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Friday, 31 December, 1999, 00:12 GMT
Racing world hails Pipe

Pipe congratulates jockey Tony McCoy on another winner

The racing world has paid tribute to leading trainer Martin Pipe after he was awarded a CBE in the New Year honours list.

Somerset-based Pipe is the 20th century's most successful National Hunt trainer, with a string of winners over the jumps as well as notable flat successes.

"It's really great - I'm really thrilled," he said.

"I couldn't have achieved what I have without the help of some great champion jockeys including Peter Scudamore, Richard Dunwoody and `AP' McCoy and not forgetting my champion conditional Jonothan Lower. Everybody has helped.

"It's really fantastic and it's very good for racing."

Leading the tributes was Tony McCoy, champion jockey and the current number one rider for Pipe.

He's an absolute genius and his appetite for the game knows no bounds
Owner David Johnson
"Mr Pipe is a fantastic trainer, I can't say enough about him," said McCoy.

"He is very good to work for too, he has been a great help to me and I think about 70% of my winners have come from him.

"It is an amazing achievement to have saddled so many winners year in and year out."

Pipe in his trademark trilby
Pipe is one of only two trainers to have won all four of the UK's national races.

He won the Welsh National five times in six years from 1988 to 1993, and in 1992 trained all the first four horses in the Chepstow race.

He also has a single win each in the Grand National at Aintree, the Scottish Grand National and the Irish Grand National.

Martin Pipe
Born: May 29, 1945 First winner, 1975
First major success, Baron Blakeney, in Daily Express Triumph Hurdle, 1981
Has trained 100 winners every season since 1986/7
Champion National Hunt trainer: 1988/9-1992/3, 1995/6-1998/9
Grand National winner: Miinnehoma (1994)
Champion Hurdle winners: Granville Again (1993), Make A Stand (1997)
Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up: Rushing Wild (1993)
Pipe's four race wins at the Cheltenham Festival in 1997 was something no-one had done in 50 years, yet he repeated the feat the following year.

"Mr Pipe is an outstanding trainer," said Adrian Maguire, who rode his first winner in Britain on Pipe's Omerta at the 1991 Cheltenham Festival

"He is a true professional and a wizard of trainers. He deserves an honour without a doubt, absolutely. He is a great credit to the racing game and I am very pleased for him."

Rival trainer Paul Nicholls agreed.

"He is a true professional and his achievements overall keep racing on the map," he said.

"It is always good for the sport when someone involved in it gets honoured."

Tony McCoy with Majadou - their 100th winner last season
Meanwhile David Johnson, one of Pipe's leading owners, was delighted to hear about the award.

It is long overdue that his record-breaking feats were recognised," he said.

"He has done more for National Hunt racing this century than anyone else as he's revolutionised training and broken every record in the book. In fact he is now breaking his own records.

In the Somerset stables where Pipe's many winners have been raised
"He's an absolute genius and his appetite for the game knows no bounds.

"His last three main jockeys Peter Scudamore, Richard Dunwoody and Tony McCoy have all been champions with Martin - is that a coincidence, or maybe it is the case that he is simply the best there's ever been."

Scudamore added: "I'm absolutely delighted for him. It's a wonderful achievement and I'm over the moon for him."

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