With his trademark white hair, sharp wit and unmatched instinct for selecting young horses that evolve into champions, Bob Baffert is the most well-known figure in American racing.
He overcame 37 years of history when he sent out American Pharoah to sweep the Triple Crown in 2015 as the colt became the first horse to achieve that feat since Affirmed in 1978.
In 2018, Baffert tied the record for Triple Crown race wins when Justify surged to victory in the Preakness Stakes for the trainer’s 14th success in an American classic event. Just two weeks earlier, Justify had made his own historic mark as the first colt in 136 years to prevail in the Kentucky Derby without racing as a two-year-old.
Baffert’s rise to prominence is one of the most often told in racing worldwide. Raised on an Arizona cattle farm, he was drawn to the sport of racing with his father, who owned Quarter Horses, and began grooming and riding at age ten. First a jockey and later a trainer of four Quarter Horse champions, Baffert went on to condition Thoroughbreds, breaking through to the elite level when Thirty Slews—a horse he had bought for $30,000 as a yearling—captured the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
Since that time, Baffert has trained many of America’s most successful runners and has translated his achievements internationally as he also reigns as the leading foreign-based trainer of Dubai World Cup winners, with Silver Charm, Captain Steve and Arrogate to his credit. Arrogate, who also won the Breeders’ Cup Classic and inaugural Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes, banked $17,422,600, a record for any horse based outside Japan.
Baffert has won the Eclipse Award as America’s outstanding trainer four times, in 2015, 1999, 1998 and 1997. He has trained 19 American champions including eight who reigned as the best three-year-old colt of their generation topped by American Pharoah and dual classic winners Real Quiet, Silver Charm, War Emblem and Point Given. He also is the leading trainer based on Breeders’ Cup earnings with $27,605,000 through 2017 and ranks second, with 14 Breeders’ Cup winners, to fellow Racing Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, who has 20.
Baffert also made history for Phoenix Thoroughbreds as he saddled our first Grade 1 winner, the filly Dream Tree, when she won the Starlet Stakes only months after Phoenix’s initial purchases of Thoroughbreds.
After moving with his family from Michigan to California as a young man, trainer Doug O’Neill says he experienced “love at first sight” when his father took him and his brothers to Santa Anita Park. That initial surge of emotion has never ebbed and, after leaving high school to go directly to work with horses on the racetrack, O’Neill has called Santa Anita his base since he opened his own stable in 1994.
From that beginning, O’Neill has advanced up the ranks while making himself a formidable force in North America, currently ranking among the winningest trainers by career stable earnings with a total of $121.59 million through May 2018.
He has twice saddled winners of the Kentucky Derby, with bargain $35,000 juvenile purchase I’ll Have Another romping in the 2012 Run for the Roses and adding the Preakness Stakes two weeks later. I’ll Have Another stood poised to make history with a Triple Crown bid but an injury kept him out of the Belmont Stakes and eventually led to his sale to Japan as a stallion.
Just four years after I’ll Have Another, O’Neill and owner J. Paul Reddam once again were celebrating with roses when undefeated juvenile champion Nyquist proved best at Churchill Downs to become one of only eight unbeaten Kentucky Derby winners at that point in history. Justify became the ninth in 2018.
O’Neill, who celebrated his 50th birthday in May 2018, also has trained six winners of Breeders’ Cup races, with Goldencents victorious in both the 2013 and 2014 editions of the Dirt Mile. Nyquist made history as only the second horse, following Street Sense, to win both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby.
Maryfield, who won the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint in 2007, joined I’ll Have Another and Nyquist, as well as 2005 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Stevie Wonderboy and 2006 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Thor’s Echo, as champions trained by O’Neill.
Another star runner developed by O’Neill was Lava Man, who earned over $5 million and Grade 1 victories on dirt, turf and all-weather surfaces. Lava Man had been claimed by the O’Neill team for only $50,000 and became a multiple California-bred champion as well as one of the most popular runners in the sport; after the gelding was retired from competition, O’Neill has shared him with the public as a stable pony and general ambassador for racing.
There may never have been much doubt that Steve Asmussen would become a trainer since he had been immersed in the racing world since birth.
