The hugely popular grey Monet’s Garden has sadly passed away aged 20.

Trained by Nicky Richards, Monet’s Garden was a triple Grade 1 winner who made his name in Aintree’s Old Roan Chase – now named after the gallant grey –  with three wins between 2007 and 2010.

In 2011, Monet’s Garden came into public affection when he fighting back from the brink of death, having suffered a hoof infection.

Speaking from his Cumbria base on Wednesday, Richards said: “It’s a sad day but he had a good life and, as everybody knows, he was very ill there for a while and he bounced back from that to have seven more good years.

“Everybody wants a horse like him. He was good, he was honest and he was bold. He was game, he could jump, he was a dream of a horse for anybody who had anything to do with him. Even the punter in the betting shops, they knew they were going to get a good run for their money. He was a fantastic horse.”

Richards added: “He was very lucky to be owned by David Wesley Yates, who insisted on the very best of treatment for him and went on with the care long after many owners would have stopped. I think he got nearly as much pleasure out of Monet’s Garden after his recovery as he did while he was racing.”

Having been retired, Monet’s Garden was looked after by Richards’ daughter Jo and became a regular at Retraining of Racehorses parades.

He won 17 races in a 32-race career.