ONE of the most popular horses in the country when he was beating the likes of Kauto Star on the racetrack, Monet’s Garden has even more followers in retirement after battling back from a life-threatening foot infection and was a main attraction at yesterday’s Malton Open Day.
More than 20 trainers opened their stables for the Betfair-sponsored event as part of continuing efforts to boost racing’s profile in the county following York’s Ebor festival.
Although the Ebor – York’s signature race – eluded the local runners, 15-year-old Monet’s Garden was still a huge draw at Tim Fitzgerald’s stables where visitors also stroked Mister McGoldrick, who won a record eight races at Wetherby when trained at High Eldwick by Sue and Harvey Smith.
Named after the Leeds heart surgeon who treated the horse’s owner Richard Longley, Mister McGoldrick is enjoying an active retirement with the New Beginnings charity near York which retrains retired racehorses.
This was not just a celebration of horse racing – point-to-point trainer Sara Ender opened her stables while Freya Brewer showed off her Father Murtagh as she looks to turn racehorses into dressage contenders following Team GB’s success in this equine discipline at last summer’s Olympics.
Proceeds were going towards the Jack Berry House in Malton, a rehabilitation centre for riders the Injured Jockeys’ Fund is now building following the success of its John Oaksey House in Lambourn, Berkshire. Mr Berry, a retired trainer and IJF inspiration, took part in a special Q&A with top jump jockey John Francome who succeeded the late Lord Oaksey as the charity’s president.
Many then headed to Beverley for an afternoon’s racing on the Westwood where young York jockey Jacob Butterfield, attached to the Malton stable of Ollie Pears, continued his rich run of form on Polar Chief.
Racing: Sports Monday, Page 10.