Born on 22 October 1945 in St George, Sir Michael’s father’s position as the Chief of Police in Barbados, provided a home backing onto the Garrison Savannah and giving him his first interest in racing.
He left the island in 1964, at the age of 19, to become an assistant to Pat Rohan,a racehorse trainer in Malton, Yorkshire. He began training horses on his own in 1972, in Newmarket. His first winner came on 28th April, 1972 when Sandal, a horse owned by his father won at Newmarket. Since then he has gone on to win races all over the world, including victories in the Dubai World Cup, Breeders Cups, the Japan Cup, the Hong Kong Vase, the Prix de I’Arc de Triomphe and the Canadian International.
Domestically, he is the only trainer in the 20th century to have won English Classics in five successive seasons (2000 Guineas 1985, Derby 1986, Oaks 1987,2000 Guineas 1988,1000 Guineas 1989). He has been Champion Trainer ten times (1981,1986,1989,1994,1997,2000,2003, 2005,2006, and 2009) and has won two 1000 Guineas, five 2000 Guineas, two Oaks, five Derbys and one St Leger, to date.
In 2009 he pulled off a rare feat when Conduit, Tartan Bearer and Ask made a clean sweep of the placings in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot. In all, the trio took home nearly £900,000 in prize money in Britain’s richest horserace, helping him win his 10th Champion Trainer’s title. At present he has won this race five times, with Shergar, Opera House, Golan, Conduit and Harbinger.
Apart from the flat racing he also trained Kribensis, who is the only horse to have won the Triple Crown of Hurdling, doing so in the 1989/1990 season.
He was knighted in 1998 for services to tourism in Barbados, and in 2013 he trained Her Majesty’s horse Estimate, to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot His current total of Royal Ascot winners stands at 74.