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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 December 2005, 13:37 GMT
Mate's ashes laid at Cheltenham
Jim Lewis and trainer Henrietta Knight at Saturday's ceremony
Triple Gold Cup winner Best Mate's ashes have been laid to rest behind the winning post at Cheltenham.

A ceremony was held to honour the popular champion, who died of a suspected heart attack in his racing return at Exeter last month.

Owner Jim Lewis said: "We all shared a part of the beautiful horse Best Mate, gone but not forgotten. Thanks, Matey."

Lewis attended despite the death of his wife Valerie on Thursday after a seven-month battle against cancer.

Best Mate won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

The much-loved horse was the first triple winner of chasing's Blue Riband since the great Arkle in the 1960s.

He also claimed two other wins, including his first in 1999, at Cheltenham during his glittering career.

Mr Lewis added that Best Mate was an "icon" who combined the skill of an athlete with the bravery of a street-fighter.

Lewis had originally hoped to have Best Mate buried at Exeter racecourse.

But he was cremated because Devon County Council, in accordance with government guidelines brought in after the foot and mouth crisis, refused burial at the spot where he died.

Racing legend Best Mate cremated
03 Nov 05 |  Horse Racing
Tributes flood in for Best Mate
01 Nov 05 |  Horse Racing
Gold Cup legend Best Mate dies
01 Nov 05 |  Horse Racing
Best Mate's career record
02 Nov 05 |  Horse Racing
Best Mate: Story of a champion
01 Nov 05 |  Horse Racing

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