Fear factor a component in Sprinter Sacre chances


Nicky Henderson admits Sprinter Sacre is his one horse rivals fear going to Cheltenham.

The master of Seven Barrows has a strong team heading to the Festival in two weeks’ time but its the Racing Post Arkle favourite who is the shortest price with the bookmakers.

“He’s our one horse everyone is scared of, while in the other races there’s something I’m afraid of,” he said.

The trainer is wary that Sprinter Sacre’s form may not be as strong as his market position suggests but the clock gives him added confidence.

“Donald McCain says Peddlers Cross wasn’t right at Kempton, and I’d go along with that, while he beat a far-from-tuned-up French Opera at Newbury, so although you could say he hasn’t beaten anything yet, what has been amazing are his times,” he said.

Some pundits have questioned whether Sprinter Sacre will get up the hill next month having been passed by two rivals after leading at the last in the Supreme Novices’ in 2011.

However Henderson believes there are two reasons why it won’t be an issue this time around.

“He is much stronger horse this season than last, he was never going to be a hurdler and was weak last year. Secondly AP McCoy said after the Supreme Novices’ that he ought to have his wind done and we had that seen to, he’s a different horse this year,” he added.