Sire deserving of Moore credit

Jamie Moore, left, and Gary Moore celebrate Sire De Grugy's Queen Mother Champion Chase win
Jamie Moore, left, and Gary Moore celebrate Sire De Grugy's Queen Mother Champion Chase win
The start of racing on Washout Wednesday / Picture by Malcolm Wells

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Sire De Grugy will finally get the credit he deserves.

That is the hope of Gary Moore, who watched his son Jamie steer the favourite to glory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival yesterday.

The West Sussex trainer has saddled the French-bred son of My Risk to five wins this season – three at Grade 1 level and one Grade 2 success.

It is a stunning achievement for his Lower Beeding yard, with the eight-year-old dominating the two-mile division.

But critics focused heavily on the absence of reigning champion Sprinter Sacre in the run-up to yesterday’s £200,000 feature race.

Some even insisted the race was not even worthy of its name without Nicky Henderson’s star, who was ruled out with a heart problem he suffered when beaten by Moore’s charge at Kempton in December.

A scintillating display by Sire De Grugy should now have silenced those doubters, though.

The 11/4 market leader travelled beautifully just off the pace before he hit the front two from home and powered clear of his 10 rivals.

While he only finished six lengths ahead of second-placed Somersby, the champ was in a different league.

And Moore is hoping people will now acknowledge it.

‘It annoys me people don’t give him the credit he deserves,’ said the trainer, who is a hugely popular figure at Fontwell – his home track.

‘It was all about Sprinter Sacre and someone wrote the other day this race should be done under the Trade Descriptions Act because the Queen Mother Chase isn’t right!

‘He can’t do any more than what he has done.

‘Jamie knows what he is doing and he has given the horse an absolute peach of a ride.

‘I am so thrilled for everybody concerned.

‘I watched it until the last and then I couldn’t see any more – there were too many people in the way.

‘It’s Jamie’s first Festival winner and the other jockeys coming out afterwards (to congratulate him) proved how popular he is.

‘And seeing Ryan (Moore, Jamie’s brother and three time champion flat jockey) there as well meant a lot.

‘This means so much to me and my family.

‘It is something I thought could happen but these things don’t happen very often.

‘I’m very lucky to have such a great family. I’m proud of all of them.’

Jamie Moore has developed a special bond with Sire De Grugy – partnering him in all but one of his 24 races under rules.

They have finished in the first three in 19 of those contests but the jockey revealed he had some stellar advice on his way to win number 13.

‘It is all about Sire De Grugy,’ said the modest rider.

‘It is brilliant. We have got a good rapport and I love him to absolute pieces.

‘Sire De Grugy has had no credit this season as far as I am concerned.

‘But he keeps winning and is an absolutely fabulous animal.

‘He has been an absolute star to me and we have both proved we can do it.

‘It is a tremendous training performance by Dad, too.

‘Everything clicked. When I sat he popped, when I asked him, he came up for me and when I gave him a kick after the last he went again.

‘I said to Ruby (Walsh) at the top of the hill: “What should I do now? I am still going well”.

‘Ruby told me to just follow Special Tiara (who ultimately finished sixth).

‘I did and we won. I’ll have to thank Ruby!’