News stories which have appeared on the website are available free of charge but stories which have appeared in the newspaper are only available when you join Members' Club. *NOTE: The archive runs from January 1, 2006 to present

Sprinter Scare Cheltenham 13.3.13

Sprinter Sacre on his own and on his way to a glorious triumph

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Sprinter sensational in Champion demolition

Report: Cheltenham Festival, Wednesday

Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1) 2m, Old Course

JUMP racing's newest superstar produced another stellar performance as Sprinter Sacre annihilated his supposed opposition at Cheltenham on Wednesday.

Sprinter Sacre had already proven himself to be far too good for the domestic opposition, kicking them out of the way routinely with his ridiculous combination of supreme speed, electric jumping and a magnificent swagger.

This time though he had former champion Sizing Europe to face and Sizing Europe brought his A-Game to the party.

The supplemented Mail De Bievre stormed off in front but the big two were always well placed behind him and Sizing Europe took over on the run to the fourth-last fence.

He travelled well, Sprinter Sacre travelled well and it was now a case of just how good was Nicky Henderson's star.

The answer was very, very good indeed. Sprinter Sacre never came off the bridle as he brushed away Sizing Europe, who stumbled at a path before the second last, and cantered up the hill to claim a mighty victory as the 1-4 favourite.

Sizing Europe finished a punch-drunk second with Wishfull Thinking claiming third from Sanctuaire.

Despite the regularity of his stunning performances, Sprinter Sacre still leaves his connections of Nicky Henderson, Barry Geraghty, Raymond and Caroline Mould short of words to describe him.

Geraghty, who has been aboard former winners Moscow Flyer, Finian's Rainbow and Big Zeb, said: "He is a beautiful horse, a natural jumper and things would have to go horribly wrong for him to go wrong. I have ridden some brilliant horses over the years but it is the ease with which he does it that sets him apart."

For Henderson, it was Champion Chase win number three after Remittance Man in 1992 and Finian's Rainbow last year. It was also win number 49 at the Cheltenham Festival.

"He is very, very special," Henderson said, composing himself having been tearful in the immediate aftermath of the victory.

"He has that way of doing it. He does find it so ridiculously easy that you worry complacency could creep in.

"We are very lucky to have a horse like him. We have talked about Punchestown. He is a two-miler and there is a nice Grade 1 there so maybe he could have another run."

Raymond Mould added: "It is amazing - absolutely incredible. To see him do it like that is incredible."

News Archive