Born in a Lancashire village six months before World War II broke out, Bailey has spent a lifetime in racing. He was apprenticed to Jack Colling in the 1950s and – apart from breaks for National Service in the Army Catering Corp and a spell as a lifeguard in Bournemouth – he has been based in racing stables ever since.
He began training near Newmarket in 1980 and, after a lengthy spell in Cheshire, is now back in the Suffolk town. Bailey has enjoyed no shortage of success with Group winners such as Agrippina (1999 Oh So Sharp Stakes) and in major handicaps like the Chester Cup (1988 Old Hubert; 1998 Silence In Court) and Ayr Gold Cup (1987 Not So Silly).
He's still as enthusiastic as ever and is one of the most well respected trainers in the game and a great judge as well as being one of the shrewdest. He trains at Cavendish Stables in Newmarket on the historic Hamilton Road.
His best season in recent years came with 40 successes in 2011.