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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sprinter's Avatar
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    Sprinter Sacre: Racing Superstar

    Sprinter Sacre (FR)

    6-y-o (23Apr06 b/br g)
    Network (GER) Fatima III (FR) (Bayolidaan (FR ) )
    Trainer Nicky Henderson Owner Mrs Caroline Mould

    Chasing Debut



    Barry Geraghty October 12

    We keep running out of words to describe him. Hes got so much pace, accuracy, courage, and is all round talent. Hes like a Gold Cup winner running over two miles, finds it so easy and feels as though hes only in third gear in a two-mile chase which means hes jumping fences at his leisure. Most natural jumper Ive ever ridden.
    Nicky Henderson October 2012

    Hes done extremely well over the summer, looking big and well. The plan is to go to the Paddy Power meeting at Cheltenham then the Tingle Creek followed by the Victor Chandler then Cheltenham and the Game Spirit at Newbury possibly before that. He and Simonsig are frightening because they two as good young horses as Ive ever had and they are that good at home, too. Even See You Then and Binocular have never shown me what that pair do working. Ive got nothing else that can go with them so sometimes they have to do little bits of work together but youve got to be very, very careful because they are so competitive but they do have to put effort into their work and theyre the only ones that can do it. If not youd be sacrificing two other horses to do the job of trying to lead them.
    Last edited by Old Vic; 01-12-2015 at 09:35 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sprinter's Avatar
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    2012 Arkle



    NJH

    "We are going to go to Cheltenham.

    "There's a nice two-mile chase at the Paddy Power meeting which gives him three weeks before the Tingle Creek where we will meet Sanctuaire.

    "The programme just dictates that is what we have to do.

    "It is a bit unfair on Finian's Rainbow because he is the reigning two-mile chaser and he's hardly getting a look in at the moment.

    "In fairness that is because we are talking of upping him in trip, possibly that is because of Sprinter Sacre as well."
    Last edited by Old Vic; 01-07-2014 at 04:34 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sefton's Avatar
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    Gallops Reporter

    SPRINTER SACRE has shown himself to be in tip-top order in his work at Seven Barrows ahead of his eagerly awaited reappearance in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham on Sunday.

    Last season's top two-mile novice, unbeaten in five starts over fences including the Arkle and the equivalent race at Aintree, is itching for racecourse action and will be schooled by his regular partner Barry Geraghty on Friday, when the Irishman comes over for the three-day Open meeting.

    Nick De Boinville rides 'Sprinter' in most of his work at home and the gelding has been giving out all the right signals for a campaign that will take in races like the Tingle Creek and the Victor Chandler and Game Spirit Chases en-route to the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Yeehaa's Avatar
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    "I am sorry but I'm not going to run him. Sadly the ground has gone against us. There are only three weeks between now and the Tingle Creek and he can go there without a run."What we're trying to do is make all of these decisions tonight and that's what we have decided."

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hoof's Avatar
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    Henderson said "There is no denying that the Sportingbet Tingle Creek will be a whole new ball game for Sprinter Sacre. Not only will he be faced with a natural pace-maker in Sanctuaire, but also an extremely good horse. Sanctuaire poses a big challenge to Sprinter Sacre. It is going to be an extremely interesting race."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Statto's Avatar
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    Andy Gibson Profile

    6-y-o; bay gelding
    Breeding: Network (GER) - Fatima Iii (FR)
    Trained by N J Henderson
    Form: 13-11111

    When a horse appears to be as far clear of his rivals as Sprinter Sacre does at the moment, it is important to go that extra yard in pursuit of any areas of possible vulnerability; not least because he is likely to trade incredibly short in the near future, and probably even shorter than his form merits, at least until he has been beaten. Furthermore, it is imperative to remember that we have been in this place before on many occasions.

    After his 36-length demolition of his rivals in the Grade 1 King George Chase, not many pundits expressed the view that Kauto Star would be at risk of defeat anytime soon; whereas, he actually suffered defeat in four of his next five runs and started as the odds-on favourite in all bar one of them. Likewise, Master Minded was heralded as the second coming by many after his incredible 19-length defeat of the reigning Champion Chaser Voy Por Ustedes at Cheltenham in March 2008. Just three weeks later he was beaten at odds of 2/5 by 18 lengths by that same rival over half a mile further in the Melling Chase.

