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Heart problem may explain Sprinter Sacre's defeat

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 27, 2013

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Racing superstar Sprinter Sacre was found to have an irregular heartbeat after being sensationally pulled up today.

Unbeaten in his previous 10 races over fences, the two-time Cheltenham Festival winner got no further than the seventh fence under Barry Geraghty in the williamhill.com Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton.

As Sprinter Sacre was trotted back, Sire De Grugy went on to win by four lengths from Oiseau De Nuit.

Sprinter Sacre’s trainer Nicky Henderson said: “They (vets) listened to him when he pulled him up and when he came back in, and there is an irregular heartbeat there.

“He landed on the back of the fence and Barry said he was empty.

“He was looking great, he jumped the first very well and his work was unbelievable.

“He is going to have to go for dope tests and then they will scope him and hopefully we will know more later.”

Sire De Grugy’s trainer Gary Moore Moore said Sprinter Sacre’s failure to finish the race took some gloss of the victory under his jockey son Jamie.

He added that Sire Du Grugy, now the winner of seven of his 10 races over fences, wasn’t certain to run in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Festival for which he looks a leading contender.

Moore said: “I’m over the moon for the horse and the owners, and especially Jamie, but it’s just a shame he had to do it that way but it’s not his fault the other horse has gone wrong.

“That was a messy race, they went off fast then the pacemaker dropped out.

“He’d be better in a bigger field, covered up, and then you’d see his true potential.

“I said to Jamie to ride him for speed today, but he hasn’t been able to.

“If he comes out of the race okay he’ll definitely go for the Clarence House (January 18, Ascot) then he’ll have a good break. We’ll see if he goes for the Queen Mother then.”

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