Sprinter Sacre in action at Newbury earlier this year
©Healy Racing Photos
Nicky Henderson believes Sprinter Sacre is already close to being the best chaser he has ever trained after his effortless victory in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday.
The six-year-old is unbeaten over fences and never came off the bridle in adding another Grade One to his haul.
Henderson houses the current Queen Mother Champion Chase winner in Finian's Rainbow and trained one of the greatest two-milers of his generation in Remittance Man, but he already thinks Sprinter Sacre has eclipsed them.
"I think he's a bit special. What he did yesterday was what we were all hoping for. It's been a long wait and the last week has been quite a long one as well," Henderson told At The Races.
"He is a completely different type to Remittance Man. He was a charming horse, small and wiry but he could really jump.
"Sprinter is a great big thing, classy and a real speed horse.
"In a bit of work at home it wouldn't be a contest, Sprinter would be in another league. Sprinter has that touch of real class and I think he'd win (if they met).
"I don't know if you can say he's the best chaser I've ever trained just yet, but he must be getting very close.
"In fairness, we've had better hurdlers over the years before Long Run came along, he's been the only realistic Gold Cup horse.
"We mustn't forget Finian's Rainbow who is the current champion chaser yet he seems to be slipping off the radar. He's fine this morning and trotted up well.
"I would think we'll go to the Victor Chandler and it's possible that is all we'll do before Cheltenham, then he can go to either Aintree or Punchestown."