Latest Racing News – 16th November 2015

The Return of Sprinter Sacre to Winning Ways

Sprinter Sacre won his first race in 18 months with victory at Cheltenham on Sunday. The former champion chaser recorded an impressive 14 length victory in the Shloer Chase. This comes after he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat, which kept him out all of last year.

But, after two second placed finishes this year, the nine-year-old went in front at the forth last, and surged to a great win with jockey Nico De Bionville. Trainer Nicky Henderson was clearly proud, after Sprinter Sacre rewarded his faith. “He’s taken to us to some amazing places over the years, but probably nothing anywhere like that was today,” he said. “It had to happen or otherwise the doubters would have been winning the argument and we had to come and do something.” Sprinter Sacre was the darling of punters betting at the Cheltenham Festival in both 2012 (when he won the Arkle) and 2013 (when he stormed to victory in the Queen Mother Champion Chase), and many racegoers will be excited at the prospect of his return to winning ways.

Saturday at Cheltenham saw jockeys wearing French flags on their sleeves as they paid tribute to those who died in the previous night’s horrendous attacks in Paris. It was one of a number of touching gestures around the world, as sport stood united behind the French people.

The highlight of Saturday at Cheltenham was probably the unveiling of the new stand, as their new £45 million development to the course was officially opened. The new 7,000 seat grandstand, named after the Princess Royal, watched on in the Paddy Power Gold Cup as Annacotty took victory. The 12/1 shot made the perfect start under new trainer Alan King, and it gave injury plagued jockey Ian Popham a huge boost.

Finally, Punchestown on Saturday saw big favourite Faugheen’s unbeaten run ended, as he finished second to stablemate Nichols Canyon. Despite being priced at 1/6 with the bookies heading in to the Morgiana Hurdle, but he couldn’t live up to the hype. Trainer Willie Mullins seemed disappointed with the favourite after the race, but he’ll also be glad of his shock winner.