|Born||28 October 1941|
|Occupation||bookmaker, businessman, race horse owner|
|Honors||Keeneland Mark of Distinction (2002)|
Michael Barry Tabor (born 28 October 1941) is a British businessman, bookmaker, gambler and owner of thoroughbred racehorses.
Tabor regularly appears on the Sunday Times Rich List of the richest people in Britain. In 2012 his fortune was estimated to be £550 million; million.two years previously the business magazine Management Today had suggested it was $2 billion. According to The Sunday Times Rich List in 2019 his net worth was estimated at £629
Michael Tabor was brought up in Forest Gate in east London, the son of a glassmaker.Tabor's grandparents were Russian-Jewish immigrants, originally called Taborosky, who had moved to London from Vilna, Russia. He was educated at East Ham Grammar School, leaving when he was 15 to get a job in the local Co-op. He was nearly a hairdresser, enrolling at the Morris School of Hairdressing in Piccadilly, but instead turned to bookmaking. Tabor's father had for a time been in partnership with a bookmaker at Romford Greyhound Stadium and Tabor himself became interested in gambling in his teens, spending Monday and Friday afternoons at Hendon's greyhound stadium in north London and regularly attending the track at White City.
Tabor worked for commission agents and credit bookmakers before setting up in business for himself in 1968. He borrowed £30,000 from a financier to buy two bankrupt betting shops from Andrew Gordon, retaining the name Arthur Prince and expanding the business until he owned a chain of 114 shops. In 1995 he sold the business to Coral for a reported £27 million."There's an old saying I like," Tabor said, "which is that good punters make good bookmakers. I have found that to be very true."
Tabor gained a reputation as a shrewd, daring and successful gambler, whose actions could dramatically affect the odds being offered on a horse.Speculation in the press linked him to bets of tens of thousands of pounds. His later horseracing associate, Derrick Smith, told The Racing Post that when he was working with Ladbrokes in the 1980s they had to stop taking Tabor's bets.
Tabor's first horse was Tornado Prince, bought for £2,850 in 1973. He bought several more, including Royal Derbi, trained, as was Tornado Prince, by Neville Callaghan in Newmarket.
His great successes as an owner, however, came in association with the expert Irish horsemen connected to the Coolmore Stud of John Magnier. In 1994 Tabor paid more than $400,000 for the promising two-year-old thoroughbred Thunder Gulch. The horse went on to win the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes and the Travers Stakes, narrowly missing the American Triple Crown when he was beaten by less than a length in the Preakness Stakes. Tabor had been looking for a horse to race in America having moved to Miami, Florida, and had been pointed for advice to John Magnier by a mutual friend, J.P. McManus. Demi O'Byrne, the bloodstock adviser to Magnier, advised Tabor on his purchase and Magnier bought half of Thunder Gulch to stand at stud at Coolmore's Kentucky annexe at Ashford.
Tabor joined the Coolmore partnership. His money allowed Magnier to become once again a major buyer in the top yearling sales, a role he had not played since the mid-1980s when he had acted in conjunction with Robert Sangster and other associates. In 1995 they bought three of the top four yearlings at the Keeneland Sales and paid 600,000 guineas for the leading lot at Tattersalls' Houghton Sale. That colt, Entrepreneur, went on to win the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Tabor became the owner and co-owner of an extraordinary catalogue of some of the world's best racehorses, generally owning the Coolmore horses in a three-way partnership with Magnier and his wife Sue, and with another former London bookmaker, Derrick Smith, who became involved in the mid-2000s.His Desert King won the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the Irish Derby in 1997, while Entrepreneur took the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket that same year to give Tabor his first victory in an English Classic. Montjeu won the Irish Derby and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1999, while Tabor won The Derby in 2001 and 2002 with Galileo and then High Chaparral, the latter horse also winning the Irish Derby and the Breeders' Cup Turf. Tabor won the Derby again, with Pour Moi in 2011 and with Camelot in 2012, the year that horse also took the 2,000 Guineas and the Irish Derby at the Curragh, though he missed out on the English Triple Crown by finishing second in the St Leger. Tabor was also the breeder, as well as the owner, of Giant's Causeway, winner of numerous Group One races, and in 1995 his Hurricane Run was voted the world's top-ranked racehorse by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. His Derby victories made Tabor one of only four men to have raced a winner of both the Epsom and the Kentucky Derbies; the others are Paul Mellon, John W. Galbreath and Prince Ahmed bin Salman.
