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RELIVE: Sprinter Sacre’s comeback of comebacks in the 2016 Champion Chase

Nicky Henderson’s star Sprinter Sacre landed immortality status on his final start at Prestbury Park in the second day’s feature race five years ago



Horse Racing - 2013 Cheltenham Festival - Day Two - Cheltenham Racecourse

After combating several health problems between 2013 and 2015, Sprinter Sacre was slowly making his rise back to the top.

At the beginning of the 2015/2016 season, the gelding claimed his first win in nearly two years, landing the Grade 2 Shloer Chase and followed that up with success in the Desert Orchard Chase a month later.

Nicky Henderson’s talent made the trip to Gloucestershire as the second favourite of the 2016 Champion Chase, behind the highly-fancied Un De Sceaux.

Sprinter Sacre won 18 of his 24 starts in a jumps career lasting six years, including two renewals of the Champion Chase

But Sprinter Sacre’s date with destiny and immortality overpowered the odds-on favourite.

Heading into the final stages, the then 10-year-old nodded over the third to last fence and his chances of victory could have faded there and then.

But he pressed towards the leading pair of Un De Sceaux and Special Tiara and found himself in the lead before two out.

Watch: sprinter Sacre regains his champion chase crown at the 2016 Cheltenham festival [Credit: racing tv]

Sprinter Sacre cleared away from the challenging duo and was met with an almighty roar from the Cheltenham crowd when he just about got over the final fence.

He would go on to win by 3 ½ lengths, etching his name into history.

Commentator Simon Holt summed up the moment perfectly with an emotional line that lives long in the memory of racing fans: “They say they never come back, this is one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the Cheltenham Festival!”

Sprinter Sacre would race once more before retiring, overcoming Un De Sceaux once again in the Celebration Mile at Sandown a month later.

Henderson duo Sprinter Sacre and Altior both won an Arkle and Champion Chase in successive seasons; will Shishkin do the same?
DID YOU KNOW? Sprinter Sacre was the third horse in history to regain the Champion Chase after losing it, with Royal Relief (1972 & 1974) and Moscow Flyer (2003 & 2005) completing the feat as well.

Reece Charlton is a Content Writer at Low6 that specializes in horse racing. He is an avid hunter of value in the racing world, picking out longshots six days a week across the National Hunt and Flat cards on offer across the UK and Ireland. He keeps punters and race fans in the know with his racing expertise with previews and value picks for all the big cards and meetings.