Sire reigns supreme at Ascot

To the obvious delight of Jamie Moore, Sire De Grugy returned to form in the Shawbrook Handicap Chase at Ascot.

Sire De Grugy pings the last at Ascot

Questions had been raised about whether the former Champion Chase winner was in decline and while it's debatable whether he will reach those heights again, victory in the valuable handicap was warmly received.

Carrying top-weight from a mark of 160, the 10-year-old was sent off at 10/1 but was always travelling kindly just behind the pace for Moore.

In contrast, Paul Moloney never seemed entirely happy aboard the well-backed Vaniteux who nonetheless weaved his way through the field to give chase rounding the home turn.

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He could never get to the veteran performer though who more or less sealed the race with a fluent leap at the second last. He began to tire after the final obstacle and Quite By Chance closed but was still a length and a half adrift at the line.

Vaniteux was over three lengths away in third.

Winning trainer Gary Moore said: "It was a good performance. I was pleased with his run at Liverpool as he ran badly first time out last year and he'd had two racecourse gallops then and none this year because the ground was so firm.

"We have hardly schooled him on the grass because the ground was so firm, so he was going there half-cocked and it was blatantly obviously he didn't stay.

"This looked the obvious place to come. He could have gone for the Shloer Chase, but he is better here than Cheltenham even though he has won a Champion Chase.

"He will go for the Tingle Creek as long as he comes out of this OK."

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