Death of Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer Malcolm Jefferson

Fri 2 Feb 2018

Watch Brian Hughes's tribute Malcolm Jefferson at Catterick on Friday after the top northern trainer died in the morning, aged 71.

By staff

Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer Malcolm Jefferson has died aged 71 following a long illness.

His daughter, Ruth, confirmed the news of his death on Friday morning, with the licence now switched to her name and her first runners are set to be at Wetherby on Saturday.

A statement issued by the Jefferson family read: "It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of Malcolm Jefferson after a brave battle with cancer.

"Malcolm passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of Friday, February 2, with his wife Sue and children Clare, Rachel, Ruth and Jo at his side.

"We would like to thank everyone for the kindness and support they have given during recent months."

Malcolm Jefferson - According To Pete - Racingfotos Malcolm Jefferson trained horses such as Dato Star, According To Pete (pictured) Cape Tribulation, Attaglance and Waiting Patiently (Racingfotos)

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.

Waiting Patiently wins at Kempton Waiting Patiently is among the leading lights in the Jefferson yard (Racingfotos)

"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."

Racing pays tribute to Malcolm Jefferson:

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