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Sprinter Sacre rolled back the years with a superb performance to take the bet365 Celebration Chase at Sandown.
While many felt his best days were behind him after finishing second in the same race a year ago, the Nicky Henderson-trained pre-race favourite showed he still has plenty to offer as he strode to victory by 15 lengths from Un De Sceaux for Willie Mullins.
Dodging Bullets was third for Paul Nicholls who retained his champion trainer crown just ahead of main rival Mullins who will be left to rue a number of jumping errors from Un De Sceaux which saw him well beaten in the end.
"It was wonderful today, we got a lovely tow into the race, he was nice and settled," winning jockey Nico de Boinville said:
"We knew he was very fresh and well, his schooling was unbelievable. We always do what is right by him but he told us he wanted to run today.
"The guv'nor has worked miracles to get him back.
"The triumph, the turmoil has been unbelievable."
Henderson added: "That was why we had to run, he loves doing this, if you look at that you can see why we have to do it.
"We have to enjoy him and he's enjoying himself, we've got to let him show what he can do.
"There were moments we thought it was all over but we were never under any pressure.
"It's been a long journey but this season has been amazing, he's great for the racing game, I hope, he's good for me but my old heart might not take much more of it."
By: Kieran O'Daly