Special Tiara: had to dig deep to win at Kempton
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
By Jon Lees 2:39PM 27 DEC 2016
Report: Kempton, Tuesday
32Red Desert Orchid Chase (Grade 2) | 2m | 4yo+
SPECIAL TIARA took advantage of the surprise early exit of Sire De Grugy to claim a second victory in the 32Red Desert Orchid Chase.
An uncharacteristic blunder at the second fence by Sire De Grugy propelled Jamie Moore out of the saddle and onto the deck where the jockey took a kick to the side of his head.
The disconsolate Moore was able to walk back to the weighing room and Sire De Grugy continued loose as the race was fought out between the front-running Special Tiara and Sir Valentino.
The odds-on Special Tiara, successful in the race two years ago, looked like he had a battle on his hands as Sir Valentino loomed up to his quarters in the straight but that rival lost vital momentum when hitting the second last and the favourite held on to win by half a length.
“It is not easy to win Grade 2s,” said winning jockey Noel Fehily. “I thought he won quite nicely and Sir Valentino is not a bad horse who was running well in the Tingle Creek.
“I think Special Tiara is better over a stiffer two miles than this but I was happy with him and it was a good run.”
Special Tiara’s owner Sally Rowley-Williams, who flew in earlier on Tuesday morning from Florida to watch the race in person, added: “The last time I was here was when Special Tiara was last here and won in 2014.
“I’m really proud of the horse – he is such a lovely, brave horse and I hope he is going to win more.”
Special Tiara remains an unchanged 20-1 with Paddy Power for the Betway Champion Chase, in which he finished third in March.