Former champion jockey Kevin Darley was among those to pay tribute to distinguished trainer Reg Hollinshead, who has died aged 89.
Hollinshead was famed for his production line of future top jockeys, such as Darley, Walter Swinburn and Pat Eddery.
Derby-winning rider Willie Ryan was also associated with the Hollinshead yard in his formative years.
Staffordshire-based Hollinshead, who was Britain’s oldest trainer, sent out around 2,000 winners under both codes from his Upper Longdon yard near Lichfield.
He took out a licence in 1949 and perhaps his best horse was Remainder Man, who in 1978 was second in the 2000 Guineas and third in the Derby. His star performer of recent years was Tominator, who won the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle in 2011 and a Listed race at Chester the following season.
Darley said: “I was champion apprentice for him in the 1970s and I owe him a lot.
“With Reg, the horses always came first and I think myself and many other jockeys took that with us as we went on in our careers. He was a legend. A very quiet man, he would very rarely swear but if he did, you knew you had done something wrong.
“He gave me my first winner on a horse called Dust Up in 1977 and the same horse gave me my second winner, that is something that will stay with me forever.”
Many others provided comment, including trainer John Mackie. “He was a class act – both as a man and as a trainer,” he said. The amount of great jockeys he brought through the ranks was incredible.”
Top rider William Buick said: “He was a legendary figure to young jockeys and a very nice man. It’s awful news.”
His weighing-room colleague Jamie Spencer said: “I’m very sorry to hear that.
“I had some rides for him when came over here when I was 17, mainly on the Weetman horses. He was an absolute gent, a lovely man.”
Now-retired Dale Gibson, a former stalwart of the northern racing scene, tweeted: “Was lucky enough to ride Mr Hollinshead five winners, he will be missed within racing. Best tutor of apprentice jockeys #legend.”