It’s Game on for Sire De Grugy
Sir De Grugy makes his eagerly awaited comeback in the Gam Spirit Chase at Newbury today (3.00) and everything points to it being a winning one.
The Gary Moore trained gelding was a revelation last season when winning six of his seven starts, including the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival by six lengths from Somersby.
The nine-year-old went on to round off a stunning campaign with a comfortable 3 1/4 lengths success in the Grade 1 Celebration Chase at Sandown, but was then found to be suffering with a hip injury which threatened to rule him out of this season.
However, the injury was not as bad as first feared and Sire De Grugy has delighted connections on his road to recovery and is now ready to return to action after 287 days on the sidelines enroute to defending his crown at next month’s Festival.
Moore was over the moon with the last piece of serious work Sire De Grugy did, and although he has warned that he will come on for the run he believes that his stable star is fit to do himself justice.
Given his class Sire De Grugy could run well below his best and win this in my opinion, and he has a very good record fresh so the lengthy absence may not be as big an issue as many believe.
He won first time up in 2012 after 190 days on the sidelines on heavy ground at Kempton and was also successful on his first start for 182 days in 2013 when sluicing up by 11 lengths of soft ground at Chepstow.
Sire De Grugy is also officially rated 172, and that gives him 11lb and upwards in hand on all his rivals.
It suggests that he will not need to be at his brilliant best to land this Grade 2 contest, and given his aforementioned record fresh I find the son of My Risk impossible to oppose.
Sire De Grugy is currently 4/1 with Coral to retain his Queen Mother crown on Wednesday, March 11th, but if he comes through this test as expected he could well be challenging Sprinter Sacre (11/4) for favouritism.