Sanctuaire poised for Kempton return
Sanctuaire could aim to get back on the winning trail in the williamhill.com Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton on December 27.
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The Paul Nicholls-trained six-year-old was expected to give Sprinter Sacre his biggest test to date over fences in an eagerly-anticipated clash at Sandown earlier this month, but having set a scorching gallop, he was easily picked off by Nicky Henderson's stable star and his early exertions eventually cost him the runner-up spot.
Nicholls feels his charge may be a better horse in the spring, but could let him line up at Kempton over Christmas if conditions are in his favour.
"He obviously got murdered by Sprinter Sacre the other day at Sandown. He's a funny horse and I was looking at his record the other day and he's always been a bit better horse in the spring," Nicholls told Betfair.
"I wouldn't be surprised if his form improved a little bit in the spring and with his style of running a couple of runs might get him fitter.
"I'm going to look at the Desert Orchid with him, have a look what's in it and look at the ground.
"If the ground is decent we could run him, but I don't want to bottom him on really desperate ground again."