Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Culloty leads tributes to Biddlecombe

Jim Culloty
Jim Culloty

Former jockey Jim Culloty, who partnered Best Mate to three triumphs in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, led the tributes to Terry Biddlecombe, who has died at the age of 72.

Champion jockey in 1965, 1966 and joint-champion with Bob Davies in 1969, Biddlecombe married former trainer Henrietta Knight in 1995.

They enjoyed fantastic success with the likes of Edredon Bleu, Lord Noelie and Impek, but will forever be remembered for their association with the legendary Best Mate, which claimed the Gold Cup between 2002-04.

Culloty was champion amateur in his first season with Knight and Biddlecombe and spent 10 years as their stable jockey. Now a successful trainer based in north Cork, he said: "I would rather celebrate his life than mourn his death.

"He was a great fellow and a great character. He was larger than life and lived it to the full."

Tony McCoy also struck up a good relationship with Knight and Biddlecombe, partnering Best Mate to victory in the 2002 King George at Kempton and Edredon Bleu to a thrilling triumph in the Champion Chase two years earlier.

The 18-times champion jockey said: "He came to my party for my 4,000th winner and Henrietta said that was the last time he was out. It's sad, but he lived a great life."

Irish Independent

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