/ Racing

Sire De Grugy records sixth success of the season in Celebration Chase at Sandown

Updated: Saturday, 26 Apr 2014 17:02 | Comments

Sire De Grugy leads Pepite Rose home at Sandown
Sire De Grugy leads Pepite Rose home at Sandown

Sire De Grugy brought his spectacular season to a fitting end with another impressive victory in the bet365 Celebration Chase at Sandown.

In the absence of sidelined superstar Sprinter Sacre, Gary Moore's charge has been the king of the two-mile chasing division this season and returned to defend his Celebration Chase crown having won five of his previous six starts this season.

Sent off the 2-7 favourite following his runaway victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Sire De Grugy travelled powerfully in the hands of the trainer's son, Jamie, and looked likely to run away with another Grade One prize when jumping into a share of the lead at the Pond Fence.

Talented mare Pepite Rose did her best to make a race of it from the home turn and Sire De Grugy made a slight mistake at the second last, but he was better at the final obstacle and pulled clear up the hill to score by three and a quarter lengths.

The winning jockey said: "I've packed his flip-flops and sandals - he's off on holiday now! He's done us proud.

"He was a bit quiet today. He switched on the bridle as he always does three out and two out. He hit two out and just got a bit tired up the hill, but he's had a hard season.

"He's rocked it in all the top races and he's won again, even though he's probably not 100 per cent. He's still winning dirty.

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

"He's ran seven times and got beaten once. The rest he's won and that's all you can do.

"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."

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

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

"He's a horse that loves to be trained. He'll go home to the field now for six weeks, but he won't want six weeks as he'll get bored.

"He will go to the same place as he always goes every summer - to Blackboys, a lady called Lynne Stone who looks after him does fantastically well for him.

"When he won this race last year you think it might have been a fluke, but the way he won at Chepstow first time out this season under a big weight made us start thinking maybe he is a good horse. He will more than likely go back there (Chepstow) next season.

"I will have to change his programme a bit because I probably wouldn't to do three races in such a short space as time as we did this year. He did it last year, but I'd like to space them out a bit - probably miss out the middle one. He'll definitely go to Ascot but whether we go to Kempton or not I don't know.

"I was slightly nervous today 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 as they do at Cheltenham.

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

"I really enjoy it. It makes the job worthwhile, as it isn't easy some days.

"You need a horse like him to keep you going."

Pepite Rose's trainer, Venetia Williams, was understandably delighted with her mare's effort.

She said: "I'm absolutely delighted with her - really thrilled.

"There was a decision to make on whether we ran in this or the two-mile-six-furlong chase (Oaksey Chase) earlier in the day.

"I was happy with the decision and I'm even happier with the outcome.

"To finish second in a Grade One to a true champion means we're absolutely thrilled."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use
Live!
Powered by NewsWhip