Fans of Jilly Cooper will have a new novel to devour this autumn — and it has an equestrian theme.
The Riders author’s latest book Mount! will be released by Bantam Press on 8 September.
Set in the Flat racing world, the novel features the return of the legendary Rupert Campbell-Black.
“Rupert’s ambition is to be champion trainer of the year and for his favourite stallion, Love Rat, to be named leading sire,” read a statement from the publisher.
“But sabotage, skulduggery and bad behaviour — of every conceivable variety — mean that Rupert’s ambitious plans are thwarted at every turn.”
The story takes the reader from Rupert’s Rutshire stables to race meetings in Hong Kong, Melbourne and Dubai.
The cast features both old and new human and equine characters.
“Rupert is raging round the world taking Love Rat’s progeny to compete in the richest races and it’s beginning to endanger his marriage,” said the publisher.
“Lots of human nookie goes on in the book, but I was almost more fascinated by the equine nookie.
“One stallion only fancies greys so a white sheet has to be put over any dark mares.”
The original title for the new release was Leading Sire, but publishers thought this would be an unfamiliar term for many of Jilly’s readers, so the author was persuaded to go with Mount! instead.
The final cover is yet to be revealed.
The Gloucestershire-based author has sold more than 12 million copies of her books.
She is famed for her Rutshire Chronicles series, which include Polo and the international bestseller Riders.
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The latter was re-released last year to mark the book’s 30th anniversary — but featured a toned down cover in a controversial redesign, which showed the male hand resting on the rider’s hip rather than her bottom (news, 11 June 2015).
This was changed back following an outcry (news, 29 October 2015).
Jilly’s last novel Jump! followed the story of Etta Bancroft, who nurses a mutilated filly back to health and into training. It was published in 2010.