Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kempton Sacre Blues for Nicky; Sprinter Is Pulled Up as Return Turns Sour

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Kempton Sacre Blues for Nicky; Sprinter Is Pulled Up as Return Turns Sour

Article excerpt

Byline: Garry Owen

Sacre lost his unbeaten record over fences when pulled up on his seasonal debut in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton.

Nicky Henderson's charge was sent off the 2-9 favourite for the two-mile contest but jumped poorly at the seventh and was quickly pulled up by jockey Barry Geraghty.

A great headery Sprinter Sacre did not appear to be distressed and was trotted back to waiting connections on the All-weather track The seven-year-old was quickly examned by vets and was found to be suffering from an irregular heartbeat.

in herey He will now undergo further examinations by a cardiology specialist in Newmarket.

The Grade 2 contest was won by Gary Moore's Sire De Grugy (4-1) who stormed clear in the home straight to see off Oiseau De Nuit (33-1) by four lengths under the trainer's son Jamie.

Henderson said: "Both vets have listened to him, one immediately when he pulled up and now the other after Barry has unsaddled him. They both concur he appears to have an irregular heartbeat.

"He will have a dope test and they will scope him so I will know more later but you tend to find scopes after a race find something but they can be fine the next day. It was like that with Long Run at Wetherby."

Geraghty said: "It's always sad when a great horse like Sprinter Sacre is beaten but the main thing to remember is that he lives to fight another day.

"He felt grand during the race but with him I'm always having to say, 'whoa!, whoa!' but then all of a sudden the 'whoa' was gone. He clambered over the second fence down the back straight and in a couple of strides I knew something wasn't right. "I know him very well and what he means to everyone so I didn't need to think twice that the immediate and right thing to do was pull him up and keep him safe.

"He was fine as I was trotting him back slowly to the paddock but there is something amiss and the expert view seems to be that it is an irregular heartbeat. "He'll be getting the best treatment there is and there have been quite a few very good horses that have suffered this problem and been successfully treated. …

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