Sprinter Sacre and trainer -'we don't want to risk him again'
NICKY Henderson suffered a major blow at Cheltenham on Sunday when stable favourite Simonsig had to be put down after sustaining a broken leg.
The 10-year old grey was having his first race over fences in three years in the Shloer Chase after being injured when winning the Arkle Trophy at the same venue in 2013.
He had a run at Punchestown earlier this year when finishing third in the Champion Chase at the Irish course, and after a follow-up run seemed to be set for a successful return.
But ridden by Barry Geraghty, the horse came down at the third fence and course vets immediately went to the rose’s aid, but had no option but to put down the horse.
The Cheltenham meeting also saw the Seven Barrows trainer lose another of his stars when he announced that Sprinter Sacre would not run again.
The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase winner was given a fitting farewell when paraded at Presbury Park to climax a career that produced wins in the Arkle Challenge Trophy, Game Spirit, Tingle Creek, Victor Chandler, Melling and the Queen Mother Champion Chases.
A final win at Sandown’s Celebration Chase earlier this year took the horse’s earnings past the £1,100,000 mark after the horse had shaken off a heart issue that looked set to end his racing career.
Since then, the trainer has spotted issues with a leg and he confirmed that the horse would not run again.
“He could do things other horse couldn't. He was invincible,” he said, “And we had them ghastly two years, but he started to come again and he looked fantastic this time last year.
“He worked on Tuesday, everything was fine but his near ofre was a bit warm. He had a scan and I was going to work him again yesterday morning but I felt it again yesterday morning when we all had a look and I just wasn't happy. We scanned it and it gave us the news we all dreaded.
“We don't want to risk him again.”