Sire De Grugy was a popular winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase today (Wednesday 12 March) for father/son combination Gary and Jamie Moore.
The 8-year-old gelding, who was sent off 11/4 favourite, won by 6 lengths to Somersby.
It was a 1st Cheltenham Festival win for jockey Jamie Moore, who rode the horse for his father, trainer Gary.
“It is tremendous,” said Jamie. “The horse hasn’t been given any credit this season and he has proved today, at a track he hates and on ground he does not like, what a good horse he is.
“Me and this horse, we have got a good rapport. I love him to absolute pieces. It’s all down to him — he trains himself. It’s a great effort by dad and the owners [the Preston Family] as well.
“It was Sire De Grugy’s 3rd Grade 1 win of the season, having already taken the Tingle Creek at Sandown and Clarence House Chase at Ascot. He also landed the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton, the race in which Sprinter Sacre was pulled up due to an irregular heartbeat.
The pair entered the winners’ enclosure to be greeted by Jamie’s weighing room colleagues.
“All the boys have come out of the weighing room and it is just great to have a really nice horse. I love this horse – apart from my family, he is next best. He has been an absolute star to me,” he added.
His brother, 3-times Champion Flat jockey Ryan Moore, added: “I am really pleased for Jamie — I thought he gave the horse a most beautiful ride.”
Henrietta Knight, who used to train Somersby, was at the Festival to see his impressive performance staying on to finish 2nd. Henrietta was there on a scooter, having broken her ankle and leg recently.
Module stayed on strongly to finish 3rd.
Captain Conan was pulled up at the 5th, while Baily Green fell, bringing down Hinterland.
Balthazar is King for second time
Richard Johnson and Balthazar King claimed the cross-country race at the Festival for the 2nd year running.
10-year-old Balthazar King was carrying top weight but took the Glenfarclas Chase by a short-head to Any Currency.
“He’s such a trier and a pleasure to ride,” said Johnson. “He gives you everything, and luckily he was in front at just the right time.
“It’s not his ideal ground but he loves it round there and enjoys doing something different. He’s been in the form of his life this year.”