| 0.4°C Dublin

Return Of the king!

Not even an irregular heartbeat will stop Sprinter Sacre from featuring in the annals of history but it could still determine how many pages he'll get in those record books.

Weather permitting, the highest rated chaser in training will make a much welcome and eagerly awaited return to competitive action at Ascot tomorrow in the Grade One Clarence House Chase.

Nicky Henderson said yesterday that "the ground is acceptable for what we need to try and do" so it looks very likely that we will get to see the 14-time winner grace the racecourse again.


Thankfully, a definite decision on Sprinter Sacre facing the starter hinges on rainfall and not on the nine-year-old's heart which proved to be his downfall at Kempton in December 2013 when we last saw him in a race and he lost his unbeaten record over fences by pulling up in the Desert Orchid Chase.

Having wowed the packed grandstands at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown in the spring of 2013, Nicky Henderson's star missed the rest of the 2013/14 season due to that high-profile heart problem and after extensive tests, a lengthy recovery and a racecourse school and gallop at Newbury over Christmas, the horse is ready to return.

Understandably, connections don't want Sprinter Sacre to have a tough race on his reappearance but with options limited and Henderson saying he wouldn't see the horse going straight to Cheltenham without a run, a lot of fingers will be crossed that Ascot's ground doesn't turn too heavy.

Following on from the Kinloch Brae at Thurles yesterday, it is another big weekend with the BoyleSports Hurdle and BoyleSports Leopardstown Chase on Sunday at the same venue where Vautour will go on something of a retrieval mission in the Killiney Novice Chase. At Haydock tomorrow, The New One will have another straightforward assignment as he prepares for another tilt at the Champion Hurdle in March, while another Champion Hurdle entry, Kitten Rock, also goes tomorrow in the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas as we get to find out a little more about this seasons impressive two-time winner.