Both his father, Keith, and mother, Marilyn, have spent much of their lives conditioning racehorses, and his brother, Cash, also pursued the craft after a brilliant international career as a jockey. While Steve started out in the sport as a jockey, he quickly grew too tall, towering over six feet, to pursue riding professionally.
Beginning his life as a trainer with some horses owned by his family, Asmussen recorded his first winner at age 20 and, fueled by a nonstop work ethic, he has forged an unparalleled career that led to his induction into the Racing Hall of Fame at age 50 in 2016.
Asmussen has led all North American trainers by seasonal wins nine times, and in three years he set all-time records for the most wins, topped by the 650 winners he sent out in 2009. Through May 2018, he ranks second only to the late Dale Baird with a total of 8,037 wins. However, Asmussen’s career with branches of his stable around America is more properly defined by the remarkable champions he conditioned to four Horse of the Year titles from 2007 through 2017 in a feat unparalleled in the modern era.
Curlin, who won the 2007 Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic in addition to the 2008 Dubai World Cup while amassing then record earnings for any horse based outside of Japan with $10,501,800, was honored as Horse of the Year in 2007 and 2008.
In 2009, Asmussen teamed again with Curlin’s primary owner, Stonestreet Stables, to hone Rachel Alexandra into a champion. She became the first filly to win the Preakness in 85 years and defeated males twice more in Grade 1 stakes to earn the Horse of the Year title.
Asmussen also trained Gun Runner to the 2017 Horse of the Year title, and the son of Candy Ride won that year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic in addition to the 2018 Pegasus World Cup while earning $15,988,500, a total surpassed outside of Japan only by the Bob Baffert-trained Arrogate. Asmussen’s other champions are the fillies Untappable and My Miss Aurelia, and sprinter Kodiak Kowboy.
Born in County Cork, Ireland, and now based in Newmarket, Ed Vaughan is an intuitive horseman who has trained since 2004.
His guiding principle is that “I want to continue improving the quality of my string each year and aim to regularly compete at the top level.”
A former assistant to trainer Alec Stewart at Clarehaven Stables, Vaughan took out his license after his employer sadly passed away. As well as learning from Stewart, Vaughan banked a wealth of experience in his formative years; he successfully graduated from the Irish National Stud course and spent four years working at training facilities in America.
Afterward, Vaughan transferred to Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin, and he was assigned to supervise a pre-training barn in Ireland. While holding this position, he experienced what would be a highlight in any horseman’s career when he broke in the legendary Dubai Millennium as a yearling.
Two separate two-year spells followed as an assistant to both Charlie Mann and Noel Chance ahead of the switch to Stewart’s team.
Vaughan currently is based at Machell Place Stables. His current runners include Group 3-placed filly Dancing Brave Bear.
Born over the Black Swan pub in Rugby, England, Karl Burke gained his first interest in racing through watching the sport with his father and eventually he became a jockey, riding his first winner for trainer Alan Jarvis, The Britisher, in an apprentice race at Hamilton.
Knowing he would be too heavy for a career on the flat, Burke switched codes to jump racing and went on to record 50 winners from 750 rides.
With his wife, Elaine, who he had met in school and who is Jarvis’s daughter, Burke later set up a boarding and pre-training yard in Newark where they gave early lessons to young stock. It was here they started training a small string of both flat and jump horses in 1991.
Among Burke’s early stars was Daring Destiny, winner of the Ayr Gold Cup, a Group 2 race in Germany and a Group 3 in Ireland. In 2000, as his stable was growing, Burke and his family bought the historic Spigot Lodge in North Yorkshire, and he has trained there for over 15 years.
Among Burke’s initial Group 1 winners was Lord Shanakill, who won the Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly in 2009, and Odeliz, who won the 2015 Prix Jean Romanet in France and the Premio Lydia Tesio in Italy.
Burke cites Quiet Reflection as one of the best horses he has trained, and the daughter of Showcasing won the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and the Haydock Park Sprint as a three-year-old in 2016.
