Racing: Trainer David Morley dies after heart attack

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The Independent Online
David Morley, the Newmarket-based trainer, has died. He was 58. Morley, whose string was based at High Havens Stables on Newmarket's Hamilton Road, is believed to have suffered a heart attack yesterday morning.

Morley was responsible for many winners in the colours of Hamdan Al-Maktoum, but his most successful horse during 1997 was Celeric, who won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot under Pat Eddery.

Eddery said: "He will be deeply missed. He was one of the nicest people you could possibly meet. He had been ill for some time, but appeared to be doing all right. It is devastating news."

Willie Carson, who before his retirement from raceriding last year had enjoyed a successful partnership with Celeric, said: "It is very sad. Although he had a running battle with his health for a number of years, we hoped he would last a lot longer. He was a great friend to me and I had a lot of fun riding for him. We had a good relationship."

Carson, who rode for Sheikh Hamdan, partnered his Fard when the 33-1 shot gave Morley his first Group One victory in the 1994 Middle Park Stakes.

"It was a great thrill to win the Middle Park on Fard for David," Carson said. "It was his first Group One win and gave us all a great thrill. David was just starting to get into the big time and would have trained many more Group One winners. It's tragic to leave such a young family. He will be sadly, sadly missed."

Angus Gold, racing manager to Sheikh Hamdan, also paid tribute to Morley, who sent out Hayil to win another Middle Park for the Sheikh last year. Gold said: "He was a very, very good trainer who got the best out of every horse in the yard - it was his ambition to win a race with the worst horse in the yard, however bad. He had an incredible eye for detail and knew all his horses inside out.

"He trained Fahal to finish fourth in the Derby, Fard and Hayil to win the Middle Park and, of course, the grand old campaigner Burooj. He came up with the inspired idea to put blinkers on Fard for the Middle Park. He was a great trainer."

Bob Davies, the former champion jump jockey who rode for Morley when he first took out his licence in 1973 to train jumpers, said: "I rode good horses like Banlieu, Havanus and Tragus for David and rode for him until I retired in 1982. It is very sad."