Bill Esley Dies Aged 97

Bill Esley Dies Aged 97

Dual Classic winning trainer Bill Elsey has passed away peacefully at the grand old age of 97.

Elsey was primarily well known for his exploits in Yorkshire during the sixties and seventies, including victory in the 1973 St Leger at Doncaster, and will go down as one of the most successful northern trainers of all time.

The news was confirmed by his son Charlie on Thursday morning, who said: "He was very modest and was certainly not one for blowing his own trumpet, but he had those two Classic winners and plenty of big handicap victories and wins in races that are now Group Ones.

"He had the luck to take over a championship stable from his father and I think he felt the pressure of that sometimes, but through the 1960s he sent out the largest number of winners for many seasons," he said.

Elsey won the Epsom fillies Classic in 1967 with Pia, before seven years later he added that St Leger success to his trophy cabinet with Peleid. He also won big handicaps such as the Ebor and the Lincoln twice, along with top banded races - equally the Eclipse at Sandown and the Lockinge at Newbury.

His son added: "He was a very strong supporter of the north and Yorkshire in particular.

"He kept his enthusiasm right to the end. Like all trainers, he was eternally optimistic pessimist!

Elsey retired in 1996, and will be sorely missed, not only by those close to him, but by the racing world who were lucky enough to witness his training brilliance.

(Quotes Credit): Racing Post