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Sandown Park

  • 15:15 bet365 Celebration Chase 2m

  • (Grade 1) £125,000 added 5yo+ 6 ran
  • Winner £71,188 2nd £26,712 3rd £13,375 4th £6,662
  • Going: Good to Soft
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 55.10s
  • Off time: 15:16:17

Celebration time for Sire De Grugy

Last Updated: 26/04/14 7:00pm

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Sire De Grugy on his way to victory at Sandown

Sire De Grugy on his way to victory at Sandown

Sire De Grugy put the finishing touches on a fantastic season by easing to victory in the bet365 Celebration Chase at Sandown.

Gary Moore's stable star won the Tingle Creek and the Champion Chase in five previous victories this term, his only defeat coming behind Kid Cassidy at Cheltenham early in the campaign.

And he was his usual self at Sandown, outclassing the mediocre opposition despite being less than fluent himself at one or two of his obstacles.

Only Pepite Rose looked likely to cause an upset, but Venetia Williams' mare gave way after the last as Sire De Grugy bounded clear for a comfortable three-and-a-quarter length success.

Winning jockey Jamie Moore 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."

The winning trainer added: "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 after Cheltenham.

"I was confident in myself that he was very well with all the help from the staff and Jamie, I was confident he was in good order. It shows what a great horse he is to win four Grade One chases in a season."

Sire De Grugy will now have a summer break and is expected to make his seasonal return at Chepstow in October.

The Horsham trainer added: "I was on the phone to Chepstow the other day and they asked if we could go back there - I told them they need to up the prize money first, then it won't be a problem!

"He will more likely go back there. He will have the summer off but he loves to be exercised. He's a better horse going out to work - six weeks in a field will be like a lifetime to him. He enjoys his racing."

Sky Bet left Sire De Grugy unchanged at 3/1 for next year's Champion Chase and spokseman Michael Shinners said: "Sire De Grugy was possibly not quite at his best today, but after a long season it was still an excellent performance.  With doubts around Sprinter Sacre he remains the one to beat at this stage in next year's Champion Chase"

The eight-year-old is likely to take a different route before defending his crown at Cheltenham next March.

Moore explained: "I will have to change his programme a bit because I probably wouldn't 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 and probably miss out the middle one. He'll definitely go to Ascot but whether we go to Kempton or not, I don't know."

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