Super Sacre lights up Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham Racecourse
The brilliant Sprinter Sacre took Festival Trials Day by storm at Cheltenham Racecourse today with yet another sensational victory.
Jumping well and travelling with purpose under Barry Geraghty, he hardly broke sweat to rack up his seventh victory in a row over fences in the Victor Chandler Chase for owners Raymond and Caroline Mould from Gloucestershire.
The 14-length victory over Nigel Twiston-Davies' outsider Mad Moose consolidated Sprinter Sacre's position as jump racing's biggest box-office attraction and as red-hot favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Festival in March.
Sprinter Sacre's trainer Nicky Henderson said: "We were worried about the heavy ground but he looked as good as ever."
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Henderson said Rolling Star will almost certainly run in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Festival after he made a winning debut for the trainer in the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial.
After seeing the youngster gain a smooth win under Barry Geraghty, Henderson said: "He's a lovely horse, he has a great temperament and a great attitude and he always does his work well."
Henderson took second spot in the Rewards4Racing Cleeve Hurdle with Oscar Whisky, whose late charge under Geraghty wasn't enough to deny Reve De Sivola, trained by Ian Williams and ridden by Richard Johnson.
Twiston-Davies' 2010 Gold Cup winner Imperial Commander suffered a narrow defeat by Cape Tribulation in the Argento Chase on his first run for nearly two years.
Paddy Brennan's mount was out in front for a long way but, despite a heroic effort, was just overhauled by the winner, ridden by Denis O'Regan, on the run-in.
Twiston-Davies had to settle for second place again when his rising star The New One lost his unbeaten record to At Fishers Cross, ridden by AP McCoy, in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.
McCoy went completed a double aboard Mr Watson, trained in Temple Guiting by Jonjo O'Neill, in the Steel Plate and Sections Handicap Hurdle.
Vino Griego gained a commanding success under Jamie Moore in the Timeform Novices' Handicap Chase to set up a possible date at the Festival.
After being coaxed into contention, Vino Griego shot clear in the home straight to win by 19 lengths in absence of the jockey's trainer dad Gary, who was attending the FA Cup tie between Arsenal and Brighton and Hove Albion.
Jamie Moore said: "We thought he had a chance today and I took my time a bit more, so maybe that's the way to ride him."
Trainer Venetia Williams said Katenko could run in the Gold Cup following his easy victory under Aidan Coleman in the Murphy Group Chase, won last year by subsequent Gold Cup runner-up The Giant Bolster.