I was never particularly keen on my job before the day I got shot and nearly lost it, along with my life.-- Odds Against by Dick Francis, published in 1965.
This is the first of his three books featuring ex-jockey, Sid Halley. The second, Whip Hand, won the Edgar Award in 1979. The third, Come to Grief, was published in 1996. I've read the other two, but never got around to this one until now.