The bookies were generous this morning offering odds of 10/3 and 4/1 against Sire de Grugy winning the feature race of the day. I could hardly believe my ears. Had the improving horse been trained by Nicky Henderson or Paul Nicholls it would have been available at a much shorter price.
I thought the 3/1 with Bet365 last night (when members were advised) was a good price, and I took it. But I got on again today when the price drifted out to such an extent. Sire de Grugy won easily at an SP price of 11/4.
The most popular winner of the day, the manner in which Sire de Grugy won was the highlight of the week so far. A horse purchased by a son as a birthday present for his father, Sire de Grugy is trained by Gary Moore, a father of four jockeys.
And it was lad Jamie that rode Sire de Grugy to a comfortable 6 length victory. Some of his fellow jockeys formed a guard of honour to applaud Jamie back into the winners’ enclosure. That’s how popular he is with his contemporaries.
I was delighted for the owners and for the Moore family. Proper racing people. Too often the press and media go on and on about how Ryan Moore, a former champion jockey on the flat, is so monosyllabic and grumpy when interviewed.
It’s true that Jamie is a better talker and more at ease in front of cameras and microphones.
But they are not employed to be TV stars. They are jockeys and they are employed to win races. Talking to the media is just something they have to do. Not something they would choose to do were there an option not to.
Gary Moore can train winners on the flat and over jumps. He does not have the financial backing some of the big trainers enjoy. He and his children are pure professionals at their work and, in Sire de Grugy, they have a top class horse that could win for them at the festival next year and for some time after that.Balthazar King is at the other end of the experience scale. Aged 10, there cannot be many years left for the Philip Hobbs trained gelding.
He won the Cross Country race for members of VG Tips. I offered them that selection when Balthazar King was available at 6/1 the night before the race.
In 2012 he won this race by a head.
Today he won the Cross Country by a short head in a photo finish with Any Currency. Balthazar King is entered for the Grand National next month. They may be his last race.
Picking winners at the Cheltenham festival is tough.
As was seen in the last 24 hours, luck in running plays a massive part in the fortune of punters.
On Tuesday The New One lost any hope of winning when hitting the fallen Our Conor. On Wednesday Sire de Grugy avoided a fallen horse by a whisker and went on to to win.
The margin between winning and losing can be wafer thin.
On Tuesday, I was unlucky twice. On Wednesday fortune turned in my favour.
The best horse in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Sire de Grugy, avoided being brought down and went on to win in style. And the old boy Balthazar King just got his head in front to land the exhausting Cross Country race via a photo finish.
Thursday’s tips are ready for members. Come join VG Tips.