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Newmarket mourns death of Sir Michael Stoute's partner Coral Pritchard-Gordon

Coral Pritchard-Gordon, a popular figure in the Newmarket racing community and the long-term partner of trainer Sir Michael Stoute, has died at the age of 73 after a long illness.

A familiar face at the races and on the gallops with Stoute over the past two decades, Pritchard-Gordon's other great passion was raising funds for charity, particularly the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Pritchard-Gordon was steeped in racing as her father Paddy Harbord founded the Curragh Bloodstock Agency. An accomplished horsewoman, she rode out every day in earlier years and took part in the Newmarket Town Plate on one occasion, finishing third.

Born in Ireland, Pritchard-Gordon was formerly married to trainer Gavin Pritchard-Gordon and leaves two sons Rupert, who is racing manager to Al Shaqab in France, and Paddy, a successful estate agent.

Her former husband said: "Coral was a great horsewoman and was everything a trainer's wife should be and more. Even though we split up I always remained good friends with her and our two wonderful boys Rupert and Paddy have been absolute rocks over the past few months."

Among others to pay tribute was Chris Richardson, racing manager for Stoute's long-time supporters Cheveley Park Stud. He said: "The close friendship my wife Annie and I had with Coral and have with Sir Michael is a very special example of all things good.
"Coral was the power behind the throne at Freemason Lodge and was a truly wonderful lady who was always cheerful, bubbly and bright." 

Rabbah Bloodstock manager Bruce Raymond said: "It's very sad news. My wife Jennie and I have wonderful memories of being hosted by Coral and Michael at their house. She was a great fundraiser, whether it was for a large charity or small.

Hours after riding work for Stoute, Ryan Moore sported a black armband to mark Pritchard-Gordon's passing at Kempton where he won the 7f novice for fillies on the Khalid Abdullah-owned newcomer Lucid Dreamer.

Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to Abdullah, said: "Coral never did anything that she did not put her heart and soul into. She was a wonderful and loyal friend not only to me but many. My thoughts are with Michael, Rupert and Paddy."

Pritchard-Gordon's friend Penny McCalmont worked closely with her at the Newmarket branch of the MS charity and said: "For so many people, Coral was a huge light. She was a bundle of energy for the MS group and we wouldn't have generated anywhere near the amounts of funds we have if it wasn't her for her. Due to her efforts we got some generous donors on board.

"She knew every one of the members, and there were more than 80 of them. She will be sorely missed."

Another of her many friends, Sara Cumani said: "I'm devastated for Michael and the whole of her family. She was incredibly brave through her illness which came from out of the blue.

"She'll be much missed, especially as she did an incredible amount of work for charity. She did everything for everybody and her contribution to the Multiple Sclerosis charity was second to none."

Ted Durcan, former jockey and now work rider for Stoute, added: "Coral was such a kind person and was always interested in the health and welfare of all the staff at both Freemason Lodge and Beech Hurst stables. She was very considerate."

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