Last year’s Te Whangai Romneys Hawke’s Bay Hurdle winner Monarch Chimes had to be euthanized after breaking down on the flat in a 2800m steeplechase trial at Cranbourne, in Victoria, last Friday.

Monarch Chimes was trained by the Cambridge husband and wife team of David and Emma-Lee Browne, who have been left ‘devastated” by the accident.

“The track was perfect and he was the soundest horse we have ever worked with, it was just an unfortunate accident,” the Brownes posted on social media.

“Thoughts are with everyone who has been involved with him over the years and of course his owners, who loved him dearly,”

Monarch Chimes was a last start third in a Rating 72 flat race over 2200m at Rotorua on March 20 and left for Australia soon after that. He had a record of eight wins, six seconds and 11 thirds from 38 starts with his other victories including the $50,000 Harrison Lane Hurdle at Ellerslie and a 3200m steeplechase at Pakenham last winter.

He also won a 2400m race on the flat at Sandown last winter and was placed in the Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) at Warrnambool, Crisp Steeplechase (3900m) at Sandown and Grand National Steeplechase (4500m) at Ballarat.

Monarch Chimes was a dominant 1-1/2 length winner of the Hawke’s Bay Hurdle (3100m) in June last year, with the Hastings-trained No Change second and 5 lengths clear of third placed It’s A Wonder.