Sprinter team lean towards Aintree

Owner Caroline Mould admits it is a “huge possibility” Sprinter Sacre could step up in trip at Aintree for his next run.

Trainer Nicky Henderson revealed last week connections were considering the two-and-a-half-mile Melling Chase as a serious option for the incredible Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, but no firm decision has been made on whether he will head for Merseyside.

The Boylesports.com Champion Chase at Punchestown over two miles on April 23 and the Celebration Chase at Sandown on April 27 remain the other options.

“If he did go to Aintree it’s a pretty flat course and would probably be the equivalent of his two miles at Cheltenham,” Mould said.

“Nothing’s set in stone. I will be speaking to Nicky but we would all be tempted to see what happens if he ran over a bit further.

“Aintree? I’m up for it. Nothing’s set in stone, but it looks like the direction we are heading in.

“Obviously it is a joint decision. It’s Nicky, Barry (Geraghty) and David Minton (bloodstock agent) who are in the circle making the call. I’d be happy for him to run at Aintree because I worry about the travelling, but I’ve not been to Punchestown so I’d be quite happy to do that.

“I honestly don’t know at the moment, but it looks like we’re heading towards Aintree.

“He’s public property suddenly and everyone has there penny’s worth and I’m open to suggestions.

“Aintree is a huge possibility.”

Meanwhile Philip Hobbs reports Captain Chris to be on course for the Punchestown Gold Cup following his run at the Cheltenham Festival.

The Minehead trainer is targeting Diana Whateley’s gelding at the valuable chase over three miles and one furlong on April 24 as he seeks to win for a third time at the highest level.

The King George VI Chase runner-up was sixth to Bobs Worth in the Betfred Gold Cup last week but he is better suited going right handed. The nine-year-old is a past winner at the Punchestown Festival, landing the Ryanair Novice Chase in 2011. His other Grade One success came in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham earlier that spring.

“He’s absolutely fine and if all goes well he’ll be on his way to Punchestown,” said Hobbs.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox