Born in the Bendigo district in 1863, Richard Bradfield entered the training field in 1882, and until his retirement in 1940 was one the most successful and respected trainers in Australia. In all his years of training he was never once called into the Stewards' Room to query the running of any of his horses.
In his long career Bradfield trained the winners of most of Australia's major handicaps and weight-for-age races. The first of his four Melbourne Cups came with Patron in 1894, and were followed by The Victory (1902), Night Watch (1918), and Backwood (1924). In the Caulfield Cup of 1918 he performed the feat of training the first three place-getters – Lucknow, Night Watch and Chrome. Apart from his success with Australian bred horses, he was noted for his patient handling of imported horses – his Melbourne Cup winner, Backwood, and Caulfield Cup winners, Lucknow and King Offa were all imports.
Bradfield was also known as a renowned trainer of apprentices. Harold Badger, Harold Jones and Arthur Dewhurst were three whose careers were guided by Bradfield.
Bradfield was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.