Maguire, Michael

About the author

In the 1970s, Michael Maguire (b.1954) wrote two wildly unusual pony books about a robotic horse called Mylor. Despite being man-made, Mylor has character, heart and enough strength of will to propel an entire pony club. The books made an impact on anyone who read them: in a world of identikit pony girl plots, Mylor was then, and remains now, unique. Until now (2012), the books in their original printings were not always easy to find, but the author has now updated and republished them both in hardback and paperback.

Michael Maguire is writing another children’s series, Swiftly, which is set in an Animal Rescue Centre, and which has some horse content. Swiftly is not, I think, as good as his Mylor books. It has something of the same fantastical elements (a mystical greyhound) but it’s not written with the same dash and verve of Mylor, which carry the reader effortlessly along. The sequel, Swiftly 2, has, the author tells me, ‘about 25% horse content!’

Michael Maguire’s love of horses started early. He left school at 16, and worked at the Brewhurst Stud, writing freelance articles for the sporting press in his spare time. After two years at Brewhurst, he started as a journalist at The Sporting Life. His four adult novels, three of which form a series about the investigator Simon Drake, are all set in the racing world.

Finding the books
All the children’s titles are currently in print; the Mylor titles having been updated. The original versions are not always easy to find, and first edition hardbacks can be expensive. None of the adult novels are in print (2012), but are easy to find secondhand.

Sources and links
Correspondence with Michael Maguire
Michael Maguire’s website


Mylor: the Kidnap

Swiftly 2

Simon Drake
Shot Silk
Slaughter Horse

Bibliography (pony books only)

Mylor: The Most Powerful Horse in the World

W H Allen, London, 1976, 192pp, illus Nick Morgan
Target, London, pb, 1977, 192 pp.
Authorhouse, 2012, 152 pp. HB & PB

Roger and Angel Young meet the Professor, and his amazing horse, Mylor. Mylor is not a normal horse: he is a machine, but one blessed with a mind of his own, and the ability to talk.  

Mylor: The Kidnap

W H Allen, London, 1978, 191 pp. Illus Nick Morgan
Authorhouse, 2012, 164 pp. HB & PB

Roger and Angel Young are going back to visit the Professor and Mylor for the holidays. Last time they saw Mylor, he was not at his best, and they wonder if the Professor has been able to mend him. He has, but there are still problems. The Professor’s home will be sold unless they can raise enough to save it. Neighbour Glen Striker, is sinister, cruel, and appears everywhere. Their new friends, Davina and Prince Aziz are great, but it is Davina’s father who is threatening to foreclose the mortgage on Parkway Grange. Then Mylor disappears…


The Book Guild, Lewes, 1998, 227 pp.
Ulverscroft, Leicester, large print, 2002, 329 pp.
Authorhouse, 2011, pb, 240 pp
Authorhouse, 2011, hb, 240 pp.

Oyster Gables Animal Shelter is in the village of Swiftly, and they give a home to Degsey, an injured Irish greyhound, who seems to have mysterious powers.  When horses are stolenfrom the neighbourhood, Sky and Daniel, who work at the Shelter, have a mystery on theirhands, but Degsey helps in some rather strange ways.

Swiftly 2

Authorhouse, 2011, pb, 243 pp
Authorhouse, 2011, hb, 243 pp

The Spackman brothers are catching badgers to sell for badger baiting, and the team at Oyster Gables’ Animal Shelter fight to stop them. They need the help of Degsey the greyhound and his sixth sense which can mysteriously alter events to do it.  Events are complicated more by a crooked Wildlife Warden, a poisoning attempt, and a fire.

Racing novels

Shot Silk

Wingate, London, 1975, 221 pp.
Tandem, 1976, pb.
Ulverscroft Large Print, 1998.

Simon Drake did not meet the stable lad who had sent him a note; except on a mortuary slab, after the lad was mown down in a hit and run accident. Simon wanted to concentrate on the running of Braxburn Stud, not the sharp practice he had a pretty good idea existed, but despite himself, he was involved.

Slaughter Horse

Wingate, London, 1975, 240 pp.
W H Allen & Co, London
Thriller Book Club, London, 1975, 240 pp.
Star, pb, 1977
Ulverscroft Large Print, 1999.

Wesley Falloway’s horses overnight become winners, which is odd when they were distinctly second-rate before.Simon Drake and the Turf Security Division investigate,


W H Allen, London, 1976, 221 pp.
St Martin’s Press, New York, 1976
Star, pb, 1977
Thriller Book Club, London, 1977
Ulverscroft Large Print, 2000.

Simon Drake is racing advisor on Catherine Forrest’s come-back film, but the film is jinxed. Horses and people die, and Catherine is being pushed to the brink of madness.


W H Allen, London, 1988, 189 pp.
St Martin’s Press, New York, 1976
Star, pb, 1988
Ulverscroft Large Print, 2001.

When jockey Charlie Boxer is thrown at the Chair in the Grand National, his career as a jockey is destroyed. He gets a job as a tipster on a local radio station, and starts to research a biography of Tom McKay, former Champion Jockey now turned trainer. There are things in his past Tom wants to stay there, so when someone tries to silence Charlie, it seems clear who that someone must be.