Sprinter Sacre Extends Winning Streak in Champion Chase
Sprinter Sacre has extended his winning streak to ten straight victories with a strong performance in the Punchestown Champion Chase.
Although he never looked like getting beaten the equine superstar had to work hard to record his third Grade 1 festival victory in just over a month and the five and a half-length victory from Sizing Europe was the least impressive of his jumps racing career.
Jockey Barry Geraghty said he knew that Sprinter Sacre was going to struggle to unleash his trademark acceleration.
“I knew from four out it was not going to be easy,” Geraghty said.
“They went a good gallop, it was a good test of stamina and he doesn’t lack in that department but he didn’t land racing as well at the second last.”
Trainer Nicky Henderson said he was delighted to showcase the equine superstar to the people of Ireland.
“To see people appreciate a horse so much, it was brilliant,” Henderson said.
“It is the best that I have ever had.
“It’s very hard to do the three festivals, but we wanted to come to Ireland and I’m just relieved and delighted it’s worked out.”
In the Herald Champion Novice Hurdle Jessica Harrington-trained Jezki made amends for his disappointing Cheltenham Festival performance to give Geraghty his second Grade 1 winner of the day.
Jezki produced a career best performance to score by sixteen lengths from Ted Veale and Champagne Fever.
Harrington said the honest pace of the race was perfect for the son of Milan.
“I was delighted that they went such a gallop because it helped him settle and after the second flight he jumped brilliantly and just accelerated past them,” Harrington said.
Mount Benbulben produced the upset of the day to win the Grade 1 Growise Champion Novice Chase by twenty-two lengths.
Trainer Danny Mullins was delighted that the eight-year-old had finally overcome his jumping woes.
“I think the fact he didn’t go to Cheltenham meant he came here fresher than the others and the longer trip and therefore slower pace meant he was able to really get into a rhythm with his jumping,” Mullins said.
The second day of the Punchestown Festival takes place today and is headline by the Punchestown Gold Cup.
You can find the best Punchestown Gold Cup odds at Bet365.
- Read more news on: Barry Geraghty, Champagne Fever, Cheltenham Festival, Danny Mullins, Growise Champion Novice Chase, Herald Champion Novice Hurdle, Jessica Harrington, Jezki, Milan, Mount Benbulben, Nicky Henderson, Punchestown Champion Chase, Punchestown Gold Cup, Sizing Europe, Sprinter Sacre, Ted Veale