Ivor Herbert, Cheltenham Gold Cup winning coach, journalist and author of turf books – obituary

He also trains horses for the Weinstock and Sobell families, but Linwell will be his most spectacular success. His other Cheltenham winners included Flame Gun (Cotswold Chase) and Gallery Goddess (Cathcart Cup).

Edward Ivor Montgomery Herbert was born on August 20, 1925 in South Africa, where his British father, Teddy, worked as an engineer. When Ivor was still a small child, Teddy and his South African wife, Sybil, moved to England. Teddy Herbert had been awarded the Croix de Guerre during World War I and later became chairman of the aerospace company Short Bros & Harland and director of Midland Bank; he was knighted for services to industry in 1951.

Ivor was raised first in London and then in Leicestershire, where he absorbed his mother’s love of horses, dotting (breaking his neck twice) and hunting with the Quorn. His time at Eton was interrupted by war and in 1943 he joined the Coldstream Guards. Captain Herbert arrived in Kiel in a tank 48 hours before VE Day, then had a spell working in intelligence, helping to debrief the enemy – an experience he would later draw on for his debut novel , a spy thriller called Eastern Windows, released in 1953.

Coming down from Trinity College, Cambridge, after reading economics and English, he was encouraged by his father to seek a future in investment banking, and he briefly obliged at Charterhouse Bank; but when the chairman, Sir Nutcombe Hume, called him into his office and said “Ivor, in 40 years you’ll be sitting in my chair”, he decided he “couldn’t imagine anything worse” and vowed to focus on his two passions, training racehorses and writing. The fact that he managed to do both simultaneously and successfully for the better part of 20 years was a tribute to his determination and sense of adventure.