Vino Griego shows bottle
Gary Moore has expressed his relief at finally getting a win out of Vino Griego over fences.
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The eight-year-old sprang a 25/1 surprise in the Timeform Novices' Handicap at Cheltenham, a race in which he had chased home The Giant Bolster two years previously.
David Bridgwater's chaser went on to finish second in the Gold Cup last term, but Vino Griego had been beaten in his 14 subsequent races.
He will now head for the Pulteney Land Investment Novices' Handicap Chase again having finished fourth and eighth in the last two runnings of the race.
"I'm pleased to get any winner but especially in a nice race and especially with him as he hadn't managed it over fences," said Moore.
"He'd had me pulling my hair out because he'd run The Giant Bolster to two lengths in the same race two years ago, yet I couldn't win a race with him. We knew he had loads of ability.
"What he needs is very soft ground, he's so much better in bad ground.
"We'll head back to the Festival now for the two-five novice chase and obviously I hope it keeps on raining for him then all those good ground horses can stay at home!
"The handicapper has put him up 10lb and I suppose the way to look at it is at least we know he'll get in it now."
Meanwhile, stablemate Well Refreshed could attempt to take the next step up the ladder in Haydock's Grand National Trial on February 16.
Gary Moore's staying chaser was a very impressive winner of the Sussex National at Plumpton last time out and has been bumped up 15lb by the handicapper.
However that still leaves him some way shy of the likes of Junior and Ballabriggs who are rated in the 150s and Moore would not be keen to run him from out of the weights.
"All being well, he runs at Haydock next in the National Trial," said Moore.
"He's been put up just over a stone but there were a lot of horses in the Plumpton race who didn't run to their form.
"From a long way out it was just between two of them and ours just stayed on.
"If he's in the handicap he'll run at Haydock, but I wouldn't be getting carried away with his last performance, there weren't many horses on the up in it."