Fred’s father, Sam Darling senior, was a trainer at Beckhampton, Wiltshire who trained two Derby winners himself. Fred initially started training National Hunt racehorses for Lady de Bathe (Lillie Langtry) at Kentford near Newmarket, and then went to train in Germany. He returned to Britain in 1913 to take over the Beckhampton stables when his father retired. He continued to train there until his retirement in 1947. He was succeeded as trainer at Beckhampton by Noel Murless.
Amongst his most successful horses were Hurry On, the unbeaten St. Leger winner of 1916; Sun Chariot who won three British Classic Races in 1942; and Tudor Minstrel, the 2,000 Guineas winner of 1947. From 1932 until his retirement Darling's stable jockey was Gordon Richards.
Fred Darling was Champion Trainer six times - in 1926, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1942 and 1947.
As well as a trainer, he was also a breeder of thoroughbreds and bred Pinza, who won the Derby in 1953.
He trained the winners of 19 English Classic Races as follows;
2,000 Guineas (5)
- Manna (1925), Cameronian (1931), Pasch (1938), Big Game (1942), Tudor Minstrel (1947)
1,000 Guineas (2)
- Four Course (1931), Sun Chariot (1942)
Epsom Derby (7)
- Captain Cuttle (1922), Manna (1925), Coronach (1926), Cameronian (1931), Bois Roussel (1938), Pont l'Eveque (1940), Owen Tudor (1941)
Epsom Oaks (2)
- Commotion (1941), Sun Chariot (1942)
St. Leger Stakes (3)
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