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Notable Irish owner-breeder Ned Morrissey dies aged 91

Ned Morrissey (left) after homebred Cailin's Perk won on the Flat at Leopardstown in 2003
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Ned Morrissey, an owner-breeder who enjoyed many big-race successes with his long-time friend, the late Paddy Mullins, lost his battle with cancer on Sunday when he died peacefully in St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny. He was 91.

The better horses to run in Morrissey's colours included Doubtful Venture, who won the Kerry National under Tony Mullins at the Listowel festival in 1985, having been second in the 1984 Galway Plate, ridden by Willie Mullins.

He also owned Castlekellyleader, who won four hurdle races in 1996 including the Grade 1 Champion Novice Hurdle over 2m4f at the Punchestown festival and the Grade 2 Jameson Gold Cup Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

Big-race winners bred by Morrissey included Black Jack Ketchum, who won seven hurdle races for Jonjo O’Neill including the Grade 2 Spa Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and the Grade 1 Sefton Novices' Hurdle at Aintree in 2006, and Fota Island, who won the Grand Annual Chase at Cheltenham and the Red Rum Handicap Chase for Mouse Morris in 2005.

Black Jack Ketchum, bred by Ned Morrissey, wins the Spa Novices' Hurdle at the 2006 Cheltenham Festival

Morrissey's son, Michael, said on Monday: “Dad was diagnosed with cancer three years ago when he had major surgery. He remained in good spirits and was out and about up to very recently. Complications developed in the hospital on Friday and he passed away on Sunday.

“Dad and Paddy Mullins were good friends for over 60 years and he was proud of the fact that Paddy’s four sons – Willie, Tony, Tom and George – all rode winners in his colours.”

Predeceased by his wife, Bridie, he is survived by three sons, Michael, Tom and Jimmy, daughters Breda, Mary and Bernadette, his brothers John and Moling, sisters Mary and Breda and extended family.

His funeral mass takes place at 2pm on Tuesday in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Goresbridge, County Kilkenny, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery. Donations, if desired, can be made to Cancer Research.

Dad and Paddy Mullins were good friends and he was proud of the fact that Paddy’s four sons all rode winners in his colours
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