Wally’s Wagers: Sprinter back in the running

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A fantastic performance put Sprinter Sacre back in contention for the Queen Mother Chase.

The Nicky Henderson trained nine-year-old was once regarded as the best two-mile chaser of his generation but serious injuries have plagued this star horse.

His incredible performance in the Shloer Chase on Sunday was something back to his very best.

Jockey Nico De Boinville took his mount to the front four from home and this superb chaser only kept extending after the last to win by 14 lengths.

An emotional Nicky Henderson said: “He has taken us to some unbelievable places over the years, but probably nothing anywhere like that today.

“It had to happen or the doubters would of been winning the argument, we had to do something. We are not all the way there but we are going in the right direction.”

Last year’s Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen had his confidence dented with a shock defeat to stable companion Nicholas Canyon.

The 1/6 shot, who went into the race unbeaten, could only manage second at Punchestown, which was a massive shock.

I do feel that Faugheen will put that performance behind him and improve, but I don’t believe it was a fluke.

Nicholas Canyon looks like he has improved to that level and he is a class act to definitely keep on your side.

There is plenty to look forward to on Saturday with Ascot and Haydock having exceptional racing to enjoy.

The card to concentrate on firstly is at Haydock with a star-studded field in the Betfair Chase and the betfair hurdle.

The betfair Chase was a race that paul Nicholls has dominated in recent years.

The great Kauto Star won the race a record four times, even when I mention his name I get goosebumps.

Silviniaco Conti won it 2012 and 2104 and he will face seven rivals to try complete his hat-trick.

Cue Card, the 2013 winner, looked right back to his very best when last seen a month ago.

His jumping was faultless and he dominated his rivals from start to finish and I can see him taking this one with a run under his belt.

I think Silviniaco Conti at 11/10 is just too short, Cue Card at 3/1 is the best value in that race.

The 1.50pm Betfair Hurdle is a good quality race to start us off.

I think Irving has a big chance considering his success last month, but Top Notch looks the one to be on here.

His form reads 1111112, his second a defeat by only a neck to Peace and Co which is far and away the best piece of form to his name.

Odds of 6/4 do look short but even if he was running backwards I still feel his class will be too much for his rivals.

The 2.25pm Fixed Brush Hurdle is a hard one to call.

Plenty will feel their horse has a decent chance in this ultra-competitive race.

Trainer Nick Williams is in red hot form at the moment and Tea For Two could well be the answer here.

He won the Lanzarote hurdle last year and I think he looks on a competitive mark to make his presence felt in this one.

A price of 7/1 is fair and he is definitely worth a punt.

Wally’s Tips

Haydock, Saturday, 1.50: Top Notch (6/4).

2.25: Tea For Two (7/1).