herald

Friday 31 October 2014

Sprinter put in Chandler frame

SPRINTER Sacre is the stand-out name among just 13 entries for the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot on January 19.

Nicky Henderson's superstar appears to have scared off plenty of rivals, which is hardly surprising given the way he strolled to victory on his seasonal return in the Tingle Creek Chase.

Sizing Europe has not been entered by Henry de Bromhead but his stablemate Days Hotel has been given the option.

A smart novice, he returned from a lengthy absence to win the Hilly Way Chase on his return.

Another smart Irish entry is Robbie Hennessy's Rubi Light, who gave Sizing Europe a fright over Christmas.

Last year's winner, Somersby, could have his first start for Mick Channon while Sanctuaire could lock horns with Sprinter Sacre again.

William's Wishes, Wishfull Thinking, Dan Breen and Kumbeshwar are also in the mix.

the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on February 9 is the probable next engagement for Jezki following his impressive victory at the Dublin track over Christmas.

The Jessica Harrington-trained five-year-old cemented his claims as a leading contender for honours at the Cheltenham Festival when he defeated Waaheb by five lengths in the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle for his second consecutive Grade One triumph.

"To say we are all delighted with Jezki's performance in the Grade One Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle would be an understatement," the Co Kildare handler told her official website, www.jessicaharringtonracing.com.

"I was absolutely thrilled. He won more impressively here than he did in Fairyhouse and he never even came off the bridle. Probably the slightly better ground helped him and he just loves going left-handed, he's definitely better left-handed.

"The better the ground, the better for him. "Robbie (Power) was also delighted and believed that that's the best ground he's had all year and that's the best performance he's put up all year.

"Cheltenham is the plan and we need to get him there in one piece.

"He will probably take in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle on his way there.

"His future definitely looks bright."

Sandown's Tolworth Hurdle meeting on Saturday looks like beating the elements.

Having been unraceable in recent days, the Esher venue was just about fit for action yesterday.

With a dry forecast for the rest of the week, clerk of the course Andrew Cooper was optimistic, stating he feels the signs are good.

He said: "With a bit of imagination in terms of rail movement I'm sure we could find a complete circuit.

"It's desperately soft in places but just about okay, but we've dropped the references to 'unraceable' and 'standing water' from our official report.

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