JOHN Dunlop, one of the greatest trainers of modern times and a man respected throughout the sport, has died at the age of 78 after a long illness.

A man of great dignity – a true patrician – he won the Derby with Shirley Heights and Erhaab and merely flicked his fingers when Silver Patriarch was short-headed by Benny The Dip in 1997. Silver Patriarch went one better in the St Leger, giving Pat Eddery his 4,000th winner in Britain. Shirley Heights also won the Irish Derby, as did the brilliant filly Salsabil – previously successful in the British 1000 Guineas and Oaks.