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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Schiergen leads tributes after death of top jockey Daniele Porcu at 34

Rider was diagnosed with cancer shortly after riding in Japan Cup in November

Daniele Porcu rode more than 800 career winners, the majority of which came in Italy and Germany
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Group 1 winning-jockey Daniele Porcu has died in Milan, less than two months after revealing he had been diagnosed with cancer.

Porcu rode the unplaced Iquitos in the Japan Cup at the end of November but on December 8 posted a message to his Facebook page, saying: "You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have."

There followed an outpouring of support from the ranks of jockeys, not only in his native Italy and adopted home of Germany, but from across the racing world. 

A video pledging messages of support featured contributions from compatriots Frankie Dettori and Umberto Rispoli, as well as Christophe Soumillon. 

Porcu made his Group 1 breakthrough in 2008 when landing the Premio Roma for German trainer Ralf Rohne aboard Estejo, a horse he would go on to partner in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Ascot the following June.

At the end of the 2008 season he moved permanently to Germany, where he enjoyed success, much of it initially with Uwe Ostmann and later with Arc-winning trainer Peter Schiergen. 

"He was a very good jockey and I will miss him," said Schiergen who, in addition to combining with Porcu for many major winners in Germany, provided him with his biggest day in Britain when Emerald Star landed the Chartwell Fillies' Stakes at Lingfield in May 2014.

"He was always happy and was very good in the mornings as well as on the racetrack."

Steve Drowne – who called time on his own career last Sunday –tweeted: "Desperately sad news about Daniele Porcu great jockey and a greater man! Taken too early at 34 reality check for us all when we're having a bad day. Thoughts with his family."

Porcu's second Group 1 success came last season when steering Iquitos to success in the Grosser Dallmayr Preis, while he earned more international recognition in September when coming from off the pace to score in Istanbul's Topkapi Trophy on the Sacha Smrzcek-trained Wonnemond.


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He was a very good jockey and I will miss him. He was always happy and was very good in the mornings as well as on the racetrack

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