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Cheltenham Festival 2014, Day 2: BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase - Sire De Grugy is the tops

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: March 12, 2014

Sire De Grugy leads the way

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JAMIE Moore revealed how a “riding lesson” from top Festival jockey Ruby Walsh helped him gain a fairytale success in the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase.

The brother of three-time champion Flat jockey RyanMoore powered Sire De Grugy – a 50th birthday present – to a popular victory for his trainer dad Gary and owners the Preston Family from Runcorn.

Moore explained how he spoke to Walsh – the leading rider at the meeting of all time – during the two-mile championship race to ask him what he should do when he and Sire De Grugy were in contention for the lead.

He eased the 11-4 favourite into the lead between the final two fences and drove him clear to win by six lengths from Somersby (14-1), with a neck back to Module (20-1).

“I got to the top of the hill and I was still going well and I could see that Ruby was going backwards,” said Moore.

“I said to Ruby, ‘What should I do now?’ and he said to get up behind Davy Russell on Special Tiara quickly. Ruby’s given me a riding lesson!

“He’s ridden loads of winners around here so I thought I’d ask him what he’d do. I have to thank him.

“I ride this horse out every day and I do believe he can do anything he wants to do. He is a real trier and a really tough horse.”

Sire De Grugy was given as a birthday present to Steve Preston after his friends deposited some money in a bank account and suggested he put it towards buying a racehorse.

Trainer Gary Moore was thrilled to win the Champion Chase but disappointed that some critics had said the race wasn’t as strong as it could be because last year’s easy winner Sprinter Sacre had been ruled out following a heart problem.

He said Sire De Grugy – now unbeaten in his past four races – could only beat the horses that were put in front of him and he had done it in style.

“It annoys me that some people don’t give him the credit he deserves,” he said. “He can’t do anymore than what he has done. He’s gone out there and done it.

“Jamie knows what he is doing and he has given the horse a peach of a ride. I’m so thrilled for everyone concerned.

“There’s a lot of people who deserve thanks for this. I have never had as many text messages and I’m just glad he has won for them as much as anyone else.

“It’s Jamie’s first Festival winner and seeing the other jockeys coming out to welcome him back in afterwards proved

how popular he is.

“This means so much to me and my family. It’s something I thought could happen but these things don’t happen very often. I suppose I’m lucky to have such a great family. I’m proud of them all.”

Tom George said Module could head for the Grand National meeting at Aintree next month following his career-best performance under Paddy Brennan.

The Slad trainer said the 20-1 chance would have preferred

the ground to have been softer

at Cheltenham and he looked

a horse with an exciting


“I’m thrilled with him,” he said. “He was outpaced a bit and Paddy said he needs further than two miles, but I was pleased to see him galloping right to the line. He was the least experienced horse in the race and has a great future.

“The way he’s finished and the fact he’s not clearly out on his head makes me think we’ll go to Aintree with him.”

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