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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Henderson hoping for Sacre outingHeadlines
Sprinter Sacre

Nicky Henderson is keeping his fingers crossed Ascot can defy the grip of the weather so that he can get a much-needed start into Sprinter Sacre on Saturday.

The Seven Barrows trainer wants to get just one run into the hot favourite for the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the timing of the Victor Chandler Chase is ideal ahead of Cheltenham in March.

Should Ascot fall at a 4.30pm precautionary inspection today, it would give Henderson another headache with the Festival less than two months away.

"He did a bit of work on Tuesday and that was as much as he needed to do before the race - if there is a Saturday," he told At The Races.

"This is important because I only really wanted one more run between now and Cheltenham. It's very valuable and it's the obvious race for him before Cheltenham.

"There are others, the Game Spirit (at Newbury on February 9) and such, but they are not quite what this is and the timing is a bit better here.

"We've struggled all winter because it has been so abnormally submerged, and an awful lot of horses haven't been able to do what we want them to because you can't run them on unsuitable ground when you know they don't like it.

"That was causing us enough headaches and now we've walked into this."

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