Sprinter Sacre Headlines 2013 Punchestown Festival
Equine superstar Sprinter Sacre is the headline act on the opening day of the 2013 Punchestown Festival and will take on four opponents in the Champion Chase.
The son of Network is undefeated this season and is currently available at Champion Chase odds of 1/7, in the betting market at Bet365, to win his tenth straight race.
Trainer Nicky Henderson knows he is asking a lot of the horse, to send him to his third festival in just over a month, but was excited to showcase him to the dedicated National Hunt fans in Ireland.
“We’ve always said we’d like to take him over to Ireland,” Henderson told The Guardian.
“He’s been to Cheltenham and he’s been to Aintree, it’s quite easy to say he’s not getting terribly hard races, but those Festivals take quite a bit out of horses, whatever happens.”
The going at Punchestown tomorrow is expected to be soft but the seven-year-old has proven this season that he can handle the heavy conditions.
“Earlier in the year Barry Geraghty was very worried when it was soft, but it didn’t bother the horse,” Henderson said.
Sprinter Sacre’s only real competition in the 2013 Punchestown Champion Chase is expected to come from last year’s winner Sizing Europe but even his trainer Henry de Bromhead said he would have preferred to avoid the equine sensation.
“Sprinter Sacre fairly put us away at Cheltenham but we just haven’t got the ground to step him [Sizing Europe] up in trip so we will stick to two miles and do right by the horse,” De Bromhead said.
Sizing Europe is currently on the second line of Champion Chase betting and is available at odds of 13/2 at Bet365.
The other Grade 1 races on the opening day of the Punchestown Festival are expected to be far more competitive.
The Herald Champion Novice Chase is an extremely open race with Champagne Fever (11/8), Jezki (13/8) and Rule The World (4/1) all legitimate winning chances while any of the eight horses in the Growise Champion Novice Chase field is good enough to win.
You can find the best Punchestown Festival odds at Bet365.