    The important lesson here is that there are many variables to take into account and, although Sprinter Sacre has appeared to be well clear of his rivals whilst maintaining an unblemished record over fences, the fact remains that he has only raced against a narrow band of opponents, in five small-field chases all contested over a trip of two miles. Given those conditions he will indeed be extremely difficult to beat; however, we need to go further back in his career to explore whether or not he has shown any signs of vulnerability when faced with different conditions and variables.

    In the 12-runner Redstone Novice’s Hurdle at Ascot in November 2010 he was comprehensively outstayed by the 130 rated hurdler Frascati Park after pulling extremely hard for the first half of the race. This defeat came in his only attempt over a near two and a half mile trip thus far. This evidence maybe of more interest should connections decide to step Sprinter Sacre up in trip for the Melling Chase at Aintree in April.

    He followed this up with a facile success at Ffos Las in a very weak race before heading back to Ascot to race on soft ground for the only time in his career to date. He ultimately came home on the bridle after again racing extremely keenly for most of the race; again, the actual form does not add up to much as Polisky finished a seven length runner up on his British debut and is rated 130 after competing in seven subsequent contests. Back in third place came Di Kaprio, who was still in the process of acquiring a handicap mark (he won two races later on his handicap debut off a mark of 117), whilst the fourth horse was the 96 rated hurdler L’Eminence Grise.

    In his final start of the season in the 15-runner Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, Sprinter Sacre once again raced exuberantly despite this big field race being run at a strong pace. He travelled powerfully as he took up the running before the third last flight before emptying badly up the hill to finish a well-beaten third behind Al Ferof and Spirit Son. He was diagnosed with a breathing problem after this race which was operated on before he returned to race as a novice chaser. Depending on your point of view we could now see Sprinter Sacre as a different horse post wind op or, alternatively, take the view that as he is yet to be asked a question over fences we cannot really state categorically that the wind operation is the variable which has made the difference. Moreover, plenty of horses have had apparently successful operations only to find the original problem returns, particularly after they have been put under extra strain by racing on softer ground than ideal or a distance beyond their optimum.

    Sprinter Sacre is now unbeaten in his five chases and, on what we have witnessed so far, he is very likely to continue to dominate in small field top class two mile chases; this is because races like the Tingle Creek, Game Spirit and Champion Chase often only attract single figure field sizes. Furthermore, his perceived dominance may also act as a catalyst for a self-fulfilling prophecy as rival trainer’s side step the ‘new kid on the block’ in search of easier prizes to plunder elsewhere. He is an excellent jumper and the times of his final circuits plus his sectional’s stack up well; therefore, there has to be a real possibility of him maintaining his unbeaten record for some time to come. Nevertheless, an end of season Melling Chase at Aintree with plenty of competitive rivals might be the time to take another look, especially if it is contested on soft going; furthermore, defeat for him there would be no more surprising than the 37-length turnaround in form experienced by Master Minded in 2008.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hoof's Avatar
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    Marcus Armytage 5 to follow

    1 Sprinter Sacre (6-y-o)
    Owner: Mrs Caroline Mould
    Trainer: Nicky Henderson
    He is unbeaten over fences and the Arkle winner is already rated higher than stable companion and reigning Champion Chaser Finian's Rainbow, who seems to be vacating his title by stepping up in trip with the King George VI Chase as his first target.

    Sprinter Sacre has done nothing but please the trainer this autumn and will have his first run at Cheltenham next Sunday before following the well-trodden two-mile chase route to Cheltenham in March, beginning in the Tingle Creek at Sandown in early December. There, in what could be the race of the season, he will meet the almost as exciting front-running Sanctuaire. Sprinter Sacre's Arkle form has already received a significant boost this season with Cue Card, whom he beat by seven lengths, winning the Haldon Gold Cup by 27 lengths last Tuesday.

