Racing remembers Toby Balding
Friday 26 September 2014
Clare Balding hailed a "brilliant trainer but an even better human being" after her uncle, Toby, died aged 78 on Thursday.
The renowned trainer, older brother of Classic-winning handler Ian Balding, claimed the Grand National with Highland Wedding in 1969 and Little Polveir in 1989 during a remarkable career over jumps and on the Flat.
He also won the Champion Hurdle with Beech Road in 1989 and Morley Street in 1991, as well as the Cheltenham Gold Cup with Cool Ground in 1992.
Respected broadcaster Clare Balding tweeted on Friday morning: " It's been a long time since I cried myself to sleep but I did last night in memory of a warm-hearted, funny, generous man who saw the best in every person and every horse.
"Uncle Toby was a brilliant trainer but an even better human being.Everyone loved him."
Balding was instrumental in shaping the early years of Tony McCoy in the saddle, as he was Adrian Maguire, andretired from the training ranks in 2004.Born in the United States in 1936, he was awarded an OBE by the Queen in 2011 for services to horse racing.
His daughter Serena Geake told Press Association Sport: "He was a great man, who loved life, horses and people."
McCoy said he had lost his "ultimate mentor".
He tweeted: "Tonight I cried when I heard the news my old boss and friend Toby Balding had died, we had great times together.He was my ultimate mentor. RIP."
Champion trainer Paul Nicholls also added his condolences on Twitter.
He said: "So sad to hear of the passing away of Toby Balding. Wonderful man who will be missed by so many. RIP."
Fellow trainer Jonjo O'Neill said: "Very saddened at the news of Toby Balding's passing. My thoughts are with his family."
Richard Johnson, so often runner-up to McCoy in the jockeys' title race, said: "Very sad news about the death of Toby Balding, a great trainer and gentleman. Sad day for his family and racing."
The Jockey Club tweeted: "Saddened to hear about Toby Balding, who holds a special place at the heart of the sport. Our thoughts are with his family and friends."
Top Flat trainer Roger Charlton added: "I was so sorry to hear that Toby Balding had passed away. RIP.
"What a lovely man and always so kind, good company and cleverer than most."
Jockey Steve Drowne said: "So sad to hear Toby Balding has passed away, massive influence not only on my career but my life as well.Such a good mentor to many #RIP."