Piggott pays tribute to a friend

Lester Piggott was among the first to pay tribute to Boutin, who had provided him with a unique Ascot Gold Cup treble on Sagaro. "It is very, very sad. We were friends for years, both socially and professionally," he said. "I had the greatest respect for him as a trainer and he was a very nice man. I rode so many good horses like Sagaro and Nonoalco for him over the years.

"He was brave and battled against his illness for a long time - it is tragic for his family."

Gerald Oldham, for whom Boutin trained Sagaro and the 2,000 Guineas winner Zino, said from his home in Geneva: "I have lost a good friend and a great trainer. I was his longest-standing owner - I have been with him since moving my horses from Harry Wragg in 1969.

"Of all the many successes we had, the highlight would be the three Gold Cup victories of Sagaro. To win the race three times with the same horse trained outside Britain was a great training achievement.''

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