Denman and Sprinter Sacre received a warm welcome when they paraded for their fans at Newbury on Saturday (8 February).

For Denman it was a first outing since his life-threatening bone and blood infection last year.

Denman at Newbury

Meanwhile Sprinter Sacre was there wearing a heart monitor, as a trial racecourse trip following his heart problems that were diagnosed at Kempton in December.

Sprinter Sacre Newbury

Denman was in terrific form,” said rider Charlotte Alexander. “He was very pleased that it was him that was going in the trailer this weekend as he’s always been left behind when I am going hunting.

“The parade went well before the first race although the photographers wanted a photo of Sprinter Sacre and Denman together. Denman is not one for waiting so got slightly impatient and had a bit of a rear.”

Denman was certainly full of life as he lead the runners down to the start before the Betfair Denman Chase — a race he won in 2008.

Denman & Charlotte Alexander at Newbury

“He was on his toes for the ridden parade and felt really well,” added Charlotte.

“He did rear and whip round when we were leading the runners in front of the stand and luckily I didn’t fall off!

“We then galloped back in front of the stands and the crowd roared. Denman absolutely loved it. It is so amazing that he was there after everything he has been through.”

The Betfair Denman Chase was won by the Kim Bailey-trained Harry Topper, ridden by Jason Maguire. The horse had earlier in the season benefitted from jumps training from eventer Chris King.

Julian Thick, of The Racecourse Newbury, added: “It was a wonderful experience for our racegoers to see Denman and Sprinter Sacre walk around the parade ring and my thanks go to Charlotte Alexander, who looks after Denman, for bringing the great warrior along.”