Henderson ponders his options for Sprinter Sacre

TRAINER Nicky Henderson says he will weigh up his options before deciding whether to retire steeplechasing superstar Sprinter Sacre.

Trainer Nicky Henderson with Sprinter Sacre

The 2013 winner, who remains the third highest-rated horse in jump racing history, put up a laboured performance in the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase before being pulled up prior to the last.

The race was won by Dodging Bullets for champion trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Sam Twiston-davies.

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Henderson said: “I would be very surprised if Sprinter Sacre’s heart was wrong since that has never been an issue since the day it happened at Kempton.

“Things have been going so well with him since Christmas and we have been very happy with him. Last year we knew he wasn’t himself and at the beginning of this season it wasn’t happening but it gradually came together.

“He will be scoped now and I suspect something will come to light in that department. It is not his heart. As we know, there was a trace a blood after he ran at Ascot so you have to be suspicious in that department. It will be half an hour before we know that.

“No predictions can be made today about what his future will be. He has been a great horse and if it is wrong to go on I am sure we won’t do that. But if we can find a switch to get rid of whatever is wrong with him today, then who knows. There are still technically years in him.”

Sprinter Sacre’s jockey Barry Geraghty said: “We’ll let the vets check him over and see what they say. I knew at the first down the back so we’ll just have to wait and see. He seemed to still enjoy his racing.”