Sprinter Sacre’s Newbury victory last week has continued to impress punters with the horse now backed into 1/1 in the Cheltenham odds to win the Arkle Chase.
The novice chaser made it three wins from three when breaking the course record at Newbury despite the ground being good to soft and jockey Barry Geraghty hardly needing to shake the reins throughout.
Some punters still seem keen to take Sprinter Sacre on, using his failure to stay up the hill on his only previous visit to Cheltenham as the reason.
However, there is certainly the belief that on that day in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle that jockey Tony McCoy may have restrained the horse for too long and would have been better allowing him to hit the front sooner.
Geraghty is doing this and the horse certainly seems the fastest, both on the flat and at clearing the obstacles, in comparison to the other leading Arkle contenders.
Therefore, not only is the horse better suited to chasing than hurdling, but he has grown significantly in the past year and appears to have fully benefited from a breathing operation.
The only real doubt for Cheltenham could be an unwanted slow pace, which will see Sprinter Sacre pull immensely again.
But with Peddlers Cross and more so Al Ferof better stayers than speedsters, they will surely want to go quicker, utilise their stamina and attempt to run a finish out of Sprinter Sacre again.
Although novice chases often see some horses overhyped, Sprinter Sacre looks a future superstar and the National Hunt equivalent of the mighty Frankel seen last year dominating everything in its path on the Flat.
Of the other runners, Al Ferof looks the better bet at 4/1 than Peddlers Cross at ? given the quality of the opposition he has faced over fences to date.