Nicky Henderson still undecided about Sprinter Sacre’s next outing

Nicky Henderson is in no rush to make what he describes as a “very difficult decision” as to whether to let Sprinter Sacre line up in the Bet365 AP McCoy Celebration Chase at Sandown later this month.

Nicky Henderson still undecided about Sprinter Sacre’s next outing

One of the must stunning chasers of the modern era at his peak, the nine-year-old looked a shadow of his former self when pulling up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at last month’s Cheltenham Festival to leave many questioning whether retirement could be on the cards.

However, the arrival of spring has brought fresh optimism to Seven Barrows, with Sprinter Sacre’s well being forcing connections to seriously consider letting him turn out on the final day of the season.

Also pencilled in for the National Hunt finale is 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth, who disappointed in this season’s renewal of the blue riband, but could look to bounce back in the Bet365 Gold Cup on April 25.

Henderson said: “It is only really an idea at this stage and he will only be going there (Sandown) if we’re very happy with him (Sprinter Sacre).

“We still have two and a half weeks to go, but I have to say he really has bloomed since Cheltenham and looks a million dollars.

“It is the same thing with Bobs Worth. He hasn’t looked as well as he does now for an awful long time, so I’m not sure there’s much point throwing the two of them out in the field and wondering what we’re going to do with them next season.

“Whatever we do, it’s going to be a very difficult and brave decision.

“There are two sides to every coin and I’m sure I’ll be getting a lot of advice from a lot of people – some saying we should go to Sandown with Sprinter and others saying we shouldn’t. I’m well aware of that.

“This isn’t about going for prize-money, it’s all about what is in the best interests of the horse and his long-term future.

“If we are going to run him again (this season), there is only one opportunity to do so and the horse will tell me whether he wants to do it or not. At the moment, the vibes are good. If he tells me he wants to go to Sandown he will and if he tells me he doesn’t he won’t.

“The horse will make the final decision. Whether he makes the right decision or not is another thing!

“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs and Cheltenham was disappointing, but we found one or two little issues and at the moment, we have reasons to be optimistic.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

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