Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 25 November 2014

It's odds on Sprinter Sacre will be the greatest

CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 13:  Barry Geraghty riding Sprinter Sacre (L) win The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase at Cheltenham racecourse on March 13, 2012 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: Barry Geraghty riding Sprinter Sacre (L) win The Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase at Cheltenham racecourse on March 13, 2012 in Cheltenham, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

Sprinter Sacre is the brightest star in jump racing's firmament since the legendary Arkle and, to the delight of the Irish, he makes his next appearance at Punchestown next week.

And there, he's certain to join the former great Istabrag in landing a rare treble with Grade 1 wins at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown.

Sprinter, the best two-miler of all time and, after his display at Aintree, equally supreme over two and a half miles, looks unbeatable over those distances. After nine successive victories over fences, he is set to become a bigger name in racing than Red Rum, Kauto Star, Desert Orchid and, even, Frankel.

One thing's for sure, he will, provided he stays sound, beat Frankel's run of 14 successive victories.

He's an equine Alexander sweeping all before him and there seem's nothing capable of standing in his path to further glories.

Sacre is a rarity in the sport so roll on Punchestown's Champion Chase on Tuesday, when the Nicky Henderson chaser will probably start around 1/6.

The result is inevitable and, after that, hopefully, it will be onwards and upwards to the King George on Boxing Day.

Henderson has hinted that he won't put Sprinter over more than two and a half miles but there's every chance he'll change his mind as the apple of his eye has not been seriously challenged and, with his pace and jumping ability, should be ideally suited to Kempton's easy three miles.

At this stage, he has at least 10lbs in hand over stable mate and Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth and, incredibly, sponsors William Hill make Sprinter 6/4 for Boxing Day success.

That's a Christmas gift ready for the taking as Sprinter will be long odds-on if taking his chance. Let's hope he does.

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