Mick O'Toole: Cheltenham Gold Cup and Classic-winning trainer dies aged 86

Mick O'Toole's training career included saddling Davy Lad to the 1977 Cheltenham Gold Cup
Mick O'Toole trained Dickens Hill to win the Irish 2,000 Guineas and Eclipse Stakes in 1979

Cheltenham Gold Cup and Classic-winning trainer Mick O'Toole has died aged 86.

The Dubliner saddled Davy Lad to win the 1977 Cheltenham Gold Cup which was one of his eight victories at the National Hunt Festival.

In 1979, he trained Dickens Hill to wins in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the Eclipse Stakes as well as second places in the Epsom Derby and Irish Derby.

O'Toole began his training career in Dublin's Phoenix Park before moving to the Curragh in 1968.

The popular former trainer had been in failing health in recent months and died in the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin on Thursday.

He is survived by his wife, Una, daughter Margaret, a well-known bloodstock agent, and son Ciaran, one of Ireland's leading jockey agents.

Horse Racing Ireland's chief executive Brian Kavanagh described the trainer as "one of the real characters of Irish racing".

"It's a sad day. On behalf of the board and staff of Horse Racing Ireland I would like to offer our sympathy to Una and the O'Toole family," said Kavanagh.

"Mick always had a funny story to tell and always put people in great form and he will be greatly missed by all his friends and colleagues in Irish racing."