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
Robin van Persie: Manchester United may have more joy if striker is dropped by David Moyes
Chris Powell sacked: Charlton confirm manager fired despite being in talks to sign new contract
Why does Manuel Pellegrini keep picking Martin Demichelis for Manchester City?
England 29 Wales 18 player ratings: Who was the star man at Twickenham?
Bayern Munich v Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pleads for 'fair chance' from referee as Arsenal look to turn around Champions League deficit
- 1 Pakistan vs Paul Smith: Sandal-wearers bemused by famed British designer's attempts to sell traditional Peshawari chappal-style shoes for the distinctly untraditional sum of £300
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering nest of potentially deadly spiders in bananas
- 3 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 4 Russell Crowe's Noah banned in three Arab countries before worldwide premiere
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Private Cli...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residential...
£1000 per month: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ban...
VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED : Reach Volunteering: Fantastic opportuni...