• Racing/
  • So Easy For Sprinter Sacre

Victor Chandler Chase (Registered As The Clarence House Chase) (Grade 1) 2m 110y

  • (5yo+, 2m 110y, Class 1, 7 runners)
  • Winner £39,389 2nd £14,840 3rd £7,427 4th £3,710 5th £1,862 6th £931 7th £462 8th £238
  • Going: Heavy, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 32.80s
  • Off time: 13:51:13
  • Last Updated: January 26 2013, 14:58 GMT

Sprinter Sacre outclassed the opposition once again when taking the rearranged Grade One Victor Chandler Chase at Cheltenham.

Sprinter Sacre: A facile winner of the Victor Chandler Chase
Sprinter Sacre: A facile winner of the Victor Chandler Chase

Nicky Henderson's hugely exciting chaser was sent off at the prohibitive price of 1/5 and those who took the odds never had a moment's worry as he made it seven from seven over fences.

Mad Moose was kicked into an early advantage of around 20 lengths, with Sanctuaire anchored in rear, but the favourite had smoothly closed the gap as the field went out into the country.

Jumping well throughout, the Queen Mother Champion Chase favourite freewheeled down the hill to open up a lead of around eight lengths.

Barry Geraghty was keen to hold onto him, however, and the chasing pack, led by Somersby, were only about five lengths adrift at the second last but the favourite was foot-perfect at that obstacle and the last.

Geraghty let out an inch of rein having jumped the last and he fairly sprinted clear, still on the bridle, to score by 14 lengths from the rallying Mad Moose.

Geraghty said: "He's so natural, he's one of the most natural I've ridden. I was afraid of the ground and didn't think it would suit him as well. He was very relaxed today, he jumped brilliant and I never had a moment's concern. He was very good.

"He coped with that (heavy) ground so well. I've not sat on him since the Tingle creek and when I got up on him in the parade ring I remembered why I love him so much. He's just unbelievable to get on.

"It's so easy for him, he travelled so easy, he jumped so well. He's all class."

Henderson said: "I'm glad it's over. I had reservations about running, but we had to run. Barry was worried about the ground, I was worried he was a bit fresh.

"He can handle any ground, I think, and that's what a good horse should be able to do. I said to Barry before the race if you do make five lengths in the air then there is point giving it back.

"Barry's confidence in him is unbelievable. He knows you can jump anything with him. He's such a gorgeous horse to look at, you would think he would be something special. He knows he is special and I suppose we are all starting to believe he might be."

Sprinter Sacre is now expected to head straight for the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March, for which he is 2-7 favourite with Sky Bet.

Henderson said: "It is a shame to be going to Cheltenham as his third run of the season, but that's the sort of season it's been. Aintree is two and a half (miles) which opens Punchestown.

"He's all speed, I'm not saying he wouldn't go two and a half at Aintree but we'll have to see."

Nigel Twiston-Davies said of Mad Moose: "He was given 25 lengths at the start and that makes a difference, but he does stay well and I thought that was a good run."

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