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Across the Pond

Sacre bleu! Sprinter crowned in Champion Chase

With the creators of the English language tasked with discovering new, unique superlatives after his last successful visit to Cheltenham,  Sprinter Sacre confirmed his superiority over his six rivals with a dominant nineteen length victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase on Day Two of the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.
Call off the hunt, for the most apt superlative to describe Nicky Henderon's prolific, victorious French-bred is clear. Now rated the most exceptional steeplechaser since the days of Arkle, the words 'Sprinter Sacre' have forced their way amongst the superlatives regularly used in the English language.
With Mail de Bievre, towing the field along from the rise of the tape, Sprinter Sacre settled beautifully behind the front end pace in fourth. As the runners exited from in front of the stands and towards the back straight, the normal bold jumping style of the leader, Mail de Bievre seemed to be lacking as Tom George's French import began to backtrack through the field at a rapid rate.
With Tom George's star seemingly unable to take the runners any further, Sizing Europe, a previous Champion Chase winner, took things up with Nicky Hendeson's star French-bred, Sprinter Sacre, tanking along in second. Producing a bold display of jumping reminiscent of his Arkle and Champion Chase victories, Sizing Europe looked to pose the biggest threat to Sprinter Sacre's credentials yet, despite the outstanding performance of Henry de Bromhead's star, the writing was all but on the wall for Sprinter Sacre's rivals as they turned out of the back stretch.
Jumping up on the outside of Sizing Europe, Sprinter Sacre pulled his own way comfortably into the lead and powered clear of his rivals, leaving the superb Irish standing dish and his other five rivals toiling in his wake.
"I've never ridden a horse that does it all so easily," said Geraghty. "He has such power and scope, and that gives him the time he needs. I'm not saying this lad is better than Moscow Flyer [a two-time Champion Chase winner whom Geraghty partnered to twenty-five victories], but the ease with which he does everything sets him apart.". 
"You always hope for th best, but there are fences to jump and you can never be sure" said an emotional Nicky Henderson, "He has such an easy way of doing it and today he was fantastic. He loves racing and does it so easily. We're very lucky to have him. Sometimes the crowd gets something special to watch and I hope today they have enjoyed watching him.".
"he has an aura about him and he knows he's good. He doesn't hide it under a bushel - he doesn't do anything by halves. It's the way he lives. Barry enjoys it, the horse enjoys it and I hate it, but it's fun afterwards. He's nearly the perfect racehorse - he looks it and its rare to find one that looks so good ad is so good. We were well aware that anything bar stunning wouldn't keep people happy, but that was stunning" said Henderson.
Sprinter Sacre, Sprinter, or Sacre; whatever his name is to you as one of his army of fans and followers, long or short, this exceptional steeplechaser has forced his way amongst the golden greats of racing with a series of sublime, breathtaking performances from race to race.
With each jump from one side of a fence to another, Sprinter Sacre continues to rise in both popularity and legendary status. Now with a Championship victory at the Cheltenham Festival, beating a superb champion in the shape of Sizing Europe, the world is, very much so, Sprinter Sacre's oyster.
                        Photo Courtesy of Emma-Louise Kerwin  (Goodtosoft.co.uk)     


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Older Comments about Sacre bleu! Sprinter crowned in Champion Chase...

dazzling, but not immortal - yet
Crisp, carrying 23 pds more than his nearest rival, only to lose by less than a length to Red Rum was a heart breaker... Sacre's performances are dazzling in his complete domination none the less.
I don't think it is anywhere near the 1973 Belmont. The only steeplechase performance I have found that can hold a lick to that would be the 1973 grand national.
His 19 length romp was one of the most amazing feats, I would venture to say on par with Secretariat's 31 length romp in the Belmont. He is pure joy to watch jump in a chase.
Never one to follow the jumps before, I watched this race because of your articles, Dan ... Thank you!

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