Horse Talk: Why Sprinter Sacre is just like an equine Pele

Jockey Barry Geraghty likened the talents of Sprinter Sacre to those of football legend Pele after the seven-year-old stormed to success in the Sportingbet Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

The emphatic 19-length victory heralded the emergence of a new star as Sprinter Sacre, trained by Nicky Henderson, brushed aside 2011 winner Sizing Europe, who was forced to settle for second place for the second year running.

“I’ve never ridden a horse that does it all so easily,” Geraghty said. “He has such power and scope, and that gives him the time he needs.

“He’s like a top footballer, like Pele on the ball, who used to do it all easily because his speed and power and skill gave him the time to do it. He made a mistake at the ditch – it’s the first he’s ever made – but he knew what he was doing.

“He was long into it, really long, and he put down on me, but off that ground he was telling me that was the thing to do. And he absolutely pinged the next, and winged the last.

“I’m not saying this lad is better than [dual Queen Mother Champion Chase winner] Moscow Flyer,” Geraghty added. “But the ease with which he does everything sets him apart.”

Horse Talk enjoyed a successful Cheltenham festival, tipping winners Bobs Worth, Simonsig, Sprinter Sacre and The New One and also gaining a second place with My Tent Or Yours.

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Simon Jackson is a freelance racing journalist based in north west London. He can be reached at for press and PR enquiries, or racing/betting related news stories and features.