Fathers who inspired their children to big success in racing
There have been a number of fathers in racing who have been incredibly successful as jockeys and trainers but few have had children who go on to be equally as successful.
Many of the fathers in the list below were the ones to get their children into racing or even taught them first hand at a very young age, and some of the Dads have taken their kids through the journey from riding their first pony to seeing them win the biggest Group / Grade One races in the UK.
Gianfranco / Frankie Dettori
Gianfranco is a legend of Italian racing having been Italian champion jockey 13 times, he also came over to the UK several times and his big wins include the 2,000 Guineas in 1975 and 1976.
Gianfranco gave Frankie his first pony at eight years old, that’s when Frankie fell in love with riding and at 12 Frankie decided he wanted to become a jockey and the rest, as they say, is history. Frankie’s passionate personality and talent comes from both parents, his mother was a circus contortionist whose most famous trick was performing back-flips while standing astride two horses!
Ian / Andrew and Clare Balding
Ian was an internationally respected trainer having saddled legends like Mill Reef to the 1971 Epsom Derby and Forest Flower who won the 1986 1,000 Guineas.
Ian is quite an outlandish character, an example of this was during the 2012 Olympics, he said “I thought dressage is for pansies. They don’t do fences. All they do is make horses dance. Then I watched it and I was mesmerised. I couldn’t believe it.”
Andrew and Clare are continuing the family’s long equine history by being involved in racing as a trainer and broadcaster respectively.
Aidan / Joseph, Donnacha, Ana O’Brien
Aidan O’Brien needs little introduction as he is dominating British and Irish flat racing as trainer and fast becoming one of the greatest ever.
The eldest son Joseph at 24 has ridden many of his father’s horses to victory in the biggest races around the world, and now he’s making similar strides as a trainer. Joseph has won a 28 Group / Grade races including one of the best races in the world the Melbourne Cup with Rekindling.
It’s been an incredible few months in the O’Brien family with Joseph training the Irish Gold Cup winner Edwulf, a horse that almost died and Joseph not trained back to full fitness but won one of the biggest races in the Irish Jump calendar.
Aidan’s younger son Donnacha has had a brilliant start to his career, winning the QIPCO 2000 Guineas twice and the Investec Oaks in 2018, and all at such a young age.
Ana was progressing very nicely over in Ireland riding 22 winners in 2017 as well as a few winners for brother Joseph but after sustaining a neck injury her progress has slowed ever so slightly.
Ted / Ruby and Katie Walsh
Ted was a very successful Irish amateur jockey but his career in racing took another step as a trainer winning huge races such as the English and Irish Grand Nationals.
The recently retired Ruby and Katie were lucky enough to ride some of Ted’s best horses such as Papillon which Ruby rode to Grand National success in 2000 and Katie came close to Grand National glory with Seabass in 2012 finishing third.
— Dorothy O'Keeffe (@DorothyKeeffe) May 1, 2017
Jimmy and Bryony Frost
Jimmy won the prestigious Grand National in 1989, with Little Polveir by a distance of seven lengths.
Bryony Frost is the rising star of British Jumps racing, she won the Grade One Kauto Star Novices’ Chase in 2017 and in the process became only the second female rider to win a Grade One race over obstacles in Britain.
This year, at the Cheltenham Festival, Bryony reached superstardom with a historic win in the Ryanair Chase with Frodon. Bryony became the the first female jockey to win a Grade One over obstacles at the festival with that sensational victory.
Jimmy described Bryony’s last season as “unimaginable” and that “she deserves everything she has achieved as she works so hard at it”.
Peter / Michael and Tom Scudamore
Peter, universally known as ‘Scu’, won eight Champion Jockey titles riding 1,678 winners as well as being a successful trainer, pundit and columnist which earned him an MBE for services to the sport.
Peter is part of a racing dynasty with his father Michael winning the 1959 Grand National, and his son Tom is continuing the family’s success as a jockey.
There was more success for the family with Peter’s partner Lucinda Russell winning the 2017 Grand National with One For Arthur.
Both Flat and Jumps
Gary / Ryan, Jamie, Josh and Hayley Moore
As mentioned before in the most successful siblings in British racing, the Moore family are extremely successful in the world of racing.
Father Gary led the way as a successful trainer by having winners at the Cheltenham Festival and all over the country which has included winners ridden by all four of his children.
Nigel / Sam & Willy Twiston-Davies
Nigel has trained over a 1,000 winners including Grand National winners and the 2010 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner in Imperial Commander.
Sam has the potential to be champion jockey and Willy is part of an elite group of jockeys that won at Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot.
When Nigel was asked in a recent interview whether he was worried about his sons riding over fences, he responded, “No, they’re good at what they do. To be honest, I worry much more about them driving 50,000 miles a year!”
Martin / David Pipe
The 15-time National Hunt Champion Trainer Martin, was hugely successful training over 200 winners in one season on eight occasions he trained over 200 winners in one season, with a record tally of 243 in 1999-2000 and an amazing lifetime tally of 4183 European winners.
He saddled a total of 34 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, including two Champion Hurdles in 1993 (Granville Again) and 1997 (Make A Stand) as well as winning the biggest of the lot, the Grand National in 1994 with Miinnehoma.
Martin announced his retirement in 2006 and handed over the reins to David who has been successful in his own right, a particular highlight is emulating his father by training the 2008 Grand National winner Comply Or Die.