Gary Moore believes Editeur Du Gite has earned his place in the Queen Mother Champion Chase line-up – although he does not think it will be easy for him to repeat his Clarence House heroics at the Cheltenham Festival.
The nine-year-old was a shock winner of the Desert Orchid at Kempton over the Christmas period, but proved that was no fluke when given a fine front-running ride in the rearranged Grade One at Cheltenham on Saturday, lowering the colours of Festival winners Energumene and Edwardstone.
The victory was made all the sweeter by the fact Editeur Du Gite was not in the original line-up when the race was due to take place at Ascot and was only added into the mix when connections stumped up £2,250 to supplement for the rearranged race the Monday prior.
He is now the general 5/1 fourth favourite for the day two feature at the Festival, with only Edwardstone and the Willie Mullins-trained duo of defending champion Energumene and Blue Lord ahead of him in the betting.
“He was very good and it was a good result for everyone – I was very pleased,” said Moore.
“We had a bit of help from the people at Weatherbys who helped me get him back in and it was well worth it in the end.
“He’s earned his place (in the Champion Chase), 100 per cent, definitely. I’m sure Willie will find improvement in Energumene and Alan King will do the same with his fella and then there’s always the likes of Greaneteen as well, so it’s not going to be easy but we will give it our best shot.”
Editeur Du Gite was briefly headed by Edwardstone in the closing stages before fighting back to get his head in front when it mattered most and his handler was delighted to see the son of Saddex not only build on his Kempton display at Christmas, but demonstrate plenty of tenacity to secure victory at Prestbury Park.
He continued: “It confirmed what he showed at Kempton more than anything. I knew he would always be a bit better going that way round and the ground was probably a bit better than it was at Kempton, so you knew you had that little bit of improvement to come from him.
“The big thing that surprised me though was the way he stuck his neck out and wanted to win.”
Moore was also keen to praise the ride given by Niall Houlihan while confirming the Irishman is in line to keep the mount for the Champion Chase, but believes the switch back to the Old Course might not be a positive – especially now the opposition has Editeur Du Gite’s card marked.
“I would say he would do (keep the ride). Niall got him into a nice rhythm and he knows the horse really well now,” added Moore.
“The track on Saturday I think would suit him better, but he’s won on the Old Course before. He won’t get it all his own way in a Champion Chase though, will he.”
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