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Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 4°C
# Aintree
In pictures: Ruthless Sprinter Sacre makes it 9-in-a-row on colourful Ladies Day at Aintree
It was another good day for Barry Geraghty.

JUMPS RACING PHENOMENON Sprinter Sacre made it nine successive wins at Aintree today by winning the Grade One Melling Chase in impressive fashion.

The seven-year-old — known as the Frankel of the jumps scene — made light of the extra half-mile to his preferred distance of two miles to cruise home 4.5 lengths clear of the much-fancied Cue Card. Irish raider Flemenstar, who had missed last month’s Cheltenham Festival specifically for this race, was a distant third.

Sprinter Sacre — trained by Nicky Henderson — had failed to win on his previous outing over the distance in a hurdle race a couple of years ago but never looked troubled under Barry Geraghty. Geraghty brought him upsides Cue Card, who won impressively over this distance at Cheltenham, in the run-up to the final fence and then eased him home at the prohibitive odds of 1/3 on favourite.

Henderson, who looks almost certain to be crowned British champion trainer this season, has trained many great horses through the past 30 years but Sprinter Sacre, winner of 12 of his 14 starts and placed in the other two, is the best for him.

“Barry was never worried about it (the trip),” said the 62-year-old. “When you get something as special as that you have to mind it, you have to look after it. That is as good as you get.”

Geraghty, who teamed up with Henderson to land the Cheltenham Gold Cup last month with Bobs Worth, also professed that Sprinter Sacre was a bit out of the ordinary. “He’s something special, he’s perfection. He was foot perfect,” said the 33-year-old Irishman.

In pictures: Ruthless Sprinter Sacre makes it 9-in-a-row on colourful Ladies Day at Aintree
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Pictures: PA images

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Later, a second fatality marred the day’s action when Little Josh was put down.

- additional reporting AFP

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