Vale Phil Sweeney

The late Phil Sweeney (left).

NSW racing participants were saddened by the passing on Saturday morning of Southern Districts Racing Association trainer Mr Phil Sweeney.

Mr Sweeney was 66 and had been battling cancer in recent times.

Phil trained from Jerilderie and prepared 238 winners with his last winner being Bezazzlled who was part of a winning treble at Carrathool in February.

Other horses he trained were Sweet Emily (seven wins including three at Moonee Valley and held a track record), Beaujeen (nine wins including the Jerilderie Cup), Mr Moppett (six wins), Final Jest (six wins including the Eurora and Jeridlerie Cups), Cee Cee ‘n’ Dry (seven wins), Microchip Lad (seven wins including the Tocumwal Easter Cup) and Mr Brown Fox (seven wins).

Phil was also a talented regional apprentice and the master of many riders including Group 1-winning apprentice Tyler Schiller and his current pre-apprentice Caine Stuart.

Prior to training, Phil developed a good grounding after working for his brother Ken Sweeney for over 35 years.

Phil was also responsible for setting up Ken’s Melbourne stable at Flemington and he remained there for 12 years before residing in Jerilderie.

Mr Sweeney had stables across the road from Jerilderie Racecourse and combined his 600-acre property into the mix so that he’d have somewhere to spell his horses and be able to dabble in breeding.

Phil is survived by his daughters Brooke and Sally and his siblings, Ken, Ian, Judy and Maureen.