‘He’d die for you’: Popular chaser retires aged 11

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  • Sire De Grugy, the popular chaser and five-time Grade One winner, has been retired aged 11 following his run at Cheltenham on Saturday (16 December).

    The French-bred son of My Risk enjoyed an illustrious career and gave the Moore family eight enjoyable seasons — a yard favourite at his trainer Gary Moore’s Cisswood Stables in West Sussex.

    Ridden by Gary’s son Jamie in all but two of his 42 starts, the chestnut gelding was triumphant in two Tingle Creeks at Sandown, in 2013 and 2015, and stormed to victory in the 2014 Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

    He won 17 of his starts and amassed an impressive £885,446 in prize-money.

    Before Saturday’s Junior Jumpers Chase, Sire De Grugy’s connections had decided to retire him if he did not perform in the 2m½f contest.

    Although he had been feeling well at home, Jamie told H&H Sire De Grugy hadn’t quite felt himself jumping during the race and the decision to call it a day was made after the pair finished sixth in the race, which was won by Gino Trail.

    “He’s a very special horse to me, he’s like my pet at home and I ride him out each day,” said Jamie. “I won races with him that I grew up watching on TV and wishing one day that would be me. He won at so many different racecourses, he always battled it out for you — he’d die for you.

    “We wanted to retire him in one piece; we didn’t want him to be forced into retirement through injury,” he added.

    Joint-owner Steve Preston, who was given Sire De Grugy as a 50th birthday present, described him as “the horse of a lifetime”.

    Continued below…

    Sire De Grugy will remain at the Moores’ Cisswood Stables during his retirement and will enjoy hacks out with Jamie’s young children on their ponies, alongside the odd trip down to the beach.

    Douvan out for the rest of the season

    Willie Mullin confirmed on Sunday (17 December) that his six-time Grade One-winning chaser Douvan will be out for the rest of the 2017/2018 season.

    The seven-year-old — who has only been beaten once in ten starts over fences — has been lame at home and the decision to sideline him was made by his trainer and owner Rich Ricci.

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