McCoy: Haslam winners key in early stages of record-breaking career
Sir Anthony McCoy on Sunday described the integral role Patrick Haslam played in the early years of his record-breaking career through a supply of ready winners in the north.
McCoy's success for the Middleham trainer led him to introduce his future boss JP McManus to the yard, beginning an association that has continued with Haslam's son Ben.
McCoy said: "During my first few years being champion jockey I was very lucky to be riding for Patrick because he had a lot of early-season juvenile hurdlers up north when I didn't have a lot of people up there to ride for.
"He gave me a lot of winners through that stage of the season, which was important to me.
"Patrick knew his stuff. I'd see these horses coming off the Flat that appeared useless and he'd tell my agent Dave Roberts, 'This will win'. If it were anyone else I wouldn't believe them.
"I was quite happy when Dave told me Patrick Haslam had a juvenile hurdler going to Sedgefield or wherever. No matter how bad it was on the Flat I'd know it could still do its job."
McCoy's successes for Haslam included a victory on King Revo at Cheltenham in December 2004 which meant the trainer had bagged a winner on every racecourse in Britain at the time.
"I'd won a few races on King Revo and I got JP to buy him," said McCoy. "He was a smart handicap hurdler who I thought would be okay over fences.
"He won a few more and JP sent him a few more, which helped, because it meant I'd more horses in the north of England to ride.
"Ben has had a few horses every year and has done well with them. They're lovely people and it's tough for the family. Patrick was someone I felt very lucky to have ridden for for a long time."
Haslam was credited by Mark Johnston and James Bethell with helping turn around the fortunes of Middleham as a training centre when he relocated there in the nineties.
Johnston said: "After I came to Middleham I think Patrick was the next to arrive, soon followed by James Bethell, and between them they helped kick life into the place, gave us a new will to try to bring Middleham forward.
"He played a big part in that. Because he'd been ill I hadn't seen him for some time, which is sad. His wife Anne has worked tirelessly and our thoughts are with her."
Bethell said: "Patrick was instrumental in me coming to Middleham. He was extremely helpful to me, I owe a big debt to him. We formed our Middleham trainers' group and started the open day. It all stemmed from there."
Other jockeys to enjoy prolific success for Haslam were Andrew Thornton over jumps and Jason Weaver on the Flat.
Thornton said: "Patrick was a lovely guy, an absolute gent. I had probably my best season riding for him after AP, who was going to ride them all, broke his wrist.
"I probably rode 13 winners for him that season, and I completed my full set of riding a winner on every course on his King Revo at Catterick.
"Patrick completed the full set too, the last one being Cheltenham. He loved a touch, and he never stopped asking questions."
Weaver partnered 63 winners for Haslam and rode the trainer's Pipe Major into fourth place in the 1995 2,000 Guineas.
"I saw today I had a 26 per cent strike-rate for Patrick over a long period of time," said Weaver, now an ITV Racing pundit.
"After you rode work for Patrick he was already into the detail of where he should run the horse. He was a brilliant placer of horses and a meticulous planner. He had lots of multiple winners. He was very clever."
Trainer Richard Fahey was also an admirer. He said: "I was a huge fan and got on great with Pat.
"I knew he’d been ill for a long while and I’ll miss talking to him. We used to have some great chats, especially when I was a young trainer just starting out.
"He had a strong opinion and was a good guy. I loved talking to him. He was a proper old school trainer and will be missed."
Middleham trainer Jason Ward said: "His guidance and advice was priceless when I moved to Manor House Stables. Our sympathies and condolences to all the Haslam family."