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Well-known former Newmarket work rider dies at 84




'The best I ever rode': Jack Banks pictured in 1971 on star two-year-old Crowned Prince, whose wins include the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket
'The best I ever rode': Jack Banks pictured in 1971 on star two-year-old Crowned Prince, whose wins include the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket

The funeral service of well-known former Newmarket work rider and trainer Jack Banks will be held at the West Suffolk Crematorium today at 3pm.

Jack, who was 84, when he died at his home in Crockfords Road earlier this month, served his apprenticeship at Carlburg Stables, in Bury Road, with Joe Lawson, trainer of Lester Piggott’s first Derby winner Never Say Die.

He later moved to Stanley House Stables as a work rider for Bernard van Cutsem and rode the top two-year-old of 1971, Crowned Prince, in all his work.

After spending three years training in Switzerland, he returned to Newmarket and was a work rider for Luca Cumani before becoming assistant trainer to Geoff Huffer at La Grange stable in Snailwell Road. He took over the stable for a short time but later moved to Hamilton Road where he shared a yard with the late Pip Payne, before setting up on his own at nearby Jamesfield Place.

Married three times, Jack is survived by his third wife Irene, who cared for him at their home after he suffered a stroke and later developed dementia. His friend Stuart Jackson remained a close companion, taking Jack out to enjoy a drink with friends at the New Wellington pub and he will be scattering Jack’s ashes on the training grounds he loved.Jack also leaves a son Gary, granddaughter Katie and great-granddaughter Elsie.

“I first met Jack when he was 50,” said Irene, “and he told me if I die tomorrow I have done more things than most people ever get to do. I have had a really good life. He was a very kind man and always had time for people.”