Sprinter Sacre: could make reappearance in Tingle Creek at SandownPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Crunch time as Sprinter Sacre close to return
SPRINTER SACRE could have a racecourse gallop later this week but Nicky Henderson is still some way from committing the sport's highest-rated horse to Saturday week's 888sport Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown, a race he won two years ago on his way to a spectacular success in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Speaking at Kempton on Monday, where Sprinter Sacre was last seen in public pulling up with a fibrillating heart almost 11 months ago, the trainer revealed: "We are reasonably close with Sprinter. There won't be any messing around until Thursday week [48-hour declaration time] - we will make our minds up next Tuesday or Wednesday.
"He hasn't had an awayday yet and that's what I want to do. It's not impossible he'll have one this week if we get the all-clear.
"He's had his all-clear from Celia Marr at Newmarket for all his ECGs and so on. Everything's tickety boo there, but you can see how my horses are at the moment when they get into this ground.
"We're just a bit behind. They look fit enough but they don't seem to be running it. There's nothing wrong, but we just aren't in that rhythm yet. The ground has caught us out and it's gone too soon for me - I'm still on the good-ground horses.
"When it's going right any clown can do this job, but when it's not you have to keep your head on and not lose it."