Sire De Grugy rounds off epic season in style
Sire De Grugy brought his spectacular season to a fitting end with another impressive victory in the bet365 Celebration Chase at Sandown.
In the absence of sidelined superstar Sprinter Sacre, Gary Moore's charge has been the undoubted king of the two-mile chasing division and returned to defend his Celebration Chase crown having won five of his previous six starts this season.
Sent off the 2/7 favourite following his runaway victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, Sire De Grugy travelled powerfully in the hands of the trainer's son, Jamie, and looked likely to run away with another Grade One prize when jumping into a share of the lead at the Pond Fence. Pepite Rose did her best to make a race of it and Sire De Grugy made a slight mistake at the second last, but he was better at the last and pulled clear to score by three and a quarter lengths.
Also at Sandown, Hadrian's Approach mowed down Burton Port to claim a thrilling renewal of the bet365 Gold Cup. The dangerously well handicapped Burton Port travelled well in the hands of Tony McCoy, carting the champion jockey to the lead down the back straight.
Burton Port, trained by Jonjo O'Neill, was still hard on the bridle rounding the home turn, but 10/1 shot Hadrian's Approach, Scottish Grand National runner-up Godsmejudge and Restless Harry all rallied to the cause.
Hadrian's Approach eventually emerged as the only serious threat to Burton Port at the final fence and after a titanic tussle up the hill, Nicky Henderson's charge saw out the three miles and five furlongs best under Barry Geraghty by three-quarters of a length.
Menorah made his first visit to the winner's enclosure in 16 months following a spring-heeled display in the bet365 Oaksey Chase. The Philip Hobbs-trained nine-year-old had failed to record a victory since December 2012 but took a significant step down in class for this latest assignment.
Sunday Indo Sport