Legendary jockey Joe Mercer has died at the age of 86.
He rode 2,810 winners in 36 seasons in Britain and won eight British Classics, including the 2,000 Guineas in 1971 when Brigadier Gerard beat Mill Reef.
Mercer won 17 times on Brigadier Gerard, but was beaten in the ‘race of the century’ when his mount Bustino was edged out by Grundy at Ascot in 1975.
Mercer had successful spells as stable jockey for training greats Dick Hern, Sir Henry Cecil and Peter Walwyn.
The Bradford-born rider was champion jockey in 1979 and made an OBE a year later for services to racing.
He won the Oaks at Epsom, as well as Doncaster’s St Leger four times, but was perhaps best known for his association with Brigadier Gerard – widely considered one of flat racing’s all-time great racehorses.
His 17 victories in 18 races included a memorable Guineas triumph at Newmarket ahead of subsequent Derby winner Mill Reef and the previously unbeaten My Swallow.