Nick Wilby shares his tips ahead of the Arkle Trophy at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival.
One of the highlights on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival is the Arkle Trophy with plenty of action for racing fans desperate to see Nicky Henderson’s sensational SPRINTER SACRE
(10/11, Paddy Power
) in action.
The market leader has always been highly regarded by his trainer and since he finished third in last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the six-year-old has taken the chasing game by storm.
With three victories over the larger obstacles under his belt, Sprinter Sacre looks an absolute freak and it is difficult to remember a horse that has attracted so much attention so early on in their chasing career.
Jockey Barry Geraghty has already described the horse as the best he has ever sat on and it isn’t hard to see why so many people are excited about the superstar. After a twenty-four length success on his chasing debut, Sprinter Sacre then gave Jewson Novices’ Chase favourite Peddlers Cross a sixteen length hammering in an incredible display of power-packed jumping in the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase at Kempton.
He was immediately sent to Arkle favouritism and further enhanced his reputation with a facile success in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury last time out. After getting somewhat warm in the preliminaries, he pulled himself to the front of affairs at a very early stage. Those looking to lay the horse will look to this as a possible negative, but he looked totally in control throughout the contest and he was remarkably clever at all of his fences.
There are also doubts surrounding his ability to get up the hill after he faded in last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but he looks older and more mature this year and it is difficult to see anything being able to live with a horse that looks set for much greater things.
Punters that do want to take him on, can do it with Paddy Power who will refund all losing bets on the race if Sprinter Sacre wins. With the likes of Al Ferof (5/2, Blue Square
) and Cue Card (6/1, bet365
) this will be a promotion that makes plenty of appeal to those looking to oppose the exciting market leader.
Nick Wilby’s selection
– Sprinter Sacre
10/11, Paddy Power
(Anyone betting on the Arkle at Paddy Power
can get their money back on losing bets if Sprinter Sacre wins)