Shock as much loved sports star dies

IRISH jockey legend and ‘brilliant character’ George McGrath has sadly died at the age of 79.

The two-time Flat champion jockey died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, surrounded by his loving family.

The pinnacle of his fabled career came with victory aboard Weavers’ Hall in the 1973 Irish Derby.

He won the Irish 2000 Guineas the following year on Flurry Glen and again ten years later on Sadler’s Wells.

That horse kickstarted arguably racing’s greatest breeding line, culminating in Frankel and his progeny today.

From Sadler’s Wells, himself a son of the legendary Northern Dancer, came Galileo, the stallion who set the bar for all others.

Galileo was sire to Frankel, who looks like possibly eclipsing the astonishing records – and money-making ability – of the late Galileo.

McGrath, who was from County Dublin and champion jockey in 1961 and 1962, also had a winner in the 1980 Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot on Cooliney Prince.

More to follow…