Liam Treadwell was described as “an absolute diamond” at a special raceday to remember the Grand National-winning jockey on the anniversary of his death.
Treadwell, who rode 100-1 shot Mon Mome to win the 2009 Grand National, was found dead aged 34 at his Shropshire home last June.
All seven races at Worcester were named after him, and his favourite music was played between the action.
“He’s looking down on us,” friend Sam Twiston-Davies told BBC Sport.
Mon Mome, now 21, was paraded around the paddock during the fixture.
Twiston-Davies won the opening In the Memory Of Liam Treadwell Novices’ Chase on Captain Tom Cat, trained by Dr Richard Newland.
Treadwell had spoken of suffering from depression after having concussion in falls. An inquest into his death recorded a verdict of misadventure.
“It’s been quite a weird atmosphere because you are watching races and everyone remembers him so fondly and it’s still quite hard to believe,” said Twiston-Davies.
“He was a fantastic horseman, but he was an even better person.
“In the weighing room, he was someone you would go to for a chat. Even if you were throwing your toys out of the pram, he would sit and listen and say: ‘Come on, it’s not that bad.’
“You won’t find a single person who would say a bad word about ‘Treaders’. He was an absolute diamond, a total gentlemen.”
The concluding Summer’s Coming, Ibiza’s Calling #Captaintreaders Mares’ Maiden Hurdle went to Legendary Grace, ridden by James Best for trainer Nick Gifford, who provided Treadwell with early winners in his career.
“We still think about him. We still miss him,” said Gifford. “He was so young.
“Let’s hope this day does some good and if there are any jockeys out there struggling, hopefully they know there is help out there for them.”
Treadwell’s friend James Banks died by suicide earlier in 2020, and Twiston-Davies said it was important for jockeys to discuss mental health.
“It can be something that’s hard to talk about,” he said. “You sit in the car and throw a few ‘Fs’ and blinds, it’s quite easy to get just secluded in what is the small bubble of racing. You have to get out and talk in what is the big wider world.
“We are all here competing as normal, as Treaders would have wanted – laughing, joking, smiling and remembering everything that made Liam Treadwell a fantastic human being.”
An auction of racing memorabilia in memory of Treadwell is helping to raise money for the brain injury charity Headway and the Injured Jockeys’ Fund.
And former amateur jockey Jeremy Mahot is set to take part in a fund-raising 550km mountain bike race across the Alps.
Worcester executive director Rebecca Davies said: “It was the idea of his friends and families to have a celebration of his life, to remember him fondly and raise money at the same time.
“We had just under 1,000 people here, the sun has shone and a lot of people came out in memory of Liam.”