RECORD BREAKER: Sir Michael Stoute
BARBADOS BORN trainer Sir Michael Stoute created Royal Ascot history when his Poet’s Word beat hot favourite Cracksman in the feature Prince Of Wales’s Stakes on June 20.
Sir Michael subsequently became the most successful in Royal Ascot history by landing his 76th winner at the prestigious meeting.
Who would have thought that when he made the 4,000 mile journey from Barbados to England in 1964 he would go on to become one of the greatest race horse trainers of all time?
Sir Michael arrived on these shores from the Caribbean just before his 20th birthday and, after a few years learning the trade, set up as a trainer in Newmarket in 1972. He’s literally been a winner ever since.
After spending 30 minutes in his company, it is clear that the ten-times champion trainer has lost none of his appetite for the sport or his love of horses.
“Racing is a way of life and it is a very competitive game. You’ve got a big obligation to your owners, breeders and staff and you can soon slip,” Sir Michael told the Voice of Sport in the privacy of his office at his Newmarket HQ.
While championship titles are temporarily things of the past, the convivial Sir Michael continues to enjoy training horses and everything that goes with it. “I still love it. I always say that the owners will retire you! Once I have my health I have no intention of stopping.
Sir Michael’s first Classic victory came in the 1978 Oaks and, ever since, he has been producing top-class winners. His victories include 25 English and Irish Classics as well as many prestigious races overseas such as the Dubai World Cup.
All this after his early life in Barbados saw him engage with horses in his formative years. “My family are Barbadians through and through. My father was a policeman from St. George,” he says proudly.
Luckily for Sir Michael, knighted in 1998, his father was made deputy chief of police and was transferred to the famous Garrison, which houses the famous race track. The sporting knight recalls: “I remember my mother taking me to racing on a couple of occasions when I was about aged 5.
“There was great excitement, and I remember all the colour and the speed.”
There was great excitement at Royal Ascot also as Sir Michael entered the record books.
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