Gutsy Sprinter Sacre beats Sire De Grugy at Kempton

‘Every day this horse runs and puts up good performance like that we feel blessed’

Nico de Boinville riding Sprinter Sacre (R) clear the last to win The Desert Orchid Steeple Chase from Sire De Grugy and Jamie Moore at Kempton Park racecourse. Photograph:  Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Nico de Boinville riding Sprinter Sacre (R) clear the last to win The Desert Orchid Steeple Chase from Sire De Grugy and Jamie Moore at Kempton Park racecourse. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

 

Sprinter Sacre got the better of Sire De Grugy to clinch the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton.

Pulled up in this race two years ago and subsequently diagnosed with a fibrillating heart, it has been a long road back for Sprinter Sacre, but having looked back to his best when winning at Cheltenham last month, Nicky Henderson’s pride and joy was the 8-11 favourite under Nico de Boinville.

The Gary Moore-trained Sire De Grugy, like Sprinter Sacre a former winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase, was similarly resurgent in the Tingle Creek at Sandown three weeks ago and was next best in the market at 11-4.

Jamie Moore looked to make a deliberate effort to stretch the field by sending Sire De Grugy to the lead leaving the back straight, but De Boinville covered the move and swiftly allowed his mount to move ominously alongside.

Sprinter Sacre looked to be going the better after jumping the third fence from the finish, but Sire De Grugy would not go down without a fight and maintained a small advantage approaching the last.

However, Sprinter Sacre produced a prodigious leap just when he needed one and after landing running, he galloped to the line to prevail by three-quarters of a length.

De Boinville said: “It was a very gutsy performance. We were spot on at the last and Jamie just missed it. He’s a great horse.

“I’d say we were a bit below the Cheltenham run, but still he showed he’s got heart as well as class.

“Every day this horse runs and puts up good performance like that we feel blessed that we are here in one piece and running good races.

“For any jockey this is why we do it, it was a tremendous race to be in. We know Sire De Grugy is a good horse in his own right, it was a great race.”

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