Another name, another horseracing dynasty. The Eton-educated Ed Dunlop was only nine years old when his now retired father John trained the first of his two Derby winners. John Dunlop, indeed, became one of the greats of the sport, winning every British Classic several times bar the 2000 Guineas.
As a teenager, Dunlop Jr rebelled after years of dragging himself from his bed at 6am to ride his father’s horses and determined to find another way to earn a living. He was soon drawn back, however – even after growing too big to ride (at the last measurement, he stands at 6ft 5in).
One horse in particular helped make his name – the hugely popular Ouija Board. According to Dunlop, indeed, the filly changed both his career and his life, winning the Oaks and the Irish Oaks in 2004 followed by the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, a race she won again in 2006.
Horses like Ouija Board come along once in a lifetime yet Dunlop found a replacement in 2010 when Snow Fairy repeated the Oaks double, as well as winning top-flight races in Hong Kong and Japan before being crowned as Europe’s best three-year-old filly.
He tasted QIPCO British Champions Series success when Red Cadeaux, with whom he had come agonisingly close to winning the Melbourne Cup in Australia in 2011, won the 2012 Sportingbet Yorkshire Cup, the opening race in the Long Distance division. Red Cadeaux went on to win the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Vase in December 2012.
He followed that with another Long Distance triumph in 2013 courtesy of Times Up, formerly trained by his father, in the Speedy Services Doncaster Cup.
In 2015, Dunlop unleashed another smart stayer in the shape of Trip To Paris, who followed his success in the Chester Cup with an emphatic victory in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot. The fast-improving stayer almost added another big win to his CV when finishing a close-up third in the Qatar Goodwood Cup.
Dunlop had branched out on his own as a trainer in tragic circumstances in 1994 after his employer, Newmarket trainer Alex Scott, was murdered.
He received the backing of Sheikh Maktoum Al-Maktoum, who owned the yard, and hit the jackpot in his second season when Ta Rib won the French 1000 Guineas. His brother, Harry, is also a trainer, based in Lambourn.