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Moment of the Month

30 November 2021

In this week’s first edition of Moment of The Month we look back at the remarkable training career of the brilliant Alain de Royer-Dupré after he announced he will retire from the ranks at the end of this year.

Alain de Royer-Dupré looked destined to work in the racing industry having grown up at Haras de Saint Lô, a national stud farm in Normandy. It was there he spent time with his father who was Assistant Director and later Director and responsible for government-owned stallions in the local region.

After an eight-year stint working at Mme Jean Couturié's stud in Normandy, Haras du Mesnil, Alain de Royer-Dupré embarked on his own training career starting out with just three horses. He saddled his first winner on the 23rd of April 1971 when El Morucho won a steeplechase at Nantes.

Establishing himself as a public trainer at Montfort Le Rotrou in Normandy, he had plenty of early success in the French provinces training second-string horses for the Aga Khan and Baron Guy de Rothschild. In 1981 he became principal trainer for the Aga Khan at Aiglemont, Chantilly following the death of François Mathet.

You do not have to look far the see the quality of his training capabilities. Alain de Royer-Dupré has trained well over 1000 winners throughout his career including a staggering 77 Group One victories across three continents and eight countries. He has won every French Classic twice and trained some outstanding horses over the years.

G1 success has included G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (2400m) wins of Dalakhani in 2003 and the outstanding and unbeaten Zarkava five years later. He has also saddled a staggering seven winners of the G1 Poules d'Essais (1600m) and G1 Prix Vermeilles (2400m), six victories in the G1 Prix de Diane (2100m) and G1 Prix Saint Alary (2000m), and five in the G1 Prix du Jockey Club (2100m). These successes featured champions such as: Daylami, Sendawar, Reliable Man, Darshaan and Sagawara.

Alain de Royer-Dupré is by no means a stranger to international success becoming the first French trainer to win a Melbourne Cup (3200m) thanks to Americain in 2010. He has saddled six Group One victories in Great Britain and Ireland whilst also enjoying Breeders Cup success in 1984 with Lashkari. Pride and Daryakana ensured a pair of Group One wins in Hong Kong with the former winning the Hong Kong Cup (2000m) in 2006 and the latter the Vase (2400m) just three years later.

His international achievements don’t just stop there however as he has achieved major success in Canada, Germany, Dubai, and Italy.  

Alain de Royer-Dupré goes down in history as one of Frances greatest trainers and must also be acknowledged as one of the finest in Europe and across the globe. 

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