The following year, Burke sent out the colt Unfortunately to win the Prix Morny and Laurens to capture the Fillies Mile, and he calls those Group 1 victories perhaps the most important of his career. In May 2018, Laurens won another Group 1, the Prix Saint-Alary, in France.
Burke’s primary goal for the future is to win a classic race.
A dominant force in British flat racing for decades and one of the all-time greats who has reigned as champion trainer ten times, Sir Michael Stoute is the only trainer in the 20th century to win an English Classic in five successive seasons. He claimed the fifth of those victories in the 2010 Derby with Workforce, who went on to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe later that season.
Stoute has won all the English Classics, a collection completed with the 2008 St Leger via Conduit, as well as top races all over the globe, including the Dubai World Cup with Singspiel; the Breeders’ Cup Turf four times with Conduit (twice), Kalanisi and Pilsudki; the Japan Cup twice, with Singspiel and Pilsudski, and the Hong Kong Vase with Daliapour.
He was last crowned as British champion trainer in 2009, the year that Conduit, Tartan Bearer and Ask pulled off a rare clean sweep of the top prizes in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, a race Stoute won again in 2010 with the brilliant Harbinger.
Shergar, the runaway 1981 Derby winner who was later stolen and never found, was one of the best horses in Stoute’s career. Stoute also gained acclaim by training Kribensis over the jumps, and the gray became the only winner of the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, the Christmas Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle, known as the Triple Crown of Hurdling, in the same season.
The Queen, Sheikh Mohammed, Juddmonte Farms, the Aga Khan and the Niarchos family have been among Stoute’s stellar owners. He was knighted in 1998, not for racing but for services to tourism in Barbados, where he was born and where his family has been based for 300 years.
Stoute, who turned 72 in October 2017, has a remarkable record at Royal Ascot after saddling 75 winners since his first in 1977, and he needs only one more to surpass the late Sir Henry Cecil as the all-time training leader at the prestigious event. He lists his favorite Royal Ascot victory as the Gold Cup captured by The Queen’s Estimate in 2013.
While growing up in Barbados, Stoute developed his love for horses as a regular attendee at Garrison Savannah racecourse. He moved to England at 19 and started as an apprentice to trainer Pat Rohan before working for Doug Smith and Tom Jones. He established his own stables in 1972.
Stoute is known for inspiring phenomenal loyalty in his employees, and many of his staff have been with him for decades.
Since starting out with just a small string of horses in 1993, Richard Fahey has used the intervening time become one of the UK’s most successful trainers. 26 years from those humble beginnings he has over 200 horses under his stewardship and has saddled well over 2000 winners. During that time the 200 winners in season mark have been breached twice, and seven-figure sums in prize money have been returned every year since 2006.
Post a career as a jockey that saw him post over 100 winners over a decade of riding, he first turned his attention to running a small livery yard while trading in bloodstock to help boost his income. Friends of the now master of Musely Bank encouraged him to join the training ranks, a decision that has served him well ever since.
From those early days when he barely reached double figures in the winner's column, he has built success year on year and tasted his first slice of Royal Ascot triumph seven years into his new profession with Superior Premium winning a Group 2.
Two years later the yard won £500,000 in prize money in a campaign for the first time while he only had to wait another four years until the magic million barrier was broken.
That upward trend has continued unabated ever since and with eight Group One winners to his name, including in that number the Phoenix Thoroughbreds & Cool Silk Partnership owned Sand Of Mali he has indeed established himself has one of the leading trainers in Europe.
Deciding to take up the mantle of a trainer at the age of 24 Ciaron Maher has since gained the reputation as one of the most exciting and innovative horsemen in Australia. A former jump jockey he has the same fearless approach to his chosen profession as he did as a rider.
Described as having an affinity with animals by his father, Ciaron originally promised his parents that if things didn't go well as a trainer in the first couple of years, he'd go back and help them on their farm. Farming's loss is horse racing's gain.
Training his first winner in 2005 he has since saddled over 600 winners, including 10 at Group One level and has expanded his operations to Caulfield, Ballarat, Cavallino Estate, Merricks North and Warwick Farm. The multi-location operation means he has the best facilities for his horses and has a base near every major racecourse and race in the country.
