Trainer Tom Hogan with Gordon Lord Byron
Trainer Tom Hogan with Gordon Lord Byron

Trainer Tom Hogan with Gordon Lord Byron / Daily Telegraph (p)

“We live in a world of contrasts…”

Earlier this week, we penned a piece on Dubai, where nothing is beyond the reach of the rich. Next up was a column on modesty and restraint. Yesterday, we brought you the story of the acquisition of a 50% slice of an English Derby winner by a sheikh from a thoroughbred emperor the good Lord only knows how much for, but if you could get your hands on just 10% of that conversation, you wouldn’t have to work any longer. Meanwhile, try this one about two battlers who’ve seen the world on the back of a horse.

Irish sprinter Gordon Lord Byron has already seen much of the world, having competed in Ireland, England, France, Hong Kong and Dubai, and the 6-year-old recently added another stamp to his passport when jetting to Australia for a series of lucrative races. The dual Group 1 winner will make his debut Down Under in Saturday’s G1 George Ryder Stakes going 1500 meters at Rosehill Gardens ahead of either the A$3 million G1 Doncaster Mile or the A$2.5 million G1 T.J. Smith Stakes, both April 12 at Royal Randwicks The Championships. Gordon Lord Byron has taken owner Morgan Cahalan and trainer Tom Hogan, lifelong friends from Co. Tipperary, on quite the journey.

We knew each other as kids. We knew the same girls and we drank in the same pub. We didn’t marry the same woman, as Cahalan quipped. Perhaps the pairs greatest adventure began when Cahalan picked up Gordon Lord Byron for just €2,000 as a weanling at Goffs November. Reoffered as a Goffs yearling, Gordon Lord Byron failed to meet his reserve when led out at €5,000. Today, Gordon Lord Byron has earned more than $1 million. “I knew he was good, Cahalan said. We had a few quid on him at 100-1 one day and he finished second. The weather turned bad and we kept asking him to win races in heavy ground until we went to the all-weather track and there he really came good. I knew I had a Group 1 horse on my hands, but we didn’t know he was a Group 1 horse until a little bit later. Gordon Lord Byron’s first success at the highest level came in the 2012 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp, and he followed up last year with a victory in the G1 Haydock Sprint Cup. Only supermare Moonlight Cloud stood between him and a Prix de la Foret title defense last year.