Gordon Lord Byron: The bargain of a lifetime
Thoroughbred racing may be known as ‘the sport of kings’ but money and pedigree isn’t the be all and end all when it comes to creating success.
Morgan J Cahalan isn’t the most familiar name in racing, he’s a horse trader. He buys inexpensive foals and then through time and effort he develops them into more well-rounded athletes with the intention of selling them on to make a profit. The man from Tipperary was very skilled at his job – he’d never had a horse go to the auction and not attract a bid. That was until a foal he bought for €2,000 called Gordon Lord Byron went untouched in the sales ring. With Europe still in the grips of the economic crash of 2008 buyers simply weren’t interested in purchasing horses with a profile like “Gordon”. So he remained with Cahalan and began being trained by his close friend Tom Hogan.
His career on the racecourse didn’t start with a bang as it took him over a year to record his first win in a small maiden in Dundalk. However once Gordon caught the winning bug he couldn’t stop. He went on to record four further victories in Ireland before stepping up again to win the Listed City of York Stakes at York racecourse in 2012. This victory gave his owners the confidence to enter Gordon in his first ever Haydock Sprint Cup where he finished a close second to the talented Society Rock.
The following season back in the Ireland he won a warm up race at Leopardstown before having his finest moment when he galloped all over his rivals to win the 2013 Haydock Sprint Cup.
After that famous victory his overseas adventures began. Gordon finish fourth in the Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin before going on to win a Group One in Australia and ran with great credit in many high-class overseas contests.
While many horses would consider taking it easy and prepare for a long retirement Gordon continued to run well despite his advancing years. Especially at his beloved Haydock where he again came second in the Sprint Cup of 2014.
The following two renewals of the Sprint Cup saw Gordon Lord Byron fail to replicate his best form; but victories over in his homeland of Ireland still came regularly, with his latest win coming in May 2017 in a Group two at the Curragh.
The now ten-year-old Gordon has finished inside the top three in 42 of his 89 race starts and has amassed close to two million pounds in prize money. Not bad for a foal nobody wanted.