A sad day for horse racing was further compounded on Sunday evening when previous Kempton Park successor Top Notch passed away aged 10, connections confirmed.
Nicky Henderson’s son of Poliglote recorded 14 victories from 32 career outings, including recorded a duo of victories in the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase and took a Listed event in Sunbury-on-Thames back in January 2019.
Joint-owner Simon Munir stated in a tweet that the Seven Barrows representative had suffered a ruptured stomach and was unable to be saved in surgery.
“It is with great sadness that we lost our double-green stalwart and hero Top Notch today [Sunday]”, Munir said.
“He was the sweetest kindest horse with the biggest heart – since 2014, he won 14 races & participated in 5 [Cheltenham] Festival‘s, so many memories.”
The late horse’s handler also joined in with the tributes.
“Top Notch will be sorely missed by us all at Seven Barrows”, Henderson said on his Twitter.
“He was a great friend and gave us all so many wonderful days out over the last few years.”
Racing’s sadness was enhanced after the death of former trainer Barney Curley at the age of 81.
Mr Curley, who set up a charity in Zambia to assist with the building of schools and hospitals during his career, was a hugely popular figure in the sport and died peacefully last weekend.
Tom Queally, most noted for being associated with the legendary Frankel, said following Curley’s passing: “Apart from my family and my parents there has been no greater influence on my life or my career than Barney Curley and there are no ifs, buts or maybes about that.”