His first significant winner was Moudre in 2010 while his first Group One success came along in 2014 when Set Square who took the VRC Oaks; he hasn't looked back since.
David Eustace joined the team in 2016 adding a more meticulous approach to the stable that mixes perfectly with Ciaron's more relaxed outlook.
Son of British trainer James Eustace, David has been around horses all his life and also brings a slightly different approach to training thoroughbreds. He gained a valuable apprenticeship in Australian Racing while working for Black Caviar's trainer Peter Moody before making a move to a more senior role with Ciaron. Also a former Amateur jockey he has a great understanding of racehorses and is proving an excellent foil for Ciaron as they target further growth and success.
Last season the Ciaron Maher stable trained 65 winners while during this campaign they have already surpassed that target by some distance.
Martyn Meade will always hold a special place in Phoenix Thoroughbreds history, after training Advertise to win the Phoenix Stakes, our first European Group One success. That was by no means Martyn's first major victory having saddled another horse we have an interest in, Aclaim, to Prix Foret success in 2017.
Martyn has been involved in horses all his life, not only in racing but as a keen polo player and Master of Foxhounds and trained his first National Hunt winner under rules back in 1972.
It was in the 1980s that Martyn focussed his attention on flat racing and was quick to find his feet training multiple stakes winners while gaining a reputation for getting the best out of his juveniles highlighted by the seven-time winner, Lunar Mist.
After a successful spell at the renovated Sefton Lodge Stables in Newmarket, he has made the exciting move to a new purpose-built yard at the historic Manton Estate. It's a change that has allowed the master trainer to grow his string and provides an ideal location to develop top-class horses.
Martyn also has a keen interest in the breeding side of the industry and is at the forefront of The Snailwell Stud, a perfect environment for broodmares and stallions while also providing a terrific facility for preparation for the sales and the resting and breaking of yearlings.
The name of "John Quinn" will be forever associated with Phoenix Thoroughbreds after saddling our first ever Royal Ascot winner. Phoenix CEO Amer Abdulaziz described Signora Cabello's victory in the 2018 Queen Mary Stakes as being "more important than winning the Epsom Derby for the fund."
John has been around horses all of his life having started out hunting on his grandfather's farm in Ireland. His love of these magnificent animals saw him join Edward O'Grady's stable as soon as he could leave school and become a conditional jockey. Following several enjoyable years, John decided to come to England in search of more opportunities and ended up in Malton with Jimmy Fitzgerald before going freelance in the 1980s.
Two hundred winners in the saddle were notched up before changing tact in 1990 to run a livery yard. It was shortly after he decided to enter the training ranks and although winners were, at first, slow to arrive, he has gone from strength to strength and now oversees 65 horses from his bases at Bellwood Cottage and Highfield Yard.
Still, a dual purpose trainer and has had success at the top level and is one of a handful of trainers to have tasted success at both Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham Festival.
Not from a traditional racing background Peter Chapple-Hyam is the son of a greengrocer who caught the bug for the "Sport Of Kings" while enjoying a family tradition of going to the races with his father every Saturday. There he idolised the likes of Lester Piggott and said one of his earliest memories is of The Minstrel winning the 1977 Epsom Derby.
This love for racing showed no signs of abating through his school years where he would often play truant from college to spend the afternoon in the bookies.
It was no surprise that following is 'interrupted education' he pursued a career in the industry he adored and spent a near half-decade with trainer Fred Rimell as an aspiring amateur jockey. He soon decided that path wasn't for him and he took up a position with Barry Hills as a pupil assistant before becoming Hills' full-time assistant trainer. Determined to learn as much as he could Peter took working holidays in Australia gaining knowledge of a different way of working.
His thirst for knowledge served him well, and he saddled two Group One winners in his first season as a trainer in 1991 while a year later he trained his first classic winner. Now a dual Epsom Derby winner Peter has also spent time training in Hong Kong adding to his experience and knowledge of how to get the best out of his horses.
For a quarter of a decade, Christophe Clement has been one of the top trainers in the United States. Chalking up close to 2000 race wins he has accumulated in excess of $127 million a total contributed to by over 30 Grade One successes.
