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Jim Wilson, Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning beginner jockey, dies aged 72

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  • Jim Wilson, the Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning beginner jockey died on 29 August aged 72, from most cancers.

    Born Andrew Jim Wilson in Maidstone, Kent, in 1950, Mr Wilson’s household relocated and he was raised in Eire.

    He spent his early years driving for trainers Paddy Mullins and Georgie Wells, then went to France the place he rode for Jacko Doyasbere. He returned to the UK and rode for George Owen, and Dan Moore in Eire. He rode his first winner, Advocate, in 1970 at Clonmel.

    He later spent seven years driving for David Nicholson within the Cotswolds, and whereas there he met his spouse Melinda.

    Mr Wilson was recognized for his success on the Cheltenham Pageant, most notably when he grew to become solely the third beginner jockey to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with Little Owl in 1981. The horse was beforehand owned by Mr Wilson’s aunt, Bobby Gundry, who purchased him from coach Peter Easterby. When Ms Gundry died in 1980 Little Owl was left to Mr Wilson.

    He had ridden his first Cheltenham Pageant winner two years earlier, Willie Wumpkins within the Coral Golden Hurdle – a hit they repeated in 1980 and 1981. The horse was educated by his proprietor, Mr Wilson’s mother-in-law Jane Pilkington, and was unplaced in the identical race in 1978. Mr Wilson had perception within the horse and stated he may win the race the next yr.

    In 1980 Mr Wilson was topped the Pageant’s main rider for 3 wins, and in 1984 he rode his seventh and remaining Pageant winner, Broomy Financial institution within the Kim Muir Memorial Chase.

    Mr Wilson rode 205 winners and was runner-up beginner rider champion 5 consecutive occasions throughout his profession.

    In 1985 he retired from the saddle to arrange as a coach at Glenfall Stables close to Cheltenham. His first winner was Alangrove Sound at Wolverhampton that yr.

    In 1987 he educated Taberna Lord, winner of the Cheltenham Pageant Coral Golden Hurdle with jockey Luke Harvey. He had 75 winners as a coach; his final, Seymour Legend, at Stratford in March 2015.

    Luke stated he was very sorry to listen to Mr Wilson had died, describing him as a “good man” who educated and rode “some excellent horses”.

    A spokesman for O’Brien-McPherson Racing paid tribute to Mr Wilson and stated “one of many true characters” of the Nationwide Hunt world has been misplaced.

    He’s survived by Melinda, his daughters Fiona and Sarah and three grandchildren.

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