Sprinter Sacre: Nicky Henderson's ace is 1-7 to win at PunchestownPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Sprinter camp happy as superstar bids for history
SPRINTER SACRE attempts to emulate the great Istabraq by winning at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown in the same season when he has his first race outside Britain on Tuesday.
The seven-year-old, seeking his tenth straight win over fences, is a general 1-7 chance to add the Boylesports.com Champion Chase to his Queen Mother Champion Chase and Melling Chase triumphs.
Aidan O'Brien saddled Istabraq to a clean sweep of wins at spring's big three meetings in 1999 and Sprinter Sacre's camp head into the race happy after some slight travel and ground concerns.
The going at Punchestown is soft, heavy in places and trainer Nicky Henderson said: "We've had some reservations but he's run in very soft ground twice this season and has coped well each time. He deserves to go and the people at Punchestown and in Ireland have been very good to us.
"He's in his prime and when you have got one like that you have to try to run them as best as you can."
Henderson, who trains the unbeaten chaser for Caroline and Raymond Mould, added: "He's been to two festivals and it is always tough. Just because it appears that he has had some easy races, it doesn't mean that each race is easy.
"The adrenaline is pumping and there is no doubt that it does affect them, but we have taken the time to monitor him and we are very happy."
Henry de Bromhead, whose crack chaser Sizing Europe was thrashed by Sprinter Sacre at Cheltenham, also runs Days Hotel, though he is well aware of the task facing his duo and described the biggest name in jump racing as "phenomenal".