Runcorn family celebrates triumphant Cheltenham victory

Runcorn and Widnes World: Ryan Preston Ryan Preston

A FAIRYTALE dream came true for a Runcorn family after their racehorse romped to victory winning £199,325 in the BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

Euphoric joy erupted in the winner’s enclosure as businessman Steve Preston and his three sons mingled with millionnaires, trainers, jockeys and celebrities.

Their horse’s red, white and blue scarf was given to Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, for her baby grandson, George, as she presented the prizes.

Triumphant Sire De Grugy was bought as a 50th birthday gift for businessman and lifelong racing fan Steve Preston.

His family and friends clubbed together to deposit £2,000 in a bank account on the proviso he bought a horse.

He now shares the seven-year-old French chestnut with his three sons, Ryan, aged 19, Sean, aged 25, Liam, aged 28, and three business partners.

It was also the biggest win for jockey Jamie Moore and his trainer dad, Gary.

Ryan, from Sandymoor, said: “It was unbelievable. It was a brilliant run race. I threw my scarf in the air and lost my phone.

“We were told that 90 per cent of owners never have a winner. We’ve had 13 wins out of 22 runs.

“Critics said he doesn’t like the left-hand course and the ground didn’t suit him but he is a true champion.”

Steve, aged 54, from Norton, commutes to Holland every week where he runs a Dutch sports company with his son, Liam who lives in Amsterdam.

Ryan added: “Dad was very nervous before the race but it all went to plan.

“My grandparents always enjoyed racing. I’ve been going since I was in a pram.

“It’s very exciting.”

Sire De Grugy will compete at Sandown or The Grand National.

His half brother, Blue Sire, has been bought by the family from the same French breeder. He is coming to the UK in the summer and will start racing after a year’s training.

 

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