Death Of Geoff Wragg

By Daithi Harvey

Multiple Classic-winning former trainer Geoff Wragg has died in Newmarket aged 87. Wragg took over from his father Harry, himself a successful trainer, in 1983 and proceeded to saddle Teenoso (Youth) to win the G1 Epsom Derby winner in his first season with a license. Wragg retired from training in 2008 having come close two years previously to adding a second Epsom Derby to his CV when Dragon Dancer (GB) (Sadler’s Wells) was beaten a short head into second behind Sir Percy (GB) (Mark Of Esteem {Ire}). Paying tribute to Wragg, fellow trainer, former Newmarket Mayor and TDN columnist John Berry said, “Geoff dying really is the end of an era. Harry trained two Derby winners and was at the top of the training tree. Geoff took over from him in 1983 and it was a seamless transition. For the next 30 years, virtually, he was as successful as his father had been. He always had a top horse and you could pretty much set your clock by him having something for Royal Ascot every year. He was an absolute gentleman and the father figure of Newmarket trainers.” Berry added, “He’d been in very poor health and it was going to happen at some point, but it’s a very sad day and it leaves a big hole in the community.”

Another top class performer Wragg was associated with was Pentire (GB) (Be My Guest) whose top level victories included the G1 Irish Champion S. in 1995 and the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. the following year. Michael Hills was Pentire’s regular pilot and upon hearing of the death of his former boss he commented, “I worked for Geoff for six years and we had the most amazing time. He was a fantastic trainer and a great man who was always an absolute pleasure to ride for.”

Wragg also enjoyed Classic success in Ireland when he trained Sir Edmond Loder’s homebred Marling (Ire) (Lomond) to win the G1 Irish 1000 guineas at Loder’s local track The Curragh in 1992 before the mare followed up in the G1 Coronation S. at Royal Ascot and the G1 Sussex S. at Goodwood. Wragg is survived by his wife, Patricia, and his funeral will be a family-only private affair.


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