Cheltenham Festival: Day two review
MAGICAL, majestic, magnificent - the 50,000 crowd on day two at the Cheltenham Festival today were treated to sporting and equine excellence that will surely rank alongside its greatest ever moments.
Sprinter Sacre may have gone off at prohibitive odds of 1/4, the shortest at the festival since Arkle in the 1960s, but that didn't stop the crowd enjoying every moment of his exemplary jumping and devastating turn of foot as he demolished the best two mile chasers in training by turning the Queen Mother Champion Chase into a procession.
To put the magnitude of his victory into contest he finished 19 lengths in front of 2011 Champion Chase winner Sizing Europe without seemingly breaking sweat.
The roars that greeted horse and rider Barry Geraghty back to the winner's enclosure was evident of how the racing public have taken the Nicky Henderson wonder horse to their hearts and there is surely no barrier or ceiling to what he can go on to achieve.
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Afterwards Geraghty said: "He is an unbelievable horse. To beat Sizing Europe the way he did was a remarkable performance.
"He's a class act. I think the 'Frankel of jump racing' is a fair way to describe him."
Henderson added: "It does make you speechless. Sprinter Sacre is scary. He has that aura about him and is totally and utterly unique.
"He finds it ridiculously easy - he just loves doing it."
Elsewhere Willie Mullins enjoyed two further victories to add to his three on the opening day with Back in Focus in the four mile chase while Briar Hill was winner of the Champion Bumper under Ruby Walsh.
But things didn't go totally to plan for Mullins with Pont Alexandre, for many the Irish banker of the festival, languishing in third after a sloppy round of jumping and not handling the hill in the Neptune Hurdle, a race won by two-time previous course winner The New One for the Nigel Twiston Davies yard.
Boston Bob was also denied a victory for the Irish after falling when in a sting position in the climax to the grade one RSA Chase. The race was eventually won by Lord Windermere, tipped up by thisisexeter at 20/1 and gambled into an SP of 8/1.
There were also wins for Medinas in the Coral Cup at 33/1 and Flaxen Fare in the Fred Winter juvenile handicap hurdle at 25/1.