Tabor acknowledged the superiority of his Irish associates in their judgment of horses, telling The Independent newspaper: "I enjoy going round looking at the horses and I like to think I've got a fair idea. But I don't know a lot really and a little knowledge is dangerous." Discussing the economics of Coolmore's extremely successful breeding operation, Tabor said: "I get enormous pleasure out of the horses but, it goes without saying, that you're trying to make stallions. You need a stallion, maybe a stallion and a half, every year."
In May 2014 Tabor assumed a 100% control of Victor Chandler International after Victor Chandler sold his interest in the firm.
His racing associations have also extended into other areas of business. With Magnier, Derrick Smith and J.P. McManus, Tabor is one of the co-owners of the luxury Sandy Lane hotel in Barbados.In addition, Tabor, Magnier, McManus, and another Irish associate and Sandy Lane owner, Dermot Desmond, collectively owned 60 per cent of the Next Generation chain of fitness clubs sold to London & Regional Properties for around £200 million in 2006. Tabor, Magnier, Smith, McManus and the currency trader Joe Lewis also own a large stake in the Mitchells & Butlers pub chain. This group of businessmen is also reported to have profited extensively from currency speculation, activity sometimes attributed to their association with Lewis.
In 2008 the company Global Radio, founded by Tabor's son, Ashley, took over GCap Media, owners of Capital Radio, and Classic FM. That move was backed with £375 million from investors including Magnier, McManus, and Tabor.The deal made Global Radio the largest radio group in the United Kingdom.
Tabor's other business dealings include an investment in two London hotelsand a failed attempt in 1996 to buy West Ham United football club, whom he has supported since he was a boy.
Tabor divides his time between Monte Carlo, and Barbados.He has been married, to Doreen, since 1975. They have a son, Ashley Tabor.
Robert Edmund Sangster was a British businessman, thoroughbred racehorse owner and breeder. Sangster's horses won 27 European Classics and more than 100 Group One races, including two Epsom Derbys, four Irish Derbys, two French Derbys, three Prix de l'Arc de Triomphes, as well as the Breeders' Cup Mile and the Melbourne Cup. He was British flat racing Champion Owner five times.
John Magnier is an Irish business magnate. He is Ireland's leading thoroughbred stud owner and has extensive business interests outside the horse-breeding industry.
High Chaparral was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from September 2001 to October 2003, he ran 13 times and won 10 races. His win in the Racing Post Trophy made him one of the highest-rated two-year-olds of 2001. In 2002, he defeated Hawk Wing in The Derby and won the Breeders' Cup Turf. At four, he defeated Falbrav and Alamshar in the Irish Champion Stakes and won a second Breeders' Cup Turf.
Vincent O'Brien was an Irish race horse trainer from Churchtown, County Cork, Ireland. In 2003 he was voted the greatest influence in horse racing history in a worldwide poll hosted by the Racing Post. In earlier Racing Post polls he was voted the best ever trainer of national hunt and of flat racehorses. He trained six horses to win the Epsom Derby, won three Grand Nationals in succession and trained the only British Triple Crown winner, Nijinsky, since the Second World War. He was twice British champion trainer in flat racing and also twice in national hunt racing; the only trainer in history to have been champion under both rules. Aidan O'Brien took over the Ballydoyle stables after his retirement.
Coolmore Stud, in Fethard, County Tipperary, Ireland, is headquarters of the world's largest breeding operation of thoroughbred racehorses. Through its racing arm, Ballydoyle, Coolmore also has raced many classic winners and champions. The operation is currently owned and run by the Magnier family, which has been associated with a long sequence of top-class stallions since the 1850s, originally in County Cork, where stallions still stand as part of Coolmore today.
Hurricane Run (2002–2016) was a world champion Irish-bred thoroughbred racehorse. He was the second French-trained horse, after his sire Montjeu to win both the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Dylan Thomas is a retired Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire. In a racing career which lasted from June 2005 until December 2007, he ran twenty times and won ten races. After winning two minor races in 2005 he improved to become one of the leading European three-year-olds of 2006, winning the Irish Derby and the Irish Champion Stakes as well as finishing a close third in The Derby. In 2007 he won three of Europe's most important weight-for-age races, taking the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, a second Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. His performances led to his being named European Horse of the Year in 2007.
St Nicholas Abbey was an Irish thoroughbred racehorse. He was the leading European two-year-old of 2009 and recovered from a disappointing three-year-old season to win the Coronation Cup and the Breeders' Cup Turf in 2011. He won the Coronation Cup for a second time in 2012 and the Dubai Sheema Classic in 2013. In June 2013 he won the Coronation Cup for an unprecedented third time. He was briefly the biggest money-winning racehorse trained in Europe. His career was ended prematurely due to injury in July 2013, and he was euthanised in January 2014 while undergoing colic surgery.
