He was born in the United States where his father, also named Gerald, ran a polo team and is part of a famous racing family. His brother, Ian Balding, also a retired trainer, trained Mill Reef to win the Epsom Derby.
He achieved success with both flat and National Hunt horses. He first began training in 1956 and his first winners were Bower Chalk at Ascot Racecourse (Flat) and The Quiet Man at Wincanton Racecourse (jumps).
He finally retired on the final day of the 2004 Flat season and is one of the few men to have trained the winner of the Grand National, the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle. In total he trained over 2,000 winners.
- Highland Wedding (1969)
- Little Polveir (1989)
Cheltenham Gold Cup
- Cool Ground (1992)
- Beech Road (1989)
- Morley Street (1991)
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