It will come as a surprise to many, but Mick Halford has been a trainer for over 30 years having taken out his license at the age of 21 back in 1985. Success did not come quickly for him, but he gradually worked his way up the ranks and for the last decade he has been a regular fixture in the top 10 trainers in Ireland.
Indeed, having made a significant move to the purpose-built Copper Beech Stables in 2007, Halford has steadily increased the quality of his string and his performance has gone up a gear too.
High-profile owners such as the Aga Khan and Sheikh Mohammed have come on-board and he got off the mark in Group 1 company when saddling Casamento to win the Racing Post Trophy in 2010.
With a significant squad of promising horses at his disposal for 2018, Halford was good enough to sit down with Kevin Blake of attheraces.com to discuss their prospects.