Tag Archive for: Gary Moore

Editeur Du Gite to defend Desert Orchid title

Editeur Du Gite is set for a return to Kempton over the Christmas period where he will attempt to defend his Ladbrokes Desert Orchid Handicap Chase crown.

Gary Moore’s nine-year-old was a shock 28-1 scorer when landing the then Grade Two prize 12 months ago and went on to claim the rearranged Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham, downing Energumene and Edwardstone in the process.

He has failed to hit those same heights since, but could be rejuvenated by a return to both the Sunbury track and better ground for a race that is now run as a limited handicap.

“Hopefully the ground wouldn’t be too soft for him because he does like better ground and he hasn’t had it so far this year,” said Moore. “We look forward to seeing him run there again.”

Editeur Du Gite could face a maximum of 10 rivals which could include former stablemate and Tingle Creek third Haddex Des Obeaux, who has since moved to Nicky Henderson and is in line for his first outing for the Seven Barrows handler.

Harry Fry’s Boothill made it two from two for the season when getting the better Frere D’Armes at Ascot last month and the duo could lock horns once again, with the latter one of two in the mix for Dan Skelton alongside 2020 race winner Nube Negra.

Kim Bailey’s First Flow is another to chase home Boothill this term and amongst the entries, while Joe Tizzard has the option of saddling both the in-form Elixir De Nutz and War Lord.

Elixir De Nutz in full flow at Newbury earlier this month
Elixir De Nutz in full flow at Newbury earlier this month (Steven Paston/PA)

The supporting Ladbrokes Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase has attracted 10 entries and could see Sarah Humphrey’s Nickle Back drop back to the minimum distance.

The seven-year-old has been something of a star turn for the Cambridgeshire handler and was last seen chasing home the high-class Hermes Allen in the John Francome Novices’ Chase at Newbury.

Humphrey said: “He’s got that high cruising speed and I have dithered about doing it, but thought ‘yes, we’ll give two miles a go’.

“He has obviously won over two and a half miles and runs very well but he does tend to set it up for the ones behind him, so we’ll drop him back, give him a go and see what happens.”

Others to note include Venetia Williams’ Djelo, who is two from two over fences and impressed at Newbury recently, and the useful Marble Sands, who was a couple of places behind Nickle Back most recently and represents training duo David Killahena and Graeme McPherson.



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Botox Has heads dual Long Walk challenge for Moore

Botox Has will spearhead Gary Moore’s Howden Long Walk Hurdle challenge on Saturday, with stable stalwart Goshen also poised to line-up at Ascot.

The former produced arguably a career best when claiming Wetherby’s Grade Two West Yorkshire Hurdle last month and his handler has been waiting for a crack at this Grade One ever since.

The form of that race has a strong look with Jeremy Scott’s reopposing Wetherby third Dashel Drasher getting the better of three-time Long Walk hero Paisley Park at Newbury and Moore is now keen to see if Botox Has can back up that performance and cement his place as one of the leading players in a wide-open division.

“I’m looking forward to running him and the form is working out well,” said Moore.

“Hopefully he is as good as he was that day at Wetherby but time will tell.

“He’s always been a fair horse and he was probably one of the best English horses during his juvenile year – if it had not been for Goshen he would have been the top four-year-old, he’s always been a good horse.

“He didn’t really take to chasing but has done well reverting back to hurdles.”

Caoilin Quinn will keep the ride on Botox Has
Caoilin Quinn will keep the ride on Botox Has (Nigel French/PA)

The race also offers a huge opportunity to conditional jockey Caoilin Quinn, who was aboard Botox Has when winning a valuable handicap at Haydock last season and when striking at Wetherby, with Moore feeling he deserves the chance to continue the association.

He said: “He has won two nice races on him so you could hardly take him off.”

There are no secrets surrounding the enigmatic Goshen, who was a winner at this track last term and also finished second when this race took place at Kempton last Boxing Day, but has struggled in both outings over hurdles this term.

Last seen in the rearranged Fighting Fifth at Sandown, Moore feels the return to three miles is just what the seven-year-old now requires and said: “I think that now suits him better, but I don’t know if the ground is going to be soft enough for him.

Goshen finished third in the Long Walk Hurdle last year
Goshen finished third in the Long Walk Hurdle last year (John Walton/PA)

“It was an afterthought (to go to Sandown) and I probably shouldn’t have run there. He’s danced every dance.”

A field of 10 will head to post with Paisley Park going for win number four in the Grade One and Nicky Henderson’s Champ bidding to regain the title he won in 2021.

Dan Skelton’s West Balboa will try to extend her three-race winning-run after an impressive display at Aintree last month, while Fergal O’Brien has always thought plenty of Crambo who suffered an interrupted passage when third at Haydock.

