Henderson duo sidestep Cheltenham

  • Last Updated: November 17 2012, 18:30 GMT

Sprinter Sacre and Darlan will both miss intended outings on the final day of Cheltenham's Open meeting on Sunday after the ground was unsuitably soft.

Sprinter Sacre: Non-runner

After 6mm of overnight rain, the going was officially described as Soft, Good to soft in places prior to racing, but that was changed to Soft, Heavy in places after the Paddy Power Gold Cup despite no further rain arriving during the afternoon.

Conditions have been deemed too soft for last season's thrilling Arkle winner and trainer Nicky Henderson said: "I am sorry but I'm not going to run him. Sadly the ground has gone against us. There are only three weeks between now and the Tingle Creek and he can go there without a run.

"What we're trying to do is make all of these decisions tonight and that's what we have decided."

News later emerged that although Cash And Go and Captain Conan would remain intended runners, Darlan had also been pulled out of the Racing Post Hurdle after consultation with owner JP McManus.

"We have talked about it and I have confirmed Darlan will not run either," Henderson said. "They are all in great form, it's disappointing for everybody and it's disappointing for us, we were looking forward to seeing him them run.

"It's gone very soft, it's no-one's fault, it's been unseasonably wet and everything else.

"The Fighting Fifth (at Newcastle on December 1) in all probability would be the obvious thing to do with Darlan or the International or the Christmas Hurdle, but Binocular will be back for the Christmas Hurdle. We'll have to jig it around and it doesn't help I must admit.

"I think they would handle the ground but we don't need to do this on their first runs."


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