Training licence since 1972
Based in Chantilly, France
Summing up Alain de Royer Dupré’s career with a handful of landmark victories or horses names is virtually impossible, yet certain figures help grasping just how awesome it has been so far: at the end of 2015, Royer Dupré had won 72 Gr.1 races in ten different countries on four continents. Including all French Classics at least three times. And all Gr.1 races run at Longchamp, bar the Prix de l’Abbaye… Born in 1944, Alain de Royer Dupré was raised amongst horses. His father was an Officer of the French National Studs who notably managed Haras de Saint-Lô in Normandy. The young Alain began his love affair with horses as a show jumping and amateur rider, before spending eight years working at Madame Jean Couturié’s Haras du Mesnil. He started as a public trainer in the Sarthe region, back in 1972, with a handful of jumpers. The Aga Khan Studs and the Rothschild family supported him with second-string horses, whose performances in his care exceeded all expectations. He led the regional trainers’ rankings on multiple occasions in the late 1970s. In 1981, Royer Dupré made the bold move to Chantilly, where the Aga Khan’s principal trainer François Mathet was established. Following the latter’s passing away in 1983, the Aga Khan entrusted Royer Dupré with the majority of its homebred bluebloods. This was a pivotal, although surely stressful, opportunity and Royer Dupré seized it with impressive efficiency. His first year at the helm of Aiglemont yielded two Gr.1 winners: the two-year-old filly Masarika and her elder Sharaya. From then on, there was no stopping Royer Dupré. The following season, he registered a Classic double – the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches with the aforementioned Masarika and the Prix du Jockey Club with the legendary Darshaan, who defeated Sadler’s Wells and Rainbow Quest – then trained Lashkari to win the inaugural running of the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Two more Jockey Club titles swiftly followed, courtesy of Mouktar in 1985 and Natroun in 1987, while a first Prix de Diane was conquered in 1993 with Shemaka. Royer Dupré has now won a jaw-dropping total of six “Jockey Clubs” and as many Prix de Diane – needless to say that no current trainer in France has yet come close to this staggering tally. In the early 2000s, Royer Dupré was blessed with a pair of extremely talented colts, the Champion miler Sendawar and the Classic star Dalakhani, who presented him with his first victory in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. They were followed by an impressive series of top class fillies: Shawanda and Pride collected two Gr.1 trophies each in 2005-2006, Mandesha and Darjina landed three apiece in 2006-2007, and of course the unforgettable Zarkava carried all before her in 2008. The daughter of Zamindar remained unbeaten in seven starts including four Gr.1s: the Prix Marcel Boussac at two, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, the Prix de Diane and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at three. Her faultless 2008 campaign helped Royer Dupré secure that elusive Champion Trainer title, bringing André Fabre’s 20-year-long “reign” to an end. A superstar of Zarkava’s standard and a Champion trainer title may be regarded as the ultimate achievements of a conditioner’s career, yet Royer Dupré had no time to rest on his laurels: he was already busy working on future challenges. After registering a rare double on Arc day 2009, winning both Gr.1s for the younger generation with Rosanara and Siyouni, he became a superstar “down under” as the first French trainer to win the Melbourne Cup, courtesy of Americain in 2010. That same year, he collected his 6th Prix de Diane with Sarafina, who retired the following season as a triple Gr.1 winner. 2012 saw him win Gr.1 races in France, the UK and the USA… At such a pace, he will shortly enter the extremely select group of trainers to have sent out 100 Gr.1 winners.