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Cheltenham Festival-winning owner/trainer Geoff Hubbard has died after a long illness. He was 82.

But his star chaser Strong Promise will still run in next Thursday's Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup - at his express wish.

Ill health had forced Hubbard to hand over the training licence at Worlingworth Hall, Woodbridge in Suffolk to his assistant Chris Kinane in January.

Kinane said tonight: 'I'm afraid Mr Hubbard died yesterday. He had been ill for a long time and he died at home.

'But Strong Promise will still run.

'His last instruction to me was that everything should carry on - which was typical of the man.

'That's why we had runners at Sandown today, which was very tough,' added Kinane, who served as assistant for four years.

Hubbard won the Mildmay Of Flete Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in 1987 with Gee-A and also sent out Strong Promise to finish second in the Gold Cup in 1998.

He also enjoyed numerous wins as an owner with Josh Gifford and Ferdy Murphy, most notably Sibton Abbey in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Newbury in 1992. -PA