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 Tuesday, 31 December, 2002, 00:29 GMT
George Duffield MBE
George Duffield partners Alborada to victory in the Champion Stakes
Duffield rode Alborada to two Champion Stakes wins
George Duffield's MBE is a well-deserved recognition for one of the unsung heroes of the weighing room.

The 56-year-old rode his first winner 35 years ago and shows no sign of bowing to age.

His career has revolved around the Heath House stables in Newmarket, where he arrived 40 years ago to serve a five-year apprenticeship for Jack Waugh.

Sir Mark Prescott took over more than 20 years ago but it has only been in the last decade that Duffield's dogged perseverance and loyalty has been rewarded with big race success.

George Duffield factfile
George Duffield MBE
Age: 56
Place of birth: Wakefield
Career highlights: Won 1992 Oaks, St Leger and Irish Oaks on User Friendly, 1983 Sussex Stakes on Noalcoholic, 1999 Racing Post Trophy on Aristotle, 1991 Eclipse on Environment Friend, 2000 Eclipse on Giant's Causeway, 1998 and 1999 Champion Stakes on Alborada, 1996 Nunthorpe on Pivotal, 1992 Yorkshire Oaks on User Friendly

Up until then, the Wakefield-born jockey had had to content himself with the smaller meetings but the winners have flowed throughout his career - he is 10th in the all-time British winners list with 2,394.

He even galloped into the Guinness Book Of Records in 1980 when he partnered the tough two-year-old Spindrifter, trained by Prescott, to 11 consecutive victories and 13 in all.

His first big race breakthrough came on User Friendly, who won the 1992 Oaks, Irish Oaks and St Leger and was only beaten a neck in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Duffield recorded the first of his two centuries that season and the second the following year with his highest-ever total, 116.

Other big wins include back-to-back Champion Stakes wins on Prescott's Alborada in 1998 and 1999.

Admired by Aidan O'Brien, Duffield gave the Irish trainer Group One success on Aristotle in the 1999 Racing Post Trophy and on Giant's Causeway in the Eclipse in 2000.

And he was the punters' friend in 1997 when partnering the Prescott-trained Pasternak to land massive gambles in the John Smith's Magnet Cup and the Tote Cambridgeshire.

Although attached to a yard in Newmarket, Duffield lives in North Yorkshire where he is assistant trainer to his second wife, Ann.

Duffield's autobigraphy, Gentleman George?, was published earlier this year.

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