Ed was bred to be a trainer. He was only nine years old when his father, the celebrated Arundel trainer John Dunlop, clocked up his first Derby success with Shirley Heights (1978). John repeated the feat with Erhaab in 1994 and has won all the domestic classics with the exception of the 2000 Guineas, while Ed’s younger brother Harry is also a successful trainer in Lambourn. However, Ed was forced somewhat prematurely to take the helm, following the tragic death in October 1994 of Newmarket trainer Alex Scott, to whom he had been assistant at Oak Stables. He took over the licence on a temporary basis and his first niche in the record books was carved courtesy of Lynton Lad at Yarmouth on October 19, 1994 the day before Ed celebrated his 26th birthday.

Sheikh Maktoum Al-Maktoum, who owned the yard, made it clear that he wanted Ed to carry on, and in only his second season training he hit the jackpot when his landlord’s Ta Rib won the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) at Longchamp. A second Group 1 victory followed later that year, via Iktamal in the Haydock Sprint Cup, since when Ed’s career has blossomed with top-level successes being achieved all over the world.

Part of racing’s enduring attraction is the dream. But in an industry that is ever more results-orientated, it is about delivering success. And that is what Ed Dunlop and his wife Becky, supported by an enthusiastic and friendly team in the office and a squad of dedicated lads and lasses in the yard, are focussed on doing in the months and years ahead.


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