/ Racing

'Irregular heartbeat' for Sprinter Sacre

Updated: Friday, 27 Dec 2013 16:07 | Comments

Barry Geraghty with Sprinter Sacre after pulling up in The williamhill.com Desert Orchid Steeple Chase
Barry Geraghty with Sprinter Sacre after pulling up in The williamhill.com Desert Orchid Steeple Chase

Sprinter Sacre was found to be suffering from an irregular heartbeat after being pulled up on his comeback in the williamhill.com Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton won by Sire De Grugy.

Trainer Nicky Henderson had been forced to skip the Tingle Creek with the highest-rated jumps horse in training due to an unsatisfactory scope and this Grade Two was suddenly the focus of his attentions.

Slightly awkward at a couple of his early fences, Barry Geraghty pulled him up after jumping the seventh fence but remained on board as he trotted back.

Sire De Grugy, who won the Tingle Creek, was not that hard pressed to beat Oiseau De Nuit by four lengths.

The eventual winner was sent off at 4-1 to reward Gary Moore for his decision to take on Sprinter Sacre.

Henderson said of the 2-9 favourite: "They (vets) listened to him when he pulled him up and when he came back in, and there is an irregular heartbeat there.

"He landed on the back of the fence and Barry said he was empty.

"He was looking great, he jumped the first very well and his work was unbelievable

"He is going to have to go for dope tests and then they will scope him and hopefully we will know more later."

Moore said: "I'm over the moon for the horse and the owners, and especially Jamie (Moore, son and rider), but it's just a shame he had to do it that way but it's not his fault the other horse has gone wrong.

"I can enjoy it, but it has probably taken a bit of gloss off.

"That was a messy race, they went off fast then the pacemaker dropped out. He'd be better in a bigger field, covered up, and then you'd see his true potential.

"I said to Jamie to ride him for speed today, but he hasn't been able to.

"If ever we were going to take Sprinter Sacre on, today was going to be the day.

"I hope he has not had too hard a race as I want to take him on to the Clarence House Chase at Ascot (January 18).

"As far as I am concerned, Cheltenham (Queen Mother Champion Chase) is not the be-all and end-all."

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