Kinane leads tributes to Newmarket great Jarvis

MICK KINANE led the tributes to Michael Jarvis, one of British Flat racing’s longest-serving and most respected trainers until his retirement in February, who died yesterday at the age of 73.

Former Newmarket trainer Jarvis had suffered from ill health in recent years, undergoing heart surgery and having treatment for prostate cancer.

He leaves a widow, Gay, and three daughters, Sarah, Lisa and Jackie.

Jarvis retired from the training ranks last season, handing over the reins at Kremlin House Stables in Newmarket to his assistant, Roger Varian.

A thorough gentleman, Jarvis was renowned throughout the sport for his impeccable demeanour.

Kinane rode Carroll House to win the Irish Champion Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1989, and the legendary jockey credits both trainer and horse with launching him on the international stage.

“It’s very sad news,” said Kinane.

“He was a lovely man to ride for and a lovely man to know.”

Kinane went on: “He was a thorough gentleman and such a lovely man.

“It’s so unfortunate that he didn’t get to enjoy his retirement and such is life.

“Carroll House got me off to a great start, I’d have to say he got me on to the international stage in winning an Irish Champion Stakes and then going on to win an Arc.

“He was my big breakthrough horse so he’ll always have a high place in my book.”

Jarvis, a former jump jockey whose training career began in Newmarket in 1968, enjoyed an illustrious time in the sport during which he was responsible for a string of top-class performers — most notably Carroll House, multiple Group 1 winner Rakti and Classic-winning fillies Ameerat and Eswarah.

His health had suffered in recent years and he underwent heart surgery and was treated for prostate cancer before handing over the reins at Kremlin House to his assistant Roger Varian.

Richard Hills, who partnered Eswarah to her Oaks triumph in 2005, paid tribute to Jarvis.

He said: “Michael made work mornings fun and gave you a lot of confidence. My time with him was always fun and we were successful, which made it even better. That has been passed on to Roger (Varian). A lot of the staff have been there years, it was just sort of like a family. It is a very sad day.”

Varian described Jarvis as a “wonderful man” as well as a “great trainer”.

“It’s a terribly sad day. Michael passed away this afternoon having lost his battle against cancer,” he said.

“His achievements and racing exploits go without saying, but first and foremost he was a wonderful man, a true gentleman and I imagine a great husband, a great father and a good friend to many.

“That was Michael Jarvis.

“He happened to be a great racehorse trainer as well, but first and foremost he was just a wonderful man.

“He won many big races, but probably put up the bravest fight of his life against cancer. He battled hard and he saw it out as long as he possibly could.”

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