Monday 14 October 2019

Altior produces his best to take Tingle thriller

Nico de Boinville riding Altior. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Nico de Boinville riding Altior. Photo: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Sportsdesk

Altior survived a heavy downpour and a determined Un De Sceaux to extend his winning streak to 15 in the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown yesterday. Nicky Henderson's star was unproven on such testing ground and passed his toughest test to date.

"He ran his heart out," said Walsh of Un De Sceaux. "He jumped brilliant, but I've never been a good loser and I'm not any better now." With the exception of jumping too big at the open ditch early on, Altior's fencing was at its slickest, although Un De Sceaux made him pull out all the stops.

When Altior got in slightly tight to the last it gave Walsh a chance to steal a length, but as he has done in the past, the 8-13 favourite powered up the hill to win going away. "That was special," said Henderson. "I think that was really testing him today and, like Buveur D'Air last week, if he was going to get beat it would have been today.

"When you have genuine championship horses it is great people appreciate them, but it does make you feel the pressure.

"We knew Ruby Walsh would set a gallop and he made it as tough as he could. But this is an amazing horse and you couldn't make it too tough for him. That is not his ground, but he is that good. He was fit, and he had to be, because they were going to test us, weren't they?"

Winning jockey Nico De Boinville added: "That rain just beforehand really did open that ground up. We were getting drenched down at the start, but Ruby has gone out and made it a true championship pace.

"All credit to Un De Sceaux for keeping going. That was some performance from him. That was a great performance, the gallop he went. He has been around a long time. It just seemed to set up the race nicely for us and we always had that kick at the end.

"And when you reach a hill in that ground as well, he just seemed to go into overdrive there."

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