Sprinter Sacre impresses in Tingle triumph
Racing round-up:Sprinter Sacre ran out a hugely-impressive winner of the the Sportingbet Tingle Creek Chase on his seasonal bow at Sandown.
Nicky Henderson’s charge arrived unbeaten in five chase starts last term and he extended that run to six in the hands of Barry Geraghty.
Assuming control from the Pond Fence, the 4 to 11 favourite accelerated away to claim the Grade One prize by 15 lengths.
Much had been made of the showdown between Sprinter Sacre and the Paul Nicholls-trained Sanctuaire but it turned into a one-horse race on the day.
Ruby Walsh set out to make all aboard Sanctuaire and Sprinter Sacre was a little keen early on, pulling into second as the pair built up a healthy advantage over the rest of the field.
Geraghty soon had Sprinter Sacre lobbing along nicely in second and was happy to let Sanctuaire build up an eight-length lead early on before starting to reel him back in with the minimum of effort.
When he made his move, the response was immediate and Sprinter Sacre barely extended as he pulled away from the toiling Sanctuaire.
Two excellent leaps at the final couple of fences merely enhanced the distance and Sprinter Sacre was allowed to gallop home a comfortable wide-margin winner.
Sanctuaire paid for his early exploits as he was eventually caught for second by the fast-finishing Kumbeshwar.Aintree:Hello Bud rolled back the years to win the Betfred Becher Handicap Chase for a second time at Aintree, the highlight of a memorable 193 to 1 treble for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and his jockey son Sam.
As well as lifting the other race run over the Grand National fences with Little Josh, they also struck with Master Of The Sea. But it was 14-year-old Hello Bud (14 to 1), who took the plaudits with an emotional triumph for his connections.
Successful in 2010 and running in this race for a fourth time, the veteran answered his rider’s every call.
Join Together was clawing back the deficit with every stride from the elbow but was still a neck down at the line.
The winning jockey said: “He absolutely ran his heart out for me. He means everything to me. I just can’t tell you just how much I love his horse.
“He’s given us so much pleasure over the years. It’s such an emotional moment.”
While the matter has to be discussed, Twiston-Davies jnr believes it would be fitting for Hello Bud to retire on such a high note.
He said: “I think it was the perfect way for him to go out today and I’d like to think he’s finished. I know he can run in the National but it would be shame to keep dragging him on.
“I really hope that after I take him hunting on Christmas Eve, that will be it.”
Twiston-Davies became the first to train winners of all five races run over the National fences when Little Josh (7 to 2 favourite) landed the Betfred ‘Goals Galore’ Grand Sefton Handicap Chase.
In a war of attrition, Little Josh held Gansey by a length and three-quarters with both principals finishing very tired and only four completing the course.
Master Of The Sea (15 to 8 favourite) was the other winner for the Twiston-Davies team as he repelled the challenge of Bathwick Brave by a short head in the Betfred ‘Bonus King Bingo’ Novices’ Handicap Hurdle.
Wayward Prince (4-1) had his connections dreaming of a Gold Cup bid when scoring on his second outing for trainer Hilary Parrott in the Betfred Treble Odds On Lucky 15’s Chase.
The eight-year-old, who moved to the owner from Ian Williams this term, travelled superbly under Jack Doyle and forged two and a half lengths clear of Across The Bay.
L’Unique (15-8 favourite) looked a serious prospect for top honours in the juvenile division when she routed her rivals on her debut for Alan King in the Betfred The Bonus King Fillies’ Juvenile Hurdle.
Robert Thornton sent his mount to the front between the last two flights and the combination powered 12 lengths clear of Cockney Sparrow.
Ladbrokes were impressed by the display and introduced L’Unique into their Triumph Hurdle market at 20 to 1.
Buthelezi (4-1), a smart handicapper on the Flat for John Gosden, transferred that ability to the winter code with a stylish all-the-way triumph in the Betfred New “30 Minute Limit” Coupon Maiden Hurdle.
Now in the hands of John Ferguson, the four-year-old was never threatened as he came home seven lengths clear of Oscar Magic.
The Nicky Henderson-trained Bear’s Affair (3 to 1 favourite) made hacks of his rivals in the Betfred Mobile Lotto Handicap Hurdle as he trotted up by 10 lengths under Jerry McGrath.
Navan:Roi Du Mee led a treble for owners Gigginstown House Stud when supplementing two wins over fences with a neat victory over the smaller obstacles in the Proudstown Handicap Hurdle.
The seven-year-old was far too good for the opposition when giving 7lb claimer Jane Mangan an armchair ride.
Leading at the third-last flight, the 2 to 1 favourite overcame a mistake at the next and won as he liked by nine and a half lengths from Colbert Station.
Champion jockey Davy Russell was aboard Gigginstown’s other two winners, Un Atout and Rule The World.
Un Atout was cut to 16 to 1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle by Paddy Power after an effortless debut over timber in the Kells Maiden Hurdle.
A wide margin winner of his only bumper, the 1 to 2 favourite kicked clear of Fickle Fortune to win by four and three-quarter lengths.
Russell enjoyed a cosy win on the Mouse Morris-trained Rule The World in the Meath Novice Hurdle.
The 4 to 5 shot led two out and was not hard pushed to come home by four and a quarter lengths from Joncol, who gave his connections hope for a revival when staying on for second.