Stellar line-up of racing heroes in Aintree parade

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  • A stellar line-up of former racehorses will take part in the Retraining Of Racehorses (ROR) parade at the Grand National meeting (7-9 April).

    Aintree heroes 17-year-old Comply Or Die, the 2008 Grand National winner (pictured), and five-time course victor Monet’s Garden will head the 10-horse parade on the opening day (7 April) at 12.50pm ahead of racing.

    Joining the equine stars is the Gold Cup winner Denman, who has taken to team chasing and hunting “like a duck to water”, according to his rider Charlotte Alexander.

    Eighteen-year-old Monet’s Garden was known to relish the Aintree turf, having triumphed in the Old Roan Chase three times as well as the Melling Chase. He is now thriving in the showing ring under his rider Joey — daughter of his former trainer Nicky Richards.

    The charismatic Mad Moose, who was infamous for refusing to start races when trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies, has adapted particularly well to his new career. The 12-year-old has been enjoying the hunting field and is being retrained by Sophie Burkin for the dressage arena.

    Since retiring from the track, Cheltenham Festival victor Cinders And Ashes has also been successfully retrained and will be aimed at ROR dressage and showing classes.

    He will be ridden in the parade by Abbie McCain — granddaughter of Red Rum’s trainer, the late Ginger McCain.

    “It’s wonderful to have such diversity on show for our ROR parade at Aintree,” said Di Arbuthnot, chief executive of ROR.

    “We know the racing public love to see old warriors like Denman, Comply Or Die and Monet’s Garden, but I think they are also increasingly appreciative of what lesser known horses like Liverpool and Danny John Boy have achieved in carving out successful second careers in very different activities to racing.”

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    Five-time Cheltenham winner Midnight Chase, who completed his first British Eventing competition in September, will also be taking part in the Aintree parade. So too will be 17-year-old Naunton Brook — who along with Donald McCain’s former star Peddlers Cross — have both taken to jumping the coloured poles.

    Don’t miss the full report from the Grand National Festival in Horse & Hound — on sale Thursday 14 April.

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