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Pat Eddery inducted into Hall of Fame

The late Pat Eddery is the latest star to be inducted into the Qipco British Champions Series Hall of Fame.

Eddery, who died in November 2015, was crowned champion jockey on 11 occasions between 1974 and 1996 and chalked up more than 6,000 winners during his illustrious riding career.

Among his 4,632 British wins – a figure exceeded only by the legendary Sir Gordon Richards (4,870) – were 14 Classics, including three Derby winners in Grundy, Golden Fleece and Quest For Fame.

Pat Eddery with Leger winner Silver Patriarch
Pat Eddery with Leger winner Silver Patriarch (PA)

Grundy went on to win the Irish Derby and the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the same year of 1975, with his clash with St Leger winner Bustino in the latter event at Ascot known as the ‘race of the century’.

Eddery’s daughter, Natasha Eddery-Dunsdon, a competing showjumper, said of her father: “He was, and always will be, one of the all-time greats.

“When I think about what he was like as a jockey, I think about his quiet concentration, his focus, the determination to win. That’s what set him apart, his desire to win and to beat his comrades – winning was everything to him, second best just wasn’t an option.

“He had the best hands of any jockey, he was a kind rider, intuitive, he just connected with horses.

“Entering the Hall of Fame would have made him so proud; I only wish he were still here to experience this special moment. It’s one myself and my family will cherish.”

Dancing Brave and Pat Eddery winning the King George
Dancing Brave and Pat Eddery winning the King George (PA)

Frankie Dettori said: “We used to call him ‘God’ because he was like God.”

As well as the aforementioned British Classic winners, Eddery was associated with many other champions, including El Gran Senor, Zafonic, Danehill, Sadler’s Wells and Warning.

However, his most famous association was no doubt with Dancing Brave, one of an incredible four Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winners for him in the 1980s.

In addition, Eddery helped British trainers gain landmark first wins in the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 1985, aboard Pebbles, and in the 1986 Japan Cup, on Jupiter Island, both for trainer Clive Brittain.

Pat Eddery  is sprayed with foam by Frankie Dettori after his final ride as a jockey at Doncaster
Pat Eddery is sprayed with foam by Frankie Dettori after his final ride as a jockey at Doncaster (John Giles/PA)

Brittain said: “You got exactly what you paid for with Pat. He gave every horse a professional ride. He’d give good feedback too; he was good at assessing the horse’s distance, ground conditions – he covered it all. He was worth every penny.

“You never gave Pat orders – you just told him what the horse was like and left the rest to him. You couldn’t pin him down to instructions before a race. Horses were always willing to run for Pat.

“When he rode for you, you got everything you’d want from a jockey. Everything he did on the horse’s back came so naturally to him.”

In recognition of Eddery’s posthumous induction into the and to mark his achievement, his family will be presented with a specially commissioned medal, designed by Asprey and unique within British racing.

This medal will be displayed as part of a special Hall of Fame exhibition at British Champions Day, which takes place at Ascot on October 16.