Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sprinter Sacre simply awesome in Aintree stroll

Although he appears to have had the trainers championship snatched from his grasp following the Paul Nicholls-trained Neptune Collonge’s last-gasp success in the John Smith’s Grand National, the four winners on the final day of the Aintree Festival highlighted by the imperious success of Sprinter Sacre, suggest the championship is Nick Henderson’s for the taking next term, writes Elliot Slater.
Henderson will have taken plenty of comfort that with the likes of Sprinter Sacre, (and indeed Simonsig, who was a brilliant first winner of the four on the card for the Master of Seven Barrows), he has tremendously powerful ammunition to fire in the quest for the 2012/13 championship and the victory of last month’s Racing Post Arkle Chase winner in the Grade 1 John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase, once again demonstrated that this horse could well be one of the best to have been seen for many a long year.
Having scared off most of the opposition, the six-year-old was left with three opponents, amongst whom both Toubab and Australia Day had proved themselves decidedly useful already this term, but the nonchalant manner in which Barry Geraghty’s mount disposed of his rivals without even moving out of second gear had simply to be seen to be believed. Sent off a 1/7 shot in the horse racing betting, there was never a moment’s doubt that Sprinter Sacre would prevail, his fencing been as close to perfect as you would ever see from a novice, whilst his cruising speed is something racehorse owners and trainers can usually only dream of.
In the end, after being given his head and allowed to stride on into the lead at the sixth, he beat Toubab by a ridiculously easy 13-lengths, (the pair finishing a long way clear), and is now found with best racing odds of 5/4 (from 11/8) to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival next March.

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