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Sacre and Sire De Grugy go head to head

Updated: Thursday, 26 Dec 2013 11:53 | Comments

Sprinter Sacre goes head to head with Sire De Grugy at Kempton
Sprinter Sacre goes head to head with Sire De Grugy at Kempton

Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy are to lock horns in a mouth-watering renewal of the williamhill.com Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton on Friday.

The highly-talented pair are among a field of six for the two-mile feature on the second day of William Hill Winter Festival.

Sprinter Sacre will bid to stretch his 100% record to 11 on his eagerly-awaited seasonal reappearance.

Nicky Henderson's Queen Mother Champion Chase winner has not been seen since taking his unbeaten run into double figures in the Boylesports.com Champion Chase at Punchestown in April.

Sire De Grugy, on the other hand, has already had three runs this term.

After impressing on his return at Chepstow in October, Gary Moore's stable star suffered defeat at the hands of the Henderson-trained Kid Cassidy at Cheltenham in November.

He put that reversal behind him when giving his trainer a first Grade One success in the Tingle Creek at Sandown three weeks ago.

Paul Nicholls is taking on the big two with Fago, who was a decent winner of a graduation chase at Haydock last month.

Completing the sextet are Colin Tizzard's consistent Oiseau De Nuit, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Astracad and Tataniano from Richard Rowe's yard.

Henderson is delighted to get Sprinter Sacre back in action, but he is far from expecting a walkover.

"He's in good form," he said.

When asked about facing such a talented and in-form rival as Sire De Grugy, the Seven Barrows trainer replied: "It maybe good for some people.

"It will be interesting and we will have to see what happens. It's his first run of the year and on soft ground, so it's going to be tough.

"It's good he's back on the track and it's very good of Kempton to put extra money into the race. It's much appreciated."

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