Henderson said: “Sprinter’s work over ten furlongs was all right, and with any other horse you’d think it was fine, but Sprinter is not showing the same brilliance as last season; he is just ten per cent short of that.
“Thankfully his heart is fine and there is no problem there.”
Henderson added: “Having discussed options with [owners] Caroline and Raymond Mould, [work rider] Nico de Boinville, who has ridden him every morning for three seasons, and [vet] Celia Marr, who has been monitoring his heart, it was agreed that we should pull stumps for the time being.
“Now we will concentrate on getting Sprinter back next season to the same form he showed last season.”
Bookies adjusted the market for the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Sire de Grugy is now the favourite.
But anything could happen between now and then.
Now that the mighty Sprinter Sacre is out of contention, the trainers of other horses may fancy their chances and there could be a late entry or two.
We’ll miss Sprinter Sacre and I wish him well, but the race will be much less of a formality without his commanding presence.
As for punters who bet ante-post on Sprinter Sacre and have lost their stake… as Kenny Rogers once sung: You have to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em.
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