Sports

11-time champion Eddery dies

Pat Eddery, an 11-time champion jockey in Britain, has died. He was 63.

Irish-born Eddery won over 4,600 races before retiring in 2003, including 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," Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Juddmonte owner Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday.

"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 over a glittering field.

He achieved other memorable successes with Pebbles at the Breeders' Cup, Silver Patriarch in the St Leger, which gave him his 4,000th win, and Zafonic in the 2000 Guineas.

"It's very sad," said Eddery's former rival Bruce Raymond.

"He'd been unwell for a long time. I just knew him as a good, fun guy. Everybody knows he was a great jockey.

"We used to play cards and have lots of fun. I can't imagine anyone being in his company and not enjoying it. He was blooming tough to ride against and cool. He was ultra- competitive. He would beat you in a photograph and laugh about it afterwards."

Eddery became a trainer after retiring and saw Hearts Of Fire claim a Group 1 victory in Italy. - AFP.