Monet’s Garden to be honoured at Aintree

The Republic of Ireland secured a European Championship qualifying play-off spot after a 2-1 victory over Armenia in Dublin to finish second to Russia in Group B.

The Betfred Old Roan Chase at Aintree is to be renamed in 2011 to honour three-time winner Monet’s Garden.

Nicky Richard’s grey won the race in 2007, 2009 and 2010. After the last victory, he picked up a serious hoof infection that led to the end of his racing career. For a period it looked as if he would lose his life, but to the delight of his connections he pulled through and made a full recovery.

He will be parade at Aintree ahead of the Betfred Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase on 22 October.

“I am delighted that the Old Roan Chase will be run in honour of Monet’s Garden,” said Richards.

“It’s great news for myself, David (Wesley Yates, owner), my daughter Joey and the old horse himself.

“He looks grand at the moment and hopefully he will head to Aintree to parade in front of the crowds. It’s been well documented how close we came to losing the old boy last winter but he’s full of beans now.

“The response that we have received since Monet’s Garden got injured has been tremendous. It’s quietened off a little bit now but we still get cards in the post most weeks. Every time I go racing, people from all walks of life come up to me and ask about him, which is fantastic.

“All three of his wins in the Old Roan were very special and he beat some very high-class horses. It was always a track that seemed to suit him and we had some fantastic days at Aintree.

“It was made all the more special because David lives just down the road from the course. The Aintree racegoers really took the horse to their hearts and he always received a great reception in the winner’s enclosure. You could really see the love they had for him.”

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