Devastating Sacre justifies Frankel comparisons with Champion Chase triumph

Frank Dalleres
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JOCKEY Barry Geraghty insists Sprinter Sacre deserves his billing as “Frankel over fences” after an extraordinary 19-length triumph in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham yesterday.

The Nicky Henderson-trained seven-year-old lit up day two of the Festival and left runner-up Sizing Europe, himself a two-time Cheltenham winner, trailing with a devastating turn of pace.

“He is an unbelievable horse,” said Geraghty. “To beat Sizing Europe the way he did was remarkable. He was keen early on but settled down. I think the ‘Frankel of jump racing’ is a fair way to describe him.”

Sprinter Sacre, dubbed the Black Aeroplane, was the shortest priced Festival winner since 1966, having been sent off as the 1-4 favourite.

“He is scary,” said Henderson. “He has that aura about him and is totally and utterly unique. He finds it ridiculously easy; he just loves doing it.”

Trainer Willie Mullins’ remarkable week continued with two more wins, in the first and last races of the day, taking his total to five.

Jockey Ruby Walsh reprised his trio of Tuesday victories aboard Mullins charges with a 25-1 success in the Champion Bumper, while the trainer’s son Patrick rode Back In Focus to glory in the John Oaksey National Hunt Steeplechase.

Lord Windermere gave trainer Jim Culloty, whose place in Cheltenham folklore was assured with three consecutive Gold Cups aboard Best Mate, victory in the RSA Chase.