Blueking D’Oroux is on a rapid upward curve and unbeaten in two outings this term. He is one of two for champion trainer Paul Nicholls alongside West Yorkshire hurdle runner-up Red Risk, with the in-form Gavin Sheehan aboard Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Gowel Road.



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Le Patron gives Noonan first Grade One victory

Le Patron provided jockey David Noonan with a first Grade One success in the Betfair Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown.

Sent off the 16-1 outsider of the six-runner field, Gary Moore’s had won two minor handicaps prior to stepping into Grade One company.

He jumped like an old hand, especially when it mattered most in the straight, while the favourite JPR One blundered two out and saw his chance disappear.

Jockey David Noonan celebrates his first Grade One on Le Patron
Jockey David Noonan celebrates his first Grade One on Le Patron (John Walton/PA)

Colonel Harry stayed on strongly in the straight having been outpaced and briefly looked as if he could make a race of it, however, he could only close to within a length and a quarter.

Noonan said: “It will take a while to sink in and I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to ride a horse of that quality and to go and do it is amazing.

“They were quietly confident beforehand and thought he would run a big race, but whether they thought he would do that or not I don’t know. I’m glad it all worked out.

“Day in, day out you are trucking around to come to these big days and it is brilliant. To have a horse who is competitive and can do the job is even better. Hopefully it is a bit of good advertising.”

It is the second time Moore has saddled the winner of this event after the success of Ar Mad in 2015 and the handler was delighted to secure another big race victory at his favourite racecourse.

He said: “It was an ambitious shout, but when a horse jumps as he does and goes in soft ground as he does, we had to give it a try – especially the way the races are cutting up at the present time.

“It didn’t really cut up today, but full credit to Jamie (Moore) who has done all the donkey work on him and David has given him a lovely ride today.

“Liz (Avery, owner) is an elderly lady and she bought this horse over a year ago and we told her he’s a chaser, he’s not a two-mile hurdler. That’s why he ended up with the mark he had and thank god he has proven us right. Not often does that happen, but it has today.”

He went on: “Obviously it was a concern (coming back in trip) but when he jumps like he does and when the ground is as testing as it was on this track, it probably wasn’t as much of a problem.

“He wouldn’t have the pace that Ar Mad had, but he will come back now for the two-and-a-half-mile race here, the Scilly Isles.

“I love Sandown, it’s the best racecourse in the country – especially when you get a horse that jumps like he does, it’s a great spectacle.

On Noonan, he added: “The boys ride will the majority, but I think David is a lovely rider and very underused and very underrated. All the time I need to use him, I will use him.

“He’s been in and schooled him in the week and that’s the kind of person he is, I’m not sure where he lives but he doesn’t live round the corner. He’s had to come up and school this horse especially.”



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Hansard going the right way with Gerry Feilden win

Hansard defied a welter burden to win the Bet In Race With Coral Intermediate Handicap Hurdle at Newbury for Niall Houlihan and Gary Moore.

Saddled with top-weight due to some smart form in novices, he dwarfed many of his rivals in the race registered as the Gerry Feilden.

Beaten less than four lengths in a Grade One at Aintree by Henry de Bromhead’s Inthepocket at the Grand National meeting, he had made a satisfactory return to action when second to Rubaud in the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton.

With Jamie Moore sidelined with a serious injury, his father has put plenty of faith in Houlihan and he continues to repay him.

Houlinhan saved every inch of ground on the inner but he looked booked for a place at best two out as Bad and Brentford Hope set a target. Arguably Under Control was travelling the best at that stage, but she was almost pulled up on crossing the line having faded tamely.

With Brentford Hope failing to pick up on ground quicker than ideal, Hansard dug deep and the 15-2 shot went on to win by three-quarters of a length.

“We were very lucky to get him and it was very nice of Noel (Fehily, syndicate manager) to send him to me. He’s a very nice horse and he’s big enough to jump fences one day, whether he does or not I don’t know,” said Moore.

“Wincanton and the pace of the race took the fizz out of him, they went hard from the word go which suits him.

“He’s in the valuable race at Ascot (Betfair Exchange Trophy, December 23) just before Christmas and after that it just depends what the handicapper does to him as we could be in trouble if we over-race him.

“He does all the right things that make you think he could be (a Pattern performer) but he has to improve again.

“He wouldn’t want to run tomorrow but he’s a hardy horse who takes his racing well.”

When asked about a possible crack at the Betfair Hurdle back at Newbury over the same course and distance, Moore said: “Absolutely, but I don’t think he could win that with 12st.”

Fehily said: “I was delighted with that and he’s a horse we liked last year as a novice.

