Nicky Henderson in no rush to commit Sprinter Sacre to Tingle Creek

Nicky Henderson has confirmed Sprinter Sacre’s main target will be to try to regain his Queen Mother Champion Chase crown.

Nicky Henderson in no rush to commit Sprinter Sacre to Tingle Creek

The Seven Barrows trainer will “work backwards” from the two-mile championship, which Sprinter Sacre won in 2013 before suffering well-documented heart and back problems.

As a result, Henderson is no immediate hurry to decide whether Sprinter Sacre runs in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on December 5, where he could face stablemate Simonsig, following his return to winning ways with a 14-length win over Somersby in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham on Sunday.

“The Tingle Creek is not very far away, so I’d like to sit on that one. It’s the obvious place to go, but it doesn’t mean we have to,” said Henderson.

“We’ll work backwards. There’s one race we really want to go for (Champion Chase) — we want to be there in March.

“He’ll tell us where we are. There’s him and Simonsig, but that doesn’t matter.

“They are two-mile chasers and the Tingle Creek is where you have to go.

“I just think with Sprinter, we will have to see.

“It’s the obvious race to go for in the near future, but it depends how near we need to go.”

Henderson reflected on the incredible scenes at Cheltenham following Sprinter Sacre’s first victory since the Boylesports.com Champion Chase at Punchestown in April 2013.

“We knew it was emotional, the place was emotional. It was amazing,” he said.

“What happened there was very much appreciated by us because it’s been a long old haul.

“He was perky (yesterday morning) when we went to see him in his box.

“There’s improvement to come, I’m sure, and there’s a long way to go.

“We’ve been happy and it was nice to see him do what we thought he could do.

“The atmosphere and what everybody said was fantastic. It made it all worthwhile.”

Meanwhile, More Of That is in line to return to Cheltenham next month after delighting connections on his fencing debut at the course last week.

Winner of the 2014 Ladbrokes World Hurdle, the Jonjo O’Neill-trained seven-year-old lost his unbeaten record last November when only third in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.

He had been off the track since then, but came back in style and is favourite for the RSA Chase in March.

O’Neill said: “More Of That could has come out of the race fine and he may come back to Cheltenham in December.

“It was great to see him come back as I had been delighted with him at home, but until I ran him on the track, I didn’t know if his wind operation had worked.

“His breathing didn’t seem to trouble him and Barry (Geraghty) said that he didn’t make any noise.”

O’Neill is set to unleash another smart fencing prospect at Haydock on Friday in the shape of Minella Rocco, who is set to contest a novice chase rather than the Fixed Brush Hurdle the following day, for which he is favourite.

The Jackdaws Castle handler said: “Minella Rocco will go over fences at Haydock on Friday for the two-mile-five-furlong novice chase, provided the ground is not bottomless. That’s the plan.

“Early on in the season he had a touch of colic and when they get colic you are always worried, but the team have done a great job with him and he seems fine. He is ready to go.”

O’Neill also had news of Grand National stalwart Shutthefrontdoor, who put in a pleasing performance over hurdles at Aintree on his seasonal reappearance. He said: “Shutthefrontdoor will go back to Aintree in December for the three-mile Listed chase that Holywell ran in last season.”

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