Obituary For The Late Alex Murdoch Of Comber

Obituary For Alex Murdoch.


Obituary For Alex Murdoch.

A gentleman, sportsman and very good amateur rider of the Corinthian era, Alex Murdoch very sadly passed away on Saturday aged 82. 

The Murdoch name is synonymous with Comber. The family have for decades grown vegetables and produced barley at the Castle Lane Farm while also making ground available in years past for the very popular North Down point-to-point traditionally on Aintree Grand National day.  

Alex was always ultra fair in his dealings and having bought the Unicarnval estate to extend his farming interests, he immediately offered any farmers with adjoining land the opportunity to buy bits of ground at cost price they wished to purchase. Fellow farmers could always rely on him if short of material, plants or machinery to help them out.

The late Alex Murdoch of Comber, left, with Howzaboutu, the winner of the Embassy Maiden Races at the point-to-point at Lisnalinchy in 1968.

After a long day’s work the horses came next and he continued to ride out after many had hung up their boots. The 60s were a golden time for Alex and his late wife Dorothy who bred 2007 Galway Plate winner Sir Frederick while Castle King, Greek Lad and Snow Marshall  were all top horses in their respective fields. 

The last named won his maiden hunterchase just prior to Laffy winning the Ulster Grand National in 1962, however, an enquiry from the Grand Nation winning owner, the late Queen Mother if the horse was for sale found the answer was no.  It was the correct call with the chestnut gelding progressing to win the prestigious Sweet Afton Cup at Dundalk and Joseph O’Reilly Trophy at Fairyhouse. In the 1980s Wolitico was multiple point-to-point winner and Highlight Lad a high class bumper horse partnered by Alex.

Both parents were proud of careers of son, Andrew who became a major figure in Formula 1 motor racing  and daughter, Julia a physiotherapist who followed  in her parents footsteps and rode in point-to-points with the highlight to the joy of Alex and Dorothy happening at Craigantlet when Julia on Hillmount won beating her father into second on Ballyalla. 

Alex is survived by his sisters Eleanor and Nan, son Andrew and daughter, Julia. He will greatly missed by his very many friends and condolences are offered to the family circle. 

See the video of Alex winning aboard Hillmount at Taylorstown in 1992:

Funeral arrangements: the family home is strictly private and the burial is at 2pm at Comber cemetery on Thursday with social distancing and face masks recommended.

R Mc K.