Cheltenham specialist Fondmort dies aged 22
Fondmort, a multiple winner and Cheltenham Festival hero for Nicky Henderson and Mick Fitzgerald, has died aged 22. The son of Cyborg joined Henderson from France and struck up a fine partnership with Fitzgerald, the pair winning eight races together, victories that were often illuminated by some spectacular leaps.
Their most notable success came at the 2006 festival, when they combined to win the Ryanair Chase by a length and a quarter from Lacdoudal.
Fondmort thrived at the home of jump racing, winning four times at the course, including his Ryanair victory. As well as his Ryanair success, Fondmort’s excellent festival record included placed efforts in the Festival Trophy and twice in the Mildmay of Flete.
He also claimed the Paddy Power Gold Cup, Tripleprint Gold Cup – both at Cheltenham – and the Henry VII Novices’ Chase at Sandown, and finished his career with nine wins from 38 starts, amassing over £400,000 in total prize-money.
Speaking after his Ryanair win, Fitzgerald said of Fondmort: “This fella is definitely one of my favourite horses of all time.”
Fondmort’s racing career ended in 2006 when he broke his pelvis during a workout, an injury that almost cost him his life due to complications, days before he was due to have another crack at the Paddy Power Gold Cup.