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TOP NOTCH: Former Kempton hero dies aged 10

Former Grade One winner Top Notch sadly passed away on Sunday, connections have stated



MGF114 Top Notch ridden by Daryl Jacob clear the last fence before going on to win The bet365 Oaksey Steeple Chase Race run during bet365 Jump Finale day at Sundown Park, Sandown.

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.

Nicky Henderson Trainer
Nicky Henderson trained Top Notch to a Grade 1 victory during his career

“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.

Horse Racing - The digibet Best of British Night - Kempton Park Racecourse
After his Kempton Park success, Top Notch recorded his final two victories at Aintree and Huntingdon, respectively

“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 rode Frankel on every occasion during his 14-race career and was full of praise for the late Barney Curley on Sunday

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.”

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.