“I was a bit disappointed maybe with his run at Wincanton the last day and I think maybe he is learning to settle a bit better now and they went fast today which suited him.

“I feel a bit sorry for Jamie Moore today, he has been fantastic and I’m sorry he’s missed it as he loves this horse. But it was a great performance and we’re very happy.

“He’s got a big step up to get into Grade Once company, but to win a handicap like that off top-weight, he probably is a Graded horse now. I’ll speak to Gary and see what the plan is, but we’re going in the right direction anyway.”



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Goshen and Houlihan going for Coral Hurdle gold

Goshen will have the assistance of Niall Houlihan when he defends his Coral Hurdle title at Ascot on Saturday.

Gary Moore’s seven-year-old has won two of his four starts over timber at the Berkshire track, including when landing this Grade Two event in supreme style 12 months ago.

He benefitted from the rerouting of Constitution Hill on that occasion and his handler is expecting a sterner examination of his stable stalwart this time around.

“Anywhere right-handed he seems to run well, particularly Ascot,” said Moore.

“He’s in good form with himself, but it’s going to be a little bit tougher than it was last year as you have horses on the up and he’s got a penalty this time.

“He’s been ready to run for a while now and hopefully he will be all right.”

Goshen has been partnered in all of his outings under National Hunt rules by the trainer’s son Jamie Moore. But with the 38-year-old on the sidelines with a bad injury suffered earlier this week, steering duties have been passed on to Houlihan.

Jockey Niall Houlihan will ride Goshen at Ascot
Jockey Niall Houlihan will ride Goshen at Ascot (Mike Egerton/PA)

A key member of the team at Moore’s Lower Beeding operation, the 23-year-old claimed Grade One glory aboard the stable’s Editeur Du Gite in the rearranged Clarence House Chase earlier in the year and now gets another golden opportunity.

“He’s got a different jockey to contend with,” Moore added. “But Niall has ridden him out a lot at home, especially in his younger days when he used to ride him out all the time, so it is only right he gets a go on him.”

Goshen finished just ahead of Nicky Henderson’s Theatre Glory when they clashed at Sandown at the end of last season, but the Canter Banter Racing team who own the six-year-old hope for a different outcome this time, rematching on a sounder surface.

“We’re very excited and she’s in great form,” said Katie Croft, co-founder of Canter Banter Racing alongside David Fehily.

Huntingdon Races – Tuesday November 9th
Theatre Glory is an improving hurdler (Tim Goode/PA)

“It is sort of a similar race to what she ran in at the end of last season (at Sandown). I think the ground was a bit soft for her in that last run at Sandown and it just slowed her down a bit.

“She was only beaten a length behind Goshen and I think the tables will turn this time hopefully on a bit better ground.

“I never say she is ground dependent, but I agree her best form is on quicker ground and she thrives flicking off that and we’re going there hopeful.”

Alan King got his hands on this prize with Yanworth in 2016 and will saddle evergreen 11-year-old Sceau Royal, while Paul Nicholls’ sole victory in this race came via Silviniaco Conti in 2010 and he could have an improving youngster on his hands this time in the form of Blueking D’Oroux.

The four-year-old was a winner at the track before going close in a competitive handicap at Aintree in the spring and seemed to take a huge leap forward with a commanding reappearance victory in Cheltenham’s Masterson Holdings Hurdle last month.

“He is highly progressive, a different horse since we gave him a wind op last season,” Nicholls told Betfair.

“I loved the way he won at Cheltenham last month and he will relish the step up in trip to two miles and three furlongs. While he has a bit to find on official ratings I’m expecting a big run from him.”

The field is completed by Ollie Murphy’s Strong Leader, who was a runner-up to Inthepocket in an Aintree Grade One last term, but bitterly disappointed when sent off favourite for the Welsh Champion Hurdle on his return.



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Jamie Moore sidelined after Lingfield fall

Jamie Moore will be out of action until the new year following injuries suffered in a nasty fall from Mi Sueno at Lingfield on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old was about to mount a serious challenge aboard Paddy Butler’s four-year-old in the two-mile Favourite Goes 7 Days A Week Handicap Hurdle when taking a heavy fall at the second last, which left Moore with a fractured vertebra as well as broken ribs and a broken nose.

With his recovery involving six weeks in a neck brace, the rider will be sidelined during the busy Christmas period, while in the immediate future, his father Gary Moore has had to find a replacement for stable stalwart Goshen ahead of the defence of his Coral Ascot Hurdle title.

Jamie Moore will miss out on yet another chance to partner Goshen
Jamie Moore will miss out on yet another chance to partner Goshen (John Walton/PA)

“He’s doing well and hopefully will be coming out of hospital today,” said Gary Moore.

