Vale Merv Corliss

THE NSW Racing Industry is today mourning the passing of well-known Tamworth trainer Merv Corliss, at 93 years-of-age.

“Merv [Corliss] will be remembered as an outstanding trainer and horseman,” said Racing NSW’s chief executive Peter V’landys AM.

“He regularly travelled the state with his horses and won countless country cups making many friends along the way.

“We would like to pass on our condolences to his daughter Lesley, a successful trainer in Tamworth, and Merv’s family and friends.”

Corliss, a regular visitor to Upper Hunter tracks Muswellbrook and Scone, was once dubbed the “Country Cups King” with horses like Akwazoff, who captured an incredible 16 country cups during the early 1990s.

Akwazoff won the 1997 Grafton Cup and was placed third on a further two occasions, retiring with 36 wins to his credit and half a million dollars in prizemoney.

Corliss’ daughter Lesley Jeffriess is a successful trainer in her own right and said her father died peacefully on Sunday.

“Dad won many races in the city and had a lot of very good horses including Steelswitch (won 34 races including two at Rosehill), Victory Charm (12 wins), Dollar and Durie Blue,” she recalled.

“But he always had a soft spot for Akwazoff who was an amazing horse.

“Dad trained his mother Akwitana who also won a stack of races.”

Corliss’ last winner was Glenbarra Boy in the 2010 Warialda Cup.

He is survived by daughters Marion and Lesley, along with his extended family of grandkids and great grandkids.

A funeral service for Corliss will be held at Tamworth Racecourse at 11am on Monday, February 19.