InterviewThe Big Read

Sir Michael Stoute: 'I'm very easy to get on with, some of the time - the rest of the time I'm like you: a bit bloody awkward!'

Peter Thomas talks to the legendary trainer ahead of another big year

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Peter ThomasRacing Writer of the Year
Sir Michael Stoute sits in the garden at his home, Harlech House, in Newmarket
Sir Michael Stoute sits in the garden at his home, Harlech House, in Newmarket Credit: Edward Whitaker

Sir Michael Stoute is 77 years old and he's been training since 1972, so he's been around the block a few times and he's certainly not about to be bamboozled or railroaded into saying something he doesn't want to say. That much becomes clear very quickly, although I've been here often enough to have expected no different.

The welcome is friendly. There's coffee on the table in the sunny conservatory, with a plate of biscuits alongside (some of them chocolate) and Stoute is in good form, but you should never confuse geniality with vulnerability where the big Barbadian is concerned. His guard is rarely down when a newspaper man is lurking.

Not that I'm trying to make off with the family silver, or even stable secrets. I'm merely trying to sate the fascination of Racing Post readers with up-to-date information on plans for Desert Crown, the 2022 Derby winner, who hasn't been seen in public since that memorable day at Epsom, but who, so I understand, is inching his way back to a racecourse reappearance.

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Published on 13 May 2023Last updated 18:00, 13 May 2023