“I went to see him last night and he was in good spirits with himself.

“Obviously he has a neck brace on and that’s on for six weeks, so he won’t be doing much for the next six weeks. He’s as good as could be expected.”

Jockey Ryan Moore is also on the sidelines
Jockey Ryan Moore is also on the sidelines (Tim Goode for the Jockey Club/PA)

Jamie is not the only member of the Moore family in the wars with his brother and leading Flat jockey Ryan Moore forced to give up his ride on defending champion Vela Azul in Sunday’s Japan Cup.

The 40-year-old was stood down after hurting his back in a fall at Kyoto last Sunday and has been replaced on Kunihiko Watanabe’s six-year-old by Hollie Doyle.



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Southoftheborder delights Henderson at Sandown

Nicky Henderson further strengthened his hand in the novice hurdling division as Southoftheborder made a successful reappearance at Sandown.

The Seven Barrows handler has unleashed a number of exciting prospects already this month, with Willmount in particular making a big impression at Newbury on Thursday.

Southoftheborder was bought for £145,000 after winning an Irish point-to-point last year and looked the part on his bumper debut at Ffos Las in March.

The five-year-old was a prohibitively priced favourite for his return in the Tattersalls Tingle Creek Festival Sale Maiden Hurdle and was not hard pressed to score by two and a half lengths in the hands of Nico de Boinville.

The winner may return to Sandown for the Listed Betfair Claremont Novices’ Hurdle on December 9.

Henderson said: “We got him here last year at the sale at the Tingle Creek meeting following a recommendation from Derek O’Connor.

“He will be a proper horse as we have only taken half the wraps off him yet.

“I looked at it last night and I thought there looked like some decent opposition in there.

“You wouldn’t want to overdo this fellow, as he is big and you could wind him up too much. It is a case of going gently with him. Nico (de Boinville) said he was lovely and that he could run around again.

“I should think that (Listed race at the Tingle Creek meeting) is the sort of thing that we could look at and we could look at what was the Kennel Gate at Ascot for Willmount.”

Gary Moore’s Le Patron (11-2) made it two from two over fences with a bold front-running display of jumping in the Sri Lanka – The Wonder Of Asia Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase, with the trainer’s son Jamie steering him to a 10-length success.

“He got it all his own way out in front, but I’ll be quite honest, I’m amazed he won as easily as he did as he won a bad race at Fontwell and the runner-up has since been beaten in a 0-100,” said Gary Moore.

“His greatest asset is his jumping and what a place to bring a horse that jumps like he does. He never got out of second gear really.

“It has exceeded my expectations what he has done. There are some nice races you can come back here for – you could look at the Scilly Isles in February – and there is no better place to come for me.”



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Editeur Du Gite primed for Haldon Gold Cup return

Editeur Du Gite returns to the handicaps ranks at Exeter where he will attempt to show his class and carry top-weight to victory in the Betway Haldon Gold Cup.

Gary Moore’s nine-year-old has always been a useful operator in the two-mile chasing division but took his form to the next level last season, causing a surprise in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton before shocking again in the rearranged Clarence House Chase on Cheltenham Festival Trials Day.

He downed both Energumene and Edwardstone in the latter of those victories and was sent off a 13-2 chance for the Champion Chase at the Festival in March, finishing fourth before ending his campaign when well held in the Celebration Chase.

He has been freshened up during the summer months following that catalogue of stiff assignments and now returns with the task of conceding over a stone to his rivals.

“He’s a good horse and a very genuine horse who always does his best for you,” said Moore.

“I just hope the ground isn’t too soft down there, that is one thing that won’t help is carrying all that weight in that type of ground.

“The stiff track will suit him, he is just going to have to give a lot of weight away.

“He’s fit enough to go there and do himself justice anyway, we will just have to see if he’s as good as he was.”

Editeur Du Gite (right) clears a fence before going on to win the Albert Bartlett Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham
Editeur Du Gite (right) clears a fence before going on to win the Albert Bartlett Clarence House Chase at Cheltenham (David Davies/PA)

Although beginning the season in handicap company, Moore envisages a return to graded action before too long as the Lower Beeding handler plots a route back to the big two-mile chasing contests in the spring.

He added: “That will be the plan as that is the way his handicap mark is heading him now. There’s not a lot else otherwise.

“He fooled me twice last year going right-handed and also going in soft ground, which he had never done before.

“He will need to improve a little bit more, but if he could do what he did last year, that will be good enough for me anyway.”

Paul Nicholls has won this four times in the last 10 years, including with dual victor Greaneteen 12 months ago.

