Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer Malcolm Jefferson has died aged 71 following a long illness.
His daughter Ruth confirmed the news of his death today, with the licence switched to her name and her first runners set to be at Wetherby on Saturday.
“He died this morning, we’re all very sad,” she said.
“We’d been in the process of swapping the licence and that has all gone through now.”
Jefferson began his life in racing with the late Gordon Richards in Cumbria before moving to North Yorkshire and taking out his licence in 1981.
His first Cheltenham Festival winner came through Tindari in the Pertemps Final in 1994 before he claimed the Champion Bumper with Dato Star, who later became a top-class hurdler, in 1995.
Jefferson achieved a notable double in 2012 when Cape Tribulation and Attaglance won at both Cheltenham and the Grand National meeting.
“He was always good with young people, he kick-started a lot of careers when you look back, a lot of jockeys,” said Ruth Jefferson.
“He gave everybody a chance, it was up to them to then take it.
“He trained four Cheltenham Festival winners and while he was never a fashionable trainer, he was a very good one.
“What he did was buy inexpensive horses who won races, not many left him and went and won for other people. He was very good at placing them.
“If a horse was capable of winning races, they generally won for him. He would never rush a horse, he always said: ‘let the horse come to you.’
“We’ve got some lovely horses now and it’s a shame he won’t see where they end up, the likes of Cloudy Dream, Mount Mews and Waiting Patiently.
“He enjoyed watching Waiting Patiently and Black Ivory win the other week, they were his last two winners and he was thrilled.
“He was also a successful breeder, he trained for a lot of owner/breeders who did well, too.”