The ever-impressive reputation of Sprinter Sacre went up another notch after one more emphatic display in winning the rescheduled Victor Chandler Chase at Cheltenham on Saturday afternoon’s trials card. The mount of Barry Geraghty is now no bigger than 2-5 for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the festival and it would appear only an act of god stands between the 7 year-old and the title of Britain’s champion two-mile chaser.
Nicky Henderson’s gelding was sent off the 1-5 favourite to make it seven from seven over fences and the result always had an element of inevitability about it as the son of Network never put a foot wrong, coming home in his own time with his rivals strung out behind.
The winning jockey was once again very impressed by his mount’s agility, saying: ” He’s so natural, one of the most natural I’ve ridden. I was afraid of the ground and didn’t think it would suit him as well. He was very relaxed today, he jumped brilliant and I never had a moment’s concern. He was very good. He coped with that ( heavy ) ground so well. I’ve not sat on him since the Tingle Creek and when I got up on him in the parade ring I remembered why I love him so much. He’s just unbelievable to get on.”
On the Gold Cup front the Argento Chase produced a stirring finish with Cape Tribulation just getting the better of 2010 Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander, who was having his first race for 680 days, and the two horses both earned quotes of 33-1 for the big one in March, although the runner-up should get his revenge on better ground with this run under his belt, but whether he is up to regaining his chasing crown in just under seven weeks time is open to question.