‘Leg­endary’ cham­pion Ed­dery dead at 63

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Pat Ed­dery, the leg­endary 11-time Bri­tish flat cham­pion jockey, has died at the age of 63, the rac­ing man­ager for owner Prince Khalid Ab­dul­lah an­nounced yes­ter­day.

The Ir­ish-born horse­man won over 4,600 races be­fore re­tir­ing in 2003. Among his haul of big race wins were four Prix de l’Arc de Tri­om­phes and three Der­bys, mak­ing him one of the great­est jock­eys of all time.

“It is ex­tremely sad news,” said Teddy Grimthorpe, rac­ing man­ager to Jud­dmonte owner Prince Ab­dul­lah of Saudi Ara­bia. “Ev­ery­one at Jud­dmonte is very shocked and sad­dened by it.

“He spanned the great­est era for jock­eys ever. Lester Pig­gott, Steve Cau­then, Wil­lie Car­son, all were ex­cep­tional, yet Pat’s abil­ity was un­ques­tioned.”

In to­tal Ed­dery tri­umphed in 14 Bri­tish Clas­sics, in­clud­ing three Der­bys aboard Grundy (1975), Golden Fleece (1982) and Quest For Fame (1990). Per­haps his finest hour came aboard Danc­ing Brave in the 1986 Prix de l’Arc de Tri­om­phe, when he made a late charge down the cen­tre of the track to snatch a sen­sa­tional vic­tory against a glit­ter­ing field.

His other Arc win­ners came aboard Detroit in 1980, Rain­bow Quest (1985) and Trem­polino (1987). He achieved other mem­o­rable suc­cesses with Peb­bles at the Breed­ers’ Cup and Sil­ver Pa­tri­arch in the St Leger, which gave him his 4,000th win, in 1997.

Sil­ver Pa­tri­arch was trained by John Dun­lop who said: “Pat rode his first win­ner for me in 1973 at Bath and in all had nearly 400 win­ners for me. “I was lucky to be train­ing in a vin­tage era of jock­eys and the fact Pat rode for me on and off for 30 years tells you ev­ery­thing.” Dun­lop added: “He was a de­light­ful man to spend time with, he had huge suc­cess but was great com­pany at the same time. Above all, he just worked harder than the others I think. “Sil­ver Pa­tri­arch was spe­cial. To come back from be­ing beaten a nose in the Derby and win the St Leger, and for it to be his 4,000th win­ner made it a very mem­o­rable day.” Car­son, the five-time cham­pion and a close friend and ri­val of Ed­dery, said: “Part of my life has gone be­cause I knew Pat for a very long time. He was an ab­so­lute gen­tle­man and one of the great­est jock­eys to ever put a leg over a horse. “He was a born rider and al­ways did the right thing and got horses run­ning for him.” Peb­bles’ trainer Clive Brit­tain re­called: “He was ice cool in any sit­u­a­tion and noth­ing bugged him. There was no­body stronger and as a tac­ti­cian he was out on his own.

“You didn’t in­struct Pat-he was nat­u­ral. What­ever hap­pened in the race Pat would ad­just to and I’ll miss him greatly.” Tony McCoy, the 20-time cham­pion jump jockey, tweeted: “Very sad news to hear of the pass­ing of Pat Ed­dery, true ge­nius in the sad­dle #leg­end.”

Another mul­ti­ple flat cham­pion, Johnny Murtagh, wrote: “Sad to hear the pass­ing of leg­endary jockey Pat Ed­dery. Every­body looked up to him in the weigh room, real pro

Pat Ed­dery and a gen­tle­man RIP.”

Af­ter re­tir­ing from the sad­dle Ed­dery took up train­ing, send­ing out Hearts Of Fire to claim a Group One vic­tory in Italy. Jock­eys held a minute’s si­lence in his honour be­fore rac­ing at Ling­field.

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