Pat Eddery: Frankie Dettori and Lester Piggott pay tribute

By Frank KeoghBBC Sport

Fellow former champions Frankie Dettori and Lester Piggott have led tributes to Pat Eddery after the jockey's death at the age of 63.

Eddery won the flat jockeys' championship 11 times in a career which yielded more than 4,600 winners.

Dettori said the Irishman was revered in the weighing room.

"I sat next to him pretty much every day for 15 years and we used to call him 'God' because he was like God," the 44-year-old Italian told BBC Sport.

"It's very sad. He was a great man. He set a good example for all of us young riders.

"He was correct, class, good fun and a great jockey."

Eddery rode equine greats including El Gran Senor, Grundy and Golden Fleece, but is perhaps best remembered for his victory on Dancing Brave against high-quality opposition in the 1986 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

The County Kildare-born jockey rode more winners than the fabled Piggott, who said he would be sorely missed.

"Pat Eddery was as fierce an opponent on the racecourse as he was a loyal and dear friend off it," said 80-year-old Piggott, who was also champion 11 times.

"He was a natural horseman, he exuded class and always knew what to do in a race. The horses he was associated with speak for themselves, and I doubt you'd find a jockey with a sharper tactical brain or stronger in a finish.

"He was a huge personality in the weighing room, and wasn't slow to keep us all grounded with his wit and sense of humour."