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Cheltenham champion chaser Sprinter Sacre has been retired after leg injury

The news was announced by trainer Nicky Henderson today.

Nico de Joinville celebrates winning with Sprinter Sacre and Nicky Henderson Nico de Joinville celebrates winning with Sprinter Sacre and Nicky Henderson last March. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

SPRINTER SACRE, THE two-time Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, has been retired.

The announcement was made this morning by trainer Nicky Henderson, when he tweeted that it was ‘with deep regret’ that they had made this decision after the horse had sustained a minor tendon strain earlier this week.

Henderson had earlier called a press conference for midday at Cheltenham and rumours had suggested that he would announce the retirement of Sprinter Sacre.

Sprinter Sacre had been preparing for another attempt at landing the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March next year but this injury would have forced the 10 year-old to spend another year on the sidelines, which promoted the decision to retire.

In 2012 Sprinter Sacre landed the Arkle Challenge Trophy at Cheltenham before the following year winning the Queen Mother for the first time, beating previous winner Sizing Europe by 19 lengths.

Last March Sprinter Sacre again won the feature Champion Chase, a memorable success after a series of setbacks in the previous couple of years. The 5/1 shot saw off race favourite Un De Sceaux in style.

Speaking after that race, Henderson said:

“It’s been a long, long journey – those were two very, very grim years.

“That was unbelievable. That was about dreams, wasn’t it?”

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Fintan O'Toole

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