01/31/2007 1:00AM

Collins, veteran Irish trainer, dies

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Con Collins, the oldest and longest-serving trainer in Ireland, died in Dublin on Tuesday at the age of 82, according to published reports.

Active since 1952, he trained his first winner, Hallelujah, for Ireland's former U.S. ambassador George Garrett at Gowran Park that same year. His biggest victory came in 1984 with Princess Pati in the Irish Oaks. Other big-race winners included Sandy Creek in the 1978 Observer Gold Cup (now the Racing Post Trophy), and Chelsea Rose in the 2004 Moyglare Stud Stakes.

Collins suffered a broken leg when he was kicked by a horse in the Curragh paddock in March 2005, and since then his activities had been greatly reduced. He fell ill on Friday and died at Tallaght Hospital in Dublin on Tuesday morning.