Sprinter Sacre and Barry Geraghty (3) coast through the race early onPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Easy success for Sprinter Sacre in Maghull
Report: Aintree, Saturday
John Smith's Maghull Novices' Chase (Grade 1) 2m, 5yo+
SPRINTER SACRE continued his hugely impressive winning run as he trounced his rivals like a 1-7 shot should.
Toubab was the only one who provided any sort of threat to the Racing Post Arkle Chase hero turning in, but once he made a mistake at the second-last the writing was on the wall with Barry Geraghty's mount coasting away for an easy 13-length win.
The victory put Nicky Henderson back in front in the trainers' championship by £34,000 ahead of Paul Nicholls.
"He's beenamazing all season," said Henderson. "He is spectacular but it is a joy for the race to be over. It’s been fun, but it’s not going to be fun now, it's frightening - anything but perfection doesn't do.
"He's growing up all the time. He can get stronger. He has an aura about him. He knows he's a very, very good rookie. He has the athleticism and the attitude."
Sprinter Sacre once again put in a jumping masterclass for a 2m novice. He took it up from the wayward Australia Day going down the back and winged every fence from there, his fencing as quick, measured and straight as a die.
"Every jump is like a bungee jump," said Geraghty, "You do it and you just want to do it again. I've never ridden a horse the way he jumps and travels like he does."
Paddy Power left the six-year-old unchanged at 5-4 for next season's Queen Mother Champion Chase, while Hills remain even money.
Sprinter Sacre is likely to go into next season as one of the hottest Champion Chase favourites in years and it will be fascinating to seehow he fares against more experienced horses, not least stablemate and impressive Melling Chase winner Finian's Rainbow.