Solo winning the Coral Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton
Solo winning the Coral Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton (Nigel French/PA)

This time it is Solo that is entrusted with upholding Ditcheat’s honour and his rider Harry Cobden is optimistic he can replicate the best of his novice chase form from last season.

He said: “He had one season where he didn’t win anything over fences, but he was quite highly campaigned and then last season he won a nice novice chase at Sandown and then he won the Pendil at Kempton Park.

“His jumping improved no end last season and he was brilliant when I rode him around Kempton. He was very good at Sandown as well, which is a good jumping test.

“I’m not saying he is going there with loads in hand, but Paul historically does well in this race and that is why I think he has got a nice chance.”

The pick of Solo’s form has come over two and a half miles, but Cobden does not envisage any problems dropping back in distance at the Devon venue.

“The trip should suit him as it is a lovely, galloping track so I can’t see that being an issue” he added.

“The ground is going to be fairly testing at Exeter on Friday, but it was fairly soft at Sandown when he won. He has got a good few things going for him.”

Mouse Morris successfully completed a raiding mission in the Charlie Hall Chase last Saturday and looks to repeat the dose with Indiana Jones, who like Gentlemansgame runs in the colours of owners Robcour.

It will be the handler’s first runner at the track and he said: “I had to look on the map to see where it was!

“We decided it was worth a go as it’s a big pot. He probably wants a bit further but it’s a stiff enough track, so he should be all right.

“He would have come on a good bit from the run in Cork, so we’ll see how we go.”

Joe Tizzard’s War Lord finished third in the race last year and returns following wind surgery hoping to go closer, while he is joined in the line-up by stablemate Elixir De Nutz, who was a Tolworth Hurdle winner in his younger years and was beaten only a nose in his previous appearance at this track.

Venetia Williams’ Brave Seasca completes the field of six heading to post.



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Moore has Long Walk in mind for Botox

Gary Moore is keen for a crack at the Ladbrokes Long Walk Hurdle with Botox Has after his winning return at Wetherby.

The game seven-year-old had been off the track since finishing fourth in Cheltenham’s Cleeve Hurdle in January and pulled out arguably a career-best performance to deny Red Risk by a length in the West Yorkshire Hurdle.

That was the second time he has struck at Grade Two level and his handler was thrilled to see him return from 280 days off in such brilliant form.

“It was good to see him back on form, he’s a big-hearted horse who tries really hard,” said Moore.

“It worried me when he made a mistake two out, but he stuck to his guns and won quite well in the end.”

Botox Has holds an entry for the Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at Haydock later this month – a race he won 12 months ago.

However, Moore is keen to stick to the graded route in a division without a standout performer and is eyeing up a first run in Grade One company at Ascot on December 23.

Botox Has and connections after winning at Wetherby
Botox Has and connections after winning at Wetherby (Nigel French/PA)

“I hope to train him for the Long Walk Hurdle now, that’s what I hope the plan will be,” he added.

“Whether he won the other day because he was fitter than the rest of them and because he had been trained for that race, I don’t know? He always does run well fresh, but I hope he can improve on that.

“It’s probably not quite the strongest division there is.”



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Mighty Quinn steers Botox Has to big win

Botox Has provided Caoilin Quinn with the most notable success of his riding career so far with victory in a gruelling renewal of the bet365 West Yorkshire Hurdle at Wetherby.

The conditional jockey won a valuable handicap hurdle on the Betfair Chase undercard at Haydock last season aboard Gary Moore’s seven-year-old, who is also a former winner of the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell under the trainer’s son, Josh.

Botox Has had not been seen in competitive action since finishing fourth in the Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham in January – and while Quinn was unable to use his claim in this Grade Two contest, he proved more than up to the job.

Much of the pre-race focus was on the Philip Hobbs-trained Thyme Hill and Jeremy Scott’s stable star Dashel Drasher, two high-class performers on the staying hurdling scene.

Dashel Drasher adopted his customary role at the front, but it was hard work from some way out, while the other 7-4 joint-favourite Thyme Hill was unable to land a telling blow in the testing conditions.

Botox Has (15-2) himself was off the bridle early in the straight but kept pulling out more and recovered from an untidy leap at the final obstacle to get the better of Red Risk by a length, with Dashel Drasher narrowly beating Thyme Hill to third place.

Quinn said: “It’s unbelievable, I’m speechless, to be honest, what a performance that was. He was giving weight away to a lot of them, but one thing he has on his side is he’s very tough.

“When push comes to shove, he digs deep. I didn’t think he enjoyed the ground today, we thought he would, as he does like it soft, but for whatever reason he didn’t travel as well as he did when I rode him at Haydock.

“It’s very tiring ground and I just thought it was the best thing to go and let him pop the last, but I knew he had loads left.

