Australian Turf mourns jockey Montgomerie
McEvoy pays tribute to leading woman rider killed in fall during race at Darwin Cup meeting
A week that culminates in the dismantling of international frontiers, at Ascot on Saturday, opened with a tragic shock that succeeded in doing very much the same. Though few on these shores could have been familiar with the name of Simone Montgomerie, the heartbreaking accident that befell her in Darwin yesterday will have united all those who share the daily risks of race-riding in a shudder of distress.
Montgomerie, 26, suffered fatal injuries when fired into the dirt surface while fighting out the finish of a race at Fannie Bay. Some reports suggest that her saddle had slipped. Treated on the track, she was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead shortly afterwards. She leaves a five-year-old daughter and a traumatised professional community in the Northern Territory and beyond. After consulting distraught jockeys, the stewards promptly cancelled the rest of the Darwin Cup meeting – where a crowd of 20,000 had been enjoying a state holiday.
“She was our family,” the chairman of the local Turf Club said. “We’re all devastated.” Kerrin McEvoy, who enjoyed such success when riding in Britain, had known Montgomerie since their pony club days. “I’m shattered by the news,” he said. “She’s a beautiful girl, it’s just a tragedy.” Lee Freeman, the celebrated Australian trainer, added: “Everyone in racing feels this pain.”
Montgomerie had been born into the sport that claimed her – her father, Peter, has trained a Melbourne Cup runner-up – and was emerging as a pioneer for female jockeys in Australia. In fact, by riding 27 of her 67 career winners in the 2012-13 season, she had secured the Darwin jockeys’ premiership.
A team of female riders will doubtless invoke Montgomerie’s memory when they contest the Shergar Cup at Ascot on Saturday. They will take on sides from Europe, Great Britain and Ireland and the Rest of the World – with Gary Stevens, the US Hall of Fame rider, topping the bill for the latter.
Great White Eagle, the Elusive Quality colt who prompted the Coolmore partners to break the European breeze-up record at Tattersalls in April, repaid a first instalment on their 760,000-guinea investment when impressively disposing of more experienced rivals – including four previous winners – on his debut under Joseph O’Brien at Naas yesterday. Stan James offer 16-1 for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas.
His trainer, Aidan O’Brien, did not sound inclined to rush the colt. “We’ll look at something like the Round Tower Stakes at the Curragh,” he said. “I’m delighted with that for his first run – he was just ready to start off, and I was delighted with the way he travelled. Joseph said he knew after a furlong and a half he was going best.”
Chris McGrath's Nap
Dukes Delight (6.30 Kempton)
Failed only narrowly to get up when well backed for her handicap debut.
Alwilda (8.10 Ripon)
Looks certain to improve for this longer distance.
Latest in Sport
David Moyes sacked: Louis van Gaal and Carlo Ancelotti head wish list as Manchester United as Ryan Giggs is ruled out
Liverpool v Chelsea: Jose Mourinho threatens to play weakened side at Anfield after losing Petr Cech and John Terry during Atletico Madrid tie
David Moyes sacked: Ruthless decision to sack manager was made by club over two months ago
Liverpool transfer news: Brendan Rodgers to be given record funds to prepare for Champions League
David Moyes sacked: Manchester United's potential summer transfer targets as season hits a new low
- 1 William Shakespeare's 450th birthday: 50 everyday phrases that came from the Bard
- 2 David Cameron's constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Women take on Bear Grylls over 'sexist' male-only desert island show
- 5 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: Concerns grow among search officials that missing jet ‘may have landed somewhere else’
Ukip election posters: Nigel Farage defends 'racist' campaign anti-immigration campaign ahead of Europe elections
Is Britain really a land of God? Furious debate after David Cameron claims we are a Christian country
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
Ukip leader Nigel Farage defends employing German wife, at launch of anti-immigration poster campaign
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
David Cameron's constituency office calls police on food bank campaigners Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Keith Hebden
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence - Oxford An opportunity f...
£55000 - £62000 per annum + outstanding benefits and bonus: Pro-Recruitment Gr...
£120 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Reception teacher required for an Outs...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + excellent company benefits : Pro-Recruitment Group...