sport

Henderson duo in Champion Chase

Sprinter Sacre will not be at the Cheltenham Festival, but he still put in an appearance for the media at Nicky Henderson's.

On looks alone, the top-rated jumper would appear to have been in peak condition as he posed for a quick photograph before disappearing to the gallops for a canter with jockey Nico de Boinville.

But after his well-documented episode at Kempton on December 27, when Sprinter Sacre was pulled-up with what was found to be an irregular heartbeat, he has not quite reached a level at which Henderson would have been happy to let him loose at Cheltenham.

Instead, he will continue at Seven Barrows before another appointment with noted equine heart specialist Celia Marr in Newmarket.

"He looks mighty fine - he's not dead," said Henderson.

"I think Celia will take over from here. I just want to make sure I can get him to where he wants to be for the future."

Instead, Henderson's BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase representatives will be Kid Cassidy, who was lucky to escape alive after the electrocution incident at Newbury in 2011, and Captain Conan.

"Neither one is in because Sprinter Sacre came out," Henderson said.

"Kid Cassidy beat Sire De Grugy, who has been the best horse, at Cheltenham earlier in the season, although I know he was getting 10lb.

"Captain Conan is the same, he didn't run his race at all in the Tingle Creek and came back with a very low potassium level.

"I'd imagine Barry (Geraghty) will jump on Captain Conan and AP (McCoy) will go on Kid, unless he wants to ride Alderwood instead."