“It’s an unbelievable training performance. I’ve said to loads of people, he (Gary Moore) is an absolute genius.

“He’s had his problems this horse, he had a niggling problem which meant he didn’t go to the Cheltenham Festival last season. He (Moore) has got him back as good as ever and I’m very grateful.”



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Cheltenham or Sandown under consideration for Haddex

Haddex Des Obeaux has either a Cheltenham return for the Shloer Chase or the Tingle Creek on his agenda following his last-gasp fall at Prestbury Park on Saturday.

Trainer Gary Moore has a strong hand in the two-mile chasing division and is aiming high with the Ollie Harris-owned six-year-old who was on a real upwards curve before a setback last season and appeared set to resume his progress on his racecourse return until his agonising final-fence departure.

He is reported to be none the worse for that tired fall in his first outing for 287 days and his handler has highlighted another outing over the undulations of Prestbury Park in the Shloer Chase on November 19 or a first crack at a Grade One at Sandown in early December as his possible options.

Haddex Des Obeaux is a chaser on the rise
Haddex Des Obeaux is a chaser on the rise (Nigel French/PA)

“He seems fine,” said Moore. “He was running a nice race, it was just a bit of a tired fall in his first run for a long time. He was jumping pretty good up until then.

“It will either be the Shloer next or he will go straight for the Tingle Creek.”

Haddex Des Obeaux and eventual winner Dancing On My Own were matching strides heading to the final fence of the Epic Value At William Hill Handicap Chase, but Moore is unsure what would have happened if his young chaser had stayed on his feet.

“I wouldn’t like to say, but what I would say is Racheal Blackmore went for her horse a lot earlier than Jamie (Moore, jockey) has gone for him,” continued Moore.

“But the way Henry De Bromhead’s horses are running at the minute, he would probably have beaten Haddex Des Obeaux anyway.”

Haddex Des Obeaux and stablemate Editeur Du Gite are both by the same sire in Saddex and the latter, who won last season’s Clarence House Chase, will return at Exeter on November 10 before attentions turn to further big-race assignments over two miles.

Editeur Du Gite (right) on his way to winning the Clarence House Chase
Editeur Du Gite (right) on his way to winning the Clarence House Chase (David Davies/PA)

“He’s fine and, all being well, he goes to Exeter for the Haldon Gold Cup,” added Moore.

“He could run in the Shloer as well. Probably the Shloer and Game Spirit.”

Meanwhile, the Lower Beeding handler is poised to send exciting duo Authorised Speed and Givega novice chasing this term, with both almost ready for a first outing over the larger obstacles.

Authorised Speed will head over fences
Authorised Speed will head over fences (Steven Paston/PA)

“They are both going novice chasing,” said Moore.

“They are nearing a run, Authorised Speed will probably be a week behind Givega, but Givega is ready to go. He was nearly entered at Ascot (on Saturday) but we will save him for the next Ascot.

“I’m thinking two and a half miles, Authorised maybe two, but Givega definitely two and a half miles.”



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Nottingham warm up for Greatwood candidate Hansard

Hansard will tune-up for a tilt at the Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle by running on the Flat at Nottingham on Wednesday.

Owned by Noel Fehily Racing Syndicates, the five-year-old won his first two starts for trainer Gary Moore in taking fashion last term before leaving a disappointment in Kempton’s Dovecote Hurdle behind when a commendable fourth in an Aintree Grade One in the spring.

He now returns on the level over 14 furlongs at Colwick Park with Tom Queally taking the ride in the Racing TV Club Novice Stakes.

Hansard and Jamie Moore (left) in action at Aintree
Hansard and Jamie Moore (left) in action at Aintree (Tim Goode/PA)

It is a contest his handler sees as the perfect spot to clear the lungs ahead of Cheltenham action on November 19 and a race for which he is currently 12-1 with the sponsors.

“He’s a nice horse and it is kind of a prep run before he runs in the Greatwood Hurdle – that’s the plan,” said Moore.

“I always think it’s a good thing to sharpen them up on the Flat if you can do. I think it always bodes well and is something I’ve done before and also seen other people do it. He doesn’t have to have a hard race and doesn’t have eight flights of hurdles to jump, so you have less chance of injury and also I think it is a good way forward for the horse.

“Hopefully he is quite a nice horse and one we can look forward to.”



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Mullins backing Energumene to bounce back in Champion Chase defence

Energumene has something to prove when he returns to Cheltenham to defend his Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase crown on Wednesday.

The horse responsible for ensuring Willie Mullins has the full collection of championship events at the Festival looked set to become the dominant force in the two-mile chase division when following up his Champion Chase triumph in impressive style at the Punchestown Festival before then returning in rude health at Cork in December.

