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Sprinter Sacre may not be turning up, but every cloud has a silver lining and the withdrawal of the chasing superstar has opened up the race.
Instead of watching the 1/10 shot jump round Sandown unchallenged, it’s now any body’s game and punters have been lining up their bets all week in the build-up to the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
Trainer Nicky Henderson has had to withdraw the brilliant Sprinter Sacre out of Saturday’s clash after a dirty tracheal wash earlier in the week and his results are still not 100%, leaving the champion trainer to take the reluctant course of not declaring his stable star.
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Henderson said: “We’ve taken the decision not to run. We’ve re-tested him and just got the results back. Having spoken to all the vets possible and his owner, Caroline Mould, we’ve decided not to go.
His figures have improved quite dramatically since Monday but there was just one figure that was causing us concern.”
Although this is a blow for all racing fans, connections of all the other entries now have a fantastic chance to land the prestigious chasing prize.
Shrewd punters are of the opinion at this stage that most likely winner of the race will come from one of the three of Captain Conan, who is a 5/2 shot, Sire De Grugy, who trades at the same price and the 11/4 Somersby. Bookmakers are reporting a huge splattering of money on all three horses and the battle for favouritism will be a key clash to stay tuned into ahead of the race.
The way it’s going, we could have joint favourites at the off.
If you’re looking at course form and stable form, the horse for the money should be Sire De Grugy. His trainer Gary Moore is in flying form, saddling two winners at Sandown on Friday and his stable star won the Grade Two bet365.com Celebration Chase over the course and distance last season. He ticks a lot of boxes.
Captain Conan hails from the same yard as Sprinter Sacre but doesn’t possess the showboating skills of his teammate.
He’s more of a methodical jumper and his finishing effort in the Jewson Novices Chase at Cheltenham last season makes us worried about his capabilities of winning races at the top level. At the prices, we’ll be sticking with recent form and lumping the cash down on Sire De Grugy.