RACING: Henderson welcomes race effort
4:47pm Friday 18th January 2013 in Latest Sport News
LAMBOURN trainer Nicky Henderson has welcomed efforts to restage Saturday's lost big races at alternative courses next weekend.
The exciting Sprinter Sacre was due to have his second outing of the season in the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot, but with Berkshire snowbound, the valuable two-mile event will now be held at Cheltenham's trials meeting on Saturday week.
Sprinter Sacre, who lit up the novice division and won the Arkle Trophy, has been confined to one start this term, in the Tingle Creek at Sandown, and needs match practice before he heads to the sportingbet.com Queen Mother Champion Chase.
Henderson had Grandouet, another who needs runs under the belt after reappearing from a long absence when second to Zarkandar in the International Hurdle, entered in the StanJames.com Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock.
Talks are under way for the event, which featured a possible clash with Peddlers Cross, to be moved to Doncaster next Saturday.
"I'm pleased the Victor Chandler has moved to Cheltenham as he needs to run, and they are saying that hopefully the Haydock race will be saved as well," said Henderson, who has seen plenty of snow at his Seven Barrows yard.
"All the horses cantered this morning, the snow wasn't too heavy at the time but it's still coming down and there's more about now.
"I'll have to do a pitch inspection for the rest of the weekend."
The Victor Chandler Chase will be worth £70,000 thanks to a £40,000 contribution from the Horserace Betting Levy Board.
When run as a handicap, the race was held at Prestbury Park in 2005 when it was won through a tremendous weight-carrying effort by Well Chief.
MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD