SPRINTER SACRE - Return of the Champion by Joanna Stribbling
SPRINTER SACRE - Return of the Champion, Cheltenham
by Joanna Stribbling
Image size: 20" x 14"
Limited Edition of only 250 prints worldwide
Each print is individually checked, numbered and signed by the artist and Jockey Nico De Boinville
This Limited Edition Print has been printed with lightfast inks on acid-free, high grade board from environmentally conscious paper suppliers.
Print only price: £110.00
Framed price: £175.00
Sprinter Sacre (foaled 23 April 2006), is a French-bred, British-trained Selle Francais racehorse. He currently has the third highest ever Timeform steeplechase rating of 192p, behind only Arkle on 212 and Flyingbolt on 210 as their highest in the modern era.
After being imported from France, Sprinter Sacre won two National Hunt flat races in 2010 and two hurdle races in 2011. In the 2011/2012 National Hunt season he was campaigned in Novice steeplechases and was unbeaten in five races including the Wayward Lad Novices' Chase, Game Spirit Chase, Arkle Challenge Trophy and Maghull Novices' Chase. In the following season he proved himself an outstanding two-mile chaser, recording emphatic wins in the Tingle Creek Chase, Victor Chandler Chase, Queen Mother Champion Chase, Melling Chase and Punchestown Champion Chase.
Sprinter Sacre then suffered from a series of health and injury problems and failed to win in the next two seasons, during which he made only four racecourse appearances. In the 2015/16 season, he made a return to form and was unbeaten in four chases. He won the Shloer Chase and the Desert Orchid Chase before taking a second Queen Mother Champion Chase and then ended his season with a victory in the Celebration Chase.
On 16 March 2016, Sprinter Sacre contested his third Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He started the 5/1 second favourite behind the Irish-trained Un de Sceaux, whilst the other eight runners included Dodging Bullets, Sire de Grugy, Felix Yonger (Punchestown Champion Chase), Special Tiara, and Somersby. Special Tiara and Un de Sceaux set a very fast pace with Nico de Boinville settling Sprinter Sacre behind the leaders. Despite a mistake three fences from home, Sprinter Sacre made rapid progress to take the lead approaching the second last and quickly went several lengths clear. He stayed on up the run-in to win the race by three and a half lengths and a nose from Un de Sceaux and Special Tiara. Commenting on the ten-year-old's return to form, Henderson said, "He’s just been so feisty and aggressive all season... I’ve been looking at him every night for the last three weeks and I just knew that it was still there, and his whole body said that it was. It’s just talent, isn’t it?"