Sprinter Sacre facing his acid test
Last Updated: 08/02/12 12:04pm
Zarkandar: Puts his unbeaten record on the line and one pound clear on ratings
Timeform believe Long Run, Sprinter Sacre and Zarkandar all have races on their hooves on Betfair Super Saturday at Newbury.
The trio are favourites for the Betfair Denman Chase, Betfair Super Saturday Chase and Betfair Hurdle respectively but only two of the three top the Halifax-based firm's ratings for their race.
Betfair spokesman Tony Calvin explained: "Long Run clearly has an outstanding chance to get back on the winning track in the Betfair Denman Chase, as odds of 4-7 on Betfair imply.
"But he has only 6lb in hand of 11-2 chance What A Friend on Timeform figures and some top-class horses have been beaten in this race - not least Denman himself, a 1-6 chance when unseating in 2010.
"And Kauto Star only scrambled home by a head in his annus mirabilis in 2007.
"Sprinter Sacre is another horse for whom the sky is the limit after two impressive chase wins, and he trades as the 6-5 favourite for the Betfair Super Saturday Chase.
"But his defeat of Peddlers Cross is hard to gauge with total confidence, and Timeform currently rate him the same horse as course and distance winner Cue Card. And Cue Card receives 3lb from the favourite, here.
"Last season's Triumph Hurdle has worked out impressively and many believe Zarkandar comes into this race as a well-handicapped animal off a mark of 151.
"Timeform agree and have him as their top-rated horse, but they have the 7-2 chance only 1lb clear of recent Taunton runner-up Third Intention.
"So those who think Saturday's 'Big Three' are gimmees could well be mistaken - and Grands Crus may not have a straightforward task either if he runs in the 3m novice chase."
Timeform ratings: Betfair Denman Chase: 193 Long Run, 187 What A Friend, 184 Burton Port, 181 $ Tidal Bay
Betfair Super Saturday Chase: 173 Cue Card, 170p Sprinter Sacre, 169 French Opera, 167 Stagecoach Pearl, 165+ Hold Fast
Betfair Hurdle: 178p Zarkandar, 177 Third Intention, 173 Get Me Out Of Here, 172+ Olofi, 172 Abergavenny, Ciceron