Sir Michael arrived in Britain from Barbados just before his 20th birthday and, after a few years learning the trade, set up as a trainer in Newmarket in 1972.
Date of birth: 22 Oct 1945
Started training: 1972
Base: Freemason Lodge, Newmarket
Champion trainer: Six times (1981, 1986, 1989, 1994, 1997, 2000)
Derby best: Winner
Shergar (1981) Shahrastani (1986) Kris Kin (2003)
2002 wins: 105
2001 wins: 75
2000 wins: 86
Within 10 years he had won his first Derby, Shergar memorably coming home 10 lengths ahead of the field in 1981.
The trainer followed that up five years later with Shahrastani, before his third success provided by Kris Kin in 2003.
His first Classic victory came three years before Shergar's Epsom win, Fair Salinia taking the 1978 Oaks.
And ever since, the 57-year-old has been producing top-class winners.
In total, his victories include 22 English and Irish Classics as well as many prestigious races overseas such as the Breeders' Cup Turf and the Japan Cup - both of which he has won twice - and the Dubai World Cup.
Sir Michael even switched codes to win the Champion Hurdle with Kribensis in 1990.
He was the only trainer in the 20th century to win a Classic in five successive seasons and has been champion trainer six times.
The only real gap in his roll of honour is the St Leger.
Many brilliant horses have passed through the Freemason Lodge stables, including Pilsudski and Singspiel, but without doubt the most famous was the awesome but ill-fated Shergar.
Kris Kin's Derby win came just a month after the stable landed the 1,000 Guineas with Russian Rhythym.
With nearly 200 horses in his care, Sir Michael has one of the largest strings in Europe and remains the biggest threat to the training powerhouses of Godolphin and Coolmore.
One of three Flat trainers employed by the Queen, he was knighted in 1998 for services to tourism in his native Barbados.