A former top-class footballer or a current top-class racehorse trainer? The answer to that question will depend on your age or your sporting preference. The truth, though, is that Mick Channon is both.
A Southampton and England striker, Channon sparkled on football fields in the 70s and 80s.
After retiring in 1987, he turned to his hobby for a second career, setting up on his own as a trainer in Lambourn in 1989 and then, ten years later, moving on to the historic West Ilsley stables, formerly owned by The Queen.
He has compared training horses to football management, with one big difference – horses don’t talk back.
Channon has since trained more than 2,000 winners.
His training career took off in 1994 when Piccolo won the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York but the best he has trained must be Youmzain – a £33,0000 buy who finished runner-up in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on three occasions.
Channon was badly injured in a car crash in 2008 but the winners have continued to flow. His son, also Mick, has been his right-hand man.
He has yet to land a QIPCO British Champions Series race but does have a Cheltenham Festival winner on his CV after Mister Whittaker’s victory at Prestbury Park in 2018.