The death of Leicester City owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha on Saturday after a horrific helicopter crash has the whole of Britain in mourning this week.
The Thai billionaire was very much to the forefront of the Foxes rise from Championship stragglers to Premier League champions, but what many don’t know about the sport enthusiast, was that he was also very heavily involved in horse racing.
Nick Rust leads racing tributes to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha: • BHA chief says Leicester City owner had ‘love affair’ with racing • Owner ‘completely captivated’ with UK racing, says trainer Senior figures in horse racing have paid tribute to Vichai… https://t.co/5xkYnJYxZD pic.twitter.com/TG7jSMzfBa
— Horse Racing News (@HorseRacingUK) October 29, 2018
He recently set up his own horse racing stable called King Power Racing and according to the Guardian the businessman invested tens of millions of pounds building one of the horseracing’s most powerful stables. His blue and white silks apparently rode to victories in both Newbury and Doncaster just hours before his death.
British Horseracing Authority’s chief executive, Nick Rust led the tributes to the much loved sport enthusiast;
“The death of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is a tragedy for the world of sport and horse racing. His enthusiasm for racing was clear and I am sure we had seen only the beginnings of what would have been a tremendous love affair.
“King Power Racing currently has 67 horses in training with seven different trainers. That is a tremendous investment and Vichai’s passion for horses has helped support the livelihoods of many people working in our industry.”
Thoughts and prayers with Mr Srivaddhanaprabha and his family. Gentleman. pic.twitter.com/ugyIyl8twc
— Oisín Murphy (@oismurphy) October 29, 2018
Richard Hannon trained twelves horses for Srivaddhanaprabha and described him as a “hard-working, self made man” who he will miss dearly.
“It’s shocking; you couldn’t meet a nicer man.
“He was kind, generous; he enjoyed his sport immensely. The hole he will leave in his businesses is irrelevant compared to the hole he will leave in the lives of his family, so we’re thinking of them.
“He was just getting the bit between his teeth on the racing front and enjoying it. It’s just all happened so quickly, it’s quite surreal.” said Hannon.
Leicester Racecourse is a small racing venue, but the Thai billionaire was a regular at the grounds. Clerk of the course, Jimmy Stevenson remembered fondly the owner’s time at the low-profile track.
“He used to come here with his entourage and was a very private person. He kept himself to himself. He just loved being at the races. He was passionate about it.”
A sad time for all who came across the popular business man on the horse racing circuit.