A successful businessman, Brittain had horses in training before taking out his own licence in 1985. A quietly spoken, modest man, he was renowned for starting the career of many talented jockeys. Readers will remember his ultimately talented horse Grey Desire ''the pride of Yorkshire'' who finished runner-up in the July Cup (Group 1) and later a successful stallion, while Dublin Lad was victorious in the Gosforth Park Cup. From a personal point of view he had some talented two-year-olds including recent winner French a bargain-buy at £800, who competed at York's Marygate Listed Stakes.
Brittain's son, Anthony, who is presently assistant trainer, will take charge of the training operation.
His best season came in 1988 with 44 winners.
A rare visitor to the race track he preferred to watch the racing at home on TV.
Mick Easterby said: "Mel was a wonderful chap and we were big friends. He was a very good trainer and will be sorely missed by everybody in racing who knew him. It's a very sad day."
Mel trained over 500 winners in his career.
Condolences to family, friends and race fans.
Picture: Sandra & Mel Brittain