Maghull Novices’ Chase Saturday 14th April 2012 

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Sprinter Sacre Trounces Maghull Rivals

1 Sprinter Sacre 1/7F
2 Toubab 10/1
3 Kudu Country 25/1
4 ran Distances: 13l, 36l, 7l
TIME 3m 55.30s (slow by 6.30s)

The outstanding Sprinter Sacre justified 1/7 favouritism to win the Grade One John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase with great ease.

Sprinter Sacre
© Racehorse Photos

Finian's Rainbow

The winner completed a 2.45/1 double for trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Barry Geraghty.

“He has been amazing all season but you are is getting to the stage now where anything but perfection doesn’t do,” said Henderson. “I think he is spectacular and it is a joy to watch when it is over. I said to (owner) Caroline (Mould) before that it has been fun until now but it’s not fun anymore - it’s frightening. You have come to expect to see frankly what we have seen him do again. It’s frightening.

“He is growing up all of the time and he can get stronger. He is getting very sensible but his scope and his whole swagger is just quite extraordinary. I thought that Finian’s Rainbow was pretty good yesterday but this horse has this aura about him and we have always said that he knows that he is very good looking.

“Just because they are beautiful doesn’t make them the best horses - it should do but it doesn’t always apply. Here it just does - everything fits everywhere and he has the athleticism and the attitude. I think that attitude has a lot do with it and there don’t seem to be any flaws in him.

“The joy with him is that along with his looks, ability and athleticism he has a great temperament to go with it as well.”

Asked about a possible clash with stablemate Finian’s Rainbow, winner of Friday’s John Smith’s Melling Chase, Henderson added: “We’ve got to think about what we do but we don’t need to rush into any decision at the moment.

“Sprinter Sacre has to stay at two miles, I can’t see how he can go further. You can’t try to stop him and there’s no point.

“Finian’s Rainbow does have more scope to go further but if they have to take each other on then so be it. There’s not an abundance of two-mile races.

“We don’t even have to think about whether he is better than Finian’s Rainbow at the moment. We have a long summer when the horses can relax and we can dream.”


Starting Price
Beaten Distance
Sprinter Sacre
N J Henderson
B J Geraghty
11st 4lbs
1 - 7
P F Nicholls
R Walsh
11st 4lbs
10 - 1
13 lengths
Kudu Country
T P Tate
J Reveley
11st 4lbs
25 - 1
36 lengths
Australia Day
P R Webber
D F O'Regan
11st 4lbs
14 - 1
7 lengths



Sprinter Sacre made it five from five over fences with a scintillating performance in the Grade One John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase over two miles. His regular partner Barry Geraghty was full of praise for the six-year-old, who sauntered home for a 13-length success.

Geraghty said: “I just said to Nicky (Henderson) that Sprinter Sacre is frighteningly good. Every jump is like a bungy jump. I have never ridden a horse with so much scope.

“Time will tell if he is better than Moscow Flyer, but the way he jumped and travelled down the back; I don’t think I have ever ridden a horse that jumps and travels like he does, time will tell, but hopefully he can be the best.”




Confidence building was the object of the exercise for Toubab in the John Smith’s Maghull Novices’ Chase after the grey was brought down in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham and a positive round with just one hiccup at the second-last was mission accomplished, as he finished runner-up to Sprinter Sacre.

Nick Hitchings, representing his father Clive, who owns the six-year-old son of Martaline, said: “Obviously after being brought down at Cheltenham we were just hoping for a clear round and a small field here was ideal for him to boost his confidence.

“It’s no disgrace to finish second to a horse like Sprinter Sacre and Ruby [Walsh] said he was going very well. He hit the second-last and from then on there was only ever going to be one winner but he’s home safely and that’s the most important thing.

“We’ll hopefully get one more run into him before the end of the season, we’ll wait and see where Paul [Nicholls] wants to run him.”

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