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Across the Pond

Snow threatens 'Super' Sacre show‏

Try as they might, they cannot unlock a way to get him out of his comfort zone. A superstar that has reigned supreme in his division since the very first fence popped on a cold and blustery December afternoon in Yorkshire, Sprinter Sacre has delighted many with the visual drug that is his victorious performances, leaving us thriving for more, begging for better and waxing lyrical from door-to-door about the superiority of his being.

Unbeaten in six starts over fences, Sprinter Sacre has made the transition from hurdles to fences in superb style. A hurdler that had competed at the highest level, Sprinter Sacre had not managed to soar to the victorious heights that some might have hoped and believed he could achieve over hurdles. However, such is the norm, an alteration, and a development, occurred with the shift to a career over fences.

Impressive in debut at Doncaster, Sprinter Sacre went on to pummel the second-placed Champion Hurdler of the previous year into the ground with a sublime showcase of jumping at Kempton Park on his second start. A step up to face his elders followed in his third start, in which he showed a similar level of exuberant jumping in victory, followed by Grade 1 success at both the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals. By the time Aintree had come around, nobody had failed to recognise the potential, the excitement and the sheer enormity of this horse's ability.

On Saturday the seven year old son of German sire Network looks for win number seven over fences in the Grade 1 Victor Chandler Chase. However, this time around the French bred looks to face the toughest test that his hooves have faced thus far. A horse to rival him in the upper echelons of the two mile chasing division? Why no; instead the weather looks to play the biggest part in halting the Sprinter Sacre Express as it rolls into town for another attempt at further facile success. With the renowned frost covers deployed across the Ascot turf since last weekend, Ascot have prepared suitably for the impending snow drifts that look set to play a heavy part in whether Sprinter Sacre gets the chance to wow his fans yet again on Saturday, yet the card is in the hands of the weather gods for now, for any snow - despite Ascot being able to clear the deposits before racing - will likely encase the ground for long enough to freeze the ground which lay beneath the covers.

If allowed to race, Sprinter Sacre will, again, face his enigmatic rival Sanctuaire, in the affair scheduled for 15:35 in the UK, 10:35 EST in the States. A horse who has his quirks, Sanctuaire will likely be ridden far more conservatively this time out, yet Paul Nicholls and his stable are far from blinkered in the task at hand. To quote Mr Nicholls, this looks to be 'Mission Impossible' for the runaway train that is Sanctuaire. 

A stable which harbours the Champion Chase trophy already after the enthralling victory of Finain's Rainbow in last season's controversial renewal at the Cheltenham Festival, the yard of Nicky Henderson look to regain that trophy yet again with a seemingly expected emphatic victory by the people's new favourite, but cast your eye behind the flickering mane of Sprinter Sacre for just one split second. Quietly, quickly and in exciting fashion, yet another stable mate may look to throw down the gauntlet to this, seemingly, once-in-a-lifetime French bred superstar. 

A horse that has emphasised his chasing potential with two victories that echoed the very manner of Sprinter Sacre twelve months ago, Simonsig, in time, may just provide the second half of one of the greatest two mile chase battles of all time against his friend and stablemate next season. Following the same preparation  pattern that Sprinter Sacre followed last year, Simonsig will have to capture the imagination of the masses with victory in the Arkle Trophy in March first, yet victory will all but put him on course for an exciting 2013/14 rivalry.

For now, sit back, relax, pour a drink of choice that would readily accompany your favourite pastime, and enjoy the emphatic performances of this scintillating superstar that is Sprinter Sacre. 
              Photo Courtesy of Emma-Louise Kerwin  (Goodtosoft.co.uk)    


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Older Comments about Snow threatens 'Super' Sacre show‏...

As expected, races cancelled Saturday at Ascot due to snow, including the Victor Chandler Chase (G1). Sprinter Sacre's 2013 debut will have to wait another day or so....
  • DanMunn1 · More than a day I'm afraid. Rescheduled for next Saturday at Cheltenham, although that is currently covered in snow · 1557 days ago
In a Hurdles race, the horses jump over obstacles called hurdles; in a Steeplechase (Fences) the horses jump over a variety of obstacles that can include plain fences, water jump or an open ditch. Fences are often larger/wider than hurdles
Can you explain the difference between hurdles & fences in a future post?
Visions of Sprinter Sacre leaping over snow drifts in my head. I will be watching and wish them all safe travel over a safe course. Sprinter Sacre is on his way to super stardom, I'll venture to say.

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