  8. #8
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    Nick Mordin after Aintree

    SPRINTER SACRE UNSTOPPABLE

    The early pace wasn't great in the Grade 1 Maghull Novices Chase at Aintree but from six out Barr Geraghty allowed SPRINTER SACRE (45) to go into the lead and run at the kind of pace he was clearly wanting to go all along.

    The result was quite remarkable from a timing standpoint. From the first to the sixth fence Sprinter Sacre was running just 1.1 seconds faster than they covered the same section in the later 3m 1f Listed chase. By the finish he'd expanded the advantage to ten full seconds.

    Sprinter Sacre just kept up the increased gallop all the way to the line to score easily.

    The performance merits the second successive speed rating of 45 from me. That's the biggest I've awarded a jumper all season.

    Now that he's running this fast I would bet on Sprinter Sacre needing breaks between his runs like most top class two mile chasers. The norm for them is that they're at their best on their first two starts of the season and require breaks of at least five weeks between their runs thereafter.

    Sprinter Sacre is a big bodied, powerful sort. So it's not surprising to learn that his two winning siblings both won cross country chases in France. One won over 2m 5f, the other over 3m.

    The other three pattern class chasers produced by Sprinter Sacre's sire Network are Rubi Light, Rubi Ball and Saint Are. Rubi Light ran second in the Grade 1 Lexus over three miles. Rubi Ball won the Grade 1 Prix la Haye Jousselin over nearly three and a half miles. And Saint Are won the 3m 1f Listed chase on the same Aintree card as Sprinter Sacre.

    Given his pedigree, his physique and the way he finished the second half of this race so strongly, makes me think that Sprinter Sacre would have a real chance of staying three miles in next season's King George. Right now trainer Nicky Henderson seems determined to keep him at two miles. And perhaps he pulls too hard to get much longer.

    But I'll be very interested to see if he changes his mind by next Christmas. And, whatever happens, Sprinter Sacre remains one of the biggest talents the winter game has seen in the last decade.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mayo's Avatar
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    After tingle creek

    Henderson said: "He has got the 'wow' factor. It's been a long time since Aintree and I admit to being petrified about Sanctuaire.

    "I knew that horse had got pace and would put it into the race which would stretch anybody and it was as soft as our fellow would ever want to go on.

    "He's just class isn't he?

    "I knew that I had something a bit special and I just wanted it to stay that way.

    "That's as good a two-mile chaser as you'll ever see.

    "He will probably go for the Victor Chandler and Cheltenham, I don't know for sure, but there aren't that many options and then on to Aintree or Punchestown."

    Geraghty partnered Moscow Flyer to win 10 Grade One chases, including two Queen Mother Champion Chases, and he believes Sprinter Sacre compares favourably.

    He added: "He's the closest I have ridden to Moscow. Time will tell (if he will be as good) but he's going the right way.

    "He's the most natural I have ever ridden and so far, so good."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Old Vic's Avatar
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    Henderson houses the current Queen Mother Champion Chase winner in Finian's Rainbow and trained one of the greatest two-milers of his generation in Remittance Man, but he already thinks Sprinter Sacre has eclipsed them.

    "I think he's a bit special. What he did yesterday was what we were all hoping for. It's been a long wait and the last week has been quite a long one as well," Henderson told At The Races.

    "He is a completely different type to Remittance Man. He was a charming horse, small and wiry but he could really jump.

    "Sprinter is a great big thing, classy and a real speed horse.

    "In a bit of work at home it wouldn't be a contest, Sprinter would be in another league. Sprinter has that touch of real class and I think he'd win (if they met).

    "I don't know if you can say he's the best chaser I've ever trained just yet, but he must be getting very close.

    "In fairness, we've had better hurdlers over the years before Long Run came along, he's been the only realistic Gold Cup horse.

    "We mustn't forget Finian's Rainbow who is the current champion chaser yet he seems to be slipping off the radar. He's fine this morning and trotted up well.

    "I would think we'll go to the Victor Chandler and it's possible that is all we'll do before Cheltenham, then he can go to either Aintree or Punchestown."

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