Thursday 19 September 2019

Five things we learned from Kempton

Altior ridden by Nico de Boinville jumps the last on the way to winning The Unibet Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park. Photo: John Walton/PA
Altior ridden by Nico de Boinville jumps the last on the way to winning The Unibet Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park. Photo: John Walton/PA

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Altior in a league of his own

Those attending the Sunbury track yesterday were treated to a flawless display from last season's Champion Chase hero, as Altior made it 16 wins in succession in the Desert Orchid Chase. He sprinted away between the last two fences before ultimately claiming a 19-length triumph. Nicky Henderson feels the eight-year-old is close to being on a par with the mighty Sprinter Sacre - and a successful defence of his Champion Chase crown could see him eclipse his illustrious former stablemate in the eyes of the Seven Barrows maestro.

River to flow in Gold Cup?

If there was one horse to take away from the King George VI Chase away from the winner, it was Native River.

Never happy from an early stage on a track that does not play to his strengths, the Colin Tizzard-trained eight-year-old stayed on all the way to the line to take third.

Expect a stern defence of his Gold Cup crown in March when returned to more suitable conditions at Cheltenham.

 

Nicholls title challenge alive and kicking

It has been a Christmas to savour for Paul Nicholls, with victory for Clan Des Obeaux in the King George and Dynamite Dollars in the Wayward Lad Novices' Chase supplemented by Grade One gains at Chepstow.

Add into the mix the likes of Kauto Star Novices' Chase runner-up Topofthegame and the Ditcheat handler could make a bold bid for an 11th jump trainers' championship.

 

Fisher looks a smart catch for Henderson

With Angels Breath, Birchdale and Rathhill all demonstrating they are horses of significant potential in recent weeks, Mister Fisher added his name to a growing list of smart novices Henderson has on his hands.

Although meeting with defeat on his hurdling debut at Newbury, the four-year-old is as short as 12/1 for the Supreme after casting aside some useful rivals in the opening race of the two-day meeting.

 

Glen Forsa another Festival hope for Channon

Having landed the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March with Mister Whitaker, trainer Mick Channon appears to have in Glen Forsa a horse that could follow in his hoofprints.

After making it two from two over fences on St Stephen's Day, the six-year-old is now likely to take in the same race at Cheltenham at the end of next month that his stablemate did en route to the big meeting in March.

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