Footstepsinthesand is a retired, undefeated Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire who was bred in the United Kingdom but trained during his racing career in Ireland. He won both his races as a two-year-old in 2004 and won the 2000 Guineas Stakes at Newmarket on his three-year-old debut in 2005. Footstepsinthesand sustained an injury during the race and never ran again, retiring to stud undefeated after a career of only three races.
Camelot is a British-bred, Irish-trained thoroughbred racehorse. He was one of the leading European two-year-olds of 2011 and won the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. He was made the winter favourite for the 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby. On his three-year-old debut, Camelot won the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and followed up by winning the Derby at Epsom and the Irish Derby at the Curragh. His bid for the Triple Crown failed when he finished runner-up to Encke in the St Leger.
King of Kings was an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from May 1997 to June 1998 he ran seven times and won five races. After establishing himself as one of the leading colts of his generation in Ireland as a two-year-old, when his wins included the Group One National Stakes, he recorded his most important win when he travelled to England to win the 2000 Guineas on his first start of 1998. After a disappointing run in The Derby he was retired to stud. He died in South Africa at the age of twenty.
Entrepreneur was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from August 1996 to September 1997 he ran six times and won three races. After winning two of his three races in 1996 he won the 2000 Guineas on his first start as a three-year-old. Entrepreneur then started the shortest-priced Epsom Derby favourite for fifty years, but finished fourth. After another disappointing run in autumn he was retired to stud.
Milan, is a retired Thoroughbred racehorse and active sire who was bred in Britain but trained in Ireland. In a career which lasted from October 2000 until May 2002, he ran ten times and won three races. He recorded his most important success when winning the Classic St. Leger Stakes as a three-year-old in 2001. In the same year also won the Great Voltigeur Stakes and finished second in the Breeders' Cup Turf. He was retired after being injured in his only race as a four-year-old.
Virginia Waters is an American-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. In a racing career which lasted from September 2004 to October 2005 she ran twelve times and won three races. After winning once from four starts as a two-year-old, she won the Group Three Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial Stakes on her first appearance of 2005. She then recorded her most important success when winning the Classic 1000 Guineas two of her six races including an upset win in the Group Two Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket Racecourse. Virginia Waters failed to win her remaining six races, her best results coming when she finished fourth in The Oaks and second in the Matron Stakes. At the end of her three-year-old season she was retired from racing to become a broodmare.
Magician is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse. After showing unremarkable form as a two-year-old in 2012, he established himself as a top-class performer in May 2013 with wins in the Dee Stakes and the Irish 2000 Guineas. After a long break, he returned in November to win the Breeders' Cup Turf and a month later was voted Cartier Champion Three-year-old Colt.
Australia is an Irish-bred, Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the 2014 Epsom Derby. As a two-year-old in 2013, he won two of his three races, creating a very favourable impression when winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Trial Stakes, and was highly regarded by his trainer Aidan O'Brien. In May 2014 he finished third behind Night of Thunder and Kingman in the 2000 Guineas before winning the Epsom Derby on 7 June. He subsequently won the Irish Derby and International Stakes before being defeated by The Grey Gatsby in the Irish Champion Stakes. His racing career was ended by injury in October 2014. He is standing at Coolmore stud.
Idaho is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse. In four years on the track he raced in seven countries, namely Ireland, France, England, Canada, the United States, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. In 2016 he finished third in The Derby and second in the Irish Derby before winning the Great Voltigeur Stakes. He was the odds-on favourite for the St Leger Stakes but stumbled and unseated his rider. In the following year he ran poorly in the Coronation Cup but then won the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and finished third in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The highlight of his final season was a win in the Ormonde Stakes.
Bushranger is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. He showed his best form as a two-year-old in 2008 when he won four of his seven races including the Anglesey Stakes in Ireland, the Prix Morny in France and the Middle Park Stakes in England as well as finishing second in the Phoenix Stakes. He was rated the second-best juvenile of the year in Europe. Bushranger failed to recapture his form in three starts as a three-year-old and was retired to stud at the end of 2009. He has had some success as a sire of winners.
Serpentine is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse best known for his upset win in the 2020 Epsom Derby.
St Mark's Basilica is a French-bred, Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse. He was rated the best two-year-old in Europe in 2020 when he won two of his five races including the Dewhurst Stakes. On his first run of 2021 he won the Poule d'Essai des Poulains. He went on to win the Prix du Jockey Club and defeat older horses in the Eclipse Stakes.