Paul Nicholls has paid tribute to Grand National-winning trainer David Barons following his death at the age of 81.
Barons sent out Seagram to win at Aintree in 1991, the last year the race was run under the banner of the sponsor of the same name.
Nicholls teamed up with Barons during a golden spell in the mid-1980s when they won successive renewals of the Hennessy Gold Cup, now known as the Ladbrokes Trophy, with Broadheath in 1986 and Playschool the following year.
Barons, who also trained Topsham Bay to claim back-to-back Whitbread Gold Cup victories, retired in 1994 having trained nearly 1,000 winners.
He was one of the pioneers in importing horses from New Zealand, one of those being Playschool who also won the Welsh National.
Nicholls said: “It’s very sad. I hadn’t seen him for a while because he’s been in New Zealand.
“I worked for him and Jenny for 10 years and I had a good time. I learned a lot with them, I rode a lot of winners for them and they helped me on my way when I started training.
“He was a huge influence and from when I broke my leg and packed in riding until taking my licence out, I couldn’t have been anywhere better.
“I helped prepare Seagram for the National and all those sorts of things. He really helped me to get where I am.”