FORMER champion apprentice jockey Stephen Davies has died aged 53 – with rising star son Harry paying a heartbreaking tribute.
Davies Sr was crowned top young Flat rider in 1994 and looked set for superstardom.
Unfortunately he did not quite fulfil his promise, with son Harry carrying the family name now.
Sadly, the pair, in Harry's words, 'did not have much of a relationship' and Stephen passed away at his home in south Wales after being diagnosed with throat cancer.
Welshman Stephen was a Group 1 winner who rode for acclaimed trainers such as the late Henry Cecil and Sir Michael Stoute.
Remembering his father, Harry, who was runner-up in the apprentice title race last season, told the Racing Post: "It's quite sad really.
"I didn't have much of a relationship with my dad as he was dealing with his demons most of the time.
"I met him only a few times, but they did say when he was dying he had photos of me riding winners all around him.
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"He was proud but struggled to reach out.
"He split with my mum when I was a baby.
"I don’t think he had it easy and with a better support network around him, like there is now, perhaps he could have done better.
"It’s a shame to hear what potential he had."
Popular ITV Racing and Sky Sports presenter Jason Weaver was one of those who also remembered a rider with 124 winners.
He said: "We were both Welsh so we gelled together and I always remember him being a great little rider.
"He was super competitive and had a lovely way on horseback."
Stephen leaves behind two brothers Dean and Carl, and sister Natasha Wilson, who added: "Racing was Stephen’s life.
"We were all so proud of him when he was champion apprentice and Harry has followed in his footsteps now, which is really nice."
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