Over the years Christophe has gained an irrefutable reputation for his attention to detail giving each horse in his care personal attention while planning training regimes catered for each animal. To aid him in this, he has a quality of quantity approach seeing that he is based at just two locations at any one time.
Gaining his racing education at the heel of some of the greats like Francois Boutin, Luca Cumani and Alec and Crickette Head he learnt the importance of having a top team around him and has carried that lesson into his career.
Christophe's love of the Thoroughbred came from his trainer father, Miguel, who plied his trade in the unique and picturesque surrounds of Chantilly where his brother now trains.
Thought of one as one of Australia's more lateral thinking trainers with terrific attention to detail Michael Kent rose to prominence in the mid-1990s. It was a period which saw him take the Victorian mid-week trainer's premiership for both the 1993/94 and 1994/95 seasons in addition to becoming the youngest trainer ever to enter the top five in Melbourne, aided by the likes of Group 1 South Australian Derby winner Bullwinkle.
In 1996, eager to secure his financial future and expand his horizons Michael turned his attention to Singapore. During his first campaign he was the leading trainer in the country by strike rate and followed that up the following season, by finishing second in the trainer's premiership, a feat repeated in the year 2000. He would write his own chapter in Singapore racing history by winning the country's first ever $1million race as well as capturing the Triple Crown Challenge with Southerly Wind, the only horse complete that remarkable test.
Since his return to Australia, the winners have continued to flow, and he tasted Group One success when striking in the 2016 Australian Oaks with Abbey Marie.
With a wealth of experience, he is set to continue sending out significant winners.
David Vandyke is a man who put in a lot of preparation to become a dual Group One-winning trainer, gaining experience in every avenue of the Breeding and Thoroughbred racing industry.
Like many a trainer, his interest in racing comes for his parents' involvement in the sport so as soon as he was able he went to learn his craft with leading trainers Neville Begg and Les Bridge. Keen to expand this knowledge and have a thorough understanding of different training methods he had working stints in Japan, Churchill Downs (Kentucky) and New Zealand.
Among his skill set, he is a very talented horse breaker, something he put to good use while working as a stud hand at Segenhoe Stud and Roseneath Stud.
Upon his return to Australia, David helped his friend Tim Martin establish his stable at Rosehill before working with Sydney's leading trainer Chris Waller for three years as his Office Manager before his desire to return to training could no longer be ignored.
Since that decision, he has won multiple stakes races and continues to thrive from his base at Sunshine Coast.
In a very short space of time trainer, John Thompson has amassed some very striking numbers with a near 700 winners saddled including six at Group One level and over $27 million in prize money gained for his owners.
As a fourth generation trainer it's no surprise that John took this path, but despite his background, he has been determined to learn as much as he can. For 20 years, John worked as a foreman in some of the country’s leading stables including the Ingham’s Crown Lodge and Bart Cummings Leilani Lodge, where he was Bart’s right-hand man for eight years.
What followed next was a stint as head trainer at Nathan Tinkler’s Patinack Farm, and he soon made his mark as just six months into the role he landed a Group One victory when Small Minds took out the Australasian Oaks and stablemate No Evidence Needed finished second.
John has tasted success in five states and in 2011/2012 was Australia's leading trainer of two-year-olds and his experience in the industry gives him a great insight into the mind of the thoroughbred.
Now one of Sydney's premier trainers, racing has always been in Gary Portelli's blood. His love of Thoroughbred racing was instilled in him by his mother, Morveen, who trained under her name while his Grandfather also rode as a jockey.
Gary's introduction to racing came as a track rider and breaker for his "mum's" operation before he took the plunge into the training ranks himself in 1990. An opportunity arose to set up at Warwick Farm, and he set to work putting the knowledge he'd gained from working alongside established trainers John Hawkes, Guy Walter and Clarry Conners to good use. That racing education wasn't wasted as Gary's yard grew to be one of the top establishments in New South Wales, but despite the success the focus has remained on quality over quantity.
