Former trainer Tommy Craig dies aged 81
Tommy Craig, the nephew of Scotland’s only Classic-winning trainer George Boyd, has died aged 81.
Craig, who played an integral part in Rockavon’s 2,000 Guineas triumph at Newmarket in 1961, set up on his own nine years later and went on to saddle a total of 235 winners – 158 on the Flat and 77 over jumps – from his East Lothian base.
Numerically, his best season came in 1977, when he sent out 24 winners, and a year later he trained Goldhills Pride to land the Portland Handicap at Doncaster.
Tangles Brother, the jumper with whom Craig is most associated, finished second to Night Nurse in the 1979 Future Champions Novices’ Chase at Ayr and filled the same position at Aintree’s Grand National meeting.
Craig was trainer Mark Johnston's mentor, while Scottish-born former champion apprentice Lee Newman, who is now based in Australia, remembers him well.
"I had many good conversations with him at Musselburgh and at his house next to where he used to train," he said. "He was a great old guy.
"He was full of wisdom and he loved his racing; he bought the Racing Post every day."
Funeral details for Craig, who died on Wednesday, will be made known in due course.
TOMMY CRAIG CV
Full name Thomas Craig
Born June 12, 1936
Head lad/assistant to George Boyd (uncle) 1962-70
Stables Tilton House, West Barns, Dunbar 1970-93
First winner Glen Head, Ayr, May 16, 1970
Biggest winners Tomdoun (1970 Virginia Handicap), Goldhills Pride (1978 Portland Handicap)
Best jumper Tangles Brother (2nd to Night Nurse, 1979 Future Champions Novices' Chase)
Most wins in a season 24 (1977)
Total wins 235 (158 Flat, 77 jumps)
Last winner Lord Advocate, Musselburgh, July 5, 1993
Compiled by John Randall