John Dunlop (racehorse trainer)

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John Leeper Dunlop
Born(1939-07-10)10 July 1939
Tetbury, England
Died7 July 2018(2018-07-07) (aged 78)
Major racing wins
British Classic Race wins:
1,000 Guineas (3)
Epsom Oaks (2)
Epsom Derby (2)
St. Leger Stakes (3)
Champion Trainer (1995)
Order of the British Empire
Significant horses
Awaasif, Beauchamp King, Circus Plume, Elnadim, Erhaab, Habibti, Invincible Spirit, Lavinia Fontana, Marju, Mehthaaf, Millenary, Mountain Lodge, North Stoke, Posse, Quick As Lightning, Ragstone, Salsabil, Scottish Rifle, Sea Chimes, Shadayid, Shirley Heights, Silver Patriarch, Wassl

John Leeper Dunlop OBE (10 July 1939 – 7 July 2018) was an English race horse trainer based in Arundel, Sussex.[1] He trained the winners of 74 Group One races, including 10 British Classics,[2] with over 3000 winners in total.[3] He was the British flat racing Champion Trainer in 1995.

Born in Tetbury, he first took out a training licence in 1966. After a two-year apprenticeship with Neville Dent and Gordon Smyth he took over Castle Stables in Arundel, on the Duke of Norfolk's estate.

He played a pivotal role in the establishment of Middle Eastern influences in British horseracing, training Hatta, Sheikh Mohammed's first winner as an owner at Brighton in 1977.[2] He was also associated with Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum over a period of three decades, training horses such as Salsabil, winner of the 1,000 Guineas, Oaks and Irish Derby. The main jockeys with which he was associated include the Australian Ron Hutchinson, Willie Carson, Pat Eddery[3] and Lester Piggott . In later years he was also associated with Richard Quinn and Ted Durcan.[4] The 2,000 Guineas was the only British Classic that eluded him.[2]

Dunlop was appointed OBE in the 1996 Birthday Honours. He was also a trustee of the British Racing School.[5]

In 2001, he suffered a ruptured aorta, but survived.[4] He retired at the end of the 2012 flat racing season. His sons, Ed and Harry, are also both trainers. Jeremy Noseda and Gerard Butler also learnt their trade with him.[3]

He died on 7 July 2018 at the age of 78.[6][7]

Major wins[edit]

1000 Guineas
Black, red sleeves, black cap, red spots Black, white sash and sleeves, quartered cap Dark blue, white cross belts and sleeves, pink cap
Quick As Lightning Our Home Mrs Penny
Royal blue, white epaulets, striped cap Red, yellow cross of lorraine and sleeves Royal blue, silver striped sleeves, red and royal blue hooped cap
Salsabil Heart of Joy Negligent
Royal blue, white epaulets, striped cap Red and green hoops Dark blue, dark green cap
Shadayid Kooyonga Crystal Gazing
Light Blue, Chocolate sleeves, hooped cap Emerald green, royal blue sleeves, white cap, emerald green spots Red, yellow and white hooped sleeves and cap
Shirley Heights Hawaiian Sound Remainder Man
Royal blue, white epaulets, striped cap Maroon, white sleeves, white cap Emerald green, royal blue sleeves, white cap, emerald green spots
Erhaab King's Theatre Colonel Collins
McAlpine tartan, gold armlets and cap Light Blue, Purple epaulets, quartered cap Black and white diamonds, black cap
Circus Plume Media Luna Poquito Queen
Royal blue, white epaulets, striped cap Emerald green and yellow (halved), reversed sleeves, yellow cap Dark green
Salsabil Game Plan Knight's Baroness
St Leger
Sky blue, gold quartered cap Blue, yellow sash, spots on sleeves, quartered cap Royal blue, white chevron, light blue cap
Moon Madness Celestial Storm Untold
Red and blue (quartered), white sleeves, black cap Royal Blue, Light Blue cap Royal blue, silver striped sleeves, red and royal blue hooped cap
Silver Patriarch Vertical Speed The Fly
Grey, red cross of lorraine, hooped sleeves, quartered cap Pale Blue, White and Yellow check cap MAROON and WHITE DIABOLO, white sleeves, maroon cap
Millenary Air Marshall Chimes at Midnight

United Kingdom Great Britain

France France

Germany Germany

Republic of Ireland Ireland

Italy Italy


  1. ^ "Profile of John Dunlop at Racenews Internet Services". Racenews Online. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Wood, Greg (13 September 2012). "John Dunlop to retire after 47 years of training classy racehorses". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Profile: John Dunlop". BBC. 1 May 2003. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b "QIPCO British Champions Series: John Dunlop". British Champions Series. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  5. ^ "British Racing School list of trustees". British Racing School.
  6. ^ John Dunlop: Trainer of Derby winners Shirley Heights & Erhaab dies aged 78
  7. ^ Powell, Jonathan (13 July 2018). "John Dunlop obituary". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 16 July 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.