Jockey Gerald Mosse has paid tribute to Francois Doumen after the master French handler called time on his training career.
Mosse has been intrinsically linked with Doumen for 30 years and partnered Jim And Tonic to a groundbreaking success in Hong Kong in 1998 which put them both on the world map.
Doumen, 77, first came to prominence to British racegoers when he saddled Nupsala to beat Desert Orchid in the 1987 King George VI Chase at Kempton but he went on to prove that was no fluke by returning to plunder a sackful of big races.
The Fellow, Algan and First Gold also won the King George, while there were Cheltenham Festival triumphs for the likes of Snow Drop and the top-class staying hurdler Baracouda.
After several near-misses, The Fellow provided Doumen with a win in the 1994 Cheltenham Gold Cup but he stopped training National Hunt horses in 2009 after the defeat of Kasbah Bliss in that year's Stayers' Hurdle.
Showing off his acclaimed skills, he then trained the same horse, whom he bred, to win the Prix du Cadran as a nine-year-old in 2011.
Mosse claimed a first top-level victory when the Doumen-trained Double Bed won a Grade One in America on the jockey's 21st birthday.
He also rode the trainer's final winner, Capital Flight, at Deauville on August 1.
Mosse said: "He has had an exceptional career and when he told me he was stopping it was very sad.Francois Doumen with Kasbah Bliss, the two-time winner of the Rendlesham Hurdle at Haydock and who also won the Adonis Hurdle at Sandown (Racingfotos)
"He's been a big part of my career. He gave me my first Group One winner and has been like a father to me.
"It is difficult to say anything other about him other than he is a top trainer and part of my family.
"He enjoyed success worldwide, on the Flat and over jumps, and not many can say that.
"It is hard for me to know he will no longer be training.
"He can certainly look back with pride at what he has achieved, those days with Jim And Tonic in Hong Kong were fantastic.
"When he told me at Deauville that it would be the last time I would be riding for him it didn't feel the same.
"Recently he hasn't had as many horses as he hasn't been too well, but it wasn't too long ago (2012) we won a Group One in Canada with Siyouma.
"He was a very fine trainer over both codes and do not forget he also bred lots of great horses, too.
"As a person and a trainer you could not wish for a better man."