Sprinter back but can’t Dodge Bullets
The return of the “Black Aeroplane” that is Sprinter Sacre was much anticipated at Ascot in the Sodexo Clarence House Chase and he looked a picture in the prelims prior to going off an odds on favourite to land another Grade One contest on return from heart problems and a lay off from the track.
All was going to plan in the race too as Barry Geraghty settled him in fourth in the early stages and gradually nursed the horse to the front end where Dodging Bullets had the lead as they came to the final two flights. He was a couple of lengths down as they came to the last but found little, under less than maximum pressure when Geraghty realised Sprinter Sacre couldn’t find more to the line. Dodging Bullets a worthy winner on the day adding a further success to a win at Sandown in the Tingle Creek and is on course to line up in the Champion Chase as a real contender for the Cheltenham honours with bookmakers reacting positively with quotes of 5 and 6/1.
Sprinter Sacre connections were happy to concede defeat on the day to a better horse with Henderson commenting “He has just got tired, there was no messing about. I loved the way he travelled and I am pleased we decided to run”.
“If Dodging Bullets is the target come the day we have a realistic chance” Nicky Henderson
Noel Fehily who rode the winner was delighted “It’s a great training performance by Paul Nicholls, they went hard from flag fall and he stays well the Cheltenham hill will pose no problems. He’s a great horse.”
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