Veteran John recalls years of triumph at Doncaster Racecourse

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VETERAN trainer John Dunlop was honoured by Doncaster racecourse as he prepares to retire at the end of the Flat season.

The Arundel handler, who took out his licence in 1966, numbers 10 Classic winners on his CV - among them three St Leger winners at the South Yorkshire track in Moon Madness (1986), Silver Patriarch (1997) and Millenary (2000).

Dunlop, 73, was presented with a magnum of champagne, before Times Up scored a fairytale success in the Stobart Doncaster Cup.

Dunlop said: “I’ve had some very good days at Doncaster, winning Legers, Doncaster Cups and the Futurity Stakes amongst others,” he said.

“It’s a pleasure to come to South Yorkshire. I’ve had some lovely horses over the years, had champions like Habibti and won the Epsom Derby and the Irish Derby.”

n American investor and owner George Strawbridge has flown into Britain to watch Thought Worthy compete in today’s Ladbrokes St Leger but the American owner was able to make a first inspection of a potential successor at Sandown.

Flying Officer is a full-brother to both the Great Voltigeur winner and 2007 Leger star Lucarno and Strawbridge believes his juvenile could be every bit as smart as the earlier members of the dynasty after an encouraging debut victory in the EBF Maiden Stakes.

“It’s very exciting. Usually it’s very hard to duplicate success, but we just might have three full-brothers that are good,” said Strawbridge, the Pennsylvanian-based heir to the Campbell Soup company.

“I’m thrilled as Lucarno didn’t start at two, the other didn’t run until late in the fall, and here we are in September.

“They are really progressive horses and he’ll be pointed for next season. I will discuss things with the boss.”