sport

Sandown Celebration for Grugy

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 this season 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.

Talented mare Pepite Rose did her best to make a race of it from the home turn and Sire De Grugy made a slight mistake at the second last, but he was better at the final obstacle and pulled clear up the hill to score by three and a quarter lengths.

The winning jockey 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."