every Classic winner, fully indexed throughout.Completely sold out as a Limited Edition of 800 copies, the original price of £75 has greatly increased on copies resold.
“It’s doubtful there’s a man alive who knows more about the Derby than Michael Church, author of a series of detailed books on the pedigrees of every Classic winner. Nine years ago he wrote the history of the Derby: now nearly a decade on, he has finished a book that he’s confident enough to call the complete history. And his confidence isn’t misplaced: never has so much information about the race been reproduced in such a readily accessible manner. It’s a treat for the statistician, the historian and the racing romantic.”
Will Buckley – The Observer“This is a timely intervention by Michael Church, on whom Epsom Racecourse has conferred the title of ‘Official Derby Historian’.”
His hefty tome weighs in at 640 pages, all of them gilt-edged and bound in majestic purple. Each of the 228 winners gets a double-page spread featuring a 600-word essay, its pedigree and full result. There are more than 300 photos and illustrations.
Available as a numbered edition of 1140, this is an authoritative record that ought to be treasured by anyone with an interest in racing. If you had a tenner each way on Sir Percy back in June, there could be no better way to invest the proceeds.” Chris Cook – The Guardian. Sold out at £85.
“Michael Church is to be congratulated. This is a classic account of Epsom’s other classic. For it is the Oaks, more than any other race, which identifies the special filly who may earn the right to challenge the colts and sometimes put them in their place.”
“Michael Church has produced one of the most valuable tomes to hit the bookshelves this year….but how do you put a value on a book that is priceless?”
Leo Powell – The Irish Field
The first book to be published on The Oaks Stakes, includes a comprehensive history of the race, its foundation, the results, race commentaries, all the winners and their breeding. A limited edition of 650 copies, numbered and signed by the author – £65.
The Derby Stakes – 1780-2016
“I am now delighted to welcome Michael’s latest update, the work of one whose passion for the great race matches my own – and whose industry far exceeds mine!”
As the Official Derby Historian, Michael has now revised and updated his history of the Derby, with race commentaries, illustrations, analysis and indices. To match his history of the Oaks, it is signed, numbered and presented in a strong luxury binding, gold blocked cover, all edges gilt, 256 pages – £65.
Michael’s autobiographical short stories
Brough Scott – Broadcaster.
“Michael Church’s tales of a misspent youth echo the tales of Damon Runyon, as they revolve around gambling, a few shady characters and most importantly many humorous and unlikely events. The tale of two haircuts in one day is a cracking opening to the book. Hopefully it won’t be too long before he brings out Vols II and III.”
John O’Hara – Channel 4Illustrated by Julia Jacs, published by Raceform Ltd, hardbacked, 160 pages and sold out at £12.95.
Brough Scott – Channel 4 Racing
“This second instalment of Church’s memoirs is that rare thing – a book with universal appeal. The gambler will relate to his tales of desperate wagers, the sports fan will enjoy reliving past events.”
Amy Bennett – Racing PostIllustrated by Julia Jacs, published by Raceform Ltd, hardbacked, 160 pages and sold out at £12.95.
David Yates – Newsboy, Daily Mirror“From Thelma with her ‘satisfying sturdy legs’ to Auntie Mary and her lethal dry rot, Michael Church’s latest book is a time machine journey from then till now that introduces the reader to an array of delicious characters, none more delicious than the author himself.”
Lee Mottershead – Racing Post journalistIllustrated with family photographs, published by Highdown, 176 pages, hardbacked, rrp £14.99.
Michael’s first book of fiction
Brough Scott – Racing Post columnist.“It is a testament to Church’s most excellent story-telling skills that his characters, from Perry the punting clergyman to the delightfully ‘buxom’ Brenda, come alive from the very first page. Enter their world and find yourself lost in a collection of warm, cosy tales that provide the perfect accompaniment to steaming tea and gooey cake.”
Lee Mottershead – Racing Post journalistPublished by Racing Post, hardbacked, 160 pages, RRP 14.99.
A selection of Michael’s lineage charts
A Limited Edition of 410; each copy dedicated
to a specific winner, numbered and signed by
RRP £35, sold out.
A Limited Edition of 90; six copies dedicated
to each Triple Crown winner, numbered and signed by the author.
RRP £48, sold out.
A Limited Edition of 350, numbered and signed by the author.
RRP £45, sold out.The ‘Triple Crown’ Derby Chart 1780-2007
A Limited Edition of 150, with ten copies dedicated to each Triple Crown winner, dedicated, numbered and signed by the author.
RRP £60, sold out.Both the above charts have significant improvements on the previous editions.
The Irish Greyhound Derby Chart 1932-2012
The Irish Greyhound Derby Chart 1932-2012 traces every winner back through two dynasties to the Victorian coursing greyhounds – King Cob born in 1838 and Emperor in 1837.
The lineage, layout and research is by Michael and it is sold in Ireland, under his licence, by the Irish Greyhound Review, P.O.Box 7993, Dunlaoghaire, Co. Dublin.
An unsigned limited edition, the chart is printed in red and black on quality parchmarque, size 70 x 50 cms, with every winner in red with their sex, colour, date of birth, and year won.
The Oaks Chart 1779-2017
Published in April 2018, this chart shows the Male Lineage of each and every Epsom Oaks winner.
Although the chart above has been greatly reduced it measures 66 cm x 59.4 cm or 26″ x 23 1/2″, and is printed on the antique style 250 GSM ‘Natural’ ParchMarque Plus,
From a signed and numbered limited edition of 90, copies are available directly from Michael at £60 including postage & a sturdy postal tube.
The Chart shows the winners and the dates won in Green capitals, and within the ancestry, Champion Sires have an asterisk * either side of their name.
There are information boxes on the chart showing that 97% of Thoroughbreds racing today, descend from Eclipse, and that 20 of the last 28 Oaks winners descend from Northern Dancer. There are also Fastest Times, longest and shortest Winning Distances, Disqualifications, the size of Fields and First Prizes.
The pictures are of the Founding Fathers: The Darley Arabian and Eclipse, The Byerley Turk, The Godolphin Arabian and also The Queen with Carrozza and the fastest winner, Enable.
Altogether a wonderful conversation piece.