Sacre scares away Cheltenham rivals

  • Last Updated: November 13 2012, 13:46 GMT

Star steeplechaser Sprinter Sacre is likely to face only minimal opposition as he bids to maintain his unbeaten record over fences at Cheltenham this Sunday.

Sprinter Sacre produces another flawless leap on his way to success

With trainer Nicky Henderson having long made clear his plans to run in the Shloer Chase, Sprinter Sacre's presence has frightened off a number of potential rivals and despite the race having been re-offered for a further 24 hours until Tuesday morning, only seven rivals have been entered for the two-mile chase.

Wishfull Thinking endured a rollercoaster campaign last season, but his second to Finian's Rainbow in the Melling Chase confirmed him a smart performer on his day.

He heads the possible challengers to Sprinter Sacre, along with the Paul Nicholls-trained Doeslessthanme.

However the likes of Lancetto, Imperial Shabra, Falcon Island, Finch Flyer and redoubtable veteran Kinkeel - rated 98lb inferior to the favourite on official ratings - are unlikely to cause Henderson too many sleepless nights.

With Henderson's team moving up a gear this weekend, the trainer is also likely to saddle the favourite for the other re-offered race on Sunday, the Racing Post Arkle Trial Novices' Chase, having declared Captain Conan for the race.

Rebel Rebellion, His Excellency and Third Intention are among the likely rivals.

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