THE world of Irish racing is in mourning today with the tragic news that well-known point-to-point handler and trainer Willie Codd has died aged just 43.
The Co. Wexford man was a leading point-to-point handler and trained numerous track winners, having developed a solid reputation as a producer of potential top-class racehorses.
Grade 1 winner Tranquil Sea was one of his earliest winners and his most recent scorer – the prolific mare Tellthemnuttin – won three times in four starts last spring, including twice at Codd’s local track in Wexford.
He sold Tell Us More for £290,000 in December 2013 and Alisier D'Irlande for £300,000 in April 2014 – with both horses ridden by his brother Jamie to win point-to-points shortly before being sold.
Last season, Codd had 10 winners between the flags – double his score from the previous term. He also had four winners on the racecourse last season from just 23 runners.
He leaves behind eight-year-old son Jack and one month-old daughter Aria.
As well as his children, the 43-year-old is survived by his parents Billy and Mary Frances, and his sisters Lisa and Zoe.
Multiple point-to-point champion and leading amateur rider Derek O’Connor told the Racing Post: "Willie is a big loss to the industry. He was a very nice fella and a very nice fella to ride for, and a great producer of horses.
"He is a huge loss to his family in the first place but also to the point-to-point community. It is very sad."
The Irishman’s body will repose at his parents' home in Mayglass, Co. Wexford from 12pm on Friday. His funeral mass will take place at 12pm on Saturday at St Fintan's Church, Mayglass.
His family have requested any donations in lieu of flowers be made to the ASK and Irish Injured Jockeys' Fund charities, and that the house remain private on Saturday morning.