Gary's first significant winner was Forest Hill in 2000, and his first Group 1 victory came later in the same year with Faith Of Hill winning the Ansett Australia Stakes. Another Group One followed in 2010 with sprinter Gold Trial heading to New Zealand to take out the Railway Handicap, which afforded Gary and his star speedster a trip to Royal Ascot.
While these successes are all of note, Gary is probably best known for his work with Rebel Dae and She Will Reign. The former was a dual Group One winner while the latter was crowned champion two-year-old after winning four of her five starts, culminating in a stunning two plus length victory in the Group 1 Golden Slipper. Further accolades would follow in her three-year-old campaign when she took the Group 1 Moir Stakes and Inglis Sprint to take her prize-money total to $3.2million.
Gary philosophy of teamwork has held him in good stead living by the words.
"I am a great believer in a team environment as far as my stable staff is concerned. It may be my name printed as the trainer, but it is having a great team of staff that help get the best out of each and every horse."
In the near 30 years, Mick Price has had a license he has become one of Australia's leading trainers.
Preparing a multitude of prominent horses Mick has established a reputation of being a talented handler of juveniles. In 2003 he saddled the trifecta in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Preview with Halibery, Gaelic Princess and Roedean before World Peace took out the race for the stable in 2004. Mick maintained his fantastic record with two-year-olds by winning both the colts and fillies divisions of the Blue Diamond Preludes in 2005 with Perfectly Ready and Doubting.
It's not just with the younger horses though he has tasted success thanks to victories in numerous Group Ones including the Futurity Stakes, Railway Stakes, Goodwood Handicap, Toorak Handicap and Blue Diamond Stakes.
One of the horses Mick is most recently associated with is Lankan Rupee, the star of the stable in a stellar 2013/14 season. The horse won the Group Three Heffernan Stakes, the Group Two Rubiton Stakes before graduating to Group One success in the Oakleigh Plate. His winning run at the top level didn't stop there with both the Newmarket and TJ Smith Stakes added to his CV.
Another runner synonymous with the Price name is Samaready, a Blue Diamond Stakes winner who added the Group One Moir Stakes as a three-year-old before retiring from racing having had only 13 starts but amassing prize money of just under $1.7million.
Since taking over Lees Racing following the sudden death of his father in 2003, Kris Lees has established himself as one of the leading trainers in Australia gaining successes at the top level.
In his first season in charge, he amassed $2 million in Prize money for his owners while it was just a year later that he notched up his first Group One victory with County Tyrone winning 2004 The Metropolitan at Royal Randwick.
Ever since the winners have continued to flow, as evidenced by six Newcastle premiership titles on home turf while preparing more than 100 winners in a season on four occasions. These achievements have led Kris to feature in the top 20 list of Australian trainers on a regular basis and seen him take some of the Country's most prominent races.
The 2015-16 season was a landmark campaign for Lees Racing in terms of prize money courtesy of winning New South Wales’ richest race – the $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick during The Championships, along with the $1m Randwick Guineas with surprise packet Le Romain. That season Kris’ horses pocketed more than $7m for his band of owners.
Kris' success, training prowess and manner have allowed him to build length relationships with some of Australia's most prominent owners.
Son of record-breaking trainer Aiden O'Brien, Joseph first came to worldwide prominence as a Flat jockey. Due to his height his time in the saddle was always going to be short, but in the six years, he had riding he achieved an astonishing amount of success.
Riding his first winner aged just 16 Joseph never looked back tieing in a three-way dead head for the Irish Apprentice Championship in 2010 despite still attending school and then taking that title on his own the following season. That was also the year he rode his first classic winner with Roderic O'Connor taking the Irish 2000 Guineas. If that wasn't enough, he ended 2011 by becoming the youngest jockey to ride a Breeder's Cup winner when partnering St Nicholas Abbey to success in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Those victories were just a small taste of what was to come with 2012 seeing Joseph and Aiden becoming the first father-son trainer-jockey combination to win the Epsom Derby thanks to Camelot while later that year Joseph was crowned Irish Champion Jockey with 87 winners. Joseph’s lasting legacy in the saddle, though, will be his Group 1 wins, riding 31all over the world.
