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Celebration Chase - 26th April, 2014

Sire De Grugy produced a masterful performance to land the Queen Mother Champion Chase at last month's Cheltenham Festival and the Gary Moore-trained raider will look to end his campaign by winning his second Celebration Chase on the spin at Sandown Park.

One of the highlights on a cracking Bet365 Gold Cup day, Moore's stable star will be sent off a warm favourite for the Grade Two event and if he can emulate that fine display in last month's Champion Chase then he will be extremely tough to beat and sets the standard.

Emma Lavelle's Claret Cloak was another who performed admirably at Cheltenham when third in the Grand Annual, before he went on to be third in the Red Rum Handicap Chase at Aintree, but he has often shown some slight jumping mistakes and will need to put in an accomplished round here if he is to challenge the red-hot jolly.

Henry De Bromhead's Special Tiara was a prominent figure in the Champion Chase for most of the contest before he was unable to quicken late on, but he will take on Sire De Grugy again and could be another leading challenger, whilst Nicky Henderson's French Opera, who won this race in 2011, will take his chance, but he lacks that top class spark any more and will struggle.

Venetia Williams's Pepite Rose relishes the quicker ground, but was outclassed in the latter stages of the Melling Chase at Aintree and may struggle, whilst Kauto Stone, Lancetto and Australia Day also have a lot to find on the market leader who is a cut above at his best.

Latest Betting for 2014 Celebration Chase

4/11 Sire De Grugy

7/1 Claret Cloak

9/1 Special Tiara

16/1 French Opera

16/1 Pepite Rose

20/1 Kauto Stone

33/1 Australia Day

33/1 Lancetto

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Celebration Chase History

The Celebration Chase is a Grade Two race run at Sandown Park over two mles for horses aged five years or older.

Established in 2001, the race was originally created to provide the leading two-mile chasers in training a chance of winning a top class prize, as the Cheltenham Festival had been cancelled due to the foot-and-mouth crisis and this was regarded as an alternative to the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

Henrietta Knight's Edredon Bleu won the inaugural event to highlight that this race can attract the star names of the chasing division.  Paul Nicholls' Cenkos grabbed the event twice in three years when winning it in 2002 and 2002, whilst David Pipe's Well Chief had already landed victory in the 2004 Arkle before bagging this event in 2005.

Nicholls continued to have an excellent record in the race and he notched up his third success in the Celebration Chase in 2008 with Andreas, whilst Twist Magic bagged the four-timer 12 months later for the Ditcheat handler.

Taking place on Sandown Park's dual purpose meeting the Celebration Chase adds great depth to a day that includes the Bet365 Gold Cup, as well as some quality flat action including the Bet365 Mile and the Gordon Richards Stakes.

Recent Winners of Celebration Chase

  • 2001 -  Edredon Bleu
  • 2002 - Cenkos
  • 2003 - Seebald
  • 2004 - Cenkos
  • 2005 - Well Chief
  • 2006 - River City
  • 2007 - Dempsey
  • 2008 - Andreas
  • 2009 - Twist Magic
  • 2010 - I'm So Lucky
  • 2011 - French Opera
  • 2012 - Sanctuaire
  • 2013 - Sire De Grugy

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