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Ascot

  • 15:35 Sodexo Clarence House Chase 2m 1f

  • (Grade 1) £105,000 added 5yo+ 7 ran
  • Winner £59,084 2nd £22,260 3rd £11,140 4th £5,565
  • Going: Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 4m 20.70s
  • Off time: 15:36:09

Sire De Grugy won the Grade One Sodexo Clarence House Chase

Last Updated: 18/01/14 4:38pm

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Jamie Moore partners Sire De Grugy to another Grade One win

Jamie Moore partners Sire De Grugy to another Grade One win

Gary Moore's Sire De Grugy won the Grade One Sodexo Clarence House Chase at Ascot with his head in his chest.

Having won three of his four starts this season, the eight year old has emerged as the main contender to Sprinter Sacre's Champion Chase crown and the highest staying chaser in training may well be quaking in his boots after this authoritative display from the new kid on the block.

Given a patient ride by Jamie Moore as Kauto Stone and Hidden Cyclone exchanged blows at the head of affairs, the 5/4 favourite was jumping for fun and travelling strongly.

Market rival Somersby unseated Dominic Elsworth early in the piece to make Sire De Grugy's task a little easier but it's hard to think that the result would have been any different.

Moving smoothly through on to the heels of the leaders, Sire De Grugy readily left Hidden Cyclone (whose jumping had been far from impeccable) behind in the straight and only the last stood between him and a second Grade One victory.

The My Risk gelding lived up to his sire's name with a huge leap at that obstacle before coming home fully 11 lengths clear of the Irish raider.

The winning jockey said: "This is all about the horse - some of the jumps he put in were spectacular. He was magic today, all the credit to the horse. Today he felt as good as he has ever felt.

"Sprinter Sacre is a great horse, but today was his most impressive performance. I'm not saying he'll beat the other horse (Sprinter Sacre), but he could do."

Gary Moore added: "He has got his quirks because he's French. When he first came to us he was a very free horse. Jamie's done a great job and settled him now.

"He has a cross noseband on because he's quirky. We could probably do away with that now but we won't. He's settled down lovely and he switched off great. His great asset is his jumping.

"I don't think the ground is as heavy as people thought. They've gone a good gallop and made it a true-run race. Fair play to the horse. This is only his second season as a chaser, at the end of the day. He was a novice last year.

"He's got to go for the Champion Chase. I think he's an improving horse and I've got nearly two months to freshen him up. I'll give him a nice break for a couple of weeks then we'll bring him back purposely for the Champion Chase. He deserves to be in it."

Sky Bet cut the winner to 3/1 from 7/2 for the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase and spokesman Michael Shinners said: "It was hard not to be impressed by that performance and it was arguably a career best so we've had to trim his price.

"However, there may not have been too much depth to the race and it remains to be seen whether he can get the better of a peak form Sprinter Sacre at Cheltenham and Nicky Henderson's stable star remains the one to beat despite his travails this season."

Hidden Cyclone's trainer Shark Hanlon was delighted with the performance of the Irish raider.

He said: "He was beaten by a very good horse. We thought he wanted softer ground, but Andrew (McNamara, jockey) felt he jumped better on better ground.

"He's better going the other way and it's more than likely that he'll go for the Queen Mother."

Elsworth said of Somersby: "He just got a bit close to the fence, screwed it, and then slithered on landing at one of the downhill fences. It was one of those things. I'm OK and the horse is OK so we live to go another day."

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