Former trainer, he retired to oversee Tapeta Footings, a
synthetic surface he created. Tapeta is the surface over which the Dubai
World Cup will be run next Saturday, March 26, at Meydan in Dubai.
Birthdate: Feb. 3, 1950, in Yorkshire, England
Family: wife, Joan Wakefield
What was the impetus for you to develop a synthetic surface?
“During my days as a steeplechase rider I spent the summers with
Vincent O’Brien, who, as well as training 40 champion racehorses, was
the creator of an all-weather surface, and he ignited my passion for
surfaces. In the 28 years he trained at Ballydoyle, there were only two
fatalities, and the two summers I spent there, I can never remember
seeing a lame horse. For people to send him a million-dollar yearling,
he had to have a safe surface to train on.”