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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Garden tale brings Christmas cheerHeadlines
Monet's Garden

After a superb racing career was brought to an abrupt end by a fight for his life, Monet's Garden is loving life in retirement under the watchful eye of his proud trainer Nicky Richards.

One of the most popular chasers of the last decade, the dashing grey won 17 races for the Greystoke handler and is best remembered for some scintillating displays of front-running and jumping at Aintree.

In all Monet's Garden won five times at the famous Merseyside circuit, registering three victories in the Old Roan Chase and even beating Kauto Star, but little did connections know the hat-trick strike in 2010 would be his final competitive appearance.

Shortly after that triumphant display, he was found to suffering an abscess on his foot and after that developed into a serious infection, Richards revealed in early 2011 it would be an "uphill struggle" for a 13-year-old Monet's Garden to survive.

However, the veteran refused to be beaten and after a lengthy rehabilitation at Oaklands Veterinary Centre in Cleveland, he was allowed to return to his Penrith base.

He has gradually been nursed back to health by the trainer's daughter, Joey Richards, his long-time friend and groom, and taking part in some show classes.

He also returned to Aintree to parade before the Old Roan Chase at Aintree in October, which now rightly carries his name in its title.

"He's doing all right the old boy and he hasn't been forgotten about I can assure you," said Richards.

"He's still getting Christmas cards and letters. He's in grand form with himself and enjoying life. He can't do much at the moment because the weather is so bad, but when the weather is nice he has a wander up the village in Greystoke and he does a bit of light exercise with Joey.

"He'll probably go and do a bit of showing in the spring when the weather picks up, but because of the injury he had, we just have to be a bit careful with him. He just does it for a bit of fun, a day out and to get a bit of sun on his back."

20 November 2014

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Farm comes Home to roost at Thurles
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Volnay seeking Mersey paradise
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19 November 2014

Shaneshill sparkles on hurdles bow
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High hopes for Zaidiyn
Cyclone makes Thurles return
Betfair launch National Jockey Day
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Murphy back at Navan for Troytown
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Knock A Hand in Troytown contention
Vautour given Navan entry
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That pleases in Newbury spin
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18 November 2014

Nephew in Hennessy mix
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Easy possible for quick return
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One and only on Mersey beat
Cue takes aim at Haydock double
Re set for second hurdles run

17 November 2014

Leopardstown on Ned agenda
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It's Uxizandre all the way
Chancol grinds out success
Dunraven storms to victory
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Henderson on the scoreboard
Scan key to Grugy Sandown bid
Tributes flow on 'a sad day'
A man who conquered on all fronts
Death of racing great Hughes

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