The Sodexo Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday 17th January is likely to prove the defining moment regarding the future career of the exceptional two-mile chaser Sprinter Sacre as the son of Network will be having his first race since being pulled-up with a heart problem at Kempton last December when tackling the 2m 1f contest won earlier this year by current Champion Chaser Sire De Grugy.
nstalled the 11-8 favourite with Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, a price which could turn out to be a late christmas present should the horse who turns nine tomorrow return to his imperious best at the Berkshire track, a prospect which joint owner Raymond Mould is more than hopeful of after the gelding’s successful schooling session before racing at Newbury on Monday, saying; “It was just magic watching him out there again. He was back to his best and everything went well.
” He bounced around the paddock and showed such exuberance out on the track. Both Caroline ( wife and joint owner ) and I had the most enormous adrenaline rush just watching him – we felt exhausted afterwards. It’s been a long haul. Celia Marr ( equine heart specialist ) says when you’ve had an experience like Sprinter Sacre did at Kempton you have to coax them back to work without pain. It can go through a horse’s mind that, ‘ This is going to hurt ‘. Hopefully all’s well. Nicky plans to give him three more pieces of work before Ascot.”
According to Paddy Power the Paul Nicholls-trained Dodging Bullets is likely to pose the biggest stumbling block to a successful return for ‘ Sprinter ‘ although the 3-1 chance is unlikely to have the services of Sam Twiston-Davies who is expected to partner Champion Hurdle second favourite The New One at Haydock on the same day.