Nicky Henderson retires 'horse of a lifetime' Sprinter Sacre

The 10-year-old won 18 of his 24 starts and made a total of £1,136,000 in prize-money

BY Newstalk 14:38 Sunday 13 November 2016, 14:38 13 Nov 2016

Image: Julian Herbert PA Archive/PA Images

The 2016 Champion Chase, Sprinter Sacre, has been retired by trained Nicky Henderson.

The 10-year-old won 18 of his 24 starts during a glittering career and saw one of the most stirring comebacks in the sport to win the Champion Chase at Cheltenham in March.

"It is with deep regret that I have to announce the sad news that Sprinter Sacre has been retired," Henderson tweeted on Sunday. "He was the horse of an absolute lifetime."

"We’re going to miss him. It has been a great journey and he’s been a big part of our lives," Henderson said at a media conference.

"Life goes on without him. It’s been a pretty emotional time over the past five or six years and we’ve loved every minute of it, but all good things have to come to an end."

Sprinter goes down as one of the finest two-mile chasers in the sport's history and collected two Queen Mother Champion Chase titles in a distinguished career.

March's victory in the race will probably go down as the most memorable story of his career having to overcome a series of medical setbacks including having struggled with a fibrillating heart in December 2013.

He also landed the Arkle Challenge Trophy at Cheltenham in 2012.

"He was a special horse," said jockey Barry Geraghty. "It's to be celebrated. Nicky did so well to get him back last season. 

"In his day, in his novice season and the season after when he won the Champion Chase, I've never sat on a horse over a fence like him. He was electric."

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