Michael Channon Jnr, Assistant Trainer

Born and bred in Southampton, Michael took a circuitous route into racing having started out with ambitions to be a professional footballer. Quick, tall and athletic, the only factor that held him back from making his name in the game was real talent.

Sacked by Alan Ball in 1994, Michael went on to gain a Sports Science degree at Liverpool John Moores University, before joining Granada Television in 1999. He spent six years in Manchester, progressing from tea boy and runner to an on-screen sports reporter, before becoming a documentary producer working for Sky Television and Channel 4.

Having set up his own company, Michael returned South in 2004, until the events of August 2008 saw him join the West Ilsley team on a full time basis.

The “Good Cop” to Mick’s “Bad”, Michael travels the length and breadth of the country through the summer months as Mick’s traveling Assistant, whilst the off season involves overseeing the running of the yard in Mick’s absence at a crucial stage in the preparation of the two year olds for the coming campaign. 

 

FULL NAME: Michael John Channon

 

JOB TITLE: Assistant Trainer

 

WHEN DID YOU ARRIVE AT WEST ILSLEY?: I was saddling runners and representing Mick since 2006 before starting on a full time basis in 2008.

 

FAVOURITE HORSES AT WEST ILSLEY?: Rocamadour was great, Youmzain speaks for himself and Music Show. I love Arnold Lane.

 

BEST ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?: Keep it simple, you're not that bright.

 

FAVOURITE RACECOURSE?: Newbury

 

LEAST FAVOURITE RACECOURSE?: Anywhere involving the M25

 

WHICH RACE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO WIN?: Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe - Youmzain brought us so close that it seems so cruel with hindsight!

 

WHO WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO MEET?: A calm MRC!

 

FAVOURITE SPORTS?: Cricket & Racing

 

LEAST FAVOURITE SPORTS?: Anything overhyped

 

FAVOURITE FILM?: The King’s Speech

 

FAVOURITE BOOK?: How to lose friends and alienate people

 

FAVOURITE TV PROGRAMME?: Family Guy

 

WHAT/WHO REALLY ANNOYS YOU?: Whingeing/ Myself

 

GIVE US A TWO YEAR OLD FOR 2013: Ambria's Fury

 

WHAT IS THE BEST DAY OF YOUR RACING LIFE?: A toss up between Alfredtheordinary winning a Class 6 Nursery at Kempton in 2007 and Music Show winning the Falmouth in 2010. Seriously.

 

WHAT IS THE BEST BET YOU’VE EVER HAD?: I backed a horse called Cheveux Mitchell on the old straight course at Kempton when Mick started training back in 1989. It came in at 66/1. I had a fiver on it, so Mick had to have a tenner. He let me keep the lot with the instructions “Don’t tell your mother”. I was only 14 and went back to my mum with almost a grand, told her, and she kept the lot! Lessons are learnt the hard way.

 

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR SPECIALIST SUBJECT ON MASTERMIND?: Southampton Football Club 1885 - Matt Le Tissier's retirement, which seemed to signal the end of enjoyment for the sake of winning at any cost.

 

FAVOURITE NIGHT OUT?: The Railway Tavern, Hungerford

 

FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION?: Anywhere that encourages doing bugger all. It also needs to be hot.

 

BEST/WORST SUBJECTS AT SCHOOL?: Best English/ Worst Maths

 

WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT?: Almost nothing.

 

WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT YOU’VE SEEN IN RACING?: A topless photograph of Martin Dwyer in the Racing Post. Why he thought that posing topless to show off his injuries was a good idea is anyone’s guess. I got a bollocking in the Nottingham weighing room for laughing out loud about it with Tom Dascombe’s assistant Colin Gorman. According to the Clerk of the Scales, it’s “Not a zoo” in there. That just made it worse.

 

FAVOURITE MRC MOMENT?: Too many to recall. I think it was Alan Ball’s final day with us on the gallops. One of the two year olds veered out and kicked one of the cones marking the fresh ground. The Old Man thought it would be productive to give a cone that was destined for traffic duty the mother of all bollockings. He kicked it across the gallops which hurt him so much he went even more mental. Bally cracked up in the wagon with me in the back and asked him if the cone should pick up its P45. A cherished memory. 

Michael Channon Jnr, Assistant Trainer
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