The Darwin Cup in Australia was cancelled after a female jockey died from her injuries following a fall near the finish of the sixth race yesterday.
Darwin Turf Club chairman Brett Dixon said Simone Montgomerie fell from her mount, Riahgrand, and sustained “traumatic injuries” in the home straight. Montgomerie, a 26-year-old mother of two, was treated by doctors at the scene before being taken by ambulance to Royal Darwin Hospital.
“It is with great regret that we were advised by the family that Simone passed away shortly after arriving at the hospital,” Dixon said. “Stewards agreed it was best to abandon the meeting in order to begin an investigation into this tragic event.
“As far as the Darwin Turf Club is concerned, she was our family, and we’re all devastated by this accident.”
Montgomerie was a seasoned jockey who had been racing in the Northern Territory since 2010, and her 27 winners last season made her the premier jockey in the northern Australian province.
Her father, Peter Montgomerie, trained 2005 Melbourne Cup runner-up On A Jeune.
Adam Giles, the Northern Territory’s chief minister, said Montgomerie “was a champion jockey at the top of her game and a pioneer of women in racing who will be sorely missed.” “This is a sad day for the Australian racing industry,” he added.
The accident happened only two days after the National Jockeys Celebration day was held by the National Jockeys Trust, which provides support for families of riders who have been killed or injured.
National Jockeys’ Association general manager Des O’Keeffe said the organisation would support Montgomerie’s family and offered counselling to other jockeys. “It is unbelievable that this has happened just two days after National Jockeys Celebration day around the country,” he said. “I have had many jockeys ring me, absolutely shattered.”
Meanwhile, Aidan O’Brien’s latest Australian recruit Nechita could make her Irish debut in the Abergwaun Stakes at Tipperary on Friday evening.
A Grade One winner at six furlongs in her homeland, she has a host of entries over the coming weeks including the Nunthorpe at York and the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.
Eddie Lynam’s Slade Power is likely to be her chief rival if both run after his fine third in the July Cup, and Lynam could also run Boston Rocker. Russian Soul, trained by Mick Halford, and Tommy Stack’s Cape Of Approval and Scream Blue Murder are in the mix.