Thursday, 19 October 2017 12:30 GMT
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Sire De Grugy romps to Champion Chase victory

(MENAFN - Kora)

The absence of reigning champion Sprinter Sacre € who missed out due to an irregular heartbeat - meant Sire De Grugy started as the 11-4 favourite



And a fine ride from jockey Jamie Moore € who won for the first time at Cheltenham - ensured the punters were not left disappointed, as he surged down the home straight to hold off the challenge of Somersby (14-1) and Module (20-1), who were second and third respectively



There had been questions about Sire De Grugy's ability on the Cheltenham course after losing twice in previous visits, but he silenced the doubters in style



Speaking to Channel 4 afterwards, Moore said: "It's (victory) is so sweet. We have a good rapport, I love him to pieces. It's all down to him, he trains himself



"He's had no credit this year, he hates Cheltenham, he hates fast ground, and he still keeps winning. These days don't come around for me, but it has done today and it's a great feeling.



Earlier, it was a case of deja vu as jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins and owner Susannah Ricci were victorious in the opening race for the second consecutive day, this time on the well-fancied 6-4 favourite Faugheen in the Novices Hurdle



Tuesday had also seen the trio celebrate Vautour's win in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. The unbeaten Faugheen was questionable on the jumps, clipping two fences on the way home, but he powered to the line on the final turn to leave Ballyalton (20-1) and Rathvinden (11-2) in his wake



It was somewhat fitting that on Ladies' Day there was a win for female trainer Rebecca Curtis, as Barry Geraghty secured a thrilling win atop 12-1 shot O'Faolains Boy in the RSA Chase



Ballycasey and Smad Place started as 13-2 joint favourites, and the duo led coming to the final jump, but the former tailed off to finish fourth, while the latter was outpaced by O'Faolains Boy in the final straight. Morning Assembly (9-1) took third



The Coral Cup provided one of the thrilling races of the day as perennial Cheltenham runner-up Get Me Out Of Here (12-1) finished second at the festival for the fourth time, as Nico de Boinville fended off a late charge to triumph on Whisper (14-1) by a short head



Tony McCoy, riding Get Me Out Of Here, gave plenty of encouragement on the final straight to gun down Whisper, but the latter edged to a narrow victory



There was further good news for race goers, with the news earlier on Wednesday that jockey Jason Maguire was brought out of his induced coma after having part of his liver removed following a fall at Stratford on Monday, which has caused him to miss the festival



Elsewhere, Balthazar King - ridden by Richard Johnson - repeated his 2012 success by winning the Cross-Country chase, the 4-1 shot triumphing after a stern battle with Any Currency who pushed hard on the straight



A series of falls blighted the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, which was eventually won by the Tim Easterby-trained High Hawk. Jockey Brian Hughes kicked on at the final hurdle and held off the fast-finishing Katgary



After the race, one the fallers, Akdam, had to be put down by surgeons after suffering a fractured fore leg



There was further bad news in the same race, as jockey Bryan Cooper suffered a broken leg after a heavy fall on Clarcam



In the day's final race, 16-1 outsider Silver Concorde outpaced Shaneshill on the rails, to hand amateur jockey Robbie McNamara the win in the Champion Bumper










Sire De Grugy romps to Champion Chase victory