Sire De Grugy shines in Shawbrook
While the victory of Sire De Grugy in the Shawbrook Handicap Chase at Ascot might not have carried the prestige of his five Grade One triumphs, it was a win for trainer Gary Moore that meant equally as much.
Having looked a shadow of his former self in the Old Roan Chase at Aintree last month, the former Champion Chase winner showed he still has plenty to offer as he took full advantage of the handicapper's leniency to register win number 17.
Jumping with great fluency throughout, the 8-1 shot defied top weight to make his class tell in claiming a length-and-a-half success, triumphing for the first time since winning his second Tingle Creek Chase almost 12 months ago.
Moore said: "It rates as one of his best performances. I think maybe Vaniteux didn't turn up and while he was a bit more classy than Sire over hurdles it is a different ball game chasing.
"He jumped impeccably today. I was pleased with his run at Liverpool, as he ran badly first time out last year and he'd had two racecourse gallops then and he'd had none this year because the ground was so firm.
"He will go for the Tingle Creek, as long as he comes out of this OK. It would not be the end of the world if we waited and came back for the Clarence House, but we would look at the Desert Orchid (Kempton) before that."
Meanwhile, Alan King breathed a huge sigh of relief after Yanworth scrambled home to make his first start outside of novice company a winning one in the Coral Hurdle.
Although sent off the 4-5 favourite the six-year-old, who was last seen finishing second in the Neptune at the Cheltenham Festival in March, was forced to work hard in the two-mile, three-furlong Grade Two contest before mastering Lil Rockerfeller by three-quarters of a length.
Paddy Power and Coral left the winner unchanged for the World Hurdle at 8-1 and 10-1 respectively.
King said: "It is a huge relief. He has not been on the grass and one or two of our proper jump horses in the last week or two have just been found out.
"Just talking to AP (McCoy) and Barry (Geraghty) he might well go up (in trip) and we could look at the Long Walk.
"That was five minutes of hell. I thought he was held between the last two but he has dug in.
"Physically he will come on for that."
Sunday Indo Sport