Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sire's Sandown Success Prompts a Celebration

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Sire's Sandown Success Prompts a Celebration

Article excerpt

SIRE De Grugy fittingly played a starring role as the curtain came down on another thrilling National Hunt season at Sandown on Saturday. Representing the popular father-son combination of Gary and Jamie Moore, Sire De Grugy has undoubtedly produced the most feelgood narratives of the season. In an era where most of the big prizes are mopped up by Messrs Nicholls, Henderson and Mullins, Sire De Grugy's domination of the two-mile chasing division this term, albeit in the absence of Henderson's sidelined superstar Sprinter Sacre, has been like a breath of fresh air for the jumping game.

The six-year-old returned to Esher to defend his crown in the bet365 Celebration Chase having won five of his previous six starts during a scintillating campaign, including signifi-cant Grade One triumphs in Sandown's Tingle Creek and the Clarence House Chase at Ascot before his season-defining Queen Mother Champion Chase strike at Cheltenham. Moore snr admitted to feeling the pressure as his pride and joy lined up with a new weight of expectation on his shoulders.

Although his performance suggested he is now ready for a welldeserved summer break, the 2-7 favourite was still much too good for his opponents, scoring by a little over three lengths from admirable mare Pepite Rose.

The trainer said: "I was slightly nervous because a lot of people, some good judges among them, told me I shouldn't come here and told me to put him away because horses don't always come back in the same form after Cheltenham.

"I was confident in myself he was very well with all the help from the staff and Jamie. I was confident he was in good order.

"It shows what a great horse he is to win four Grade One chases in a season.

"He's marvellous. I don't think we all realise how lucky we all are to have such a wonderful horse like him."

"I've packed his flip-flops and sandals - he's off on holiday now! He's done us proud,.

"I'm very proud of the horse, everyone has wished us well and I think he has lit up this season.

"He's only eight. Simonsig and Sprinter Sacre will probably be back next year, but it will be nice to take him on. We'll give it a go. …

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