The death In the Rous Memorial Hospital at Newmarket yesterday morning of Felix Leach Junior, the racehorse trainer, came as a great shock to the racing community in Newmarket, as earlier reports had been favourable to a recovery. He had been taken suddenly ill when returning to Newmarket from Manchester races last Saturday and immediately on arriving at his home had been rushed to the Rous Memorial Hospital, where an operation for appendicitis was performed. At first it appeared to make improvement, but unfortunately a relapse set in and this proved fatal. He died shortly before 11.30 yesterday morning. Contrary to rumours current in Newmarket, he did not undergo a second operation.
He was the eldest son of Mr. Felix Leach, who trains at Graham Place, Newmarket, and was brother of Jack and ' Chubb' Leach, the jockeys. The Leach family has been resident in Newmarket for many years.
Young Felix Leach, who was married five years ago and leaves a young widow and a son a few months old was born 31 years ago. He served his apprenticeship with his father and gave promise making good as a jockey, but put on weight rapidly that after completing his apprenticeship in 1920 was unable to ride for more than one season asa fully-fledged jockey. This was in 1921, and during that season rode in only 26 races. One of the best horses he rode was Orpheus, upon whom finished third to Spion Kop and Archaic in the Derby of 1920 and upon whom he won the Champion Stakes at Newmarket.
He took out trainer's licence in 1922 and soon became one of the best known and most popular of the younger school of trainers at Newmarket. He soon made his mark as a trainer, and owed much of his success to his painstaking methods, and to the clever way in which he placed his horses. He made a speciality getting his team well forward In condition at the beginning of each season, and thus won many early races with moderate animals. In 1929 he won 34 races with a total value of £9.647 and his total for the season Just concluded with 45 successes, worth £8276. The funeral will be at Newmarket Cemetery at 11 a.m. next Monday.
(Daily Herald - Friday 28 November 1930)