Retired Irish trainer Seamus McGrath, whose father, Joseph McGrath, was one of Ireland's greatest Turf figures, died after a recent illness, according to the Racing Post
. McGrath, who became a steward of the Irish Turf Club after retiring in 1983, was 83.
McGrath trained a number of prominent horses owned by him and family members. His big horse during his four decades of training was Levmoss. Owned by McGrath and bred by McGrath Trust Co., Levmoss achieved an unprecedented triple by winning the 1969 Ascot Gold Cup, Prix du Cadran, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The following year, McGrath achieved classic success in France with Levmoss' full sister. Sweet Mimosa, a filly he owned, captured the Prix de Diane.
McGrath, who led the Irish trainer's list four times, twice achieved success as a trainer in Ireland's greatest race. He sent out his father's Panaslipper to win the 1955 Irish Derby after the colt ran second in the Epsom Derby. Eighteen years later, McGrath won the Irish Derby with his Weavers' Hall. The race by then was sponsored by the Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes, a business that the McGrath family had supported for years.
McGrath trained winners of the other four Irish classics. Silken Glider won the 1957 Irish Oaks and just missed winning the Epsom Oaks. Royal Danseuse took the 1964 One Thousand Guineas, and Furry Glen captured the 1974 group I Two Thousand Guineas. In 1970, Allangrange won the St. Leger.
Trainer John Oxx paid tribute to McGrath. "He was a contemporary of my father, and they founded the grooms' pension fund in the 1950s," Oxx told the Post
. "In more recent years, he was chairman of it, and retained a great interest in it."
McGrath's survivors include his wife, Rosemary, and son Peter, who heads the insurance division at Goffs.