Joseph was officially granted his license to train in June 2016 and immediately got off the mark saddling four winners on his first day with runners. It wasn't long before his first Group One in his new role followed when Intricately took the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.
It's pretty much been a remarkable success story since then with high profile wins continuing to flow including a Melbourne Cup with Rekindling in 2017 a result which announced his training prowess to the World. He is also off the mark as a Classic-winning trainer courtesy of Latrobe in the 2018 Irish Derby at the Curragh.
In addition to his achievements on the flat, he has recorded notable successes over jumps with Cheltenham Festival winners ad Grade One winners.
Tom Mullins is continuing a family legacy, treading the same path as his father as a leading dual-purpose trainer.
Taking up his license in February 2004 he trains out of the same Goresbridge Stable his father, the legendary Paddy Mullins, plied his trade for over 50 years and sent out runners to win Europe's most prominent races both on the flat and over jumps.
Tom is following in those illustrious footsteps having saddled numerous Grade One winners perhaps most notably his handling of Alderwood to win at consecutive Cheltenham Festivals, while the triumphs of Asian Maze, Court Leader, Bob Lingo and Some Article are other successes to note.
Although most of his big victories have come in the National Hunt arena, he has handled the career of our own Mia Mento with deftness seeing her run well in a Group Three before placing in a listed contest.
Tom's is the father of National Hunt jockey, David Mullins.
John Oxx is a real great of Irish racing having won most important races in Europe, and he was the man behind the remarkable Sea The Stars.
A qualified veterinary surgeon, Oxx gained his racing apprenticeship as assistant to his father John Oxx Senior before taking over the licence in his name in 1979. His first winner as the master of Currabeg Stables came within a year of taking up the helm with Orchestra entering the winners' enclosure before the same horse provided him with a first Group success in the Whitehall Stakes later that season.
Oxx and his team have sent out around 2000 winners since those early days, and he continues to be trusted by some of the biggest owners in racing including Godolphin.
He is perhaps most famous for his exploits with Sea The Stars who among his big race successes won the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby & Prix de l'arc de Triomphe in his unbeaten three-year-old season before being retired to stud.
A Brit abroad Graham Motion grew up on the Herringswell Manor Stud farm his parents operated before the whole family relocated the United States in 1980.
With his love of the Thoroughbred firmly entrenched upon graduating from school he immediately went to work for Hall of Fame trainer Johnathan Sheppard. Graham spent six years at Ashwell Stable before his desire to broaden his knowledge of training took him back to Europe where Jonathan Pease employed him at Chantilly in France.
The Cambridge born trainer headed back across the Atlantic in 1990 to take up a position with Bernie P. Bond at Laurel Park, and upon Bernie's death three years later he took up the license and won 21 races in his first year at the helm.
Just under a decade, later the training operation was moved to Fair Hill, and it wasn’t long after that at the horse that put Graham, and his team on the map arrived. Better Talk Now saw the international spotlight thrust upon the Englishman when the star horse took the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2004. Known affectionately as “Blackie” he would go on to amass over $4 million in prize money but would be priceless for the stable's fortunes.
Further Breeders’ Cup successes came with Shared Account in the 2010 Filly and Mare Turf and Main Sequence in the Turf in 2014, but by the time that latter success had come around the name “Motion” had already entered US racing folklore as a Kentucky Derby-winning trainer. Animal Kingdom stormed down the Churchill Downs stretch to take the 2011 “Run For The Roses" before going on to win a Dubai World Cup.
Graham has recorded well over 2000 victories as a trainer and earned more than $115 Million.
Jerry Hollendofer has earned his place in the top echelons of the sport the hard way.
Born in Ohio, he found himself living in California in the late 1960s where he first began work as a hot-walker and then groom at Bay Meadows. He furthered his racing education through work in various guises with trainers Jerry Dutton and Jerry Fleming before striking out on his own and taking up a license in 1979.
