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Sprinter Sacre on course for Ascot date after Newbury return

• Steeplechaser completes gallop and schooling session
• On target for Clarence House Chase on 17 January
• Hurricane Fly wins Leopardstown thriller

Sprinter Sacre, the highest-rated steeplechaser in training, remains on course to run in the Grade One Clarence House Chase at Ascot on 17 January after completing a racecourse gallop and schooling session at Newbury on Monday morning. The brilliant two-miler’s first appearance on a track since being pulled up with an irregular heartbeat on 27 December last year was not without incident as he took off too early when jumping the second of five schooling fences and almost landed on top of the obstacle.

A less flamboyant jumper than him could easily have suffered a fall at the fence, an open ditch, but the eight-year-old quickly recovered and cleared the next three obstacles with typical ease before quickening away from his galloping partner, the 138-rated chaser Tanks For That, halfway down Newbury’s home straight.

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