Monet’s Garden looked fresh and well parading for crowds at Aintree racecourse on Saturday (22 October).

With ears pricked and a spring in his step, onlookers would not have thought the popular 13-year-old grey (pictured right during his racing career) had only been given a 50/50 chance of survival by trainer Nicky Richards earlier this year.

The racehorse paraded in front of the crowds before the Old Roan Chase, which was this year named in his honour.

Owner David Wesley Yates said the day was “fantastic”.

“He looked so well I almost thought he could have run round and won again,” David told H&H. “The crowd really welcomed him – it was wonderful to have him back on a racecourse again and he loved it. The Old Roan Chase was his race, so we’re thrilled.”

Monet’s Garden won the race in 2007, 2009 and 2010 before retiring due to a life-threatening hoof infection. The prognosis did not look good, but after months of treatment Nicky reports the gelding to be “full of beans”.

And fans of the spectacular grey should look out for the horse in the show ring next season as David told H&H he hopes the horse will enjoy his new career.

“That was always the aim – to enter some ex-racehorse showing classes in retirement,” said David. “It’s payback – he’s done so much for us we want him to enjoy life, and I think he’d like that.”