Legendary horse trainer Neville Callaghan dies aged 77 as heartbroken son remembers his ‘biggest supporter’

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LEGENDARY horse trainer Neville Callaghan has sadly died aged 77.

The Group 1-winning handler trained more than 800 winners on the Flat and almost 100 over jumps during a distinguished 38-year career.

RACINGFOTOS.COMRacing is mourning the loss of legendary trainer Callaghan, who has passed away aged 77[/caption]

He was best known for the awesome Danehill Dancer, who recorded a Group 1 double in 1995 for top owner Michael Tabor.

The Cork-born trainer’s first winner was in 1970 and he enjoyed huge success with the likes of Fairy Heights, Stanford and Always Valiant right up to his retirement in 2008.

Showing his versatility, he also had Irish Champion Hurdle winners Royal Vulcan and Royal Derbi in 1983 and 1993 respectively.

Son Simon is now a top trainer in the States and he remembered his old man with a touching post on X.

He wrote “my biggest supporter” and posted two hearts next to the words.

Former jockey Tom Scudamore and Sky Sports Racing host Alex Hammond were among those sending sympathy.

Callaghan passed away at a nursing home in Newmarket, where he based his Cadland and, later, Rathmoy stables.

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Trainer David Elsworth was among those mourning the loss of a giant in the sport.

He told the Racing Post: “He was a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde and a bit of a rascal but everyone loved him.

“He was always up to some kind of mischief and was a very colourful character.

“He loved a bet and controversy was not far behind him but for all that he was a very popular and likeable fellow.”

Luca Cumani, who gave Frankie Dettori his big break, said: “I had plenty of b***ockings off Neville during my time but the good thing was the next day it was all forgotten about.

“He was a nice chap and was part of Newmarket life for over 50 years.”

While John Gosden said: “Neville was one of the all-time great characters and a complete one-off.”

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Callaghan never won a Classic but came closest with 100-1 Rebel Rebel in the 2005 2000 Guineas.

He leaves behind wife Jenny, son Simon and daughter Camilla.

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