Race hero at Exeter

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
4:23 PM

Former Grand National winner Comply or Die, who famously cost William Hill bookmakers more than £7million when he won the world’s most famous race in 2008, is the guest retired racecourse at Exeter’s Bathwick Tyres Super Sunday meeting this weekend, February 9, writes Lucy Johnson.

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Jump racing’s superstar retired safe and sound in 2011 to Timmy Murphy’s Cilldara Stud in Gloucestershire having won eight races and £798,809 in prize money.

Now aged 15, he is used to help educate the youngsters at the yard.

Verity, Timmy’s wife, said: “He definitely has a character and he doesn’t like doing nothing. He’s an absolute monkey. When he’s being ridden, he’s one of the worst behaved in the yard as he likes to buck, and will put in the odd small rear too, although he’d let Timmy ride with his eyes closed and sitting backwards.”

However, Comply or Die is rather partial to taking part in parades where he knows he is the centre of attention.

Then he behaves impeccably, although Verity admits she has to lead him up.

“He can swing his head round and head butt people, but as I’m only 5ft3ins he tends to miss me. But he does absolutely love being the centre of attention, it’s hysterical.”

Compy or Die’s appearance at Exeter is the latest in a line of famous ex-racehorses who have appeared at the racecourse this season.

General manager Tim Darby explained: “We wanted to enable racegoers to actually meet past legends of the turf. With sponsorship from Brookridge Timber, we had a stable installed in front of the offices where people can actually meet the horses and find out more about them. We’ve had Welsh National winner Supreme Glory, point-to-point legend Southwestern, Haldon Gold Cup winner Monkerhostin and Jenny Carr’s racehorse turned show horse Fifty Four. It’s proving a brilliant shop window for people wanting to find out more about horses once they are retired from racing.”

Racegoers can buy two tickets for just £15 if pre-booked to Bathwick Tyres Super Sunday by midnight February 7. The first race comes under starters’ orders at 1.25pm.

A free bus leaves Exeter St David’s at noon and the Bus and Coach Station 12.15am, returning half an hour after the last race. Children aged 17 and under race free.

To pre-book visit www.exeter-racecourse.co.uk or call the ticket office on 08445 793005.

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