However, his momentum was checked on Trials day when Energumene could only finish third in the rearranged Clarence House Chase.

The master of Closutton identified a couple of reasons for the under-par performance in the aftermath of that contest and is hoping to see his charge correct the record in the day two feature.

“It was great to finally get a Champion Chase last year and I think in the Clarence House he just needed the run over those different style of fences,” said Mullins.

“Even though he’d schooled over them at home, sometimes a horse just needs to get out on the track and see the thing and I’m sure that experience will stand to him when it comes to jumping off in the Champion Chase.

“There’s no such thing as a slowly-run Champion Chase and I think that’s going to suit us.

“The Clarence House was a very tactical race and I think a few jockeys might change tactics the next day.

“We learnt a lot I think and I’m happy and Paul (Townend) is happy he’ll improve a lot from that day.”

Energumene had to settle for third in the Clarence House with the Gary Moore-trained Editeur Du Gite making most before holding off the fast-finishing Edwardstone in a thrilling finish.

It was Alan King’s Arkle hero who went into most notebooks on that occasion and the Barbury Castle handler is happy with where he has the favourite ahead of the main event.

“I would obviously have preferred to have won (on Trials day), but it wasn’t to be and Gary’s horse battled back well,” said King.

“I’m very happy where I have the horse and we can’t do any more our end.

“We’re in very good shape for Wednesday, we just hope to get a nice, clean run now and see what happens.”

Festival Trials Day – Cheltenham Racecourse – Saturday 28th January
Editeur Du Gite (right) ridden by Niall Houlihan clears a fence before going on to win the Albert Bartlett Clarence House Chase during Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham (David Davies/PA)

Editeur Du Gite’s victory was the second time this season he has caused an upset in a key Champion Chase trial, having also won the Desert Orchid Chase, and Moore sees no reason why the nine-year-old cannot play a leading role once again.

He said: “As long as he is as good as he was last time, that’s what he needs to be really.

“I see no reason why he can’t run like that again. I’m very happy with him, his preparation has gone well and it’s all systems go.”

Editeur Du Gite wears the colours carried to Champion Chase success by the stable’s Sire De Grugy in 2014 and Moore admits the improvement his contender has shown this season has caught him by surprise.

“Hopefully he can do the same as Sire De Grugy,” he continued.

“It would be nice and also a bit unbelievable – something I never thought he would be doing anyway. But it just shows you never know in this game!

“It’s surprised me how much he has improved but time is an amazing thing in racing and he has improved a massive amount and probably needs to improve a bit more now as well.”

The race will also be a big occasion for Niall Houlihan, who has struck up a fine relationship with Editeur Du Gite and will be riding in the Champion Chase for the first time.

“It’s a massive day for him and there’s a lot of responsibility on his head, but he’s a pretty cool guy and I don’t think it will be a problem to him,” added Moore.

“Everyone knows how Editeur Du Gite races and will be well aware of it and I hope Niall is as well – I’m sure he will be. If the others want to go fast with him, then so be it.”

Nube Negra won the Shloer Chase over course and distance in November, but was somewhat disappointing when second to Editeur Du Gite at Kempton in the Desert Orchid.

Dan Skelton alongside Nube Negra, during a visit to Dan Skelton’s stables at Lodge Hill, Alcester
Dan Skelton alongside Nube Negra, during a visit to Dan Skelton’s stables at Lodge Hill, Alcester (Jacob King?PA)

He has been freshened up by Dan Skelton ahead of another crack at the Champion Chase – attempting to go one better than his second to Put The Kettle On in 2021.

“Nube Negra goes very well fresh and is very good around the course,” said Skelton.

“Any dry days or hours would be appreciated. The day he beat Altior at Kempton it was officially described as soft, but we do know the better the ground, the more suitable it is for him.

“He’s very good at home and I couldn’t have him any better to be honest.”

Greaneteen was only a length and a half further back in fourth on that occasion and has since won the Tingle Creek twice.

He suffered a surprise defeat in the Game Spirit at Newbury, but trainer Paul Nicholls felt his charge really needed the outing that day.

Greaneteen disappointed at Newbury last month
Greaneteen disappointed at Newbury last month (Nigel French/PA)

He told Betfair: “I couldn’t be happier with Greaneteen who is much sharper now after a below-0par run at Newbury a month ago when I left him under cooked. I think you can put a line through that run when he was too fresh and the ground was quicker than he likes.

“Greaneteen pleased me in an away day at Lambourn recently, is much fitter going to Cheltenham and will appreciate some ease in the ground. He ran very well when finishing a close fourth in the race two years ago and I can see him being placed again.”

