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Former champion jockey Joe Mercer - the man who rode the legendary Brigadier Gerard in his memorable 37-year career - dies aged 86

 

Joe Mercer, champion jockey in 1979 and the man who rode the legendary Brigadier Gerard, has died at the age of 86. Mercer and Brigadier Gerard won 17 of their 18 races together. The Bradford, UK born jockey took part in two of the most significant races in the sport’s history.

 

Other great horses Mercer was associated with included Henry Cecil’s champion miler Kris, Henry Candy’s 1983 King George winner Time Charter and The Queen’s Dick Hern-trained Highclere, who won the 1,000 Guineas and French Oaks in 1974.

 

Mercer, who was champion apprentice in 1952, rode 2,810 winners which included eight British Classics in a 37-year career before his retirement in 1985.

 

Former champion jockey Joe Mercer

 

Colleague Willie Carson said: ‘Joe was the ultimate jockey. He was liked by everyone, he wasn’t aggressive in any way.

 

'In the weighing room, he was everybody’s friend. You could see Joe sitting in the corner with a pipe in his mouth, puffing away.’

 

After he stopped riding, ‘Smokin Joe’ became racing manager for the late Sheikh Maktoum Al Maktoum and other top owners until 2006.

 

Joe Mercer -the man who rode the legendary Brigadier Gerard - dies aged 86

27 maja 2021
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