Betfair Tingle Creek Chase
|Grade 3 Handicap, Sandown 15:00
1m 7f 119y, Class 1
|Saturday 3rd December 2016|
1 Un De Sceaux 5/4F
2 Sire De Grugy 5/1
3 God's Own 7/2
6 ran Distances: 1l, nk, 2¼l
TIME 3m 51.35s (slow by 5.35s)
Un De Sceaux and Ruby Walsh out-duel the gallant Sire De Grugy
The pair had the race between them from five out after Sire De Grugy's stablemate Ar Mad had set a strong early pace.
Ruby Walsh took the bull by the horns on Willie Mullins' eight-year-old, but he was immediately challenged by Sire De Grugy and that was the signal for the talented duo to serve up a finish to remember.
Un De Sceaux (5/4 favourite) may not have jumped the last two fences smoothly but he kept finding and held Jamie Moore on the Gary Moore-trained Sire De Grugy by a length.
God's Own kept on well for third, with Ar Mad rallying again for fourth.
Walsh said: "It's a great race to be part of and I've ridden some wonderful horses in it, I've been very lucky.
"Being the champion that he is, Sire De Grugy served it up to us, I got back on top going to the last and when I got hold of him he started to rally all the way to the line, and he's won over further.
"This horse wears his heart on his sleeve, he just has that natural will to win. It's brilliant. He's a pleasure to ride."
Colm O'Connell owns Un De Sceaux with his father, Edward, and said: "It's very emotional for us, he's a family horse. This win is dedicated to my parents, who are at home and didn't travel today.
"This is the biggest day of our racing lives and our thanks go to Willie Mullins, Ruby Walsh and all the team. They train him, and we pay the bills - that's our only involvement."
He added: "We didn't think he was coming here if I'm honest, as we took on Sprinter Sacre and he'd beaten us and you think the good days are behind you.
"But when you get them back it's just special. We'll leave it to Willie where he goes next."
Speaking from Ireland, Mullins said: "I left it up to Ruby to ride the race as he found it as he knows the other horses so well. He settled him well and he is probably settling better with a bit of age.
"It was a real battle. He'd two untidy jumps at the last two and had to dig deep. I felt he was better equipped to run in a race like that on his first run of the season.
"We thought it could be a very tough race and I thought I'd rather let him take his chance instead of Douvan because he's used to travelling and to hard races.
"He can put up with that and it wouldn't be fair on Douvan.
"I thought he was beaten going to the last, but he dug deep, the first two did. Ruby was very strong and the horse ground it out. From what I saw I was very happy with him."
He went on: "I imagine he'll go to Leopardstown at Christmas next. There's only a certain programme for them. That looks the obvious one at this point."
Moore said: "I thought once he'd got upsides him he'd just about stay on, but I think he probably outstayed us.
"I felt I might just have taken the edge off him running him two weeks ago, he's getting a bit older and to have two tough races in two weeks at the age of 10 takes a bit of doing, so fair play to the horse."
He added of Ar Mad: "He showed what a good horse he is, to make a mistake like he did and not be beaten too far after nearly 300 days off shows what a good horse he is.
"He's the one to take out of the race for me, I'd take them all on again any day of the week. I'm not worried about stepping up in trip, I think he'd go further now."
Sky Bet left the winner unchanged at 10/1 for the Queen Mother Champion Chase and 12/1 for the Ryanair Chase and representative Michael Shinners said: "In a tremendous finish Un De Sceaux won despite making mistakes at the last two fences. It will be interesting to see if his trainer decides to step him up in distance."
Betfair Tingle Creek Chase (Grade 1)
£150,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m 7f 119y, Class 1
Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
|Pos||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||Un De Sceaux (FR) 5/4f||R Walsh
|W P Mullins||8|
|2nd||1||Sire De Grugy (FR) 5/1||J E Moore
|G L Moore||10|
|3rd||nk||God's Own (IRE) 7/2||A P Heskin
|T R George||8|
|4th||2¼||Ar Mad (FR) 9/2||Joshua Moore
|G L Moore||6|
|5th||2||Sir Valentino (FR) 25/1||N D Fehily
|T R George||7|
|6th||15||Vibrato Valtat (FR) 16/1||Sam Twiston-Davies
|P F Nicholls||7|