UAE RACING legend and Grand National winner as a jockey, Pat Buckley is thankfully reported on the road to recovery in hospital in Abu Dhabi after being released from intensive care on Wednesday following treatment for pneumonia and an intestinal problem.
His son Kevin, Coolmore's British representative, confirmed his father had tested negative for Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, and that he was making positive progress.
He said on Thursday: "He's steadily making improvement and he was able to come out of the intensive care unit yesterday, which was a massive relief as we were very worried.
"We're able to communicate with him now via the likes of WhatsApp; fortunately he's quite ‘tech savvy’, but it's just such a relief."
Buckley, 76, partnered outsider Ayala to victory in the 1963 Grand National at Aintree as a 19yo for trainer and part-owner Keith Piggott, father of legendary jockey Lester Piggott.
Buckley also landed two editions of the Whitbread Gold Cup at Sandown in 1963 and 1964 as well as capturing the 1968 running of the Scottish Grand National on Arcturus.
Buckley, who is the older brother of former Goodwood clerk of the course Seamus Buckley, has since become an integral part of racing in the UAE as the racing manager and technical adviser for the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club since 1991 and has been affectionately dubbed ‘Mr Abu Dhabi’ by many in the local racing fraternity.