Racehorse trainer Dessie Hughes has died at the age of 71.

Based in the Curragh, Hughes was hugely successful both as a jockey and trainer.

During his riding career he partnered Monksfield to victory in the Champion Hurdle and Davy Lad in the Gold Cup.

As a trainer his many successes included victory in the Champion Hurdle with Hardy Eustace.

Hughes, who had been battling illness, is survived by his wife Eileen, son and three-time English Champion Flat Jockey Richard and daughter Sandra.

Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, tweeted: "RIP Dessie Hughes. A great trainer, great jockey and an absolute gentleman. Sympathies to Eileen, Richard and Sandra."

Conor O'Dwyer, who rode Hardy Eustace in both his Champion Hurdle triumphs, said: "There's gentlemen and then there was Dessie Hughes.

"I've ridden for many good people during my career, but Dessie really stood out as a proper gentleman.

"We had some brilliant times together, some of the best times of my career. No one ever had a bad word to say about Dessie, and Dessie never had a bad word to say about anyone.

"He'd had some hard times, but he'd come through and seemed to be enjoying the best of his career. It's a sad day for everyone and for racing."

Eddie O'Leary, racing manager for leading owners Gigginstown House Stud, who had horses with Hughes, said: "He was a fantastic trainer and a lovely man. He was a true gent.

"He will be sorely and deeply missed by all in racing. Thunder Of Roses will not run at Punchestown today as a mark of respect to the man."