Sprinter Sacre may find life tricky at Sandown Park
10:00am Friday 6th December 2013 in Sport
Eleven horses were entered at the five-day stage for Saturday’s Grade One BetVictor Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park, including the great Sprinter Sacre, writes Nick Braund.
Trained by Nicky Henderson, whose yard landed the two big races last weekend, Sprinter Sacre is comfortably the best and highest-rated jumps horse in training and his Frankel-esque demolition of his six rivals in this race 12-months ago elevated him from great horse to equine superstar.
He has won all 10 races over the larger obstacles and there is no finer sight in jump racing than to see a top-class chaser tackle the seven fences along Sandown Park’s back straight.
Sprinter Sacre won his five starts last season by an aggregate of 58 lengths, although he was not at his best when winning at Punchestown on his final start and will be at long odds to preserve his unbeaten record at Esher.
Sacre, a beautiful and uniquite sight in full flight, is unlikely to appear more than four times this jumps season and his like may never be seen again.
Henderson has also entered Captain Conan, but last season’s Scilly Isles Chase winner may have other targets this weekend.
Somersby was a brave winner of the BetVictor Haldon Gold cup last time out and the form has been franked by the subsequent Betfair Chase success of third home Cue Card.
Sire De Grugy had his limitations exposed at Cheltenham last time and is rated 19lbs inferior to the Champion Chaser.
Paul Nicholls, who trained the winner of the race for six successive years between 2005 and 2010, has entered Hinterland and Kauto Stone, but both look to be running for place money.