Sprinter Sacre to stick with Cheltenham Festival plan


Tagged under: 2.05 Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase 2m

Owner Raymond Mould wants to stick to the plan of natural progession for Sprinter Sacre and won’t be tempted to enter his star novice in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old is bookmakers' clear favourite to win the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham after his stunning performance at Newbury on Friday and Mould has been fighting off questions about taking on more experienced competition in the Champion Chase.

Mould told At The Races: "It's hopefully the Arkle this year and then go on to the Champion Chase next year. I’d rule the Champion Chase out this year and Mr Henderson has never mentioned it. He's got Finian's Rainbow in it anyway. We'll stick to the natural progression.

"If we're lucky enough to win the Arkle then we'll hopefully go for the Champion Chase and there's no reason in my opinion this horse won't get further.”

When books opened on Monday morning, BetVictor was best priced 11/8 for Sprinter Sacre to win the Arkle where he is likely to renew rivalry with Al Ferof. Paul Nicholls’ charge finished over five lengths in front of Sprinter Sacre when winning the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at last year’s Cheltenham Festival but Mould revealed why the gelding faded up the hill that day.

"The horse had a wind problem at Cheltenham last year that's why he didn't get up the hill and he's much bigger and stronger now," he said.

There have been no signs of a problem this term as Sprinter Sacre has cruised to victory in all three appearances so far including a 16-length defeat of Arkle second favourite Peddlers Cross at Kempton over Christmas.

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