Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 25th 2014 Contents A54
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Chungua will be focus of attention for
favourite-backers in the five-runner Maid-
en Stakes over six furlongs of Lingfield
polytrack today, three weeks ago this Elu-
sive Quality colt proved a financial disaster
over course and distance!
On the back a promising debut on
Wolverhampton poly Chungua was sent
off a 1/4 chance but Jim Crowley appeared
to get his fractions wrong and allowed front-
running Rose Buck too much rope; given
the pace wasn t strong it was the same old
story in the closing stages where three-
quarters of a length separated the princi-
This could be much tougher but Chungua
is expected to win with George Baker back
in the plate, even though there are a couple
of well-bred newcomers from respected
yards of Richard Hannon and Clive Cox in
Likelihood is that Chungua will be intro-
duced short by on-course bookmakers but
it will be fascinating to see if either Lindart
or Advance attract support; you can t beat
Meridius is one of ten decs for the Maid-
en Stakes over seven furlongs, trainer Gary
Harrison has booked Tpm Frankel Queal-
ly!That s significant because Tom was aboard
for the first time when Meridius, badly
drawn, was fifth in a strongly-run handicap
over six furlongs of this course ten days
ago, beaten just over three lengths by ultra-
consistent Spellmaker; doubtless this expe-
rienced jockey recommended going further.
Unless Charles Hills-trained newcomer,
Ermine Ruby, is above average Meridius is
a time-handicap penalty-kick and must
be backed accordingly.
There are also two jumping fixtures set
to run in tandem, Leicester stages an all-
steeplechasing card and Catterick opens up
a seven-race programme with the Lady
amateur Riders Handicap over two and a
half miles which affords Summerlea a good
opportunity to go one better following three
successive seconds; experienced Carol Wal-
ton is a plus.
10.20 Summerlea (e.w)
12.00 Meridius (nap)
Focus on Chungua
Weight lifted from Henderson's shoulders
R1: 1 (3) Sir Isaac 1-1; 2 (12) Educated Guess 9-1; 3
(8) Duchess Catherine 25-1. NR 4
R2: 1 (1) Derbaas 4-1; 2 (3) Giant Strides 7-1; 3 (5)
Tripartite 13-2. NR 4.
R3: 1 (7) Jagerbomb 8-5; 2 (3) Lecture Queen 5-1.
R4: 1 (5) Katachenko 7-4. NRS 1, 2 & 6.
R5: 1 (11) Victoria Park 7-2; 2 (6) Prolan 33-1; 3 (5)
Theory 16-1. NR 3.
R6: 1 (1) Albert Bridge 7-2; 2 (3) Civil War 13-8; 3
(9) Bow Quest 66-1. AR.
R7: 1 (1) Ryton Runner 9-1; 2 (11) Highlander Ted
10-1; 3 (6) Generous Chief 25-1. NRS 5, 7, 10 & 14.
R8: 1 (4) Mountain Rush 4-1; 2 (3) With Passion
8-1; 3 (12) Tibisi 7-2. NRS 2 & 7.
R10: 1 (3) Bapak Bangsawan 11-10; 2 (1) Top Cop
R11: 1 (8) Hold The Bucks 15-2; 2 (5) Dungeness
R12: 1 (5) Cool Sky 6-4; 2 (4) Bellgrove 9-2. NR 7.
R13: 1 (6) Desert Ranger 5-1; 2 (10) Crazee
Diamond 15-2; 3 (11) Sorry Saeed 6-1. AR.
R14: 1 (4) According To Them 10-1. AR.
R16: 1 (5) Lineman 9-2; 2 (6) Gabrial The Boss 10-
R17: 1 (8) Strange Bird 9-2; 2 (1)
Twopoundsofbutter 11-2; 3 (2) Torran Sound 5-1.
R18: 1 (7) Newdane Dancer 7-1; 2 (9) Shan Valley
3-1; 3 (2) Blue Kascade 11-8. AR.
R19: 1 (3) Dubai Celebration 7-2; 2 (7) India's Song
R20: 1 (6) Barton Rose 11-4; 2 (2) Bebinn 7-2; 3
(7) La Madonnina 16-1. AR.
R21: 1 (5) Morning With Ivan 1-1. NR 4.
R22: 1 (1) Arantes 4-5; 2 (6) Rose Kazan 5-2. AR.
R23: 1 (7) Virtuel D'Oudon 7-4; 2 (4) Mercers
Court 7-1. AR.
R24: 1 (2) Fitzgerald 11-8. AR.
R25: 1 (4) John Potts 6-1; 2 (1) Reggie Bond 1-1; 3
(5) Delightful Sleep 2-1. NR 8.
Nicky Henderson will give Sprinter Sacre
"a full MOT" after the Seven Barrows train-
er ran out of time to get him right for the
Cheltenham Festival next month.
The star of jumps racing was dramatically
pulled up at Kempton on December 27, where
he was quickly diagnosed as suffering from
an irregular heartbeat.
That problem righted itself, and he has
since been closely monitored by equine spe-
cialist Celia Marr.
However, the eight-year-old did not show
his usual brilliance in a piece of work on
Saturday, and the decision has been taken
to miss not only the BetVictor Queen Mother
Champion Chase, which he won last year,
but also the rest of the season.
