Sport Horse Racing

Monday 18 December 2017

Mr Mole and Tony McCoy dig deep for victory at Newbury

Tony McCoy and Mr Mole pull away from the last fence before going on to win the Betfair Price Rush Chase at Newbury
Tony McCoy and Mr Mole pull away from the last fence before going on to win the Betfair Price Rush Chase at Newbury Newsdesk Newsdesk

Sire De Grugy came back unscathed with his rider Jamie Moore also none the worse for a departure at the third-last fence in the Betfair Price Rush Chase at Newbury.

The reigning Queen Mother Champion Chase winner had made a couple of mistakes ahead of his exit, at which point he was struggling to peg back the slowly-away Mr Mole, ridden by Tony McCoy.

Paul Nicholls felt 10/11 favourite Sire De Grugy would have struggled to pick up the much-improved Mr Mole. "I think today was his Champion Chase," he said.

Frank Berry, racing manager to winning owner JP McManus, said the Champion Chase will now be the target for Mr Mole.

Meanwhile, Mark Bradstock is likely to leave Coneygree in the Cheltenham Gold Cup at the next forfeit stage after the novice confirmed himself a high-class operator in the Betfair Denman Chase. The 15/8 favourite put seasoned campaigners to the sword in the Gold Cup trial on just his third run over fences.

Violet Dancer produced a bold display from the front to land the hugely valuable Betfair Hurdle, giving the Moore team some consolation for Sire De Grugy. Sent straight to the head of affairs by Josh Moore, the 20/1 chance had managed to build up a big lead approaching the third-last flight and kept up the gallop to come home by three lengths.

On a day that will be remembered as the one where McCoy announced his retirement, he had a double on the card, with Mr Mole's win adding to victory for Qewy in the Feel The Rush At Betfair Novices' Hurdle. The five-year-old (9/2) went six lengths clear after the last and Cheltenham could now be on the cards.

Leading RSA Chase hopeful Kings Palace made it three out of three over fences in the Better Odds With Betfair Price Rush Novices' Chase, but it was far from plain sailing for David Pipe's charge. The 2/13 favourite made a serious error at the last ditch that brought him to a virtual standstill, but he had more than enough left to repel Vivaldi Collonges.

That win brought up a double for Pipe after Bygones Sovereign produced an astonishing performance in the Betfair Home of The Price Rush Handicap Hurdle.

The Michael Heard-ridden 12/1 chance was allowed to build up a huge lead and that simply grew bigger in the closing stages as he scored with ease.

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