Racing world mourns jockey Swinburn

Racing greats have paid tribute to Walter Swinburn after the former jockey died at the age of 55.

Swinburn, winner of the Derby three times during a magnificent career in the saddle before becoming a trainer, passed away on Monday.

He shot to prominence when steering the legendary Shergar to an emphatic Derby victory in 1981 and could also boast triumphs in landmark events such as the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Breeders' Cup Turf.

Tributes came in thick and fast for Swinburn after his passing was announced.

Twenty-time champion jockey AP McCoy tweeted: "Very sad to hear about the death of Walter Swinburn. Brilliantly stylish & a genius in the saddle. A jockey that God hath retained. RIP."

Frankie Dettori also posted on Twitter: "Very saddened to hear the shocking news of Walter Swinburn passing away. A true talent and gentleman, thoughts are with his family."

John Francome said of the man nicknamed 'The Choirboy': "I spoke to him a couple of months ago and he seemed in really good form.

"It's absolutely shocking he should die aged 55. No age at all. He was an absolutely gifted rider, you never saw any horse pulling with him or having their head in the air.

"He was a little bit of a troubled soul in some ways, he had weight problems which probably affected him a lot more than other people, but that said that seemed to be a long time ago and he seemed to all intents and purposes fine, but obviously he wasn't."

Willie Carson told At The Races: "He rode a Derby winner before I even rode a winner at the same age. Isn't that incredible?

"He was a natural. He was one of those natural lads that when he sat on a horse, he knew exactly what to do.

"He got more excitement out of the big days than he did on the little days. He was as cool as cool could be."

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