He was formerly scratched from the
Champion Chase before 1000 on Monday.
Henderson told BBC Radio 5 Live: "He s
such a brilliant horse, you can just tell (he
wasn t right).
"He was working to 90 per cent of his
ability and his capacity.
"Our job is to send him back to the garage,
if you like, and get him back and have a full
In a later interview with At The Races,
Henderson revealed that Sprinter Sacre would
continue to exercise at home in the weeks
The trainer said: "I suppose, in a way, it s
lifted a brick off our shoulders.
"His heart is working perfectly normal,
it is probably ours that hasn t been the last
"His heart hasn t done anything wrong
since that day at Kempton when it took 24
hours to self-right.
"He had to go to either Kempton on Friday
or Newbury on Sunday as he needed a race-
course gallop and I just wouldn t have felt
comfortable taking him to a racecourse.
"Kempton was a tremendous shock to
the system and there had been no clue at
home there was anything wrong.
"His blood is good, his scope is clean and
we can not find anything.
"I think there s a sense of relief (that the
decision has been made). It was only right
to say now, it s getting close.
"We thought it was better to say now
rather than push him any further and now
everybody knows where we are.
"He ll go out second lot and have an exer-
cise, you can t just stop with him. We ll keep
asking questions without galloping him and
at some stage he ll go to Ceila Marr in New-
market to be checked over and I m sure she ll
start with his heart."
Barry Geraghty has spoken of his disap-
pointment at missing out on the chance to
land back-to-back Champion Chases.
"It s always a disappointment for con-
nections when any horse is forced out of a
big race so relatively close to the Festival,
no matter who it is," said Geraghty in his
At The Races blog.
"But it really hits home when it is a horse
like him with such brilliance and one that
every race fan wanted to see perform.
"But once there was an issue there was
always a chance it could come back and bite
us on the tail although everyone was hoping
that it wouldn t and that he d come through.
"It just hasn t happened but with a horse
of his stature it would be impossible to take
"A safety first approach with him is the
only way because he is young enough to
come back and rule the roost again when
all the gears are connecting.
"The main thing is that we ve got him
for another day."
Sprinter Sacre s withdrawal left the betting
market for the Champion Chase in a much-
altered state with Sire De Grugy - due to
work at Plumpton before racing on Monday
- the new 2/1 favourite with Sky Bet.
Next in the betting are 5/1 second-
favourites Benefficient and Arvika Ligeon-
niere, with Captain Conan, stablemate of
Sprinter Sacre, a 6/1 chance.
15-10 --- 10.30 am
2-14--- 1 pm.
26-4--- 6.30 pm
Times played this year
10.30 am 1 pm 6.30 pm Total
01CENTIPEDE 2 0 0 2
02 OLD LADY
04DEADMAN 0 0 2 2
05 PARSON MAN 4
15SICKWOMAN0 2 3 5
18 WATERBOAT 0 1 1
10.30 am 1 pm 6.30pm Total
27 LITTLESNAKE 3 1 0 4
28 RED FISH
29 OPIUM MAN
30 HOUSE CAT
31 PARSONWIFE 0 1 0 1
34 BLIND MAN
35 BIG SNAKE
LAST DRAW: MONDAY
WHEN DE MARK BUSS
Play Whe results to February 24
20 (Dog) 10.30 am
TODAY'S STAR BETS
34 (Blind Man)
32 (Shrimp) 1 pm
2 (Ola Lady) --- 10.30 am
18 (Water Boat) --- 1 pm
7 (Hog)--- 6.30 pm
Sire De Grugy began yesterday morning as the
new favourite for the BetVictor Queen Mother
Champion Chase in the wake of Sprinter Sacre s
defection and the chestnut took another step
towards assuming that position in a fortnight s time
with a racecourse gallop at Plumpton.
The news came on Sunday evening that Nicky
Henderson felt his top-rated jumper Sprinter Sacre
was not giving quite the right signs to defend his
Cheltenham title, and it leaves the Gary Moore-
trained Sire De Grugy playing a role he has filled
through most of the season.
He picked up both his Grade One victories in events
Sprinter Sacre had been forced to miss through his
interrupted preparation - the Tingle Creek Chase at
Sandown and the Clarence House at Ascot - and
their only meeting at Kempton over Christmas saw
Henderson s gelding pulled up with what was found
to be an irregular heartbeat.
Sussex s star horse was given a red-carpet welcome
at one of his home venues for his lunchtime session,
where he jogged around a lap of the course with his
ever-present rider Jamie Moore before picking up
the speed for another mile and a half.
Sire De Grugy, who looked lean and trained-to-
the-minute, was asked to stride on in the home
straight and came well clear of his companion Light
Well before receiving polite applause passing the line.
"I was more than satisfied - it s very tiring ground
out there and you would not want to do more than
he did," said Gary Moore.
Sire De Grugy does have a nought-from-two Chel-
tenham record and was beaten by Kid Cassidy in a
conditions event at the Open meeting - but Moore
has already revealed he was accidentally fitted with
the wrong shoes that day in a tactical race.
Sire pleases in
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