Harrington impressed with new star Sprinter Sacre

Thu, Dec 13, 2012, 00:00

Jessica Harrington feels it is difficult to compare her legendary chaser Moscow Flyer with star of the moment Sprinter Sacre.

Moscow Flyer was one of the most popular Irish-trained horses of the last decade having won the Queen Mother Champion Chase twice at the Cheltenham Festival, bringing the house down when regaining his crown as an 11-year-old in 2005.

He also won the Arkle Trophy and two Tingle Creeks under Barry Geraghty during a stellar career and is rightly regarded as one of the top two milers of all-time.

Last season’s Arkle hero Sprinter Sacre maintained his unbeaten record over fences at the weekend with a breathtaking display in the Tingle Creek, with Geraghty suggesting afterwards he was perhaps the most naturally-gifted horse he had ever ridden.

Harrington is unsurprisingly impressed with what she has seen from Nicky Henderson’s giant gelding. “I think he’s very special. He can only beat what’s put in front of him and he’s done that comprehensively since he went over fences,” Harrington told At The Races.

“He seems a very good jumper and he’s a fine big horse. He’s ticking all the boxes and probably is better than Moscow, but Moscow did it over hurdles and over fences and moved up to two and a half miles. It’s hard to compare like with like, but I think Barry is a very lucky young man to have sat on two such good two-mile chasers.”

Champion point-to-point rider Derek O’Connor has been provisionally booked to ride Rival D’Estruval in the National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Trained by Pauline Robson, the seven-year-old was most impressive when bolting up by 23 lengths at Kelso on Sunday.

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