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Jim McGrath pays tribute to former rider and pundit Jimmy Lindley

Jimmy Lindley, one of the leading jockeys of the 1960s and 70s and later a respected pundit for the BBC, has died at the age of 86.

Lindley, who won three British Classics and the 1960 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Aggressor, suffered with weight issues throughout his career and even rode over hurdles for a spell to alleviate his problem with the scales, finishing third behind Bandalore in the 1958 Champion Hurdle on Retour De Flamme.

Lindley quit the saddle in 1974 to join the BBC’s racing team as their paddock judge, and colleague Jim McGrath remembered him fondly when speaking to Nick Luck’s Daily Podcast.

“I worked alongside him in the paddock for the BBC for the best part of a decade,” he said.

“Jimmy was a lovely bloke, very old school, always immaculately groomed, always well-mannered, ever polite and very loyal – and in his time, of course, a first-class jockey.

“He rode some of the very good horses of his era. He won a King George, he won three Classics and he rode for Jeremy Tree.

“He famously partnered Aggressor for Towser Gosden to win the King George (in 1960) and Towser trained Charlottown (1966 Derby winner) who Jimmy rode early in his career.

“He had a very long history in racing, he had weight worries which forced him over hurdles and he actually finished third in the 1958 Champion Hurdle.

“He was associated with some major stables – Jeremy Tree and Guy Harwood – he was also the man who went to Kentucky to recruit Steve Cauthen for Robert Sangster. When Steve came over he was his mentor.

“He rode against Joe Mercer, Lester Piggott, Edward Hide and Scobie Breasley. He may have been old school but because of that he was always professional.

“While he may be remembered by younger followers for his work on TV, for which he had a unique style. His English grammar did not always match his high standards of observations around the paddock, but nevertheless he was well liked.”

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