Venetia Williams’ Funambule Sivola won the Game Spirit and was also runner-up in this last year, while Captain Guinness completes the line-up attempting to provide Henry de Bromhead with a fourth Champion Chase trophy.



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Givega expected to get Imperial Cup call up

Givega is poised to return to Sandown for a crack at the Betfair Imperial Cup having shown his true colours when bouncing back to his best at the Esher venue recently.

Gary Moore’s seven-year-old, who is out of a sister to the great six-time Cheltenham Festival winner Quevega, created a real buzz when winning his first two hurdling outings in the manner of a top-class operator and by a combined 18 lengths.

However, he blotted his copybook when sent off favourite, upped in both trip and grade, for the Grade Two Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick in January and was left with somewhat of a point to prove.

Returned to calmer waters at Sandown earlier this month, Givega was back on form as he made all in the hands of Niall Houlihan while giving 9lb and a seven-and-a-half-length beating to runner-up Immortal.

Raised 4lb to a mark of 133 for that victory – and with connections keen to swerve the Cheltenham Festival – Moore is now eyeing a tilt at the prestigious £100,000 handicap hurdle on March 11 that precedes the Prestbury Park showpiece the following week.

“He’s a horse I like a lot, he’s a good horse,” said Moore.

“I was really happy with him (at Sandown). He got a fairly soft lead in front and jumped well, he’s a chaser in the making. I know he’s already seven years old, but he’s next year’s horse really and he will stay further than two miles, he will definitely get further.

“He definitely won’t go to Cheltenham. The plan is to go back to Sandown for the Imperial Cup.

“It’s a shame he went up (in the handicap) for the other day, but if he hadn’t have gone up, he might not have got in I suppose.”



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Moore eyeing National Spirit hat-trick with Goshen

Goshen has been tasked with helping Gary Moore win a third Betgoodwin National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell on Sunday.

The Moore family first won the Grade Two contest at one of their local tracks in 2017 with Camping Ground and added to their tally 12 months ago when the now-retired Joshua Moore partnered his father’s Botox Has to a game success over race regular Brewin’upastorm.

Now it is the turn of their stable stalwart to uphold family honour, while Jamie Moore will have the chance to write his name on the roll of honour.

The unseasonal dry spell means conditions will once again be against the ever-popular seven-year-old, who also has to tackle his old nemesis of racing left-handed. But encouragement is taken from two high-quality hurdling appearances this term, which are sandwiched by a pair of lacklustre outings over the larger obstacles.

He surged clear of the reopposing Brewin’upastorm to record an eight-and-a-half-length victory in the Ascot Hurdle in November before backing it up with a strong second behind Paisley Park in the rearranged Long Walk Hurdle on Boxing Day and his handler believes Goshen deserves plenty of credit for the way he has acquitted himself, despite being yet to race on his favoured ground.

“He’s had a brilliant year. He’s done really well and on not one day has he had the ground in his favour yet,” said Moore.

“The trip will be fine for him. It’s the wrong way round, but there’s just not that many options for him. He’s in the long-distance hurdle race at Cheltenham, but I feel that’s a waste of time.

“There’s no point leaving him in the stable and there’s not that many runners either so he has got to take his chance.”

Knappers Hill, here winning at Sandown, attempts to get back to winning ways in the Betgoodwin National Spirit Hurdle
Knappers Hill, here winning at Sandown, attempts to get back to winning ways in the Betgoodwin National Spirit Hurdle (Nigel French/PA)

Sceau Royal returns to hurdles having failed to feature in the Dublin Chase earlier this month and he will be looking to reverse Elite Hurdle form with Knappers Hill, who was two and a half lengths clear of Alan King’s consistent veteran when they met at Wincanton earlier in the campaign.

Paul Nicholls’ charge has seen his form slightly tail off since his early-season heroics, but is proven over this trip and hails from a yard that is always well represented in this £80,000 contest.

Brewin’upastorm won this in 2021 before going down by just a head when defending his crown last year and Olly Murphy will be hoping his 10-year-old enjoys the tight turns of the Sussex track for a third time.

“He’s come back from a severe wind operation but seems in good form and galloped well this week,” said the Warren Chase handler.

“He will just improve for whatever he does at Fontwell as it’s been a bit of a tight squeeze to get him ready for this race, but we’re looking forward to running him and if he comes back to his old self, there’s no reason why he can’t run really well.

“He probably should be two from two in the race, he was unlucky in it last year and we’re looking forward to running him in the race again.”

The select quintet going to post is rounded off by Dan Skelton’s Proschema, who was a clear-cut winner of the West Yorkshire Hurdle in the autumn, but was pulled up on his next start in Newbury’s Long Distance Hurdle.



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