Huge racing figure Peter Russell dead aged 95 as tributes paid to ‘wonderful’ man with ‘wicked sense of humour’

HUGE racing figure Peter Russell – father of Grand National-winning trainer Lucinda – has died aged 95.

A business visionary who made a fortune in the whisky trade, tributes were paid to a ‘wonderful’ man with a ‘wicked sense of humour’ after his sad passing.

PA:Press AssociationGrand National-winning trainer Russell paid tribute to her ‘wonderful’ father Peter, a big figure in racing and business, after his death aged 95[/caption]

The TimesRussell co-owned star chaser Ahoy Senor, who will be a poignant runner at Cheltenham on Saturday[/caption]

Russell engrossed himself in racing, financed his successful daughter’s stable and part-owned popular chaser Ahoy Senor.

The dual Grade 1 winner will aim to give the family a poignant win in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday.

Lucinda, 56, who won the world’s most famous race in 2017 with One For Arthur, paid tribute to her beloved dad in the Racing Post.

She said: “He died on Monday, exactly 64 years after he and mum got married.

“Dad was one of those who’d say if something happens, life goes on.

“He never dwelt on something. He was very emotional but he never let emotion stop progress.”

Top jumps jockey Tom Scudamore, son of Lucinda’s partner Peter, remembered Russell on Twitter.

In response to a tweet announcing his death, Scudamore wrote: “A wonderful and special man.”

Another comment read: “A lovely man with a wicked sense of humour. All thoughts with the family.”

While one racing follower wrote: “RIP Peter, thoughts with Lucinda and her family at this time.”

Russell took over the family whisky business in 1956 and turned it into a money-making machine.

A qualified accountant, he recognised the potential of supermarkets and started supplying alcohol to the big chains.

He was soon selling more than 15 million bottles of spirits a year.

Lucinda added: “He was very pioneering. The whisky trade was very insular, full of old-fashioned family businesses, and his big breakthrough was selling to the supermarkets.

“He had great integrity and companies would all deal with him.”

Ahoy Senor is currently 8-1 to win the Grade 2 contest on Saturday – and 50-1 to win the Gold Cup at the same track in March.

In a sad few days for racing, punters also remembered popular trainer Milton Bradley after his passing aged 88.

And Nicky Henderson confirmed legendary racehorse Altior is in critical condition after emergency surgery for colic.

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