By Simon Clifford.
One man who is no stranger to winner’s enclosure is Michael Winters, who is enjoying a tremendous season.
For the second year running the Cork trainer had the winner of the Galway Hurdle, in Missunited, and can therefore stand toe to toe with the likes of Willie Mullins and Aidan O’Brien, and could go right to the top with the right ammunition.
Winters has been around the racing game for many years, although his route into racing wasn’t the usual one, with his father, Denis, being a bookmaker.
“He was a bookmaker by day and in the evening he’d come home to his greyhounds, which were his pride and joy,” said Winters, who was one of 12 growing up in Cork.
“My father had 30-40 greyhounds in training and breeding. Having six boys and six girls in the family he wasn’t short of walkers for the greyhounds, and milkers for the cows.
“His local track was Cork but he wouldn’t think about going up to Shelbourne Park with his brother Teddy if he thought he had a chance of bringing off a touch. He would feed them the best of steak and vitamins and shine them up….always making them look their best [and] going for ‘little touches’ as he called it.
For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World