Jim Lewis, proprietor of racehorse Finest Mate, dies aged 88 –

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  • Jim Lewis, the proprietor of the three-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Finest Mate died on 26 February, aged 88.

    Born in Birmingham in 1934, Mr Lewis previously ran mattress manufacturing firm Silentnight and later a wood furniture import enterprise, which he offered in 2000.

    He had a lifelong ardour for racing and was an enormous supporter of Aston Villa soccer membership, which led to his horses working in his recognisable claret and blue colors. Mr Lewis would normally be seen on the races sporting an Aston Villa scarf.

    Mr Lewis’s first Cheltenham Competition winner was Nakir, who gained the Arkle Problem Trophy in 1994, despatched out by coach Simon Christian. His best-known horse was Finest Mate who, educated by Henrietta Knight and her husband Terry Biddlecombe and ridden by Jim Culloty, turned well-known for profitable the Cheltenham Gold Cup in three consecutive years; 2002, 2003, and 2004. He was the primary horse to realize this since Arkle. Finest Mate’s different large wins included the 2002 King George VI Chase at Kempton and the Ericsson Chase at Leopardstown in 2003. The much-loved horse and followers’ favorite died immediately at Exeter in 2005, and his ashes had been buried beside the profitable publish at Cheltenham.

    “Finest Mate turned the folks’s champion,” mentioned Mr Lewis on the time. “They beloved him and he beloved them – he will probably be at relaxation on the scene of his biggest triumphs.”

    One other of Mr Lewis’s notable horses included Edredon Bleu, who gained the Cheltenham Grand Annual Chase in 1998, the Queen Mom Champion Chase in 2000 and the King George VI Chase in 2003.

    Henrietta informed Racing TV she was “extremely fortunate” to have an proprietor like Jim Lewis and described him as a “vibrant particular person” who had “big enthusiasm for the sport”.

    He’s survived by his spouse Jennifer, three youngsters and 4 grandchildren.

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