Nico de Boinville paid tribute to Coneygree for helping to put his name on the map after a decision was made to retire the 2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner at Ascot.
The 29-year-old hailed the Mark Bradstock-trained gelding as "honest, genuine and an athlete" 24 hours after pulling him up in a Listed event at the Berkshire track, in what was to be the final race of his glittering but injury-hit career.
De Boinville said: "He did wonders for me and it was great to be part of the Bradstock operation and he had a great set of owners as well. He gave me some fantastic memories.
"I know him as well as anyone and he told me coming up that hill at Ascot he had no more to give.
"If you retire in one piece, it is like jockeys as well, it is a bonus. He was honest, genuine and while he could be a handful, all in all he was just a real athlete."
Elsewhere, the Racecourse Association has "strongly condemned" the actions of people responsible for a brawl at Haydock just as the last of eight races got under way on Saturday.
Two distinct groups of men were throwing punches in among the general crowd, including women and children.
At one point a woman clutching a small child had to be led to safety after appearing to get caught up in the fighting, before stewards eventually brought the situation under control.