14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Sacre camp buoyed by VC switchHeadlines
Sprinter Sacre

Trainer Nicky Henderson has welcomed the decision to stage the Victor Chandler Chase at Cheltenham next Saturday after the loss of the Ascot card due to snow.

The exciting Sprinter Sacre was due to have his second outing of the season in this weekend's big race and remains on target now it has been moved to the trials meeting at Prestbury Park.

Sprinter Sacre has been confined to one start this term, in the Tingle Creek at Sandown, and needs match practice before he heads to the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Henderson had Grandouet, another who needs runs under the belt after reappearing from a long absence when second to Zarkandar in the International Hurdle, entered in the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock, which has also been lost.

The BHA has confirmed that this event, which featured a possible clash with Peddlers Cross, has been moved to Doncaster next Saturday.

"I'm pleased the Victor Chandler has moved to Cheltenham as he needs to run, and they are saying that hopefully the Haydock race will be saved as well," said Henderson, who has seen plenty of snow at his Lambourn yard.

"All the horses cantered this morning, the snow wasn't too heavy at the time but it's still coming down and there's more about now. I'll have to do a pitch inspection for the rest of the weekend."

The Victor Chandler Chase will be worth £70,000 thanks to a £40,000 contribution from the Horserace Betting Levy Board. When run as a handicap, the race was held at Prestbury Park in 2005, when it was won through a tremendous weight-carrying effort by Well Chief.

Simon Claisse, Cheltenham's head of racing and clerk of the course, said: "It is disappointing that as a result of the bad weather Ascot has been forced to abandon Saturday's fixture. However, we are pleased the Victor Chandler Chase has been rescheduled to take place on Festival Trials Day.

"The race will make a great addition to an already extremely strong card and it is a testament to the hard work of everyone involved that the race has been rearranged promptly to safeguard this important race. We would like to thank Victor Chandler and the Levy Board in particular for their support."

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