The now Hall Of Famer didn't find success straight away, failing to surpass 16 winners in each of his first six years as a conditioner. 1985 offered better returns, but it was the following year that became the breakthrough season with Hollendorfer not only breaking the $1million purse earnings mark for the first time but also winning the training titles at both Bay Meadows and Golden Gate Fields. He didn't rest on his laurels following those victories as he went on to win over 30 consecutive championships at both venues up until 2008.
After his first stakes win came in the mid-eighties, Hollendorfer has gone on to win most significant races in North America and smashed through the 5000 winners mark in December 2007. He was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 2011 and has earned more than $5million in prize money every year sine 1997.
A product of his family's racing heritage Mike Stidham has been training winners for over 30 years. As a boy, he would often be found assisting his trainer father George walking hots, rolling bandages and observing the workings of a racing barn.
Mike wouldn't have to wait that long to strike out on his own. At the age of 21 and armed with a handful of his dad's cast-offs, he set up a training establishment on the Gulf Coast. His first winner would quickly follow while a year after his initial success came his first stakes win when Me Good Man struck in the 1980 Independence Stakes at Louisiana Downs. After more victories, Mike would spend two productive years in California before taking up the reins as private trainer to the LaCroix family at Meadowbrook Farm back in Florida.
He has now been a public trainer now for over thirty years and trained over 1000 winners perhaps most notably Graded victors Manzotti and Two Altazano. 2011 proved to be a seminal year when he sent out a total of 13 stake winners throughout the year – a handsome total that included four graded stakes.
Mike now looks after a string of around 70 horses that he races around the nation from his two major bases at Fair Grounds in Louisiana during the winter and Arlington Park in Chicago in the summer.
As a National Hunt jockey for 16 seasons, Jamie Osborne rode almost 1000 winners, including at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival, making him one of the leading riders of the 1990s.
When the time came to switch to the training ranks, Jamie change codes to concentrate on winning races on the flat. It was a decision that paid off almost immediately as in his second season with a license he was responsible for the winner of the 2001 Winsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot when Irony took the spoils. He further cemented his reputation by saddling the Milk It Mick to land the 2003 Group One Dewhurst Stakes and ever since then he has managed to send out high-class winners with his Royal Ascot total now standing at six.
He is perhaps best known for his work with Toast Of New York who won the 2014 UAE Derby before being edged out in the same season's Breeders Cup Classic.
Like many successful trainers before him, Mike Maker had the best possible apprenticeship learning his trade under the expert guidance of Hall Of Fame legend D.Wayne Lukas.
Starting his own training operation in 2003, he put this education to good use quickly gaining a reputation for saddling winners. In 2009 he recorded a first Breeders' Cup success when outsider Furthest Land took the Dirt Mile while two years later he as at it again when Hanson conquered Union Rags in the Juvenile. That took his record in the World Championships of Racing to two wins from just 11 starters.
Not content with that Maker has continued to regularly send out Graded Stakes winners with the likes of Juanita, Derby Kitten, Statley Victor and more recently Run Time and Taghleeb.
Operating mainly in Kentucky, New York, New Jersey, and Florida he has amassed around $100 million in prize money while working at a winning strike rate hovering at around 21%.
From his earliest days, Todd Pletcher was on track to fulfill an exceptional destiny.
From the age of seven, he helped his trainer around the yard father Jake before spending his summers off from school as a groom. Gaining a top-class apprenticeship, he got a job with the legendary D. Wayne Lukas and spent seven years as a vital part of the team, working with such stars as Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Thunder Gulch and champion fillies Serena’s Song and Flanders.
Pletcher founded his own training operation in 1995, and the rest has been racing history. A seven-time Eclipse Award winner he has overseen the careers of multiple champions, including Rags to Riches, the phenomenal filly who in 2007 became only the third member of her gender to win the Belmont Stakes. He is perhaps best known for his work with champion juvenile Uncle Mo, who has gone on to be a sort after sire while Always Dreaming and Super Saver have given Pletcher a place in Kentucky Derby history. Those and many other champions have helped him accumulate purse earnings, of over $360.5 million through May 2018.
Widely admired for his meticulous attention to detail, Pletcher has drawn clients from around the world and counts Coolmore, China Horse Club and Argentina’s La Providencia among his international owners in addition to Phoenix.