Author Bill O'Gorman trained thoroughbreds at Newmarket for thirty years, commencing at the age of just twenty one as the youngest trainer in the country. He later became the first British trainer to be licensed to ride on the flat.
His father, the late Paddy O'Gorman, was a well-known yearling breaker in what has now come to be regarded as the "horse whisperer" tradition who went on to be a successful trainer.
Bill's wife Elaine worked for Paddy before starting to break yearlings on her own account, his brother Dick is a well respected bloodstock agent, his daughter Emma rode very successfully and is now a leading pinhooker and his son PJ has recently received his own license to train.
"British racing has no Hall of Fame. If it had, trainer
Bill O'Gorman would be an automatic qualifier."
Although, in Bill's own words, it did take him "some years to become an overnight success", his stable eventually became a byword for both precocity and durability.
His two year olds showed a unique ability to withstand lengthy juvenile campaigns and yet to retain their ability and enthusiasm in the following seasons.
He attributes this characteristic to sensible selection of yearlings, to their proper preparation for racing both mentally and physically, and to constant monitoring of the inevitable wear and tear upon legs and temperaments throughout their careers following methods which he had learned from his father and which he further developed for himself.
"Judged on his record, O'Gorman would be winning Group
races every month if he received better support from owners."
The Racing Post Annual
Although yearlings were invariably purchased at the lower end of the market, the stable achieved an average of more than one win per two year old runner over a fifteen year period. This in itself is unusual, if not unprecedented, in Britain, however almost 20% of those runners also demonstrated stakes class ability. In seven of those fifteen years an inmate was the most prolific winning juvenile in the country.
One of them won six races, all at different tracks, in less than a month. Several times an individual won on successive days at different tracks. Two of them each won an unbelievable sixteen races at two years a world record and two of the others were each rated champion Irish two year old. Remarkably, many of these hard raced youngsters went on to be even better runners at three and four years, and several of them became successful stallions.