Sprinter Sacre Superb in Game Spirit Romp
1 Sprinter Sacre 2/5F
Sprinter Sacre advertised his Cheltenham Festival credentials in scintillating fashion in the Betfair Super Saturday Chase at Newbury.
Hot favourite for the Arkle Trophy, the Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old (2-5 favourite) put in an impeccable round of jumping under Barry Geraghty and coasted up the run-in with his rivals toiling behind in the race better known as the Game Spirit.
The only minor concern for the winner's connections was that he refused to settle and pulled himself to the front early in the back straight, but he was a class apart and it didn't matter at all as he beat stablemate French Opera by six lengths.
Geraghty said: "I'm not sure I've ever ridden anything like that - he's electric. He has scope and travels and when he popped the last it was a relief that he was thinking that way. He jumped so well - he's an unbelievable horse.
"You can never take anything for granted and Cheltenham is a different place. He'd want to switch off as well.
"He popped the last down the back and he was good and clever at the last. The main thing I wanted from today was that he went and popped, rather than being flash."
Henderson added: "The idea was to try and hold him up, but when he jumped past French Opera in the air he was going too well.
"Remittance Man (1991 Arkle winner) was very similar, but he was wiry, whereas this is a lovely looking horse. He's probably got more gears than Remittance Man, too. It's scary what he can do."
Betfred go 11-8 from 9-4 for the Arkle, with Peddlers Cross now a 7-2 chance.
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