He knew at an early age that horse racing was in his blood and he was an amateur champion rider before becoming a professional jockey for 10 years. He got his trainer’s licence in 1980, taking over his parents’ stables and he was the Champion Trainer of National Hunt racing for three years in England.
Michael is perhaps most famous for his extraordinary feat of training the first five in the 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup. He also trained a record 12 winners on Boxing Day in 1982, both of which are in the Guinness Book of World Records. He also has three other further world records noted in the Guinness Book of World Records.
He moved to the United States in 1987 and soon established himself as one of American racing’s premier trainers. On his retirement, he devoted his time to his business of synthetic racetrack surfacing known as Tapeta Footings.
Over the years, Michael has received numerous industry accolades in recognition of his achievements and contribution to horse racing. He is a two-time recipient of the Pacemaker International NH Trainer of the Year and the William Hill Golden Spurs Award. In 1993, he was elected into the Steeplechasing Hall of Fame and, in 1999, was awarded the CV Whitney Award by the New York Turf Writers Association.