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Queanbeyan-based trainer Neville Layt sadly passed away on Tuesday afternoon after a battle with illness.

Layt, 76, passed away at Canberra Hospital on Tuesday afternoon with wife Barbara by his side.

‘Nifty’, as he was affectionately known, trained the stakes winning Karuta Queen who won the Magic Millions two-year-old Classic in 2011.

Locally, Layt’s biggest race success came when another two-year-old filly in Sarthemare won the 2008 Black Opal Stakes (1200m) at Canberra.

Racing New South Wales CEO Peter V’Landys announced the Highway Handicap at Randwick on Saturday would be named in Layt’s honour.

“Neville was a hardworking trainer and a real character who was extremely popular and highly respected throughout our industry,” he said.

“Neville knew his horses intimately and when they could win. He was every bit a horseman – Neville took out the inaugural Highway race in 2015 with Grand Proposal.

“In honour of Neville we have named the Highway race after him at Royal Randwick this Saturday.

“We would like to pass on our sincere condolences to Neville’s wife Barbie, his jockey son Adrian as well as his greater family and friends.”

Layt has accepted two runners over the weekend, Never Astern at Canberra and Redicon in the Highway at Randwick.

Both will be racing in events named in their trainer’s honour.

Tommy Berry will take the ride on Redicon in the Highway Handicap, who is currently second emergency.

Berry rode Karuta Queen in all six of her victories including the Magic Millions, the Heritage Stakes in Sydney and Australia Stakes in Melbourne.

Layt also trained successful galloper Kenquest, who won the 1997 Listed Parramatta Cup and won almost $250,000 in prize money.

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