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Knavesmire chief remembers 'a stalwart of Yorkshire racing'

Alan Swinbank was described as "a stalwart of Yorkshire racing"
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Alan Swinbank was described as "a stalwart of Yorkshire racing" on Thursday as members of the sport's northern community paid tribute to the late trainer during the second afternoon of the Dante meeting.

Swinbank enjoyed a number of successful days on the Knavesmire, and York chief executive William Derby said: "Alan was a stalwart of Yorkshire racing and will be sadly missed.

"I once went to his yard and rode out for him. He was always very helpful. If you asked him anything he would respond with a wealth of information and insight.

"Alan was a real stockman who knew his animals. He also had some good days here, one that sticks in my mind being when Libran dead-heated in a handicap at the Ebor festival."

The Alan Swinbank-trained Libran (left) dead-heats with Godolphin's Memorial Day at the 2015 Ebor festival

Trainer Mick Appleby had been a friend of Swinbank since before both men took out their licences.

"He was a really nice bloke," said Appleby. "We'd known each other for a long time, right back to when I worked for Johnny Manners and Alan was involved in the same village with Ted Haynes, the father of his partner Sally.

"Alan was a very shrewd man who pulled off some good gambles. You'd always be wary of one of his horses, especially if the horse had been backed."

Fellow trainer David O'Meara said: "I was always very pleased to see Alan and liked him a lot.

"For a yard in the north of England to have travelled a horse like Collier Hill around the world was a very brave thing. Through doing that Alan showed himself to be a really good trainer."

Praise also came from one of the north's most successful former trainers, Jack Berry, who said: "I'd known him for years. He was a good trainer, especially with journeyman horses. He also liked his jumpers.

"He was a good all-rounder and was shrewd – you had to get up early in the morning to beat him."

Alan was a very shrewd man who pulled off some good gambles. You would always be wary of one of his horses
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