Just a few weeks ago, along with hundreds of racing fans, I was sending get well wishes to the Moore family. Father Gary had received life threatening injuries when he was kicked by one of the many horses the trainer cares for at his Sussex stables.
A month ago Gary Moore was in intensive care. On Saturday I watched him run around the winners’ enclosure at Sandown Park – a course at which he enjoyed his third treble in consecutive meetings, including two Grade 1 victories.
Sire De Grugy was the star of a great day of racing at Sandown. It’s a long time since I’ve heard spectators produce such a large, rousing cheer for the finish to a race. Sire De Grugy has long been a favourite with racing fans and they raised the roof when he came out on top in a battling finish to land the £150.000 prize money.
In a season in which a few popular horses have bounced back to form, Sire De Grugy ensured the team behind him had reason to celebrate. Earlier in the day trainer Gary had watched his Flute Bowl win at odds of 5/1 and 14/1 shot Ar Mad also come home first. When asked by Channel 4’s Nick Luck if the day could get any better he said: “It can’t.” Well it did.
Sire De Grugy won the Tingle Creek after a last fence bump with Special Tiara. A stewards’ enquiry followed but, after much debate, the result stood.
Jockey Jamie said of the winner: “He’s my best mate.” Father Gary said: “He’s the best horse I’ve ever trained.”
Owner Steve Preston celebrated the win by paying tribute to both men. He said: “When his racing days are over Sire De Grugy will stay with Jamie Moore and his children. They are inseparable.
“We’re delighted with the win. He’s bounced back to where he was and giving us hope going forward. He’s gone from hero to zero and back to hero again.”
Gary Moore summed up how he felt: “This is the best day. Everyone makes Cheltenham the be all and end all, but to me this is as good as winning at Cheltenham and to bring him back just makes it that bit more special.”