Comebacks delayed for Sprinter Sacre and Simonsig
Sprinter Sacre’s proposed return to action in the Tingle Creek has been put off by trainer Nicky Henderson, who has said that his star chaser is not quite ready for his comeback. Henderson also made the disappointing announcement that fellow star chaser Simonsig’s comeback run is also set to be delayed and he will now not line up in the Peterborough Chase.
Sprinter Sacre, who has not been seen in public since pulling up in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton last Christmas with a heart defect, was due to have a racecourse gallop this week before connections decided about his involvement in the Tingle Creek but Henderson has now ruled out the Queen Mother Champion Chase winner.
Speaking at Newbury, Henderson said: “With everything that is going on and the ground as much as anything, he’s not quite really there, so he won’t go Tingle Creeking. He will be strutting away at home and he’s fine, but he’s not quite ready.
“We went to Newmarket and came back with a clean bill of health from there and we are working away, but we are not quite ready.
“It leaves you kind of empty for the time being, but I would rather buy the time.
“He did two canters this morning and will do two tomorrow and we might decide to do a bit more with him on Saturday.
“He’s not quite ready and he’s got to be 100 per cent when he goes to a racecourse and where do you do? Kempton (Desert Orchid Chase) was one of the places I wanted to avoid going to, after what happened to him last year.
“The one good thing was he had a four-day full MOT at Newmarket and everything is tickety-boo.”
Meanwhile Simonsig, who was set to make his long awaited comeback in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon, has also been ruled out by Henderson and may also be set to miss the King George VI Chase at Christmas.
On the 2013 Arkle Chase winner, Henderson said: “We were looking to get him to the Peterbrough Chase to get him ready for the King George and he’s had a couple of blips – he was lame for a couple of days. He is sound now, but he’s not going to get to the Peterborough Chase.
“It would be a tall order for Simonsig to go to the King George, wouldn’t it? But I can’t say ‘no he won’t’. It would be a lot to ask him to miss the season then come into a three-mile chase having never been three miles before.
“He had been in really good order, and it has been frustrating. He’s missed 10 days and he’s perfectly fine now. He had a splint on a near-fore before and his problem is nothing to do with that. He was a bit lame behind. He’s always a horse who you have to be careful with, with his constitution. He wouldn’t be the most robust and if you bully him, you can push him the wrong way very quickly.”
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Scott Heavey/EMPICS Sport
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