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Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column
9:00am Saturday 7th December 2013 in Sport
SPRINTER Sacre misses today’s BetVictor Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park and while the race is more interesting from a betting proposition it is a great shame that Nicky Henderson’s stable star is absent.
Captain Conan was being prepared by Henderson for a handicap at Cheltenham next week but is unbeaten in three starts at Sandown and is much respected rerouted in the absence of the Champion Chaser.
He finished 2L in front of Sire De Grugy on his Chase debut at Cheltenham last November and won four of his five starts over fences in his novice campaign.
He is a tank of a horse but I felt he would need further than the minimum trip this term and I think Sire De Grugy (3.00) can reverse the form.
The other G1 on the card is the Henry VIII Novices Chase, won last year by Captain Conan, and the Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty combination can go in again with Grandouet (1.50) despite unseating at the track last month.
The 6-y-o will be suited by the strong pace set from Balder Success.
Taquin De Seuil beat Oscar Whisky in a farce of a race over two and a half at Cheltenham but looks set to struggle against speedier rivals.
The handicapper could have taken a chance raising Alfie Spinner (3.35) by just 1lb after he ran a cracker behind Standing Ovation in the Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton last month.
Yes he did run his best race first time out last season and there is the possibility his form might tail off as it did last term but he has always suggested he had a big race in him and he can reward each way support.
Alan King’s Scottish National winner Godsmejudge heads the weights with Robert Thornton in the plate and he is respected from top weight.
A magnificent card at Aintree with the National fences jumped twice; the feature Becher Chase over 3m 2f is mouth-watering with a very strong Irish challenge.
On His Own has failed to complete in the last two Grand Nationals and he is overlooked in favour of Vesper Bell (2.05) who has the scope to cope with this unique test. No 7-year-old has won this event since Silver Birch in 2004 and he went on to win the National later in his career.
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